The Obama-Bell Video

Why it’s important:

Critical race theory, of which Bell was essentially the founder and the greatest proponent, is explicitly incompatible with “liberalism” as classically defined; in truth, it is more of a radical Leftist idea. As a result of the claims it makes, CRT is utterly incompatible with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and with American — and Western — ideals of equality, justice, and colorblindness, not to mention that its philosophical underpinnings stand in diametric opposition to that most cherished of conservative principles — belief in external reality. Ultimately, CRT relegates objective reality and our responses to it to a collection of human “constructs.” It is post-modern and it is radical. It is quite literally un-American.

Such suggestions would not, in fact, be rejected by advocates of CRT and other constructivist theories. If racism is ingrained into the fabric of American society, then our society inherently excludes those outside of the racial majority and the system needs smashing. But as a result, most of those who do reject wholesale the American “construct” do not seek its presidency. This is where is becomes relevant. It is fine for Americans to consider themselves outside of the system, but we should know about it if they are running the show. On CNN this morning, Amy Holmes — playing the sole voice of reason in a disastrous segment — correctly pointed out that Obama may well have changed his mind on various things since his college days, but that if he hasn’t it is important for Americans to consider the wisdom of his being president. Most of us have matured as we’ve got older, and the president may well have as well — we’ll probably never know, given the media’s double-standard on questions about Obama’s past — but, if he has not, then he is indeed a subversive, for it is one thing to look at the entire structure of government, law, and society, and claim it to be an intractably racist tool of white hegemony, and quite another to seek the highest office within it.

It pertains also to the conflict of visions.

61 thoughts on “The Obama-Bell Video”

  1. Most reasonable people watch the video (I did) and see a young Obama eloquently (and without teleprompter) introduce a man who was a hero of the civil rights movement during an extremely peaceful protest. To get anything else out of that video requires extreme mental gymnastics of the type that makes the writer look like a tinfoil-hatted conspiracy theorist.

    1. What is going to count, here, as Chris agrees, is the character, writings, actions, views and background of Dr. Bell. After all, if Obama was introducing Chuckles the Clown no one would care about the video.

      Personally I never heard of Dr. Bell so I cannot comment on him or his views. A cursory search on Critical Race Theory reveals a lot of documents that say he, along with Alan Freeman, were the ones who began CRT.

      For example:

      And there’s a PDF:

      Critical Race Theory – Temple University

      The other thing that must be remembered is that while Person A might originate a theory, concept, or idea, that original idea might not necessarily be incendiary, anti-social, pathological, or any of the other negatives one might think of. The idea might be the source of a fun debate, but not necessarily evil.

      However Person B could pick up the basic idea and twist it into an excuse for anarchy. Person A in this case is fairly innocent.

      This has happened countless times in history.

  2. Chris:

    First question:

    Suppose someone spoke equally eloquently, and without teleprompter, and asked the people at a peaceful protest to open their hearts to Adolf Hitler.


    1. Gregg,

      You have to pardon Dave O’Neal. His intelligence level keeps him from comprehending metaphors or patterns. His logic is even worse. Hell, getting even a complete and comprehensible sentence from him is near impossible.

      But Dave has no problem suggesting your family members come down with cancer, so that you can understand the benefit of universal healthcare. That’s just how he thinks.

    2. You assume, without proof, that because Obama agreed with the immediate tactical goals of Bell that Obama agrees with everything Bell said. Considering that Obama’s other good law school friend Henry Louis “Skip” Gates doesn’t agree with Bell, I’ll need a lot more proof then a 2 minute speech at a protest.

        1. Gregg – your conceptualization is one of those “when did you stop beating your wife” questions and a classic case of Godwin’s Law.

          In this case it’s also irrelevant. Derrick Bell was a Harvard professor and a hero of the civil rights movement. Obama was a Harvard student.

          1. Chris,

            Once again you are wrong – mainly because it is YOU doing the assuming.

            I’m trying to get a notion as to your thoughts by asking a question – RATHER than assuming what/how you think.

            It is you who are assuming where I might go with this and looking for land mines etc.

            Can you tamp down your paranoia for just a second and answer the simple question with a simple yes or no?

      1. You assume, without proof, that because Obama agreed

        Gerrib, just a few post, you claimed that because some of us agree that Sandra Fluke was a prop, that therefore we were defending Limbaugh’s language. Now you come here and lecture Gregg? You even claimed we couldn’t disagree with Fluke’s opinion without the perception of defending Limbaugh.

          1. Limbaugh’s language was unproductive, and unsupportable as there is really no way he can know the frequency, style, type, etc. of s3x the woman is having. So there’s no way he can assign the pejorative label.

            So at best he was making an unwarranted application of a label.

            He also made life harder for people on his side.

            And, as he admitted, he made himself equal to a Maher or Schultz or Olberman, or Letterman or Viera or any one of the many leftist entertainers who cannot practice what they preach.

            So Limbaugh was wrong to say what he said.

          2. Start by denouncing Maher. And Olberman. And Pelosi. And Reid. And Grayson. And Clinton. And Louis WK. Annd the list goes on, and on, and on…

  3. Chris:

    I read the article and did not come away with the idea of a conspiracy. I think the last part of the last paragraph says it most eloquently:

    “Moreover, by the time that Obama reached Harvard Law School, he was known as a a pragmatic consensus builder who was well-liked by some legal conservatives. But such facts will speak for themselves, or die, if they are allowed airtime, and that so many continue to be so suspicious of our president is in part the product of a media that seems intent on protecting him whether he needs such protection or not.”

    I am not the same person I was in college, but then again my past has not been hidden. The biggest problem about our President is that his past is closed.

      1. Uh, the Frontline puff piece only showed like 10 seconds from the event and they talked over most of it with some guy explaining how well liked and prestigious a professor that David Bell was. Then it segued into Obama being “the great uniter” on the Harvard Law Review and getting elected president of the law review. Although that video did show that even back then Obama had no problem throwing supporters under the bus.

        Obama has had several radical acquaintances but the media up until this point has dismissed all of them out of hand based upon a lack of evidence or by burying the evident altogether. There are connections between Obama and Bill Ayers but because there is no evidence of their interactions Ayers just became, “the guy in the neighborhood”. We all know how inflammatory Rev. Wright’s rhetoric has been but there was not evidence showing Obama actually in the congregations during Wright’s more fiery sermons so Obama could always say, “That isn’t the man I know”. There is allegedly a video of Obama sitting with Khalidi at a fund raiser but the L.A. times refuses to release it. This video is important because it shows him embracing actually embracing this radical in full view for all to see. And with further inspection of just who David Bell is, we see that he is a pretty nutty guy for us to be “opening our hearts and minds to”. But yet again I see that the left is trying as hard as they can to play this down. “Oh Obama was just an attendee at the rally and just decided to give this impromptu speech about this guy because he was just his professor”. Yea right, I don’t buy it; Obama would make a deal with the devil if he thought it would get him ahead politically.

          1. The video requires you to research Bell, so in that sense it isn’t much of a bombshell because the audience has to do something other than watch the video.

            Then after the research you will see liberals nodding their heads along because this type of racial thought process in mainstream on the left. They don’t see anything wrong with it because they think everyone that is not a follower of their politics is racist.

            Meanwhile on the other side of the political spectrum, people are thinking wtf is up with these crazy people.

          2. No, the entire Frontline episode ‘The Choice 2008’ has been available on the PBS website since 2008 with the heavily edited excerpt of the original Obama speech. In the article you link it actually states that in light of the controversy they’ve gone back and pulled the fully unedited video from the WGBH archives and have recently posted it in it’s entirety. Which is funny because Buzzfeed had to pay for every second of the video they posted earlier this week.

  4. The science is settled, this man was a civil rights HERO, therefore you are racist for examing what he actually believes about race. This man deserves his spot on the pedestal and he is unquestionable. Stop asking questions. His theories on race are sound and you don’t need to know what those theories are, leave it to your betters you knuckledraggingneanderthals.

  5. This was obviously the weakest clip they had. All they are trying to do is generate buzz for whats to come. The good stuff has yet to air. Even from beyond the veil, Brietbart is still making the left dance to his tune.

    1. I certainly hope so. It’s what I figured as well since airing a blockbuster now would be irrelevant by November.

      A nice slow drip drip drip of revelation would be effective.

  6. Gregg – yes, being the warm-up act for Hitler would be bad. Since I answered, your turn. When did you stop beating your wife? (It’s the same sort of question you asked, so you should have no problem answering it.)

    Wodun – the basic premise of CRT is the notion that legal formalism won’t always be adequate to the task of finding, and eliminating, the institutional biases and rules that often harm minorities. For example, “separate but equal” was the law of the land for decades, and it supported a host of biases and rules that harmed minorities. In short, CRT isn’t particularly radical.

    1. For example, “separate but equal” was the law of the land for decades, and it supported a host of biases and rules that harmed minorities. In short, CRT isn’t particularly radical.

      So your reasoning for calling Bell a hero is because you agree with CRT?

        1. “Main Kampf” is popular reading in the Middle East. That a book sells well (in Bell’s case likely because students are required to buy it) is meaningless as to its intellectual or moral merit.

          1. Who added “white supremacy” to Wikipedia in the first place? Since when is Wikipedia an acceptable source on this board? Where in Bell’s writings do the words “white supremacy” come up?

          2. Oh FFS, is Gerrib pretending to be an expert on CRT now?

            “Legal scholarship remains one of the last vestiges of white supremacy in civilized intellectual circles.” — Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism, p. 211

            “While not unheard of, explict expressions of white supremacy are rare and account but for a mere fraction of actual manifestations of racial bias.” — Race, Racism, and American law, p. 139

          3. I’m not pointing to wikipedia as a source, I’m pointing to its editing history, and that it is yet another indication of the media’s covering up controversial items that allow the public to obtain a more complete picture of Obama. If you really think this would not have played out much differently had the speaker been Mitt Romney, you’re way too far gone to have much credibility.

  7. Gerrib: When somebody actually denounces Limbaugh’s language, we can have this discussion.

    I’m posting this further down, in the hope Gerrib will actually show a backbone and respond to Gregg, as he promised.

    But what is this nonsense of demanding third parties apologize for Limbaugh, while simultaneously arguing that “You assume, without proof, that because Obama agreed with the immediate tactical goals of Bell that Obama agrees with everything Bell said.” It’s illogical, unless once again Gerrib is being also illiterate. Does Gerrib have video of Gregg, or anyone of us, intoducing Limbaugh as a hero? Yet, Gerrib insist someone must denounce Limbaugh, while telling us it takes “extreme mental gymnastics” to assume Obama agreed with everything Bell said or believed.

    Gerrib, quit being such a hypocrit and answer Gregg’s question. Otherwise, I’m going to continue to point out the fallacy of your argument suggesting the video released by Brietbart doesn’t resonate with Democrats. Because obviously you are very capable of the necessary mental gymnastics needed to have a kneejerk defensive posture.

    And no, I’m not going to denounce or apologize for Limbaugh. For one, I haven’t heard his comments. Second, he already apologized himself thus admitting his poor judgement. Finally, I know it is the only hammer you have in this debate, and I rather you hold on to it as long as possible, because it makes you look stupid. Your added hypocrisy is just a bonus.

  8. Chris Gerrib wrote:

    “Gregg – yes, being the warm-up act for Hitler would be bad.”

    Thank you – now that wasn’t so hard was it?

    “Since I answered, your turn. When did you stop beating your wife? (It’s the same sort of question you asked, so you should have no problem answering it.)”

    There is absolutely no connection between the two questions. Or is today “Make up a fact” day? You see, there was no assumption in my question, but a huge one in yours. There was a colossal assumption in your responses (up until now).

    Because – and I am astonished I have to explain this to you – I didn’t SAY or even assume Obama was introducing *a* Hitler. I simply asked you your opinion on the subject. I wanted to know if *your* support of Obama is absolutely unqualified. And the only way to know your opinion is to ask THE foremost authority on your opinion – that would be you.

    You should be cheering me and throwing a parade for me.
    Oh and don’t forget the exquisite dinner. Because in the past you rail on about how people make assumptions about things. And here, I did just what you *said* you prefer.

    Whereas – and you MUST know this – when you ask your question, it DOES make an assumption.

    So after much teeth pulling, I now know something about you that I would rather not assume. I know that your support of Obama is not unqualified – that you wouldn’t support his introducing just ANY person.

    As for your question – it’s a non sequitur. Go look it up.

  9. Leland – the whole point of this “bombshell” video is to suggest that 1) Bell’s some wild-eyed radical and 2) Obama buys into everything he said. Otherwise, it’s a large nothing-burger.

    Gregg – if you want to ask somebody “is your support for X unqualified” you say “is your support for X unqualified?” You don’t ask “would you support X if he supported Hitler?” The second question does have an assumption baked into it – namely, that X = Hitler.

      1. This ^^

        The media needs to stop being the gatekeeper to Obama’s background. If his relationships are so trivial, then they don’t need to be hidden.

    1. First, I’ll apologize for being hasty. You did type out an answer before I finished writing my comment. I still stand by that you seem to be making a hypocritical argument.

      Leland – the whole point of this “bombshell” video is to suggest that 1) Bell’s some wild-eyed radical and 2) Obama buys into everything he said.

      Thanks for the observation. I noticed that tactic when it was used by Democrats to attack Republicans with Limbaugh’s comments.

      Otherwise, it’s a large nothing-burger.

      Indeed. We don’t need a decade’s old video to see how radical Obama is. We can just observe his administration. Did you see where his AG said it was ok to kill Americans, so long as “due process” (whatever he says it means) is observed. The whole 6th Amendment thing apparently doesn’t mean criminal prosecutions require a jury or the judicial process, according to Obama. Just think Gerrib, even the Bush administration thought Jose Padilla deserved a day in court, and you use to call Bush radical. But that’s off topic isn’t it. We were discussing the video of Obama and Bell. Pardon my digression.

      1. Or that the Obama doesn’t need congressional approval to go to war if he has support in the international community.

        1. Or that he’s vastly expanded the number and scope of Predator drone strikes in countries we or the international community are not at war with.

    2. Chris Gerrib

      “Gregg – if you want to ask somebody “is your support for X unqualified” you say “is your support for X unqualified?” You don’t ask “would you support X if he supported Hitler?” ”

      I’ll ask it any way I like, thank you very much. Maybe you should look to yourself when it comes to simplicity – instead of non-answers rife with assumptions and accusations you could have just answered the question.

      Also you must have forgotten that I started the post with “First Question:”. There are more. And of course asking the way I did was totally relevant.

      “The second question does have an assumption baked into it – namely, that X = Hitler.”

      Only in your fevered delusional backpedaling, brain.

      I didn’t ask “Bell is Hitler – do you support opening your heart to Hitler”.

  10. This whole episode is part of a pattern. The pattern is:

    1) Find some obscure academic, preferably dead, so they don’t show up on talk shows.
    2) Twist what that academic said, or just brand it as “radical” and “un-American.”
    3) Find some innocuous meeting or tenuous link between that person and Obama.
    4) Scream as loudly as possible that “Obama’s evil because he breathed the same air / read a book by” the target academic
    5) Bitch loudly that “the mainstream media isn’t covering this!” Even if they did, in fact, cover it.

    It’s irritating – watching some dead academic get slandered usually is – and tiresome.

    1. Bill Ayers isn’t dead and has strong ties to Obama.

      Who are the dead radicals tied to Obama? Their are plenty of living ones on the whitehouse visitor log.

      Part of the problem is that the left isn’t holding itself to the standards it holds the right to. If Romney was going to militia meetings you know it would be an issue but Obama hanging out with the crazies on the left doesn’t seem to be a problem.

      1. 1) Huffington Post or Think Progress making obscure links between Herman Cain and the Koch brothers.
        2) Twist every black conservative man who’s ever tried running for political office into someone who’s either crazy or a sexual deviant.
        3) Find some innocuous or tenuous link between John McCain and the Contras
        4) Scream as loudly as possible that Bush was “Dangerously Religious!”
        5) Bitch loudly when liberals in the media call a conservative woman “A STUPID C*NT!” Oh wait they actually did do that.
        It’s irritating – watching conservatives get slandered usually is – and tiresome.

  11. Titus – when I use Amazon’s Look Inside The Book feature, I find:

    1) The only search hit for “white supremacy” is page 141 – where Bell is quoting somebody else.
    2) Page 211 is somewhere in the middle of the Notes section – so I suspect that (if it does exist) that’s also a quote from somebody else.

    What edition are you using?

      1. You *DO* realize that look inside the book has a search engine? It showed *ONE* hit, not multiple hits. It also has the full table of contents, which tells me “Notes” starts at page 205.

    1. But the Amazon search function doesn’t read between the lines.

      A search engine that did that would be much, much more useful on the Internets.

    1. Well I learn something every day. If you have an account with Amazon you can search a book and it will tell you where the term appears and you can see it on that page.

      I tested this out on another book wherein I knew there were terms that did not appear on the basic “Look Inside” pages.

      Very handy.

      Thank you Chris.

  12. Bell is a racist. Wright is a racist. Obama has cited both of these men as deeply influential in his “intellectual” development, and has called on both of them to be his advisor/mentor at different times.

    The obvious conclusion is that Obama is, himself, a racist. That conclusion is born out by his administration’s actions towards civil rights law.

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