The Hatred of Derrick Bell's Afrolantica Legacies
From March 19 through April 13 I blogged through Afrolantica Legacies, analyzing the arguments and connecting them with current events in the political culture. This compilation collects and re-edits those 21 posts. It's 9800 words and features more than 30 photographic excerpts from the book.
As a 28-year-old student at Harvard Law, Barack Obama supported the activism of Professor Derrick Bell and urged his peers to open their hearts and minds to the words of Critical Race Theory's founder.
But what did Bell believe and how could his ideas have any relation to the president's policies today?
The myth of the rise and fall of Afrolantica -- a kind of Atlantis where only African Americans can live -- opens the book and provides Bell with a way to tie together his essays, fictional dialogues, and political parables written through the '80s and '90s. From seven of these essays, Bell extracts these principles to serve as "rules of racial preservation":
"and salvation achievable"
"one that stretches toward the divine"
"For some a prophetic power"
In Afrolantica Legacies Bell relies on a number of religious, mystical, and occult literary devices. His New Age presentation of Critical Race Theory as a secular, political theology mirrors the black liberation theology Obama imbibed at Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United. Politics, religion, and "blackness" merge together to produce a cult.
And cults do real damage to people's lives. Bell's ideas have circulated into America and left scars. Here's a question to ask the biracial members of Generations X and Y: growing up, did you experience more race-based harassment from whites for being half-black or from blacks for being half-white?
Critical race theorists like to claim that only white racism has any significance because only whites have power in America. Try telling that to someone who lives without power: a biracial child. How should they react to the story of Afrolantica? Will they get to go? And what might they think about their own parents upon reaching page 148 where Bell states, "white men do not find black women attractive or regard them as 'women' as they would white females"?
This is personal. I'm not writing with any hope that beating the drum about Obama's radical history will turn the outcome of the election. My objective is to begin a self-fulfilling prophecy of my own: 15 years from now, when I have children, they will not live in a political culture that protects and trains their tormentors. The anti-white and antisemitic racists will receive the same condemnation as the anti-black racists. (As opposed to their own MSNBC shows.)
For that day to come, the discussion of Critical Race Theory must continue.
Next in Part 2: Bell describes how blacks can feel a "Euphoria of Freedom"...
"Only African Americans were able to breathe and survive there."
"The first black visitors reported a sense of well-being, a 'euphoria of freedom' one called it, that they had never known in America."
"Millions of blacks were determined to move to this new land, to begin an ideal society."
Observe the end goal here. Bell's utopia is not that Americans of all skin colors embrace one another. Instead, he sought to inspire a "euphoria of freedom" through the fantasy of an "ideal society" without Jews.
Next in Part 3: What could it mean to be white?
In the prologue to Afrolantica Legacies Professor Derrick Bell claims whites base their self-worth on skin color:
For without black people in America, what would it mean to be white? Of what value whiteness, the privilege of preference, the presumption of normality, the reassurance of majority status? Were the advantages of color to disappear, how would whites replace their carefully constructed but ever-fragile self-esteem based on whiteness? Blacks doubted that many whites would ever ask themselves these questions, but the questions were not less real because unacknowledged.
Next in Part 4: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism
Before beginning our journey to Afrolantica, this dialogue opens the book:
A fictional character created by Bell, Geneva Crenshaw appears in his previous writings as an idealized version of himself, expressing his opinions with greater vigor.
For Critical Race Theorists to make the case for American racism's "permanence" they must annihilate the Founding Fathers' reputations. If Thomas Jefferson and the other framers of American government failed to see something so obvious as the common humanity of non-whites then why should anyone respect the the legitimacy of our nation?
With this political theology embedded in one's heart and mind, the emotional desire to "fundamentally transform" America arises:
RELATED: J. Christian Adams published a picture worth a thousand words on this subject.
Next in part 5: Why Meritocracy Must Die
In the first essay featured in Afrolantica Legacies Bell puts his words in Bill Clinton's mouth. This excerpt from page 13 imagines a speech in 1998 from the president titled "Racial Liberation Day: The Challenge for White Americans":
For Bell's political theology racism shifted from the concrete (Jim Crow) to an abstraction:
... racism is a system of continuing and cumulative advantage that benefits all whites whether or not they seek it.
Thus, Bell can now use this abstraction as the ghost in the gears, the necessary, permanent explanation for any individual black American's personal failures and professional inadequacies:
As Americans, we want to believe that our country is a meritocracy where anyone who has talent and works hard can be successful. Charges of racial discrimination threaten that image and, in all but the most blatant cases, many whites find it difficult to take them seriously. Thus when blacks assert that racism is alive and flourishing, whites find denial is the easier, the more comforting reaction.
Perhaps the reasons for Bell's attacks on meritocracy are more personal than political, as Thomas Sowell observes:
Derrick Bell was put in an impossible position. He was hired as a full professor at the Harvard Law School when he himself said he did not have the kinds of qualifications that people have when they get appointed as full professors at the Harvard law school. And so what were his options? His options were to be a nobody among world famous intellectuals or to go off on his own shtick and try to be important or significant in that way. And he chose the low road... The fundamental problem was making him a professor at the Harvard Law School when even he himself knew that was not something that he merited.
In upcoming parts of this continuing journey through Afrolantica we'll see more instances of Bell's commentary that read in a different light when understood in the context of the professor's own career.
Next in Part 6: Why Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers
From page 15, still in Bill Clinton's voice:
As we'll soon see how Bell blamed Jews for inspiring antisemitism, he also pointed the finger at disappearing industrial jobs to explain away inner city criminal culture:
... it is massive unemployment and not the lack of family values that has devasated so many black communities, placed one-third of young men -- denied even menial jobs when they lacked education and skills -- in prison or in the jaws of the criminal court system, most of them for nonviolent drug offenses.
Considering the previous video of Thomas Sowell revealing Bell acknowledged his inexperience, a question: how does Bell's affirmative action experience at Harvard mirror Barack Obama's?
Here's Obama quoted in the New York Times in 1990 in an article titled "First Black Elected to Head Harvard's Law Review" by Fox Butterfield:
''The fact that I've been elected shows a lot of progress,'' Mr. Obama said today in an interview. ''It's encouraging.
''But it's important that stories like mine aren't used to say that everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don't get a chance,'' he said, alluding to poverty or growing up in a drug environment.
After becoming the president of what should be the most prestigious law journal in the country, Obama claimed that "there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent" to him.
Michael Kinsley's definition of a gaffe as "when a politician tells the truth -- some obvious truth he isn't supposed to say" comes to mind.
If an individual cannot take responsibility for his failures then how can he feel any real satisfaction in his successes? What a dark world one would live in where everything comes down to chance, save for the instances where bold progressives can implement social justice. Is that what Barack Obama thinks deep down? That he just got lucky and that now it's his job to spread the "luck" around?
Part 7: We Have a Right to Your Property
On page 22, Geneva Crenshaw 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...
Next in Part 8: The Birth of Blackness
From Page 28 of Afrolantica Legacies, the conclusion of Geneva Crenshaw's response to Bill Clinton's imaginary speech:
"Blackness is a concept distilled from the degradation of slavery and the exploitation of racism. It is a reminder that black and odious are not identical terms. The concept of blackness reassures us that we are worthy, despite the hostility to our presence we endure, the insensitivity to our pain we abide, and the inner rage we deflect -- all too often on ourselves."
Bell considered racism a permanent problem ingrained into the documents defining the American Idea. In this passage we begin to understand more why. His identity as a black man depends on understanding himself and "his people" as a class of permanent victims. In adopting the Marxist theology of human history as continued variations of proletariat vs bourgeoisie struggle, Bell designated his "blackness" as relegating him to a state of ongoing cultural warfare. (More on Bell's Marxism and his embrace of Communist icon Paul Robeson soon)
Here Bell admits that the concept of "blackness" serves as an emotional crutch to "reassure us that we are worthy" and calm "the inner rage." (Perhaps the kinds of feelings generated through knowing and admitting you're a "nobody among world famous intellectuals"?)
Why is it necessary to carry around symbols of perpetual victimhood? Because as long as you're a victim you're not responsible for your situation in life and you're powerless to fix it. Luck is all that matters, save when social justice (via affirmative action and reparations for slavery) can tip the imaginary scale back into balance.
Part 9: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?
From page 33, Bell in dialogue with 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 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.
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..."
Part 10: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc
In Part II of Afrolantica Legacies, Bell presents the essays and parables corresponding with the seven tenets of his political faith. The first narrative, titled "Chiara's Enlightenment," illustrates the first of Bell's racial dogmas:
Bell's story describes a fictional encounter between himself and an alien named Chiara from the planet Nevus. This fantastic visitor traveled across the galaxy to earth in order to assure Bell of his affirmative action ideas' enlightenment.
This chapter showcases some of the most obvious contradictions in Bell's political theology.
On page 43 Bell reveals his adherence to Marxist pseudo-feminism, a doctrine that rejects -- contrary to Biology 101 -- the significance of innate differences in the genders:
But if gender means nothing -- and if sex differences are just another tool the bourgeoisie use to oppress the proletariat -- then why does Bell repeat on page 46 his belief that "black women will ultimately save our people"?
Note Bell's telling reference and you have your answer: "this brown-skinned Joan of Arc." Bell makes the black woman his idol because he needs concrete symbols of victimhood to worship. By having a steady stream of victims on hand Bell can justify his own professional shortcomings. He can point to other great victims of history and count himself among them. He can deflect scrutiny of his own failures through blaming a conspiracy of permanent, incorrigible racism.
And today we see this same emotional need fulfilled in a big way as Bell's followers anoint a new martyr in their Cult of the Victim:
Remember, Bell defines blackness as intertwined with victimhood. In order to sustain this theology which provides the foundation for their identity and the meaning to their lives, the adherents of the political cult must continually inflame the emotions of the mob:
Al Sharpton: Today, Black (and Latino) youth are routinely targeted, profiled and 'mistakenly' shot by those sworn to serve and protect us (i.e. Sean Bell). And now, in what can only be described as the most blatant form of vigilante murder, a 17-year-old named Trayvon Martin loses his life at the hands of self-proclaimed 'crime stopper.' But the only crime here is that this killer has ended poor Trayvon's life under the guise of his own preconceptions and has not been charged, nor arrested. We will head to Florida to ensure that all that changes immediately.
Part 11: Critical Race Theory's Distortion of Trayvon Martin
On page 52, Chiara continues delivering the Afrolantica Legacies, here blaming whites for the personal failings of a minority of black Americans' embrace of cracker culture:
"But out of their frustration and despair, many of your people are turning to violence, though mostly against one another. And many more are doing violence to themselves."
Recall that Bell blamed disappearing industrial jobs for inspiring inner city youth to sell crack. Here he identifies abstract feelings of "frustration and despair" as inspiring the nihilism of the gangbanger lifestyle. To Bell, all black problems stem from the ongoing trauma of living in a white supremacist society. This foundational dogma of Critical Race Theory distorts believers' ability to interpret reality. Every piece of new information must first go through the believer's emotional conviction that a grand conspiracy exists to protect racist white criminals and oppress innocent black males.
Newly released video of George Zimmerman at the Sanford Police Department the night he shot Trayvon Martin to death show the neighborhood watch volunteer without blood on his clothing or bruises on his face or head. His clean-shaven picture seems to contrast with the violent beating he told police he endured at the hands of Martin, 17, who Zimmerman said attacked him from behind.
The video, obtained by ABC News, appears inconsistent with Zimmerman’s recently leaked statement to police that he was in a death struggle with Martin before Zimmerman shot him in the chest in self-defense. Zimmerman told investigators that Martin jumped him from behind, punched him in the nose and pounded his head into a sidewalk, according to a police report first described by the Orlando Sentinal.
So was there a racist police conspiracy to deny justice to a murdered Trayvon martin?
At The Atlantic senior editor Ta-Nehisi Coates reacts to the video:
You can see the video at the site. I don't have much to say here. He doesn't look like someone whose had their head bashed into the concrete. But perhaps I'm missing something.
At the scene of the incident, according to a three-page preliminary police report, Zimmerman was given “first aid” by Sanford Fire Department paramedics. It is unclear what that treatment consisted of, and how much time elapsed between the paramedics’ intervention and Zimmerman’s arrival at the Sanford Police Department.
Coates on Bell when Breitbart.com first broke the story of Barack Obama's embrace of Critical Race Theory:
This is only "bizarre" and "radical" to people who are willfully blind to American history. I don't agree with it, and it's far too sweeping for what I would argue. But white supremacy is actually in the Constitution, the whole Constitution, not the abbreviated one the Republican party read after taking the House in 2010. The laws of this country, until, the 1960s actively promoted white supremacy.
Moreover, I suspect that a critical race theorist would argue that the criminal justice laws in the country -- post-1960 -- have themselves promoted white supremacy. I would not, mostly because I think their implications are much broader. But the point I'm driving at is that making such an argument is not hair tonic.
Breitbart.com Editor-In-Chief Joel Pollack also connected the dots between Bell's racial theology and the Democrat-Media Complex's vile tactics:
The Trayvon Martin case shows, once again, the effect of Derrick Bell’s radical Critical Race Theory on President Barack Obama and his administration.
Critical Race Theory holds that the law itself is characterized by white supremacy--an idea Obama invoked by insisting that Americans “examine the laws” that supposedly led to Martin’s death. And Bell often promoted his theory with fictional projections about race--just as racial fiction is driving Obama’s response to the case.
Next in Part 12: The Roots of the War on Meritocracy
From Page 50 of Afrolantica Legacies, the alien prophetess confirms Bell's belief that tests scores also play their part in the white supremacist conspiracy:
The source Bell cites to support Chiara's claim that "these pen and paper tests actually measure past opportunity better than future potential": Susan Strum and Lani Guinier, "The Future of Affirmative Action: Reclaiming the Innovative Ideal," 84 California Law Review 953 (1996).
For a summary of Strum and Guinier's views, consider a different article with a similar title published in 2000 in the Boston Review. The subtitle summarizes their objective:
Promoting diversity in education and employment requires us to rethink testing and "meritocracy."
Here's Srum and Guinier's argument:
We think it is time to shift the terrain of debate. We need to situate the conversation about race, gender, and affirmative action in a wider account of democratic opportunity by refocusing attention from the contested periphery of the system of selection to its settled core. The present system measures merit through scores on paper-and-pencil tests. But this measure is fundamentally unfair. In the educational setting, it restricts opportunities for many poor and working-class Americans of all colors and genders who could otherwise obtain a better education. In the employment setting, it restricts access based on inadequate predictors of job performance. In short, it is neither fair nor functional in its distribution of opportunities for admission to higher education, entry-level hiring, and job promotion.
Question: if you need a high-risk, life-or-death operation would you choose the surgeon with the highest GPA or the one who made it in via affirmative action and just barely managed to graduate?
Here are a few books on my to-read list that relate to this subject:
MSNBC host and Nation editor Christopher Hayes publishes his first book in June, Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy.
Here's Hayes's argument:
Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another – from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate America, even Major League Baseball – imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions; the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters.
How did we get here? With Twilight of the Elites, Christopher Hayes offers a radically novel answer. Since the 1960s, as the meritocracy elevated a more diverse group of men and women into power, they learned to embrace the accelerating inequality that had placed them near the very top. Their ascension heightened social distance and spawned a new American elite--one more prone to failure and corruption than any that came before it.
Mixing deft political analysis, timely social commentary, and deep historical understanding, Twilight of the Elites describes how the society we have come to inhabit – utterly forgiving at the top and relentlessly punitive at the bottom – produces leaders who are out of touch with the people they have been trusted to govern. Hayes argues that the public's failure to trust the federal government, corporate America, and the media has led to a crisis of authority that threatens to engulf not just our politics but our day-to-day lives.
Upending well-worn ideological and partisan categories, Hayes entirely reorients our perspective on our times. Twilight of the Elites is the defining work of social criticism for the post-bailout age.
Among those urging the consumption of this postmodern repacking of orthodox Marxism:
"A provocation; a challenge; and a major contribution to the great debate over how the American dream can be restored." – David Frum, contributing editor, DailyBeast/Newsweek
Another book, this one published a few years ago:
Part 13: The Marxist War Within the Multi-Racial Family
On page 61, the second Afrolantica Legacy begins, a parable titled "The Citadel" told to Bell by Geneva Crenshaw. (We also learn that actually Geneva was the alien prophetess Chiara from the previous chapter.) The story serves to illustrate the second of Bell's dogmas: "Service in the cause of truth and justice is no less worthy of praise because it is misunderstood, misused, or condemned."
The story depicts a world of class conflict: the rich residents of the Citadel oppress the noble commoners who live in the hills below, the so-called lowlanders. The Citadel's current master, the iron-fisted Xercis, encounters opposition from his idealistic daughter Tamar who longs to end the abuse of the lowlanders.
Page 67 presents one of their arguments:
"the price of maintaining power over others is the continuing risk of their revolt. But we must abide by the teaching of our forebears. Whatever its cost, we must maintain dominance."
Bell's fairy tale reinvents the Marxist understanding of bourgeoisie vs proletariat into Citadel vs Lowlanders. This mythology of class warfare defining human existence -- life as a zero-sum game where one "side" must always lose in order for another to benefit -- serves as one of the foundational dogmas of his Critical Race Theory. "Blackness" and "Whiteness" remain locked in permanent conflict and we don't need it spelled out which side professor Bell has cast as proletariat for his morality play.
Out in the real world there exists an often forgotten piece of "collateral damage" in this class war. Genuine victims, harmed by those inflaming racial divisions.
Earlier this year the Associated Press reported interracial marriage at an all time high:
Interracial marriages in the U.S. have climbed to 4.8 million - a record one in 12 - as a steady flow of new Asian and Hispanic immigrants expands the pool of prospective spouses.
Blacks are now substantially more likely than before to marry whites.
A Pew Research Center study, released today, details a diversifying America where interracial unions and the mixed-race children they produce are challenging typical notions of race.
'The rise in interracial marriage indicates that race relations have improved over the past quarter century,' said Daniel Lichter, a sociology professor at Cornell University. 'Mixed-race children have blurred America's color line.
I sympathize with the sentiments of this fellow 28-year-old quoted in the article:
'Race is a social construct; race isn't real,' said Jonathan Brent, 28. The son of a white father and Japanese-American mother, Brent helped organize multiracial groups in southern California and believes his background helps him understand situations from different perspectives.
Odd coincidence: The "white-Latino" George Zimmerman, is also 28. His tragic encounter with Trayvon Martin, fueled into a media event now by MSNBC, inspired racial violence against a 78-year-old man as the Toledo Blade reports via Gateway Pundit:
One boy, he said, put his foot on the back of the victim’s neck, with another shouting, “Kill him.”
While Mr. Watts was down the boys kicked him, over and over, shouting, “[Get] that white [man]. This is for Trayvon … Trayvon lives, white [man]. Kill that white [man],” according to a police report.
According to the Fox Toledo report the group beating the man included teenage boys both white and black.
And in the clip unleashed by Breitbart.Com weeks ago beginning the dialogue of Critical Race Theory, a 28-year-old child of a polygamous African socialist and an idealistic white fellow-traveling college student invoked his elite Harvard peers to open their hearts and minds to the words of Derrick Bell.
"But we must abide by the teaching of our forebears. Whatever its cost, we must maintain dominance."
Next in Part 14: The White Bourgeoisie Conspiracy to Dupe the Black Proletariat
On Page 72 Bell continues his Marxist parable, the ruler of the citadel conspires to dupe the lowlanders into believing they're free when actually their oppression continues:
"By admitting a few of them slowly, we will appear fair and open-minded."
"We will win... by admitting the error of our past policies. Only by ostensibly renouncing them, will we ensure their continued viability."
An advocate for the antisemitic cult leader Louis Farrakhan draws on conspiracy thinking to explain how so many black Americans could rise up in incorrigibly racist America. Surely no connection exists between the two opinions?
Related: Shelby Steele at the Wall Street Journal yesterday:
In fact Trayvon's sad fate clearly sent a quiver of perverse happiness all across America's civil rights establishment, and throughout the mainstream media as well. His death was vindication of the "poetic truth" that these establishments live by. Poetic truth is like poetic license where one breaks grammatical rules for effect. Better to break the rule than lose the effect. Poetic truth lies just a little; it bends the actual truth in order to highlight what it believes is a larger and more important truth.
The civil rights community and the liberal media live by the poetic truth that America is still a reflexively racist society, and that this remains the great barrier to black equality. But this "truth" has a lot of lie in it. America has greatly evolved since the 1960s. There are no longer any respectable advocates of racial segregation. And blacks today are nine times more likely to be killed by other blacks than by whites.
Next in Part 15: The Wages of Antisemitism
"Shadowboxing: Blacks, Jews and Games Scapegoats Play" features two dialogues devoted to Bell's defense of Louis Farrakhan, the antisemitic leader of the Nation of Islam. Bell uses these discussions to illustrate his third Afrolantica Legacy:
Coalition building is an enterprise with valuable potential as long as its pursuit does not obscure the basic fact: nobody can free us but ourselves.
Bell describes a radical student named Nat T (a reference to the slave revolt led by Nat Turner) who comes to visit him in his law school office. When Bell rejects Nat T's violent, kill-all-the-white-people rhetoric the student storms out, promising to murder him and the other "black tokens" when the revolution arrives.
As Nat T leaves the building he upsets Ben Hirsch, a Jewish faculty member whom Bell describes as "a staunch supporter of Israel where he travels frequently and consults with the government." Hirsch comes to Bell to complain, leading to a Socratic dialogue where Bell blows over a series of Straw Man arguments. Despite Bell's reliance on cliches throughout his narratives, this invention of a pro-Israel professor shows a gift for the surreal.
"... when one black leader makes comments they deem anti-Semitic..."
Bell denied Farrakhan's antisemitism. And his sentiment mirrors paleo-conservative former MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan's description of Father Charles Coughlin (who published the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his newspaper Social Justice in the 1930s) as "an alleged antisemite."
On page 97 Bell reprints a blurb he provided for Farrakhan's book A Torchlight for America:
"his basic sermon... is a quite conservative message of self-help."
"Unlike those conservatives, black and white, who only preach self-help to the poor as a crowd-pleasing abstraction, Farrakhan's formulas emphasize the Nation of Islam's experience in educating black children, rehabilitating black prisoners, ridding black communities of drug dealers, and rebuilding respect for self -- the essential prerequisite for individuals determined to maintain the struggle against the racism that burdens our lives and, unless curbed, will destroy this country."
Antisemitic political cults implement extensive social services to dupe citizens into supporting them. Hamas spends 80-85 percent of its annual $70-90 million budget on schools, clinics, and other welfare-related programs. The IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation (which sponsored the flotillas to break Israel's defensive blockade of Gaza) acts as the charitable wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. In the 1970s the Black Panthers set up lunch programs and schools while they stockpiled guns. During the height of the Ku Klux Klan's power in the 1920s, they too invested in community programs and social services to sway people to their side.
On page 98 we get to the crux:
"... I am moved to his side [Farrakhan's] by the 'take no prisoners' attitude of his attackers; for example, when Benjamin F. Chavis, the former NAACP executive director, warned his Anti-Defamation League (A.D.L.) counterpart, Abraham Foxman, that continued A.D.L. attacks on Farrakhan could create precisely what Jewish leaders say they fear: black anti-Semitism."
Bell believed the Jews responsible for inspiring others to hate them. How is this doctrine different from Peter Beinart's claim that settlement construction motivates the Palestinians to refuse peace with Israel? And why would the Obama administration object to new apartments in Jerusalem?
On page 99, further confirmation of Bell's antisemitism through his reliance on the Protocols conspiracy theory:
"In addition, there is the use of economic clout to threaten business enterprises of those deemed dangerous to Jewish interests."
And on page 101:
"Jewish groups utilize their formidable economic power to intimidate blacks into halting actions that Jews find offensive."
Here Bell employs a sanitized variation of the "Jews control the economy" delusion, the second example provided in the European Union definition of antisemitism.
What ideas about Jews do you suppose Mohamed Merah filled his head with all his life?
The wages of antisemitism now paid in full, as the Washington Post reports:
An Islamic extremist who boasted of killing seven people to strike back at France died Thursday after jumping from his window, gun in hand, in a fierce shootout with police, a French minister said.
Interior Minister Claude Gueant said the suspect, who claimed links to al-Qaida, jumped out after police entered the apartment Thursday and found him holed up in the bathroom.
The death of Mohamed Merah, 23, ended a more than 32-hour standoff with an elite police squad trying to capture him alive. Merah was wanted in the deaths of seven people, three paratroopers, three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi, all killed over 10 days. Another student and another paratrooper were wounded in his attacks.
Next in Part 16: The Progressive Faith Vs The Jewish Faith
Why the indifference to antisemitism? For the same original reason as Karl Marx himself, because Judaism disrupts the establishment of utopia.
Let's translate the quote line by line:
We can find no safety in turning inward upon ourselves, severing our links with the general community.
Translation: More lethal antisemitism will come if Jews continue remaining Jews. Jewish identity must be watered down.
We can find safety only if we help America deal not only with the symptoms -- hatred, rage, bigotry -- but with the root problems of our society -- slums, powerlessness, decay of our cities, and unemployment, which spawn the evils of bigotry and conflict.
Translation: To end antisemitism we must end crime and to end crime we must end economic inequality.
Our task as Jews must go beyond the defensive job of countering the attacks of anti-Semitism to helping bring about a just and peaceful society.
Translation: defending the progressive faith is more important than defending the Jewish faith. When the two conflict, Jews should embrace the former. And today in America the majority do.
The Huffington Post reported this week on continued Jewish support for Bell's admirer, Obama:
More Jews (46 percent) named a "commitment to social equality" as the factor most important to their Jewish identity, followed by 20 percent who said "support for Israel" and 17 percent who said "religious observance."
The poll also showed Jewish voters' strong support for Obama. Twice as many said they would vote for Obama over a GOP candidate. That level of support is nearly unchanged from the same point during Obama's first presidential run.
Kenneth Wald, a political science professor who studies Jewish voting patterns at the University of Florida, said he has heard the political chatter that U.S. Jews are so upset with Obama's treatment of Israel that they will move away from their traditionally Democratic leanings and vote for a GOP challenger -- but the survey doesn't find evidence for that.
"About three out of four American Jews voted Democratic in 2008," Wald said. "Something relatively similar is likely to occur in 2012."
Next in Part 17: Doing the State Some Service
Following the long defense of Louis Farrakhan's antisemitism in the previous chapter, Bell presents an essay illustrating the fourth Afrolantica Legacy:
For his proletariat martyr Bell names one of the saints of the faith. His title: "Paul Robeson: Doing the State Some Service."
Here's an excerpt from page 111:
There's something chilling about Bell arranging his chapters in this way. The previous essay defended Farrakhan and denied his antisemitism. Now in this chapter Bell holds up the Stalinist icon Paul Robeson as "one of our greatest heroes."
Robeson too, had his own history of supporting lethal antisemitism. Wikipedia summarizes and even generously provides the justifications of Robeson's defenders:
In June 1949, during the 150th anniversary celebration of the birth of Alexander Pushkin, Robeson visited the Soviet Union on a major tour including a concert at Tchaikovsky Hall. Concerned about the welfare of Jewish artists, Robeson insisted to Soviet officials that he meet with Itzik Feffer a few days earlier. Robeson had first met Feffer on July 8, 1943, at the largest pro-Soviet rally ever held in the United States, an event organized by the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and chaired by Albert Einstein. Robeson then also got to know Solomon Mikhoels, the popular actor and director of the Moscow State Jewish Theater. Mikhoels also headed the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in the Soviet Union with Feffer as his second. After the rally, Robeson and his wife Essie had entertained Feffer and Mikhoels.
According to an account by Paul Robeson Jr told to Robeson biographer Martin Duberman, in the 1980s, Robeson was disturbed as to why he could not find his many Jewish friends when he returned to the U.S.S.R. in June 1949. After several inquires, Feffer was brought to Robeson's hotel room by the State Police. He and Feffer were forced to communicate through hand gestures and notes because the room was bugged. Feffer indicated that Mikhoels had been murdered in 1948 by the secret police and intimated that he also was going to be killed. Feffer in fact was executed along with 14 other Jewish intellectuals three years later.
Upon returning to the United States, he denied any persecution of Jews and other political prisoners, stating that he "met Jewish people all over the place... I heard no word about it." Historians Martin Duberman, Philip S Foner, Marie Seton, Paul Robeson Jr and Lloyd Brown concur that Robeson had a long standing mistrust of the US government and that he felt that criticism of the Soviet Union's internal affairs by someone of his immense international popularity would only serve to shore up reactionary elements in the U.S. . Robeson is on record numerous times as stating that he felt the existence of a major socialist power like the USSR was a bulwark against Western European capitalist domination of Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
According to Joshua Rubenstein's book, Stalin's Secret Pogrom, Robeson also justified his silence on the grounds that any public criticism of the USSR would reinforce the authority of anti-Soviet elements in the United States which, he believed, wanted a preemptive war against the Soviet Union. A large number of Robeson biographers, including Martin Duberman, Philip S Foner, Marie Seton, Paul Robeson Jr and Lloyd Brown also concur with Robeson's own words, that he felt that criticism of the Soviet Union by someone of his immense international popularity would only serve to shore up reactionary elements in the U.S., the same elements that had lifted his passport, blocked anti-lynching legislation, and maintained a racial climate in the United States that also allowed Jim Crow, impoverished living conditions for all races and a white supremacist domination of the US government to continue.
Next: Thurgood Marshall As a Sex Slave
Following his full-throated defense of Robeson, Bell chose to provide another icon with a less flattering portrayal. To illustrate the fifth Afrolantica Legacy, Bell borrowed Margaret Atwood's "classic" 1986 Marxist feminist-dystopian novel The Handmaiden's Tale. Throughout the essay Bell compares Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to the novel's protagonist Offred, a women kept as a sex slave in a nightmare future.
He does this to demonstrate that even though Marshall's Civil Rights victories failed to lift up black Americans, and even though racism will endure forever, we should keep up the hope like the hero of the novel and carry on in the "struggle" regardless because:
Bell needs an explanation for how the apparent improvement in black lives over the last 50 years is actually an illusion. He needs to reveal Marshall's life work as fraudulent. He does so via a conspiracy theory mirroring the parable of the Citadel in the second Afrolanica Legacy.
From Page 130 Bell embraces the thesis of Robert L. Allen's 1969 book Black Awakening in Capitalist America:
"... what we deem as progress measured by the number of blacks who have moved into management level positions, is quite similar to developments in colonial Africa and India. The colonizing countries maintained their control by establishing class divisions within the ranks of the indigenous peoples. A few able (and safe) individuals were permitted to move up in the ranks where they served as false symbols of what was possible for the subordinated masses."
The left often has a simplistic view of the civil rights movement as monolithic. The truth is that Marshall and King represented very different approaches to ending the bitter history of segregation. Marshall favored using the law while King favored bold demonstrations to gain media attention.
History tells us that both the demonstrators and the lawyers played vital roles in bringing about the end of segregation in America. But Marshall’s more conservative view of how to create lasting social change is often forgotten because he never wore a dashiki or patronized the idea of race riots as helpful to achieving racial equality. He was seen by many of the 60’s activists as a boring, law and order, establishment judge who deeply believed in the Constitution, loved America and was a social conservative.
Next in Part 19: The Black Sedition Papers Conspiracy
The previous chapters revealed Afrolantica Legacies' reliance on a conspiracy theory world view. In the second chapter's Marxist parable of the Citadel, Bell imagined a conspiracy to allow the advancement of a handful of "lowlanders" in order to deceive the masses. In the third chapter Bell defends the antisemitic conspiracy theorist leading the Nation of Islam and advances his own version of the "Jews control the economy and will run you out of business if they want to" conspiracy. And yesterday the excerpt from the fifth chapter showed Bell's embrace of Robert L. Allen's conspiracy theory that whites in America had effectively "colonized" the black community, installing fake black leaders who would actually sabotage black interests.
For the sixth Afrolantica Legacy Bell goes all in on imaginary conspiracies.
Bell titles his Critical Race Theory fiction "The Black Sedition Papers" and describes a plot to use a series of studies to blame black Americans for their proletariat class status:
"Under the ground rules, the papers are to focus on black pathology, describing it in detail and condemning those afflicted with it."
In the essay's conclusion, Bell imagines an academic friend investigating the Black Sedition Papers conspiracy and reporting back to him on a text suspected of being part of the evil white scheme. He then lays out the strategy I've employed in this analysis of Afrolantica Legacies.
"... the militant and conservative papers together will be used to convince a larger spectrum of the white population of the need for draconian measures against all blacks"
Note how Bell chooses to describe his own writings: militant.
Related: In Barack Obama's America the Associated Press reports a police car shot up near the site where Trayvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman:
Authorities say gunfire knocked out a window on a police cruiser parked near the townhome community where a black Florida teen was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer.
Sanford police told Orlando television station WKMG the cruiser was found with at least two bullet holes Tuesday morning after witnesses reported hearing at least six gunshots. The car had been parked outside Bentley Elementary School for several weeks at the request of school officials.
The Daily Caller reported that Zimmerman's family called on Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute the New Black Panther Party:
The family member believes the reason Holder hasn’t made those arrests is because he, like the members of the New Black Panther Party, is black.
“I am writing you to ask you why, when the law of the land is crystal clear, is your office not arresting the New Black Panthers for hate crimes?” the family member wrote to Holder.
“The Zimmerman family is in hiding because of the threats that have been made against us, yet the DOJ has maintained an eerie silence on this matter. These threats are very public. If you haven’t been paying attention just do a Google search and you will find plenty. Since when can a group of people in the United States put a bounty on someone’s head, circulate Wanted posters publicly, and still be walking the streets?”
The New Black Panthers have issued ultimatums to the Sanford authorities, saying they want Zimmerman arrested “dead or alive.” They have placed a bounty on Zimmerman’s head, and have called for the building of an army of vigilantes to track him down and effect a citizen’s arrest.
Confession time: actually I'm just citing these stories and juxtaposing them with Bell's writings because I'm part of a secret white supremacist conspiracy that wants to reinstate Jim Crow.
Next in Part 20: Strange Sex & Human Sacrifice in Bluebeard's Castle
The last of Bell's Afrolantica Legacies explicitly labels the law professor's life program as a faith:
To illustrate his political dogma, Bell uses another literary reference. He titles the essay "Bluebeard's Castle: An American Fairy Tale" and borrows Bela Bartok's opera. The plot summarized via Wikipedia:
The basic plot is loosely based on the folk tale "Bluebeard", but is given a heavily psychological reworking—some would say psychoanalytic or psychosexual, (see Bruno Bettelheim and The Uses of Enchantment).
Judith and Bluebeard arrive at his castle, which is all dark. Bluebeard asks Judith if she wants to stay and even offers her an opportunity to leave, but she decides to stay. Judith insists that all the doors be opened, to allow light to enter into the forbidding interior, insisting further that her demands are based on her love for Bluebeard. Bluebeard refuses, saying that they are private places not to be explored by others, and asking Judith to love him but ask no questions. Judith persists, and eventually prevails over his resistance.
- Place: A huge, dark hall in a castle, with seven locked doors.
- Time: Not defined.
The first door opens to reveal a torture chamber, stained with blood. Repelled, but then intrigued, Judith pushes on. Behind the second door is a storehouse of weapons, and behind the third a storehouse of riches. Bluebeard urges her on. Behind the fourth door is a secret garden of great beauty; behind the fifth, a window onto Bluebeard's vast kingdom. All is now sunlit, but blood has stained the riches, watered the garden, and grim clouds throw blood-red shadows over Bluebeard's kingdom.
Bluebeard pleads with her to stop: the castle is as bright as it can get, and will not get any brighter, but Judith refuses to be stopped after coming this far, and opens the penultimate sixth door, as a shadow passes over the castle. This is the first room that has not been somehow stained with blood; a silent silvery lake is all that lies within, "a lake of tears". Bluebeard begs Judith to simply love him, and ask no more questions. The last door must be shut forever. But she persists, asking him about his former wives, and then accusing him of having murdered them, suggesting that their blood was the blood everywhere, that their tears were those that filled the lake, and that their bodies lie behind the last door. At this, Bluebeard hands over the last key.
Behind the door are Bluebeard's three former wives, but still alive, dressed in crowns and jewellery. They emerge silently, and Bluebeard, overcome with emotion, prostrates himself before them and praises each in turn, finally turning to Judith and beginning to praise her as his fourth wife. She is horrified, begs him to stop, but it is too late. He dresses her in the jewellery they wear, which she finds exceedingly heavy. Her head drooping under the weight, she follows the other wives along a beam of moonlight through the seventh door. It closes behind her, and Bluebeard is left alone as all fades to total darkness.
For his essay Bell casts America as Bluebeard and black Americans as Judith. Then he labels all the great Civil Rights victories (the Emancipation Proclamation, the post-Civil War Amendments to the Constitution, desegregation, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965) as akin to doors in Bluebeard's castle: false improvements leading toward a truth too evil to comprehend.
On page 167 Bell's choice of metaphors begin to reveal some strange sexual preoccupations:
"And just as there is little reason to believe Judith will be Bluebeard's last attempt to regain his humanity through symbolic marriage and the inhumane sacrifice of another bride, I can find little basis for hope, either from history or by analogy from the fairy tale, that the racial pattern of freedom symbols for blacks and the preservation of substantive power for whites."
Let's translate Bell's metaphoric language. In plain English: "Black people have little reason to believe white Americans will stop trying to heal their emotional problems through oppressing blacks. Meaningless laws will continue to be passed to dupe blacks while white people stay rich and blacks stay poor."
But why does Bell need to express this through talk of human sacrifice, an enslaved wife, and a polygamous husband? Why does he again cast American blacks in the role of a woman doomed to a life of sex with a man she doesn't love (recall the fifth Afrolantica Legacy)?
The flip side of his imagery of the degraded woman: why does he use Geneva Crenshaw, the idealized female version of himself, throughout his writings? How come the first Afrolantica Legacy presents a beautiful black alien goddess -- Chiara, a "brown-skinned Joan of Arc" -- coming down from heaven to give Bell his wisdom? How come in the second Afrolantica Legacy Bell made the hero a woman? Why does Bell repeat over and hover how “black women will ultimately save our people”? How come Bell surrounded his Critical Race Theory world with idols of strong females?
The answer in Afrolantica's Haunting Conclusion: 'Let's Get Back to the Struggle'
This is how Derrick Bell concluded Afrolantica Legacies, a final discussion with the idealized female version of himself, Geneva Crenshaw:
"Let's get back to the struggle" are the final words in a book in which Bell has:
A) Named his utopia "Afrolantica" and decreed it a land where only African-Americans could survive. Thus, in Bell's imagination utopia is a world without Jews. Bell described the sensation of living in such a place "a euphoria of Freedom."
B) Defended Louis Farrakhan, antisemitic conspiracy theorist and leader of the Nation of Islam, and promoted the blood libel of Jewish control of the economy.
C) Urged Jews to remain loyal to the progressive cause above defending themselves from antisemitism.
D) Named the Stalinist artist Paul Robeson -- who lied to the world about the Soviet murder and torture of Russian Jews -- one of our "greatest heroes."
The word "struggle" finds itself featured prominently in other genocidal antisemitic movements. The infamous title of Adolf Hitler's autobiography:
Also, the term "Jihad," defined courtesy of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan:
What were these men, scattered across cultures but united in antisemitism, struggling with "inside ones self"? Warning: the graphic answer on the next page quotes from material containing profanity and disturbing content.
Part 20, "Strange Sex & Human Sacrifice in Bluebeard’s Castle," concluded with this series of questions:
But why does Bell need to express this through talk of human sacrifice, an enslaved wife, and a polygamous husband? Why does he again cast American blacks in the role of a woman doomed to a life of sex with a man she doesn’t love (recall the fifth Afrolantica Legacy)?
The flip side of his imagery of the degraded woman: why does he use Geneva Crenshaw, the idealized female version of himself, throughout his writings? How come the first Afrolantica Legacy presents a beautiful black alien goddess — Chiara, a “brown-skinned Joan of Arc” — coming down from heaven to give Bell his wisdom? How come in the second Afrolantica Legacy Bell made the hero a woman? Why does Bell repeat over and hover how “black women will ultimately save our people”? How come Bell surrounded his Critical Race Theory world with idols of strong females?
Antisemites don't actually hate Jews. In fact it's not even the Jewish people who are really their target. Antisemites hate what the Jews created, a cornerstone of Western civilization that now transcends Judaism: ethical monotheism. Antisemites hate the idea that there is only one true, invisible, faceless God and thus one Rule of Law and one standard of behavior for all. They would rather worship the idols they have created. For Bell, he worshiped a mother goddess -- a symbol of nature and sex. His political theology reinvents the functions of the fertility cults of antiquity.
If one God doesn't exist and every culture's customs and gods are equally valid and should be tolerated -- an idol today called "multiculturalism" -- then why is child sacrifice wrong? Why is ritual prostitution -- religiously-mandated rape and slavery -- not permissible?
At PJ Lifestyle I wrote about a 9-page letter by screenwriter Joe Eszterhas in which he accuses actor Mel Gibson of antisemitism, conspiracy thinking, violent anger problems, and shocking sexual fantasies shared with a child. Here's a very disturbing -- but revealing -- excerpt exposing a root pathology within the antisemitic mind:
The Today show interviewed Eszterhas and pressed him for proof of his allegations and wanted to know why he continued working with Gibson after this episode (which he mentioned in non-explicit terms on the show). He answered that there were other witnesses and that his son had shot a video of Gibson's behavior. He also explained that this was the last straw and after this incident with his son he cut off contact with Gibson.
"I want to --- her (Oksana) in the --- and stab her to death while I'm doing it" the antisemite says to the 15-year-old son of a colleague. Mel Gibson's snuff film fantasy has its predecessors: the everyday happenings at Sodom and Gomorrah, where worship of nature meant acting like animals -- treating people like objects that exist to satisfy primitive drives.
Fox News reported on Nidal Hasan's frequenting the modern world's equivalent of sexual idolatry:
The Army psychiatrist authorities say killed 13 people and wounded 29 others at the Fort Hood Army Base Thursday was a recent and frequent customer at a local strip club, employees of the club told FoxNews.com exclusively.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan came into the Starz strip club not far from the base at least three times in the past month, the club's general manager, Matthew Jones, told FoxNews.com. Army investigators building their case against Hasan plan to interview Jones soon.
"The last time he was here, I remember checking his military ID at the door, and he paid his $15 cover and stayed for six or seven hours," Jones, 37, said.
I go to Strip Clubs because it's about control. Isn't it always about control? In the world we live in control is simply measured by the almighty Benjamin. I have a few hours and few Benjamin's to pretend I am in a fantasy world where men dictate the rules. As men, we have always been a slave to this desire for control. Would a strip club even exist if it wasn't for this false promise? In the end strip clubs are just this false promise because even through men like to think we have control, we really don't.
"I have all this rage and I don't know why."
All this casts Afrolantica in a different light. What are we to make of A) Bell's antisemitism, B) his fantasies of his political enemies in the role of sex slaves, and C) his understanding of American blacks as akin to enslaved wives? And how could this political theology connect with the Obama administration's public policies?
The video from Breitbart.com that started this discussion of Critical Race Theory and this series:
The 28-year-old Barack Obama on Derrick Bell in 1990:
He hasn't done it simply because of the excellence of his scholarship. Although his scholarship has opened up new vistas and new horizons and changed the standards of what legal writing is about. ... Open up your hearts and minds to the words of Professor Derrick Bell.
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah wasn't about sex. It was about idolatry. When secular critics relate the war stories from the Old Testament of the Jewish conquests of Canaan, here's what they don't tell you: these other tribes the ancient Israelites went to war against practiced child sacrifice. That's why they couldn't be tolerated then and why we must win the war against them today.
Human sacrifice is the end result of any idolatry taken to its conclusion. Worship something other than a variant of the God of ethical monotheism and you'll end up doing evil things. Worship nature, man-made images and ideas, people and politicians, Harvard professors, one's own ego... and the result is that people become what they worship -- they become death.
I'll conclude this series with an excerpt from PJM's Middle East editor Barry Rubin last month:
President Barack Obama is continuing his love affair with Turkish Islamist leader Recep Erdogan. As Erdogan continues to undermine Turkish democracy, throw hundreds of moderates into jail, destroy the nation’s institutions, help Iran, throw hysterical tantrums about how much he hates Israel, promote Islamism in the region, and is fresh from still another meeting with Hamas leaders, Obama continues to use Erdogan as his guru.
When the two men met at the Seoul, South Korea, Nuclear Security Summit on March 25, Obama practically slobbered over the anti-American ruler, calling Erdogan his “friend and colleague….We find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues.”
When Erdogan goes to elections or is criticized by the opposition he uses statements like this to “prove” that his policies aren’t radical or anti-Western at all. Here’s a man whose regime can help terrorist groups organize a violent confrontation with Israel, preside over a virulently anti-American media, insist Iran isn’t seeking nuclear weapons and has a wonderful government, and then be lionized by the president of the United States.
“I think it’s fair to say that over the last several years, the relationship between Turkey and the United States has continued to grow across every dimension. And I find Prime Minister Erdogan to be an outstanding partner and an outstanding friend on a wide range of issues.”