March 9, 2012

Derrick Bell’s Jewish / Racialist Problem

— And before the trolls chime in to accuse wild-eyed desperate conservatives of engaging in guilt by association — if there’s one thing we know for sure about Obama after 3+ years as President it’s that just because he told a crowd in Harvard Square to open its hearts and minds to the words of Derrick Bell doesn’t mean he actually meant it — let me just say this: the importance of this story is that it shows the lengths the mainstream media — which is now largely nothing more than the propaganda arm for big government and progressivism — will go and has gone to to shield Barack Obama from any real scrutiny (Soledad O’Brien’s strained and histrionic attempt to diminish Joel Pollak and conservatives was but a rather obvious example of such behavior).

Mitt Romney may find such vettings untoward and “outrageous,” but the truth is, the United States elected a hard-left ideologue who the mainstream media consistently soft-peddled as a brilliant pragmatic centrist — largely, I believe, because the idea of a Harvard-educated Black man met every criteria for social reinforcement self-styled intellectuals crave: he had an exotic name; he attended the best schools; he dabbled in radical politics as an intellectual endeavor; he wrote books about himself that were “frank” and, in certain passages, adopted sophisticated literary tropes; and he had that condescending air of a high-brow intellectual snob, who would say what he had to say to get elected but who (wink wink nudge nudge) shared the intellectual’s disdain for bitterclingers with their guns and their religion and their overstuffed Applebee’s plates.

In fact, it was these very things — reduced to the now familiar David Brooks objective correlative, the crease in Obama’s trousers — that moved many “sane” Republicans to support Barack Obama in 2008. They put intellectual vanity before rigorous scrutiny, and they got burned. Badly.

That many of those same people on the right are now supporting Mitt Romney we’re to ignore. This time they know what’s best, you see.

But I digress.

Professor Bell’s fidelity to the critical race theory he helped popularize and promote is, historically, beyond dispute. And while the move from the Left now will be to pretend the story has no merit, it is incumbent upon those of us on the right to publicize just who Obama once was (and may very well still be) — if only to allow the American people, rather than a gatekeeper press looking to control the narrative and manufacture a kind of fictional character of “Barack Obama,” to decide who he really is.

And one way to do that is to provide an accurate accounting of his history and his scholarship — included in which is an accurate accounting of who were his intellectual and academic mentors and influences.

From Commentary:

The controversy over the videotape of Harvard Law School student Barack Obama speaking in support of his professor Derrick Bell during Bell’s one-man 1990 uprising against the law school’s failure or refusal to hire a black woman as a professor has caused a predictable back-and-forth about what it might mean for Obama to have a favorable view of Bell. Michael Powell of the New York Times reflected conventional opinion in liberal media circles when he tweeted: “Derrick Bell, Radical? We’re to pretend our history cleansed? He fought 4 Civil Rights in Mississippi.”

It is incumbent on Powell and others, if they want to get in on the conversation about Bell, to explain what on earth is mainstream about comments he made in an eye-opening New York Observer interview published on October 10, 1994, that is not available online. Among other remarks, Bell denounced Henry Louis (Skip) Gates for writing a New York Times op-ed condemning black anti-Semitism:

I was furious. Even if everything he said was true, it was inexcusable not to mention what might have motivated blacks to feel this way, and to fail to talk about all the Jewish neoconservative racists who are undermining blacks in every way they can.

Bell went on to say, “Now, that wouldn’t excuse anti-Semitism, which is awful, but it would at least provide a context for this anger…”

It might seem nice of Bell to acknowledge the awfulness of anti-Semitism, but he didn’t mean it. The very same interview began as follows: “We should really appreciate the Louis Farrakhans and the Khalid Muhammads while we’ve got them.” Khalid Muhammad was Farrakhan’s right hand, who made a name for himself referring to Jews as, among many other things, “bloodsuckers” whose “father was the devil.” As for Farrakhan, if you need a refresher course in his vileness, look here.

Why exactly were we supposed to appreciate them? Quoth Bell: “While these guys talk a lot, they don’t do anything. The new crop of leaders are going to be a lot more dangerous and radical, and the next phase will probably be led by charismatic individuals, maybe teenagers, who urge that instead of killing each other, they should go out in gangs and kill a whole lot of white people.

Note how he seemed to relish this prospect even as he tut-tutted it. Note also how almost unimaginably wrong he was. For no marauding gangs of black teenagers went around killing white people after he spoke; in fact, the ongoing crime drop that followed his words had its most remarkable impact in black communities, where the number of murders fell, by some counts, as much as 80 percent over the decade that followed.

[my emphasis]

Now, naturally, Bell — an academic — provided some distance between what he seemed to believe might happen and what he was willing to openly advocating for, but that distance is a ruse, a rhetorical nicety familiar to anyone who has ever encountered faculty lounge radicals like Bell: what he hoped to happen he would lead through intellectual provocation — and in fact, that’s the very purpose of critical race theory, properly understood — but as far as getting their own hands dirty? Well, let’s just say there are community organizers and those who are organized and then deployed to do the organizer’s bidding.

How much of Barack Obama’s Justice Department is grounded in critical race theory? How much does Obama truly believe that people need to open their hearts and minds to the words of Derrick Bell?

These are legitimate questions. And we can’t let anyone tell us otherwise, not matter how much they pretend to sneer or roll their eyes or ironize the story away.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:18am

Comments (46)

  1. The first viewing left me with the impression Soledad has a crush on the dead dead dead ol’ corpse of Derrick Bell, whatever may have been or may be her pipplesqueak thoughts on Bell’s actual stupid theoretical views. It was love in defense of the beloved, even before Barack (or so I thought).

  2. I read somewhere (may have been here and I forgot) that the definition of Critical Race Theory that Soledad finally spit out was remarkably similar to the synopsis of CRT given on Wikipedia. So having an earpiece with interns reading into it can be beneficial at times.

  3. Bell is vile. And Obama’s dalliance with him, to me, is one of two things:

    1) He is kinda stupid, and willing to embrace any “racial” issue w/o really digging deep into the person or thinking the issue through. That he is an opportunist, and this was an opportunity which he figured would give him a platform, etc, to enhance his image, endear him with people who could advance his interests.

    2) He really is a vile person – racist, etc.

    It could be a mixture of these two.

  4. It appears, from comments on its discussion page, that the Wikipedia article has been locked down and reverted to how it read before SO’B quoted it verbatim on the air.

    Which, that was such a sensible response that I don’t know how to react.

  5. I think the original point about the wiki was that while it reflected Pollack’s assertion, it wouldn’t be long until it had been rewritten to reflect what O’Brien counter-claimed.

    And whaddaya know?! It does!

  6. Wow, that is a surprise McG. Like one-eighty from my expectation type surprise. It does seem like the best way to deal with the problem though, so good on them for finding it.

  7. Pick an argument proggs. Just one:

    1. Bell is a mainstream guy and there’s nothing objectionable about Critical Race Theory

    2. Obama isn’t really connected to Bell in any significant manner, so #1 doesn’t matter

    3. I don’t care, racist!

  8. Carin, that Obama is an opportunist is without doubt, but I’m getting leery of people calling him stupid(or incompetent). I’m not saying he’s Einstein, but it is a mistake to underestimate the man. Just ask Boehner .

    It seems stupid to join the Rev. Wright church too, yet look where he is.

  9. Yeah, McGehee:

    After sleeping on this and going through the article’s history this article had been stable for some time before the media mention. I hate to lose some of the sourcing that was done but I can’t agree with established consensus that was changed due to some media attention to the article. This is not an endorsement of any version of the article, just what appears to make logical sense to me as portions of this article were read verbatim on CNN and then some partisan editing on both sides started happening. Once the article exits protection I hope work can ben continued to add sourced information to improve the article. –WGFinley (talk) 15:00, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

  10. Carin, I’d say both, but mostly the first. Baracky has spent his whole life looking for a place to fit in, a place he was wanted. Abandonment can do that to a child.

    Me, I want a place to be left alone. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

  11. Some items from:

    Reading Packet #1
    Current Issues in Racism and the Law
    Spring Term 1994
    Prof. Obama

    The Enforcement Act of 1870, US v. Crickshank, p. 182 – 195 (or Bell summary at end of section)

    Giles v. Harris, p. 213 – 228 (or Bell summary at end of section)

    Bell, Summary of Civil War Amendments, Reconstruction, p. 247 – 265

    Plessy v. Ferguson (or Bell summary), p. 266 – 280

    [I]n both the Slavery and Reconstruction sections, I have included short excerpts from Derrick Bell’s “Race, Racism and the American Law”, that may serve as substitutes for some of the optional material. So:
    – Read either Slaughter-House, Cruikshank, the Civil Rights Cases, Giles, and Plessy, or Professor Bell’s summaries on Reconstruction and Jim Crow. (If you choose not to read the cases, you may also want to look at the short case descriptions available in either your constitutional law books or Lawrence Tribe’s hornbook, American Constitutional Law.

  12. Hey, lovely blog you’ve got here, Jack.

    Keep up the good work.


  13. You know Jeff, David Brooks isn’t going to like this one bit.
    You don’t understand that he gets that what Bell said, word-wise, meant one thing, but in context, meant another.

    That would have been much, much more apparent if you had read The Committee on Social Thought texts at Chicago instead of doing what you did at John Hopkins or wherever.

    If you recall, when you’re not busy front-squatting 195 pounds eight times in a row in your neo-con mountain redoubt, that this kind of grass-roots tweetgasm stuff is what left Rush Limbaugh with about four sponsors.

  14. That’s about the number of readers I have left, Roddy.

    One day I’ll let you know if it’s been worth it.

  15. From Breitbart’s video, I gathered only a few things (I’m slow like that. I mostly just sit & wait for y’all to say stuff).

    1.) This OWS thing is now obviously toooootally “grass roots”. President Lady’s Tee didn’t crank it up back then. Don’t own ’em now. No siree. Not one bit.

    2.) Even in his youth, the asshole couldn’t string a sentence together without a teleprompter.

    3.) JOOOOOS!

    4.) Netanyahu is about to make “the anointed king’s” ass sore.

  16. A Derrick A. Bell visited the Obama White House twice in 2010

  17. Pingback: Explosive: Obama’s Mentor Derrick Bell on ‘Jewish Neoconservative Racists’ : The Other McCain

  18. And the next reporter that I meet that isn’t an incompetent lying motherless fuck, will be the first.

  19. Full disclosure, I’ve never met Stacy.

  20. “Without journalistic integrity” said the voice on the radio.

    And they just laughed and laughed.

  21. I hope you think it’s worth it now, Jeff.

    I think it is, but I’m not you, nor do I have to go through what you do (and have gone through).

    So, I guess my opinion is worthless.

  22. I only bring this hack up because his propaganda is at the top of memeorandum right now. Anyway, Chaz decides that when Ogletree says

    Now what makes this so interesting, when you think about it, uh it’s uh, of course we hid this throughout the 2008 campaign so don’t… [laughter] … I don’t care if they find it now but uh, because it just told you that his growth had been, uh, astronomical in terms of his sense about race …

    Please notice: he was joking about his colleagues and himself looking older…

    How the formerly sane have fallen. To get “laughing about being older” from “we hid this throughout the 2008 campaign” , you really have to have your head completely up Obama’s ass.

    Top of memeorandum.

  23. Pablo, the original lockdown — sans reversion — happened I think less than an hour after I’d chimed in on the talk page seconding the idea that it be locked down and temporarily reverted. The guy who locked it down needed to “sleep on it” to figure out the right thing to do.

    Or maybe he already knew but was afraid if he didn’t at least appear to be dithering he would have been drummed out y morning.

  24. “A Derrick A. Bell visited the Obama White House twice in 2010”.

    Well…he had to come back twice.

    Trumka wouldn’t leave.

  25. Well Guinspen, you’ve never met me (I don’t think?)
    I have my flaws to be sure…..

  26. I have always found you to be a truthful guy, Roddy. FWIW.

  27. I have my flaws to be sure…..

    Those paisley ties with the check shirts are not the least of them, Roddy.

  28. Why would Soledad choose to gut Bell’s theory of its coherence? Seems either princely dumb, or kinda foolishly traitorous, doesn’t it? Seems on the contrary, any academic would cling to the meats of his theoretical proposals as near and dear, until, perhaps, such time as he’d decided they weren’t worth the paper they’re written on. And, so far as we can see, Bell never did that with regard to his own.

    But then, Soledad isn’t an academic, so it’s not too hard to imagine she’s overlooked precisely that nearness and dearness of theory, confusing Bell’s intellectual vaunt for a merely dreary political activism, so revering the least in place of the most. That is, an exchange of what appears powerful for what appears powerless, and no doubt thinking she comes out with the better of the bargain.

    [On the other hand, it’s surely not like: “Hey, you there, Pete! Do you know this guy Jeshua?” “Oh hells no! Never heard of him.” ]

  29. Why would Soledad choose to gut Bell’s theory of its coherence?

    I’m going with:
    a) She’s not that well read and had never heard of it before
    b) The producer told her what to say, which was provide cover for Dear Leader

  30. “a) She’s not that well read and had never heard of it before”

    I dunno SW, but besides [the fact] that she plainly claimed that she knew and that Pollack didn’t, I’m pretty sure she chimed in (off camera at that moment) about 3/4’s of the way into the video, when someone else said “I was at Harvard when Bell was blah blah blah” that “So was I!”. In which case, she could backtrack and pretend she meant something else or however that goes. But that’s not to mention that elsewhere, around the time Bell died, she claimed she was “re-reading” some book or other of his. So, given all that, I think she at least has an inkling she wasn’t aiming at the straight up-and-up on Bell’s theory, ear-talking help or no. But yes, it does seem to resolve to the power connection, whether directly to her new heartthrob Barry, or only indirectly to him (and lasting beyond Him! perish the thought!) through the power she may think Bell had attained.

  31. Oh, I’m sure that O’Brien’s knowledge didn’t extend beyond what she’d been told at the pre-programme production meeting. She’s not Grade A material, that one.

  32. But she can smile and read from a teleprompter without moving her eyes.

    At the same time!

    That and the high cheekbones and almond shaped eyes,

    she’s the complete package

  33. And the lips! Don’t forget the full, pouty lips!

    You know what you want her to do with them.

  34. “How much of Barack Obama’s Justice Department is grounded in critical race theory?”

    Representatives for the Black Panthers refused to comment.

  35. She’d heard of it before, but never understood it. She just knows that Bell was kewl, and everybody should love him like she did. Her last 24 hours has probably been a bit like another woman finding out that Bobby Sherman was a baby seal trapper in his spare time.

  36. This is one of the great drawbacks of theoretical discourse in the public arena, like on tv, out on the hustings, in the halls of Congress, or in the agora for that matter. It can’t possibly go very far — at least it seems it can’t, and certainly not productively so — on account of the lack of depth of the interlocutors’ grasp of the stuff, to say nothing of their lack of respect for the whole enterprise. (Which in part, I think, explains why the doors and windows of the Continental Congress were always shut.)

    Power attainment, on the other hand, has no such constraints, where lying, belittlement, tall tale weaving (in which the likes of Obama are expert), purposeful obfuscation and a host of illogical blatherings are plainly sufficient to the purpose.

  37. OK, let’s get the important stuff out first – what the hell kind of name is Soledad? Sounds like a prison.
    Bombshell? Bombshell?? Bombshell????
    How pathetic. Her worldview was threatened.

  38. what the hell kind of name is Soledad?

    a black “thing” you whitey don’t get

  39. What’s Brian Lamb doing these days (if he’s still with us)? I really liked him on C-Span ages ago.

  40. “How pathetic. Her worldview was threatened.”

    Heh. So, you’re pointing to her actions not fitting her speeches, eh? Well taken contrast of word and deed,RI.

  41. In vino, veritas. Honkies.

  42. Well, I do know orthodox Jews who say the curse of Ham (or Canaan) was black skin. But the stuff Bell’s talking about sounds like more conspiracy theory BS. More “whitey keepin’ you down!”

  43. CRT was an intellectual development in the late 1970s and early 1980s in which some scholars, perturbed by what they perceived as a loss of momentum in the movement for racial equality, began to doubt that the constitutional and legal system itself had the capacity for change.

    This criticism mirrored a Marxist attack long voiced in academia: that the Constitution had been a capitalist document incapable of allowing for the redistributionist change necessary to create a more equal world. To create a more equal world, the Constitution and the legal system would have to be endlessly criticized – hence critical theory – and torn down from within.

    The Marxist criticism of the system was called critical theory; the racial criticism of the system was therefore called Critical Race Theory.

    So, what does CRT believe? In their primer, Critical Race Theory, Richard Delgado (one of the movement’s founders) and Jean Stefancic set out some basic principles:

    1. “Racism is ordinary, not aberrational”;

    2. “Our system of white-over-color ascendancy serves important purposes, both psychic and material.”

  44. Check it out crackahs .