You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Melissa Harris-Perry on Cornel West:"self-aggrandizing, victimology sermon deceptively wrapped in.." [View All]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion: Presidency Donate to DU
Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-17-11 03:39 PM
Original message
Melissa Harris-Perry on Cornel West:"self-aggrandizing, victimology sermon deceptively wrapped in.."
Advertisements [?]
Edited on Tue May-17-11 03:49 PM by Pirate Smile
Cornel West v. Barack Obama

Melissa Harris-Perry

Professor Cornel West is President Obamas silenced, disregarded, disrespected moral conscience, according to Chris Hedges recent column, The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West went Ballistic. In an self-aggrandizing, victimology sermon deceptively wrapped in the discourse of prophetic witness, Professor West offers thin criticism of President Obama and stunning insight into the delicate ego of the self-appointed black leadership class that has been largely supplanted in recent years.

West begins with a bit of historical revision.
West suggests that the President discarded him without provocation after he offered the Obama for America campaign his loyal service and prayers. But anyone with a casual knowledge of this rift knows it began during the Democratic primary not after the election. It began, not with a puffed up President, but when Cornel Wests dear brother Tavis Smiley threw a public tantrum because Senator Obama refused to attend Smiley's annual State of Black America. Smiley repeatedly suggested that his forum was the necessary black vetting space for the Democratic nominees. He needed to ask Obama and Clinton tough questions so that black America could get the answers it needed. But black America was doing a fine job making up its own mind in the primaries and didnt need Smileys blessing to determine their own electoral preferences. Indeed, when Smiley got a chance to hold candidate Clinton accountable he spent more time fawning over her than probing about her symbolic or substantive policy stances that impacted black communities. Fiercely loyal to his friend, Professor West chose sides and began to undermine candidate Obama is small and large ways. Candidate Obama ceased calling West back because he was in the middle of a fierce campaign and Wests loyalties were, at best, divided. I suspect candidate Obama did not trust his dear brother to keep the campaign secrets and strategies. I also suspect he was not inaccurate in his hesitancy.

-snip-
Furthermore, Wests sense of betrayal is clearly more personal than ideological. In Hedges' article West claims that a true progressive would always put love of the people above concern with the elite and privileged. Then he complains, I couldnt get a ticket to the inauguration with my mother and my brother. I said this is very strange. We drive into the hotel and the guy who picks up my bags from the hotel has a ticket to the inauguration... We had to watch the thing in the hotel.Let me get this straight--the tenured, Princeton professor who collects five figures for public lectures was relegated to a hotel television while an anonymous hotel worker got tickets to the inauguration! What kind of crazy, mixed up class politics are these? Wait a minute

-snip-
As tenured professors Cornel West and I are not meaningfully accountable, no matter what our love, commitment, or self-delusions tell us. President Obama, as an elected official, can, in fact, be voted out of his job. We cant. That is a difference that matters. As West derides the Presidents economic policies he remains silent on his friend Tavis Smileys relationship with Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, and McDonald's--all corporations whose invasive and predatory actions in poor and black communities have been the target of progressive organizing for decades. I have never heard him take Tavis Smiley to task for helping convince black Americans to enter into predatory mortgages. Ive never heard him ask whether Tavis' decision to publish R. Kelleys memoirs might be a less than progressive decision. He doesnt hold Tavis accountable because Tavis is his friend and he is loyal. I respect that, but I also know that if he were in elected office the could not get off so easily. Opposition research would point out the hypocrisy in his public positions in a way that would make him vulnerable come election time. As a media personality and professor he is safely ensconced in a system that can never vote him off the island. I think an honest critique of Obama has to begin by acknowledging his own privileges.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/160725/cornel-west-v-bara...


edit to add a couple more because...why not:

Moore Award Nominee

"I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men. Its understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, hes always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. ... He feels most comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want, - Cornell West.

The classic West bullshit: "my dear brother". I am sorry to say I put West in the same category as Gingrich as intellectuals whose reputation as such I could never find any serious evidence for. And I have really tried hard to understand West, charming and eccentric as he is.

No save get, as the computers used to say.

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/05/moore-a...



Cornel West Uncovers The Disturbing Truth



You are familiar with the hypothesis that Barack Obama genetically inherited a disposition toward radical Kenyan anti-colonial thinking through his absent father. Now comes Cornel West, inevitably expressing his bitter disappointment with Obama's corporate sellout ways, explicating the opposite hypothesis:

I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men, West says. Its understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, hes always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation. When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And thats true for a white brother. When you get a white brother who meets a free, independent black man, they got to be mature to really embrace fully what the brother is saying to them. Its a tension, given the history. It can be overcome. Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.

He feels most comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want, he says.


He's a secret believer in Kansan pro-colonialism!

http://www.tnr.com/blog/88521/cornell-west-uncovers-the...

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 

Home » Discuss » General Discussion: Presidency Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC