Former First Lady Michelle Obama was upset at her fellow Democrats for not turning out at the polls during former President Barack Obama’s presidency, media outlets reported.
Obama, who is the subject of “Becoming,” a Netflix documentary about her book tour, said in the film that she understood “the people who voted for [Donald] Trump” but “our folks” who didn’t vote “was almost like a slap in the face.”
“It takes some energy to go high, and we were exhausted from it. Because when you are the first black anything …” she said, according to The Daily Beast. “So the day I left the White House and I write about how painful it was to sit on that [inauguration] stage. A lot of our folks didn’t vote. It was almost like a slap in the face.”
Obama was speaking to a group of black schoolchildren in 2016 in the clip, referring to the 2016 presidential election, the New York Post reported.
“I understand the people who voted for Trump,” she said. “The people who didn’t vote at all, the young people, the women, that’s when you think, man, people think this is a game. It wasn’t just in this election. Every midterm. Every time Barack didn’t get the Congress he needed, that was because our folks didn’t show up. After all that work, they just couldn’t be bothered to vote at all. That’s my trauma.”
The youth voter turnout was lower in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections than during the 2008 and 2012 general elections.
Of those under age 30, 66% voted for Obama in 2008, according to the Pew Research Center.
During the 2010 midterm election, young people said they supported Obama but only 20.9% voted, The Nation reported, citing data from the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.
During the 2012 election, voters between ages 18 and 29 comprised 19% of the electorate, according to CBS News. During the 2014 midterms, they made up 13% of voters, meaning 14 million fewer young voters turned out to the polls.
Less black voters also voted in the 2016 presidential election than in 2012.
The black voter turnout also decreased for the first time in decades, falling to 59.6% in 2016 after reaching 66.6% in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center.
More than 4 million people who voted for Obama in 2012 didn’t turn out to the polls in 2016, according to The New York Times.