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Is anyone black enough for Cornel West?

Not only is West criticizing President Barack Obama at every turn, but now, for reasons that are unclear, West has taken aim at MSNBC, calling it a “Rent-A-Negro” network and then criticizing Rev. Al Sharpton for being on the “Obama plantation.”

“I think that it’s been decrepit though, brother. I mean, you get a focus on some of the upper middle class folk. I mean, what I call the ‘rent-a-negro’ phenomenon on MSNBC…’” West told his sidekick, Tavis Smiley, this week on Smiley’s radio program.

So every black person who appears on MSNBC is not a legitimate African American? Melissa Harris-Perry is a Rent-a-Negro? Eugene Robinson is a Rent-a-Negro? Karen Finney is a Rent-a-Negro? Sharpton is a Rent-a-Negro?

West, a former Princeton University professor, also complained that Sharpton is on “the Obama plantation”, which keeps Sharpton from criticizing Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

And why is West so obsessed with references to slavery? Why does every black person who disagrees with West have to be labeled as an Uncle Tom or somehow associated with a “plantation,” or a Stepin Fetchit mentality?

Why can’t a black person who disagrees with West offer a different opinion without being called a sell out?

“Deep down in his soul, I think he really does feel a fire, but he can’t allow that fire to in any way spill over toward the White House. Why? Because he’s still too tied, he’s too uncritical, he’s too deferential, he’s too subservient as it were and as long as that’s in place, we’re going to find ourselves unable to tell the fundamental truth,” West said about Obama.

Here’s how West criticized Obama in an interview in 2011: “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…When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening.”

West has the right to criticize Obama, but that’s not the problem: It’s the way West has attacked the president in such a hateful manner that has caused some black Americans to question West’s reasoning and his bizarre behavior.

West’s comments about MSNBC and Sharpton come one day after 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, the outspoken former Princeton University professor, 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, West couldn’t get enough of Obama. He posed for photos with him, showed up at many of Obama’s events, and hailed him as America’s next great leader.

But today, West just seems hostile, petty and filled with hate. It’s no way for a scholar to behave and it sets a terrible example.

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86 thoughts on “ANALYSIS: Is Anyone Black Enough for Cornel West?

  1. ObamaCare “resembles” Romney’s popular healthcare plan, however it is the exact copy of Senator Orrin Hatch’s original plan; created before Romney’s.
    Several of Obama’s implemented plans were taken from Republicans. However, when Obama showed them THEIR [own] plans, they fought him tooth and nail. It just proves what an uphill battle he has had. Had the Republicans received the same message from John McCain or Mitt Romney, they would have embraced it with much love! However, since it was Obama, a Black man, then the plans are just preposterous!
    As Black men West and Smiley should have known it would not be easy for a minority to lead these divided states, but it is obvious to me that they failed and/or are jealous. I have asked before, why did West publicly state to Obama BEFORE Obama’s FIRST swearing-in, “I’m gonna be hard on you brotha”? I have asked before and will continue to ask what legacy will these two obstructers leave? Most minorities will remember Barack Obama for what he tried to do as well as his successes. He will be remembered as the first. He will be remembered of his successful wins while fighting racism.
    Previous Republicans presidents such as Hoover, Eisenhower, Nixon, (Ford?) Reagan and Bush Herbert Walker will be remembered as the old Republican Party. However, the Republicans we see today will be remembered as the Party of absurdity, the Party obstruction and the Party no, and Cornel West and Tavis Smiley fit perfectly.

  2. Blakgod on said:

    So West is called a “hater” by Obama supporters. Seems the author is “so in love” with the President that it becomes a question of who is black enough. West is consistent. His use of slavery allusions pre-date the arrival on the scene of a state senator named Barack Obama. That is the way Professor West has always expressed his thoughts. Back in 2001, when the nation was still in shock about 9-11, West boldly stated that after that day white Americans now know what it feels like to be nigg-ers. It was a statement about being powerless and brutalized. You don’t have to like his use of slavery language but do not act like this is so shocking and inappropriate. I saw no such declarations when he said similar things about Bush. Many of us cheered him on in those days. But when it comes to Obama we don’t have the stomach for it.

    It seems that where President Obama is concerned, the Black twitter mob is hyper sensitive of any who dare challenge him. We are particularly vicious and hateful of those like West who call Obama to task. I have had my blackness questioned when I have had the temerity to voice my opposition to this President. I have been called a hater, sell-out, Uncle Tom, a conservative and a Republican by Obama supporters. They really think West is motivated by something as petty as not being given tickets to the inauguration?

    Lets get to the crux of the matter. What do you all a President who has increased the use of drones thereby causing massive civilian deaths in multiple countries? What do you call a President who has increased deportations of undocumented workers and fails to pardon people like Assata Shakur, Leonard Peltier, Troy Davis, and Bradley Manning? What do you call a President who violates the privacy of citizens and has an assassination list which included the murder of a 16 year old that was born in the U.S. without trial? What do you call a President who has increased the footprint in Africa of U.S. troops and interferes in the affairs of Syria, Libya, Egypt, Haiti, etc.? You call him President Obama but I call him a criminal. Zimmerman is responsible for the murder of Trayvon Martin and we are outraged. How many has the President murdered but we not only have no outrage, we cheer him on?

    West is a man of principle and courage. He is not questioning the President’s blackness. That is silly. He is questioning the President’s commitment to justice, freedom, truth, peace, love….. That is the truth that stings Obama lovers to the quick. They run and hide from that truth while calling West a hater. It is in that light that West challenges not only the President, but Al Sharpton, Melissa Harris Perry, Eric Michael Dyson, and any other Negroes who have abandoned the straight path for a chance to see someone with a blackface in the white (supremacy) house.

    • bleon on said:

      Blakgod, just like we question the prism through which Dr. West views the world, we also question your world view. Your world view and Dr. West’s lacks complexity in that the world in which we live and President Barack Obama, especially, operates is multidimensional. So our critique of Dr. West’s statements about President Obama and black media elites is not premised purely on the language he uses or that we are inordinately in love with the president. Yes, Dr. West is consistent with his language, but many of us do not believe he is consistently rational in his critiques, particularly since Cornel West is supposed to be an “intellectual.” Unfortunately, we see insufficient complexity in his and your thoughts concerning the president and the people who support him.

      Inarguably, President Obama has done a lot of good things for black people and people in general. But you and Dr. West are communicating the opposite. For example, through his health care initiative (Obamacare), more Americans (blacks included) than ever before will have access to health care insurance and, therefore, medical care. Now how he achieved this, by using capitalistic means to enrich the health care market while using rigid governmental rules to force the health care market to provide greater coverage for a lower price, may disappoint you and Dr. West. However, you overlook how much vehement opposition he received and still receives from the right and the corporate world because they find even this approach unacceptable. Chief Justice John Roberts was almost hung (metaphorically) by his fellow Conservatives for declaring the Affordable Healthcare Act as constitutional. Given the complexity of the opposition he has faced and still confronts on this issue, he should be given great applause for what he has achieved. But you cannot do this if you fail to see the whole picture—the complexity of the whole issue.

      The president has had many other complex successes that I will not use this forum to enumerate. But the point is that for you and Dr. West to harp on a few positions, actions, or inactions of President Obama to paint him as a immoral leader is both unfair and simple-minded. In fact, your four rhetorical questions can be logically answered differently than how you and Dr. West answer these questions. This is possible because some of us are able to look at these issues in the complexity they present.

      Certainly, President Obama has not been correct in every decision he has made. In fact, I’ve written him over 100 emails, and about 40% of them have been critical of one of his decisions, leanings, or leadership shortcomings. Nevertheless, I applaud the overall performance of President Barack Obama because I appreciate the work he has done in world that is a lot more complex than you and Dr. Cornel West seem to appreciate.

      • Bleon,
        I appreciate your comment, but this really sticks out for me:
        “Certainly, President Obama has not been correct in every decision he has made. In fact, I’ve written him over 100 emails, and about 40% of them have been critical of one of his decisions, leanings, or leadership shortcomings. Nevertheless, I applaud the overall performance of President Barack Obama because I appreciate the work he has done in world that is a lot more complex than you and Dr. Cornel West seem to appreciate.”

        As I have often said, no one agrees with everything a person does or says, as that would be dishonest and insincere. Additionally, no matter who is in office, everyone should write their local and national politicians, as they are supposed to work for us. Make them answer. Oh and most importantly, we must do something to bring change to the change we want to see. (I will continue to look for West’s and Smiley’s solutions to the problems they see.)
        Good post!

      • Blakgod on said:

        Thanks for the reply. I have no problem with you challenging my views or Dr. West’s for that matter. However, you insult my intelligence with this talk of complexity. Neither I nor Dr. West are stupid. And for my part Political Science is what I spent my time studying. However, if you have some profound insight on the President’s grand strategy I await that post. However, if you are trying to say Obama is so brilliant there is no way I can comprehend his majesty do not waste your keystrokes. I have never doubted the President’s intelligence. If anything I doubt his wisdom or intent. You are certainly free to disagree with me. But my analysis is not emotional or lacking in rationality, same for the good doctor. I am not trying to say I know everything and cannot learn. However, it’s a waste of your and my time to harp on this mysterious “complexity”.

        Now on to the meat of your comments. As far as the affordable health care act, I absolutely have problems with it. You admit that the bill is “capitalistic”. Surely you realize that the authors of that legislation were conservatives (the Heritage Foundation). The plan called Obamacare is a piece of Republican legislation. The President has said as much. Now any advantage the people receive is minimal. The President increased the already staggering profits of the insurance companies with that bill. That is a fact. Any opposition they put up is a smoke screen. The insurance industry helped to write that bill you laud. For all of this vaunted “complexity” you profess it is obvious to anyone that the President gave the insurance companies a gift with Obamacare.

        Basic understanding of negotiations reveals the President’s true motives. Before debate made it to the Senate/Congress the President took single payer off the table! Forget whether he would have been able to get it through or not. As a negotiator it was to his benefit to leave ALL options on the table, like he does with Iran. Yet when he was in a position to pressure the Republicans/conservatives he eased up and limited the possible outcome. More of his classic capitulation and accommodation or as you call it “complexity”. He should have at minimum got a public option through but he failed in a spectacular way. Not because he is dumb, but because his loyalty is not to “people” but the corporate forces that run Washington. And you say I should applaud that. Not going to happen.

        You harp on his alleged achievements but would seek to marginalize the legitimate criticisms of Dr. West and myself. Do you think that writing 1000 emails to the President matter? Are you naive enough to think he has read one? And if he did why do you think he would entertain anything you have to say? President Obama is not special except in that he is the first person with any appreciable amount of melanin. His policies would be opposed by Dr West and anyone with goodwill no matter his race. He is a steward of a system and reality and system. He has shown no signs of challenging that.

        Then again I could take the “complex” position of the President’s good friend Jay Z who says (The President’s) presence is charity! Imagine that.

      • Blakgod on said:

        One more thing. You said that in 40% of the emails you sent the President you expressed disagreement with him. Well, for me that means you agreed 60% of the time. That would be interpreted as a grade of a D. I think a man as intelligent as the President can do better than that. You and the black community (and Americans in general) deserve better.

      • bleon on said:

        Blakgod, I anticipated you would try to give the president a low grade on the basis of the percentages of my emails that laud him. Thanks for the laugh! So let me say that I do not presume to know as much as you, Dr. West, or President Obama. I have a point of view, and I am educated, confident, and smart enough to voice it. I may not always have the E. F. Hutton effect on people in or out of power, but people generally listen to what I have to say. Furthermore, as a keen student of history (I work in academia), I know that a close analysis of the leadership, character, or policies of any U.S. president that has been labeled as one of the best, whether it be Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, TR, or FDR, will reveal serious deficiencies in their beliefs, policies, character, and leadership. Likewise, Barack Obama has deficiencies. He is not the Messiah! Moreover, he is also not the devil that you, West, Smiley and others paint him out to be. You make accusations that he is enamored and controlled by the dark forces of capitalism, but you deliberately ignore the fact that these same forces have been treating him as an enemy, not as a friend. Actually, any perceptive observer of the political and economic struggles underway will see that he has been at war with the conservative and capitalistic power structure of this country. I believe your failure to see this and to factor this fact in your assessment of President Obama and his policies is a problem of insight and vision that is hindered by your tendency to see things in a one dimensional way. So no, you all are not stupid, but all of you are deficient like all humans. But let’s continue to do battle intellectually as imperfect beings. I’m game!
        BTW, I have received positive confirmation from the POTUS that some of my emails (and those of a group I belong to) have caught his attention.

      • Blakgod on said:

        Better to laugh than cry, but the low grade is reasonable based on your claims. As an academic you get that. President Obama is in my judgement not much different from any others who held that office, save for the obvious. While you say he is not the messiah too many of our people respond as if he is. Or at least Obi Wan Kenobi, as in “….you are our only hope.” That is why they get so angry with Dr. West and Tavis Smiley when they speak truth to power. Read some of the comments here and elsewhere if you need confirmation.

        For all of the things that West and Smiley have said about the President they have never called him the devil. That is you stretching the truth more than a little bit. If I am wrong please correct me by producing a quote to that affect. I have not called him the devil either. Criminal? Absolutely. But I used similar language in reference to the Bush/Cheney crime family, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Reagan. I will own referring to the President as a tool or servant of the devil, an extremely useful one at that. As a willing servant he still has the option to turn his back and tell them to depart from him. Considering that we are in year 5 and see no signs of that happening he is running out of time. Neither I nor Dr. West have to work to “make” the President look bad. He does a wonderful job of that himself.

        As far as the “dark forces of capitalism” that the President is doing battle with…you have been deceived. Do not allow that faux battle to dazzle you. It’s not real. Go beyond the surface and look at the policy. The policy that the President champions is the issue, not the back and forth between him and Republicans. It’s a good cop versus bad scenario. But they are on the same side. The whole debate has taken a hard turn to the right. The President is not a liberal. He is center-right in his political orientation. Again his policies are the proof and evidence, not tears from the speaker of the house at a press conference. President Obama tells you who he is from his appointments and advisers as well. He embraces much of the conservative agenda whether you like it or not. The “simplistic/one dimensional view” here is the idea that President Obama represents the forces of light against the dark Republicans, they are two sides of the same coin.

        As a student of history I am sure you are familiar with the phrase “…like Nixon going to China.” Nixon was able to begin dialogue and open doors to China that no Democrat could have. The opposition would have been too strong but Nixon was uniquely placed to see that through. Similarly we see under Clinton the passage of NAFTA and welfare reform. Under a Republican president those initiatives would have faced strong opposition from liberals. But because it was “slick Willie” pushing things black folks and others swallowed it. President Obama is continuing the move of taking the country to the right. He promotes trade agreements that will continue to enrich corporations while neglecting the labor movement which worked hard to get him in office. He has embraced the Bush/Cheney approach of preemptive wars, violation of privacy, drone strikes, opened up public lands for more oil drilling than Bush ever did. President Obama has made ample use of the Espionage Act of 1917 to punish and silence all whistle blowers, more than Bush and the others combined. But that seems to be no big deal to you. Dr. West is the problem or his method, President Obama is doing fine.

      • bleon on said:

        Blakgod, your response proves my argument that you are a one dimensional thinker. Indeed, it is evident that you are an unreasonable conspiratorial thinker, meaning that you (along with just a few others) can see things other people cannot see. Please, listen to yourself! If things are as bad as you say they are in that President Obama has done nothing good for the people of this nation, that he is clearly a tool of the corporate and conservative forces of this nation, which have always been in control of this nation, and that he is a willing participant in their grand plot to fool us into thinking that he is doing good things for us and our economy, how can you possibly believe that you, West, Smiley, or anyone else can change what no one else in the history of this nation has been able to change? What, are you, Dr. West, and Tavis Smiley modern-day prophets—the Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, or Elijah of our era?
        Under your all-encompassing conspiracy idea, we must not believe that President Dwight Eisenhower (who Nixon served as Vice President) was genuine when he warned us about the military industrial complex. Instead, he was actually using some kind of mind game on us to enhance the power and control of the military industrial complex. I can give you example after example of the folly of your beliefs and conclusions. But suffice it to say that you do not exemplify a high degree of spiritual or intellectual prescience. You are flawed like the rest of us, so you need to reflect a lot more deeply on your premises and conclusions. Become a more sober minded and humble person, Blakgod (or we will have to start calling you Falsegod). 🙂

      • Blakgod on said:

        Call me what you like. Doesn’t change the facts of the matter. I never said I was the only one or part of a small group that had the ability to see the President for what he is. That is a distortion of my perspective and presumably that of Dr. West. You have just as much ability to see things as anyone else. You also have the ability to bury your head in the sand and keep telling yourself its a conspiracy theory, all while leaving your posterior dangerously exposed. I am not delusional in thinking I can make you or anyone else accept the truth.

        Ah bleon, I am not a prophet nor am I aware of Dr. West claiming such status. From my understanding, prophets do not speak of grand conspiracies. In the bible they come with a basic message of repentance and obedience or be destroyed. But I know you bring up points like that to

        I am not going to change anything on my own. But it is necessary for real information to be given. You may be fine living a lie but others will make another choice.

        Telling how I made many references and you refuted little to none. Yes, I am the one who made up the lie that Obamacare’s genesis was with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. The President admitted that his healthcare bill is a Republican idea that he adopted, but that is Dr. West and I lacking “complexity”. I made up that the President is using the Espionage Act to crush dissent and transparency in government. Me and my “all-encompassing conspiracy theories” are just a waste of time. Right? Much easier to choose to be a “sober minded” Obama cheerleader like you and wave your pom-poms.

      • bleon on said:

        Facts without understanding and nuance can lead to the creation of deceptive realities of the mind. This I believe is the case with you. With you, however, there is a deeper problem than the alternative reality you have created in your mind concerning President Obama, and it can be corrected. Because you have failed to look into all the facts regarding his leadership and policies, you have allowed yourself to be misled about his true intent on a host of issues. The evidence that demonstrates he has been a successful leader on a host of issues, which refutes many of your claims, can be found at
        But let’s briefly analyze Obamacare, since this takes complexity of thought to understand. 🙂 It is absolutely true that President Obama used a conservative think tank idea to create a more expansive health care insurance and medical care delivery system in this country. In fact, it resembles the Romney healthcare plan that is popular in Massachusetts even today, which former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney borrowed from the original Heritage Foundation plan. Your premise is that this proves President Obama is a conservative and that he does not have the best interest of the people, especially black people, at heart. Is this the only conclusion we are intellectually obligated to make? I say, “Absolutely not!” Given the actual political composition of the Congressional Democrats in 2010 (many with a conservative leaning), the vehemence of Congressional Republicans towards his healthcare plan, the vehemence of conservatives nation-wide towards his presidency, and the hostile opposition of the bulk of the corporate world toward Obamacare, it is both logical and correct to argue that President Obama used cunning and wisdom to pass the only comprehensive and progressive healthcare legislation that he could. After all, he gave the nation something that is popular in a liberal state like Massachusetts. Of course, you seem to argue like conservatives that Obamacare is bad for the nation. Well, this means, using your logic, that you are in the bed with conservatives. 🙂
        My major point of contention with you is that you take a few facts and run to simple conclusions that deny what is actually real. So in your world we must come to the following conclusions: 1. President Obama has not done anything good for the nation. 2. He is in cahoots with conservatives. 3. The fact that they have tried to do everything they can to make his tenure miserable and to get him out office does not prove that he is not a conservative. 4. It is all a smoke screen that they demonstrate animus towards him. 5. The fact that Mitt Romney received much more money from corporate interests during the presidential campaign than Barack Obama does not prove that President Obama is not in the bed with the corporate world. Again, I could go on and on. I would give you a little credit if you made this argument: President Obama is only hated by Conservative Republicans because he is not the kind of black Republican they like. Now that would be a novel and interesting argument. 🙂 Meantime, look at the whole picture, Blakgod. Look at all of his policies and actions, not just the ones which seem to bother you the most.

      • Blakgod on said:

        The success of President Obama is clear for those he chooses to serve. The reality you flee from is that you, assuming you are black, are not who he toils for. I have not told you that you are obligated to make only one conclusion on this or any issue. But when the facts point to a clear conclusion I will not hold to the false ideas that you seem so comfortable with.

        Such opposition the poor poor President faces. And when he faces it what has been his response for years? Has he held the line and tried to rally the liberal/progressive elements of the nation to his side? Emphatically no! His thing has been to “reach across the aisle” and waste whatever momentum he may have had. He adopts the Republican position and then looks stunned when they reject him and move even further to the right. Does the President then say, “Okay, I will do this hard way” and use the bully pulpit he has to grind the opposition down? Again, no. He just moves more to the right seeking to please the Republicans. In the end we get Republican policy that you celebrate as comprehensive and “progressive”. You really called Obamacare progressive. That statement alone reveals you have abandoned any pretense to truth. It would be one thing for you to say, “I know Obamacare is a weak bill that does not do what it claims but its the best he could do.” But you cant even be that honest. We would still have a debate about the way the President caved on single payer and the public option BEFORE the debate took place. But in your thinking accommodation and capitulation are really cunning and wisdom.

        For you President Obama has scarcely failed at anything. You make it sound as if Presidnt Obama is the only president to ever face opposition from outside and within his own party. As much as I despised President Bush I had to respect him. He made clear what he wanted and did not water down the result. To be sure he did not always succeed in getting everything he wanted but the effort was there. If necessary he would whip members of his own party into shape that did not fall in line.

        Looking at most of his policy, President Obama leans right. You take the bait when Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and others harangue the President. To you that is “proof” that Obama is doing the right thing. I have listened to Limbaugh tie himself in knots rejecting positions he held in years past just so he could disagree with the President. Does not alter the reality that in those instances President Obama is promoting conservative views. Views which are more palatable for people like you because it is coming from Obama. Unless of course you were one of those “moderates” sitting in the middle of the road. But in the end that really does not matter. You are enamored with the personality and idea of President Obama. All of your claims to reason ring false.

      • bleon on said:

        Now I understand your inability to see reality. Thank you for clarifying who you are. Now let me clarify who I am.
        I readily acknowledge that I am a liberal. I also readily admit that I am not a leftist, which means I do not belong to the far-left wing of the liberal spectrum like, apparently, you do, or like Rush Limbaugh belongs to the far-right wing of the conservative spectrum. I am not a left-winger. I belong to the much larger liberal base that is not as extreme as the leftist on the spectrum. So clearly leftist like you are unable to view the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the most progressive piece of healthcare legislation since Medicare was introduced. I, like Paul Krugman, a brilliant liberal economist, acknowledge that, in Krugman’s words, “Obamacare is a deeply conservative reform, not in a political sense (although it was originally a Republican proposal) but in terms of leaving most people’s health care unaffected…. who receive health insurance from their employers.” However, again in Krugman’s words, “…millions of Americans will suddenly gain health coverage, and millions more will feel much more secure knowing that such coverage is available if they lose their jobs or suffer other misfortunes.” And as Krugman concludes, “So yes, it does look as if there’s an Obamacare shock coming: the shock of learning that a public program designed to help a lot of people can, strange to say, end up helping a lot of people — especially when government officials actually try to make it work.” (See the whole opinion piece at I’d say this statement justifies calling ACA a progressive bill. So not only did the president get the best bill he could, he also got a very effective bill! 🙂
        I have quoted so much of Krugman, an authentic and brilliant liberal thinker, to rebut your assertion that real liberals cannot actually support Obamacare. There are many liberals like Krugman and myself who support many and oppose some of President Obama’s policies without falling into the trap of condemning him as the enemy and as a horrible conservative leader. So let’s not get stuck in the ideological traps that people on the far left and the far right often find themselves. Dr. West, Tavis Smiley, and you, Blakgod, should take note.

      • Blakgod on said:

        Truth still eludes you. I demonstrated how both parties, Democrat and Republican have gone to the right. That fact you cannot dispute. You or Keeba made a comment about Reagan not being conservative enough for todays tea bag types. I agreed with that point 100%. The evolution of both parties has been toward corporatism. The Republicans are merely further down that road but the President and people like you continue to follow that path.

        Your stance is not objective at all, it’s purely subjective. You are comparing President Obama to Michelle Bachman, Alan West, Ann Coulter, Limbaugh and a host of other far right ideologues. In that comparison of course the President appears more reasonable or liberal than they. But he has helped to move the whole scale further right. Now the position of someone like Limbaugh, Bob Dole, and others from the late 80’s and early 90’s have become “liberal” views of people like President Obama and apparently yourself today. You still call yourself a liberal even though you have moved with the President to the conservative position.

        Imagine standing near a line with the numbers 1-10 along its length. The Republicans started on 6 and the President was on 4. We then observe the Republicans moving all the way off the scale to where 12 would be. In response, Obama moves to 7. You would be pleased and say that the President did well. But all he has done is taken the former position his opponents had; he has moved to the right.

        “….like Nixon going to China.” A Democrat president could not have done what Nixon did. Clinton brought us NAFTA and welfare reform; it took a Democrat President to ease that through. President Obama continues that tradition. He expands the national security state (NSA spying, increased usage of the Espionage Act). All of which is apparently okay with Melissa Harris Perry and “liberals” like yourself. Now the latest outrage that is coming to light courtesy of President Obama is ITP (Insider Threat Program). This program is an Executive Order that President Obama made a reality.
        “The Insider Threat Program seeks to identify potential whistleblowers before information is leaked to the public and to coerce federal employees to participate in the program, through a cocktail of incentives and ham-fisted fear tactics.”
        It encourages federal employees to spy and snitch in one another. No one twisted his arm and made him do it. He is a willing participant in further eroding what civil rights remain. Yes, President Obama. The man who pledged transparency and protection of privacy has gone further than his predecessor. If Cheney hates the Preisdent it’s because he can get done what Cheney could only dream about. But all of that is fine with you. Dr. West deserves your scorn not the President.

      • bleon on said:

        Blakgod, as Ronald Reagan famously said to President Jimmy Carter, “There you go again. 🙂 Have you ever thought that some of President Obama’s decisions are simply wrong-headed, necessitating no need to call him a secret conservative? My views on the president’s stances on national security, surveillance, and dealing with whistle blowers are reflected perfectly in the following quote by Nicholas Thompson of the New Yorker: “Barack Obama and Richard Nixon are very different people, and they operate at very different moments in history. There is a lesson to be learned, though. Information gives you power, and surveillance gets you information. But there’s a risk in going too far—and there’s a danger of disillusionment and backlash, as more and more people think the country you lead isn’t living up to its ideals.” See the whole article at
        Democratic presidents like FDR, JFK, and LBJ made bad decisions in this regard, but a lot of their dealings were not exposed until after they were dead and gone. President Obama faces his critics in the light of day, and so liberals in and out of Congress are beginning to challenge him to do the right thing. Calling him a “global George Zimmerman,” a “war criminal,” or a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats,” as Dr. West has, will win you no influence. As Nicholas Thompson said, which applies to the president, Dr. West and Tavis Smiley, “…there’s a risk in going too far—and there’s a danger of disillusionment and backlash….”

      • Blakgod on said:

        Yes. I have considered many of President Obama’s decisions to be wrong headed as you are aware. It seems you have a problem with the label of conservative as it relates to the President; perhaps you would be more comfortable if we called the President a neoliberal. I have always been one who believes if the shoe fits one must wear it.
        If I lie to you and you call me a liar am I correct to be upset about the word? If I stole your car do I have the right to reject it when you call me a thief?
        I think Dr. West’s use of colorful epithets is entertaining and truthful. I would not belittle you just because you find that language distasteful. But the truth of his words stand regardless.
        You feel that Dr. West will not win influence. Conversely, I feel that pouring sugar on fecal matter does not hide what it is we are smelling. In part the good doctor has been successful, in that he has been heard and we are discussing these issues. I do not think that speaking gently will win influence or alter the President’s course. If you are going to take on these matters it is best not to mince words. Diplomacy has its place but I guess we will not agree on the method of Dr. West.
        One of the harshest things I ever heard from Dr. King was his quote about America being the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. That statement is more true today than it was when he uttered it, in spite of us being in the enlightened era of Barack Hussein Obama. When King said that he upset black and white, Republican and Democrat. His precious access and hard earned influence began to dry up and he was condemned for having the audacity to speak on American foreign policy. He was told he should only deal with civil rights for negroes, not focus on foreign policy or poverty. In my opinion, Dr. King spoke the truth and let the chips fall as they would.
        According to the gospels, Jesus used acerbic speech as well. His reference to his opponents as “a generation of vipers” is quite inflammatory. Others he told, “Ye are of your father, the devil. And the lusts of your father ye will do.” Not very polite but true.
        Those are the two major influences on Dr. West and inform his outlook and approach. You can complain and say he is outdated. But I hope your sensibilities were just as upset when he said the same things about Bush/Cheney. If not hypocrisy is emanating from your person.
        Lastly, the fact that other presidents made “bad” decisions in no way clears Obama of the blood on his hands. In your judgement the President is excused because we are in the Information Age and we know about his wicked dealings now, as opposed to when he is out of office or dead. Are you serious? You should be grateful for the Bradley Mannings’ and Snowdens’ who are shining the light of truth on this mess. All the while President Obama is threatening whistle blowers with jail, torture, and even death. The real criminals of Wall Street or a George Zimmerman walk free, but we must destroy Julian Asange? West is the problem?
        In the words of Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, one of those “far-left” columnists and editors, “President Obama’s “Insider” Executive Order is predicated upon a sordid and shameful history by his predecessors to root out political opponents, smash political opposition, and to quell voices of dissent. Unfortunately, Obama is not the first head of state to enact an “insider threat” program, but he is probably the first to state openly his commitment to transparency and much-needed protection for Federal whistle blowers.”
        I am doubtful a “neoliberal” like yourself will appreciate the perspective but here is the article:“big-brother”-has-been-watching-you…-long-time

      • bleon on said:

        LOL! Dr. Cornel West is not Jesus the Christ! Jesus, God the Son, had the authority and standing to say, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.” (John 8:44, NIV) The rest of us must use wisdom in order to influence others in a positive way, which does not preclude us from being reasonably critical. For certainly, I am and will continue to be! But, as the scripture says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18, NIV)
        Again, I am a liberal, not a left-winger. I am not an extremist. Thankfully, extremists do not dominate liberal thought like they presently dominate conservative thinking. And I read the full article (and related material) you suggested I read. I applaud the work of the Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC). Indeed, I agree with the NWC that “Federal employees need real whistleblower protections consistent with those now in place for most corporate workers.” But there is nothing foul or extremist in the statements you quoted Dr. Coleman-Adebayo as stating. She does not use words like Dr. West. In fact, she is taking constructive steps in out of the political system to make needed and lasting changes. More power to her for doing so!

      • Blakgod on said:

        I am getting the impression that you are not even trying now. You can do better than this. I gave you a cogent explanation for why Professor West speaks as he does. I never claimed he was Jesus. I have listened to Dr. West wax poetic about his religious views and how he tries to pattern his life after Jesus (I do not share his views on this but understand him). He is the first to admit he is not perfect. He truly tries to be Christ-like and not give mere lip service to his belief. Your response was to restate the verses I gave as if that lent any weight to your argument. NIV or KJV is immaterial to me. The meaning is the same. Jesus spoke harshly to many people according to the gospels. Your perspective is that only Jesus has the authority to speak in that way. Supposedly Jesus said that those who followed him will do what he did and greater works. He was a man who healed the sick, cast out devils, feed the multitude, etc.. You and Dr. West as believers in Christ can in theory do the same but a harsh rebuke is off limits? It was not “positive” when Jesus kicked the money changers out of the temple. It wasn’t “positive” when Jesus told a woman seeking his help that he was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel and turned her away. But my point here was not to get into a theological discussion but to give an understanding as best I am able of Dr. West’s motivation for speaking the way he does, not to convince you to agree with him.

        You applaud the work of Dr. Coleman-Adebayo? Considering she is an editor for Black Agenda Report that is a dubious claim. She has approved and allowed to be uploaded articles which were just as harsh in language as anything Dr. West has ever uttered. You quoted part of the article that you agreed with. What about when she said the following:
        “The Obama Administration’s “Insider Threat Program” is a continuation of undemocratic and insidious machinations by a number of presidents to silence and compromise the legitimate rights of American citizens under the Constitution. ”

        “This program provides us all with the opportunity to shine light on the hypocrisy and lies that have become the dominant narrative of this administration.”

        Do you agree with her words there? Are hypocrisy and lies the dominant narrative of the Obama presidency? Is it not telling that you have not been able to call West a liar? In essence, she is saying the same thing West is saying. Your problem is “how” he says it. The content and meaning of his words are definitely lost on those who are immersed in the cult of personality that is President Obama. You are so clear minded/logical yet demonstrate an inability to properly address the content of Dr. West’s message. Since you cannot refute him you shed figurative tears because West hurts the President’s feelings and will not celebrate the mythical success that is President Obama along with neoliberals like yourself.

      • bleon on said:

        Blakgod, reread carefully all of my posts and then maybe you will pick-up some of my refutations of your arguments. 🙂 As an educated person I know that brevity is a sign of strength, not verbosity. So it is not necessary for me to use as many words as you do to make my points. As for as refuting Dr. West, my subtle argument, which you seem to have missed, is that he has refuted and weakened his own arguments by going overboard in labeling President Obama as something he is not. (BTW, you have not given me any evidence that Dr. Coleman-Adebayo has used the exact kind of extreme language as Dr. West.) You accept Dr. West’s claims totally. And certainly, you have the right to do so. But I reject them, and I’ve told you why. I have been unsuccessful in convincing you of my arguments just as you have been unsuccessful in convincing me of your arguments. So the readers of our posts will have to be the judge of who is correct. However, I am happy to know that the majority of my liberal brothers and sisters do not think the way that you, Dr. West, and Tavis Smiley think. That does not necessarily make us right, but it sure places the responsibility on you all to convince us we are wrong and tragically deceived, which you have totally failed to do. So the differences between us remain. You condemn President Obama; I critique President Obama. You reject President Obama; I support President Obama.

      • Blakgod on said:

        I am aware that others will judge for themselves who is right and wrong. Once again you excel at stating the obvious and dance away for dealing with the topic head on. I asked you specific questions you continue to shy away from.

        You suggest I should reread your posts and fail to read mine.
        I never said she used the precise language of Dr. West. Produce evidence to the contrary. Since you didn’t read it the first time here it is again….
        “You applaud the work of Dr. Coleman-Adebayo? Considering she is an editor for Black Agenda Report that is a dubious claim. She has approved and allowed to be uploaded articles which were just as harsh in language as anything Dr. West has ever uttered.”
        As one who brags on his education why are you misreading that?

        I then gave you this quote in particular from Dr. Coleman-Adebayo:
        “This program provides us all with the opportunity to shine light on the hypocrisy and lies that have become the dominant narrative of this administration.”
        Those are her words. Then I asked you, Do you agree with her words there? Are hypocrisy and lies the dominant narrative of the Obama presidency?

        No answers forthcoming it seems. A lot of evasion and cheering for Obama.

      • bleon on said:

        Blakgod, I excel at telling the truth, not exaggerations! 🙂 Let the people be the judge. I am fine with that. Peace, love and happiness!

      • bleon on said:

        I gave you answers, but you have rejected them. Let’s agree to disagree. Peace!

      • Blakgod on said:

        “This program provides us all with the opportunity to shine light on the hypocrisy and lies that have become the dominant narrative of this administration.” Do you or do you not agree with her words?

      • bleon on said:

        Okay, Blakgod, I will give you more. But if you would have read my earlier comments insightfully, you would know what my answers are to your questions. I have already telegraphed everything I am about to say. 🙂

        No doubt, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is a passionate critic of President Obama’s efforts to prevent the leakage of classified, federal government documents. And she uses strong but non- Cornelian (clever, huh) language to express her passionate critiques. So let’s look below at the strongest worded critiques in her article. You will find my pithy take on them in brackets:

        “Now that the program has come to light, it has been condemned by both liberal and conservative news organizations because it has raised concerns about privacy, unethical governmental behavior and the unavoidable comparison with Nazi, East German and McCarthy era witch hunts that destroyed the lives and careers of thousands of people.” [“Unavoidable” comparisons may be made, but it does not mean that “absolute” findings of equivalence can be demonstrated.]
        “Alarms have sounded as media and human rights organizations learn more about this secret program and the possibility – or probability – of grand-scale abuse.” [She seems to be equivocating, but neither a “possibility” nor a “probability” equates to an “absolute certainty.”]
        “President Obama’s ‘Insider’ Executive Order is predicated upon a sordid and shameful history by his predecessors to root out political opponents, smash political opposition, and to quell voices of dissent. Unfortunately, Obama is not the first head of state to enact an “insider threat” program, but he is probably the first to state openly his commitment to transparency and much-needed protection for Federal whistle blowers.” [Here I find her most potent critique if it can be proved that there is day light between what the president has promised he would do to protect whistleblowers and how he has actually treated them by virtue of his policies.]
        “Obama’s ‘Insider’ program appears to be on the same trajectory [as the Truman/Hoover program] as more Americans find themselves monitored, tracked and accused of being ‘Un-American’ for exposing government corruption.” [The key words are “appears to be,” which is not the same as “is definitely.”]
        “A new book by Goodale entitled, ‘Fighting for the Press’ argues, according to the Columbia Journalism Review, that ‘Obama is worse for press freedom than former President Richard Nixon was.’” [This is Goodale’s argument, not hers.]
        “The Obama Administration’s ‘Insider Threat Program’ is a continuation of undemocratic and insidious machinations by a number of presidents to silence and compromise the legitimate rights of American citizens under the Constitution.” [She says his program is a “continuation” of past programs, not the “archetype.” The bulk of this article is an attempt to lay out a brief historical record on extreme, past presidential programs designed to prevent whistleblowing. Very little of this article makes the case that President Obama’s program is as “undemocratic and sordid” as the whistleblowing policies of past presidents. Perhaps she has done a better job of this in other articles, but this is the one you submitted. :)]

        Now keep your thinking cap on as I briefly analyze her claims and President Obama’s “Insider Threat” program and whistleblowers policy or lack thereof.

        It appears Dr. Coleman-Adebayo’s take on this is that federal workers should not be prevented from leaking information to the public if the information exposes nefarious practices and policies of the federal government, especially given her own personal experiences regarding this. I do not believe, however, that she (or Blakgod) believes federal workers should be given the blanket freedom to release whatever information they please. Such a policy would make it impossible for any government to function in a stable and efficient manner. President Obama’s take on this, according to his November 21, 2013 Presidential Memorandum: National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standards for Executive Branch Insider Threat Programs, is that minimal safeguards most be put into place to prevent, discourage, and to detect the release of classified materials by workers inside and persons outside of the government that threaten national security.

        For me, it appears that both of their positions are reasonable. But ah, Dr. Coleman-Adebayo and President Obama cannot agree on what classified releases “threaten national security.” Moreover, they cannot agree on the degree to which a president can act to protect the security of the nation. Now it can be reasonably argued that President Obama should be given the benefit of the doubt in determining what classified documents, released indiscriminately, could threaten national security. For as the nation’s constitutionally designated Commander in Chief, he is intimately more familiar than anyone else about the threats faced each day by the nation and what safeguards must be considered to prevent such threats. Nevertheless, the modern American president no longer receives the benefit of the doubt on such matters, given the abusive practices perpetrated by American presidents on U.S. citizens from the middle of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century. Justifiably, Dr. Coleman-Adebayo calls it a “sordid and shameful history.” So who is right?

        As someone who has warned about the inadequacy and deceptiveness of simple thinking and the necessity and benefits of complex thinking, you know what my answer is. They are both right and wrong! Dr. Coleman-Adebayo is right to be wary of trusting the government to protect the rights of federal workers. President Obama is right to be vigilant about protecting the national security of the U.S. by instituting safeguards that will prevent government workers or non-government employed individuals from harming the national security of the nation. So how do we bridge these legitimate propositions?

        Let’s put the onus on the president, as Coleman-Adebayo has. So let’s explore two overlapping critical questions: 1. Has President Obama overstepped his constitutional responsibility to protect and defend the nation with his whistleblowing programs? 2. Has he failed in his promise to protect the civil rights of government whistleblowers?

        On the first question, no one, including Coleman-Adebayo, has offered any convincing evidence that President Obama has overstepped his constitutional responsibility to protect our national security. Of course, people believe he is out of bounds for pursuing the prosecution of Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden. But the point is that they each violated specific laws, which some us may not like. Nevertheless, the president did not write these laws. Could the president pardon them? Yes, but not until they have their day in court. Should he? Maybe, but that is not the issue we are presently confronting. On the second question, I believe there is merit for questioning President Obama’s commitment to honoring his past promises on whistleblowing, but not for the same reasons that Dr. Coleman-Adebayo implicitly or explicitly proclaims. What President Obama is guilty of is a failure to lay out a clear and specific whistleblower protection plan for individuals who have information relating to the nefarious actions or practices of the federal government. The policy should be a reward based system for such informants and should include a mechanism to correct whatever illegal or unethical actions or practices that are performed by any governmental department or agency. Because he has failed to do this, he has been reasonably and unreasonably criticized. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo expresses reasonable and unreasonable criticism of President Obama in this regard. Dr. West has…well; you know what I think about his criticisms. 🙂 What I do not believe has been proven is that President Obama has dark and sinister reasons for failing to do what I and others think will settle the issue. His inaction, however, has opened him and his administration to charges of “hypocrisy and lies,” even though such charges have not been unquestionably proven. All I know is that the job of being president of the most powerful, democratic, wealthy, diverse, conflicted. and complicated nation on the planet is not an easy job. But hopefully, he will figure it out before he is no longer POTUS. Indeed, he has an obligation to resolve the whistleblower issue facing him and us.

        So now, there you have it. I know you will disagree with my answers, but, as I said before, let’s agree to disagree. I am good with that!

      • bleon on said:

        Before you answer, Blakgod, let’s go a little deeper in this thing. Upon further reflection, I think it is important that I correct the impression that President Obama has done nothing to protect government whistleblowers. He has. And I think it is important to highlight more of the intricacies of this issue.

        As law professor Richard Moberly enlighteningly wrote in a 2012 Chicago-Kent College of Law, Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, “In many ways, President Obama has lived up to his promised support for whistleblowers. Obama’s appointments to key administrative positions in charge of whistleblower protection consistently supported employee rights and worked steadily to unravel the long-standing anti-whistleblower bias in those agencies. Moreover, the three most prominent pieces of Obama’s legislative agenda—the economic stimulus package, the financial reform bill, and health care reform—all included key provisions that enhanced whistleblower protections.” (Please search LexisNexis for Moberly’s valuable journal article titled, “Whistleblowers and the Obama Presidency: The National Security Dilemma.”)

        But the real issue is to what degree has he protected government whistleblowers who work in the national security apparatus of the federal government? It is his perceived inaction or insufficient action in this regard that has caused him the most problems. Thus Moberly states that “the Obama Administration’s record regarding whistleblower protection for national security whistleblowers has been “decidedly less emphatic and more nuanced” because the president is conflicted about the value of secrecy and the necessity of transparency in the context of national security. Is the president justified for being “decidedly less emphatic and more nuanced?” Moberly thinks this is a complicated question that nonetheless has a complex solution, for which the president must face head-on and resolve. I concur. This is hard stuff, but the president and Congress can do one of the things I suggested earlier: “lay out a clear and specific whistleblower protection plan for individuals who have information relating to the nefarious actions or practices of the federal government,” even when they work on national security issues. As Moberly suggests, not every document that is declared top secret is necessarily top secret. Let’s change the laws to reflect this. Blakgod, please access Moberly’s scholarly and reasoned article. If you do, you might become a tiny bit less critical of President Obama and a tiny bit more circumspect over some of the notions and critiques of the folks in your camp. 🙂 Peace!

      • Blakgod on said:

        While I often get the feeling you half read my words, let me assure you that I read everything you write with great detail. That is why I called you out on your false claims of answering my question. I do not believe in your “telegraph” technique. That will lead to assumptions and errors. I prefer to get clarity. Say what you mean.

        I never said that Dr. Coleman-Adebayo used the “exact” same language as Dr. West. That is what I mean about you half reading my words, I will assume you are not purposely telling falsehoods. What I said is that she is aligned with and, as an editor, approved articles which have been far harsher than what she wrote in this particular story. Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report has called the President “not the lesser of two evils but the more effective evil.” Is that an “extreme” statement as you say Dr. West’s are? See I ask you. Not assume I know your answer.

        You are so angry with “the way” Dr. West speaks, but were you just as angry when he did it to Bush and Cheney? Did you attack West for his flagrant disrespect of the complexities that President Bush was faced with? I doubt it but again I ask.

        Your parsing of the article was interesting, in particular your use of the term “absolute”. We cannot know absolutely much of anything from what you seem to be saying. The daylight between what President Obama promised and what he actually has done are manifest to anyone who wishes to see it and not hide behind notions of “absolute certainty”. That is a statement that can be applied to all Presidents I have known in my lifetime, some more than others. President Obama is no exception. Conceivably, you would only lay claim to it if the President was to confess. Can we say we know that Bush/Cheney “absolutely” lied and lead us to attack and kill people who had nothing to do with 9/11? I can say that the preponderance of evidence puts me on solid ground in both instances, your protests for “absolutely certainty” notwithstanding.

        What is your take on the Obama administration’s exorbitant use of the Espionage Act?

        Your defense of the President, while spirited, misses the mark. Your straddling of the fence on saying that both the Doctor and the President were right and wrong is an obvious attempt to appear balanced. But if there is ever a doubt I guess you will ride with team Obama for all its worth.

        Bradley Manning illustrates my point perfectly. Yes, he broke the law. Dr. West, following the MLK example, has broken laws too. Sometimes the right thing is to break a law in order to usher in truth and justice. Manning, in breaking the law, exposed corruption and malfeasance in the military, intelligence agencies, and other government officials. The information he released was important and valuable for the American people. He brought transparency which is something we are supposed to have.

        No “absolute” proof of any harm has been shown by the government as result of this leak. Although the President and others claim the contrary. Embarrassment is not espionage.

        One of the best examples of the need for leaks was the video of helicopter pilots in Iraq killing civilians in cold blood, along with two reporters, a man who came to help the victims and his two children. As I recall only the children survived. The video is grisly evidence of a war crime. We now know this crime was covered up by the perpetrators and their command officers right up the chain. No one would have had “absolute” evidence of this crime if Manning had not acted. All of those who concealed this war crime or looked the other way are complicit. International law and even U.S. law requires that crimes like this be exposed and punished. So Manning had a choice and for those of us who love truth and justice, he choose the right laws break.

        Today, Manning faces a possible 136 years in prison. The President could pardon him but he won’t. Nixon got a pardon. Oliver North got a pardon.
        The soldiers who committed that massacre are not even charged with a crime, nor the people who covered it up. President Obama claims that we are a nation of laws. That no one is above the law. Manning is being punished. Why does the President fail to use his authority to bring those guilty of actual murder to trial? They get a pass, just like the Wall Street bandits. We need to move ahead, the President says. No looking back. It is that kind of hypocrisy and cowardice that spurs Dr. West and others to speak as they do.

      • I have had fun engaging you, Blakgod. Too bad neither one of us was able to convince the other. Peace!

      • Blakgod on said:

        Once again I ask you direct questions you avoid. Presumably because they would reveal hypocrisy on your end. Peace.

      • bleon on said:

        It’s good that you still have questions, since this means I have stirred your thinking. 🙂 I am sorry you view me as hypocrite. But that’s okay. I value my integrity and my critical thinking ability (as do a whole lot of bright folk) even if you don’t. Blessings and peace, Blakgod!

      • bleon on said:

        I am sorry you are angry, Blakgod. But I will not answer anymore of your questions. Can’t you see that we think differently? Accept that and move on. Peace!

      • Blakgod on said:

        Thinking differently is fine. All of the smiley face icons do not hide the fact that you are struggling. It took days for you to answer 1 question. Predictably you fail to answer the reasonable follow ups. You could have moved on yourself. Instead you continue with this posturing.

      • Blakgod on said:

        Could have answered the questions by now with ease. Instead….more smiley icons. Peace.

    • Blak
      Although I voted for Obama twice, I was not a supporter when he first ran. However, when it was obvious that he was the only practicable candidate, I had no other choice.
      It is not as if I do not “have the stomach” for West’s criticism of Obama, it is just that I would like to believe he was wise enough to use his notoriety positively.
      I cannot tell you how angry I was with Obama when he bailed out Wall Street. I actually HATED to hear him continuously use the word “compromise.” (At one time in my home, it was as if the word was vulgar!) I was disappointed with his actions when it came to dealing with General Stanley McChrystal. (I did not favor it then nor now.) I was VERY disappointed with his continued association with Karzai. I did not care how “politically unpopular” it was, but I did not support his reasons for continuing the war in Afghanistan. My spouse and I have had long drawn out disagreements with my brother (a retired military officer) about our actions in Libya. I was angry that we helped kill Gaddafi and felt that it was just plain WRONG! (I was equally just as disgusted when Saddam was murdered.) I do not like the idea of us committing aid of ANY kind to support Syria!
      I could go on about the things I did not agree with, but I do not have the notoriety.
      Online, I am known simply as Keeba or But here at home, my local government officials know me by name. They know who I am when they see me. They know I cannot and will not go away without being heard and answered. However, when I confront them, I come not only with objections, but also with possible solutions, assistance, and ideas. I am not easily dismissed, as I am not a hothead or someone who just seeks attention. (I try to use my energy wisely.)
      I have sent letterS to the White House before Obama, since Obama and if the next president disappoints me, I will continue to send them. Are West and Smiley writing and/or calling, or are they just using their time criticizing?
      BEFORE Obama’s first swearing in, West publicly stated, “I’m gonna be hard on you, brotha.” What was that about????? What was his motivation for saying that?
      I want to give my honest opinion on the use of drones, but I do not believe this is the forum for me to so. So instead, I will simply say this: I cannot comment on the use of drones, as I did not know enough about them when they were first used and I certainly cannot say I know enough about them now. However, if I am to believe what the Obama administration has said, then I am all for it. Again, I am neither for nor against their use.
      I DO wonder why there are more deportations under Obama than there was under Reagan. Only the administration and Congress can answer that.
      Although I remember the Assata Shakur case, I am not at all surprised that Obama did not intervene. Furthermore, I can say that he should or shouldn’t. Admittedly, I have no idea who Leonard Peltier is. For a long time, I wondered why Obama did not intervene when it came to stopping the execution of Troy Davis, but later I learned that there was no way he could legally stop it. Although I was not against Manning’s actions, I did NOT expect Obama to intervene, and I am not surprised.
      The violation of privacy has been ongoing since the 1950s. (Probably even longer, but at least since then – that I KNOW of.)
      You say that West is not questioning Obama’s Blackness, but I beg to differ, as it seems that is all he does. In my opinion, it seems as though West is tired/angry that he is out in the “field” and has not been invited in the “house.”
      While West is questioning the President’s commitment to justice, freedom, truth, peace and love, I am questioning him (West and Smiley)!
      It takes devotion and courage to run for president just as it takes it takes devotion and courage for those to help fight racism.
      I thought Dyson and Smiley were friends? Perhaps Dyson should cease his appearances on MSNBC as he just might lose a friend.
      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. Unfortunately for them, that will be their legacy.
      I like solutions to problems or at least looking at different options. What are West’s and Smiley’s?

      • Blakgod on said:

        Thanks to you as well for the reply. But what makes Obama “the only practicable(sic) candidate”? I have a problem with that premise from the start. Obama, like every other President, was not “elected” but “selected”. Your choices were never real. Someone like a Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich would have been preferable to Senator Obama. Yet neither one of them or someone like say Cynthia McKinney never stood a chance. The whole thing is rigged and if you doubt that, remember 2000. Bush did not win the popular vote yet he was appointed President by the Supreme Court. So much for democracy.

        Obama was given to you and chosen by the corporate forces that he and every President serves. In 2008 his inauguration was notable because “they” decided to put a blackface on American empire. He has done a great job, for their interests. You and I are left hanging though.

        You question the President’s ability to pardon people like Assata Shakur. Yet that power is one of a few that does not require approval from the Congress/Senate. Educate yourself and look up the pathetic list of people he has pardoned. There are numerous political prisoners of various racial, ethnic backgrounds he could bring relief to but he will not. Yet he will hypocritically go to South Africa and visit Nelson Mandela’s cell all while keeping Bradley Manning under inhumane conditions.

        I would also encourage you and others to do research on Dr. West and Smiley as well. Both men have been working for decades and not only been critical but sought and offered solutions (many of which I disagreed with). Tavis for years held an annual conference in efforts to draw attention to and develop a black agenda. At these forums he invited people of many different perspectives. It is not the fault of Tavis that those forums failed to transform our community, it is our collective failure. It is infuriating when I read people asking what Smiley and West have ever done. Their record is clear. And there have been occasions where I have disagreed with both of them. But their records are there. I would submit that their desire to help black people and people in general far outweighs that of President Obama. I see why AIG would like Obama…why Aetna, Blackwater, Walmart, and numerous corporate entities would like him. When they oppose the President it’s part of a great deception. As long as they complain you assume he is for us. But if you look critically the game they are playing is transparent. Sadly, the black community will not wake up to the truth until Obama is long out of office.

      • Blak,
        What has Cornel West and Tavis Smiley done to help Black people?
        I have personally benefited from being an avid voter. What can/has West and/or Smiley do for me? (Yes, I am just that selfish.)
        While they are busy criticizing Obama, have they come up with any solutions?

      • Blakgod on said:

        I would not call you selfish in asking that question. It is intelligent to look after what is I your best interests. Wise people do that all day every day. I urged you in the last post to research both men if you really wish to learn. Both men have been on the scene for more than a decade. They have written numerous books, held forums, seek and you shall find. If you are sincere you can find out what hey have done and are trying to do.

        Dr. King is a man who struggled for the benefit of black people. Malcolm X is another. Neither man ever held office, authored a single bill that became law… get my point. But their efforts were indispensable in seeing progress made. Marcus Garvey, Harriet Tubman, Paul Robeson, Nat Turner, Huey Newton, Booker T. Washington, Rosa Parks, W. E. B. Du Bois, Dr. France’s Cress Welsing…the list goes on. All of them made contributions based on their skills and abilities. We may see some as greater than others, I simply recognize the contribution whatever it may be. Some left an institution, others left us a wealth of scholarship. If we are ignorant of what West is about we should seek that out.

        Let me tell you that I am not a Smiley and West groupie. I have disagreed with both of them vehemently over the years on various points. I have disagreed with Dr. King and Malcolm X as well. Although I disagreed with all of them at times, some more than others, I never questioned their love and commitment for black people. Unfortunately, the President is one of many black politicians who has earned the skepticism of black people who are not simply satisfied with the fact that he has attained high(est) office.

        Smiley and and West in their criticism of the President have been spot on and that is where I stand with them.

      • Blak, That does not answer my question. As an avid voter, I have received things that I know that neither West nor Smiley has provided anyone else, least me.
        We can disagree regarding Obama’s plans and stance, but it would never stop me from voting for the person I believe is the best viable candidate. Based on some of your previous posts – not just to me – you have given me the assumption that you are not an avid voter. Perhaps I am wrong.
        Nonetheless, I see this is going nowhere fast.
        Good day!

      • Blakgod on said:

        You appear to be asking me to do your homework. You have done ample research on President Obama and his deeds; I did peruse your website. Why do you balk at doing that where Dr. Cornel West is concerned? You are certainly capable of that.
        I am not on Dr. West’s payroll and do not feel the need to sell him to you. I simply agreed with his comments on the President, which was the subject of the article that began this communication. Dr. West speaks for himself very well in word, print, and action. West “provides” for you an alternate perspective to the neo-liberal one that Obama represents. He provides you a proper measure and analysis whereby we can judge the job that the President is doing. He is a living and ardent disciple of Dr. King. He represents that tradition far better than the President or even Al Sharpton these days. If you are waiting for him to become President before he “does” something for you that compares to Obama, that is your hang-up.
        What you think you have received from voting is another discussion all together. Not one I shy away from but it is off topic.
        And I have not tried to convince you or anyone here not to vote. I only pointed out the fact that you, as a voter, have never truly determined who becomes President. You can be angry/frustrated with me for me saying that but it’s the truth. Your choices are predetermined. Now you can vote if you choose to but at least do so with an honest understanding of its utility and limitations. And for the record, Dr. West always encourages us to vote. His desire is to see the President not just be what he has been, “a Rockefeller republican in blackface”, but a truly transformative President who makes the country what it should be. I have appreciated the discussion but since you feel it is going nowhere it ends here. Good day to you as well.

      • Blak,
        Wait, wait, WAIT! I cannot allow you to close the door just like that! …Although I wanted to close it first. (Ha, Ha)
        I do not need nor want you to do my homework for me. I just thought you could tell me something I did not already know. (I have been on his and Smiley’s email list for sometime now. I know about his previous accomplishments, and am aware that he and Smiley have a radio program. He has a “poverty tour” – which was created at an interesting time.)
        Please forgive me, but I find it TRULY laughable that you would say that West “is a living and ardent disciple of Dr. King.” …Representing “that tradition far better than the President or even Al Sharpton these days.”
        We all far short, but King was a positive man; he was a fighter and was about action. I do not see that in West/Smiley. Their actions are negative. (Although we do not have or need the publicity, we have been bringing awareness to poverty for years.)
        It would be my hope and prayer that if he did run for president, that he would have the same support we need him to have for President Obama. (I cannot claim to have known King personally, but I seriously and truly doubt that he would use his notoriety to publicly criticize Obama.)
        I am fully aware how the voting process works and I KNOW what I have received because of my ballots. (Not just casting a vote for president, but for EVERY election.)

        This is VERY important for me to say this: Because of my fervent ballots, I have been on the receiving end multiple times. I say that because I NEED people to know that it is VERY important to cast their ballot in every election; not just during the presidential election.
        Whether you respond or not, is fine. I promise not to reopen the door…I will keep my comments to myself…although I am not accepting of your quote “a Rockefeller republican in blackface” comment.

      • Blakgod on said:

        Welcome back, if only briefly. I did not intend to close the door. I thought you were done.
        You may feel that the work of Smiley and West is of little value. You seem to be saying that what you know of them is unimpressive. From my perspective, I see their work as important and a much needed break from most black people applauding President Obama as if he is the messiah.
        You find it laughable that I said West is a living disciple of King who carries that spirit in his work. Many today who claim to love Dr. King know little about the man beyond his “I Have A Dream” speech. You have people on the right who distort the legacy of Dr. King and abuse it for their own ends. President Obama fraudulently tried to link himself to “the drum major of peace” which is really the bad joke, I wonder if you laughed then. Also I have heard supporters of the President say that he is the pinnacle of what King fought and died for.
        West speaks for the poor and disenfranchised, he was arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court protesting corporate influence in government. He has been about things like that for decades. His actions are in line with Dr. King. West and Smiley are about action but you call it negative. King was a controversial figure in his day and was not universally considered positive even by black people. Let me round out my comments with an extended quote I gave to bleon:

        I think Dr. West’s use of colorful epithets is entertaining and truthful. I would not belittle you just because you find that language distasteful. But the truth of his words stand regardless.
        You feel that Dr. West will not win influence. Conversely, I feel that pouring sugar on fecal matter does not hide what it is we are smelling. In part the good doctor has been successful, in that he has been heard and we are discussing these issues. I do not think that speaking gently will win influence or alter the President’s course. If you are going to take on these matters it is best not to mince words. Diplomacy has its place but I guess we will not agree on the method of Dr. West.
        One of the harshest things I ever heard from Dr. King was his quote about America being the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. That statement is more true today than it was when he uttered it, in spite of us being in the enlightened era of Barack Hussein Obama. When King said that he upset black and white, Republican and Democrat. His precious access and hard earned influence began to dry up and he was condemned for having the audacity to speak on American foreign policy. He was told he should only deal with civil rights for negroes, not focus on foreign policy or poverty. In my opinion, Dr. King spoke the truth and let the chips fall as they would.
        According to the gospels, Jesus used acerbic speech as well. His reference to his opponents as “a generation of vipers” is quite inflammatory. Others he told, “Ye are of your father, the devil. And the lusts of your father ye will do.” Not very polite but true.
        Those are the two major influences on Dr. West and inform his outlook and approach. You can complain and say he is outdated. But I hope your sensibilities were just as upset when he said the same things about Bush/Cheney. If not hypocrisy is emanating from your person.

      • Blakgod on said:

        One last thing. I meant to respond to a point you made a few times but I overlooked it. Originally you said the following:”BEFORE Obama’s first swearing in, West publicly stated, “I’m gonna be hard on you, brotha.” What was that about????? What was his motivation for saying that?”
        Your seem to read some sinister intent into that quote. I see it differently. To me he is saying, and has said as much, “Brother I love you, but it is my job to see to it that when you allow yourself to be influenced by the corporate forces that are destroying Americans of all backgrounds, creeds, and ethnicities…I must call you to account.” West sees the Wall Street/bankers as having robbed the people, he sees poverty increasing and not being addressed by the President or anyone else in high office, he sees the inordinate numbers of black men trapped in the prison industrial complex, he sees the continued erosion of public schools and their being supplanted by private interests….I could go on and on. In all honesty, Keeba….where has President Obama adequately addressed those issues? How many Wall Street hustlers are in jail as a result of the efforts of President Obama and Eric Holder? How many black men have been freed that are unjustly imprisoned due directly to his efforts? Why is President Obama a leading proponent of school privatization? Three things out of a litany of issues that Dr. West passionately fights for and the President is missing in action.
        Dr. King would not sit back and be satisfied with Obama as President. He too would be a thorn in the President’s side. He too would not be invited to the inauguration or banquets in the blue room or whatever. He would be on that list of people like Dr. West, Tavis Smiley, Harry Belafonte, among others who are persona non grata. Dr. King would not be embracing and sipping champagne with Jay Z and Beyonce.

  3. Aaron on said:

    Well Keeba and Joy Obama bailed out AIG, Gm, Goldman Sachs, and Bank Of America just to name a few with billions of tax dollars all of which are privately owned and operated. So I don’t think that it is unreasonable for the man to set aside money for education and job training for black and poor people after all he saved corporate America why not Black America. Keeba you stated that Obama has no real power and that yes he set up dictators only to remove them later which means that you and I agree that he is just the new black face on White power and imperialism. The man spends money on and defends who and what he wants just not black communities and causes. The facts don’t lie. Oh and that low housing interest rate is the least he can do after all the bailout money the banks received. Confused no informed yes show me your facts.

    • Aaron
      Based on your statements alone, you still seem confused, as you have not stated anything new.
      Continue to write, call and LEGALLY stalk your government officials and DEMAND change. Additionally, come up with some solutions.

  4. D Right One on said:

    How bitchy for West to whine and criticize just because he didn’t get a job. It’s really immature and shows that maybe Obama was right in not selecting him. I wouldn’t want one of my advisors acting like he was stuck in the 50’s. It’s time for him to sit down somewhere.

  5. Thankfully, President Barack Hussein Obama will leave a memorable and wonderful legacy long after we leave this earth. Our young Black and Brown brothers and sisters will thrive to obtain such a prominent title!

    Sadly, both Cornel West and Tavis Smiley will be remembered as the old crabs in the bucket.
    Pathetically, their legacy will be a reminder of what Blacks and Browns, as well as Whites should not do.

  6. bleon on said:

    I’d like to ask Dr. West, “What happened to you?” Don’t tell me Barack Obama has created a similar moral dilemma for you as he has for racists. Indeed, we are experiencing a return to Jim Crow like policies and laws because Barack Obama became the first African American president ever in the U.S. And every group that helped him win the last two elections is catching hell from racists for doing so: blacks, Latinos, young whites, union workers, and women. Why do you chide President Obama when he is not our enemy? Wake-up Dr. West and go after the modern day purveyors of Jim Crow policies and laws!

  7. ewattree on said:

    About Why I don’t Criticize the Democrats and Republicans Equally
    Let’s get this silly non-issue settled once and for all. Common sense dictates that we have to prioritize our efforts. And while the Democrats may be the Bogeyman, the Republicans are the Devil, so it would be highly imprudent to criticize them both equally. If we did that we would be dividing the Black vote and lending comfort to the GOP, who are leaving no stone unturned to reverse the Civil Act.

    So Tavis and West needs to just put this silly argument to rest, and if they can’t say something constructive, they need to just shut up. Yes, they have the right to their opinion, but when they begin to hurt the Black community, it’s time for us to shut them down and boycott everything they’re involved with. Only then, we will actually see how important their opinion is to them.
    The Republicans are actively engaged in trying to obstruct the Black vote, obstruct all legislation that could possibly provide jobs in the Black community and America as a whole, they’re trying to circumvent the United States Constitution and women’s right to privacy by taking control of a woman’s uterus, they’re trying obstruct the rights of gays, they’re disenfranchising the voters of the state of Michigan by firing duly elected officials and replacing them with handpicked cronies who are completely unaccountable to the people, and they are applauding the murderer of an innocent and unarmed Black child. I could go on for pages, but I’m sure you get the point. The GOP is the domestic enemy of the American people.
    On the other hand, much of what we’re complaining about regarding the Democrats is our own fault:

  8. dwize99 on said:

    West has lost his mind. He have lost all credibility with people of color and mad because he didn’t get the job of Economics Advisor. The man who fired him from Havard (Summers) got the nod. Why didn’t he get the job? First, his wardrobe needs an update. Secondly, he needs a haircut. His comments are of a man angered from his own personal failures. Such a sad case of self-hatred and trying to bring the US President down in the gutter with him and Smiley.

  9. I would think that an intelligent college Professor would be intelligent enough to get his point across without referring to slavery, or calling people house negroes. How 1950-ish is that!! West is stuck deep in the past, and although he does have (some) legitimate concerns; he also comes across with lots of nonsense thus a lot of people no longer take him seriously

  10. Raleigh Delesbore on said:

    Its easy to be critical of anyone you don’ t do things the way you want them. It’s another thing to stand up and take charge of your own situation. Be responsible for yourself. You pull your boot straps up. Help someone else pull theirs up. Be critical of yourself because you have not done enought. Abither thing, study the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and how the states and the Federal government work. Study the power of the office of Pres, and the responsibilities of the Congress. Once you do that then maybe you can understand how things work in this country.

    • Raleigh: I agree with your comments. I’m a liberal Democrat; but I’m tired of so many people looking to the government to cure all of their ills. I have noticed that a lot of people (NOT ALL) but a lot have that dependent/the government owes me something attitude.

  11. pac4me on said:

    Cornel West & Tavis Smiley have gone off the deep-end and are headed towards a train wreck. They have lost any ounce of credibility and their once regarded intellect is no longer there. We looked up to them and tried to deal with legit questions that they posed and now everybody is a Rent-A-Negro – makes you wonder who rented them out this week – how sad. They have the right to question whatever it is that they have issue with, but where is their accountability and when will they stand up and do something instead of attacking our POTUS for things that were in place before he took office.

    • Uncle G on said:

      EXACTLY. I pay NO attention to Professor Cornell West or Tavis Smiley. They have lost their minds. Our president is doing a great job. As good as can be expected. Lay off. Us Black folk are not in tune with these two who criticize their own people instead of the racists who want to act against us Black folk.

  12. Is Cornel Black enough for Cornel??!! It’s my understanding that he’s either dating, or married to a Black woman. Side-bar: I actually think it’s strange when a grown A man (is dating). By age 50, or 60 a man should be married. Just my opinion. By the way is Tavis married, or has he ever been?!! I don’t think so….

  13. msyellarose on said:

    We know that the ones who scream the loudest get the attention, and these two apparently need some. If we ignore them, perhaps they’ll just shut up.

  14. Aaron on said:

    Malex black votes including mine got Obama into office twice. The man is an elected official meaning that he is a public servant and he is not serving the entire public only the ones deemed worthy by this white supremacist society. He ignores his own city of Chicago where he still owns a home but cried on national tv and pushed legislation over Sandy Hook. He literally crossed the globe to push gay rights but cant sit down with any black leaders to try and change the direction of the lost young brothers and sisters? The buzz words like hate and anger do not change the reality that the man has done nothing for black people, check his records and tell me where I lied. He gave Egypt 1.5 billion in aid but that money cant be spent here in the US?

    • Aaron I have asked this question numerous times, and only one time (on another site) did I get an outline of what the President could specifically do for Black people. So EXACTLY what do you think he should be doing for Black people? Should he give us all a free education, write off all Black people’s current student loans, forgive/rewrite off any Black person’s home that’s close to foreclosure, make companies hire Black people? As for Chicago I’ve heard him mention it maybe once….so I get your drift on that….but local problems are, and should be left up to LOCAL POLITICIANS, the Mayor, City Council, etc. That’s why local politicians are elected. The President can’t personally oversee what’s going on in Chicago, New Orleans, LA, Detroit, etc.

    • Aaron: You mentioned “legislation for Sandy Hook.” What kind of legislation do you think he should put forth for Chicago? You can’t legislate morals, respect, and family values. People have been killing people in Chicago for years. Gun control doesn’t work because criminals don’t go out and get firearms legally. As for billions to Egypt; I for one am not for war, or any money going to foreign countries in the name of war. However we already know the overall story on that….that supposedly foreign aid is given to these countries to help protect America (in case we are attacked, or a world war breaks out). The whole issue as to what the government does is complicated.

    • Aaron, Yes, you are correct in regards to Obama pushing for stronger gun laws after Sandy Hook. Additionally, he supported gay rights. However, did you ever consider the items that he supported/pushed but were not upheld by Congress? I refuse to call you a liar, but deem you as someone who is a tad confused.
      Although I currently have a lower mortgage rate, I want it even lower. Personally, I want a lower interest rate on my home and lower rates on all the loans I plan to pursue in the future. Personally, I want both Social Security and Medicare to be solvent. Personally, I want/NEED lower grocery items, cheaper health care and lower gasoline prices. Personally, I want the banks to stop teaming up with developers and purchasing newly built homes. I want a strong economy for my nieces and nephews as well as my neighbors and community at large. I want to see an increase in the minimum wage. I want programs that will help our children who are at risk. I want it to be easier for minorities to get SBL’s. I want welfare and food stamps to be readily available to those who NEED it. I want to be able to walk and/or drive down the street and stop seeing homeless people. (Whether I deserve it or not, personally, I want my 40 acres and a mule.)
      Aaron, I want/NEED all these things and more for all my Black and Brown as well as White brothers and sisters; things that Obama has implemented and pushed for, but as I said, he does not NOR WILL HE EVER HAVE THE POWER TO DO SO.
      Again, I refuse to call you a liar, but sir you are confused.
      Oh, and as of today, Obama’s bright idea of tighter gun laws still have not been supported by Congress but is being fought on State levels; the same with gay rights.
      Aaron, I am not the brightest crayon in the box so I hardly deem it fitting to question another’s intelligence, but both Cornel and Smiley’s intellect should be examined. Yes, Cornel is a renowned college professor, but he should know who holds the power. He should know that President Barack Obama, as well as his predecessors NEVER had or ever will have the power to run these divided States. Until there is a change in the constitution, our presidents will only hold the title: “President of the divided states of America.”

    • Egypt is NOT the only Country that has received our ZILLION of dollars. Least you forget Iraq, Afghanistan, Budapest, Africa, Libya and the other 100-plus Countries.

  15. malex on said:

    Aaron and Hoodtechie I’d like to ask you and same question for Dr. West and Travis Smiley, with all of their criticism of the President, who is holding them Accountable for their hateful words and anger at the President. Why does the President have to kiss their ass for some imaginary wrong he has done to them. I apologize to both of these gentlemen because I actually want the President to succeed, why am I wrong for wanting that. They want a black revolution and we all rise up again the county, then they should lead the charge but first they need to give up the excellent salaries they make which is provided by the “Man”. Black people stop hatinig on other black people. I don’t have to agree with yoru opinion, but I am not going to slam you and call you an Uncle Tom for having one.

  16. Aaron on said:

    Obama showed the entire world that he was a coward when he renounced Louis Farrakhan. West has a point the masses of black people are hurting living in poor neighborhoods with low wages and no direction. Obama could have been that one unifying figure to bring all factions of black people together but he is too afraid to be attached to certain issues regarding black people. His international policies are terrible he killed khaddafi, helped France to bomb Mali and tried to push homosexuality on Africa. The only ones still singing his praises are so called middle class negroes and women.

    • It is obvious that you do not know who has the power to help Black people. It has never been a president of these divided states and it NEVER ever will be.
      The only one who sings Obama’s praises are those who know the reality of who holds the power.
      By the way, what are you doing to help your community? Are you talking to your community leaders? Perhaps you yourself are a community leader…yes, no?
      I would ask if you know your local government officials, but more importantly, do they KNOW YOU?

      I do not have any idea how old you are, but if you check our history, then you would know that we have often created tyrants and then later set out to kill them. It is what we do. Yes, it is hypocritical, but that hypocrisy is not Obama’s alone, but those who preceded him – and possibly the presidents to come afterward.

  17. hoodtechie on said:

    Typical Michael cottman biased reporting. You seem to have a problem with 2 brothers (West & Smiley) who are on the national scene who rightfully criticize obama, but you have no problem calling out blacks who are conservative.Mr. West is right about one thing (you,Rev Al, Tom Joyner, naacp cbc, etc…) are all guilty of not holding this president feet to the fire. As bad as things are in the black community all the fore mentioned turn a blind eye and ignore the short comings of this president. But as soon as a conservative president is in office all hell breaks loose, that’s why you guys are to be ignored and not taken seriously. Anything to protect obama and at any cost to the black community, you guys are truly the house negroes you just don’t know it. I wonder if Dr. King were alive and exacting the same criticism on obama would you judge him in the same way as you and your readers are judging Cornell West & Tavis Smiley. This is sad, such a nice web site that cannot give it readers an objective view on matters that affect our people or our community.

  18. There behavior is typical of a Sambo, running to yt discussing and downgrading there own. They are like shit on the bottom of a shoe!

  19. To listen to people like Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, and Boyce Watkins they were the Centurian Guard of the Black community. But what has been keeping Black people at the back of the bus for over 300 hundred years are turncoats just like them dividing our community. This rant of theirs that Black people are blindly supporting Obama just because he’s Black is a racist Republican Rant. Black people support Obama because we’re not stupid enough to lend comfort to a GOP enemy who wants to cut our throats.
    A bigger question is, why are people like them watching everything that Obama does through a magnifying glass while they’re saying next to nothing about Republican voter suppression, legislative obstruction, the attack on women and gays, and the brutal assault on our educational system?
    They also seem to be very reluctant to discuss Tavis Smiley’s close relationship with the corporations associated with ALEC, and why Tavis Smiley is not being “ACCOUNTABLE” to the poor and middle-class minorities that he helped Wells Fargo to scam out of their homes and life savings.
    The bottom line is, people like Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, and Boyce Watkins seem to have a pronounced blind spot when it comes to what they themselves and the GOP is doing to Black people. Why is That?

  20. Eshe'e on said:

    There was no bad seeds planted or as I want to say, no negative Name calling, for the other interest groups for their concerns. As soon as we get one in a million to address our environment conditions. It’s just a show, It’s good to hear Dr. West trying to address the living conditions for all the Poo folk. And is willing to start a serious discussion about these realities. Who’s standing up for the disenfranchised. It’s like not just a small fraction or if it receives the biggest fire works.
    For Attention Needed

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