‘You Don’t Play With Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’: Dr. Cornel West Upset Over Pres. Obama’s Use Of MLK’s Bible

34 comments
January 23, 2013 ‐ By Jazmine Denise Rogers
Source: WENN

Source: WENN

It’s no secret that Dr. Cornel West doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with President Barack Obama, nor does he have any qualms about expressing his indifference. During a recent panel discussion appearing on C-SPAN, which explored poverty in the United States, Dr. West touched on his disapproval of President Obama being sworn in for his second term using the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Bible. It appears that West feels that the President’s use of the Bible served as a moment of “political calculation”.

“When I got the news that my dear brother, Barack Obama, President Obama, was going to put his hand on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Bible, I got upset. I got upset because you don’t play with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and you don’t play with his people. By ‘his people’ I mean people of good conscience, fundamentally committed to peace, and truth, and justice; and especially the Black tradition that produced it.”

 

“All of the blood, sweat and tears that went into producing a Martin Luther King Jr. generated a brother of such high decency and dignity that you don’t use his prophetic fire for a moment of presidential pageantry without understanding the challenge he represents to all of those in power, no matter what color they are.”

Dr. West went on to express that the symbolic moment was “personal” for him because it tapped into the tradition that he came out of. He also urged his audience to question what Dr. King would think of the state that our society is in and how our government is currently being run under the advisement of President Obama, which he believes is in opposition of MLK’s principles and beliefs. He closed his statement by expressing that he does not hate Obama, he simply loves “the tradition that produced Martin Luther King Jr.” and refuses to “allow it in any way to be sanitized, deodorized and sterilized.”

Check out footage of Dr. West’s full statement on the following page. Do you agree or disagree with his stance? 

More from Styleblazer

More from Mommynoire

MadameNoire Video

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Pingback: Cornel West Says Obama’s Record Not Worthy of Martin Luther King | Your Black World « Habari Gani, America!

  • clove8canela

    Who is Cornel West to determine who’s worthy of taking the oath on Dr. King’s bible? I wonder what his thoughts were upon discovering that Dr. King’s family asked Pres. Obama to sign that same bible. He’s actually the one who is politically calculating.

    He’s an opportunist who at the end of the day goes home to his white wife, in their most likely all white neighborhood after his part-time teaching job at Harvard. He doesn’t know a thing about poverty, he’s never been broke a day in his life.

  • http://twitter.com/Darlingnikki316 DarlingNikki

    This comment from Cornell West is about to put him in the same category as Tavis Smiley, who Tom Joyner had to rebuke this week. Having the first black President of the United States is the result of King’s efforts. The fact that it was the King Holiday made it most appropriate for Obama to use the King Bible.

  • http://twitter.com/Darlingnikki316 DarlingNikki

    This comment from Cornell West is about to put him in the same category as Tavis Smiley, who Tom Joyner had to rebuke this week. Having the first black President of the United States is the result of King’s efforts. The fact that it was the King Holiday made it most appropriate for Obama to use the King Bible.

  • Mitzi Greene

    I use to have such respect for Dr. West but needs to sit down . It wasn’t his bible to get upset about. The interview that I saw had Dr. King’s son saying how honored he was that the President asked to use the bible. Dr. West is getting old and tired.

  • http://twitter.com/HollyGrove7 Holly Grove

    Dr. West’s self-righteousness is just too much for me.

  • http://twitter.com/HollyGrove7 Holly Grove

    Dr. West’s self-righteousness is just too much for me.

  • Just Peachy!

    When does Dr.West ever show support? Surely he does not have to agree with everything Obama represents but I just don’t get the nitpicking that he and Tavis Smiley seem to do a lot of. It would seem less controversial if they publicly acknowledge some of what policies & beliefs that they do agree with the president on. I don’t remember as much hoopla with all the other presidents that were in office (dems & repubs) combined. So sorry you appear to be biased against something with this man in office.

  • SheBe

    A. Lincoln’s Bible was used too. Couldn’t get upset about too huh? This man…

  • Elaine

    Dr. Cornel West will say anything to get attention. Not only is his thought process ridiculous, the reason he gave was as equally ridiculous. I am 59 years old and was brought up in Dexter Ave Baptist Church…Dr. King would have loved that President Obama used his Bible. Dr. West is an idiot

  • jjac401

    I used to respect Cornell and his gift for rhetoric, but he urks me now to no end with his constant ugly criticisms of President Obama.

    Cornell really needs to shut it up and go have a seat somewhere.

  • Nicolet_75

    You know what makes my blood boil?? The fact that Cornell west espouses all this self-righteous black anger and he has not dated a black woman, in over six years. Save your thirst Cornell west- your slip is hanging… We all know you hate the president bc you can’t get an audience with him. Becky can comfort you…

  • bluekissess

    If it’s not one thing it’s another. And if anyone paid attention to the speech people would get a full understanding. First it was Beyonce and her lip synching and now the complaint is about the Bible he used? Really? The world isn’t bad I think the people living in it are. People are quick to complain but do nothing to change it.

  • bluekissess

    If it’s not one thing it’s another. And if anyone paid attention to the speech people would get a full understanding. First it was Beyonce and her lip synching and now the complaint is about the Bible he used? Really? The world isn’t bad I think the people living in it are. People are quick to complain but do nothing to change it.

  • mayah

    This article is just corney! It was MLK day coincidentaly and it was a nice day for the President of the US to acknowledge Dr. Martin Luther King on a federal holiday honoring him.

  • Nneka

    President Obama ignores his Christian faith by condoning, approving and perpetuating the sin of homophobia. As a Christian our beliefs are not MEANT to be popular. He sold out on his faith all for votes and popularity. He ignores the plight of the oppressed and the poor. He has lost his sincerity and integrity. He has a beautiful and loving family and I pray that the Holy Spirit convicts him in what I am saying. I did not vote for him, as a Christian and a lover of integrity, I could not. No matter how we feel about an issue we must look to the word of God to guide us in all things and when looking at the word we see that Homosexuality is a sin, a sin that can be overcome just like all other sins that we as mankind partake in. It is not okay to call wrong, right for the sake of votes and popularity.

    • bluekissess

      Based on your lengthy paragraph you seem to have the answers. In 2016 maybe you should run.

    • Amarossa

      You need to research just what homophobia means…you poor thing.

      • Nneka

        It was an obvious typo. Not sure why you have resulted in name-calling over it. But ok

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

      The president is supposed to abide by the constitution not the bible, so a presidents religious beliefs shouldn’t matter.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

      The president is supposed to abide by the constitution not the bible, so a presidents religious beliefs shouldn’t matter.

    • Mrs Berry

      I sincerely hope you run for president next election. Then we will see how popular your intentions are, how well you stick to your religious beliefs, and how long it takes you to lose support due to basing your decisions on your religion instead of the US Constitution like you are supposed to.That is something you learn in elementary school when learning the government’s checks and balances system. I am SO sick of people trying to sound intelligent but are really speaking foolery. Please research more b4 responding!

    • leah

      You have to differentiate powers of the state and church matters, if Obama was a religius leader endorsing abortion I would get your point. Obviously abortion is a touchy matter, he might be a christian but rember there is religious diversity in America and your faith is not everyones so christians should not exepct Obama to drag christian principles down others’ throught. Look to your church leaders to guide the nation in matters of life and abortion not the president.

      • guest

        Well then Obama shouldn’t weigh in on abortion and he has. You make no sense here. A true Christian stands by their principles and is against it, not for it for polical expediency. Don’t call yourself a Christian if you clearly are not.

        • name

          President obama is guided by law not religion. He might not believe in the pratice but he has to uphold the law. He has to havr an opinon on it he has to have opinon on all the laws. If ypu want to change it he is part of the process. You need to have seat next to west. Maybe we

    • beck0974

      So instead you voted for Mitt Romney, who views you as less than a person? Whose religion, up to the 1970s, viewed you as subhuman and unworthy of church leadership? Newsflash, American isn’t a Christian country, ok? Just because Fox News says it, doesn’t make it so. If it WERE a Christian country, then there would not have been slavery. There would not have been lynchings. There would not have been systematic disenfranchisement of minorities in this country. Inequality would not exist. Poor people wouldn’t be demonized because they’re poor. So, since none of that is happening, please stop with the nonsense saying this is a “Christian country”. It’s so far in practice and attitude, that it’s not even funny. Further, in case you didn’t know, Christianity isn’t the only religion practiced here. And I’m glad it’s not. I’ve seen what you “Christians” can do and have done. We don’t need a repeat of 400+ years of murder, abuse, and injustice.

      • guest

        And you know Mitt Romney’s personal views how exactly? Just because you say it, doesn’t make it so either. Since you do not know him personally, you are not qualified in any respect to espouse what his personal views are. Base your argument on facts which you clearly have none of instead of your opinions.

        • beck0974

          Please do the research on the Mormon religion. It’s not like they have kept that a secret, along with the polygamy thing. Prior to 1978, it was done in practice. Blacks were excluded from leadership roles, even if they were converts. Look at the church leadership now. It’s majority white and male. If you think Mitt Romney doesn’t still hold those views, then great. Believe what you want. But, look at the facts. Look at his former company’s leadership rosters. Look at his appointments when he was Gov of Massachusetts. Look at how his party treated Michael Steele. Look at how his party spouted nonsense about minorities and women. You can’t say that Romeny, as a Republican, doesn’t hold those views. Look at his VP choice. I’m not stating an opinion here. Look at the Republican Party platform. He sure as hell went along with it and ran on it. Are we to believe that those aren’t his *true* thoughts on those subjects and he was just going along with so he could be elected? Is that they type of President you want? Someone who’ll say enough of what people want to hear just so he can be president? Wow, just wow. I take people at their word, and the words Mitt Romney and his party were saying DID NOT show any level of concern and respect for me as a woman and as a black person.

    • guest

      Well said. As usual, the mentality here is that all blacks should support Obama regardless of his positions. I have friends who are allegedly religious and anti-abortion, but voted for him anyway…..so much for being principled. We as blacks have the highest unemployment rate EVER, yet the majority of blacks still voted him back in office. I am not sure how his economic, much less, social policies are helping us.

    • TK

      It was once believed that being black is a sin or being jewish was a sin…can that be overcome as well? I don’t believe that any God would hate his children as much as we hate and judge each other. We are all equal and that was the point of the day and speech.
      Thankfully someone saw fit to separate church and state and policy because what you believes is right ia not right for everyone. Who are we as blacks to have suffered segregation and hate and ill judgement to then hold those same feelings for any other sect of society? If we do more coming together rather than complaining we would be a lot closer to Dr Kings dream

    • msgeegee

      “Perpetuating the sin of homophobia”? Maybe you should look up the definition of that word because you are completely contradicting yourself.

  • kierah

    Dr. West needs to stop getting his Underoos in a twist every time President Obama blinks. I mean the germination of all this vitriol is 4 years old! President Obama didn’t get inauguration tickets for his entire party in 08 and he is still on one!
    It was MLK DAY!!! It was a way to bring attention and a sense of remembrance of the occasion to the inauguration. MLK wouldn’t have agreed with every thing Obama did because MLK was a different kind of leader. However, I have SERIOUS doubts that MLK didn’t smile on the day when a Black man became president of the United States.

    • kt

      this was so well expressed. awesome comment, and my sentiments exactly.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

    Professor West is 100% correct. MLK would have been aghast at the economic and defense policies of the Obama administration.

Get the MadameNoire
Newsletter
The best stories sent right to your inbox!
close [x]