Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Michelle Obama said she felt from an early age a “sense of injustice” as “white folks” fled her neighborhood.
That “white flight,” as the former first lady described it, continues to this day as white people continue to run from minority communities, she said.
“As families like ours — upstanding families like ours who were doing everything we were supposed to do and better — as we moved in, white folks moved out because they were afraid of what our families represented,” the former first lady said on Oct. 29 at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago.
“There were no gang fights, there were no territorial battles,” Obama said. “But yet, one by one, they packed up their bags and they ran from us.”
She continued: “I want to remind white folks that y’all were running from us … This family, with all the values that you read about, you were running from us. And you’re still running because we’re no different than the immigrant families that are moving in. The families that are coming from other places to try to do better. But, because we can so easily wash over who we really were — because of the color of our skin, because of the texture of our hair — that’s what divides countries, artificial things.”
Writing for Townhall.com, Bronson Stocking noted that “Michelle Obama was referring to her ghostwritten book, ‘Becoming’, where someone else writes about her childhood experiences. But at the Summit on Tuesday, a hypocritical Obama reprimanded white folks for having the audacity to leave their Chicago neighborhoods in search for a better life, something Michelle did when she got into Princeton, Harvard Law School, then the White House. Of course, she had the opportunity to return after her husband left office. But she bought a mansion with a $14.8 million price tag in Martha’s Vineyard instead. Talk about a disinvestment from her community.”
Obama said at the Oct. 29 summit: “I can’t make people not afraid of black people.”