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I suppose Cornel West just couldn’t help himself.

One day after his sidekick, Tavis Smiley, ripped President Barack Obama on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” West called Obama a “global George Zimmerman” during a rambling critique where West accused Obama of being hypocritical in his response to the Travyon Martin killing and George Zimmerman’s acquittal.

“We know anybody who tries to rationalize the killing of innocent people is a criminal,” West said in an interview with Democracy Now. “George Zimmerman is a criminal, but President Obama is a global George Zimmerman because he tries to rationalize the killing of innocent children, 221 so far, in the name of self-defense… Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen. So when he comes to talk about the killing of an innocent person, you say, well wait a minute, what kind of moral authority are you bringing?”

West, an outspoken professor at Princeton University who has joined Smiley in ambushing Obama at every opportunity, says the Obama administration refuses to speak out against an American justice system that has destroyed two generations of black men and has contributed to what West calls “re-niggerizing” the black professional class.

“Five years in office and can’t say a word about a new Jim Crow,” West said. “And at the same time I think we have to recognize that he has been able to hide and conceal that criminalizing of the black poor as what I call the re-niggerizing of the black professional class.”

Responding to Obama’s comment last week, “Trayvon Martin could have me 35 years ago,” West said: “You got these black leaders on the Obama Plantation, won’t say a criminal word about the master in the big house. Will only try to tame the field folk so that they’re not critical of the master in the big house.”

West is continuing his assault on Obama. In January, during Obama’s second inaugural ceremony, West criticized Obama for using Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Bible, calling Obama a “war criminal.”

West’s anger can be traced back to Obama’s 2009 inauguration where West said he couldn’t get tickets for the inauguration. He was also upset that Obama never called him.

“He doesn’t have time, even two seconds, to say thank you or I’m glad you’re pulling for me and praying for me, but he’s calling these other people. I said, this is very interesting,” West said in 2011 interview. “And then as it turns out with the Inauguration, I couldn’t get a ticket with my mother and my brother. I said this is very strange.”

What’s strange is how quickly West and Smiley turned on America’s first black president in such a hateful way, a man they praised repeatedly when I watched them at Howard University when Obama was running for election in 2008. Back then, they couldn’t get enough of Obama. They posed for photos with him, showed up at many of Obama’s events, and hailed him as America’s next great leader.

And then, suddenly, it got ugly. Obama didn’t attend Smiley’s “State of the Black Union” conference in 2008 because he was campaigning for the White House and five years later, Smiley still can’t let it go.

On Sunday, during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Smiley said Obama’s remarks about race last week were too little, too late and “as weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid.”

“I appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up,” Smiley said. “But this town has been spinning a story that’s not altogether true. He did not walk to the podium for an impromptu address to the nation. He was pushed to that podium. A week of protests outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House, pushed him to that podium.”

Obama’s remarks last week weren’t meant as a definitive speech on race or to facilitate a national discussion. It was specific: Obama, for the first time in his presidency, used his White House bully pulpit to stand with black men all across America and share their collective pain of racism.

“There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars,” Obama said. “That happens to me — at least before I was a senator.  There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off.  That happens often.”

I guess Smiley and West only listen to each other.

(Photo: Retna)

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23 thoughts on “ANALYSIS: Cornel West: Obama is a ‘Global George Zimmerman’

  1. Patricia J-C on said:

    All this hate because he didn’t get tickets to the 2009 Inauguration. Both West and Smiley need to go somewhere and sit down. They are coming across as weak and pathetic. Both are always talking about the “problems” where are their tangible solutions? Oh that’s right, they don’t have any. Shut up and actually do something, then maybe you will come across as credible. Get rid of your crabs in a basket behavior first. I am sick of both of you.

  2. Gigi on said:

    Dr. Cornell West is 100% right and its about time someone called out the injustices of president Obama. He is not our knight in shining armor and he has a lot of blood on his hands.

  3. Noshoes on said:

    Cornel West’s use of language: “Jim Crow,” “Obama Plantation,” et al is degrading to people of all colors. It may have been appropriate 40 years ago, but things have changed. Racism still exists and people of color are still being discriminated against, but if we cannot bring the level of discourse above cheap, racially-charged sound bites, then we’re still stuck in the eminently more hateful past.

  4. instead of worrying about what a black president is going to do for black people, why don’t black people do for themselves. I used to like Dr. West, attended one of Tavis’ events but these two fools have gone crazy. I don’t get it. upset over some f++++++ tickets! N===== please. Stop being part of the problem and be part of the solution.

  5. I’m trying to figure out EXACTLY what Tavis, and West want President Obama to do for Black people? Creating Jobs, and community issues such as crime, and housing first, and foremost should be addressed by local elected officials. that’s why they are elected. I have no respect for the CBC, or NAACP either because I haven’t seen anything they’ve done productive in years. Tavis NO MORE symposiums on a Black agenda because thus far you haven’t done a darn thing to put an agenda in action.

  6. pac4me on said:

    Cornel West – Your truth lies in your words. You’re still angry because of some inaugural tickets? Let it go – I’ve decided that while the Pres was running for office, and taking pics with you & Tavis, you were all for him and now that he doesn’t have time for this nonsense you and your cohort have decided to attack him at every opportunity for not saying and doing exactly what you two want. The both of you have your own kind of clout, so why haven’t you done more than just holding a state of the whatever conference each year. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley have lost any kind of credibility with me and I feel sorry for the both of them.

    • Cornell West aint nothing but a Ratical freak always starting shit he got Tavis Smiley all fucked up in the head he wasnt like that, the man is full of hate it shows you no matter how much education a person have if your nasty evil it comes out,, I cant stand that man I cant stand any man that puts a man down,,,,

  7. Big Daddy Kane on said:

    The “Illuminati” are smart…very smart! We knew you would bite if we ran that white guy as a black guy…you bit and now you are getting burned

  8. A vast % of black’s fell for the hype of the first black president hook,line and sinker.
    Ask yourself,do you think the white man would put in some black man that would do great things for black poor people and afrikan poor people world wide ?
    Of course not.
    While many do not like or understand why these guys are attacking this person verbally.
    Maybe they should find out what is really going on and realize that the white man plans on staying in power and no black’s are going to stand in the way of that not happening period.

    • GOD HAS ALL POWERS, not a white or black man and once we as a people realize this fact, we should come to know that everyone’s day is numbered…every knee must bow and every tongue will confess that JESUS is LORD and man’s power is limited to what his mind can think, which as we can see, it’s very limited.

    • Soul60:
      Perhaps there were some people who believed that things would get better with a Black man as president of these divided states, but the majority of us KNEW that our presidents do not have the power. They never have and they never will. If Cornel West and Tavis Smiley were as keen as they feign, then they should know that too.
      Above, Pac4Me mentioned the inaugural tickets, but it West’s disgraceful comments began BEFORE that! BEFORE Obama’s first swearing-in West publicly stated that he was “going to be hard” on Obama. What brought that on is beyond me; perhaps after he was out getting people to vote for Obama someone said something to upset him. Who knows? But what I do know is that throughout my years of being an avid voter and political watcher, I have NEVER seen West be as hard on any of our other presidents. Smiley either. And speaking of Smiley, when Michael Moore was on his show, (2009) he wasted no time at all degrading Obama. It was almost shameful. Throughout the show, Moore was saying positive things about Obama. Moore was optimistic while Smiley was VERY discouraging. Smiley seems to have problems with authority and he and West are a big joke! They would probably receive more aid and support for their feed the poor program if they did not spend so much time degrading the president of these divided states.
      It is hard enough being the first Black president who is still fighting racism – even within his own Party, but then he has to tend with the likes of Cornel West and Tavis Smiley. …the old crabs in the bucket syndrome.

    • PS. NO ONE in their right mind would agree with everything Obama does, but West and Smiley are wrong for their actions; wasting their notoriety on publicly degrading President Obama.
      What a legacy for them.

      • The only solace in this whole saga is that it proves that all Black people don’t think alike. Black people have differing views on issues just like everyone else. Not all White, or Latinos think alike; but for some reason a lot of people think that all Black people think alike on every issue, and that’s simply not true

    • soul: Exactly what was the “hype” as it relates to President Obama being elected? I think most Black people were just glad to see a person of color being elected to the highest office in the land, and didn’t have any real preconceived thoughts as to exactly what he was going to do for Black people. No more than they expected Bill Clinton to do something special for Black people. And for those that did think Obama was going to do something special what would that be? Assure that every Black person has a job, no foreclosure on their home (if applicable), wipe out any student loans? The whole concept that he can, and will do something for Black people is so ridiculous. Short of giving all Black people 40 acres, and a mule…..I really don’t see what he can do. Yes perhaps he could put special job training programs in play; but that doesn’t really assure anyone a job. And lastly I don’t think for one minute that President Obama doesn’t feel the pain of all the Black people that are unemployed, and think that if there was something concrete he could do….he would have done it by now

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