The Racist Ravings of Derrick Bell

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By now, you may already have seen the 1991 video footage of Barack Obama, who was then a 30-year-old student at Harvard Law School, speaking in glowing terms about Harvard professor Derrick Bell, whom Obama described as a man known for “speaking the truth” and for an “excellence of … scholarship” that had not only “opened up new vistas and new horizons,” but had “changed the standards [of what] legal writing is about.” “Open up your hearts and your minds to the words of Professor Derrick Bell,” Obama urged the sizable crowd which had gathered to show their support for Professor Bell that day.

Since the release of the video, Obama’s backers have been quick to dismiss it as nothing more than a young scholar’s affectionate tribute to a liberal academic icon who not only made major intellectual contributions to his profession, but who also was a leading champion of racial “diversity” in higher education. For instance, CNN host Soledad O’Brien, when interviewing’s editor-in-chief Joel Pollak yesterday about the significance of the video, described Bell benignly as “the first tenured African American professor of law at Harvard University,” and characterized the gathering merely as “a rally in support of racial equality among the faculty at Harvard Law School.” O’Brien then asked her guest, with apparent bewilderment, “What part of that was the bombshell? Because I missed it. I don’t get it. What was a bombshell?”

In a similar spirit of willful blindness, Media Matters describes Derrick Bell as “a respected academic” and “an influential figure in the Civil Rights movement.” This portrayal is reminiscent of Barack Obama’s pathetic characterization, a few years back, of Bill Ayers as “just a guy who lives in my neighborhood.” But just as the reality of Bill Ayers was far more interesting than Obama indicated at that time, the truth about Derrick Bell is likewise far more compelling than the pablum the left has provided in the wake of this latest video. For you see, by the time Barack Obama was delivering his glowing remarks about Derrick Bell in 1991, the professor had already established—and would continue to cultivate for another two decades—a reputation as someone who thoroughly, resolutely detested the United States and who viewed the nation’s institutions and its people as irremediably racist. In short, until his death last October at the age of 80, Bell was secular academia’s version of Jeremiah Wright—a raging, fulminating racist without the clergyman’s robe. And something about his philosophy resonated strongly with Barack Obama.

Derrick Bell is best known as the founding father of Critical Race Theory, an academic discipline which maintains that society is divided along racial lines into (white) oppressors and (black) victims, similar to the way Marxism frames the oppressor/victim dichotomy along class lines. Critical Race Theory contends that America is permanently racist to its core, and that consequently its legal structures are, by definition, racist and invalid. A logical derivative of this premise, according to Critical Race Theory, is that the members of “oppressed” racial groups are entitled—in fact obligated—to determine for themselves which laws and traditions have merit and are worth observing. Such a perspective’s implications for the ability of civil society to function at all, are nothing short of monumental.

Further, Critical Race Theory holds that because racism is so deeply ingrained in America’s national character, racial preferences (favoring blacks) in employment and higher education are not only permissible but necessary as a means of countering the permanent character flaws of white people who, as Bell put it, seek to “achieve a measure of social stability through their unspoken pact to keep blacks on the bottom.”[1]  Asserting that “few whites are ready to actively promote civil rights for blacks,” Bell—right around the time Obama was praising him at the Harvard rally—believed that “racial discrimination in the workplace is as vicious (if less obvious) than it was when employers posted signs ‘no negras need apply.’” Bell complained, in fact, that most white employers were loath to hire African Americans for “any position above the most menial.”[2]  Nor did the professor look kindly upon his black colleagues who failed to share his enthusiasm for affirmative action. Indeed, Bell was among the first critics to condemn the June 1991 nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court, stating: “To place a person who looks black and who, in conservative terms, thinks white, is an insult.”

Ideological conformity among blacks was of the utmost importance to Bell, since wherever he looked, he saw white racism. Lamenting that “no African Americans are insulated from incidents of racial discrimination,” Bell excoriated “a white society that condemns all blacks to quasi citizenship as surely as it segregated our parents.”[3]  Claiming that racism was “an integral, permanent, and indestructible component of this society,” Bell went so far as to state: “The fact that, as victims, we suffer racism’s harm but, as a people, [we] cannot share the responsibility for that harm, may be the crucial component in a definition of what it is to be black in America.”[4]  On the premise that “black people will never gain full equality in this country” due to the unending evils of the white “oppressor class,” Bell advised African Americans to squarely confront “the otherwise deadening reality of our permanent subordinate status.”[5]  This gloomy view of black destiny was reflected most vividly in the title of Bell’s 1992 book, Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism.

By Bell’s reckoning, “the racism that made slavery feasible” was “far from dead.” He added: “Slavery is, as an example of what white America has done, a constant reminder of what white America might do.”[6]  Bell also railed against the racism that motivated acts of white-on-black crime, lamenting that “even our lives … are threatened because of our color.”[7]  That claim did not square with the fact that more than 90 percent of African American murder victims nationwide are actually killed by fellow blacks, but it made for a nice sound bite. And in fact, Bell did not entirely turn a blind eye to the epidemic of black-on-black crime. That phenomenon, he explained, was itself a reaction to white oppression: “Victimized themselves by an uncaring society, some blacks vent their rage on victims like themselves.”[8]  In other words, whenever something bad happens, it is always the fault of whites.

As Bell saw things, white malevolence knew no bounds. In one of his writings, he mused that if scientists were to someday develop a magical pill that could transform any black person who consumed it into a perfectly law-abiding individual, whites would undoubtedly conspire to destroy it so as to prevent such an effect. Why? Because black crime, he explained, benefits many whites such as those who profit from the manufacture of prison uniforms.[9] Wholly disgusted by the white race, Bell predicted that eventually America would witness the rise of charismatic new black leaders who, in the interests of retribution, would “urge that instead of [African Americans] killing each other, they should go out in gangs and kill a whole lot of white people.”[10]  Presumably this was some of the lofty “scholarship” that so impressed Barack Obama.

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  • BS77

    Welcome to Animal Farm…where some are "more equal" than others…..

  • Kathy

    I'm not Jewish. Obama is a racist, always has been, always will be. He should be proud of that, instead, he hides it.

  • ISAIAH5417

    Why didn't candidate John McCain bring this (and so much more) to light during his Presidential Campaign of 2008?

    • Roger

      Because he was clueless.
      He may have a proud record, but it's time he retired and let people a little better on the uptake step up.

  • Always_On_Watch

    Was Michelle Obama also there?

  • effemall

    There is nothing surprising in this article. Offspring of racially mixed parents frequently have great identity problems, confusion, frustration and anger. Had the white genes dominated in Obama and he could have "passed" for white he would have categorized himself as a white man and lived a less turbulent and completely different life. All of this is neither here nor there. America is in deep trouble and it will get into deeper trouble if Obama is not removed. The GOP candidates present a weak picture. None of them fill me with confidence. The greatest fear is that their weakness will give us Obama for another four years which would be disastrous. Every American with half a brain needs to concentrate on how to get Obama out – either through impeachment or at the ballot box.

  • stevefraser

    I miss Rev. Wright.

  • baldilocks

    If white people are so terrible, (according to Bell, et al), why push to end "legal segregation?"

    • kentatwater

      Hi baldilocks! It's wonderful to see you here!

  • SukieTawdry

    Critical Race Theory goes hand-in-hand with Black Liberation Theology. Barack Obama embraced both. How can this possibly be considered a non-issue? How can it possibly be written off as "youthful dabbling" in radicalism, long ago rejected and now disdained? One over-rated convention speech does not cancel 25 years of radicalism. Critical Race Theory, Black Liberation Theology, community organizing, the Woods Foundation, the Chicago Anneberg Challenge, Acorn, these are not the pursuits of a moderate man. It's about time everybody knew and understood this.

  • SoCalPat10

    Quite obviously Derrick Bell was insane. It would be interesting to know what drove him insane. Often the most heinous psychopaths trace their psychosis to the failure to deal with or understand a childhood trauma. For men, the most sensitive time is around age 8. Psycho-historians have researched and documented this trend in people like Hitler, Stalin and others.
    Racial obsessions are common because they relieve the obsessed of any responsibility for coping.

  • maghrebchristians

    The Vatican has made an official request to gain access to a 1500-year-old Bible worth $28 million currently held by the Turkish government in Ankara, Turkey. There is speculation that the Bible may be a copy of the Gospel of Barnabas – a telling of Jesus’ ministry Muslims believe is part of the original Gospels.

    Read more:


  • Mr Bullare

    Actually, animist black Africans were captured and taken to the African coast for sale to the white slave ships by Muslim tribes – Islam permits and even encourages the enslavement of animist, i.e. pagan peoples.

    So its highly likely that Obama's paternal ancestors were the actual slavers. Let's see, his mother was white, so her ancestors most likely owned slaves, and his father's family were Muslim slavers, to it appears that Barry has an awful lot of apologizing to do to African Americans for being so intimately tied up in the slave trade.

    • Grayzel1

      Thank you sir. That is a very interesting thought experiment.

    • aspacia

      Actually few white Americans owned slaves.

      • intrcptr2

        True, about 1-in-10 in the Confederate states that seceded.
        Not quite sure how much that matters, though. Most Southerners supported slavery either actively by renting slaves or voting for those leaders who fought politically for those rights, or passively by simply going along with it. And many across the nation believed that the Negro was inferior to the White man, a primative prejudice which carried on into the 20th Century (Although there were many who still believed despite this that chattel slavery was evil and should be abolished).
        The argument of most unreconstructed southerners today, which is thin, is that Northerners were hypocrites because of all the cotton being milled in the North or in England (Which northern shippers scavenged shipping profits from). There is also the charge of rank hypocrisy pointed to the "wage slavery" often found in northern mills.

        Such simplisitic analyses ignores both the abolition movement and the numbers of Southerners who chose to support the Union. It also ignores the British role in eliminating slavery in its own empire, including the free-ranging efforts of the Preventative Squadron under Capt Denman;

  • Avigayil

    I'm Jewish AND Black. No racism here, People like you and this professor are both racist and ignorant (which usually go together). Very few Jews were ever involved in the slave trade. Judaism is actually quite strict when it comes to how you treat fellow human beings. Moses' wife was black, for goodness sake! BTW, if you are so concerned with slavery, I recommend that you start up with the Arab world, who began mistreating and enlsaving blacks centruries before Europeans ever explored the African continent. Arab slave traders were often the ones who kidnapped and sold the slaves to the Europeans in the first place! Arabs are still enslaving blacks in Sudan. Where do the refugees go? Israel.

    • aspacia

      Deborah black, you sure? Zipporah was Semitic, but prior there are documents stating he married a female from Cush

  • aspacia

    Blacks and Arab Muslims sold blacks into slavery. Why not outcry against them HYPOCRITE

  • Ricky Michael

    This man became what he says he hates, a racist.

  • intrcptr2


    I'm goyim.
    And my grandmother was naturalized from Canada.

    I'm off the hook.
    Hey, DeShawn, wanna grab a beer later?

  • ashken79

    Bell is aracist lunatic.

  • ashken79

    Bell was a racist lunatic who posited that everything under the sun was the fault of white folks.

  • AnotherWhiteRabbit

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.
    The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.
    Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.
    What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?
    How long would it take anyone to realise I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?
    And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?
    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.
    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.
    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

  • Giovanna Sabella

    This was clearly demonstrated in his pledge to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” Derrick Bell was one of his mentors as well as Saul Alinsky. Thus we have a racist communist in the White House for another term. Thanks to a corrupt media that failed to vet Barack Obama, America is being destroyed right before our eyes, bit by bit.

  • kentatwater

    You can screen out whatever you don't want.

    Au contraire. I am not part or supporter of the mainstream media culture. I don't do any "screening out."

    None of you have substantive critiques of the President…

    Wow, you really haven't been paying attention then.

    …that even resemble reality.

    Ah, there's the kicker. We've come full circle with this little qualification of yours. Sorry, but the MSM does not get to define what is reality, nor do you.

    Take the blinders off.

  • intrcptr2

    Obama administration, day 2, his first act as President,

    rescinds the Mexico City policy, thus refunding overseas abortions, with my tax dollars.

    If you consider this racist, bigoted, or non-substantive, fine. I think it pretty important, and not at all related to whether or not he is Muslim, or Jeremiah Wright is racist, or Bill Ayers a murderer.

  • kentatwater

    Anti-coloniatlist[sic]? Really?

    Yes, really. But that observation doesn't come from any of your standard "cutlic" boogie men. That observation comes from one Dinesh D’Souza.

    Given the massive racial chip that appears to be on your shoulder, I suppose we will soon be treated to the "Uncle Tom"-equivalent epithet reserved for those of Indian descent. Not being a racial demagogue myself, I don't know what this gem will be. I don't keep up with the latest rap.

  • Steeloak

    And for Obamatrons like you, no amount of truth and facts will ever dim the golden aura of your idol. That leaves an intelligent person to draw one of two inferences.

    1. You are easily fooled by propaganda.
    2. You are completely aware of who he is & support his Marxist agenda.

  • kentatwater

    Yeah. Now that you googled his name, and read up on his latest book, it's time to pull out the tired old bromide that he doesn't like Hussein, because he's dumb and racist. Can I call them, or what?

    [B]ecause now you're implying that I'm black.

    Oh really? Where did I do that? Racists come in all colors. Some of the most tiresome feminists are male.

  • intrcptr2

    Nor is the CIA being paid to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ; you know, the one of peace and reconciliation.

    And blowback has nothing to do with Third World, Cold War policies, as much as employing former Nazis against the Soviet Union.

  • Steeloak

    Not consiracy theories friend, just the documented facts.

    Obama was trained in the Alinsky method to be a community organizer, since Alinsky was a Marxist, the inference is clear that Obama is as well. He later taught the same methods to others. Here's a link for you to an articel on, hardly a right-wing cult website:
    Anti-Colonialist come from his father, as documented in "Dreams from My Father" as documented in this article in the Washington Post:

  • Steeloak

    Since Derrick Bell invented "Critical Race Theory" and Obama was his student and admirer, one can logically assume that he accepts Bell's theories & is a proponent of same. Here is a link to an article on Yahoo about an interview with Thomas Sowell on the subject:

    Black Liberation Theology – He sat in Reverend Wright's church for 20 years, was married by Rev. Wright, and called Rev. Wright his friend. What did Reverend Wright Preach? You got it, Black Liberation Theology.

  • Steeloak

    As far as the Muslim stuff – he did attend Muslim school in Indonesia & his step-father was Muslim so he is very familiar with that faith. He sat in Rev. Wrights church for 20 years, so it is silly to think he didn't know what was being preached there. His easy denial & rejection of Rev. Wright leads to several logical conclusions. 1. Knowing full well what was preached there, if he sat there 20 years, it means either he believed in the message & his public repudiation of it was a lie. or 2. He did not believe in the message being preached and was there for other reasons, like establishing himself in the Black Community in Chicago for political purposes. This second reason leaves open the possibility of him being a Muslim practicing Taquiya, although that is not my belief – I lean towards him just being sympathetic due to his childhood.

    So, no conspiracy theories my friend, just established facts. I didn't even need to reference Fox news or FPM or any right-wing bloggers to do it. Better luck next time!

  • Drew

    "By any reasonable measure Obama is a centrist."

    Well, by his congressional voting record Obama was the leftmost Senator and he's only gotten worse now. So by "reasonable measure" you must mean a leninist-stalinist yardstick?