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Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica, Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

"The Communists went to great lengths to make Marxism the only religion in every country where they seized political power." -- Ion Mihai Pacepa

Dave Swindle


March 27, 2012 - 6:00 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

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

From page 33, Derrick Bell in dialogue with his idealized version of himself, the female civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, now elevated to a prophetic goddess with supernatural powers:

“The power of prophesy does not guarantee conversion.”

At some level Bell knew that his ideas had more in common with religion than legal scholarship. He saw himself as a prophet laying the blueprints for the ideal society. The 28-year-old law students who opened their hearts and minds to him did so with the same mentality as the converts at a Billy Graham crusade, feeling an emotional, religious satisfaction they had never known in a secular household.

And now today we see faith in action; the viewers of MSNBC can articulate a more in-depth understanding of the Trayvon Martin shooting than those who witnessed it.

With the racial tensions rising in Florida while antisemitic demagogues feed the flames, note how political activism and religious devotion merge. The hoodie has now become an object to aid in worship, assisting the adherent in identifying with the new martyr of the permanent-victim class, the proletariat:

In an interview last week with Ion Mihai Pacepa by Madeleine Simon:

The Communists went to great lengths to make Marxism the only religion in every country where they seized political power. One of the first things I did on that memorable day of July 28, 1978, when I became a free man, was to fall to my knees and pray out loud, for the first time in more than a quarter of a century. It took me a while. It was not easy to find the right words to express my great joy and thanks to the good Lord.

From Weasel Zippers, via Donald Douglas at American Power, the New Black Panther Party’s call for mob violence:

The way prophesies work is not that one predicts what will happen, but rather what one will make happen.

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon…”

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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