Politicallysavvy's Blog

Politics and random musings

President Obama vs Professor West

Cornel West on the Ed Show: “I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men … When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And that’s true for a white brother. When you get a white brother who meets a free, independent black man, they got to be mature to really embrace fully what the brother is saying to them.”

When President Obama was inaugurated in 2009, it appeared people of every background scrambled to attend what was to be a historic election and inauguration. Videos were shown of celebrating nations and more historically, civil rights leaders rejoiced as to what was being heralded as a “new era in politics.”

This of course has simmered down and criticism of the president has progressed. While politics is the name of every game our nation has taken a turn for a bleaker era. What was a voice of disagreement concerning policies has altered into criticism of the personal. Dr. Cornel West has recently become more vocal concerning the presidents “lack” of concern for the African American community. His criticism, while not new, illustrates a trend that fails to engage the president in policy but merely critical personal attacks.

Cornel West has made the following remark in the past, ““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.”

It should come as no surprise that Dr. West is a good friend of Tavis Smiley, a man that has made no alterations of his disdain for the president’s “snub” of him and his conference in 2007.

So the criticism of the president from black intellectuals is that he is not progressive enough. Not only is this completely unfounded but a blatant attempt to undermine the president. While the anger for the struggles of a community is respected we must first realize that the president is NOT the president of African Americans but the president of America.

My personal analysis is that the words that spew from the mouths of men such as West are not due to ideological differences, these feelings are due to bruised egos. Dr. West failed to offer a claim regarding the president’s policies merely his personal upbringing. If this is what leadership within our community offers I fear that we must look elsewhere.


May 19, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. It is rather sad to see such a respected intellectual, fall victim to such pettiness.

    Comment by Stephanie | May 22, 2011 | Reply

  2. Are you saying his opinions are not relevant?

    Comment by Jason | May 22, 2011 | Reply

  3. Of course his opinions are relevant, the point I was making is that they are not policy related, merely personal.

    Comment by politicallysavvy | May 22, 2011 | Reply

  4. Yes, Dr. West, Travis Smiley, and every man has an ego. If Obama didn’t treat them with all the deferance they wanted, well, I’d be upset too. I think Obama should have spent a lot more time with people like James Clyburn and Bernie Sanders It seems Obama has been too eager to appease wall street and the banks — but Obama is there, he knows what’s going on. He knows what he is up against with these crazy GOPS who would gladly see the country in economic free fall than let Obama get any credit for anything.

    Its a tribute to Obama’s ability to suffer the indignities heaped upon him, the booing of his wife, the daily hate by FOX and hate radio, the crazy rabid attacks by religious fundies, the orchestrated deceptions by Koch Brother funded “think tanks” which should be called “stink tanks”. Perhaps not since FDR or even Lincoln has any US President been attacked and hated by lunatic fringe as much as Obama.

    Yet Obama endures, and carries on, he has saved the auto industry, the banks, and wall street. He avoided the catastrophe that was headed our way. Millions of people are working now, who would be jobless if not for him personally. He fought terrorism, pulled soldiers from wars, put America on a better path, and more is yet to come. Just in the short time he as been in, he has done more than most Presidents do in 2 full terms, despite slings and arrows. And he did it in the worst economic danger in 3 generations.

    Though Obama has never hinted at it, I believe he will be more candid and forceful in his second term. He will be unfettered in his second term, he can respond to hate mongers who disrespect his wife, who regularly lie about him on the GOP networks. When Obama responds, these fools and lackeys won’t know which way to run.

    Lord let me live to see the last day of Obama’s second term.

    Comment by Mark DC (@FilmCriticOne) | November 27, 2011 | Reply

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