All Articles Tagged "cornel west"
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?
Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing protest that began September 17 2011 in New York City’s Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street financial district. The protest’s purpose is to take a stand against social and economic inequality, rising unemployment, corruption, high unemployment, greed, corruption, and the influence of large corporations, particularly from the financial services sector, on the government. The demonstrators use the slogan: ‘We are the 99 per cent’, which refers to the growing difference in wealth between the wealthiest 1 per cent and the rest of the population. However, some of the top millionaires and celebrities in the world are also taking stand, even though they tend to fit in with the 1%. Check out who out of the 1% is fighting back and supporting the protests.
Princeton professor and political commentator, Cornel West, was arrested yesterday in front of the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. West was in the nation’s capital participating in the Occupy D.C. movement.
Protestors for Occupy D.C. are fighting against current economic conditions and corporate and political corruption.
West was just one of 19 people arrested that day after he refused to leave the steps of the Supreme Court.
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Today Ladies you’re in for a treat. (Sorry fellas you might have to sit this one out.) Today instead of just one video of the day we’re featuring 7. That’s right seven. Why seven you ask? Because it’s the number of completion. So close your office door, lean back in your chair and get ready to be entertained.
We would happily watch still images of Idris Elba but fortunately we don’t have to. Luckily this hunky Bristish actor sat down to speak with Jimmy Kimmel live in living color. He talked about everything from his real name to his new detective show “Luther”. Check out parts 1 & 2 below.
So Ralph Nader and Cornel West have teamed up yet again to sabotage the Democratic Party. They’re currently canvassing the country for Democratic opponents to challenge Obama in the primaries. According to Nader, “Without debates by challengers inside the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries, the liberal/majoritarian agenda will be muted and ignored.” And he goes on to say, “The one-man Democratic primaries will be dull, repetitive, and draining of both voter enthusiasm and real bright lines between the two parties that excite voters.”
If my grandfather was still around he’d say, “These two fools have more nerve than a brass-A$$ monkey.” And he would be right. I’m shocked that either of them have the nerve to even open their mouths, because the last time they teamed up during the 2000 election to “excite the voters,” they excited the Democratic Party right out of office. I used to joking tell friends that after Bush was sworn in, his very first act as president was to take down a picture of George Washington and replace it with a picture of Ralph Nader in the Oval Office.
Admittedly, many of us are frustrated by President Obama’s lack of assertiveness toward the GOP, but the point of an election is to vote your interest, not your frustration. If you were Jewish in pre-Nazi Germany and frustrated with the administration in office, would you squander your vote to vent your frustration at the sitting administration, or would you vote to make damn sure that Hitler didn’t win the election? That’s the situation that we’re currently in here in the United States.
I’ve written several articles criticizing of Barack Obama, but I’ve always tried to remain constructive, and I’ve limited my criticism to specific issues instead of launching unsubstantiated attacks on his overall character. As I see it, that’s the difference between attempting to have a positive impact on policy, as oppose to engaging in the destructive practice of pursuing a personal agenda.
Obama has caused me tremendous frustration on several issues, but simple common sense dictates that my being frustrated is far preferable to allowing the GOP to come into power and turn the United States into a nation of corporate fuedalism. That’s a level of common sense that Ralph Nader, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West seems to be lacking. Tavis seems to be keeping a low profile in this effort, by the way, but somehow I still visualize West sitting on his knee with Tavis’ hand in his back.
Isn’t it curious how all of their criticism is directed at Obama while, this point, it has become abundantly clear that the GOP has turned into a group of radical lunatics with absolutely no sense of limits, or any respect for the United States Constitution?
The GOP literally stole the 2000 election, invalidating the votes of literally millions of Americans; they invaded an innocent country, killing over a million Iraqi citizens – the majority of whom were innocent women and children; they’ve thrown away the lives of thousands of our troops in pursuit of corporate greed; they ravaged our economy and are using it as a pretext to abolish Social Security and all other elements of the social safety net; their radical Supreme Court has given multinational corporations more control over our electoral system than American citizens, and they’ve effectively turned the state of Michigan into Michighanistan by taking away the citizens’ right to self-determination. Yet, Nader and West would risk turning the nation over to these people, yet again, because they’re personally irritated with Barack Obama?
Anyone – and I do mean ANYONE – who would do that is either stupid, insane, think they’ll benefit from a GOP victory in some way, or are so blinded by an oversized ego that they’ve lost all connection with reality. It is clear to most thinking people that President Obama, flaws and all, is our best defense against turning the nation over to a GOP who want’s to drag us back into the Middle Ages. If that wasn’t the case, Nader and West wouldn’t have to mount a talent search. Thus, it’s one thing to have individual principles, but placing the entire nation in jeopardy to indulge those principles suggests an egomania that, at the very least, borders on psychosis.
It’s time for Nader and West supporters to realize that neither of these two individuals are grounded in reality. They both have a proven track record of being politically naive, at best, and delusional at worst. They both fail to recognize that while it’s an admirable ideal to want to vote one’s conscience, that’s all it is – an ideal. Politics is about being practical, and the inescapable fact is, their consciences can’t hold political office – and even if they could, I wouldn’t want to rely on the consciences of men with such poor judgment in the first place. So while they might want to fall on their swords in the name of political purity, the rest of us would rather settle for a functional democracy.
Again, this is not the first time that Nader and West have engaged in this failed strategy. West supported Nader in his self-serving and childishly petulant campaign during the 2000 election that led to the appointment of George W. Bush. So while West is running around claiming to be so outraged over the economy and lack of jobs for the poor and middle class in this country, he’s partially responsible for it. In a previous article,
The Tavis/West Poverty Pimp Tour, I point out the following:
“Those of us who are students of political history have seen this Tavis/West demagoguery before. They’re following directly in the footsteps of Ralph Nader, one of the worst turncoats in American history.
“Nader should have pushed his agenda during the Democratic primaries, then if his position was rejected, he should have fallen in line and supported the Democratic candidate, if for no other reason than to support the public good. But instead, when his position was rejected, he took it as a personal rejection and acted like a petulant child. He ignored the greater good and purposely sabotaged the Democratic agenda – along with all of the causes that he was supposed to be so passionate about all of his life – and took his ball (and votes) and went home.
“By doing so, Nader negated everything that he ever accomplished in his life. He also betrayed the fact that everything he ever accomplished was done purely for self-promotion and not for the public good, as we had previously assumed. His miserable act of treachery during the 2000 election was purposely designed to help George Bush to win that election in order to deny the Democrats after rejecting him as a candidate. That makes him just as culpable as Bush and Cheney for the death of over a million Iraqi citizens, the maiming and death of thousands of American troops, and even the nations current economic condition, which is a direct result of the Bush administration’s purposeful plundering of the United States treasury. Nader supporters would say that he stood on principles, but his “principles” have led to the death and misery of literally millions of innocent people. Thus, Ralph Nader should be remembered as one of the most miserable and self-serving snakes in all of U. S. History.
“Tavis and West are engaged in the very same sort of treachery as Nader, and it may very well lead to the same result, or worse. Because you see, this time we’re going to be left with a fascist state.”
But if you confront members of the Nader/West coalition with these facts, they’ll immediately begin to obfuscate and engage in intellectual gymnastics in an attempt to avoid responsibility for the horrific fate that they brought upon the country. They’ll say things like, “It’s not our fault that Gore lost. He just didn’t fight hard enough for a recount.” But by using such arguments what they’re actually saying is, “Gore just didn’t work hard enough to undo the damage that we’d done.” But the bottom line is this – Gore lost the 2000 election to Bush in Florida by 537 votes, and the Nader/West coalition peeled off 97,488 votes from Gore in Florida alone. So don’t take my word for it – you do the myth.
Eric L. Wattree is a writer, poet, and musician, born in Los Angeles. He’s a columnist for The Los Angeles Sentinel, Black Star News, The Atlanta Post, and several other publications. He’s also a staff writer for Veterans Today and the author of “A Message From the Hood.”
I really think the Obama Administration should rename the Buffett Tax Bill the “We, -the-people-, have-been-telling-you-Obama-to-raise-taxes-on-the-rich-for-two-damn-years-now-and-now-you-decide-to-listen-only-because-Warren-Buffett-wrote-a-half-way-decent-editorial-in-the-New-York-Times, -basically-saying-what-we, -the-people, -have-been-demanding-for-two-damn-years” Tax Bill. Just a thought.
But it is quite odd that Obama’s core base of voters have been screaming to the raptures about the need to raise taxes on the rich, only to be dismissed by the Administration as “whiners.” But some billionaire comes around, and basically says, “sure Administration. It’s okay to raise taxes on us. We really don’t mind.” And now the Administration has decided to see the light and become more aggressive and principled.
But so goes politics. One minute you are a whiner, the next you’re a valuable registered voter in a heated election season. Which is exactly why I’m not quite jiving with this latest scheme, cooked up by Ralph Nader, Cornel West and over forty other progressive leaders, which seeks to use the momentum of the upcoming election to push Obama back to the left.
The proposed plan, which was introduced earlier this month in the form of an open letter, seeks to enlist a slate of six progressive candidates to run against President Obama during the primaries. According to Nader, West and the other signers of the scheme, each of the six candidates will represent a field in which Obama has never clearly staked a progressive claim or where he has drifted toward the corporatist right.
The letter has been sent to a list of elected officials, civic leaders, prominent members of academia and various non-profit and civic groups in hopes of recruiting prominent leaders within the progressive moment to join the slate of potential candidates. The letter also declares that with the inclusion of primary challengers, President Obama will be forced to seriously articulate and pay attention to many more issues affecting many more Americans.
On the surface, this sounds like a great idea but if the overall goal is to “rigorously debate” his policies than how exactly might this be effective in pushing him to the left?
But before we get into why it won’t work, let’s first dispel the myth that a third party candidate would weaken President Obama chances at reelection (because I know that’s what many of you have already began thinking).
The most common political troupe, which seeks to warn voters about taking third party candidates seriously, is the potential for their inclusion to really screw up the outcome of an election. Many democrats like to cite the 2000 presidential election, where George Bush narrowly etched out a win against Al Gore in the highly contested Florida race. Many diehard Democrats have openly and wrongly declared Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader the reason that Gore lost the election.
For one, there were numerous other factors, which played into the Florida vote-counting debacle including: (1) The seven other third party candidates on the presidential race ballot; (2) the number of voters, who had been disenfranchised by Florida voter’s purging list; (3) voting systems and procedures that failed; (3) the United States Supreme Court, who declared George W. Bush the winner; and (4) Democrats, who weren’t inspired enough by Gore to get out and vote at all.
Therefore, the assertion that Nader’s marginal vote hurt Gore is not only unrealistic but not even borne of any polling data. Yet, Nader, along with other third party candidates, have become easy scapegoats by many Democrats for failure of their candidate to inspire voters to vote for him. And that’s what we are really talking about here: voter inspiration.
It’s no secret that Obama is far from closing the deal with voters of any persuasion. And the reality is that many voters, who had been inspired in 2008, will be probably be so depressed by Obama’s submissiveness to the Republicans in his first term that they might be willing to consider a candidate outside the two-party system.
But Nader’s scheme appears to be more about symbolism, which will amount to more debate and less about actual transformation. Of course, Obama, whose sole goal during an election cycle is to win your vote, will be more likely to mimic the words of the progressive six if it means that he has a chance to win the primaries. But what guarantees are there after the primaries, that he won’t shift again, to appease undecided voters of maybe the more moderate sphere in the general election?
This is not to suggest that dialogue doesn’t need to happen or have validity but at some point, true progressives will have to stop trying to bend Obama to our will and begin to start thinking seriously about the next level of action.
I mean, let’s forget the six candidates and concentrate of developing one candidate, who knows all his/her Isht. One of the biggest criticisms of any third/independent party, particularly on the left, is the inability to put up candidates, who stand a chance of winning elections. As such I would really prefer to see progressives spend the energy building their ground troops for a real campaign to nurture and support candidates, who could help push the progressive agenda. And of course, there is the matter of forcing debates with the incumbents and the only way that could happen is if they are able to get on the ballot. And the last I checked, many states within the union have made that task damn near impossible.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
The Democratic Party is in turmoil. During this time when Democrats should be riding high due to the Republican Party’s seeming inability to find a standard bearer who will be suitable to both the extreme radicalism of its Tea Party supporters, yet mainstream enough to be electable in the general election, the Democratic party finds itself in an internal rebellion of its own.
Democratic activists, most vociferously personified by PBS television host Tavis Smiley and Princeton professor Cornel West, have staged a Nader-like internal rebellion within the Party, protesting the fact that President Obama hasn’t been aggressive enough in confronting the GOP assault on poor and middle-class Americans. At the same time, steadfast Obama supporters complain that Smiley and West supporters are being counterproductive, pointing back to a similar Democratic rebellion during the 2000 election led by Ralph Nader that, they claim, directly resulted in the election of George W. Bush
There are valid points on both sides of this argument, but what seems to give more weight to the position of Obama supporters is not only the baggage that both Smiley and West bring to the debate – both have had longstanding animosities toward President Obama, and they were both criticizing him long before he even took the oath of office – but the fact that, while it is the GOP that is directly responsible for the assault on poor and middle-class Americans, all of the criticism is being leveled at President Obama.
Yet, at this point in his presidency, one cannot deny that even with all of his strong points, when it comes to protecting the American people from the GOP assault on the poor and middle class – in spite of his promise of a change that we can believe in – President Obama has fallen far short of the standard set by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
But for those Independent and Democratic voters who are truly most concerned about protecting the American people, and not merely undermining President Obama, there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bath water as was done in the 2000 election. While President Obama may not be reflecting everything we thought we elected, no man can be all things to all people, and we do have an option.
If we continue to follow the blind passion and self-service of people like Nader, Smiley, and West, we’re going to continue to elect the people who are most dangerous to this society. The people that these men help the most are not the poor and middle class. The biggest beneficiaries of their efforts are the corporatists and the GOP. So if these people didn’t exist, the GOP would have to invent them.
We can argue this point all day long, but the bottom line is, the biggest beneficiary of Ralph Nader’s efforts in the 2000 election was George W. Bush. And if we continue to listen to Smiley and West, the same will be true for the GOP in the next election. So we need to stop letting these people manipulate our emotions, and start doing a little more thinking.
We can out scream the GOP; we’ve got to outthink them. If we run around ranting and raving instead of applying precisioned pressure, many people are simply not going to vote, and we’re going to get a President Perry. That will mean corporate fuedalism, blackwater enforcing the law on our streets, and the end of America as we’ve known it.
Some will say, “But I’ve got to vote my conscience, and Obama didn’t do what he promised.” To them I say, admittedly, there’s a lot to be said for voting one’s conscience, but there’s only one thing wrong with it – your conscience can’t hold office. So who are you going to vote for instead? Third parties don’t help anyone but the people you dislike most, and failing to vote is also a vote for the people you dislike most.
So I suggest congress should pool some of the best researchers and writers on their combined staff to research and layout the facts on every lie the GOP tells, and on a daily basis. If Eric Canter says that the rich create the jobs. Bring out the facts that the rich did better than ever before during the Bush Administration, yet, as high as unemployment is, Obama has created more jobs in the short time he’s been in office than Bush did in the entire eight years of his presidency. Then every time a Democrat gets in front of a camera they should repeat like a mantra, “The rich don’t create jobs; poor and middle-class consumers create jobs.” That way, every time a Republican tells a lie, he’ll know that he’s going to made to eat it the next day.
We also have start putting pressure on our people in congress to speak up and start demonstrating the backbone that Obama clearly lacks at this point. In addition, we should put pressure on them to tell Obama that if he doesn’t follow their lead that they’re gonna leave him dangling in the wind. And at the same time, we should start grooming a young firebrand for the 2016 election, and have him saying the things that Obama should be saying. Then Obama would have no choice but to step up to the plate, because with his ego, he’s not going to let some young up-and-comer overshadow him.
If we do those things, we’ll benefit in three ways. We’ll maintain the benefits of Obama’s likability quotient, we’ll develope the Democratic backbone to get things done, and we’ll be grooming a Democratic candidate for the 2016 election – and if we make it clear that we’re in the process of grooming someone to follow Obama, we just might find several people wanting to vie to drag the GOP through the mud..
We can’t afford to rely on one man for our survival – we need to put them all to work.
Eric L. Wattree is a writer, poet, and musician, born in Los Angeles. He’s a columnist for The Los Angeles Sentinel, Black Star News, The Atlanta Post, and several other publications. He’s also a staff writer for Veterans Today and the author of “A Message From the Hood.”
We know you’re interested in seeing Tia’s new baby boy, Cree. Well Hello Beautiful has pictures along with an interview featuring the new mommy. Read on when you click the link!
It’s kind of hard to believe it’s been a whole five years since racial tensions mounted in the small town of Jena, Louisiana. Wonder how the town is doing today? You can find out here.
You’ve heard what Tavis and Cornel have to say about Barack Obama’s presidency and even his blackness. Not that President Obama has to define or defend his blackness, but one writer at theGrio.com explains how Obama has subtly softened the American palette when it comes to race.
Can we women have it all, the house, the job, the man and the kids? If you leave work to have a baby, what is your employer supposed to expect from you? One New York City judge, who happens to be a woman, thinks you should be held to the same standard of work whether you’re bringing a life into this world or not. Hmm…do you agree?
Good thing Rihanna and J Cole didn’t create a sex tape together! Baby boy is too fine to imagine with another woman. (Even though he’s booed up.) Either way, those were just rumors and both artists addressed them on Twitter. See what they had to say.
“I freed thousands of slaves, and could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.” – Harriet Tubman
During an interview on Fox News last week, black Republican Congressman and GOP longshot, Allen West took to cable television to express his sentiments toward his people and their faithfulness to the Democratic Party. West accused Democrats of “taking black votes for granted” and compared prominent black leaders, such as Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, to “plantation bosses” (or overseers). “So, I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad away from the plantation and into a sense of sensibility,” he contended.
Now Mr. West may not be the most popular guy in many circles, surely not mine, and the plausibility of him snagging the Republican nomination is nil. So, whether or not he is the modern-day Harriet Tubman is a rhetorical question. However, the weight of the black vote is one worth exploring.
With the rate of unemployment climbing and monstrous corporations like Bank of American planning to lay thousands more off, poverty is a major concern as middle class is quickly becoming the new poor and the poor grow poorer. The whimpers of the impoverished are faint and have been overshadowed by partisan bickering, debt-ceiling ridiculousness and Tea Party-ing. Yet, despite these things, the black community continues to demonstrate unwavering support for Democrats and President O.
Upon criticizing President Obama and embarking on a nationwide “Poverty Tour,” Tavis Smiley and Cornel West have quickly become objects of ridicule. Radio show host Tom Joyner declared he would never work with Smiley again and alluded to the possibility of a Smiley/West “relationship.” Steve Harvey also used his widely syndicated morning show to voice his discontent, citing the tour as a hustle and labeling the duo poverty-pimping Uncle Toms.
We all know the issue is not Smiley’s (alleged) attempt to stay relevant or Harvey securing a spot in the rich-black-Obama-supporters inner circle. It’s the fact that black Americans have pledged their allegiance to the Democratic Party and expect one another to support President Obama regardless of whether or not we agree with his politics and performance thus far—which is ridiculous.
A recent Newsweek story mused about the possibility that Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West’s constant criticism of President Obama might lead to some trouble for the president come 2012:
Never mind the slings and arrows of Tea Partiers. The most politically problematic criticism of Obama these days is coming from his base. And there’s no question that there is a deep reservoir of frustration, confusion, and even rage among many in the African-American community for [leaders like Dr. Cornel] West to tap into. With unemployment hovering near 17 percent for African-Americans (the national average rate is 9 percent) and 11 percent of black homeowners facing imminent foreclosure, African-Americans have ample reason for anxiety about the coming budget cuts that Obama reluctantly signed into law this month. The Congressional Black Caucus chairman called the recent debt deal “a sugar-coated Satan sandwich” that will do little to help communities already struggling.
Dr. Cornel West and his longtime friend, radio host Tavis Smiley, have taken their criticism of Obama to the streets, launching a two-week, 15-city “poverty tour,” aimed at forcing the powers that be to once again focus on the “least among us” and getting the president to “wake up.” Their efforts are increasingly stoking fears among some African-American leaders that West and Smiley could discourage black voters from turning out when the nation’s first African-American president stands for reelection in 2012.
I’m not one of those who thinks that substantive questions about President Obama’s dedication and attention to black America’s problems are out of line. Yes, it’s entirely true that Barack Obama is the President of The United States, not the President of Compton. He can’t solely focus on the issues that ail Black America when we barely comprise 12% of the U.S. population.