… But Obama returned to issues of racism in America with a warning to Tuskegee’s graduates that “the road ahead is not going to be easy”. “It never is,” she said, “especially for folks like you and me. Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is that those age-old problems are stubborn and they haven’t fully gone away. So there will be times … when you feel like folks look right past you, or they see just a fraction of who you really are.”
People would not see them as the hard-working graduates they appeared on the day of their graduation who had struggled to achieve their education, pay for it, and give back to their communities, she said. “They don’t know that part of you.
Instead they will make assumptions about who they think you are based on their limited notion of the world.”
Frustration, Obama said, “can feel isolating. It can make you feel like your life somehow doesn’t matter. And as we’ve seen over the past few years, those feelings are real.”
“They’re rooted in decades of structural challenges that have made too many folks feel frustrated and invisible, and those feelings are playing out in communities like Baltimore and Ferguson and so many others across this country.”