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Michelle Obama criticized for saying a racial slur

Michelle Obama at the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, 2014 where she uttered the racial slur gypped.
Michelle Obama at the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, 2014 where she uttered the racial slur gypped.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at Monday’s White House Summit on Working Families. During the talk, Mrs. Obama admitted to a few of her past struggles as a working mother. Her point in the talk was to support the case for flexibility in the workplace policies for working mothers and families, according to a Times of India report on Thursday, as well as an ABC News report on the summit.

Though the bulk of the mainstream media has ignored the incident, the truth is that Mrs. Obama has come under fire for having reportedly used the word “gypped” during the interview. While Obama was being interviewed about her personal experiences as a working mother by ABC News reporter Robin Roberts at the White House Summit on Working Families, the first lady spoke about living on a part-time paycheck. She said that the first thing she tried to do, which she admits was a mistake, was that she tried the part-time thing. She said that she realized she was getting “gypped” on that front. She went on to assert that what happened was that she got a part-time salary but worked full-time.

Clearly, the word “gypped” is a derogatory term because it is derived from the word “gypsy” and it means to cheat someone out of something. It is a reference to the people of Romani. Media outlets with the guts to do so have blatantly criticized Mrs. Obama for using the word so callously.

It is reported that the slur refers to the act of robbing or defrauding via swindling or cheating and that the first lady should know that the word is not synonymous with the meaning of ‘slighted’ or ‘cut short’ in any way. “Gypped” is being compared to the callousness of using such a derogatory term as “Jewed down” which is found offensive to Jewish persons. Those who are bold enough to speak up about the incident agree that “gypped” is not a word the first lady of the United States should be casting about.

In the archives, it is shown that President Barack Obama has also used the word in a public setting. In 2009, during a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania, Obama was talking about how he intended to regulate companies providing health care. At the time, he said that companies need to make sure their customers are not “gypped.” The White House has not responded to any media outlets regarding Mrs. Obama’s gaffe.