In an interview on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, Janet Dewart Bell, the widow of Harvard Law School professor Derrick Bell, defended her husband’s reputation from attacks by the right. (MSNBC and theGrio are divisions of NBC News.)
The late Professor Bell, who was Harvard’s first black tenured professor, has been the subject of attacks by conservative talk show host Sean Hannity and others on the right since conservative media gadfly Andrew Breitbart (who died earlier this month) claimed to have unearthed a previously “suppressed” video (which has actually been available to anyone who wanted to see it online since 2008…) showing Barack Obama cavorting with “radicals” during his days at Harvard Law school. To demonstrate that, Breitbart’s BigGovernment website, Hannity and others have smeared Bell, who died last year; calling him anti-white, anti-Semitic, and “the Jeremiah Wright of academia.”
The tapes, which showed Obama introducing Bell, and then embracing him, at a 1991 rally to call for more diversity in Harvard Law School’s faculty, have failed to ignite the anti-Obama firestorm that Breitbart and Hannity, the Fox News host, intended. Still, Bell’s defenders have come out forcefully anyway in his defense, including fellow Harvard University professor Charles Ogletree and former Obama law school classmate Keith Boykin. But few have spoken more eloquently about the true Derrick Bell than his wife, Ms. Dewart Bell, did in her interview with Ed Schultz.
WATCH: Derrick Bell’s widow defends him against smears from the right: