Patterico's Pontifications

3/10/2012

Was Soledad O’Brien Lying or Just Ignorant? Her Claims Are Undermined by the Words of . . . Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:17 pm

In assessing the significance of Barack Obama’s embrace, literally and figuratively, of Derrick Bell, we first have to clear away the misrepresentations from the media about what Critical Race Theory is, and Derrick Bell’s importance to that way of thinking.

As for the media misrepresentations, let’s recall Soledad O’Brien lecturing Joel Pollak on what critical race theory is:

Can we get a transcript of the critical part, please, Patterico? Why certainly:

POLLAK: Derrick Bell is the Jeremiah Wright of academia. He passed away last year, but during his lifetime, he developed a theory called Critical Race Theory, which holds that the civil rights movement was a sham, and that white supremacy is the order, and it must be overthrown.

SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: That is a complete misreading. I’ll stop you there for a second, and then I’m going to let you continue, but that is a complete misreading of Critical Race Theory.

So who’s right? Does Critical Race Theory hold that the civil rights movement was a sham; that white supremacy is the order of the day; and that it must be overthrown?

Don’t ask me. Ask Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, appointed by President Barack Obama. If Kagan backs up Pollak on this, would you find that convincing?

Well, John Sexton researched Kagan’s lecture notes from a 1993 lecture she gave about critical race theory. Sexton — a new member of the Breitbart team! congratulations, John! — has published his findings at Big Government. The following are Kagan’s own words:

Derrick Bell as examplar: Now Derrick Bell’s writing illustrates each of these four aspects of critical race theory. He believes that racism is a pervasive– and a permanent –aspect of American society. Read 1. He believes that the legal system is a means of promoting a system of racial subordination–even, or perhaps especially, when it makes claims to objectivity and neutrality. Read 2. He is deeply critical of the strategies and goals of the traditional civil rights movement–of which he used to be a part.

Let’s take those point by point. Again, these are quotes from Kagan.

On Critical Race Theory seeing the civil rights movement as a sham:

Critical of civil rights strategies: Third, CRT [Critical Race Theory] generally is extremely critical of the activity — the strategy and even the goals — of the traditional civil rights movement. The thinking here is that the traditional civil rights movement believed that all that needed to be done was to make the laws neutral— to end legal segregation in the schools, for example — in order to achieve racial equality in America. But such reforms, critical race theorists say, were ineffectual, and necessarily so — because they ignored the way even neutral laws could effect racial subordination. In addition, it might be said that critical race theorists see the civil rights movement as too “reformist,” too “gradualist,” not sufficiently committed to the broad-scale social transformations necessary to achieve racial equality.

On Critical Race Theory and its belief that white supremacy is the order of the day:

What most critical race theorists believe is that law, in a variety of ways, works to maintain the subordination of members of minority groups.

. . . .

“Neutral” law as mechanism of racial subordination: Second, CRT attempts to show that the claims of the legal system to neutrality, to impartiality, and to objectivity are false claims. CRT attempts to show that the law — even when it seems neutral and even-handed — in fact works in the interest of dominant groups in American society and particularly in the interest of dominant racial groups. CRT attempts to show that the so-called “logic of the law,” that so-called “neutral principles” are a sort of cover for a deeply ingrained system of racial domination.

On Critical Race Theory and the belief that the existing system of white supremacy must be overthrown:

And what most critical race theorists believe is that the achievement of racial justice in this country, if possible at all, will require not merely the more even-handed application of current laws — that will do less than nothing – but a root and branch transformation of the legal system.

On every point, Kagan’s characterization of Critical Race Theory supports Pollak’s point of view. On every single point.

Open up your hearts and your minds to the words of Derrick Bell! And gimme a hug!

So when Soledad O’Brien claimed that Joel’s completely accurate characterization is a complete misreading, we have to ask: Was Soledad O’Brien lying? Or just utterly ignorant?

Either way, you can’t trust CNN on this issue. Want further evidence? Check this puff piece at CNN.com, continuing the CNN/Soledad O’Brien theme about how wonderful Derrick Bell was; how Pollak’s characterization of Critical Race Theory was supposedly a distortion; and so forth. The title? “Obama’s Harvard law professor challenged U.S. racism.”

Well, good for him!

WHAT DOES CNN NOT TELL YOU? Some of the more recent revelations about Bell appearing at www.Breitbart.com don’t appear in CNN’s puff piece. For example, here is Bell praising Louis Farrakhan as a “great hero for the people” (although he throws in the obligatory “I don’t agree with everything he says” line):

(Clip from Breitbart TV.)

John Podhoretz in Commentary:

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.

I don’t think we should let Khalid Muhammad off quite this easily. Saying that Jews’ “father was the devil” does not quite capture the full extent of Muhammad’s depraved view of the world. Let’s look at a famous speech of his in which he advocates killing every white man, woman, and child in South Africa, to the cheers of the crowd:

It’s a short clip and worth your time. Here is a partial transcript:

We kill the men. We kill the women. We kill the children. We kill the babies. We kill the blind. We kill the crippled. We kill the crazy. We kill the faggots. We kill the lesbians. I said, God damn it, we kill ’em all!

We need to appreciate men like that while we’ve got them, eh, Professor Bell. Eh, President Obama?

It’s worth noting that this speech was originally made in late 1993, while Bell’s praise came in 1994. Meaning that when Bell said we needed to “appreciate” Muhammad, Muhammad had already given a famous speech advocating killing women and children in South Africa.

Here, Derrick Bell opines that he is not sure blacks and whites will ever get along:

(Clip from Breitbart TV.)

It is a legitimate question to ask Barack Obama, who told a crowd at Harvard Law School to open their minds to the words of Derrick Bell, whether these are the sorts of ideas he meant.

Now gimme a hug!

97 Responses to “Was Soledad O’Brien Lying or Just Ignorant? Her Claims Are Undermined by the Words of . . . Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan”

  1. Racists

    Patterico (feda6b)

  2. I think she would have lied but she got tripped up on her own smug CNN propaganda whore ignorance

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  3. Does Kagan anywhere embrace, adopt, or endorse critical race studies?

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  4. Of course Soledad was ignorant and obnoxious about the whole thing. I just don’t think her fanbase would agree, because they’re ignorant an obnoxious and need her leadership (and perky smile every morning.)

    koam @wittier (88a9fd)

  5. Obama embraced noted anti-semite Derrick Bell. He hugged him tightly, like he was the father he never had, letting go only reluctantly, so that Mr. Derrick could carry on his righteous fight against endemic institutionalized white supremacy at Harvard, which was where Obama chose to go to school

    I saw it on youtube

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  6. Does Kagan anywhere embrace, adopt, or endorse critical race studies?

    It’s not clear from the notes. But I think the question is potentially distracting. Kagan is already on the court, and the attack is not on her at this point.

    The attack is on the media.

    The focus, at least for me, is the way the media a) refused to address these legitimate issues in the 2008 election, and b) provably distorts the issue when it is brought up by the New Media in the 2012 election.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  7. And while people mock the significance of the hug, which had been edited out of the Frontline special, we are told, that hug makes it a little tougher to portray Obama’s speech the way Beldar tried to in the last thread: as Obama simply being “polite” to Bell.

    Well, the hug and the “open your hearts and minds to his words” phrase shows it’s more than mere courtesy we’re talking about. It’s support.

    So the question is: what about Professor Bell’s words did you want people to open their minds to, President Obama?

    That question, if posed by a clueless Big Media flunky, is an invitation for Obama to issue generic platitudes about the Good and Wise Professor.

    But you arm someone with the details, and let them go after him with the specifics such as the ones mentioned in this post, and you will see that it is not an irrelevant exercise then.

    Will Mitt Romney be willing to master those details and throw them in Barack Obama’s face? I confess I am skeptical. But it is not totally impossible that SOMEONE could between now and the election.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  8. Barack Obama: “White Folk’s Greed Runs a World In Need.”

    http://youtu.be/wFNQBTOVF4o

    Hube (7f1cda)

  9. Soledad cannot lie. To tell a lie means that the teller knows the truth. Since having actual knowledge of facts is not a job enhancer for main stream media types, they do their best to avoid any real knowledge.

    Michael M. Keohane (79d595)

  10. I used to really like Obama, as many of you may remember. When the Wright stuff came out, though, I started to see that for a man who talked about walking a path in the middle, he chose a church that was decidedly not middle-ish. I told my husband it made me lose some respect for Obama. My husband said, “Yeah, but you don’t think Obama thinks like Wright does, do you?”
    It’s been very important to create a picture of Obama being thrown in with a bunch of really radical people, but walking through them untouched by their ideas. (The Bridge was big on this idea). How many people can you surround yourself with, and offer generic platitudes about, before we can start to think these are the ideas Obama *enjoys*?

    Or do we think Obama is an outside observer to everything? Completely detached from any point of view, just floating around seeking power for power’s sake?

    MayBee (081489)

  11. Obama’s wife thought America is just a downright mean country. Do we think she and Barack never sat around and talked about that?

    MayBee (081489)

  12. I think Obama actively hates the America what was an engine of freedom and prosperity.

    He hates it as only a child whose parents never loved him can hate, which is quite hatefully indeed.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  13. I have never been proud of Harvard and its professors in my adult life.

    Still ain’t.

    Ed from SFV (c11180)

  14. Can I go all Bill Maher on Soledad O’Brien and call her an ignorant [fill in the derogatory term from Maher’s wide inventory of same]?

    Comanche Voter (0e06a9)

  15. I’m starting to think I buried the lede on this one. Should I have emphasized the Khalid Muhammad video in its own post?

    Patterico (feda6b)

  16. Patterico – You are acting like a typical white person.

    Gimme a hug.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  17. I think the last portion of your post that begins “It’s a short clip and worth your time” should be repeated in a separate post. It might be missed and it’s too important to be missed.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  18. Either that or bury it under a “More” tag, so it pops up as soon as readers click “More.”

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  19. Patterico, I commend you and Mr. Sexton for your work in demonstrating that on this occasion (as on many others), Soledad O’Brien was badly wrong about critical race theory, and Mr. Pollak’s description of it was accurate. This post works as an attack on media bias and ignorance. Indeed, you’ve taken a howitzer to a goldfish in a Dixie cup, but I enjoy big explosions as much as the next movie or politics fan, so I don’t fault you for that at all.

    I don’t see this as having any direct use in the effort to defeat Obama. I don’t think this proves any meaningful ties between Bell and Kagan, much less Bell and Obama. And I don’t agree at all that it would be productive for any of the GOP candidates, or for the eventual GOP nominee, to make a big deal about Bell or critical race theory — at least not on the basis of anything that’s been released or discussed in the last week. Instead, I believe that would be a nonproductive effort with non-trivial opportunity costs.

    But I hasten to repeat, that’s just my opinion, and your mileage may vary. Thanks for your courtesy and candor, both of which I genuinely value.

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  20. ____________________________________________

    I used to really like Obama, as many of you may remember.

    Other than the clearly defined liberals on this board, I don’t recall anyone saying they liked Obama. Then again, I don’t remember spending much time in 2008 other than assessing the pros and cons of Sarah Palin and, to a lesser extent, John McCain. That’s because when it comes to the traits of almost any politician vetted through the Democrat Party, it’s a given to me that he or she will be a staunch liberal. So the innate leftism of Obama was not in any doubt. His close affiliation with Jeremiah Wright merely verified the extent of his radicalism.

    Beyond the politics, I will say that from a standpoint of persona — referring to the totally superficial traits that make salesmen of used cars or aluminum siding so successful worldwide — Obama does have a likeable quality. So I can understand various voters, regardless of their partisanship, giving props to Obama for that. But his truly leftist slant and history were never in doubt to me.

    Mark (31bbb6)

  21. DRJ:

    I think I will do that.

    Beldar:

    Does the Muhammad clip not suggest a significance to Bell?

    Patterico (83dc83)

  22. FWIW, I think the KM vid should definitely be more prominently displayed. The hatred is quite shocking. Separate post methinks…

    Gazzer (e2430b)

  23. Does Kagan anywhere embrace, adopt, or endorse critical race studies?
    Comment by Beldar — 3/10/2012 @ 12:23

    — That isn’t anywhere close to the point.

    Icy (e8e97a)

  24. I’m reminded of Julia Roberts character in Flatliners: “you withheld information, that’s the same as lying.” Yeah, Soledad was lying.

    The funny thing is, I don’t think she should be fired for lying. She should be fired for being clueless and relying on Wiki for “information.”

    And that blithering racebaiter should probably only comment on culinary arts. “I’m not calling you a racist, I’m judging you by the color of your skin.” Oh, so then you admit YOU’RE the racist.

    This clip should be enough to destroy both their careers. And by destroy, I mean promoted.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  25. Beldar:

    I don’t think this proves any meaningful ties between Bell and Kagan, much less Bell and Obama. And I don’t agree at all that it would be productive for any of the GOP candidates, or for the eventual GOP nominee, to make a big deal about Bell or critical race theory — at least not on the basis of anything that’s been released or discussed in the last week.

    Fair enough, but I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to throw it out. It’s also the decision McCain made and look where it got him.

    Furthermore, the point isn’t to prove a tie between Kagan and Bell. Her words are proof that even hand-picked Obama Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan admits what Critical Race Theory means, and it isn’t mainstream. Iit’s a theory that claims America is deeply racist in a “pervasive and permanent way,” and it can only be fixed with “a root and branch transformation of the legal system.”

    Bell espoused this theory, and Obama counseled his classmates to “Open your hearts and open your minds to the words of Prof. Derrick Bell.” And now, after 4 years of Obama undermining the rule of law repeatedly, I think this information will resonate with the American people in a way it couldn’t in 2008.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  26. “Does the Muhammad clip not suggest a significance to Bell?” I’m sorry, I don’t understand this question. Can you rephrase it, please?

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  27. Beldar – Breitbart’s theory was that the media must be attacked to impact its legitimacy. If the media loses that, its power to corruptly skew results will be significantly impacted.

    This is a particularly wonderful example where a big media lie can be objectively proven. It is delicious that the proof comes from a BHO lackey herself.

    Ed from SFV (c11180)

  28. If you evaluate Obama’s ACTIONS as President, in light of Critical Race Theory, his extra-constitutional behaviors make sense – and bode ill for the country if he is re-elected. Combine the theories of Derek Bell, Cloward and Piven and Ayers and Dorhn and you have the Obama modus operandi.

    If you haven’t done so, watch both of the interviews with Dr. Thomas Sowell about Derek Bell- one from the 90’s and one from Friday night on Hannity. Sowell’s explanation of Derek Bell and his “work” is essential to understanding HOW Bell came up with his “theories” and what THEY MEAN FOR THE CONSTITUTION AND THE RULE OF LAW.

    TexasMom (02d02a)

  29. in light of Critical Race Theory we’re talking about someone who tarred his own grandmother as a racist after she took him in after his momma didn’t want him

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  30. Here’s a Breitbart.com link to the Sowell interview on Hannity that TexasMom mentioned. There are other Bell excerpts linked underneath the video, such as Bell: “I Live to Harass White Folks” and Bell Answers Rodney King: “No, We Will Never Get Along.”

    Now remember Obama’s words: “Open your hearts and open your minds to the words of Prof. Derrick Bell.”

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  31. “Kill ’em a-goddamn-gain!”

    Icy (e8e97a)

  32. Wright was also close to Farakhan, no? And to Qaddafi. I remember a teeth-pulling episode during one of the debates where Obama finally kind of condemned something Farakhan said.

    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.

    This is more or less what one of Obama’s ambassadors said last year, but about Muslims’ reasons for hating the Jews.

    MayBee (081489)

  33. Patterico–my opinion only, but I think you need to simplify the way you lay out the case. Not dumb down–but simplify. Maybe do separate “getting to know you” bullet point bio introductions accompanied by a short eye opening “classic video” clip example of them in action for each one of these characters you are profiling. Then, tie it together in a post as you always do so effectively. Besides this important post for your own regular readers here you also want this linked elsewhere, right? And to be understood clearly by all who see it, right? Be careful not to assume everybody is as immersed in this stuff as you.

    Yesterday somebody made a comment that really hit home with me even though it should already have been obvious. They said, if one of the presidential candidates was videoed at one time hugging David Duke and asking support for him, it only counts as a gotcha if the viewer already knows who David Duke is and why *any* association with him by any president of the US would be suspect and very very bad. Otherwise it’s just two guys sharing an innocent man hug.

    elissa (b47460)

  34. DRJ, if Obama could be pinned down on this, which is very unlikely (and I agree that’s sad, but it’s true), he would doubtless say that his “open your hearts and minds” comment was nothing more than a plea to the people at the rally to consider Bell’s views fairly and in context, free from either emotional or intellectual preconceptions.

    As he would have it, the future president of the United States was merely asking those people to be fair. “You’re against fairness? Ah, you must be a Republican!” he would say, laughing.

    Everyone in his base will laugh with him. Most independents will think he got the better of the argument. If there’s a net change in votes in 2012 as a result, it’s just as likely that they’d be backlash votes coming to Obama.

    You — and it should not surprise you to hear — I both believe that Obama meant more than “be fair” when he introduced Bell. But that’s our inference, not something that can be proved from Obama’s own words. The people already inclined to draw that inference along with you and me are the ones who already plan to vote, again, against Obama.

    Guilt by association is a hard argument to pull off. The associations have to be very powerful, and different people have different views about what’s powerful enough. Those who would be impressed by this association at the rally, or by Obama assigning Bell’s writings to his seminar students at Chicago, were convinced long ago. But this is not the type or quality of even circumstantial evidence that will persuade much of anyone else.

    But I’m repeating myself. So are we all.

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  35. We kill the men. We kill the women. We kill the children. We kill the babies. We kill the blind. We kill the crippled. We kill the crazy. We kill the faggots. We kill the lesbians. I said, God damn it, we kill ‘em all!

    or, now just hear me out Mr. khalid, ok yes let’s practice our active listening skills… ok good boy… ok… instead of all the killy killing what we might could do is… make a deal with spacemens to take em off our hands! Pretty cool, huh? No muss no fuss.

    You in?

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  36. 12.I think Obama actively hates the America what was an engine of freedom and prosperity.

    I agree with happyfeet about Obama’s opinion of the US but Obama is not only reflecting the opinion of D. Bell but of most white liberals who voted for him in 2008 and who will do so again in 2012. They too, hold the US and their fellow whites in very low regard.

    IMO Bell’s target audience is not other blacks or minorities, it is white liberals that he is attempting to sway (whose numbers, votes and money greatly dwarf that of blacks, etc.) and he has done that very effectively through the opinions of mouthpieces like S. O’Brien and by having his theory seriously discussed by the likes of Kagan.

    Ipso Fatso (7434b9)

  37. A last request: Patterico, when I summarize what I believe lefties would say about, for example, Obama hugging Bell at the rally, please stop imputing such statements to me. If you have any doubt about my own views, all you need do is ask. I don’t think Obama was just being polite; I’m saying he and his supporters will claim that’s all it was, and I’m saying you don’t (yet) have any persuasive evidence to directly rebut that.

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  38. haters gotta hate
    where the alligators roam
    haters be hatin’

    Colonel Haiku (dbf60a)

  39. ooh Mr. khalid then after we make the deal with the spacemens we can go to Auntie Annie’s in the mall and get some tasty cinnamon sugar pretzel nuggets and go get some cinnabon icing to dip them in

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  40. colonel workin’ on
    badass imitation of
    the way barry speaks

    Colonel Haiku (dbf60a)

  41. How many of these associations need to be shown before a pattern emerges?

    JD (318f81)

  42. vetting will include
    all of barry’s promises
    and evil he’s done

    Colonel Haiku (dbf60a)

  43. Good post. My apologies to Oprah. =)

    Now, make way for the concern trolls.

    [Concern Troll: A person who posts on a blog thread, in the guise of “concern,” to disrupt dialogue or undermine morale by pointing out that posters and/or the site may be getting themselves in trouble, usually with an authority or power. They point out problems that don’t really exist. The intent is to derail, stifle, control, the dialogue. It is viewed as insincere and condescending.]

    Noodles (3681c4)

  44. Beldar,

    Is it possible you are so used to laying out a case in elaborate and comprehensive detail — for instance, in a brief or other pleading — that you can’t get comfortable with a piecemeal approach? I think Breitbart knew that many people learn visually and in bits, especially people for whom politics isn’t their top concern. In fact, we’re all a little ADHD in today’s electronic world, and as a result we absorb some things simply because we’ve been bombarded with them.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  45. Noodles,

    I’m the one who brought up Oprah, not you. My apologies, as well.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  46. I isolated the Muhammad speech here.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  47. I withdraw my last comment, Beldar. I know you are an expert at building cases bit-by-bit. I guess I’m just perplexed and struggling with why you are so certain this information won’t convince anyone.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  48. DRJ, That is who I thought it was. I figured she is a well known Obama supporter, lots of tapes of her, went to the same church etc.

    Noodles (3681c4)

  49. I noted to a truly wise woman earlier, that it is annoying when the MFM and Dems refuse to cover, lie about, or minimize a story. It is doubly so when people who are ostensibly on our team do so.

    Show of hands – who here has held a political fundraiser in the living room of a domestic terrorist? Who here has sat through Sunday sermons for 20 years where you were preached to about chickens coming home to roost, and goddam America

    JD (318f81)

  50. Who here has had his adult life sponsored, to the point of getting help buying your house, by a slumlord felon?

    MayBee (081489)

  51. Ralph’s gave me a voucher for $21 I have to use before April

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  52. Those who feel that there is nothing to the video uncovered by Breitbart.com, and that it tells us nothing different than the Jerimiah Wright revelations , are sorely mistaken.
    While we are able to put President Obama in the pew of Reverand Wright’s church, somehow he was able to ( with a straight face) assert that he never heard the Rev. Wright’s sermons…and, the President was forced to distance himself from Rev. Wright.
    And of course, Bill Ayers was just a guy in the neighborhood….
    However, as the tape from the President’s Harvard years indicates, the President, when he was 30 years old spoke on behalf of Derrick Bell- exhorting those listening to open their hearts and minds to his (Derrick Bell’s)words. And,the hug demonstrates affection they had for each other.
    As a law professor,Obama made Derrick Bell’s ideas assigned reading.
    As President, he received Derrick Bell at the White House on several occasions.
    President Obama knew this mans ideology.He promoted it as a teacher.He welcomed it in the White House.
    He cannot distance himself from this one as he tried to do with Wright, Dorn, Ayers, et al.
    Thank you Breitbart.

    jmh (e35c7d)

  53. Rezko never got the attention it deserved either. It’s all there on that one. Corruption 101.

    Noodles (3681c4)

  54. Who here married someone that had never been proud of America until Barcky got the Dem nomination?

    JD (318f81)

  55. jmh- the WH says that was not this Derek Bell, that it was a man there on a tour.
    I suppose it’s possible the WH told Bell to check in with a tour group so he didn’t get noticed as a visitor, but there’s no way to know.

    MayBee (081489)

  56. A last request: Patterico, when I summarize what I believe lefties would say about, for example, Obama hugging Bell at the rally, please stop imputing such statements to me. If you have any doubt about my own views, all you need do is ask. I don’t think Obama was just being polite; I’m saying he and his supporters will claim that’s all it was, and I’m saying you don’t (yet) have any persuasive evidence to directly rebut that.

    Here’s your comment I was referencing:

    You say there’s lots of time until the election. That means Obama still needs lots of red herring issues to serve as distractions. Republicans are stealing your lady-parts! Racist Republicans are trying to smear Obama just because he was polite to a controversial faculty member at his law school! Bill Ayers practically admitted ghost-writing “Dreams From My Father”! Hey, look, a squirrel!

    I’ll accept your characterization of this as merely setting forth the arguments leftists will make. However, you are now arguing that their characterization has no persuasive evidence to the contrary. I repeat, however, that the hug and the quote make that leftist argument untenable, in my opinion.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  57. They tried the same thing with some others previously. It says much about the MFM that they just accept such deceit and move on when it comes from Teh One.

    JD (318f81)

  58. Now we’re to the point of ad hominem attacks, again. Past time for me to exit the discussion.

    My thanks, again, to our host, to my dear friend DRJ, and to those who’ve participated in what I intended and hoped to be a good-faith discussion among allies resolved to defeat Obama. But I’m not going to waste any breath defending myself here from charges of being insincere or some sort of troll, and I refuse to trade ad hominem barbs.

    If I have more to say on these topics, I’ll say it on my blog.

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  59. Now we’re to the point of ad hominem attacks, again.

    We are???

    Where?

    Patterico (feda6b)

  60. I just looked at all the comments between Beldar’s previous comment and the one where he claimed to be a victim of ad hominem attacks. I could not find the ad hominem attacks. I saw a very mild one from DRJ that she withdrew immediately. Other than that, nothing.

    Help a brother out?

    Patterico (feda6b)

  61. He’s saying I called him a concern troll. But I am not necessarily saying he is doing it to troll but as a way of argument.

    Noodles (3681c4)

  62. “Does the Muhammad clip not suggest a significance to Bell?” I’m sorry, I don’t understand this question. Can you rephrase it, please?

    Sorry, I was typing hurriedly and not expressing myself very well. You seem to be discounting the significance of Obama’s ties to Bell. I am wondering if Bell’s praise for Khalid Muhammad, in light of the hateful things Muhammad said, endow the Bell issue with any greater significance in your mind.

    I sort of assume you will say no, but I would like to see an explanation why not.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  63. He’s saying I called him a concern troll. But I am not necessarily saying he is doing it to troll but as a way of argument.

    Oh. I didn’t even understand that as a comment directed at him. But I guess you’re admitting it was, which is probably why he understood it that way.

    Beldar, I don’t see why one mild comment like that chases you off when there are several of us here who want to discuss the substantive issues with you.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  64. elissa,

    Does my new post do any better job of tying this together?

    Granted, I don’t want to re-tell the whole Derrick Bell thing over and over, so maybe not.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  65. To clarify: I took no offense whatsoever at anything DRJ has said in this thread or any other recent ones, and I trust our mutual regard is far too deep to be much disturbed even on the rare occasions when, as here, we disagree. She had nothing to withdraw or retract or apologize for as far as I’m concerned, and she’d have to work a lot harder at offending me. The same is true of our host.

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  66. If it helps at all I will offer an apology to Beldar. I meant nothing personal by my comment but I do view your argument as passive aggressive and flawed.

    Your argument seems more like a criticism of Breitbart’s editors and assumes they hold the keys to the election and public debate in general.

    Noodles (3681c4)

  67. Something weird’s going on here, Beldar, that frankly I think many of us can’t quite figure out. A short hiatus may be a good idea. Whenever the story becomes more about personalties and their feelings than about the story itself it’s never good, and is kind of unfair to other readers. Peace.

    elissa (b47460)

  68. Our host asked, “I am wondering if Bell’s praise for Khalid Muhammad, in light of the hateful things Muhammad said, endow the Bell issue with any greater significance in your mind.”

    No, Bell’s praise for Muhammad reinforces the view I’ve held since the late 1970s that Bell was a nasty piece of work. Bell’s praise for Muhammad does nothing to strengthen Obama’s connections to Bell, whether they’re provably strong (as your opinion holds, if I understand you correctly) or quite weak (which I my own subjective evaluation). Bell is dead. He was never very smart or very influential. Obama is alive and is driving us off a cliff. I’d rather focus on Obama, and I think Bell is a distraction for purposes of the 2012 campaign, unworthy of the effort and attention being paid to him and unlikely to change any votes.

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  69. (And I thought I had said all that before, twice or three times, in various shades and phases.)

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  70. Beldar:

    I trust our mutual regard is far too deep to be much disturbed even on the rare occasions when, as here, we disagree.

    Absolutely, and I’m trying to change the tone of my comments. I’m not interested in arguing for my position anymore. I really do want to understand why you think this subject won’t resonate and may even be counterproductive. Thank you for making one last attempt.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  71. If O’Brien was just a tad more ignorant, she would qualify for employment at MSNBC.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ced41f)

  72. If I were to speculate, in fact, I would very, very much doubt that Obama privately viewed Bell as any sort of “hero.” By the time Bell was at Harvard, he was already at least as much a disgrace as a credit to that school, even as viewed by liberals. If Obama learned anything from Bell, it was to be more slippery and vague than Bell had been, and to do a better job of dressing radical ideas up in more plausible and less obviously racist rhetoric.

    I suspect that Obama thinks himself at least ten times smarter and a thousand times more influential than Bell, and on that much, he’s probably (and unfortunately) right.

    Bell is a nothing-burger in the big picture. While he was alive, though, he was a huge attention-hound, and he’d be thrilled with the implied importance this discussion accords to him.

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  73. “let’s recall Soledad O’Brien lecturing Joel Pollak on what critical race theory is:”

    Let’s not.

    Like most jokes, it’s only funny once.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  74. Beldar,

    I think you believe that Obama, the media and the public will treat this as routine. So what if Obama spoke politely toward an older Harvard professor? Obama is prone to grandiloquent speeches so “Who cares about this?”, you might respond.

    You may also be saying that Bell wasn’t an important or highly regarded scholar, so it isn’t productive to try to tie Obama to him without something more substantial than a public introduction almost 20 years ago.

    Is that a fair statement of your position? Have I missed something?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  75. ==If I were to speculate, in fact, I would very, very much doubt that Obama privately viewed Bell as any sort of “hero.” By the time Bell was at Harvard, he was already at least as much a disgrace as a credit ==

    Then why the heck was he involved as a speaker at the Bell rally? Did somebody take advantage of Obama and use him? Was he forced i.e., was there a gun to Barack Obama’s head while he introduced Bell, hugged him, and asked people to open their minds to him?

    elissa (b47460)

  76. Comment by jmh — 3/10/2012 @ 2:37 pm

    But most knew then, and most everyone now, knew that he was fudging those connections. They knew the connections and either minimized or overlooked them or secretly valued them.

    I don’t think there are many ardent Obama supporters who didn’t play that game.

    Driving the country off a cliff wold seem to be sufficient reason to ditch Obama – and there are perhaps some low voters with enough regret to pin a change of heart on O’s background. But those people cannot be any large number.

    I’m happy for any ding to ding Obama. Bring it one. A vote switched or vote gained is valuable. If there is nothing more, there’s not much hope the connection will do Obama damage.

    If there is a real web of interconnectedness, and Obama is somewhere supporting or espousing genocide, well… that would be different.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  77. DRW – why might this backfire?

    The liberal BuzzFeed did a summary of Bell videos here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/meet-derrick-bell

    I didn’t watch them all, but it doesn’t look like BuzzFeed selected moderate clips. Rather, it’s the full-on Bell with the opinions we know he held.

    The point, though, is the comments. Take a look at what people have to say about Bell. In a nutshell:

    1) He’s goddamn right.

    “Where’s the controversy? I watched all the videos, all I got was an intellectual speaking about about the law and his experiences. This is it? FAIL.”

    2) See, the Breitbart gang is racist, just like we knew they were, for using Bell’s quotes to attack Obama.

    “Sigh… This whole faux controversy just proves what Derrick Bell said was right. Racism is still alive in this country. The right wing has nothing of substance here. They are just trying to portray Obama as a scary black man again. And now they are going to take Derrick Bell and try to make him a scary black man in order to hurt the president. We should call this for what it is – racism.

    If the President had somehow marched with Dr. King the Breitbarts of the world would be digging up video of King and trying to portray him as as scary black man.

    It’s sad that in 2012 we still have to be subject to this crap.”

    koam @wittier (88a9fd)

  78. Some libs reject the controversy, ergo there is nothing to it.

    Also the racisms of the Breitbarts.

    I’m convinced.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  79. “Some libs reject the controversy, ergo there is nothing to it.”

    Patterico – Same people probably say ObamaCare is great and Barack is doing a fine job with the mess Bush left him.

    You’re right, nothing to see.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  80. Patterico – Same people probably say ObamaCare is great and Barack is doing a fine job with the mess Bush left him.

    “If someone doesn’t already understand that the economy is bad, I don’t see how talking about it more will convince them.”

    Doesn’t that statement apply similar logic to what we’re hearing?

    Patterico (feda6b)

  81. Yes. I think another analogy might be:

    “Unemployment and the economy are America’s most important issues so we shouldn’t talk about [ObamaCare, social issues, Obama’s character, ________] because it would be too distracting.”

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  82. This stuff and the MSM reaction to it needs to be part of an effort to show how Obama’s past radicalism and association with far-left lunatics informed his thinking and his politics and are why he has damn near ruined the economy, facilitated mass unemployment/under-employment, caused widespread hardship, insulted our allies, emboldened our enemies, caused gasoline prices to skyrocket, etc.

    Colonel Haiku (28008a)

  83. Always trust content comments from Buzzfeed.

    elissa (b47460)

  84. It’s hard to take the Buzzfeed comments seriously. One of those alleges racism with far less justification than the story she’s complaining about has shown.

    A lot of those comments seem like kneejerk groupthink. I suspect some website sent a lot of followers there to offer the ‘ha, this is nothing, racist’ meme.

    Someone should ask Obama if he thinks Critical Race Theory is racist, and if he agrees with it.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  85. DRJ, I appreciate your effort, but your attempt (#74 — 3/10/2012 @ 4:22 pm) to summarize what you perceive as my position is not very close at all to what I’ve tried to say.

    My main point is, and has been, that this is not very impressive evidence of meaningful ties between Obama and Bell; that it’s far less impressive or weighty “guilt by association” fodder than what was revealed in 2007-2008 about Rezko, Wright, and Ayers, and that any voters who weren’t convinced by that certainly aren’t going to be convinced now by this; and that there are risks to overplaying the significance of this video (an example of that being to claim that it was “hidden,” notwithstanding Ogletree’s so-called admission).

    My secondary point is this: Current evidence, or far more impressive historical evidence, relating to Obama’s character and values is still very important (e.g., evidence of his politicization of the DoJ and his race-related policies there); but this evidence from 1992, which I think has very little probative value, is merely a distraction from other more current and important issues, a distraction that Obama in fact welcomes.

    That’s as succinct a summary as I can give.

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  86. it’s far less impressive or weighty “guilt by association” fodder than what was revealed in 2007-2008 about Rezko, Wright, and Ayers

    That’s probably right.

    [This Bell association] is merely a distraction from other more current and important issues,

    That’s also a very good point. I’m not sure this was aimed directly at Obama so much as the MSM that covered for him (though I admit it was promoted as aimed at Obama). I hope there’s time for both a re-discussing of Ayers, Wright and the other kooks as well as a discussion of the practical effects on our lives of Obama’s handling of the government.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  87. My main point is, and has been, that this is not very impressive evidence of meaningful ties between Obama and Bell; that it’s far less impressive or weighty “guilt by association” fodder than what was revealed in 2007-2008 about Rezko, Wright, and Ayers, and that any voters who weren’t convinced by that certainly aren’t going to be convinced now by this

    In my own less rigorous way, I tried to make the same points on the other thread:

    I don’t think Obama wants racially-based genocide of half his own genetic stock. And you’re talking about “a friend of a friend”, not even one of Obama’s friends. As much as I don’t like Obama, this isn’t moving the needle much for me.

    Obama’s direct associations with terrorists/Pentagon bombers/Chicago-cop murderers, the Ayers’, and, to a lesser degree, his radical church attendance, bother me.

    He had a loony racialist professor friend. Meh.

    I mean what black Chicago university intellectual involved in the Wright church wouldn’t?

    I’d say this is pretty much already priced in.

    Random (38d59c)

  88. If you want to talk about dangerous Harvard radical leftists actually affecting the real world, don’t look at Bell. Look at Larry Tribe, Cass Sunstein, and their newly life-tenured acolyte at 1 First Street N.E. (a/k/a the Supreme Court Building).

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  89. (Meaning Kagan, sorry, that may have been too obscure.)

    Beldar (bdfdef)

  90. ““If someone doesn’t already understand that the economy is bad, I don’t see how talking about it more will convince them.”

    Doesn’t that statement apply similar logic to what we’re hearing?”

    Patterico – That logic does have a familiar ring to it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  91. That is true, you know it’s quite frightening that we have a crew in charge, that disproves Justice Jackson, the constitution is a suicide pact.

    narciso (87e966)

  92. I don’t know how the Breitbart story will turn out but politics is often unpredictable, which is why it’s much easier to understand election results in hindsight rather than in advance. Nevertheless, I still don’t see why it would be counterproductive to pursue and publish information like this about Obama, his associates, and the media.

    But I’m through disagreeing and being disagreeable on this topic, and best wishes to all.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  93. DRJ–I have enjoyed reading your many well constructed comments, thoughtful opinions, and pertinent question related to this topic.

    elissa (b47460)

  94. questions I mean

    elissa (b47460)

  95. I don’t know how the Breitbart story will turn out but politics is often unpredictable, which is why it’s much easier to understand election results in hindsight rather than in advance.

    Presidential elections are almost always decided by fundamentals, such as the unemployment/casualty index.

    The fact that people think the various human psychological dynamics and personalities we value are what causes things to happen at that large scale doesn’t mean they aren’t predictable: it means we’re mistaken about that.

    Random (38d59c)

  96. Random:

    I’d be a poor student of Karl’s, indeed, if I failed to understand the importance of fundamentals and the “Bread and Peace” model. I’m also sure I make a lot of mistakes, but thanks for the heads up.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  97. Unpredictable things are often predictable, it’s a mistake to think that they are not. Just look at AGW for example.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3805 secs.