Patterico's Pontifications


Derrick Bell: We Should “Appreciate” a Man Who Advocated White Genocide

Filed under: — Patterico @ 5:38 pm

As reported earlier this week at, Barack Obama lionized and embraced Harvard Law Prof. Derrick Bell in a 1990 speech at Harvard Law School. By 1994, Prof. Bell was praising a man who had advocated killing every white man, woman, and child in South Africa.

John Podhoretz tells us that, in an interview with the New York Observer in October 1994, Bell stated: “We should really appreciate the Louis Farrakhans and the Khalid Muhammads while we’ve got them.” According to Podhoretz, Bell argued that society should be thankful for people like Muhammad, because they merely threatened deadly violence, rather than carrying it out.

But the violence advocated by Muhammad was shocking, as Bell must have known. Months before Bell praised Muhammad, Muhammad had argued in favor of white genocide in South Africa, in a speech that received nationwide attention. In the following clip, which is one of the most hateful videos you will ever see, Muhammad advocates killing white women, children, and “faggots” in South Africa . . . to the laughter, applause, and approval of the crowd:

Muhammad told the crowd:

If they don’t get out of town by sundown, we kill everything white that ain’t right that’s in sight in South Africa. We kill the women. We kill the children. We kill the babies. We kill the blind. We kill the crippled. We kill the [imitates a crazy person]. We kill ’em all. We kill the faggots. We kill the lesbians. We kill them all.

Muhammad goes on to explain, in detail, why he believes that South African women and children should be killed. The children should be killed, he says, because they will oppress blacks when they grow up. The women should be killed, he tells the audience, because they bear white children, and thus constitute the “army’s manufacturing center.”

This speech was made on November 29, 1993 — and created a firestorm across the nation. In February 1994, both the House of Representatives and the Senate overwhelmingly voted to condemn Muhammad’s remarks. When Bell praised Muhammad in October 1994, Bell must have known about this speech.

Obama defenders will no doubt argue that Bell was praising Muhammad, not for his violent rhetoric, but for the fact that Muhammad didn’t actually commit acts of violence — he just talked about them:

While these guys talk a lot, they don’t do anything. The new crop of leaders are going to be a lot more dangerous and radical, and the next phase will probably be led by charismatic individuals, maybe teenagers, who urge that instead of killing each other, they should go out in gangs and kill a whole lot of white people.

That’s exactly what Muhammad was, as Bell certainly knew when he said Muhammad should be appreciated: a charismatic man urging the mass killing of white people. As for the idea that Bell was praising Muhammad for being all talk and no action: I think Godwin would forgive me for noting that this would be like someone praising Hitler before he took power, because Hitler had not yet massacred any Jews . . . he had merely advocated their eradication.

Why didn’t Obama’s hero Derrick Bell denounce this violent rhetoric, instead of saying that the orator should be appreciated?

By the way, Bell’s praise for this hateful, ugly man was no accident or slip of the tongue. has revealed in recent days that Derrick Bell said, among other things, that he lived to harass white folks, that he is not sure blacks and whites will ever get along, and that the famously racist and anti-Semitic black leader Louis Farrakhan was a “great hero for the people.” (Bell said he didn’t agree with everything Farrakhan said, but added that he didn’t agree with everything anyone said.) And Bell was a proponent of a theory — Critical Race Theory — that maintained that whites in modern times have used principles of equal treatment under the law to oppress blacks . . . and that our legal system needed to be created anew, with an eye towards elevating the status of blacks.

Does Barack Obama agree with that?

Will anyone ever ask him?

These questions are relevant, because Obama’s “post-racial” presidency has been anything but post-racial. Obama’s Justice Department refused to go after New Black Panthers who intimidated people at the polls. Obama used the bully pulpit of the presidency to opine that police acted “stupidly” in the arrest of Henry Louis Gates — even though Obama did not know the underlying facts. Obama suggested that Republicans are racists because he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

Time and time again, Barack Obama has used the power and prestige of his office to play the race card, and to polarize the country on racial issues. These presidential actions and others raise the question: what did Obama mean when he told a crowd at Harvard Law School to open their hearts and minds to the words of Derrick Bell?

When will Big Media ask President Obama whether Derrick Bell’s views on race are the sort of ideas that Obama wants people to embrace?

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