Speaking at the 2018 annual United State of Women conference, Michelle Obama opened up about leadership, parenting, and — perhaps most notable — failure.

The former first lady grabbed headlines during her 40-minute discussion with actress Tracee Ellis Ross for her comments about the 2016 election:

"When the most qualified person running was a woman, and look what we did instead, I mean that says something about where we are. That's what we have to explore, because if we as women are still suspicious of one another, if we still have this crazy, crazy bar for each other that we don't have for men, if we're not comfortable with the notion that a woman could be our president compared to, what, then we have to have those conversations with ourselves as women."

A number of news outlets framed her comments as sour grapes, with Fox News' sneering headline, "Michelle Obama still questioning why women voted for Trump in 2016" and The Hill singling her out by saying "we let that happen." Beyond the election comments, however, there was an important bit of commentary more people really should hear.

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Michelle Obama opened up about the racism she endured as first lady. It's heartbreaking.

“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut."

History will remember Michelle Obama as a bold, resilient, and glass-ceiling-shattering pioneer in the White House. But behind closed doors, Obama silently wrestled with painful, unique hurdles literally no one else on Earth has experienced: being a black first lady of America.

During a candid discussion at the Women's Foundation of Colorado's (WFCO) 30th anniversary fundraiser on July 25, Obama opened up about the eight years of racist attacks she endured as first lady.

When WFCO President and CEO Lauren Casteel asked Obama about which falling glass shard from the ceiling she shattered hurt the most, the former first lady replied that it was the targeted comments — rhetoric referring to her as an "ape" and discussing her body — that were the toughest to shrug off, the Denver Post reported.



“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” Obama said.

“Knowing that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”

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For the very last time, President Obama and the first lady hosted a state dinner in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 18, 2016.

Photo by Shawn Thew - pool/Getty Images.

They graciously welcomed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini, to the White House with open arms.

Photo by Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images.

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