A conservative black activist disagrees with Michelle Obama's contention that whites are still taking part in "white flight."
During remarks at an Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, the former first lady claimed that whites are "still running" when minorities and immigrants move into their communities. Mrs. Obama said she first became conscious of so-called "white flight" when her family moved into Chicago's South Side.
"I think that one point in time in American history, we're talking 50 years [ago], the idea of white flight had some merit," says Derryck Green, a spokesman for Project 21. "But we can look at certain areas and certain neighborhoods where there are immigrants and blacks…. If those areas are economically depressed or the people there don't share the same value system, then it doesn't matter ... the race of the people ... who live there. If they have the resources to move, then they move."
And as Green points out, the Obamas themselves do not live in a predominately black neighborhood.
"So for her to accuse people of white flight and her and her family are doing the exact same thing is somewhat not ironic," he decides. "To imply that white people are afraid of black people because they're black, or white people are afraid of immigrants solely because they're immigrants and may have a different color skin, I think is foolish."