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Who Wrote Michelle Obama’s Books?
According to Google, there are 7.888 billion humans on our home planet, and after careful examination, I can confidently say I have knocked one person off the list of those who potentially wrote Michelle Obama’s three published books…Michelle Obama.
The certainty arises after reading her hackneyed college thesis, entitled Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community. The best way to think about the thesis is as a combination of a middle school student randomly adding words to an essay to reach a teacher-required word count and the channeling of the titular character of the Amelia Bedelia books where those words are used in ways which I don’t think the author comprehends.
Before I proceed to rot your brain, let me explain why now, 15 years after her husband was elected president, I have decided to dig deep into the bowels of the interwebs to revisit this essay which would be utterly unremarkable if not for its ineptitude.
First, I so thoroughly enjoyed reviewing Dr. Jill Biden’s doctoral thesis I figured why not make it a series?
The second and real reason that the urge struck me was after reading Michelle’s response to the Supreme Court Affirmative Action decision earlier in the month. Her response was as follows-
My comment at the time was regarding the third paragraph, where she comments:
In that piece, I noted: “This sounds like a great argument for an economically based fairness policy. It sounds like a racist argument to assume no minorities fit into these buckets.”
But then I wondered about the first two paragraphs, particularly the first sentence of the second paragraph, “But the fact is this: I belonged.”
Did she, though? Join me, won’t you, on a journey to discover what Mrs. Obama learned during her time in Princeton’s Sociology department.
The examples included below are but the tiniest snowflakes among the blizzard of simultaneously hilarious and head-shakingly disheartening excerpts from her thesis, which call into question her claim that she “belonged.”
Here is my summary of the then, Ms. Robinsion’s thesis: she wanted to determine the effect Princeton had on black alumni, measuring their attitudes towards the black community vis-a-vis their time pre- and post-Princeton.
Now, let’s review her summary of what she is trying to achieve at the culmination of her academic career.
Mind you, this is the first paragraph of the thesis, and I had to read it four or five times to understand what the hell she was talking about. I think you’ll agree…not a great start.
At first pass, I thought she was asking the black alumnae about how other black alumnae’s attitudes have changed, and wondered if black Princeton alums sit around talking about how much they like other black people. Then I took out my decoder ring, and it became clear.
I once heard someone say that Donald Trump is the poor person’s version of a rich person; well, you get the feeling throughout this garbled mess that this is a stupid person’s version of an intelligent person’s writing.
This type of ham-handed word salad is rampant throughout her thesis. On nearly every page, I have to reread a sentence that is unnecessarily wordy and lacks clarity.
How about the second highlighted section:
…the extent to which they are comfortable interacting with Black and with White indviduals in various activities; the extent to which they are motivated to benefit the Black community in comparision to other entities such as themselves, their families, God, etc…
First, props to her for being ahead of her time and capitalizing “black” throughout the thesis. However, the AP Style Guide may consider it a hate crime to capitalize white.
Second, why add the “various activities” bit? Will she ask black alumni how they feel playing pick-up basketball, having a sewing club, and playing ookie-cookie with people of their own race vs. whites? Spoiler alert - she doesn’t.
Editors note: if you don’t know what ookie-cookie is, don’t look it up, and if you do, don’t say you weren’t warned.
Later, she examines how she has changed in her time on the Ivy League campus:
It’s almost like wanting to be rich and powerful AF is not a racial thing but a human thing, which anyone who has spent 15 seconds around real people knows.
Now we come to what may be my favorite bit of the entire thesis:
It’s never a good sign when you include a dictionary definition and synonyms of a word that literally every second grader knows. It’s a further bad sign when you feel the need to explain to non-mentally handicapped adults that people are typically more comfortable with things they are familiar with than with what they are unfamiliar with.
For bonus points, read the last highlighted section there. I think decoding that run-on sentence may take longer than translating the Rosetta Stone.
Her hypothesis section contains more of the same insight we have come to expect from her study:
Can someone call up Penguin Books and tell them to stop the presses on their next Western Philosophy book? The world would be lost without the inclusion of these gems.
How about her perspective on when segregation:
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down; she’s going too fast for me. Is she claiming that just because black people might be more comfortable around other black people, they don’t have to support societal-wide racial segregation? They can, but it’s just not a requirement? Mind blown.
However, with whitey, if they support segregation (see - apartheid), is really a coinflip …
Next, let’s get some Kantian deep thoughts from Ms. Robinson…
You can’t help everyone, everywhere, at all times…got that? Good. Ms. Robinson just saved you a whoooooole lot of time.
But, in case you didn’t go to Princeton (aka - you’re a dope), she helpfully provides you with some examples:
To all you filthy ignoramuses out there, this is NOT a comprehensive list of all the possible options; they are just a sampling. So if you place benefiting your fellow World of Warcraft dorks as your highest value, that is also a feasible option.
But that’s all there are, the ones she mentions and WoW…there aren’t any others.
Here is another crucial point of clarification so we don’t misunderstand her work:
In other words, what you think about yourself and what someone else thinks about you may be different. For instance, I perceive myself as having a Greek God-like physique and a 180 IQ, but your perception of me may differ.
It would be different but wrong.
A final note - all of these examples come from the first 25 pages of her 100+ page thesis, but the five IQ points I lost in reading this was all I could afford.