But then again, the vicious efforts by conservative white populists to smear Barack Obama by any means necessary have never been about the world of facts or reason. If the coverage on Fox News and throughout the Right-wing mediascape is any indication, the hug seen around the world--when Dr. Bell and Obama embraced during a rally at Harvard some twenty or so years ago--was the equivalent of a matter anti-matter explosion for the white racial frame.
Ultimately, as Brother Malcolm pointed out years ago, there is nothing more threatening to the White racial imagination than an educated black man. Two of them hugging (accomplished, brilliant, dignified, and professional) boggles the conceptual framework and cognitive map that Whiteness uses to navigate its social reality. Rapscallion and troublesome negroes such as myself cannot help but love such upset, anger, and confusion. Whiteness is so powerful; yet, it is so very precarious.
There are several right-wing websites that maintain an enemies list of evil, dangerous professors and "intellectual types." In a manner akin to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, one of these sites even maps out the nefarious networks of the Political Left who are undermining American society. I kid you not. There is something menacing about such lists, even if open source. Thus I must ask: why keep an "enemies list" if you are not going to do something about the people included in such a compendium?
In their propagandizing the latest manufactured controversy about the usurper President Barack Obama, several conservative sites have circulated a list of Dr. Bell's racial crimes and grievances against Whiteness. These "bigoted" and "hateful" screeds, which Barack Obama is also guilty of through the ideological osmosis which occurs via hugging, include the following:
I agree with every one of these statements. I guess I am a dangerous "radical" too.
Here is where the divides of life experience, training, vocation, and upbringing as influenced by the colorline are most revealing: I do not know many black folks who would not take Dr. Bell's claims as givens...if not anti-climactic. I also do not know many people of color generally, and few white folks, who would also not take such observations as basic for anyone that has studied American history.
There is a great irony here for those of us who appreciate Dr. Bell's sense of humor, and share his belief in the ability of speculative fiction and storytelling to highlight deeper truths about power, society, and politics.
Consider: Breitbart, a wicked and rageful white man creates controversy from beyond the grave about a black man who is President who had some peripheral relationship to a "radical" black professor who has the Vulcanesque power to mind-meld with all he touches. Conservative minions and yellow journalists--who are being willingly manipulated by the dead puppet master's spirit--then discover a secret film called The Space Traders (which was hidden in plain sight on HBO). In a twist worthy of The Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man," Space Traders is actually the key to understanding Barack Obama's deep hatred of white people and his plot to enslave them.
Fate is a trickster. Professor Bell is likely laughing at these (very predictable) Right-wing shenanigans and related foolishness from beyond the grave. He couldn't have written a better story about the permanence of white racism, and how even in the post-civil rights age, Whiteness damages the ethics, morality, and cognition of its owners and signatories.