Cornel West Attacks Obama, Acts Worse Than the Birthers


Cornel West, the Princeton University professor who once supported and loved President Barack Obama, has spent the last couple days blasting the President for everything from his policies to the people with whom he keeps company. And the things he has been saying aren't all that dissimilar from the Birther Movement.

We can all recall that the birther movement, motivated almost entirely by pure racism, tried to discredit Obama by claiming he was not born in the United States and insisting he show his birth certificate. Once Obama did that, now it seems he is taking punches from the opposite direction. Professor West, a civil rights activist and prominent academic and philosopher, is basically calling Obama out on being not black enough.

West claims Obama is “white man with black skin” and “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and ... corporate plutocrats,” according to The Washington Post.

 Then he told MSNBC:

[Obama] has a predilection much more towards upper and middle class white brothers and Jewish brothers and a certain distance from free black men who will tell him the truth. The system is rigged against poor and working people and Obama is the head of it

So what is his problem?

West has openly complained that Obama didn't give him and his family tickets to the inauguration and stopped responding to his phone calls. These personal details were unleashed among a torrent of more political complaints, but still stand out because they seem to represent the real beef West has with the President. Yes, the Ivy League professor with plenty of intelligent ideas is throwing a big baby fit because he didn't get the invitations he wanted.

So let's get this straight: Give West tickets to your inauguration, tickets he wants to procure by using his status as a member of the intellectual elite, OR be blasted for being too status conscious and trying to procure favors with the elite. Does that sound about right?

West talks a big game, but why is he the only person who knows what it is to be African American? Why should he get to call Obama out on being too "comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy, and very effective in getting what they want"?

It's hard to imagine that West, a man who went from Harvard to Princeton and is at the top of his game professionally, is really any less comfortable in the circles Obama runs in as well.

Poor Obama can't seem to win. He is suspiciously eyed by the birthers and idiots like Donald Trump who would love to publicly humiliate him and make him feel "other" or alien to the US and then as a member of the "upper middle class white and Jewish men" league by West.

Which is it? Is he a sell-out corporate lackey? Or is he an enemy of the US who seeks to undermine it from within?

Or maybe he's just the guy who didn't have enough tickets for his inauguration to give out to people he couldn't trust. Maybe that's the end of this story.

Do you think Cornel West is being a baby?



Image via jamesomalley/Flickr



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nonmember avatar Anon

Can you read? Do you seriously think that's what Cornel West meant, or that's what his main criticism of Obama really is? I think this paragraph from Chris Hedges' piece that started the controversy is much more telling:

“I was thinking maybe he has at least some progressive populist instincts that could become more manifest after the cautious policies of being a senator and working with [Sen. Joe] Lieberman as his mentor,” he says. “But it became very clear when I looked at the neoliberal economic team. The first announcement of Summers and Geithner I went ballistic. I said, ‘Oh, my God, I have really been misled at a very deep level.’ And the same is true for Dennis Ross and the other neo-imperial elites. I said, ‘I have been thoroughly misled, all this populist language is just a facade. I was under the impression that he might bring in the voices of brother Joseph Stiglitz and brother Paul Krugman. I figured, OK, given the structure of constraints of the capitalist democratic procedure that’s probably the best he could do. But at least he would have some voices concerned about working people, dealing with issues of jobs and downsizing and banks, some semblance of democratic accountability for Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats who are just running amuck. I was completely wrong.”

Here is the source:

nonmember avatar Not stupid

I agree with 'Anon' - your article is incredibly misleading. Go read the truthdig article and you'll see that West's main complaint wasn't that he didn't get invited to the inauguration, but that Obama used a lot of people during the campaign and promoted himself as a true reformer who would initiate changes that pushed back against corporate power. He only used the inauguration bit as an example of Obama's betrayal once he had been elected. Don't focus on the trivialities - THEY DON'T MATTER

Lesli... Lesliemom2mzjm

BTW, not everyone that hates BO and wants him gone are racists, some of us actually take into account his very liberal lefty stance on everysingle issue that matters, as well as the way he's turning us into a socialist nation, which you've probably heard, is just a but a brief stop on the way to communism, oh yeah, and the fact that he says one thing but does the complete opposite...hmmmm, why in the world would anyone have reason to dislike the man??????....but that won't stop you from spreading your own brand of hate and intolerance towards people who don't feel the same as you.  Wow, I can't believe the hypocrisy of the liberal left.

nonmember avatar Rudy

@Not stupid Cornel West is not telling the truth. Obama never once said anything during his campaign that he was a true reformer that will bring change. If you read the transcript of his victory speech on Nov. 2008, he used the word "we" 48 times. He said that the government cannot solve every problem and that we, as a nation must work together to bring change. West and many others heard what he wanted to hear but unfortunately, they didn't really hear it.

But don't take my word, nor his for it, go and read Obama transcripts of his victory and inaugural speeches. Then decide what he really said to the American people.

nonmember avatar Travis

As an 40 yr. old African-American male, I proudly exclaim that I did not vote for him and had I have, I would have been totally embarrassed at this point. This whole I found Osama nonsense is a complete and utter farce. Osama has been dead for several years and anyone paying any attention to world news would noticed. The fact that Osama's "capture" was neatly swept underneath the carpet in a way that can never be confirmed or verified hints at this. None the less. West has made some extremely legitimate and compelling claims/arguments regarding Obama. Instead of those who would defend Obama addressing those arguments which they really could not do because West's perspective is completely grounded, they attack and smear him. Never address the claims/arguments. Smear the source of the claims/arguments. When a person responds this way, the way Obama supporters have, you can pretty much know that the claims and arguments against him as TRUE. By the way, taking into account Obama's status, I am not sure he should want the likes of Al Sharpton defending him against a Cornel West.

nonmember avatar ultimate truth

"travis" you are a misinformed idiot....if osama has been dead for years (which is a republican, tea party originated conspiracy theory) then why is the helicopter in pakistan now? why are the wives, daughter, and son taliking about the event....most importantly why o we all of a sudden have all these bin laden videos showing him clearly older, why are the terrorist pissed about his death, why does bin laden talk about the recent uprisings in egypt and tunishia.....and hey is that an image of presient obama on bin laden's televsion screen!!!!!! my fellow brother you are lost.

bills... billsfan1104

Why is it that anytime someone disagrees with Obama is because is was started out of pure racisim??  Did you know that the birther movement was first started when HIllary and the other democrativ candidates asked for his birth certificate??  Anywhooo.  Because this guy now disagrees with Obama and he happens to be black, he now is disparraged, called crazy, and so forth.  I am suprised that you didnt go all out and call him an Uncle Tom.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Racist or not, Cornel West is RIGHT that Obama is not an effective president and has an agenda that doesn't put Americans first.  Obama is driven by his own ego and socialist agenda.  Obama's inability to lead has nothing to do with his skin color and everything to do with his ideals.

nonmember avatar Ahmad Tolbert

No, I think Cornel West's arguments are being misrepresented. First, starting with West's quote about Obama being "a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats," is not in any way equal to "black on black" racism. For example, when Obama frist became president, many people said many times that Barack Obama is the frist black president. Therefore, just because someone uses a persons race before a good or bad adjective doesn't mean their racist. Secondly, in terms of Obama being a mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a puppet of corporate plutocrats; this is ture because its consistent with his polices. Obama supported the $787 Billion dollar bailout of the banks and other corporations and he bailed out the automoblie industry. There are many different ecomomic theories that could have been applied for the purpose of preventing an economic depression; the bailout theory is the one the banks and other corporations wanted. Obama said the banks are too big to fail and if we don't act we could a have a depression. However, when is comes to the masses we get gestures from Obama.

nonmember avatar Ahmad Tolbert

Second Part. For example, people who have been losing their homes, jobs, suffering from wage stagnation, poverty, and the lack of universal heathcare; did not receive a bailout, a jobs policy that guarantees them a job, or compensation to supplement their stagnant wages. We got gestures in the form of a economic stimulus package with ambigious projected results, a healthcare bill that leaves millions uncovered,and other bills that do little or nothing for wage equality for women, for a equal justice system, and a equal opportunities job market.

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