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