Trouble catching cabs, being mistaken for a valet and waiter are some of the experiences with racist stereotypes President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama went through while living as black people in America.
In an interview with People magazine, the first couple acknowledged the assumption many have that living in the White House somehow shields them from everyday experiences other black people and racial minorities go through.
Before his presidency, "Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his fare share of troubles catching cabs," Michelle Obama told People in an interview to be released Friday.
President Obama weighed in on the time he's been mistaken for the help.
"There's no black male my age, who's a professional, who hasn't come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn't hand them their car keys," he said.
There was also the time someone thought he was a waiter.
"He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee," the first lady said.
There was another time- when the Obamas were already in the White House- when a woman apparently mistook Michelle Obama for a Target employee during a 2011 trip to the retail chain's Virginia location.
"Even as the first lady, during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off the shelf," she told People.
The exclusive interview adds to a national conversation about society's treatment of black Americans- centuries-old wounds reopened by the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, both unarmed black men killed by white police officers. A New York grand jury and another one in Missouri voted not to indict the cops, which set off an ongoing wave of local and international protests.
After a Staten Island grand jury decided earlier this month to not indict the NYPD cop who put Garner in a fatal chokehold, Obama said the nation needs to realize there is a problem when anyone is mistreated, not just African-Americans.
"It's incumbent on all of us as Americans...that we recognize that this is an American problem and not just a black problem," Obama said according to The Huffington Post. "It is an American problem when anybody in this country is not being treated equally under the law."