FAMU professor defends column on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’

 Jeremy Levitt, the dean for International Programs at the college, wrote the column “Think Twice” published in the Orlando Sentinel Sept. 15 disputing the recent racial comments against President Barack Obama.

 Levitt accused “right-wing politicians” and the “media” of misleading the public about President Obama.

 “I do not remember another time when an American president was so unpatriotically maligned by Americans,” Levitt said.

 In the article, Levitt said the right wing’s treatment of the first African-American president is violent and expressed in racist and unpatriotic ways.

On the program, Levitt said the verbal attacks have gone too far and now physical threats against the president have increased. 

 “It is clear that there has been a 400 percent increase of death threats against the United States’ president since he has taken office,” said Levitt on the Fox News Network program.

 Levitt said there have been a number of comments toward Obama that have gone too far.

  “We had signs of Barack Obama being labeled as a pick-a-ninny, an African witch doctor, a monkey, a primate in chief…” Levitt said. 

 O’Reilly rebutted by saying race was not the main reason behind alleged smears and misinformation Levitt referred to in his article.

  “I could make the same argument and it would be as unfair as yours, if I were to take the New Black Panther Party…look at their signs, their activities, their redirect… then apply that to the whole African-American community, it would be wrong,” O’Reilly said.

 The debate continued and Levitt called the behavior of “certain fanatical people and groups, (who) recently toted guns at presidential town-hall meetings” unpatriotic.

  “A patriot is one who loves supports and defends his or her nation and loves its citizens, especially the U.S. president,” Levitt said. 

 At the end of the five-minute debate, O’Reilly argued that opponents only disagree with Obama’s political standpoint, not the skin color.

 “The people who don’t like Barack Obama …who really dislike him, most of that opinion is political…they don’t like the big government (machine),” O’Reilly said.

 Levitt earned his bachelor of arts at Arizona State University, went to law school at University of Wisconsin-Madison and achieved his Ph.D. at University of Cambridge, St. John’s College.

 Levitt is the distinguished professor of International Law at FAMU and also a law professor at Florida International University College of Law in Miami. He is a regular contributor to the Orlando Sentinel and has been featured on Fox News, “The O’Reilly Factor,” Black Entertainment Television’s Nightly News, National Public Radio and the Chicago Tribune and was a regular contributor to the Chicago Sun-Times.