Former First Lady Michelle Obama took a little bit of an indirect swipe at President Trump at an event with Stephen Colbert.
Michelle Obama is lamenting the scarring effects “white flight” had on her and her community as a kid.
Elaborating on a topic she stressed in her 2018 book “Becoming” Tuesday at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Obama recalled moving with her family as a kid to a neighborhood in the Windy City with better schools. As more black families joined the neighborhood, she recalled, more white families began leaving.
“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,” Obama said. “I always stop there when I talk about this out in the world because I want to remind white folks that y’all were running from us. This family, with all the values you read about: you ran from us. And you’re still running.”
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Obama, who grew up in the South Side of Chicago in the 1970s, recalled feeling people “dis-investing” in her and her community: schools and parks had started to deteriorate, and the kids knew why.
“We’re no different from the immigrant families moving in,” Obama said. “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 that don’t even touch on the values people bring to life. I feel a sense of injustice. You know this when you’re young. You know people are running from you.”
She added: “We grew up with friends of all races when we first moved in. We played together. There were no gang fights, there were no territorial battles. And yet one by one, they packed their bags and they left us and they left communities in shambles.”
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