Patterico's Pontifications


Obama Hero Derrick Bell Praised Man Who Called for White Genocide

Filed under: 2012 Election,Obama,Race — Patterico @ 2:18 pm

Derrick Bell, whom President Obama lionized and embraced in a speech in law school, praised a man who had called for white genocide in South Africa. Bell argued that society should be grateful that the violence had merely been threatened and not carried out.

John Podhoretz in Commentary noted that Bell had given an October 1994 interview in which Bell praised a man named Khalid Muhammad:

The very same interview began as follows: “We should really appreciate the Louis Farrakhans and the Khalid Muhammads while we’ve got them.”

Here is Khalid Muhammad, whom Derrick Bell wanted us to “appreciate” while he was alive. In the following speech, which is one of the most hateful speeches you will ever see, Muhammad advocates killing every white man, woman, and child in South Africa . . . to the cheers of the crowd:

The relevant part is at 1:33:52. It’s a short clip, just three minutes long, and it’s worth your time. Here is a partial transcript:

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 women and children should be killed. The children, because they will oppress blacks when they grow up. The women, because they bear those children, and thus constitute the “military of the army manufacturing center.”

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 made on November 29, 1993 — and received nationwide attention — while Bell’s praise of Muhammad came in October 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.

I should note that I have not seen the interview Podhoretz references. [UPDATE 3-17-12: I have now. Podhoretz sent it to me. Tommy Christopher claims I still haven’t, but he didn’t ask me, and is of course a liar. By the way, the better version of this post, which I am using now, can be found here.] Podhoretz explains that Bell’s praise for people like Muhammad was because they didn’t actually commit violence — they just talked about it. This would be like someone praising Hitler during his rise to power because he had not yet massacred any Jews. Bell should have criticized the rhetoric, but instead, he suggested that the rhetoric was mild and praiseworthy, because at least it had not yet translated into action.

There is no excuse for supporting a man like you see in the clip above. None.

And Bell’s praise for this hateful, ugly man was no accident or slip of the tongue. is revealing that Derrick Bell opined that he is not sure blacks and whites will ever get along, and that Louis Farrakhan was a “great hero for the people” (although he didn’t agree with everything he said). And we have already examined how Bell was a proponent of a theory that maintained that whites in modern times have used principles of equal treatment under the law to oppress blacks, and that the system needed to be ripped up root and branch.

It is a legitimate question to ask Barack Obama, whose Justice Department refused to go after Black Panthers who intimidated people at the polls, and 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 wanted people to embrace.

Now gimme a hug!

UPDATE: I re-worked one of the paragraphs of the post in response to a commenter. Details here. I have also rewritten the opening of the post to provide clarity and context.

UPDATE x2: Muhammad gave this noxious speech more than once. I have replaced the original video with a video of the original speech made at Kean College in 1993.

Kansas caucus thread

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 1:07 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Mitt Romney romped in Guam and the Northern Marianas; the Virgin Islands also vote today.  But most of the attention is on Kansas caucuses.  Here’s your map and the rules.  As I write this, Santorum has an outright majority and the others may fail to hit the 20% threshold needed to get any delegates.

Update: Romney has edged above the 20% mark.  Fundraiser/consultant (and Newt fan) Nathan Wurtzel seems to think Romney will stay above the threshold.

Update 2: Looks like Santorum will get 33 delegates, Romney 7 delegates.  In 2008, Huckabee swept ’em, iirc.


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:


Is there a “Romney effect”?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 8:47 am

[Posted by Karl]

Contrary to Supernarrative Wednesday (which spilled over to Thursday), Mitt Romney is likely not as weak as much of the media claims.  Political scientist Seth Masket notes that Romney has about 43% of the delegates to date, less than McCain racked up by this point in 2008 — but under the 2008 delegate allocation rules, Romney would have roughly 60%, just as McCain did.  National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar notes Romney has won a larger share of the vote than McCain in 14 of the 22 states that have held binding primaries or caucuses so far — and some of the primaries where McCain did better were held after McCain locked up the nomination.  Nate Silver looked at the likely result if Newt Gingrich dropped out, concluding that even after receiving most of Gingrich vote, Rick Santorum would still have trailed Romney in the overall popular vote — about 45 percent to 38 percent.  Indeed, if Romney stays on his current track in the different regions of the country (including pulling only 25% in the South), he will likely amass the 1,144 delegates needed for the GOP nomination.  Tim Cavanaugh argues Obama would be a lock to beat Romney, mostly based on low turnout in the GOP primaries; however, high primary turnout has not consistently predicted general election success in the past.

Nevertheless, as Sean Trende notes, it remains possible that Romney will fall short of winning 1,144 delegates and may need the GOP equivalent of superdelegates to put him over the top.

Romney’s underlying problems are demographic.  The Romney/Santorum narrative is built on Mitt’s weakness with the working class.  However, Karl Rove notes that on Super Tuesday, Romney nearly erased the gap with non-college graduates.  If Romney is nominated, he may yet carry a “wealth problem,” but he would be running against someone unloved by the bitter clinger demographic.

The demo Romney has yet to crack is white evangelicals (assuming African-Americans again vote overwhelmingly for Democrats).  As Harry Enten and Sean Trende were among the first to note, states with large evangelical populations tend to vote more heavily against Romney (although Trende also notes that this may be a proxy for the difference between Northern and Southern conservatism; that black Republicans prefer other candidates to Romney also suggests this, but the sample is small).  Pew notes Romney has fared significantly better among non-evangelical voters than among evangelicals in every state for which data are available (ironically, Santorum has not won the Catholic vote in any state for which data are available, which suggests Romney’s weakness with evangelicals is not pure anti-Mormon bias).  Considering the percentages of white evangelicals and Catholics by state, it should surprise no one that Romney lost states like Oklahoma and Tennessee on Super Tuesday (although the delegate allocation ultimately mutes this effect).

The remaining questions are whether Romney can make inroads with white evangelicals during the primaries and if not, what it means should Romney win the GOP nomination.  Mitt gets a number of opportunities to try to win evangelical votes this month: Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri all tilt significantly more evangelical than Catholic.  Louisiana and Illinois tilt Catholic, but not by the sort of margin these other states lean evangelical.  The sparse polling to date suggests competitive races, but the topline results tell us nothing about the evangelical vote.

What happens if Romney becomes the GOP nominee?  A November 2011 Pew poll showed Republicans who say Mormonism is not a Christian religion were less likely to support Romney for the GOP nomination, but seemingly would overwhelmingly back him in a run against Obama in the general election.  Might evangelicals stay home?  A January YouGov poll found 31% of Southern evangelicals say they would not vote for a qualified Mormon for president, yet only 12% said they whould stay home if Romney is the nominee — a similar result as that given for Gingrich and Rick Perry.  Moreover, Romney did as well against Obama as Gingrich or Perry in this poll.

That 12% number may be comforting, but the 31% number may give some pause to consider whether an anti-Mormon “Bradley effect” might lurk for a Mitt Romney candidacy.  Obviously, the answer to that question is unknown at this time.  However, the states in which a “Romney effect” would be most likely also tend to be the reddest of the Red States, won heavily by McCain in the face of a political perfect storm favoring Barack Obama.  Any Romney effect would have to be shockingly large to matter in most of the South.  A Romney effect could conceivably make North Carolina and Virginia more difficult to win.  But even in that unlikely scenario, it is unclear that Santorum or Gingrich would be a better candidate in either state.


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