By Dan Cancian, Newsweek
Dinesh D’Souza described Michelle Obama’s college thesis as “illiterate and incoherent.” The far-right author and filmmaker launched a scathing attack on the former first lady after she claimed that people at the most powerful organizations in the world were “not as smart” as some portrayed them to be.
“Anyone who has read Michelle’s college thesis—a document so illiterate and incoherent that it was written, as Christopher Hitchens put it, in ‘no known language’—will chuckle heartily at this one,” D’Souza wrote on his Facebook page, sharing a link to a Newsweek article that reported Obama’s remark.
Speaking during a sold-out talk with Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in London earlier this month, the former first lady said:
“I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of. I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the U.N.: They are not that smart.”
The 54-year-old addressed Hitchens’s comments in her memoir, Becoming, which broke sales records last month and became the year’s best-selling book 15 days after it was published.
“He tore into the college-age me, suggesting that I’d been unduly influenced by black radical thinkers and furthermore was a crappy writer,” Obama explained in her book.
“‘To describe it as hard to read would be a mistake,’ he wrote. ‘The thesis cannot be “read” at all, in the strict sense of the verb. This is because it wasn’t written in any known language.'”
Obama said she felt the criticism, which she described as “small-minded and ludicrous,” painted her as “so foreign that even my language couldn’t be recognized.” She also felt it “mocked my intellect” and that Hitchens’s marginalizing of her young self “carried with it a larger dismissiveness.”
Obama attended Princeton University, where she majored in sociology and minored in African-American studies, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985.
Three years later, she earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School, becoming the third first lady with a postgraduate degree after Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, her two immediate predecessors at the White House.
Obama isn’t the first Democrat woman to be criticized by D’Souza, who last month described congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the “stupidest person elected to public office.”
When a caravan of thousands of migrants was stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico, Ocasio-Cortez took to social media to defend the refugees’ right to travel from Central America toward the U.S.
Citing examples of Jewish families fleeing Nazi Germany and families looking to escape persecution in Rwanda, Ocasio-Cortez said requesting status and applying for asylum wasn’t a crime.
Her comments were reported by a number of media outlets, including The Daily Caller, which tweeted that Ocasio-Cortez had compared “migrant caravan to Jews fleeing Holocaust.”
D’Souza replied to the tweet with a direct attack on the 29-year-old, who earlier this year became the youngest woman elected to Congress.
“Until now I thought Joe Biden was the stupidest person elected to public office,” he tweeted. “Not anymore!”
D’Souza, who was pardoned by President Donald Trump for a felony conviction of making illegal campaign contributions in 2012, is not new to controversy.
In February, when 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, were killed in a shooting, D’Souza mocked the survivors after Florida lawmakers voted down a bill to ban assault weapons.
This story original appeared in Newsweek.