President Obama said yesterday that he had viewed The Butler, the fictionalized account of longtime White House Butler Oscar Grant III, and “teared up” while watching it.
Obama spoke in an Oval Office interview with Tom Joyner and Sybil Wilkes, the hosts of the Tom Joyner Morning Show. He told them that he had begun to cry “just thinking about not just the butlers who have worked here in the White House, but an entire generation of people who were talented and skilled, but because of Jim Crow, because of discrimination, there was only so far they could go.”
The president added that “they got up and worked every single day, and put up with a whole lot of mess because they hoped for something better for their kids.”
Obama went on to say that the butlers currently working in the White House “could not have been kinder to [the first family]” when they arrived in 2008. He said he suspected that the warmth was due in part to the presence of his daughters, Malia and Sasha, who might look like members of their own family.
“And I think for them to have a sense that we’ve come that far was a powerful moment for them, and certainly a powerful moment for us,” Obama said. “We love them to death. They look after us just wonderfully.”
Via The Daily Beast.