Video: Obama Protesting at Harvard in 1991

And sounding very presidential
Politics • Views: 31,824
Youtube Video

Buzzfeed has posted video of Barack Obama from 1991, when he was president of the Harvard Law Review, speaking at Professor Derrick Bell’s protest for diversity. Andrew Kaczynski explains the context of this clip: At Harvard, Obama Dived Into Diversity Fight.

It was perhaps Barack Obama’s most intense immersion in the charged campus racial politics of the late 1980s and early 1990s: As President of the Harvard Law Review in the spring of his final year there, 1991, he aligned himself with Professor Derrick Bell’s dramatic protest for diversity on the faculty of Harvard Law School.

Bell was the first black tenured professor at the school, and a pioneer of “critical race theory,” which insisted, controversially, on reading issues of race and power into legal scholarship. His protest that spring was occasioned by Harvard’s denial of tenure to a black woman professor, Regina Austin, at a time when only three of the law school’s professors were black and only five women. He told Harvard he would take a leave of absence — a kind of academic strike — “until a woman of color is offered and accepted a tenured position on this faculty,” and he launched a hunger strike to dramatize his point.

Obama was a major figure on campus, the first black president of the Law Review. Some friends, in a prescient joke, just referred to him as “the first black president.” He had a reputation as a conciliatory figure, not a confrontational one like Bell.

“”How Obama would react to Derrick Bell’s protest was a matter of some interest,” New Yorker editor David Remnick wrote in his exploration of Obama and race, The Bridge.

It was a situation in which clear lines had been drawn, and Obama sided with Bell.

Could this be the BREITBARTOCALYPSE promised by the shiny-faced mini-Breitbarts earlier this week? If so, I sure hope Buzzfeed didn’t spoil it for them.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Sovereign Sex Offender Involved in Tense KCK Standoff Arrested by U.S. Marshals Another Sovereign Citizen standoff, The original standoff lasted for more than six hours outside of a home near 57th Street and Parallel Parkway. U.S. Marshals and KCKPD originally attempted to arrest Gregory Andrews on warrants including a parole violation ...
Thanos
5 hours, 43 minutes ago
Views: 123 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Hillary Clinton Denounces the ‘Alt-Right,’ and the Alt-Right Is Thrilled Mr. Trump has publicly kept his distance from the alt-right, but his critics have accused him of offering subtle cues to invite its support. His appointment of Stephen K. Bannon, the head of Breitbart News, to be chief executive ...
Thanos
14 hours, 58 minutes ago
Views: 182 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Tim Kaine Blasts Donald Trump’s Immigration Policies as the ‘Actions of an Idiot’ Tim Kaine didn’t hold back when asked about claims that Donald Trump is softening his stance on immigration. “I don’t buy it,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee told “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert on Thursday. “He’s always fighting ...
Thanos
15 hours, 7 minutes ago
Views: 277 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 27 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 3
Comments: 0
: 3
Missouri ‘Witch Hunt Hearings’ Modeled on Anti-Choice Congressional Crusade - Rewire “They say that a lot in Missouri,” state Rep. Stacey Newman (D) told Rewire in an interview at the Democratic National Convention last month. Newman is a longtime abortion rights advocate who proposed legislation that would subject firearms purchases ...
Thanos
2 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 329 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Charter Schools: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO) Charter schools are privately run, publicly funded, and irregularly regulated. John Oliver explores why they aren’t at all like pizzerias. Connect with Last Week Tonight online...Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel for more almost news as it ...
Thanos
2 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 316 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 25 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 3
Comments: 0
: 3
Deadly Earthquake in Italy: What We Know – The 6.2. magnitude earthquake struck central Italy, near Rieti, shortly after 3:30 a.m. local time and was followed by several aftershocks. – At least 37 people have been killed and dozens are missing, according to Italy's civil protection ...
Thanos
2 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 275 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 7 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Comments: 0
: 2
EpiPen’s Steady Price Increases Masked Until Deductibles Rose The maker of the life-saving allergy shot EpiPen is the new poster child for exorbitant drug price increases, as high-profile members of Congress, doctors and consumers lash out over huge price increases since 2009. Mylan’s EpiPens are used to ...
Thanos
3 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 315 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Comments: 0
: 1
Few Pastors Have Been Asked to Preside at Same-Sex Weddings - and No One Has Been Forced Americans United had a little fun about two months ago with the Religious Right’s claim that if marriage equality became the law of the land, pastors would be forced to preside at same-sex weddings. We produced a special website ...
Thanos
3 days, 9 hours ago
Views: 352 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 16 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 3
Comments: 0
: 3
A Tribe Called Red - R.E.D. Ft. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear Pre-Order The Album! smarturl.itStream on Spotify: spoti.fi-Director: The Halluci NationLocation: Cape Town, SAActors: Narcy, Yasiin Bey and members of the Halluci NationProducer: The Halluci Nation--A Tribe Called Red Links:Website: atribecalledred.comTwitter: @atribecalledredFacebook: facebook.comInstagram: instagram.com--Yasiin Bey Links:acountrycalledearth.comFacebook: facebook.comTwitter: @CalledEarth--Narcy:wearethemedium.comFacebook: facebook.comTwitter: @TheNarcicyst ...
teleskiguy
3 days, 21 hours ago
Views: 487 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 9 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 6
Comments: 0
: 6
Melania Trump Threatens to Sue News Outlets Melania Trump has threatened to sue The Daily Mail, Politico and at least eight other news outlets for defamation, her lawyer says. Trump, the wife of the Republican presidential nominee, has placed The Daily Mail and other news organizations ...
Thanos
4 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 676 • Comments: 2 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 42 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 4
Comments: 0
: 4