Day: March 8, 2012

Breitbart’s ‘Bombshell’: The President Still Fights For Racial Equality

Seen on Think Progress’ comment section from the following article:

The “bombshell” video combined with the right wing conspiracy theorist who thought the President had Breitbart offed should be having them ask themselves the question “how stupid are we?”. Of course they won’t because as you know all they will do is start disowning Brietbart. It’s funny, I already see it happening.

Think Progress

Breitbart.com and Fox News believe that President Obama’s affiliation with the late Harvard professor Derrick Bell, as evidenced from a hug they share in a video from 1990, is some kind of “smoking gun” for his perspectives on “racial division and class warfare.” Bell was the first tenured African-American law professor at Harvard University and helped establish the study of Critical Race Theory (CRT). This morning, Breitbart.com editor Joel Pollak appeared on CNN to repeat this claim, but Soledad O’Brien was quick to point out that he had absolutely no understanding of CRT and that the clip presented no “bombshell” for the President:

O’BRIEN: What part of that was the bombshell? Because I missed it, I don’t get it. What was the bombshell?

POLLACK: Well, the bombshell is the revelation of the relationship between Obama and Derrick Bell—

O’BRIEN: Okay, so he’s a Harvard law student and a Harvard law professor. Yeah?

POLLACK: That’s correct. And Derrick Bell is “the Jeremiah Wright of academia.” He passed away last year, but during his lifetime he developed a theory called Critical Race Theory, which holds that the Civil Rights Movement was a sham and that White Supremacy is the order and it must be overthrown. Barack Obama was—

O’BRIEN: I’ll stop you there for a second and then I’m going to let you continue, but that is a complete misreading of Critical Race Theory. As you know, that’s an actual theory and you could Google it and someone would give you an good definition, so that’s not correct.

Watch it:

Critical race theory does not have an absolute set of principles, but later in the interview O’Brien accurately describes it as a theory that “looks into the intersection of race and politics and the law.” CRT emerged from a broader movement known as critical legal studies, which examines how factors such as race, gender and social class can often skew legal decisions in favor of privileged groups. Critical legal theory is, by definition, critical of how our law has developed and often calls for significant departures from existing law—but its central premise that judges are prone to decide cases in ways that advantage their own social group has certainly been vindicated by cases such as Citizens United.

CRT looks specifically at how race and racial privilege shapes the law. The purpose of CRT isn’t to wage war against white people, as Pollak and others of his anti-liberal ilk would have us believe. Indeed, its entire goal is to ensure that race not be forgotten as a significant factor in the operation of society. The value of this perspective is certainly demonstrated through voter ID laws, immigration policies, and drug enforcement penalties that disproportionately impact non-white populations. Policies that target racial majorities, by contrast, would never become law in the first place because the majority possesses the power to veto them.

The President should be applauded for standing with great minds who do not accept that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 marked an endpoint in the fight for racial equality. It is those who seek to disregard the experiences of all people of color — lest they confront the persisting effects of racial injustice — who should be ashamed.

(H/t: Yankee Clipper)

On International Women’s Day, House Republicans Hold Anti-Choice Hearing

This article speaks volumes to the  anti-woman agenda the United States Congress’ leadership insists on pushing forward in spite of vociferous opposition across the country and around the world.

The Nation

Today is International Women’s Day, a celebration of women’s achievements and an occasion to reflect upon the push for gender equity. In some countries it’s a national holiday, and while it’s not here, the day is still marked by proclamations from national leadersnationwide events and even a cool Google doodle.

With most major media outlets covering International Women’s Day, one might think that Republicans in Congress might at least temporarily ease up on their recent anti-woman agenda, which has centered around an embarrassing debate about contraception. There are already reports that Republican leaders are “anxious to change the subject” and ready to “slow down” the contraception debate.

Republicans on one House Judiciary subcommittee, however, aren’t dissuaded. Today they are holding a hearing on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which would make it a crime for anyone other than a parent to accompany a young woman across state lines for abortion care.

Anti-choice groups have already been very successful in limiting abortion clinics to select geographic areas, and this bill would make it harder for young women to access the services that do exist. NARAL Pro-Choice America is strongly opposed to the bill:

“We believe that loving parents should be involved when their daughter faces an unintended pregnancy and thankfully, most do. But in some tragic circumstances, young women cannot involve their parents because they come from homes where physical and emotional abuse are present or their pregnancies are the result of incest,” [Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America] said. “Under this bill, a grandmother could be prosecuted for accompanying her granddaughter to a doctor in another state—even if that doctor is closest to the young woman’s home. Ministers helping a young woman in their congregation would face similar threats. This bill is not a solution; it is a callous example of government intrusion into tragic family circumstances.”

This bill, or some version of it, has been introduced in each Congress for the past fifteen years. The American Medical Association and many other major health care groups oppose the measure, because they view it as a roadblock to confidential access to physicians. House Republicans have picked a pretty bad day to make the push again.

RushLimbaugh.com Removes Offensive Attacks On Sandra Fluke From Transcript Archives

 

No doubt this move was at the advice of his attorneys.  After all, Limbaugh’s entire three day tirade against Ms. Fluke was composed of lies from the onset.

Think Progress

For days, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh personally attacked Georgetown Law student and women’s health advocate Sandra Fluke, smearing her at least 70 times. Now, he’d like to pretend that some of the things he said never actually happened.

The Atlantic Wire points out that his website has scrubbed a few offensive comments. While the “slut” comments still show up in other rants by Limbaugh, his site has removed his sex tapes comment from March 1. “The pages were clearly working a few days ago — several sites linked to them,” Elspeth Reeve reports. “The pages don’t show up on the February 29 and March 1 archives, either, though links to them still exist on other transcripts related to the controversy.” Here’s the blank archives page for February 29:

Limbaugh may want to scrub some of his insulting remarks from the historical record, but they will not be forgotten. ThinkProgress has preserved Limbaugh’s sex tape comments on video here.

Limbaugh issued an apology to Fluke on March 3, and apologized on air on March 5. But in between, he has continued to attack Fluke and even turned his wrath on female journalist Tracie McMillan as well. Meanwhile, advertisers continue to abandon Rush Limbaugh’s show, with more than 40 dropping their ads since his attacks against women began.

 

PBS already aired Breitbart’s Obama footage

So much for the infamous college video Andrew Breitbart promised he’d release prior to his untimely death, that would expose President Obama as a left wing radical…

The Raw Story

Breitbart.com editors Ben Shapiro and Joel Pollak said Wednesday on Sean Hannity’s radio show that they would release footage that proved President Barack Obama had “radical intellectual founders” — footage which was covered up by the mainstream media.

But before Breitbart.com released the footage, PBS Frontline published the full unedited video themselves, noting that they had previously included the footage in their election special The Choice 2008.

“There’s nothing new about the clip or Obama’s role in the controversy at Harvard Law School,” PBS said. “It’s been online at our site and on YouTube since [2008].”

In the video, Obama is shown in 1990 introducing Harvard’s first tenured black law professor, Derrick Bell, a racial justice pioneer who broke with legal orthodoxy to develop the critical race theory. Bell was announcing that he would take an unpaid leave of absence until Harvard hired a black woman for its tenured faculty.

Obama described his experiences as a student of Bell’s, noting that as a professor he had engaged his students in conversation rather than giving them lectures. Obama said Bell’s accomplishments were not simply a result of “his good looks and easy charm, although he has both in ample measure.”

“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,” Obama said.

At the time, Obama was serving as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.

Bell had controversially claimed that racism was an intractable problem, something which American society could never truly get rid of.

Although the American legal system could be perfectly race-neutral, it could never be entirely race-neutral in practice. Bell rejected liberal theories of law, which were based on impartiality, instead favoring what he called racial realism.

“But if you had to sum it up in one thing, Derrick Bell wrote a piece in 1993 — and this kind of reflects his general worldview, in which he posited, it was a science fiction novella, in which he posited that if aliens came to the United States and offered to relieve the US national debt, white people would in return sell them every black person in America,” Shapiro told Hannity, mischaracterizing one of Bell’s famous though experiments, “The Space Traders.”

The story, which examined the worth of African Americans in the United States, was later adapted as an episode of the HBO film trilogy Cosmic Slop.

“This is the guy who was one of Obama’s radical intellectual founders,” Shapiro said.

UPDATE: Breitbart editors appear on Fox News

Shapiro and Pollak later appeared on the Fox News show Hannity. They claimed that although the footage had already been aired, it was broadcast in a purposefully biased way because it did not show Obama briefly hugging Bell and was narrated.

Hannity also showed a clip of Harvard professor Charles Ogletree allegedly admitting to covering up the footage.

“We hid this throughout the 2008 campaign,” he said during a speech, as the audience laughed. “I don’t care if they find it now.”

The footage was taken and owned by local news station WGBH, not Harvard University. Hannity did not provide any context for Ogletree’s remark.

International Women’s Day

Wikipedia

International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year.[1] In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern EuropeRussia, and the former Soviet bloc. In many regions, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and St Valentine’s Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.

History

In Modern Culture

Related articles

CAUGHT ON TAPE: Limbaugh’s 70 Sexist Smears

This asshole didn’t even bother to read the facts or even listen to Sandra Fluke’s opening statement at a recent Congressional Hearing on contraceptives.  I hope Ms. Fluke sues the crap out of Rush Limbaugh for defamation of character.  This is a classic case of defamation…with all the required elements needed to win the case.

Think Progress

It’s now been five days since Rush Limbaugh incited a national uproar with a multi-day barrageof poisonous and sexually hostile invective against Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student who recently testified before Congress on the importance of mandated contraception coverage in health insurance. Approximately 40 advertisers have now abandoned the right-wing radio host, forcing him to offer a begrudging apology which — while it does offer contrition for the “insulting word choices” — maintains the earlier tirade’s underlying theme that Fluke is seeking to mooch off the American taxpayers.

ThinkProgress has reviewed the footage from the first three days between Limbaugh’s initial attack and his apology, and counted no less than seventy insults and smears which Limbaugh hurled at Fluke. Below is the material that brought Limbaugh to his current impasse, and for which Republican leaders and the GOP candidates for president have criticized him in only the most tepid of terms — assuming they criticize him at all. Viewers can judge for themselves if the apology, and the Republicans’ response, is adequate to Limbaugh’s offense: