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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke August 25, 2020

Michelle Obama didn’t threaten that riots will continue unless Democrats win

If Your Time is short

  • Michelle Obama didn’t say this. 

During her speech at the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 17, former first lady Michelle Obama alluded to demonstrations that have roiled the country since a police officer killed George Floyd in May. 

"When the horrors of systemic racism shook our country and our consciences, millions of Americans of every age, every background rose up to march for each other, crying out for justice and progress," Obama said. "This is who we still are: compassionate, resilient, decent people whose fortunes are bound up with one another."

A few days later, a different quote was attributed to Obama. 

"Michelle Obama said, ‘Vote Democrat or the riots and violence will continue,’" one Facebook post reads. "Sounds like a threat to me."

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

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Obama urged people watching the convention to vote — her necklace even said it — and, of course, she made a case for the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden. But she mentioned neither riots nor violence in her speech. 

After listing Biden’s aims for education, health care and climate change, Obama said, "Joe Biden wants all our kids, no matter what they look like, to be able to walk out the door without worrying about being harassed or arrested or killed. He wants all our kids to be able to go to a movie or a math class without being afraid of getting shot. He wants all our kids to grow up with leaders who won’t just serve themselves and their wealthy peers but will provide a safety net for people facing hard times."

"If we want a chance to pursue any of these goals, any of these most basic requirements for a functioning society," Obama said, "we have to vote for Joe Biden in numbers that cannot be ignored."

That’s a far cry from the statement attributed to Obama in the Facebook post. 

Searching for the quote online, we only found other social media posts — no news reports or original sources corroborating this attribution. Looking in the Nexis news archive, there were no articles or news broadcasts relating that Obama said this. 

We rate this Facebook post False.


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Michelle Obama didn’t threaten that riots will continue unless Democrats win

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