Has the grace period on not speaking ill of the dead expired yet? I hope so. Andrew Breitbart was a lying, slandering, race-baiting, hatemongering, dirtbag. Not to leave out the living, his legacy lives on and his work unfortunately continues thanks to the two gutter snipes who took over upon Breitbart’s death at that open sewer they call a web site.
Read the headlines and the articles at Breitbart.com and their fellow smear merchants around the right-wing blogosphere following the so-called “bombshell” video of President Obama hugging Derrick Bell, and you’ll find the late Professor Bell called things like racialist, anti-Semitic, anti-American, radical, racial eliminationist, and despicable. In their never-ending game of guilt by association aimed at portraying President Obama as some sort of wild-eyed, Marxist they have dragged the name, the reputation, and the life’s work of Professor Bell through the mud.
Not that they have any interest in the truth, but let’s take a look at who Derrick Bell really was. He was a man who fought for his country, fought for justice and equality, and who stood by the courage of his convictions no matter the cost. Instead of listening to Breitbart and the smear merchants, here are the words of those who knew and worked with Professor Bell. From the Harvard Law Bulletin:
“Bell earned an A.B. from Duquesne University in 1952 and an LL.B. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He later served in the U.S. Air Force [anti-American?] and was stationed in Korea for a year. After graduating from law school in 1957, Bell worked as a staff attorney at the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department [Eisenhower’s DOJ]. He resigned in protest in 1959 when the department asked him to withdraw his membership from the NAACP. He became an assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and from 1960 to 1966 he administered 300 desegregation cases regarding schools and restaurant chains in the South.
Bell joined the Harvard Law School faculty as a lecturer in 1969 and in 1971 became its first tenured black professor. He gave up his professorship in 1992 to protest the school’s hiring practices, specifically the lack of women of color on the faculty. His protest garnered national news coverage and stirred the passions of many students.
In 1980, Bell was appointed dean of the University of Oregon School of Law. He resigned in protest five years later after an Asian woman was denied tenure. He returned to Harvard to teach in 1986 and later led a five-day sit-in in his office to protest the school’s failure to grant tenure to two professors whose work involved critical race theory.
Dean Martha Minow said: “From his work on the front lines of legal argument in the civil rights movement to his pathbreaking teaching and scholarship on civil rights and racial justice issues, Professor Derrick Bell inspired and challenged generations of colleagues and students with imagination, passion and courage.”
From Sally Kohn, Professor Bell’s student and teaching assistant at NYU:
“By dragging Professor Bell through the mud, Breitbart’s cronies hope to drag President Obama down as well. It’s ironic that while Breitbart’s fans lambast the left for supposedly dancing on Breitbart’s fresh grave, they waited to reveal these tapes until a few months after Derrick Bell, at age 80, died from cancer and could no longer defend himself. So I will defend him:
Derrick Bell was one of the first legal scholars to talk about race in America…His beliefs were not anti-American, as conservative critics have alleged, but rather fiercely patriotic, wanting to extend the promise of America to all.
His life experience drove his advocacy and scholarship. In the 1950s, Derrick Bell was a young lieutenant in the Air Force stationed in a small town in Louisiana. Bell was a devout Presbyterian, but the only Presbyterian church in town was for whites only. Lieutenant Bell put on his military uniform and showed up at the church, asking to be allowed to worship. Reluctantly, the white parishioners granted him a pew alone by himself in the balcony. Then, and for the rest of his life, Derrick Bell fought for his country, to form a “more perfect union” as our Founders wrote…If Professor Bell was a radical in any way, it was in being radically inclusive –in wanting to create an America in which all people were treated fairly and justly. That is precisely the kind of legacy I hope any president and anyone serving in politics would embrace.”
I would say that those who continue to disseminate Breitbat’s filth should be ashamed. But to feel shame would require a conscience, a soul, and some sense of decency-qualities none of them possess. Those human qualities are overridden by their intense hatred toward President Obama and their desire to delegitimize his presidency, no matter what it takes to achieve that end and no matter who else. living or dead. is covered by their slime in the process.