By TOBY HARNDEN
PUBLISHED: 14:24 EST, 15 August 2012 | UPDATED: 14:24 EST, 15 August 2012
Michelle Obama once wrote an article for Harvard’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is which she blasted the university for perpetuating ‘racist and sexist stereotypes’ by failing to hire more minority and female law professors.
In the 1988 essay, entitled ‘Minority and Women Law Professors: A Comparison of Teaching Styles’, the future First Lady argued that the success of women and blacks was limited by traditional hiring procedures.
‘The faculty’s decision to distrust and ignore non-traditional qualities in choosing and tenuring law
professors merely reinforces racist and sexist stereotypes,” she wrote in an article unearther by the Daily Caller website.
This, in turn, legitimised ‘students’ tendencies to distrust certain types of teaching that do not resemble the traditional images’.
She claimed that books like John Jay Osborn’s ‘The Paper Chase’ and Scott Turow’s ‘One-L’ promoted the view that Harvard Law professors should be ‘cold, callous, domineering, old, white men who took pleasure in engaging their students in humiliating and often brutal discourse’.
Writing under her maiden name Michelle Robinson, she praised liberal academics like Charles Ogletree and Martha Minow, who she interviewed for the piece.
Minow’s father Newton Minow later recruited both Michelle and Barack Obama to Sidley Austin, the Chicago law firm described in the article as ‘one of the country’s most renowned’ and where the two met and began dating.
She portrayed Harvard students as racist and sexist, treating black and female professors poorly. ‘Solely on the basis of race and sex, students feel justified in rudely challenging their authority and doubting credibility’.
Similarly, white male Harvard professors were ‘unwilling or unable to support’ their black and female colleagues. There was ‘covert or overt opposition to the presence’ of minority professors and ‘blatant ambivalence’ among faculty members with ‘the power to determine their futures’.
Black and female professors, she contended, experienced problems in and out of the classroom ‘laced with racist and sexist stereotypes’.
Martha Minow, she wrote, had faced questions about ‘whether or not she had a law degree’ while David Wilkins, another black professor, and Ogletree often faced ‘rude statements and questions’ because of their race.
Mrs Obama’s senior year undergraduate thesis at Princeton was entitled ‘Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community’ and described her experience of being forced to remain ‘on the periphery’ of university life.
‘My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my “blackness” than ever before,’ she wrote. ‘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.
‘Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2188875/Michelle-Obama-law-school-article-claimed-Harvard-racist-sexist.html#ixzz23ic2qy2F