Breitbart, Bell and the Attack on Black Intellectuals
In a blog entry at the Nation, civil rights attorney Maya Wiley writes that conservative operatives are working hard to drive a wedge between the nation’s first black president and white America by encouraging thoughts that black intellectuals want them dead. She says black intellectuals must reject such specious claims.
... I wish I were exaggerating.
In July 2010, Glenn Beck devoted a segment to Charles Ogletree, a black tenured Harvard professor whose many pupils included Obama. In the segment, Beck quoted Shamir Shabazz, a member of the New black Panther Party, who said that sometimes you have to “kill crackers.” Beck suggested that Ogletree, and by extension Obama, supported these views.
Any suggestion that killing someone because of their race, or even disliking them solely because of their race, is reprehensible. But neither Charles Ogletree nor any other prominent black intellectual I know would endorse any such statement.
In that same month, Andrew Breitbart, perhaps one of the most divisive figures in American political discourse, published a misleading video of Shirley Sherrod. Ms. Sherrod was forced to resign from her position at the Georgia State Rural Development Office of the US Department of Agriculture despite the fact that the allegations were untrue.
Last night, Andrew Breitbart (apparently from beyond the grave) was at it again. This time he and his cronies at Breitbart.com released a video clip of a young Obama at Harvard law school hugging Professor Derrick Bell, a world renowned legal scholar and one of the foremost black intellectuals of his time, who passed away October 2011. Breitbart suggests that black people can’t be trusted to govern, by linking Obama to Bell.
Read Maya Wiley's entire story at the Nation.