Marking Michelle Obama's College Thesis Part One

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I came upon a very interesting discovery: Michelle Obama’s college thesis from 1985!

I couldn’t wait to read it…and to evaluate it! Why?  Knowing what I know about her now, I am very curious to find out what her intellectual ability and her belief system may have been like during those influential, formative years!

My current belief is that Michelle Obama is not likely to be a good person.

Why?  Well, I say that for two main reasons.

The first is the fact that she associates with her husband, and I believe there’s overwhelming evidence that her husband is not a good person, based on his policies and statements, as well as the disturbing views of numerous czars whom he’s hired, among other factors.  I also find it suspicious that there are several dead bodies of people who have been associated with Obama in some way:  the 9/11 widow who died a week after meeting with Obama; the witness who had been cooperating regarding Obama’s passport hack was found shot in the back of the head; the alleged gay lover of Obama’s was, along with two other openly gay members of Obama’s church, murdered.

The second reason I think Michelle Obama is not likely to be a good person is the fact that, during the 2008 primary nomination elections,  she said: “Let me tell you something, for the first time in my adult lifetime I’m really proud of my country”.   That certainly suggests that she had a lot of anger, perhaps hatred, and may have even been a radical.

I suspect Michelle Obama may not be a good person for another reason. Given Barack’s failure to establish his citizenship and country of birth, there is a very real possibility that he was not an American citizen

prior to marrying Michelle.  There is a very real possibility that he was either in the country illegally or attending American university as a foreign student.

This leads to my contention that Michelle Obama may have married Barack knowing he was an illegal alien; the marriage may have been one of convenience, meant to keep Barack in the country illegally.

It has also been contended that if Barack was an illegal immigrant prior to marrying Michelle, she may have broken the law and hired Barack to work at the law firm they were mutually employed by.

So, let’s now glimpse at a document she wrote in the early years of her adulthood, a period of time that she admits she had no real pride for her country.

Here is her thesis:

“Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community”

When reviewing her thesis, I will comment primarily on the rationality of the arguments Michelle Obama uses.  Her quotes are in bold.

At the end of my review, I will also mark her grammar.  Let’s get to it!

MICHELLE OBAMA’S 1985 COLLEGE THESIS

“Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community”

DEDICATION

1) Her thesis is dedicated to others, to whom she writes: 

“Thank-you for loving me and always making me feel good about myself”.

For Michelle to find it important enough to thank others who made her feel good about herself suggests that, relative to how others feel, she may not have felt very good about herself at that time. This could certainly be one precursor that could influence someone to become a radical.

INTRODUCTION

2)  I find it interesting that Michelle refers to blacks with a capital B, and I find it interesting that she doesn’t refer to blacks as African-Americans.  I don’t recall whether the term “African-American” was widespread in 1985.  It has been suggested that the term became more popular after Jesse Jackson promoted it on December 21, 1988.  However, the same site suggests that the term was first coined during the 1960s, including by Malcolm X.

Given that all respondents included in Michelle’s study were black, and given that all respondents were older alumni who would supposedly be more likely than younger blacks to have been exposed to the term “African-American” sometime in their lifetime, I wonder whether Michelle was aware of the term “African-American”, and I wonder whether she purposely avoided its use.

I commend Michelle if she purposely avoided that term in favor of using “Black”.  As I wrote here, I find “African-American” to be condescending to black Americans.

3) “The purpose of this study is to examine various attitudes of Black Princeton alumni in their present state and as they are perceived by the alumni to have changed over time.”

These are the attitudes being examined:

“the extent to which they are comfortable interacting with Black and with White individuals in various activities.”

“the extent to which they are motivated to benefit the Black community in comparison to other entities such as themselves, their families, God, etc.”

“the ideologies they hold with respect to race relations between the Black and White communities.”

“…feelings they have toward the Black lower class such as a feeling of obligation…”

4) I’m impressed that Michelle knew enough to refer to herself as a future “alumnus” instead of incorrectly using the word “alumni”.  However, I find it interesting that she didn’t refer to herself using the female version: “alumna”.

5) Michelle states that her study of black experiences at Princeton is important because

“as more Blacks begin attending predominately White universities it will be helpful to know how their experiences in these universities affect their future attitudes”.

This is a statement making a direct claim about the value of her study.  Therefore, it’s an important statement.  But is it correct?

Well, I find it hard to believe that a study of blacks from Princeton university would be representative of black experiences at typical universities.

In fact, it may be fairly rare to find any one university that tends to be representative of black experiences at typical universities!

This is exacerbated by the fact that Princeton is hardly representative of a typical university, in many ways.  

Also, it’s possible that Princeton’s student body in the 1980s were more liberal, and more sympathetic to black issues, than were students from a typical American university. A poll apparently found that 79% of Princeton students favored Obama over McCain (a much greater split than among the electorate), whereas 58.6% of students affiliated with Democrats and only 14.9% with Republicans.

It’s true that the poll was conducted about twenty years after 1985…but if Princeton was extremely liberal in 2008, isn’t it true that there may have always been something about the typical person who tends to attend Princeton?  That such a person may tend to be more liberal?

And isn’t it true that Princeton may have become so liberal by 2008 in part due to efforts by 1980s liberals to keep it liberal?

And isn’t it true that academia in general is considered to be extremely liberal?

Given the severe doubts about whether Princeton and/or its black students were representative of their American counterparts, how much future value did Michelle’s thesis really have?

6) “Earlier in my college career, there was no doubt in my mind that as a member of the Black community I was somehow obligated to this community and would utilize all of my present and future resources to benefit this community first and foremost.”

Note that she refers to using her future resources to benefit blacks first and foremost.  Well, her husband is now the president of the USA, the president of all Americans!

Does Michelle still feel bound to assist blacks first?  Is she either using her own position, or influencing Barack’s position, in order to benefit blacks more than non-blacks?

Here’s one possible example of her influence: Obama’s Department of Justice disgustingly ordered a police department to lower their hiring standards so that, apparently, more blacks would be hired, regardless of the fact they weren’t competent enough!

7) “My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my ‘Blackness’ than ever before.  I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong.”

Note that she doesn’t actually refer to the specifics as to what exactly made her feel like she didn’t belong.  It’s possible that she had good reason to feel as she did.  However, given her lack of specificity, it’s also possible that she had little reason to feel as she did, and wasn’t able to provide believable rationale!

I don’t know what experiences Michelle refers to, so I can’t judge them as well as I would like.  It’s likely that her surroundings at Princeton included a smaller proportion of blacks than she was used to while growing up in Chicago.

However, if most black people were in an identical situation, would they have reacted the same way as Michelle?  If they entered Princeton and became part of an even smaller black minority, would they feel more aware of their “blackness”?

Don’t get me wrong…I’m sure one would notice if they were part of a much smaller minority group all of a sudden…but would one also feel uncomfortable to the point that they “really don’t belong”?  And by the time one writes their senior thesis, wouldn’t one normally partially acclimate to the environment?

Remember, given that Princeton’s student body may have been much more liberal than the typical person Michelle encountered throughout life prior to entering Princeton, I find it very surprising and unlikely that her experiences at Princeton made her “far more aware” of her “blackness”!  After all, if Princeton was more liberal than the general population, wouldn’t you expect that she would have encountered less hostility from whites at Princeton as compared to whites from the general population?

Remember, she doesn’t just say that her experiences at Princeton made her aware of her blackness, she said that the experiences at Princeton made her more aware of her blackness than “ever before!”

My views are consistent with her own admission that she felt out of place no matter “how liberal” (my emphasis) her professors and classmates were toward her!  So, she was actually aware of others acting liberal toward her, perhaps even going out of their way to accommodate her, yet she still felt that she didn’t “belong”!

This suggests that perhaps she was irrational in some manner, or irrationally sensitive.

As I said, it’s likely that a lesser percentage of blacks appeared among the student body than the percentage of blacks in Michelle’s pre-Princeton environment.  Someone irrationally sensitive, or unusually angry, may sense this even more than the average black would.

However, if indeed it’s the case that she felt more aware of her blackness primarily due to the smaller minority of blacks that appeared at Princeton, I find it disingenuous of her to label Princeton’s lesser than usual percentage of blacks to be an “experience” at Princeton.  Wouldn’t one primarily think of an experience as something caused by the actions or words of individuals, not their mere presence?

This is even further evidence that suggests that Michelle was not aware of her “blackness” due to being part of a smaller than usual minority…but rather due to “experiences” that she admits involved others being “liberal” towards her.  How irrational is that?

8) “These experiences have made it apparent to me that the path I have chosen to follow by attending Princeton will likely lead to my further integration and/or assimilation into a White cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society”

Again, without knowing anything about the specific experiences that made her feel like she didn’t belong, it’s difficult to judge whether her future projection is reasonable.

It is very interesting to note that in point 7 she mentioned that her Princeton experiences resulted in her feeling she didn’t really belong, but in point 8 she mentions that she expects Princeton experiences will lead to her assimilation into a white society that will place her on the periphery. Huh?

Isn’t it strange to expect someone on the “periphery”, who feels they don’t “belong”, to simultaneously be “assimilated” into that society?

And if she doesn’t feel like she’s truly part of Princeton’s white society, why would she expect Princeton experiences would result in her “further” (my emphasis) integration into white society?  After all, she claimed that her Princeton experiences have made her “more aware of her blackness” than she was previously…so wouldn’t one expect that greater awareness of her differences would lead to less, not “further” integration into white society?

I find these to be odd views.

9) “At the same time, however, it is conceivable that my four years of exposure to a predominately White, Ivy League University has instilled within me certain conservative values.”

“Conservative values?”  I find it surprising that she would be referring to Princeton as a non-liberal school!  Isn’t this odd?

She continues on and provides an actual example of a “conservative” value:

“For example, as I enter my final year at Princeton, I find myself striving for many of the same goals as my White classmates–acceptance to a prestigious graduate or professional school or a high paying position in a successful corporation.”

Since when is it considered “conservative” to wish to be accepted to graduate school?  Since when is it considered “conservative” to want a high paying position in a successful corporation?

I would think that perhaps the only type of person who would consider such logical stances to be “conservative” would be someone who feels extremely alienated from the world!

HYPOTHESIS

10) “Therefore, in the case of the respondents, I argue that the relative sense of comfort they may feel when interacting with Blacks in comparison to Whites (and vice versa) in various activities reflects the relative ease and familiarity the respondents feel with Blacks in comparison to Whites which, in turn, indicates the extent to which the respondents are personally attached to Blacks as individuals in comparison to Whites as individuals.”

This is very, very poorly written statement. For many reasons.

There is no need for her to refer to a “relative” sense of comfort.  It’s obvious that the level of comfort being discussed is relative, because she directly refersto a comparison between the level of comfort between blacks and whites.

She argues that a sense of comfort “may” occur.  May?  If one decides to study a hypothesis, shouldn’t one feel more confident about the outcome?

True, a hypothesis is certainly not guaranteed to be validated through study, but after all, would one typically pursue a hypothesis that they only feel may be true, or would one pursue a hypothesis that one feels is likely to be true?  Her statement does not inspire confidence.

Furthermore, she is not consistent; she fails to use the word “may” to qualify similar subsequent elements of the same sentence!

Also, it’s not clear what she means when she writes “vice versa”.  Does she mean that whites’ level of comfort with blacks is dependent on the same factors as blacks’ level of comfort with whites is dependent?  Or was “vice versa” simply meant to change the meaning of the sentence from:

“I argue that the relative sense of comfort they may feel when interacting with Blacks in comparison to Whites…”

to

“I argue that the relative sense of comfort they may feel when interacting with Whites in comparison to Blacks…”

To be so unclear regarding such an important element of a study, the hypothesis, is very poor!

Also, Michelle uses contradictory words to connect two parts of her sentence.  She states that part one of the sentence “reflects” part two, then states that part two, “in turn”, “indicates” part three.

If part one reflects part two, it means that the latter is showing in the former.

But if part two indicates part three, as she claims, it means that the former is showing in the latter.

Even if her actual statement is true, the terms are not consistent.  You’d expect them to be consistent, since she used the term “in turn”, suggesting there is something in common, something occurring next in the sequence, in turn.

But even if she hadn’t written “in turn”, wouldn’t one think it’s better to be more consistent anyway?

11)  “It is important to point out that one’s attitudes about race relations on an individual level have an important degree of logical independence from one’s attitudes about race relations on a community level.”

“Logical independence”? OK, so I guess she’s saying that one’s attitudes about race relations on an individual level are not consistent with their attitudes about race relations on a community level.

But why would she say that there’s “logical independence”?  That suggests that there’s a difference between individual and community attitudes about race, and that such a difference is not logical, right?

Well, wouldn’t it be logical to assume that there may be attitudinal differences between individual and community perspectives?  Why would one think it’s illogical to have such differences?  After all, when you visualize both an individual and a community, their environment does differ!

12) “An individual who is more personally comfortable with Blacks than with Whites on an individual level need not hold political ideologies which support the separation of Blacks and Whites on a community level.”

Upon close inspection, this does not make sense.

Based on her use of the term “need not”, and based on the point she made in 11), the above quote implies that it would be expected (logical) to believe that an individual who is more personally comfortable with individual blacks than individual whites would be (but need not be) expected to hold political ideologies that support the separation of black and white communities.

Huh?

Why would someone believe that someone who is more comfortable with blacks than with whites would be expected to support separation of blacks and whites? 

If Michelle was referring to whites who felt more comfortable with blacks than with whites, is it reasonable to believe that that white person likely would advocate separating blacks and whites?  I don’t think so.

Now, since her respondents are black, Michelle may have been referring to blacks who felt more comfortable with blacks than with whites.  However, is it reasonable to believe that such blacks would likely want to separate whites and blacks, given the civil rights movement which forcefully advocated the opposite of segregation, integration?  Of course it’s not reasonable.

Again, given how odd Michelle’s views are, my conclusion can only be that if she actually does find her statement to be rational, she is either not bright enough to figure it out (and this doesn’t necessarily mean she’s not bright, it could just mean she’s not bright enough) or she actually thinks like that herself, irrationally: Believing that a black person (herself?) who feels more comfortable interacting with blacks than with whites may also believe in separating blacks and whites.  Does Michelle Obama believe in segregation?

By this point, it should be clear that Michelle Obama was certainly irrational at times and, if this thesis is typical of her capabilities, not someone you’d consider capable of becoming a lawyer. 

Stay tuned for more analysis of her these in PART TWO!

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