Michelle Obama: World’s Most Powerful People ‘Aren’t That Smart’


According to Michelle Obama, world leaders are “not that smart.”

During an appearance at London’s Royal Festival Hall in early December, the former First Lady tried to encourage minority females to rise above what they consider to be society’s expectations by claiming that those on top just are that intelligent.

“The question I continue to ask myself is: am I good enough? This is true for women, for working-class people but it’s profound for women of colour. We are walking around with these demons and doubts in our heads; we have to slay the dragon in our own mind.”

“My advice to young women is that you have to start by getting those demons out of your head . . . the messages that are sent from the time we are little are: ‘maybe you are not [good enough], don’t reach too high, don’t talk too loud.”

“Here’s the secret: they’re not that smart. There are a lot of things that folks are doing to keep their seats because they don’t want to give up power. And what better way to do that than to make you feel you don’t belong . . . you have to prepare yourself, because when you get those arrows thrown at you, all you can fall back on is your experience and your ability.”

Michelle had to assume, of course, that she was of greater intellect than the world's most powerful people in order to be able to make such an assessment.

Conservative political commentator, author and filmmaker, Dinesh D'Souza, responded to Michelle's posturing in his usual – actually intelligent – manner.

Michelle's college thesis made headlines amid Obama's 2008 presidential campaign when Princeton University restricted access to it until after the election.

A number of conservative bloggers wrote about the restriction, fueling controversy, until the Obama campaign itself sent Politico the thesis in full.

Princeton University then followed suit and lifted any restrictions to the thesis.

Hitchens, who was a frequent critic of Obama's presidency before he died in 2011, was quick to tear into the thesis – which was titled ‘Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community'.

He mocked Michelle for what he said was a ‘narrow choice of subject' because she was a ‘black woman at Princeton'.

‘I mean, you can't really claim you're being educated if the subject of your thesis is what it's like being me at this college,' Hitchens, who also touched on the thesis in a Slate article, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in May 2008.

‘So that, I find partly laughable, and I'd have to add slightly sinister.'

Hitchens then went on to say that Michelle's thesis was ‘hateful, lugubrious, boring, resentment-filled screed written in some very bad form of sociologies'.

‘The only think you can definitely tell from the attempt to read it, because I maintain it cannot actually be read, it's a degradation of the act of reading, is that she favors, or views with favor, black separatism, or as she calls it, separationism.'

Hitchens' claim later came under fire from acclaimed author Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Can you understand Michelle Obama's prose?

Turn to the final page for excerpts from her Princeton thesis, Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.

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  1. Teriqua Jones

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