At Harvard, Obama Dived into Diversity Fight

Andrew Kaczynski, Buzzfeed, March 7, 2012

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.

Obama was a major figure on campus, the first black president of the Law Review. Some friends, in a prescient joke, just referred to him as “the first black president.” He had a reputation as a conciliatory figure, not a confrontational one like Bell.


It was a situation in which clear lines had been drawn, and Obama sided with Bell. In a speech before the law school’s Harkness Commons—and sounding very much like his future presidential self—he described Bell as “the Rosa Parks of legal education.”



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  • libertarian4339

    I’m goimg to watch Hannity tonight to see Brightbart’s video, but I have a hunch it isn’t going to amount to much.

    This article here describes only his support for granting tenure to an obvious unqualified black lady, but isn’t it well-known he was involved in that sort of thing?  He was, afterall, a community organizer most of his adult life concentrating on advancing blacks and the black agenda to the exclusion of all else.  Since that was his agenda in college, it’s hardly revelatory information of any significance.

    I hope we really do see his true self:  A racist, a revolutionary and a Marxist ideologue.  But these big expectant events have a way of turning into a “so what?”

    • Heinrich24

      Exactly. It’s not exactly a secret that the guy was a committed lefty back then(not to suggest he isn’t now) and was associated with some seriously radical characters. Unless something really explosive is unearthed here, I’m afraid some folks are going to be disappointed in just how outraged America  isn’t!

      We’ll have to see I suppose.

    • These tapes aren’t going to change many minds.  Obama’s supporters don’t care; a lot of them share his ideologies.  Many others support him out of spite against Conservatives, because he makes them feel better about themselves or doesn’t take a definite stand against whatever deviant behavior they might be into, where Conservatives are plainly opposed to it.  Look at the “Obamazombies'” comments on any news site.  They’re not just liberals–they are childish, vicious, and absolutely devoted to that man.

    • redfeathers

      Unfortunately, it was a “so what”.  But maybe there’s more to come.

  • DavidLAlbert

    Are you kidding me? Are the republican faithful out there hoping that these videos will make a difference. We are in some serious trouble. The leftists that voted for Obama in 2008 could care less what these videos reveal! They could show him slamming white people, calling for white genocide, and damning the United States! Have any of you spoken with a true leftist white person at length? It’s a scary thing to do! They have no grasp of reality! They have a new concept – “Coddle!” Coddle the minority and my conscience will be soothed. Coddle, according to Websters Dictionary is defined as “to treat tenderly!” Funny, Websters doesn’t offer a definition for “tenderly”, but they do for tender. Tender, according to Webster is “weak of constitution or unable to endure hardship. Tender is also “acutely sensitive to insult!” When you “coddle” a beast, beware – you may be bitten!

    • Sincerely Concerned

      It reminds me of the Uganda story.  Coddle the people there by giving them a couple billion every few years and they won’t fight.  Didn’t work here, doesn’t work there.

    • shmo123

      True. As much as I hate to write this, what that tape reveals will probably do very little to harm Obama. He has complete immunity due to the color of his skin. It acts as a shield of armour, not only deflecting criticism, but allowing him to ignore the constitution and act like the petty little tyrant he’s become.

  • DavidLAlbert

    If I may so humbly add to what I said earlier, I know a thing or two about Coddling! I was born in West Virginia and raised until the age of 12 in the town of Follansbee – a completely white town ( back in the early 60’s). I’ll never forget the first time I saw a black person – it was when my parents drove through Stubenville Ohio and pointed out the blacks along the streets. It was like looking at a National Geographic magazine.   My father bought a country store in South Boston, Virginia and moved us there in 1968. My first exposure with the local blacks was with a kid named John Scott. I looked at him while sitting on the counter of my fathers store and felt sorry for him. I snuck a piece of bubble gum out of the jar and gave it to him. He was shocked by my gesture but took it! I look back and see that as my “Coddling” moment. It didn’t take long to figure out that John was only interested in what he could get. A few years later after I mopped up the blood spilled on our driveway by his cousin slicing up his brother I figured out that there was no “living together!”
    It’s easy to “coddle” when you have no experience with what you are coddling!

  • So you’re saying Obama was/is a black activist?? Shocking………


    Barack Obama was/is a black radical who supported/supports black radicals.

    In related news, water is wet.

    Film on the Captain Obvious Show (aka Sean Hannity) tonight.

  • MikeofAges

    Below is  Regina Austin’s academic vitae. She really got kicked under the bus, didn’t she? Between 1977 and 1989 her career was pretty nebulous. She clerked for a Superior Court judge in Pennsylvania and was an associate at a Philadelphia law firm through 1977, but left. Perhaps because she did not make partner, or perhaps for some other reason. Though she may have been popular among some of the students at Harvard during her year there, what was there to qualify her for immediate tenure? Almost nothing. Hell, she did pretty well. A white guy who finished law school with the same qualifications she had who wanted to be a law professor would be at a state university or an unheralded private law school. More likely, not a tenured professor at all. Not in the Ivy League in any case.


    University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D. (cum laude, Order of the Coif), 1973
    University of Rochester, B.A., 1970
    William A. Schnader Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1996-present
    Director, Penn Program on Documentaries & the Law, University of Pennsylvania Law
    School, 2005-present
    Bacon-Kilkenny Distinguished Visiting Professor, Fordham Law School, Jan. 2005-May
    Visiting Professor, Columbia Law School, Aug. 2002-Dec. 2002
    Visiting Professor, Brooklyn Law School, Sept. 1998-Dec. 1998
    Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1990-1996
    Visiting Professor, Stanford Law School, Jan. 1991-May 1991
    Visiting Associate Professor, Harvard Law School, July 1989-June 1990

    Women’s Unequal Citizenship at the Border: Lessons from Three Nonfiction
    Films about the Women of Juárez in Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women’s
    Equal Citizenship (Linda McClain & Joanna L. Grossman, eds.) (Cambridge
    University Press, 2009)
    Super Size Me and the Conundrum of Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Class for the
    Contemporary Law-Genre Filmmaker, 40 Loyola Los Angeles Law Review 687 (2007)
    The Next “New Wave”: Law-Genre Documentaries, Lawyering in Support of the
    Creative Process, and Visual Legal Advocacy, 16 Fordham Intellectual Property, Media
    & Entertainment Law Journal 810 (2006); Forward (Documentaries & the Law
    Symposium Issue): Engaging Documentaries Seriously, 16 Fordham Intellectual
    Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal 707 (2006)
    “The Shame of It All”: Stigma and the Political Disenfranchisement of Formerly
    Convicted and Incarcerated Persons, 36 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 173 (2005)
    Of Predatory Lending and the Democratization of Credit: Preserving the Social Safety
    Net of Informality in Small-Loan Transactions, 53 American University Law Review
    1217 (2004)
    Kwanzaa and the Commodification of Black Culture, Black Renaissance/Renaissance
    Noire, Sept. 2004
    Back to Basics: Returning to the Matter of Black Inferiority and White Supremacy in the
    Post-Brown Era, 6 Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 79 (2004).
    “Step on a Crack, Break Your Mother’s Back”: Poor Moms, Myths of Authority, and
    Drug-Related Evictions from Public Housing, 14 Yale Journal of Law & Feminism 273
    Race Statistics, Disparate Impact Analysis and the Economic Disenfranchisement of
    Minority Ex-Offenders, 4 Race & Society 177 (2001)
    Mary Joe Frug=s Postmodern Feminist Legal Manifesto Ten Years Later: Reflections on
    the State of Feminism Today, 36 New England Law Review 1 (2001); Speaking Volumes:
    Musings on the Issues of the Day, Inspired by the Memory of Mary Joe Frug, 12
    Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 660 (2003) (with Elizabeth M. Schneider)
    ABad for [email protected]: Contextual Analysis, Race Discrimination, and Fast Food, 34 John
    Marshall Law Review 207 (2000)
    Of False Teeth and Biting Critiques: Jones v. Fisher in Context, 15 Touro Law Review
    389 (1999)
    ANot Just for the Fun of [email protected]: Governmental Restraints on Black Leisure, Social Inequality,
    and the Privatization of Public Space, 71 Southern California Law Review 667 (1998)
    Nest Eggs & Stormy Weather: Law, Culture, and Black Women’s Lack of Wealth, 65
    University of Cincinnati Law Review 767 (1997)
    Beyond Black Demons and White Devils: Antiblack Conspiracy Theorizing and the
    Black Public Sphere, 22 Florida State Law Review 1021 (1995)
    AA Nation of [email protected]: Securing Black People’s Right to Shop and to Sell in White
    America, 1994 Utah Law Review 147
    AAn Honest [email protected]: Street Vendors, Municipal Regulation, and the Black Public Sphere,
    103 Yale Law Journal 2119 (1994)
    AThe Black Community,@ Its Lawbreakers, and a Politics of Identification, 65 Southern
    California Law Review 1769 (1992)
    Black Women, Sisterhood, and the Difference/Deviance Divide, 26 New England Law
    Review 877 (1992)
    Black, Brown, Poor, and Poisoned: Minority Grassroots Environmentalism and the Quest
    for Eco-Justice, 1 Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy 69 (1991) (with Michael
    Sapphire Bound!, 1989 Wisconsin Law Review 539
    Employer Abuse, Worker Resistance, and the Tort of Intentional Infliction of Emotional
    Distress, 41 Stanford Law Review 1 (1988)
    Resistance Tactics for Tokens, The Harvard Blackletter Journal, Spring 1986, at 52
    The Insurance Classification Controversy, 131 University of Pennsylvania Law Review
    517 (1983)
    Black Genius: African American Solutions to African American Problems (1999) (with
    Walter Mosley, Manthia Diawara & Clyde Taylor)
    Toward Environmental Justice: Research, Education, and Health Policy Needs (1999)
    (Committee on Environmental Justice, Institute of Medicine, Health Policy Section)
    Waste Incineration and Public Health (1999) (Committee on Health Effects of Waste
    Incineration, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Commission on Life
    Sciences, National Research Council)
    Documentation, Documentary, and the Law: What Should Be Made of Victim Impact
    Videos? (forthcoming Cardozo Law Review)
    “This Too Takes a Village”: The Importance of Social Resources to Sustained Black
    Home Ownership as Illustrated in Three Documentary Films
    Race and Law-Genre Amateur Documentaries: Lessons Learned When the Subaltern
    Documenting Injustice: Katrina, Class, and Visual Legal Advocacy
    “Black People’s Money”: A Speculative Essay on the Interaction of Law, Economics,
    and Culture in the Context of Race, Gender, and Class
    Last updated March 15, 2010

    • Unperson


      Good detective work there, MikeofAges. Unfortunately, it seems that no matter how much evidence of Obama’s early — and continued Revolutionary activities piles up, the liberals are so brainwashed that it doesn’t faze them. They rationalize the radicalism. They learn to love it. Because they feel they have to. Because if they don’t, they’re afraid they’ll be accused of being horrible, anti-human racists like us.

      FTR, of all the nonsensical sounding, pseudo-intellectual titles on MikeofAges’ Regina Austin list, the one that I personally would most like to read is this:

      “Of False Teeth and Biting Critiques: Jones v. Fisher in Context, 15 Touro Law Review

      389 (1999) ”

      Sounds most intellectual and illuminating. Now that’s news I can use!

      • MikeofAges

        Just copied her published vitae. I left out the contact information and her non-university employment. There was no information on what she did between 1977 and 1989, which was when her one-year visiting professorship at Harvard law started. Nothing, nada, zilch.

        • Any given Personnel or HR director that sees a curious years-long gap in a resume or CV automatically thinks “prison.”

  • Well, here’s the whole thing:

    I think I’m going to have to walk back my previous insouciance a little bit.  This Derrick Bell is a real whack job, and Obama is on the record in supporting him by name.

  • He sat in the pews of a black separatist church for 20 years and that did not hurt him one jot!! This video is just par for the course. While no no revelation, it simply confirms what was already known, which is Obama is a radical, black separatist racist!

  • nettle

    The vitality and intellectual level that built this country from the Founding Fathers to the present have been progressively decreasing.  This is reflected in the quality of its leaders.  This decrease of energy is not just found in this country but in all Western white countries.  This decrease in vitality has allowed a disruptive dishonest energy to come to the fore front and become dominant.  This was found in all ancient advanced civilizations that became too complacent in guarding its search for truth and suppressing and oppressing voices of reason and truth.  To put it bluntly, there is absolutely nothing to be gained to pretend that a person has merit or ability and then to place them in positions of authority just because they are black and the delusional wish to please them so as to feel good about oneself.  The Western countries are currently are on a self suicidal path.  As for Obama, his surest and easiest route to rise to power in this country was to play on his blackness.  And this he did, quite heavily.  

    • bluffcreek1967

      Obama also got where he did because he is a relatively handsome Black man. His skin is not too dark, he has a nice smile, and he speaks well. He conducts himself in a calm and non-threatening manner. All of these things, in combination with the color of his skin, made liberal Whites do everything within their power for him.

      • shmo123

        Well said, bluffcreek. That pretty much encapsulates what the factors that created and sustain him.

  • Detroit_WASP

    Like Professor Bell, white NBA players should go on strike until the veil of racism is lifted….allowing more white players to get some court time! 

    Blacks don’t care that the female, black professor was unqualified.  Most blacks knew that OJ Simpson was guilty as hell, and they were glad when he was found not guilty.   Right and wrong don’t matter in racial politics, it’s a game with winners and losers…. and only winners matter.  

  • He is an enemy of the Black people.

  • leonardkrol

    BHO’s speeches wereas boring then as they are now.

  • JackKrak

    I guess MSNBC et al missed this in 2008 because they were still working a lead on how George Bush ran a child prostitution ring and seal-clubbing outfit in South Africa during apartheid that they got from a credible source in the Democratic National Committee.

  • White America has given Obama an education, money, and  power. White America elected him as president. His white mother raised and cared for him when he was abandoned. He still hates whites.

  • White Death

    Barry’s a revolutionary, except when it’s time for another of his frequent vacations. He favors two week holiday’s taken 26 times per year. Then he transforms into a bon vivant jet setter. Michelle,  too, dumps the liberal rhetoric in pursuit of fabulous  treasure during these times of  record deficit.  “Austerity be damned. Poverty Sucks!”

  • I agree with those who write that there is nothing we did not already know about Obama. It is just more evidence of his racism against whites because if nothing else, Professor Derrick Bell was anti-American, anti-white and an anti-semite. Obama clearly calls out to the crowd that we should embrace Professor Bell’s ideas. The truly sad part of the video for me was the presence of all those self-loathing whites, just waiting to be consumed by their new black masters. Hopefully, in the ensuing years, some of them came to their senses.

  • Professor “Bell endorsed a journal called Race Traitor, which is dedicated to the
    “abolition of whiteness,” and whose motto is “Treason to the white race is
    loyalty to humanity.”

    I will add the caveat that while there is nothing new in the video for Amren readers; it is possible that many whites who simply don’t pay attention to such things may become aware Obama’s hatred for whites for the first time. Imagine if a radical black who loved the ideas of Professor Bell were to be elected president. Well, that is what we now have but very few are aware of it because of the shameful cover-up by the mainstream media and academia.  

    • MartelC

       “Bell endorsed a journal called Race Traitor, which is dedicated to the 

      “abolition of whiteness,” and whose motto is “Treason to the white race is 
      loyalty to humanity.”
      we could argue white liberals really buy this stuff but its pretty obvious where “Professor” Bell’s loyalties lie.You can show this to a white liberal and they will flutter their eyes and go on about white privilege.. People say once white liberals are mugged by reality, they will wake up.. I submit they can be mugged, raped, beaten and they will still will be going on and on about this. It’s replaced God and religion with them. 

      • MikeofAges

        Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. If the concept of “whiteness” has any meaning, it found in the concept current among whites in America particularly that, while other people may have characteristics, they do not, and simply are the way people are supposed to be and therefore not in need of being defined.

        Actually, white people do have characteristics, and these often vary by European ethnic group. These characteristics can encompass physical type, what occupations, professions and intellectual disciplines group members succeed in, what sports they excel in or don’t and so on. Get rid of “whiteness” and you conquer the taboo against “knowing who you are” and against believing that you have characteristics, just as everyone else but you does.

        In America, European groups are perceived as having assimilated and formed a common cultural type. Has this occurred to the extent most imagine? Probably not, except in the now-declining homogeneously caucasian suburban culture which formed in the 1950s. In any case, within American political discourse the “whiteness” concept is straw man. It serves as a cover for a form of radical racial separatism which seeks to undermine the basis of social conservatism in American society. It is Marxism pure and simple

  • The DIEversity crowd is amassed in force, which speaks volumes. Is one still permitted to judge a man by the company he keeps?

  • Jerrybear

     The media keeps most people thoroughly brainwashed.  I don’t like Paul’s stance on immigration but I can at least trust the guy.  Romney has been talking tough on immigration but that’s all it is.  Talk. 

  • MikeofAges

    Question Diversity wrote:

    “Any given Personnel or HR director that sees a curious years-long gap in a resume or CV automatically thinks ‘prison’.”

    That’s another issue. Most people who “gaps” in their resume, even long ones, were not in prison, selling drugs, addicted or in a mental hospital. Mostly, they were looking at least sporadically for a job and not getting hired. In my drinking days, I talked to a couple of HR people in neighborhood bar and got them to admit some things. Mostly about how they classify people. Someone may be perfectly qualified for a certain type of job, but they will never get it. If they go long enough without getting it, they have a “gap”. That’s how it works.

    What was Austin doing? Was she an ambulance chaser? A cheap defense attorney or contract public defender? Embarrassingly, a prosecutor? Living with someone as a cohabitant and not working? Working for a non-profit? Part time law professor? Whatever it was, I doubt it was something that qualified her for immediate tenure at Harvard. This was just a case of a bunch of radicals trying to bowl over the system on behalf of someone they considered politically of their own ilk. I am sure there were black women far more qualified that she was.

  • JohnEngelman

    Diversity is fine as long as there is no diversity about ability levels. I am confident that there is an enormous diversity about those who work for Microsoft. Many who make enormous incomes there know English as a second language. What matters is not race and gender. What matters is IQ.

  • More than that, his “collecting delegate” and “punch above his weight” strategy isn’t working out as well as expected.  Look at Tuesday night:  His three best states (AK, ID, ND), he finished behind Santorum in all three.  ND was his best chance for a win.

    Combine that with the recent johnny-come-lately news about the Romney-Ron Paul alliance, and it wouldn’t matter anyway, for a vote for Ron Paul now would translate to a delegate for Romney at the convention should Romney not reach 1144.

    Also combine that with the fact that it’s going to be very hard for anyone to keep Romney from getting to 1144 now.

    It’s time for Rand to take his father aside and gently and lovingly break the news that it’s all over, that he should use the rest of his time in Congress and as the head of the House Fed Oversight subcommittee to grill Bernanke et al.,  to give Romney material to use against Obama in the fall.

  • Jackryanvb

    Ron Paul is a 76 yr old OLD man

    He has a hard core Libertarian cult following that has never come anywhere close to even 10 percent of US voters

    Ron Paul’s presidential campaign denies racial realities , he has the2nd worst immigration grade after Obama. He simply can’t communicate with regular White people.

    It’s not happening – time to move on

  • MikeofAges

    “The Space Traders” is interesting science fiction. It also tells us more about white Americans than Mr.  Bell would like to admit. If this actually happened (and it can’t, although I do believe that there is intelligent life elsewhere), compare the likely response of Northern and Southern whites in America.

    The middle class and upper middle class Northern whites would wring their hands, temporize about responding, and hope for a diplomatic solution if a polite “no” was not enough to save the day. Some of the uncouth types would say “do the deal”.

    Southern whites would load up the cannons. If any of the Space Traders were foolish enough to land, and asked one of the southerners why, if they thought they had had so much trouble with blacks over so many years, they were putting up a fight. The answer would be “because you’re here.”

    I am sure the Southerners who read this forum are going to dispute part of what I have said. They will tell me that the Space Traders wouldn’t live long enough to start asking questions in the first place.