WASHINGTON - He may be president now, but Barack Obama says he's a black man who has been mistaken for the valet and worries his daughters could face stereotypes.
"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," Obama told People magazine in an interview out Wednesday. That happened to him, he said.
First lady Michelle Obama said her husband also once was mistaken for a waiter at a black-tie party and was asked for coffee. She said that even when she went to Target as first lady, a fellow shopper asked her to get something from a shelf.
"I think people forget that we've lived in the White House for six years," she said. "Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs."
The first couple spoke about their experiences with racism amid protests nationwide over the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y. Michelle Obama said they have long talked to their girls about racism and the issues that have been raised after the two men's deaths.
"These conversations aren't new to us," she said. "I mean, when you're raising black kids you have to talk about these issues because they're real."
The president said his daughters have grown up in a time of enormous progress and take for granted that it makes no sense to treat someone differently for their race, sexual orientation, or disability.
He said he and the first lady remind them that prejudices are still there and that they should reflect on any hidden biases they may have, including about themselves as black girls. "We don't want them to be constrained by any of these stereotypes," he said.