The PJ Tatler

Why Professor Derrick A. Bell Matters


Last night on Hannity, we were shown the edited portion of the video from Obama’s days at Harvard, where he introduced Professor Bell to the protest crowd gathered. What had been edited out was Obama’s figurative and literal embrace of Dr. Bell. It was just another few seconds, but the meaning of this embrace does matter very much. When Obama asks the crowd to open their hearts to Dr. Bell’s words, he is all too aware of what those teachings were.


In addition to the associations to Farrakhan and other points made here yesterday, we can add the following points about Dr. Bell and his ideology:

His book is suggested reading for young Communists:

He is referenced at length (pg. 1) in a piece about why blacks should have no fidelity to the Constitution:

He was a sponsor of “New Politics”, a socialist publication, along with Frances Fox Piven, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West and others:

According to a former student, he encouraged focus on the Black Panthers:

Whenever and wherever I encountered Professor Bell on campus, he would take a moment to ask how my research was developing and offer a nugget of advice or support. He enthusiastically encouraged me to pursue my then nascent interests in the Black Panther party and on science fiction and technology in black culture. The latter project owed an immeasurable debt to the speculative turn he took in “Space Traders”, a chapter of his widely-read book Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism.


He has multiple alleged connections with Bill Ayers according to this video:

Here is one of their shared petitions:

Finally, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was very connected to the professor:

As articles editor for the Harvard Law Review in 1985 Kagan helped shepherd into print a racially noxious story by a radical law professor and architect of Critical Race Studies, which is essentially “blame whitey” in legal vernacular.

This was no literary fiction. It was the kind of story that would never get past Tina Brown at the New Yorker. What Derrick Bell, the author, was doing, observes legal scholar Arthur Austin, was “making broadside comments on the tyranny of white people.”

Austin, in an article, ranked Bell’s fable one of the top 10 politically correct law review articles of all time.

Bell’s fiction was a way to circumvent law review standards. He made outlandish statements through a fictional alter-ego, modeled after a six foot three black woman in Portland, Oregon that would have been impossible to sustain with the logic and evidence required in a non-fiction piece. The goal was to access a readership that otherwise would not have countenanced
such hateful notions.

“What the hell was that doing in a law review article?” asked Professor Austin in an interview with yesterday. “Bell would publish these things in legal journals that had nothing to do with the law.”

Kagan was his enabler. She helped get something published that turned on all kinds of noxious sentiments about society and a relativistic view of the law.

“Several editors worked with me on the piece but Elena Kagan was the articles editor [known officially as supervising editor],” Bell told “There was real dedication and support by Elena.”

Kagan’s participation in an article that replaced facts and logic with subjective narrative does not bode well for her tenure on the Court. Considering that as articles editor of the Harvard Law Review she willingly discarded standards there is good reason to think that she might do this on the Supreme Court.

Critical Legal Studies — a school of thought which deems law fundamentally oppressive and renders everything completely relative — is the linchpin of judicial activism. If everything is the product of subjective perspective then the law becomes whatever judges make it.

As Bell asserted yesterday in an interview with, “What the hell is the rule of law? The law is whatever you say it is.”


There is no intent here to paint Dr. Bell as an evil person. He undoubtedly believed very much in what he said, taught and did throughout his life. The concern lies in the fact that his past was socialist, divisive and radical, and our president urged others to embrace it. Coupled with the many other radicals who have surrounded Obama throughout his life and career, why would anyone continue to doubt the direction he is taking us?

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