Oct 30, 2019

Michelle Obama addresses "white flight" and discrimination in U.S.

Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Obama Foundation Summit at llinois Institute of Technology in Chicago Tuesday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former first lady Michelle Obama drew from her childhood experience of "white flight" in the 1970s South Side of Chicago to highlight discrimination immigrant families now face in the U.S. at the Obama Foundation Summit in the city Tuesday.

I want to remind white folks that y’all were running from us, and you’re still running. Because we’re no different from the immigrant families that are moving in today."

The big picture: Obama made the comments as she appeared with her brother, Craig Robinson, in a wide-ranging discussion with author Isabel Wilkerson, noting that being the first black first family gave America and the world the opportunity "to see the truth of who we are as black people, as other; that we are just as, and often times better than, many of the people who doubt us."

  • In her book, Obama outlines her firsthand experience of the changing demographics in the South Side of Chicago, known as "white flight."
  • She details seeing white families moving out of the urban area as black families moved in — and how the "mere suggestion of it" caused "stable, middle-class families to bail preemptively for the suburbs, worried their property values would drop. 'Ghetto' signaled that a place was both black and hopeless."

Background: Obama has spoken previously about her personal experience of racism, including after becoming America's first black first lady. She writes in her bestselling memoir "Becoming" how she knew she wouldn't get the same "grace" assigned to her white counterparts previously in her role.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has only one novel coronavirus patient in hospital and just 22 active cases in the country, top health official Ashley Bloomfield confirmed at a briefing. He's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission," with no new cases reported for most of May, he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 5,494,287 — Total deaths: 346,229 — Total recoveries — 2,31,722Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 1,662,302 — Total deaths: 98,218 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pro-Hong Kong resolution at British university fails after Chinese student opposition

A protester waves the Hong Kong colonial flag during a July 2019 demonstration against the extradition law to China. Photo: Ivan Abreu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A student resolution expressing support for the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement was voted down at the University of Warwick in England, after opposition from mainland Chinese students.

Why it matters: The charged politics of China's actions in Hong Kong are spilling over to university campuses thousands of miles away, raising questions for students and university administrators about how to protect democratic values.