What’s the Right-Wing End Game of This ‘Racist Obama’ College Video?

Internet raconteur Andrew Breitbart made grand overtures about how he was set to release damning footage from Barack Obama’s college days that would connect the president to former Weather Underground terrorists and show how his 2008 campaign was all about racial division and class warfare.

March 1 came and went, and so did Andrew Breitbart — the Big Government founder apparently suffered a Big Heart Attack, and his footage failed to emerge (condolences, really).

Enter BuzzFeed. The zeitgeist-heavy website, led by ace video researcher Andrew Kaczynski, beat Breitbart.com to the punch on Wednesday by releasing “the mysterious Harvard/Obama/race video that the Breitbart folks have been talking about.” The radical Obama looks pretty damn tame.

It doesn’t much matter what’s on that tape. In this case, it doesn’t much matter who Professor Derrick Bell was. About the only two interesting facts about this “damning” footage are Obama’s schlubby wardrobe and how if you close your eyes you’d hear the very same Obama’s speech patterns two decades ago.

But the story doesn’t end there. Breitbart.com Editor-in-Chief Joel Pollak wrote shortly thereafter that “the video has been selectively edited–either by the Boston television station or by Buzzfeed itself.” And because what right-wing paranoia would be complete without complicity, Pollak added additional footage “has been hidden by Obama’s allies in the mainstream media and academia.”

“There’s far more coming on Derrick Bell. This is just the beginning. And this video is a smoking gun showing that Barack Obama not only associated with radicals, he was their advocate.”

Pollak, along with Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro, appeared on ‘The Sean Hannity Show’ tonight to discuss the tape and show everyone in America the real story. That piqued Matt Drudge’s interest.

While everyone fights this out in partisan terms via Twitter and their websites, we’ll instead ask a more pragmatic question: What is the end game here? Let’s even say there’s more footage that shows Obama standing there in a shirt that reads “Kill Whitey.” Let’s say he professes his deep hatred of Caucasians and says Jeremiah Wright didn’t go far enough. What then? Hasn’t this man been President of the United States for more than three years and white people as we know them are still hangin’ around?

What was Breitbart, and now Pollak and Shapiro, trying to prove exactly? How does digging up 20-year-old video change anything? There’s only one goal here, and that’s to stoke white fear. It’s almost as if the people promoting a “damning” video and the people who want to believe it most are legitimately scared that a racist, classist Barack H. Obama will wipe white people off the map … in his second term.

You hate President Obama’s policies? You don’t like what he stands for? Vote him out in November. That’s your right. But if you need a two decade-old video of a college-aged Law Review president to help make that decision for you, well then, you shouldn’t even be allowed to vote. —Slade Sohmer