C’mon Cornel: Dr. West Says Obama Is A Rockefeller Republican In Blackface

November 12, 2012  |  

Source: WENN

Cornel West is no stranger to harsh language, and harsh is the most appropriate word to describe the words he had for Barack Obama and several black political pundits on a recent episode of Democracy Now. Dr. West was asked to weigh in on the issue of poverty in America, a topic that was oft-neglected during this election, in lieu of the astronomical amount of money that was spent on campaigning this year — $6 billion.

Not one to mince words, Dr. West went straight for the jugular when host Amy Goodman asked him how he feels about the spending that took place this election season.

“I think that it’s morally obscene and spiritually profane to send $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion—poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well, no talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people,” Dr. West said. “So we end up with such a narrow, truncated political discourse, as the major problems—ecological catastrophe, climate change, global warming. So it’s very sad. I mean, I’m glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies.”

Tavis Smiley was interviewed alongside Dr. West and insinuated that political thought leaders like Melissa Harris-Perry, Al Sharpton, and Michael Eric Dyson, who have been vocally supportive of the President, need to push him to have a stronger stance on certain issues. Dr. West was nowhere near as PC, telling Goodman:

“I love Brother Mike Dyson… but we’re living in a society where everybody is up for sale. Everything is up for sale. And he and Brother Sharpton and Sister Melissa and others, they have sold their souls for a mess of Obama pottage. And we invite them back to the black prophetic tradition after Obama leaves. But at the moment, they want insider access, and they want to tell those kind of lies. They want to turn their back to poor and working people.”

And when it comes to a statement Dyson made in which he called the President progressive, Dr. West said this:

“In the president’s forward motion in the second term to establish a legacy—and I don’t think that being president ought to be about a legacy; it ought to be about advancing the best for the American people. But in this conversation about his legacy, I want to see what risk he’s going to take. Is he going to put himself on the line for poor people? Is he going have an honest conversation about drones? As Doc said earlier, you know, is he ever going to say the word prison—the phrase, “prison-industrial complex”? Reagan wouldn’t say “AIDS.” Bush wouldn’t say “climate change.” Will Obama say “prison-industrial complex”? I mean, I want to know where the risk is that equates to being the most progressive president ever. That’s the—I don’t get that.”

Well, say it like you mean it.

Check out the full interview here. What do you think about what Cornel West had to say?

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  • Na Na

    Boom Bam! Thank you West! Vote me down a million times but the struggle of my people, that’s right ALL American people, is waay more important than my struggle to support someone just based of their physical traits ie him being Black. Unfortunately our first black President has initiated some detrimental, unprogressive, poverty inducing legislature since FDR enacted the Federal Reserve.

    • chris

      I have a question and I am so sincere. Is there anything you doing to help with the struggle of your people? The reason why I ask is because I hear so many talking about how Obama is ignoring poverty and blacks suffering but they never mention anything they are doing. I never hear them talk about any programs that they have implemented in their communties.

      • Na Na

        Yes Chris, I am the sole proprietor of a non-profit single parents organization, I host a national party in peace tour for hip hop and rap artists, I have an iHeart Radio show broadcast every monday from -10 in which I advance the agenda for MY people. What do YOU do everyday?

        • Na Na

          from 8-10…but then again I’m not the President of the country and I still do this and much more than I will get into right now.

  • chris

    how is attacking the president helping poverty?? I don’t understand the attacks on the president as if he is the savior of this country. We have local politicans and community leaders that are abusing their position and doing NOTHING for our communities, but no one is speaking about them!! My goodness people, Obama is one man with limited power and a House that is against him!! Why don’t Tavis and Cornel get to know some of these local politicans. I grew up in a small urban city, and we have leaders in that community that is simply collecting a check!! Is that Obama fault also?? Tavis and Cornel, you guys are pitiful!! What exactly is Tavis doing about poverty besides writing books and talking about? Anybody can talk about the problems but what are you doing?? Are you trying to meet with local leaders as you doing this tour? Do you need Obama to help you bring awareness to poverty? Do you need Obama for you to compel local leaders to do their job?

  • Muhammad Al-Hashimi, PhD

    I agree 1,000% with Dr. West’s comment about Obama being “a Rockfeller Republican in blackface.” I have a far harsher epithet for Mr. Obama, but I’ll leave it to the imagination! I am a staunch follower of the late El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X). El-Hajj Malik, after coming into the true teachings of Islam, said, “You cannot judge a man by the color of his skin, but you must judge him by his conscious behavior.” Well, Mr. Obama’s callous dumping of Dr. Rev Wright during the his first presidential campaign, as well as his lack of discussion about the millions of people living under the poverty line in America, and most of all, his AIPAC speech wherein he said he would make Jerusalem the capitol of the Zionist apartheid state of Israel was enough “conscious behavior” by Mr. Obama that made me realize that he was very bad news. Consequently, I was not mesmerized by the color of his skin nor his slick talking, Harvard Law School style. Suffice it to say I did not vote for him the first time around nor did he receive my vote on his second effort. Right on for Dr. West calling a spade a spade!

    • Na Na

      Thank you! Maybe we share some similar philosophies but I am appalled at how many millions of people are willing to lie to themselves just to praise a man.

    • FromUR2UB

      Does that mean you thought the republican choice was a better one, didn’t vote at all, or wasted a vote on whomever the third or fourth choices on the ticket were? That doesn’t sound like enlightenment to me. The game is called ‘politics’, and it’s played everywhere. There’s a quid pro quo for everything in life, because you don’t get anything of value without trading something of value for it. It just becomes a matter of where you draw the line. I don’t have to agree with every position of the man if I believe his motives are generally good. Clearly, you underestimate black people’s ability to make decisions. If you can minimize black people’s criteria for voting for him only to skin color, then what makes your reasoning different from that of the racists who wouldn’t support him because of that? According to that theory, blacks should be able to support ANY black candidate regardless of their policies, and non-blacks should not have voted for President Obama at all. I promise you, that if Herman Cain had even a remote possibility for winning his party’s nomination, he would not have won the support of most black people. It’s about policy, and that’s the thing republicans don’t seem to get. They (the rich ones) are so driven by the bottom line and squashing anything that gets in the way of their being able to line their pockets, that they can’t relate to people who are motivated by other things.

      • Na Na

        If you’re speaking to me….no I don’t. but I also don’t have scores of relatives and friends searing by the Republic agenda, so that’s not my concern.

  • seriously

    Please – Americans have all the opportunity in the world right under their noses. You wanna see poverty? Places where there is no government assistance at all? Try visiting some nations in Africa or Asia. When are we gonna get of this and the “where are the jobs?” fallacies. There are jobs too – just not the ones people want to take because their picky!

    • Eggy


  • Kay

    When is someone gonna put father time in a nursing home?

  • LadyT

    He actually made some valid points! He may have been a but extreme in his approach but he definitely made some very valid points. Its not always a black on black thing. Sometimes its that people do not agree with different policies that are in place. And there is nothing wrong with this! If you actually follow politics and truly read and understand the policies there would a lot more of us that wouldn’t agree also! Obama had my vote but that doesn’t change the fact that there are things in his platform that I don’t agree with!!!

  • He’s entitled to his opinion. But he isn’t doing anything but recliner seat quarter backing. Obama had to deal with a plummeting economy like never seen since the Great Depression. when you step into a crisis of epic proportions from day one, I’m sorry, some sh*t is just not going to get handled right away. The better question, who’s funding their poverty tour? Where did that money come from?

  • ieshapatterson

    lol i think this is what happens,when people are in need of attention.they start saying stupid stuff to stay relevant.

  • ANTMilf

    Mr. West is mad that if he ran for president, he wouldn’t be a nominee or get elected. He needs to have several seats somewhere and let Obama do his job!

  • get real

    Cornell was there poverty before Obama? You talk about Melissa and Dyson being paid but who’s bank rolling your “Poverty Tour?” You guys are going city to city in a tour bus. Its clear to see that Republicans are backing you guys to cause riff between the “black” leaders. At one point you and Tavis recommeded that the President sat down with you guys for 3 consective days to talk about poverty. Cornell I don’t have 3 days to talk to you and Tavis so what makes you think the leader of the free world does?So you and Tavis need a big bottle of “sit your a*** down”

  • rzakia

    While I don’t agree with him calling President Obama a republican in blackface, what he said about the money spent for the election as well about poverty in America was true. These people spent $6 billion dollars but didn’t speak very much about the state of poverty a lot of Americans are in. They didn’t speak about how rich people are profiting off the backs of working class Americans while these working class Americans are working for peanuts in comparison. All throughout election season I really didn’t hear many discussions about average Americans. I’m an Obama supporter but I just didn’t hear him speak about poverty in America so Dr. West was right when he pointed it out.

    • money spent on campaigns is usually through fundraisers and there are strict governmental accounting rules regulating campaign funds. just look at Jessie Jackson jr. While Im not staying that the money could have been used someplace else, we need to look at the people who donated the funds as well.

    • FromUR2UB

      Specifically, what do you want to hear about poverty? President Obama spoke about the middle class all through the election, because that should be the first aspiration from poverty. The goal should not be to make people comfortable in poverty. When he talks about improving education, creation of jobs through rebuilding of the infrastructure, new energy sources, and providing incentives for corporations to manufacture in the United States, who do you think that’s for? As far as the money spent, he raised funds for the purpose of the campaign. Every person who made contributions to the Obama campaign, understood the need for money, what it was going to be used for, and stepped up. People need to stop acting ike the only solution to poverty is for someone to hand out sacks full of money, because some would just blow through that in a day on stupid stuff and be in the same situation by the next morning.

      • rzakia

        I want to hear anything about poverty because I didn’t hear anything from you nor either of the candidates. I did hear a lot about the middle class which is great. The middle class needs to grow and expand. However, with the way jobs are going and the way pay is going the middle class is shrinking and where do you think most of these people are going??? I can guarantee most of these people aren’t raising to the upper classes. These once middle class people are now at poverty levels with their college degrees and student loan debt to keep them warm at night. One simple look at the economy and jobs reports will tell you that most of the new jobs created are paying far less than the jobs that they are replacing. And I will not even get started on the rising cost of getting a college education and the debt that it leaves most people in for years and years. And I never said anything about throwing money at people, I agree most of the people will blow through it and wake up the next morning wondering how the are going to make rent. Not unlike most of the corporations that were bailed out a few years ago. I do believe that once people get to the point where they don’t really care about helping out impoverished Americans especially the youths and the people who are trying to help themselves they become part of the problem. So I would like to hear anything about helping impoverished Americans. I want to hear about how we are going to stop with all of the gas hikes, food inflation, energy inflation, wasting billions of dollars on wars overseas and start doing the right thing by the most underrepresented people in America.

  • And there goes the last bit of respect I had for either of them.