Princeton African-American studies professor and provocateur Cornel West accused President Barack Obama of being a “Rockefeller Republican in blackface” last Friday on a progressive television program.
In an interview on the liberal “Democracy Now” program, West, with his shocking comments, was essentially saying Obama, one of the most liberal presidents in the country’s history, was not liberal or black enough for him.
West said while he was glad there was not a “right-wing takeover” after last Tuesday’s election, it was “morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion” about poverty or declining wages. West accused Obama of selling out the left by not addressing poverty.
When asked for his opinion of prominent black television hosts on MSNBC, West was vitriolic, accusing them of being sellouts.
West said MSNBC’s Michael Eric Dyson, Al Sharpton, and Melissa Harris-Perry “have sold their souls for a mess of Obama pottage” in a society “where everybody is up for sale.” He went on to say that they wanted “insider access” and they “want to turn their back to poor and working people.”
West, who was being interviewed along with Tavis Smiley, also said Obama was not a “progressive” because Obama was too concerned about establishing a legacy and not taking on issues such the prison industrial complex. “Will Obama say ‘prison-industrial complex’?,” West asked.
The professor said he wanted to see what risks Obama would take in a second term to make him worthy of potentially being called a “progressive” in his eyes.
“Is he going to put himself on the line for poor people?,” West asked. “Is he going have an honest conversation about drones?”