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Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica, Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

"... even our best efforts seem to translate into more property for whites and more promises for blacks."

Dave Swindle


March 25, 2012 - 7:17 am

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

On page 22, Geneva Crenshaw (Bell’s idealized proponent of his Critical Race Theory theology) responds to the fictional speech given by President Clinton:

“…whites have chosen to protect their sense of belonging based on skin color over alliances with blacks that would have improved all of our lives.”

Thus, the capitalist system bears responsibility for a minority of minorities living in poverty. And since capitalism produces these disparities in racial achievements, capitalism itself is racist. (Bell rejects race-neutral and cultural explanations for inner city pathology.) Because free market economies lead to racist conclusions, this means that anyone who isn’t a socialist is a racist whether they realize it or not.

“We have not been passive in seeking our rights but even our best efforts seem to translate into more property for whites and more promises for blacks.”

When Bell refers to “seeking our rights” here he uses the term in the same way as Barack Obama and today’s mainstream Democrats, in the context of what government “must do on your behalf.” Rights = other people’s property that they acquired by luck and that progressives must redistribute to counteract the innate, permanent racism in American society. You have a Right for someone else to pay for your health care. You have a Right to have someone else supply your birth control pills.

Of course this political tradition has deeper roots in the Democratic Party than the Alinskyite infiltration of Obama’s cohort…

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David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.
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