Last week's release of the Barack Obama/Derrick Bell Harvard tape was seen by many as another example of the President’s long history associating with radicals.
There is another interpretation, however. When Obama urged people to open up their hearts and minds to Bell, it was another case of him “cozying up" to an antisemite. Understand--we are not talking about people who are anti-Israel (although there is a huge crossover of the two) but people who regularly use antisemitic stereotypes or more directly derogatory comments about Jews.
Here are some examples:
Derrick Bell: Bell was a leading proponent of Critical Race Theory (CRT), described by Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry in Beyond All Reason: The Radical Assault on Truth in American Law as an example of extreme multiculturalism. They add:
The radical theories inescapably imply that Jews and Asians enjoy an unfair share of wealth and status. Thus, the necessary normative implication of the radical theory is that steps should be taken to redress the balance more in favor of white gentiles. In addition, the radicals cannot easily explain Jewish and Asian success. Although benign explanations for this success are available, they are logically inconsistent with radical multiculturalism; consequently, the radicals would be forced to explain Jewish and Asian success by deploying theories that parallel historic forms of anti-Semitism. In short, if the radical multiculturalists are not personally anti-Semitic or anti-Asian, it is only because they have failed to work fully though the logic of their own theories.
More directly, Bell appeared to believe that Jews have an ulterior motive for everything. For example, in his novella, “The Space Traders,” Bell argued that Jews help blacks so they themselves won’t become the target of bigotry.
Merrill A. McPeak: Co-Chair of Obama’s 2008 campaign, McPeak is a believer in that old “Jews control the government” meme. In one interview, he suggested that U.S. politicians are afraid of Jewish voters in Miami and New York City and that American Jews are the "problem" impeding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sen. Chuck Hagel: When Obama was first elected, Hagel--a friend from Obama's brief service in the U.S. Senate--was believed to be the president’s first choice for Defense Secretary. Hagel was once quoted as saying: "The political reality is that... the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here."
Sorry, Chuck, but the only Jewish lobby I know of is in my house--and my wife says it needs a paint job.
Khalid al-Mansour and Al-Waleed bin Talal: According to Sutton, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal (the guy whose ten million dollars were rejected by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani because he had blamed 9/11 on Israel) and Khalid al-Mansour of the antisemitic Nation of Islam were instrumental in assisting the future president's Harvard ambitions.
Zbigniew Brzezinski: The President once called Brzezinski "someone I have learned an immense amount from" and "one of our most outstanding scholars and thinkers." The former National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter, Brzezinski is famous for helping to create the Taliban and is a Judeophobic conspiracy theorist who believes the Jews control U.S foreign policy and Congress.
Al Sharpton: According to the Wall Street Journal, the President turned to Sharpton to answer public criticism in the black community over his economic policy. Sharpton helped fan the flames of the Crown Heights Pogrom and was a leader of the anti-Jewish protest that led to the firebombing of the Jewish-owned Freddy’s Fashion Mart. Sharpton called Freddy's Fashion Mart's Jewish owners "bloodsuckers" and "white interlopers," leading protesters to shout, "We're going to burn and loot the Jews." Just a short time later, they got their wish: the store was firebombed and eight people died.
Jeremiah Wright: Shortly after Obama took office, the man in whose church the President sat in for twenty years complained about his lack of access to the Oval Office:
Them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter that he’ll talk to me in five years when he’s a lame duck or in eight years when he’s out of office. They will not let him talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. I said that from the beginning. He’s a politician; I’m a pastor. He’s got to do what politicians do.
And there are plenty more where that came from, including the chairman of his transition committee, John Podesta, who is now head of the Center for American Progress (CAP). Both CAP and its “child” organization, Media Matters for America (MMfA), have been cited by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for promoting the antisemitic meme that Jews are not loyal to America.
Many critics of this analysis will call the above “guilt by association;” at least, that’s what they did to similar stories in 2008.
Please understand clearly that it is not my contention that the President of the United States is an antisemite; I have seen no evidence to that fact. I do contend that he has a nasty habit of associating with Jew-haters.
Why does Barack Obama seem to gravitate to Jew-haters? Is it because he agrees with their hatred? Is he unaware? Or is he just insensitive?
Here is a man who called a Georgetown student because she was hit with an insensitive attack by a radio host, but he accepts and associates with antisemites.
Perhaps, like the radical multiculturalists who appeared to shape some of his views, Barack Obama believes Jews have an unfair share of wealth and status in this country, and a little pressure will help “redistribute" their success. Either way you look at it, his choices of friends and associates raise questions which need to be answered.