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Michelle Obama Allegedly Argued for Race-Based Hiring in Harvard Law Article: 'Callous...Old White Men'


Criticized the conventional image of law school as a place where "cold, callous, domineering, old white men [took] pleasure in engaging their students in humiliating and brutal discourse"

(Photo: AP)

The Daily Caller is claiming to have obtained an article penned by Michelle Obama during her time at Harvard Law School, in which the first lady appeared to advocate race and sex-based hiring.

(Related: 'Fauxcahontas' Plot Thickens: Fordham Law Review Called Elizabeth Warren Harvard Law's 'First Woman of Color')

The Daily Caller has background (all subsequent emphasis added):

During her third and final year at Harvard Law School, first lady Michelle Obama — then named Michelle Robinson — penned an article for the newsletter of Harvard’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA), arguing that Harvard and its students were perpetuating “racist and sexist stereotypes” by not intentionally hiring minority and female law professors on the basis of their sex or skin color.

The 1988 essay, titled “Minority and Women Law Professors: A Comparison of Teaching Styles,” ran in a special edition of the BLSA Memo. The future first lady justified her demands for more black and female law school faculty by attacking the “traditional model,” in which law students were educated through the Socratic method.

She also opposed the traditional meritocratic hiring principle, where professors with better legal pedigrees were more often hired, arguing that it limited the success of women and blacks.

But the future first lady apparently didn't stop at writing an article.  The Daily Caller continues:

During the final weeks before she received her Harvard law degree, Mrs. Obama participated in a sit-in protest along with about 50 other BLSA members. In what The New York Times called an “occupation,” the future lawyers stormed the office of Dean James Vorenberg on May 10, 1988 with a list of 12 demands.

Carrying signs demanding an “end to racism,” they occupied the dean’s office for 24 hours and demanded that Harvard Law School hire 20 female or minority professors in the next four years as tenured, or tenure-track, professors. Seven of those professors, they insisted, must be black — and four of those seven female.

They also demanded tenure for Ogletree and a deanship for Bell, and dictated a new plan for curriculum diversity that would include a required course on racial issues. 

In the article, Michelle Obama criticized the conventional image of law school as a place where "cold, callous, domineering, old white men [took] pleasure in engaging their students in humiliating and brutal discourse" perpetuated by novels like John Osborne's "The Paper Chase" and Scott Turrow's "One-L."

(Related: Harvard Professor Ogletree Admits to Hiding Video of Obama Hugging Radical Professor)

And while there may have been a demonstrable need for more minority hiring during Michelle Obama's time at Harvard, the first lady's attitude towards the matter troubles some.  The focus seems to be on hiring women and minorities for the sake of hiring women and minorities, regardless of whether or not they are the most qualified candidates.

The Daily Caller notes that Michelle Obama seems to hold this opinion, in at least some regards, to this day.

They write:

[Michelle Obama's] choice of language bore clear similarities to the “empathy” test Barack Obama promised to use when deciding on nominees for the judiciary. If the advances of the critical race movement were stymied, Michelle worried, this “new breed of law professors will be systematically excluded” from Harvard.


During the Obama presidency, the same Mrs. Obama has reportedly helped the president pick appointees to the federal courts. Along with Cassandra Butts — a former White House deputy counsel and another Derrick Bell disciple — the first lady reportedly helped Obama decide on the “wise Latina” Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court nominee.

President Obama also named Robert Wilkins, the president of the Harvard BLSA in 1988 and organizer of the occupation of the dean’s office, to a federal circuit judgeship in the District of Columbia.

“Diversity in this country is a good thing,” Mrs. Obama told MSNBC when asked about Sotomayor, “whether it’s gender or race or socio-economic background or religion. You know, that’s the world I come from.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

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