By Jueseppi B.
Perhaps the single most influential and most celebrated member of the black intelligentsia, Dr. Cornel West, is under fire for some highly controversial remarks he made concerning President Barack Obama. Here’s what he said.
“I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men. It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation. When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And that’s true for a white brother.”
First of all, what so many of us, as well as our African-American leaders forget is that President Obama is the president of the entire country. He was NOT elected President of Black America only. In fact, he didn’t even really begin to gain the support of African-American voters until he had begun to prove himself as a viable candidate due to his popularity among White voters in the early primaries.
Name a POTUS (even Bill Clinton, who we claimed as the first Black president based mainly on stereotypical behavior such as smoking marijuana, playing the sax, and sleeping around—a post for another day) who was able to really focus on the types of issues we’re asking our current president to deal with, including a grossly race-biased justice system, the strength of the Black dollar, lack of jobs and education.
The rest of this article can be found at Dr. Jays.com
I vote for West has lost him mind. Jealousy is a bitch called envy.
Lets get into this latest issue among Black America…..chin deep:
By Jack Mirkinson Posted: 11/13/2012
Cornel West took aim at MSNBC’s black anchors in an appearance on “Democracy Now” on Friday.
West made headlines when, during the interview with Amy Goodman, he called President Obama a “Rockefeller Republican in black-face.” But he also reserved very harsh words for Al Sharpton, Melissa Harris-Perry and frequent MSNBC guest host Michael Eric Dyson. Goodman played a clip of Dyson defending Obama’s record, and asked West and fellow guest Tavis Smiley to comment. (Jump to 11:35 in the video below)
Tavis Smiley & Cornel West on Election, Why Calling Obama Progressive Ignores His Record 1/2
Published on Nov 9, 2012
Visit http://www.democracynow.org to watch more reports on Democracy Now!, an independent, global news hour that airs weekdays on 1,100+ TV and radio stations.
As the most expensive presidential election in U.S. history comes to an end, broadcaster Tavis Smiley and professor, activist Dr. Cornel West join us to discuss President Obama’s re-election and their hopes for a national political agenda in and outside of the White House during Obama’s second term. At a time when one in six Americans is poor, the price tag for combined spending by federal candidates — along with their parties and outside groups like super PACs — totaled more than $6 billion. Together, West and Smiley have written the new book, “The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.”
Tavis Smiley & Cornel West on Election, Why Calling Obama Progressive Ignores His Record 2/2
Both Tavis and Smiley single out prominent progressives whom they accuse of overlooking Obama’s actual record. “We believe if [Obama] is not pushed, he is going to be a transactional president and not a transformational president,” Smiley says. “We believe the time is now for action and no longer accommodation… To be the most progressive means you’ve taken some serious risk. And I just don’t see the example of that.” West says that some prominent supporters of Obama “want to turn their back to poor and working people. It’s a sad thing to see them as apologists for the Obama administration in that way.
West has clashed heatedly with both Sharpton and Harris-Perry before. He and Sharpton had a legendarily hostile encounter about the Obama administration’s record on MSNBC in 2011. In February 2012, he calledHarris-Perry a “fake and a fraud,” which may have had something to do with a 2011 column she wrote calling him a “self-aggrandizing” man who “offers thin criticism of President Obama and stunning insight into the delicate ego of the self-appointed black leadership class that has been largely supplanted in recent years.”
For this entire article, visit The Huffington Post
Professor Cornel West is President Obama’s silenced, disregarded, disrespected moral conscience, according to Chris Hedge’s recent column, “The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West went Ballistic.” In an self-aggrandizing, victimology sermon deceptively wrapped in the discourse of prophetic witness, Professor West offers thin criticism of President Obama and stunning insight into the delicate ego of the self-appointed black leadership class that has been largely supplanted in recent years.
West begins with a bit of historical revision. West suggests that the President discarded him without provocation after he offered the Obama for America campaign his loyal service and prayers. But anyone with a casual knowledge of this rift knows it began during the Democratic primary not after the election. It began, not with a puffed up President, but when Cornel West’s “dear brother” Tavis Smiley threw a public tantrum because Senator Obama refused to attend Smiley’s annual State of Black America. Smiley repeatedly suggested that his forum was the necessary black vetting space for the Democratic nominees.
He needed to ask Obama and Clinton tough questions so that black America could get the answers it needed. But black America was doing a fine job making up its own mind in the primaries and didn’t need Smiley’s blessing to determine their own electoral preferences. Indeed, when Smiley got a chance to hold candidate Clinton “accountable” he spent more time fawning over her than probing about her symbolic or substantive policy stances that impacted black communities.
Fiercely loyal to his friend, Professor West chose sides and began to undermine candidate Obama is small and large ways. Candidate Obama ceased calling West back because he was in the middle of a fierce campaign and West’s loyalties were, at best, divided. I suspect candidate Obama did not trust his “dear brother” to keep the campaign secrets and strategies. I also suspect he was not inaccurate in his hesitancy.
Furthermore, West’s sense of betrayal is clearly more personal than ideological. In Hedges’ article West claims that a true progressive would always put love of the people above concern with the elite and privileged. Then he complains, “I couldn’t get a ticket to the inauguration with my mother and my brother. I said this is very strange. We drive into the hotel and the guy who picks up my bags from the hotel has a ticket to the inauguration… We had to watch the thing in the hotel.”Let me get this straight–the tenured, Princeton professor who collects five figures for public lectures was relegated to a hotel television while an anonymous hotel worker got tickets to the inauguration! What kind of crazy, mixed up class politics are these? Wait a minute…
As tenured professors Cornel West and I are not meaningfully accountable, no matter what our love, commitment, or self-delusions tell us. President Obama, as an elected official, can, in fact, be voted out of his job. We can’t. That is a difference that matters. As West derides the President’s economic policies he remains silent on his friend Tavis Smiley’s relationship with Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, and McDonald’s–all corporations whose invasive and predatory actions in poor and black communities have been the target of progressive organizing for decades.
I have never heard him take Tavis Smiley to task for helping convince black Americans to enter into predatory mortgages. I’ve never heard him ask whether Tavis’ decision to publish R. Kelley’s memoirs might be a less than progressive decision. He doesn’t hold Tavis accountable because Tavis is his friend and he is loyal. I respect that, but I also know that if he were in elected office the could not get off so easily.
Opposition research would point out the hypocrisy in his public positions in a way that would make him vulnerable come election time. As a media personality and professor he is safely ensconced in a system that can never vote him off the island. I think an honest critique of Obama has to begin by acknowledging his own privileges.
This entire article can be found at The Nation
From The Grio
Follow Zerlina Maxwell on Twitter at @zerlinamaxwell
West called Harris-Perry a “liar” and said that, ”she’s become the momentary darling of liberals, but I pray for her because she’s in over her head. She’s a fake and a fraud. I was so surprised how treacherous the sister was.”
West and Harris-Perry have disagreed publicly before in their varying assessments of President Barack Obama. West and talk show host Tavis Smiley have consistently been harsh on Obama and what they see as his lack of concern for the black community and the poor.
West sees Harris-Perry, and her MSNBC colleague Reverend Al Sharpton, as conciliators to the administration. He also wonders why a civil rights activist like Sharpton wouldn’t be more harsh in his critique of Obama, questioning why he is so close to the administration.
In an interview with the Grio, Rev. Sharpton responded sternly to the assertion that he and Dr. Harris-Perry were somehow rewarded for their support of the Obama administration with shows on MSNBC. “Rewarded by who?,” Sharpton says. “I don’t know if having access to the Obama administration means that one is rewarded… All of these conspiracy theorists need to check facts more clearly.”
Sharpton also posed this rhetorical question, ”[w]ho rewarded Tavis Smiley with his show?… Tavis can have a show [and] that’s fine. But if Dr. [Harris] Perry [and] I have a show all of a sudden it’s some kind of a conspiracy theory?… black people are not that stupid.”
Sharpton added that many prominent civil rights leaders of the past have had access to presidents:
This whole thing that I’m too close to the White House for a civil rights leader. Frederick Douglass had access to Abe Lincoln. Booker T. Washington had access to Teddy Roosevelt and Martin Luther King had access to John Kennedy to the degree that Kennedy told him the FBI was trying to do some things to Bayard Rustin and Jack Odell’s reputation. Andrew Young worked as the ambassador for Jimmy Carter. Jesse Jackson worked as an envoy for Bill Clinton. They need to study civil rights history. I don’t work for Obama. And every president has had civil rights leaders with access so now we get to the black president and there is a different set of rules. He shouldn’t have civil rights leaders he relates to. I think it’s surprising that scholars are not doing their scholarly inquiry here.
Sharpton also finds West’s scathing critique of President Obama “personal.”
We are not arguing about issues here, we’re arguing about personality. I supported President Obama in 2008. And I support him now not because I got some reward but because we won the election. That’s what I supported him to do. He’s doing many of the things that I supported him for. Some of the things he can’t do because of being blocked. So how do you support somebody in the election, they win, and all of a sudden you’re against them? It’s almost like they have this psychological positioning that they have to always be outsiders rather than saying that the goals are to be achieved whether you do it outside, inside, or a combination… I’m oriented toward achieving goals for the people, not worrying about how I’m positioned.
In a defense of Cornel West, Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote for News One, “Since Harris-Perry and her friends had no legitimate defense to the critiques of Dr. West, they presumed that it would be easier to simply discredit him. You see, if you kill the messenger, you never have to deal with the message itself… Harris-Perry allowed herself to be used by the liberal establishment and their media channels to paint Professor West as irrelevant, petty, and ignorant in his critiques.”
Sharpton responded to Watkins’ comment by saying, “Cornel has a right to disagree with the president, but why does he have to go out and disparage everyone who disagrees with him? Boyce Watkins has the right to support Cornel, but why does everybody that disagrees with him have to be all of these other things?”
Melissa Harris-Perry has declined to comment in response to the remarks from West and Watkins.
This entire article can be read at The Grio
Lastly there’s this from the Daily Kos……
There is much more. Read the whole blog post, which I have renamed Melissa Harris-Perry Tears Cornel West a New One Right on, Sister!
Updated by The Plainsman at Tue May 17, 2011 at 09:01 PM PDT
Thanks for the rec list. I get tired of elite black folks like Cornel West, who I have a lot of respect for, and Tavis Smiley, who I have no respect for, acting like “crabs in a bucket” as my late father used to say.
ORIGINALLY POSTED TO THE PLAINSMAN ON TUE MAY 17, 2011 AT 06:27 PM PDT.
ALSO REPUBLISHED BY CLASSWARFARE NEWSLETTER: WALLSTREET VS WORKING CLASS GLOBAL OCCUPY MOVEMENT.
I have been a long time admirer and fan of Ms. Harris-Perry, and anyone who knows me can testify that I dislike both Mr. Smiley & Dr. West for their shucking, jiving and profiteering motives.
Both men have forgotten that simple creed of being Black….once you make it, help others make it.
Instead of criticizing The President for their much imagined faults of Barack Hussein Obama as President, why not donate every red cent from their joint book…”The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto”, to the Black community, that they profess to care so much about?
To Dr. Cornell West & Mr. Tavis Smiley: You can talk the talk all day….but at the end of that day, can you walk the walk?
President Barack Hussein Obama walks the walk every day of his life.
AND don’t forget, Sistah Melissa Harris-Perry ain’t no punk. Boys.