Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree told the Herald he was just kidding when he suggested that a decades-old clip of a young Barack Obama praising and embracing controversial Professor Derrick Bell was kept hidden from voters during the 2008 campaign.
â€śIt was a big joke,â€ť Ogletree said. â€śIf you watch the tape, the audience is laughing when Iâ€™m laughing.â€ť
Conservative website Breitbart.com, a week after the death of its founder Andrew Breitbart, posted the video online yesterday, offering it as proof of Obamaâ€™s radicalism, arguing Bell had close ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Breitbart.com also claimed Obama taught Bellâ€™s writings at the University of Chicago. Breitbart.com called it â€śthe latest in a pattern of Barack Obamaâ€™s associations with individuals who promoted a racially divisive America.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s much to do about nothing,â€ť said Ogletree, who insisted the clip has been public for years. â€śItâ€™s not the breaking story that some who want to criticize the president claim it is.â€ť
In the video, Ogletree shows a crowd a clip of Obama in 1991 â€” then the editor of the Harvard Law Review â€” urging fellow students to â€śopen up your minds and your hearts to the words of Professor Derrick Bellâ€ť amid a protest demanding tenure for a black woman professor.