Who was Derrick Bell?

Professor Derrick Bell was one of the earliest and most strident advocates of Critical Race Theory:

Bell believed then, as he does to this day, that whites would support civil rights protections for blacks only if those protections would also promote white self-interest and social status. Since Bell maintains that racial minorities are a permanently oppressed caste — and that racism is a normal, permanent aspect of American life — he reasons that equality before the law is unfair to blacks, whose moral claims are superior to those of whites. He has endorsed a journal dedicated to the “abolition of whiteness,” called Race Traitor, whose motto is “Treason to the white race is loyalty to humanity.”

According to Professor Bell and his fellow Critical Race theorists, existing legal structures are, like American society at large, racist in their very construction. Critical Race Theory suggests that to combat this “institutional racism,” oppressed racial groups have both the right and the duty to decide for themselves, which laws are valid and are worth observing. Critical Race Theory also promotes the use of storytelling narratives in law-review articles to better reflect the “oral traditions” of black experience. Bell has used the technique of placing legal and social commentary into the mouths of invented characters extensively in his writings. While acknowledging that this “style of storytelling” is “less rigorous than the doctrine-laden, citation-heavy law review pieces,” he employs it nonetheless.

He was also a mentor to a young Barack Obama, who idolized the aging racist and organized at least one student demonstration supporting him while the future president was a law student. Selectively-edited footage of that demonstration leaked today, but the raw footage will air tonight thanks to Andrew Breitbart’s happy warriors.

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3/8 Update: More on Bell and his past.

3/8 Update 2: Well, look what we have here.

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