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President Obama’s African American supporters are in turmoil after one of their most prominent members, Princeton University professor Cornel West unleashed a powerful race-tinged attack on his former friend.
West ripped Obama, calling him a “white man with black skin” and “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and…corporate plutocrats,” during interviews that have roiled progressives.
He also described the president as “head of the American killing machine and proud of it.”
He told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz that Obama’s upbringing inevitably means he “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.”
West also attacked Obama for failing to kill off the tea party before it gained momentum. “He missed the moment,” he said.
“He could have nipped the bud of the right wing populism of the tea party movement by focusing on homeowners who were losing their homes, on workers with a job creation program, with some kind of job corps and declaring war on poverty instead of this abstract war on terror.”
Earlier West had told the liberal blog Truthdig that Obama lacks backbone.
West, Professor of African American Studies at Princeton, had a rift with the president soon after the 2008 election. He said he went to 65 campaign events but then was unhappy when he couldn’t get his mother and brother tickets to the inauguration.
He also claims Obama “cussed him out” last July for claiming that the President was not a progressive. The White House did not dispute West’s account of that meeting at the National Urban League’s annual conference.
But West denies his latest barrage of attacks is personal. In a message sent out on Twitter, he said, “This discussion is in no way about me, it has to do with poor and working people having low priority in U.S. governmental policy including the Obama Administration.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton also joined in the attack on West. “This is the first time in the country that we have an African American president. He is not the president of African Americans,” said Sharpton. “The problem we’re seeing with too many older-minded people is you don’t want the next generation. You want clones.”
But West’s position has its supporters. Syracuse scholar in residence in entrepreneurship, Boyce Watkins said West “must ultimately be given credit for guiding the conversation back to poor, black and brown people.
“Those who are quick to implement the ‘stop snitching on Obama’ policy on Cornel West should stop trying to counter his argument by telling West to remain silent. Instead, he should be silenced with relevant and meaningful action on the part of the Obama Administration.”
Originally posted by SamuraiCentury
Definitely outside/beside himself on those statements of his skin color. 1000% agree with you, but I respect mr. west just think he might be speaking from a personal and emotional place when releasing those specific words...
Originally posted by TKDRL
reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
I agree with you. The minute you bring race into it, you show your true colors as being at least a little racist. He definitely could have chose his words better....
Other than the racist undertone, I happen to agree with a lot of what he is saying.edit on Thu, 19 May 2011 18:52:09 -0500 by TKDRL because: (no reason given)
but even changes his speech patterns if necessary: