FACT CHECK: Did Michelle Obama Say, ‘White Folks Are What’s Wrong With America’?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims that former first lady Michelle Obama said, “White folks are what’s wrong with America.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Michelle Obama said or wrote the quote.

Fact Check:

Michelle Obama, the wife of former President Barack Obama, has become a frequent target for misinformation online. This quote, shared nearly 600 times on Facebook, is one such example. (RELATED: Does This Image Show Michelle Obama Texting During The Pledge Of Allegiance?)

The Daily Caller found no evidence of the former first lady ever saying or writing the quote attributed to her in the Facebook post. In fact, an internet search revealed that credible online sources have only reported on the statement in order to debunk it.

The alleged quote, debunked by Snopes in 2015, may come from the headline of a post published by JewsNews.com. The post, titled “Michelle Obama says ‘White Folks’ are what’s Wrong with America,” discusses the commencement address that Michelle Obama gave at Tuskegee University in 2015.

It’s possible that some readers interpreted the entire headline, not just the two words in quotation marks, as a direct quote from the former first lady.

Her remarks did include a discussion of race and racism, but the transcript and video of the speech show that Michelle Obama only used the words “white folks” once. While she was talking about the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen, she said, “They went on to show the world that if black folks and white folks could fight together, and fly together, then surely – surely – they could eat at a lunch counter together.”

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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