Skip to comments.Racial Quota Fallout (Sowell on Bell & Obama)
Posted on 03/14/2012 1:37:57 PM PDT by jazusamo
Many years ago, I learned of an episode in the life of a promising young black man that is relevant to things happening now. He had been educated at a good school, and went on to receive degrees at good colleges and universities. Then he went for a Ph.D. in mathematics at one of the leading departments in that field.
When he encountered difficulties, his professors essentially wrote his doctoral thesis for him. No doubt they felt good about doing something to help a promising young black man, and perhaps took pride in doing so. But what about his pride?
This young man ended up joining an extremist group that hated white people.
Would it have been worse if he had not gotten a Ph.D. in math? Probably 99 percent of the people in this country, regardless of race, could not get a Ph.D. in math and yet they can still live happy and fulfilling lives.
What recalled this episode from long ago was the current flurry of interest in a video of a young Barack Obama at the Harvard law school praising Derrick Bell, a black professor there, whose writings on "critical race theory" promoted an extremist hostility to white people.
Derrick Bell was for years a civil rights lawyer, but not an academic legal scholar of the sort who gets appointed as a full professor at one of the leading law schools. Yet he became a visiting professor at the Stanford law school and was a full professor at the Harvard law school.
It was transparently obvious in both cases that his appointment was because he was black, not because he had the qualifications that got other people appointed to these faculties. At Stanford, his students complained that his course on constitutional law was not up to the standards of the other courses they were taking.
Stanford at that time had one of the leading scholars in constitutional law, Professor Gerald Gunther and Derrick Bell was no Gerald Gunther. A hastily created program of study of constitutional law was then used to teach that subject to students who were not getting what they needed in Professor Bell's course.
When this clever finessing of the problem came to light, the administration apologized to Derrick Bell for the embarrassment this caused him.
They should have apologized to the law students for short-changing them with a professor who was not up to the job and to those who donated money to the university to advance the cause of education, not to allow administrators to play racial quota politics on campus.
As a full professor at the Harvard law school, Derrick Bell was also surrounded by colleagues who were out of his league as academic scholars. What were his options at this point?
If he played it straight, he could not expect to command the respect of either faculty or students at the Harvard law school or, more important, his own self-respect. Bell himself admitted that he did not have the scholarly credentials that most full professors at the Harvard law school have.
There were no doubt other law schools where he would have been a respected colleague, but these were not Stanford or Harvard. Yet it is worth remembering that millions of people have led happy and fulfilling lives without ever being at Harvard or Stanford.
Derrick Bell's options were to be a nobody, living in the shadow of more accomplished legal scholars or to go off on some wild tangent of his own, and appeal to a radical racial constituency on campus and beyond.
His writings showed clearly that the latter was the path he chose. His previous writings had been those of a sensible man saying sensible things about civil rights issues that he understood from his years of experience as an attorney. But now he wrote all sorts of incoherent speculations and pronouncements, the main drift of which was that white people were the cause of black people's problems.
Bell even said that he took it as his mission to say things to annoy white people. Perhaps he thought that was better than being insignificant in his academic setting. But it was in fact far worse, because the real damage was to impressionable young blacks who took him seriously, including one who went on to become President of the United States.
Thomas Sowell BUMP!!!!!
I think Obama hated hwitey all along, and in this “professor” he found someonee who validated his views, and hey- it was froma teacher! so it must be so.
Obama was never taught HOW to think, only WHAT to think
Obama was never taught HOW to think, only WHAT to think
I believe you’re right on the money.
So, essentially, when confronted with his own lack of superlative academic prowess, Mr. Bell decided to embark on the fall-back position for most when ability can’t rise to the top - develop cockamamy ‘whitey is racist’ theories...
It sure looks like it to me, Dr. Sowell nails it again.
Dr. Sowell is far more charitable to ObaMao than I would be. BO wasn't an impressionable young black. BO was a hate-filled street thug in search of a position of authority to put others under his boot.
I far have more respect for Rev. J. Wright. At one time in Wright's life, he had a respectable military career. He tried to start a legitimate church when he got out of the military, but couldn't find a market for it. He did, however, find a great market for a hate-whitey black liberation church and Obama was one of many customer which eagerly sought him out. Rev. Wright was merely the whore who sold Obama what he wanted.
But Dr. Sowell is a gentleman and I respect him for writing like a gentleman even if he sugar coats, just a little, Obama's immersion into radical racism.
I’m in the middle of Booker T. Washington’s autobiography, “Up From Slavery”. Today’s black culture could take quite a few lessons from that man. What a story! And he never made excuses for why he couldn’t do something, he just put one foot in front of the other and made sure his work ethic spoke for him.
On a national level our institutions have become like parents who write kids’ reports, or prepare their science fair projects. Cheaters. And not doing the ‘beneficiary’ any favors at all.
The Founders of Harvard must be astounded to look down on their University's most recent contributions to the decline of leadership for America and lack of respect for its Constitutional limits on power.
It was Justice Joseph Story (1779-1845), who was appointed to the Court by President James Madison. According to this essay:
"Story is considered the founder of Harvard Law School and authored the three-volume classic Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833). In his 34 years on the Court, Story authored opinions in 286 cases, of which 269 were reported as the majority opinion or the opinion of the Court 31 and his many contributions to American law have caused him to be called a Father of American Jurisprudence.
What must he now be thinking!
From Justice Story's final paragraph of the "Commentaries . . . :
§ 1907. If these Commentaries shall but inspire in the rising generation a more ardent love of their country, an unquenchable thirst for liberty, and a profound reverence for the constitution and the Union, then they will have accomplished all, that their author ought to desire. Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capable, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of fife, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence. The structure has been erected by architects of consummate skill and fidelity; its foundations are solid; its compartments are beautiful, as well as useful; its arrangements are full of wisdom and order; and its defences are impregnable from without. It has been reared for immortality, if the work of man may justly aspire to such a title. It may, nevertheless, perish in an hour by the folly, or corruption, or negligence of its only keepers, THE PEOPLE. Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them."
America's Founders framed a Constitution whose protections would expand liberty for all individuals for all time, with appropriate amendments in accordance with its own provisions. Those who would use the coercive power of the government it structured to divide and "classify" groups are simply, in the words of Story, "flatter(ing) the people, in order to betray them."
"Until the people have, by some solemn and authoritative act, annulled or changed the established form, it is binding upon them collectively, as well as individually; and no presumption or even knowledge of their sentiments, can warrant their representatives [the executive, judiciary, or legislature]; in a departure from it prior to such an act." - Alexander Hamilton
The fallout of affirmative action hiring will cripple this country for as much as a century, IMO.
I saw a TV interview (likely some PBS tripe) with this asshole. He essentially said that white racism is PERMANENT -in the DNA, and that blacks needed perpetual preference to combat it.
This is Obama, this is Holder, this is Donna Brazille, this is Michelle, this is Valerie Jarrett, this will likely be his children (if the Clintons and whatsherface are any indicator), this is even his defective white liberal henchmen and Democrats that surround him. Nothing one of them does is not prefaced with some kind of racism claim.
Dr. Sowell is a treasure.
Excellent post, and so appropriate. Thank you!