Release of Obama, Derrick Bell Harvard Video Amounts to Nothing
1 year ago
Right wing media activists resort to tired tactic of racially smearing President Obama.
If, while flipping through TV channels and pausing briefly on almost any Fox affiliate or cable news program, you noticed an announcer teasing the release of secret “Obama” tapes, then your interest was understandably piqued.
In this day and age, when someone says “secret videos” it’s hard not to assume the worst – a lost sex tape, a video of partying or drug use, or of a drunken rant.
Not the case here. Reportedly, the late blogging activist Andrew Brietbart and the folks over at his website got a hold of tapes that show President Barack Obama as a young Harvard student, praising and embracing a “controversial” black law professor. To be more specific, he’s the university’s first-ever black law professor, the late Derrick Bell.
If you’ve ever taken any university courses in Black or Africana Studies, you’re likely familiar with Bell’s “Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism.”
The Breitbart folks' argument is that the "lame stream" media didn't cover and or allowed Obama's 2008 campaign to hide the remarks Obama gave in introduction of Bell. They then trash the deceased professor, whom they contend is, for lack of better description, a radical nutcase.
Yep, this is what right wing activists consider "damaging" material for smear campaigns. The above clip is edited from a news report in 1990, when Bell led demonstrations to increase the number of black and female tenured professors at Harvard Law. (Missing the “controversial” aspect of this? Just wait. It’s coming.)
[ALSO READ: Top Five Attacks On Obama's Christianity]
Apparently, as Breitbart.com and The Blaze writers’ have interpreted, Bell had written extensively about the institutionalized nature of racism in America. Some of his writing, published in law review periodicals, is far to the left of mainstream black thought surrounding issues of white privilege and a permanent second-class status for African Americans. (For some right wing conservatives, any talk of these subjects pretty much guarantees your being labeled a lefty-liberal-radical-nut-job.)
Some of Bell’s statements were indeed “out there,” but hardly as extreme or radical as the right has framed Bell’s philosophy. Reading The Blaze’s report, you’d think Bell had incited violence, was investigated for domestic terrorism, or was a mentor of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Again, that’s not the case here.
The funniest part of this whole attempt at smearing the president…it fell flat as a pancake! When you look at the entire tape (made available by PBS), from which right wing activists cite, it’s about as exciting as watching the wind blow over a lawn chair. And it speaks to just how desperate the right is to demonize the president, in the hope that independents and conservative Democrats will sour on him.
Better luck next time, guys!