by Arnold Ahlert
“Open up your hearts and your minds to the words of professor Derrick Bell,” Obama urged during the protest — which was organized because of Bell’s anger that Harvard denied tenure to a black female professor, Regina Austin, at a time when only three of the law school’s professors were black and only five were women. Bell told Harvard that “until a woman of color is offered and accepted a tenured position on this faculty,” he would take a leave of absence. He launched a hunger strike to dramatize his point. Considering Bell’s radical worldview, Obama’s enthusiastic support of this campaign and his exhortation to the crowd to embrace Bell’s philosophy is quite revealing.
Derrick Bell, who died last year at the age of 80, is credited with pioneering a concept called “critical race theory.” The theory maintains that the legal system of the United States is inherently biased against blacks and other minorities because it was built on an ingrained white point of view. Thus, it is necessary, as he argued in many books and lectures, that the life experiences of black people and other minorities be considered in hiring decisions and the application of law. For Bell, racism was both a pervasive and permanent aspect of American life. This belief led him to throw his support behind a journal entitled Race Traitor, whose editors stated that “the key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the white race, which means no more and no less than abolishing the privileges of white skin.”
Furthermore, Bell believed this “institutional racism” conferred upon oppressed minorities both the right and the duty to decide for themselves what laws are valid and worth observing. As for law itself, critical race theory also promotes the use of storytelling in law review articles. In many of his writings, and in defiance of accepted legal scholarship, Bell placed legal and social commentary into the mouths of invented characters to better reflect the “oral traditions” of black experience.
Yet Bell’s story-telling sometimes bordered on the repugnant. In 1992, Bell wrote a short story called “The Space Traders” about a dystopian society of depleted resources and polluted air, where most blacks are walled off from the rest of society and kept under armed guard. Aliens from outer space descend from the heavens and offer to solve all of America’s problems if the country sells all of its blacks to them. A vote is held and 70 percent of the nation agrees to hand over black Americans “in chains, half-naked, while white men with guns look on, allowing no chance of escape” to the space beings.
In the story Bell also demonstrates his disdain for American Jews, who oppose the trade and organize an Anne Frank Committee to stop it — not because Jews empathize with victimized blacks, but because, Bell writes, “in the absence of blacks, Jews could become the scapegoats.” Such a depiction, critics have noted, was a scarcely veiled disparagement of the motives of American Jews, who were highly active in the civil rights movement. Furthermore, in their book “Beyond All Reason,” liberal law professors Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry note that making Anne Frank — “as close to a saint as Jews have” — the symbol of Jewish hypocrisy is exceedingly insensitive and observed that a ”Jewish professor who invoked the name of Rosa Parks so derisively would be bitterly condemned–and rightly so.”
In his review of that book, Ninth Circuit Court Judge Alex Kozinski reveals where the “radical multiculturalism” espoused by Bell and others leads. “When I was a law student a quarter of a century ago, we were taught that cases usually turned not on what the law is, not on what the Constitution says, but on the predilections of the judge making the decision. That view was on the fringe then but is now widely held.” He notes the consequences of that radicalism. “Traditional liberals in law schools all over the country are shaking their heads, wondering what hit them. Whereas 10 years ago one might have had a fruitful discussion with faculty members and students about justice, equality, freedom, responsibility and merit, such Enlightenment concepts are now considered a bit quaint and a bit dated–like stale granola.”
Farber and Sherry echo that contention, noting that radical multiculturalist law school students “have taken an ax to the foundations of traditional academic dialogue–things like objectivity, truth, merit, fairness and polite discourse. For the radical legal thinkers, all these are tools that straight white males use to oppress those who are not.”
Bell spent his entire academic career advancing this agenda, even going so far as to condemn black professors who took a more moderate stance on affirmative action as traitors to the black race who “look black but think white.”All this raises the question: what does the president believe? Another piece of the puzzle reveals that Derrick Bell had a relationship with Mr. Obama’s former religious mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In 2008, despite being aware of Wright’s rants blasting America as a racist nation, Bell referred to him as “one of the foremost preachers in the country who has done great work in the Chicago area where he has built a most impressive church for a very large congregation.” Why would Bell say that? Chances are it’s because the “black liberation theology” espoused by Wright marries itself seamlessly to critical race theory in that it too centers around the black struggle for liberation from the omnipresence of white racism and oppression.
Furthermore, black liberation theology’s chief architect and Rev. Wright’s mentor, James Cone, argues that Jesus Christ himself must have been black because “either God is for black people in their fight for liberation and against the white oppressors, or he is not.” Mr. Obama spent 20 years attending Cone-protégé Wright’s church. Is it possible that one can attend a church for 20 years and not be aware of the theology that animates it? One is left to wonder if the president is aware of James Cone’s incendiary statement in which he asserts that
Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community.
Despite this odious ideology, Derrick Bell was critical of the president’s abandonment of Wright:
Sen. Obama, his campaign threatened by Rev. Wright’s sermons–or sermon snippets–played over and over again, has spoken out about racial difference and anger and the need to get beyond it in order to address effectively the serious problems that face us all. But like the politicians we discussed who avoid the tough issues, Obama has chosen to condemn rather than acknowledge the truth in Rev. Wright’s sermons. He does so while appropriately refusing to end his relationship with Wright who brought him to Christianity.
In other words, the most radical leftist president in the history of the republic was insufficiently radical for Bell — the man Barack Obama then referred to as the “Rosa Parks of legal education.”
Early on Wednesday, Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith announced on Twitter that video researcher Andrew Kaczynski had released “the mysterious Harvard/Obama/race video that the Breitbart folks have been talking about.” Kaczynski claims the video was “licensed from a Boston television station.” Breitbart.com noted that the video had been “selectively edited either by the Boston television station or by Buzzfeed itself” and that it would continue releasing “additional footage that has been hidden by Obama’s allies in the mainstream media and academia.” The additional footage was featured on Fox News’ “Sean Hannity Show.”
Edited out of the original tape was Barack Obama embracing professor Bell. Furthermore, Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree admitted that he had a copy of the tape, but kept it under wraps during the 2008 presidential election. “Of course, we hid this throughout the 2008 campaign,” said Olgetree laughing. “I don’t care if they find it now.”
It is the contempt of people like Charles Ogletree and others for the peoples’ right to know that has been instrumental in helping this president maintain a lockdown on critical periods of his life. His above associations, as well as his ties to domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, his long relationship with ACORN, his adoration of the Alinsky method and the rest of his radical past — so amply exposed by Kurtz, Horowitz and others – have all been derisively dismissed as irrelevant, right-wing hysteria, or racist. The selective editing of this tape is yet another example of the leftist media’s determination to shape the news rather than report it. Their other egregious tactic, aka calculated errors of omission, is epitomized by the Los Angeles Times’ refusal to release another video of Obama. It is a tape of the president attending a party and praising its guest of honor–Rashid Khalidi, rabid Israel-hater and former spokesman for terrorist godfather Yasser Arafat. The Times, an ostensible news organization, has been sitting on that video for nine years.
The efforts of Breitbart and the crew now carrying on his legacy, stand in stark contrast to those who would aid and abet this journalistic malfeasance. They deserve great credit for doing what media organizations are supposed to do: make news available, regardless of whose interests are undermined or enhanced in the process.
As for the president, whether or not his support of yet another America-despising radical accrues to his detriment remains to be seen. Obama acolytes will no doubt dismiss this tape as inconsequential, or possibly the politics of youthful exuberance long since abandoned. Yet at some point, the preponderance of evidence of this president’s true views and intentions for the country may reach critical mass.
Thoughtful Americans should hope it occurs before election day.Arnold Ahlert
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