Last week, former First Lady Michelle Obama reemerged to offer a racial lecture to Americans, claiming that “white folks” fled Chicago neighborhoods in the 1970s because black families were moving into them. Now, black conservative Chicago native Gianno Caldwell is speaking out to reveal exactly why what Michelle said was so inaccurate.
“Families like ours, upstanding families like ours… who were doing everything they were supposed to do or better,” Michelle said while speaking at an Obama Foundation Summit at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago last week, “As we moved in, white folks moved out because they were afraid of what our families represented.”
“I want to remind white folks that y’all were running from us,” she added. “And you’re still running.”
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Fox News reported that Caldwell fired back by saying that he is doubtful that Michelle has any actual facts to back up her “divisive” assertion.
“I wonder if she has any facts to support her conclusion, that simply because they were there, that white Americans were leaving the community because they didn’t like what their family represented,” Caldwell said while appearing on Fox Nation’s “Reality Check with David Webb.
“I don’t know of any facts to support their narrative whatsoever,” he continued. “And I think to make a statement like that without a message about uniting us… and you’re looking to divide us based on race — is problematic. And I don’t know of any data to support her saying ‘they’re still running’. Like, I don’t know where that comes from.”
Webb then jumped in to offer his one theories for why white families may have left Chicago.
“Economic flight is what drives it,” Webb said. “If a black man could afford to leave a bad neighborhood or a black woman could afford to leave a bad neighborhood, they do that. We see this all across America, but here we see the race-baiting game.”
Caldwell argued that since the 1970s, families of all races have been fleeing Chicago in droves because of weak city leadership. Caldwell went on to cite examples of mismanagement among the Chicago government, including Chicago’s sanctuary city policy, which Caldwell blames for causing wages to plummet for legal citizens regardless of their race or ethnicity.
“People are running out of the city of Chicago in droves, in fear of their lives being taken away, in fear of the taxes being raised on them… in fear of a liberal government that continues to chase its citizens and take everything that they have,” Caldwell said. “So maybe there is some truth to that point, but that wasn’t the narrative in which she was making.”
In the end, Caldwell thinks he knows what Michelle’s true motives were with her comments.
“Michelle Obama’s at this point, she’s looking to sell books, she’s still on tour to a degree… and she’s doing quite well — sold over 10 million books,” he said. “So maybe this is more rhetoric to gin up her base of folks that are going to buy her book.”
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