The video, posted at Breitbart.com, includes footage from a 1991 protest at Harvard University that shows Obama, the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, speaking in support of Bell, who had been pushing the university to hire more minority women, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
Bell, the first black tenured professor at Harvard, was an advocate for critical race theory, which views the law through the perspectives of race and power, the newspaper said.
Breitbart calls Bell a "radical" and a "racialist" while observers on the left largely yawned at the story, the Times said.
Breitbart's video led the Times to reprint parts of its own profile on Obama from 1990.
"Some of Obama's peers question the motives of this second-year law student," Tammerlin Drummond wrote in the 1990 article. "They find it puzzling that despite Obama's openly progressive views on social issues, he has also won support from staunch conservatives. Ironically, he has come under the most criticism from fellow black students for being too conciliatory toward conservatives and not choosing more blacks to other top positions on the law review.
"'He's willing to talk to them [the conservatives] and he has a grasp of where they are coming from, which is something a lot of blacks don't have and don't care to have,' said Christine Lee, a second-year law student who is black. 'His election was significant at the time, but now it's meaningless because he's becoming just like all the others (in the Establishment).'"
"While I applaud Obama's achievement, I guess I am not as hopeful for what this will mean for other blacks at Harvard," Bell was quoted in the original Times piece as saying. "There is a strange character to this black achievement. When you have someone that reaches this high level, you find that he is just deemed exceptional and it does not change society's view of all of the rest."
Obama is heard in Breitbart's video imploring students to "open your hearts and minds" to Bell's ideas.