What is Critical Race Theory?


Fox News’ Sean Hannity and his buddies from the Breitbart smear machine promised a “bombshell” about President Obama on the Hannity show last night, but all they gave us was a big dud.

They shared a video from 1990 that shows then-Harvard Law School student Barack Obama praising and hugging the late “radical” Derrick Bell, the first tenured African-American professor of law at Harvard University, at a rally.

Here’s the complete video (rally video begins at 4:04):

Bell was also a pioneer of Critical Race Theory (CRT), which Breitbart.com’s Editor-In-Chief Joel Pollak says promotes the view that the “African-American Civil Rights movement essentially was a sham because white supremacy remains the system and we’ve got to transform that system radically in order to get rid of racism.”  

In other words, the Breitbart robot claims the “Jeremiah Wright of academia” believed the Civil Rights movement was a failure because the American system is rigged for white people, so the system itself must be replaced in order to wipe out racism.

Bell’s 2011 New York Times obituary, CRT was described as “a body of legal scholarship that explored how racism is embedded in laws and legal institutions, even many of those intended to redress past injustices.”

WiseGeek.com defines Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a way of looking at race relations, particularly within the United States, in a broader context than the traditional civil rights approach:

“Learning to look critically at race relations is a key part of critical race theory. Examining everyday interactions, and finding the racial component in them, can help move the racial equality cause forward perhaps more than a sometimes simplistic “color blind” approach. Looking carefully at what sociologists call micro-aggressions can help to see the true extent of racism in the United States, and through critical analysis, it is hoped people can begin to work past it.”

And we found this video on YouTube.com that visually explains CRT:

Yes, many mainstream legal scholars have criticized CRT on a number of grounds (and there’s no evidence that Obama embraced it), but there’s no indication that Bell thought the Civil Rights Movement was a sham or that he advocated that the Constitution or current American system of government be replaced.

He simply wanted to us to look at how racism is embedded in laws and legal institutions.  

Ed Schultz will have a lot more to say about the Hannity “bombshell” tonight on The Ed Show at 8pET on msnbc!

P.S.  Hey Hannity, where the heck is that video you said could prove that President Obama didn’t really want to kill Osama bin Laden.  We’re still waiting!


Barack Obama

What is Critical Race Theory?