Cornel West is obsessed with criticizing President Barack Obama.

Every few months West rolls out new material to beat-up on Obama whenever he has an opportunity to meet with the media.

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, West insists that it’s Obama who is fanatical.

“I think at this point he’s obsessed with being on Mount Rushmore, he wants to be a great figure in the pantheon of American presidents,” West, the outspoken Princeton University professor, told the Financial Times. “If you’re thinking about Mount Rushmore, you’re thinking about your legacy, your legacy, your legacy. Puh-lease.”

When asked to critique Obama’s first term in office, West said Obama is “much much better than Mitt Romney” but he remained critical of Obama.

“Mitt Romney is a catastrophic response to a catastrophe, whereas Obama is a disastrous response to a catastrophe,” West said. “Is disaster better than catastrophe? Yes it is. I wish we had a third candidate who could actually do something, but we don’t at the moment.”

West was also tough on the president’s foreign policy.

“The Obama administration is involved in some very ugly killing of innocent people,” West said.

West was once one of Obama’s most steadfast supporters, but he has turned on Obama over the years and some black Democrats accuse West of being disrespectful toward the president.

It’s unclear why West feels so compelled to lash out at Obama and why he needs to evaluate Obama through the media. Some of his criticism has been bitter – and downright hateful.

There was widespread speculation that West was upset because he didn’t get a ticket to the inauguration after campaigning hard for Obama in 2008. For West, it seems, Obama can’t do anything right: He’s not black enough. He isn’t doing enough or poor people. He lacks foreign policy experience. He doesn’t listen to black folks.

Some of what West says has been echoed by other black Democrats – that Obama doesn’t have enough black advisors in his inner circle and that he keeps black congressional leaders and civil rights leaders at bay.

But West prefers to share his complaints about Obama with the media, perhaps in hopes that he will shame Obama into coming around to his way of thinking.

That’s not going to happen – not today, not tomorrow, and probably not ever.

Still, West keeps piling it on. Last year, the attacks on Obama by West were particularly ugly.

“I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men,” West told reporters. “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 as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation.”

“When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening,” West added. “And that’s true for a white brother … Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folks who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.”

Does West really think that if Obama loses his bid for the White House in November, that black Americans will be better off without Obama? Or is West just being petty?

Six months before the presidential election, several major polls show Obama leading Romney by a slim margin – seven points. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina predicts the race will be extremely close and black voter turnout is critical.

West won’t be on the road campaigning for Obama this year as he was in 2008, but the question remains whether West will continue to attack Obama right up to Election Day.

And more important, are black voters really listening?

Also On Black America Web:

2 thoughts on “ANALYSIS: Cornel West’s Obsession with Obama

  1. EWattree on said:

    Cornel West criticized Obama from the very first day that Obama announced that he was running for president. He and Tavis were upset because Obama held a news conference and made his announcement instead of coming on Tavis’ “State of Black America” Broadcast. West later jumped the fence and started supporting Obama after it became clear that he might win. Listen to the following link – and this was on the VERY DAY that Sen. Obama announced that he was running for president:

  2. EWattree on said:

    It’s Time to Boycott Tavis,West, and All Black-on-Black Racists


    Like most black people I used to like and admire both Tavis Smiley and Cornel West a great deal, but after they made public fools of themselves on the very day that Barack Obama announced his intention to run for president, I decided to do a little research into them instead of simply buying into the hype. Not long thereafter it started to become clear that their images were merely facades that hid highly ambitious, self-serving, and untrustworthy clowns of the worst kind – and that assessment is not based merely upon my opinion. The most cursory review of the facts will easily bear that out.
    I found that Tavis is the most prolific corporate shill in the Black community, and he’s closely associated with some of the most exploitive corporations of working class people in the country. So I began to ask myself, how can his so-called concern for the poor and middle class coexist with his association with Walmart, Nationwide Insurance, and other corporate manipulators of the poor and middle class?
    “One thing that caught my eye was the picture of Nationwide because it’s personal. Sharon’s sister was blind-sided by a drunk, uninsured motorist. Donna had been paying uninsured motorist insurance though Nationwide for years. Donna was barely conscious in the hospital when a Nationwide rep showed up with a document he told Donna to sign because it would pay the ambulance fees (about $4-5,000). Donna had broken arms, broken ribs and other major injuries. Donna barely scribbled her initials and the guy left. Several weeks later, when she got out of the hospital, her bill was in the tens of thousands of dollars. Required Physical would add thousands more, all within her policy limits. Nationwide refused to pay, citing Donna’s initials on what she was told was the ambulance and ER bills. Donna was unable to have physical therapy and had to file bankruptcy. Like Sharon, Donna is an American Indian (Cherokee), lives in the country and knew/knows nothing about lawyers. By the time we found out, Nationwide’s weird statute of limitations had run out and they were legally “off-the-hook”. Donna is crippled and debilitated to this day.
    “Nationwide IS NOT on your side. They are scumbags to be avoided AT ALL COSTS! You have my permission to use this if you wish to help your community. Tom”
    I also began to ask myself how Tavis could possibly claim to be concerned about the plight of Black people, and then seek to pad his pocket by promoting R. Kelly, a man who became more famous for his alleged appearance in a graphic underground video of himself molesting a 14 year-old Black child, than for his musical ability? Sure, Kelly beat the case, but the video is still out there, and it is what it is.
    And then there’s Cornel West, a man who’s literally made a career of spewing the depth of his love for his people to anyone who will listen, for a fee. With West, it’s always brother this, or my dear brother that, yet, as badly as we need educators in the Black community, he has never taught at a school that more than 1% of Black people could afford to attend in his entire career? If he loves his people so much, why isn’t he teaching third grade in the hood, or at the very least, instructing young people at one of the many Historically Black Colleges or Universities? Isn’t teaching poor and middle-class students prestigious enough for him? Doesn’t he love his people enough to want to see them well educated? I guess not, because while his incessantly running mouth says one thing, his behavior says another. It seems that he would much rather preach us a sermon than live us one.
    While it seems that West can’t inconvenience himself to the point of busting a grape when it comes to helping to educate Black children, he wants us to believe that he loves the Black community so much that he was forced to join forces with Ralph Nader and help to elect George Bush in the 2000 election. Bush won the election by 537 votes. The Nader-West coalition peel off 97,488 votes in Florida alone. But, of course, West only hepled to usher in the Bush-Cheney era, and the attendant misery that it brought to the Black community, in the interest of political chastity. You understand, right? . . . MORE

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s