Thu Mar 8, 2012, 01:02 PM
bigtree (64,420 posts)
NewsFlash! Barack Obama *hugged* the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School!
. . . oh, wait, it's not really 'new,' after all.
from the IBT:
IS the much-anticipated video (of a supposedly radical, college-era Barack Obama from Breitbart) really all that radical? It shows Obama in 1991, then president of the Harvard Law Review, asking a group of students to "open your hearts and open your minds to the words of Professor Derrick Bell," who he called "the Rosa Parks of legal education." In the uncut version played on the Hannity Show Wednesday night, Obama gives Bell a hug.
As conservatives describe Bell as a racist whose relationship with Obama is even greater than that with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, it helps to put the video in some context by explain who Derrick Bell is and how Obama knew him.
-- Bell became the first tenured African-American professor of Law at Harvard University in the mid-1960s. He came from humble beginnings in Pittsburgh and was a civil rights activist before he became a leading scholar.
-- Bell is considered the founder of "critical race theory," a method at looking race relations in American history through law and politics. He was a strong believer in "the interest of convergence dilemma," or the idea that whites would not support the efforts of blacks to improve their status in society unless it was in their interest.
-- After Harvard, Bell was one of the first African-American to head a non-black school when became the dean of the University of Oregon School of Law in 1980. According to his obituary in The New York Times, he resigned in 1985 over a dispute about faculty diversity. -more-
Andrew Breitbart may have duped us one last time. It was revealed that the Breitbart.com video footage of President Barack Obama back at Harvard Law was footage published by PBS Frontline back in 2008.
PBS even noted that they had previously included the footage in their election special The Choice 2008. According to a PBS spokesman:
" . . . there’s nothing new about the clip or Obama’s role in the controversy at Harvard Law School. In 2008, as a part of our quadrennial election special The Choice 2008, FRONTLINE ran the same footage of the speech as a part of an exploration of Obama’s time at Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1991. It’s been online at our site and on YouTube since then."
read the entire PBS post here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/government-elections-politics/the-story-behind-the-obama-law-school-speech-video/
It was perhaps Barack Obama’s most intense immersion in the charged campus racial politics of the late 1980s and early 1990s: As President of the Harvard Law Review in the spring of his final year there, 1991, he aligned himself with Professor Derrick Bell’s dramatic protest for diversity on the faculty of Harvard Law School.
Bell was the first black tenured professor at the school, and a pioneer of “critical race theory,” which insisted, controversially, on reading issues of race and power into legal scholarship. His protest that spring was occasioned by Harvard’s denial of tenure to a black woman professor, Regina Austin, at a time when only three of the law school’s professors were black and only five women. He told Harvard he would take a leave of absence — a kind of academic strike — “until a woman of color is offered and accepted a tenured position on this faculty,” and he launched a hunger strike to dramatize his point.
from Derrick Bell’s 2011 obituary in the New York Times:
Mr. Bell “set the agenda in many ways for scholarship on race in the academy, not just the legal academy,” said Lani Guinier, the first black woman hired to join Harvard Law School’s tenured faculty, in an interview on Wednesday.
At a rally while a student at Harvard Law, Barack Obama compared Professor Bell to the civil rights hero Rosa Parks.
Professor Bell’s core beliefs included what he called “the interest convergence dilemma” — the idea that whites would not support efforts to improve the position of blacks unless it was in their interest. Asked how the status of blacks could be improved, he said he generally supported civil rights litigation, but cautioned that even favorable rulings would probably yield disappointing results and that it was best to be prepared for that.
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