Andrew Breitbart’s Last Laughingstock

We never met Derrick Bell. But we were around.

Bell came to Eugene in 1980, our senior year, as the new dean of the University of Oregon law school — and one of the first black deans of a non-black law school in the nation. Everybody was so proud, because that’s the kind of thing Eugene likes to be proud about.

Especially when a single black family moving to town would significantly increase Eugene’s diversity quotient. We were all nice people. But in Eugene, we were predominately nice white people.

Or, as we liked saying at the time: It’s easy to be Tolerant when there’s little to bother being Tolerant about.

Bell lasted five years as dean, which isn’t a bad tenure as such things go. But he didn’t leave because it was time to move on. The cause was a Cause. The UO politely described it as “hiring practices at the school with which he disagreed” when Bell died last October. NPR was more succinct: “He resigned as dean of the University of Oregon School of Law when an Asian-American woman was denied tenure.”

Bell returned to Harvard Law, where he had earlier been the school’s first black tenured professor. But his time there was even shorter: Bell quit Harvard in 1990, vowing never to come back “until a woman of color is offered and accepted a tenured position on this faculty.”

The students rallied to Bell, including the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, who called Bell “the Rosa Parks of legal education”.

And when we learned yesterday that this was the Shocking! Video! that Andrew Breitbart was going to expose before he suspiciously died of being a raging asshole — Barack Obama praising Derrick Bell — all we could do was laugh, and laugh, and laugh. Andrew Breitbart lived a lie, and he died the same way.

At Harvard, Obama Dived Into Diversity Fight [BuzzFeed]

Young Black Eagle was learning to fly back then ¿que no?

The horror of it all. A man who wanted tinted people to have a chance at a good position in academia and not remain the club of old white guys. History’s greatest monster.

This bullshit controversy is as dead as Bitpart is.

On a personal note, I can relate to Bell’s experience living in a white bread world. I was known in the small rural Canada City town I grew up in as sometimes as “the Asian boy” or “the Korean boy” which was progress because I often got the “Where you from, eh?” question.

“Japan? China? You’re korean???!?? What the fuck’s Korea?”

TJ: Walking Dead, Season 1, Episode 1: Awesome

@ManchuCandidate: it’s funny, growing up my best friend in junior high and high school was Korean. The only thing “different” about him was that he kicked all of our asses at football and basketball despite being half our size, plus kept straight As in classes. Sure he dressed up like Bowie for about a year there, but it was the 70s.

@ManchuCandidate: Bitpart. way to work. i’m gonna steal it, if that’s alright. soledad o’brien schooled some fool calling himself’s lead attorney this morning on cnn over this non-issue. if the same fool is representing against shirley sherrod, then shirley’s fixin’ to clean out the bitpart estate. assuming there is anything left to clean out.

My cousin was pretty good at basketball (he’s shorter than I am) but I was cursed with my mom’s physical awkwardness.

For sure. I think it describes what he was in US American politics.

On topic: I’m still shilling for _Faces at the Bottom of the Well_.

TJ/ Can I get some fucking intertubez? Fuck!

Oh, and just ordered last year’s AP Styleguide. 2012 comes out in May. :-) This better not be confusing shit.

Sport: Luck not so lucky at the Colts. Ugh.

Oh, well, fuck me sideways! Prof Bell and I were born in the same Pitt neighborhood. I like that.

MM 3/13: brackets? And for the wimminz, aussi?

@JNOV is like, Peace?: but the dolphins are gonna get real lucky when they sign manning aka p money

ncaa: please pull for the tennessee vols to win the sec tourney. we have 18 wins and are 10-6 in the conference. last coach, bruce pearl lied to and conspired to get recruits families to lie to the ncaa about a barbque at his house that recruits attended. we lost one player to the nba and another who thought he would be in the nba. 90% of last years offense was gone as well. anyways, we hired counzo martin from missouri st and handed him a bare cubbard to work with. we were picked to finish 11th in our 12 team conference. ended up 2nd at 10-6 in the sec and played big bad kentucky closer than anyone but indiana. counzo martin would be sec coach of the year if not for john calipari at ky. we have won 9 of last 11 (ky was one of the 2 losses) after starting 1-4 in the conference and still are outside looking in. help me out here. go vols.

@JNOV is like, Peace?: That’s up to MellBell (I think), if she wants to herd it again.

@ManchuCandidate: My South Eugene yearbooks are a thousand miles out of reach, but out of a high school of 1200 kids, the only non-pale students I can think of are Anthony (black) and Kurt (Japanese).

And Eugene was a liberal college town. And South was where all the faculty kids went.

Nice place to grow up. But the bien pensant preening gets a little old.

There’s a scene in the Conan O’Brien documentary where he begins his tour at the Hult Center in Eugene, and stays at the Hilton next door. Conan walks out into the street, looks both ways, and asks the camera: “Where are the black people?”

Best line in the movie, to my taste.

@nojo: And Latino people. I saw a few Asians when I was up there last week.

@jwmcsame: I’d be very happy to have your Vols and my UCLA Bruins meet up the the finals.

@Dodgerblue: You have to drive up to Salem to see some Latinos. But it’s only an hour north.

@Dodgerblue: Come to think of it, I’d be hard-pressed to identify any Tribe high-school friends, although there was at least one (and maybe only one…) temple in town. I didn’t learn the what-for until I met a couple of Chicago Jews in the dorms — one of whom introduced me to Firesign Theatre.

@nojo: Did they tell you about Purim? It’s a great holiday, you’re supposed to drink so much that you don’t know right from wrong.

@Dodgerblue: They were secular, so it was more of a cultural introduction than religious. But I did learn about Elijah.

As far as drinking ourselves into a stupor, we never needed an excuse.

ADD: One of them had a Kyle-quality Jewfro. So I learned about that, too.

@Dodgerblue: You have to come north of Eugene and south of PDX. I have a number of Latino neighbors, the elementary school at the end of my street posts its signs in both English and Spanish, and I pass at least three taco trucks on my way to the store. Of course, we are in a major agricultural area–Mr Cyn is having trouble getting vineyard work because he doesn’t speak Spanish (the viticulture program at the regional community college does offer classes in “Spanish for the Vineyard”).

@Mistress Cynica: My wife and I are probably coming up to Portland in April to see the Rothko show (and see our kids). She could give him a lesson in Mexican Spanish curse words.

@Mistress Cynica: There’s a soda commerical I have half a mind to post — the one where the three Active Young Adults are working the field. One pulls out a soda from the ground, the next pulls out a soda machine.

The reason I would post it? They’re all white.

@Dodgerblue: Oooh, that would be great. He already knows Honduran and Guatemalan curses (a/k/a “kitchen Spanish”).

@Mistress Cynica: I could totally get behind “Spanish for the Vineyard” – I have the “Legal Spanish” book and a book that is called something like “How to Curse Like a Mexican”

There’s a lot of conjugation of chingar going on.

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