Malia Obama is in the middle of her gap year before going to Harvard in the fall. She’s about to start an internship with the Weinstein Company to learn about the film industry, which all sounds very glamorous and exciting. But before she starts that, she took time this week to join a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
People have been protesting the pipeline since August, and the pipeline project was halted in December by President Obama, but ordering the Dakota Access Pipeline to go ahead with construction was one of the first acts Donald Trump took upon assuming office. It looks like Malia Obama does not agree with that decision, because earlier this week she was spotted among the protesters at a DAPL protest in Utah during the Sundance Film Festival.
It’s not surprising that Malia Obama would grow up to be an engaged and politically active woman, but it’s pretty surprising that nobody seems to have noticed she was there. Malia Obama was with the protesters on Monday, but nobody reported on her presence at all until actress Shailene Woodley mentioned in a interview that the former first daughter had been protesting with her, and that the two of them had attended a private event with David Archambault, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux.
“It was amazing to see Malia. I saw her last night when we did the event with Chairman Dave Archambault. And it was incredible to see her there,” Woodley said to Democracy Now. “To witness a human being and a woman coming into her own outside of her family and outside of the attachments that this country has on her, but someone who’s willing to participate in democracy because she chooses to, because she recognizes, regardless of her last name, that if she doesn’t participate in democracy, there will be no world for her future children.”
Malia Obama is an extremely smart young woman who has grown up in extremely unusual circumstances. She doesn’t seem to be the type to stay quiet or not get involved, so we’ll probably see a lot more of her in the coming years.