Credit Where It's Due: Chronicle of Higher Ed Backs Breitbart Bell Story

Peter Wood, blogging at the Chronicle of Higher Education, examined's story about Derrick Bell, Barack Obama, and Critical Race Theory—and how the mainstream media had failed to examine the connections.

While noting that some in the media and the academy had tried to downplay the story, Wood affirmed its potential importance, predicting that, "Bell could come into sharper focus for the general public in the days ahead, and we don’t know yet how deep or durable his influence on Obama really was."

Wood also noted the confrontation between Editor-in-Chief Joel Pollak and CNN's Soledad O'Brien:

What I find most interesting is O’Brien’s pretense that because critical race theory is a “theory,” it has nothing to do with “white supremacy.” She seems touchingly oblivious to the possibility that CRT is a theory that posits the centrality of white racism in the American legal system. The answer to her last question is surely yes: Pollak is attempting to connect President Obama with a “serious radical.” Bell’s appointment as a tenured professor at Harvard Law School in no way stands as evidence that he was not “a serious radical.” To the contrary, Bell prided himself on his radicalism. Those who paid attention to his career at Harvard, punctuated by outbursts of public protest against imaginary instances of institutional racism, can hardly think otherwise. Anyone doubting the radicalism of his theory can easily consult his own statements, as in his 1995 article, “Who’s Afraid of Critical Race Theory?

But I don’t take O’Brien’s bafflement as a pose. She seems genuinely incredulous that anyone would take professor Bell—the first black tenured professor at Harvard Law School!—as a radical, or that anyone would be discomforted by Barack Obama’s enthusiasm for the man and his theories. The word “Harvard” does amusing things to the minds of some journalists.

The fact that Critical Race Theory is taught at Harvard, Wood notes, "doesn't make it any less absurd." He also notes that Critical Race Theory is the latest example of "the academic mainstreaming of fringe anti-American theories."

Read more at the Chronicle for Higher Education.


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