Sarah Palin weighed in Thursday on a video of Barack Obama embracing the late Professor Derrick Bell, stating during an interview that the clip revealed that the president is "bringing us back...to days before the Civil War" when racial discrimination was prevalent.
In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Palin discussed Obama's affiliation with Bell, a former Harvard professor who passed away last year. A video released earlier this week showed Obama, then a student at Harvard Law School, praising Bell at a rally in support of the university hiring more minority faculty.
"He is bringing us back...to days before the Civil War, when unfortunately too many Americans mistakenly belived that not all men were created equal," she said. "What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin."
Earlier in the show, Palin accused Obama of "trying to divide" the country, "based along lines of gender, of religion, of income, even of race," citing the president's association with Bell.
"Look at his embracing of Derrick Bell, the radical college racist professor whom he...embraced literally and figuratively asking others to open their hearts and minds to the radical agenda of a racist like Derrick Bell who believed that white men oppress blacks and minorities," she said. "And Barack Obama, evidently at least at the time, believed what Derrick Bell believed."
The 1991 footage in question was touted as game-changing by conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart at CPAC, weeks before he unexpectedly passed away. However, the clip was also included in a 2008 PBS special, and has made few waves outside of conservative circles.
At the time of the video, Bell had announced he would take an unpaid leave from Harvard until the school brought a woman of color onto the law school's tenured faculty. Bell was also a strong advocate of critical race theory, which posits that racist beliefs underly many of the country's legal foundations.
Palin and Hannity also discussed the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke controversy, as well as President Obama's phone call to Fluke after the conservative radio host called her a "slut" on air. According to Palin, it was hypocritical for Obama's super PAC to accept money from comedian Bill Maher, who has made inflammatory comments about the former Alaska governor.
"It's dirty money that he has now provided Barack Obama's campaign," Palin said in reference to the $1 million Maher donated to Priorities USA, the Obama-supporting PAC. "I don't know how Barack Obama can sleep at night if he really thinks about Sasha and Malia and the treatment of some women today, how he can accept that dirty money."
Palin added that it "shouldn't surprise us" that Obama's group would take Maher's money, stating that he has "never" been "who we would describe [as] a man of valor."
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