It wasn't more than a couple hours after Andrew Breitbart's sudden death last week that the right wing conspiracy theorists started coming up with their stories. The biggest one was that President Obama had Breitbart assassinated because he was getting ready to release a career ending video he had obtained of Obama.
The mystery video was released last night on Hannity's show. What it show's is a 29 year old Barack Obama speaking at a rally at Harvard, saying "Open your hearts and open your minds to the words of professor Derrick Bell," and at the end showing Obama hugging Bell.
Bell was a champion for racial equality and Obama's ties to him have been no secret. This is from Wikipedia:
Bell reentered the debate over hiring practices at Harvard in 1990, when he vowed to take an unpaid leave of absence until the school appointed a female of color to its tenured faculty. At the time, of the law school's 60 tenured professors, only three were black and five were women. The school had never had a black woman on the tenured staff.
Students held vigils and protests in solidarity with Bell with the support of some faculty. One of these students was future U.S. president Barack Obama, who introduced Bell at a protest at Harvard Law School. Critics, including some faculty members, called Bell's methods counterproductive, and Harvard administration officials insisted they had already made enormous advances in hiring. The story of his protest is detailed in his book Confronting Authority.
But there's a problem with Breitbart's big "end of Obama" revelation - it's already been out there! The video was actually released by Frontline in 2008 as part of a documentary they did and has been available on YouTube ever since.
So Barack Obama had Andrew Breitbart killed over a video that has been in the public's eyes for 4 years. Talk about stretching things for a conspiracy.
But I find something even more interesting here. We just got done talking about race issues in the form of Ron Paul's newsletters he put out in the 90's. Many on the right rushed to defend Paul over the letters. So why is it fine for a white man to put out letters complaining about the blacks, yet a black man can't push for more equality?
Why? Because to the Republican Party the oppressed people in this country are white males. Forget the facts and figures that show white men make far better money and get jobs easier than blacks or women. That's hogwash. Instead they are oppressed by blacks and women wanting to be treated equally and even women wanting contraceptives for medical purposes.
Today's Republican Party is no party of Lincoln. It has turned into a cesspool of sexism and racism. When Howard Dean declared them the party of old, white, Christian men, he was exactly right. That is what the GOP stands for and the hoopla they are making over this video is proof positive of that.
My guess is there are a few rational heads in the GOP today really cringing over this. They are alienating huge blocks of voters by their hate fueled rhetoric and in a changing country and that doesn't look good for their future. Hopefully one of these heads will prevail and tell the haters in their party to either wake up or shut up, but I'm not holding my breath.