|Cornel West Shakes Obama's Hand in 2010|
Professor Cornel West on Obama:
He is “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”I must admit that I stopped listening to folks like Cornel West around the time they were carrying presidential candidate Barack Obama around like their political messiah, a black Jesus even.
West is an academic of no small repute and a fierce thinker who fell for the crap that Obama and his machine sold to war-weary and soon to be broke and unemployed Americans.
Why was West not paying attention when Obama walked all over his pastor and spiritual mentor, Pastor Jeremiah Wright? West and many of his high-profile black intellectual cohorts were wrong on Wright.
You may disagree with the vapid race discourse that led to Obama's public walk-away from Wright and his black church but it should have signaled the Obama character underneath all that sh*t about a new day and its "Yes We Can" delusions.
A few of my friends and colleagues called my views on Obama racist. I referred to him, and still do, as an Uncle Tom and a sell-out and that did not sit well with many, particularly the post-race theorists of the "can't we all get along" kind.
I had been watching him long before he was even a national figure. I remember a day, in particular, when a white graduate student from Alabama came to my office to speak about Obama and the promise the then Junior Senator held.
She was gushing and telling of speeches he gave that were aimed at retrieving the lost American soul and its ideals of justice and equality and world peace.
Part of coming to see me was getting my adviser blessing to quit graduate school and her job and trek to Obama's land to stump for his presidency.
"What do you think of him," she asked in a small office decked with revolutionary posters of figures who knew the contours of struggle and were not defined by corporate machines and interests.
"I think he is a duplicitous, deceiving, and an ass-kissing Uncle Tom," I said with all sincere honesty.
The student was shocked. "But you are a professor should you not have a deeper and more careful view?" she insisted.
"I do," I replied. "And what is that?" she asked in anticipation.
"I already told you but I omitted a few expletives I normally include," I said with a straight face.
My view of Obama has not changed. I never expected he could become president because I thought the white electorate would see him as a black threat to whiteness. I was partially right on that count if one considers that he never won the majority of white votes.
In race terms Obama divided America even further and has dealt a death blow to black/brown/poor white struggle.
And for that reason corporate America and deluded and capitalized liberals anointed this fool to the presidency and in so doing he became exactly what those like West thought he would not be.
But why would West have got it so wrong?
If you read Chris Hedges article you may see a little glimmer of the reason why. In great part it is because West like other progressive liberals did not have the foresight and political depth to know that a black liberal is a white liberal in political terms.
When black radicals bemoaned the fact that this Uncle Tom came from a blended family with primarily white values they were called reactionary racists.
When the same folks questioned his lack of connection to a slavery past they were dismissed and in so doing the very basis/foundation of what it means to be black in America was thrown out the window.
West should have known that a black man drawn from a white world cannot be tied to the ideals of revolutionary struggle in the way that Malcolm X or even Dr. Martin Luther King was.
In his last days before he was assassinated King was recalling that "promissory note" that white America owed to blacks and for that reason his movement that spurred the Civil Rights struggle was called into question and his life snuffed out under watchful government eyes.
Obama has laid waste to that "promissory note". Black men are unemployed at greater numbers than their white counterparts across the educational divides and class lines.
The prisons are teeming with black and brown men serving time for victimless crimes. Brown women are the fastest growing segment of the prison population while white women are still being employed as affirmative action candidates at numbers that dwarf those of black women.
In global terms this whiteness product will be remembered as the first black president to declare war on an African country and its people.
Is this the "Yes We Can" sh*t that sold Obama to the change-seekers? How far is Obama from Bush in these terms. At the very least even the beast Bush had an African foreign policy with some humanitarian dimensions.
We should welcome Cornel West home. He will find that revolutionary black struggle is big enough to know that sometimes sons and daughters of the soil fall for the sh*t that the white/settler system sells as progressive change.
Obama is just like every other white president before him except for one growing distinction: He is the most conniving f*ck of them all.
This is my considered academic position minus the footnotes of course :0)
And we are not free.