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Dr Cornel West

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Cornel West: Obama Is A ‘Rockefeller Republican In ‘Blackface;’ Sharpton, Harris-Perry, Dyson Are Up For Sale

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In an interview with Amy Goodman of  “Democracy Now,” our dear brother, Dr. Cornel West, said that while he’s happy that Mitt Romney didn’t win the presidential election, our foreign policy is still imperialistic, politicians should be ashamed of spending billions on campaigns while people are living in poverty, and that President Barack Obama is nothing but a “Rockefeller Republican in blackface.”

I think that it’s morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $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. 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.

SEE ALSO: President Barack Obama In Tears: ‘I’m Really Proud Of All Of You’

But that’s not all.

He had some choice words for Rev. Al SharptonDr. Michael Eric Dyson and Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, as well. While the aforementioned scholars have been extremely vocal in their support of the Obama Administration, Tavis Smiley, who was interviewed along with Dr. West, said their support comes at the expense of critical thinking and a legitimate push for a Black agenda:

“…Lincoln isn’t Lincoln if Frederick Douglass isn’t pushing him. FDR isn’t FDR if A. Philip Randolph and Eleanor Roosevelt aren’t pushing him. LBJ isn’t LBJ if MLK isn’t pushing him.

“We don’t believe in making excuses. We believe that if [Obama] is not pushed, he’s going to be a transactional president and not a transformational president. And we believe that the time is now for action and no longer accommodation. But that doesn’t happen unless you’re pushed.”

Dr. West said that Smiley was just being “very kind,” and gave his opinion to Goodman, straight no chaser:

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.

Responding to Dyson’s statement that President Obama was “progressive,” Both Smiley and West said that President Obama is not, because to be progressive means taking risks, something that the president has not done.

“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.”

These are legitimate critiques that all deserve to be addressed. What remains to be seen is will President Obama do so, and will Black voters turn out in 2014 to take back the House of Representatives so that he won’t be faced with the intense obstructionism of the last 4 years.

More importantly, will Smiley and West continue to face obstructionism from factions of the Black community that believe any criticism of the president amounts to treason. And will they ever realize that Black America is not a monolith and just because Dyson, Sharpton and Harris-Perry do not agree with them, it does not make them “sell-outs”?

While Dr. West speaks nothing but truth as it pertains to poverty and the need for this administration to transparently and pro-actively address it, one also has to wonder if our dear brother would be so upset at his colleagues with access to the White House if he had been given that ticket to theinauguration.

 

Watch the entire interview by clicking here.

 

Weigh in!

 
Do You Agree With Dr. West?
 
<input class="pds-radiobutton" id="PDI_answer30249452" name="PDI_answer6679500" type="radio" value="30249452" /><label class="pds-input-label" for="PDI_answer30249452">Absolutely!</label>
<input class="pds-radiobutton" id="PDI_answer30249453" name="PDI_answer6679500" type="radio" value="30249453" />
<label class="pds-input-label" for="PDI_answer30249453">No! He's just mad because he doesn't have access to the White House.</label>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

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The marketing becomes more and more intense in every area because the marketing is now more important than the product.  The media is not going to object because it is all income to them

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...f_the_President_1968

 

It is just the continuation of a trend.  Cornell West is right in that it has gone way beyond ridiculous.  But how do we get out of the cycle of competition?

 

Xum

one also has to wonder if our dear brother would be so upset at his colleagues with access to the White House if he had been given that ticket to theinauguration.

 

 

One has to wonder no such thing.  West's comments are based on Obama's record.

 

This is part of why there is a spit between issue based/and cheerleader journalism in the Black community.

 

Brother West as been quite fair and consistent in is criticism of President Obama.  Of course these kinds of cheer-leading cannot begin to deal with how Glen Ford tore through Micheal Eric Dyson.

 

 It would be nice to read an article that deals with the issues that Tavis and West continue to bring up and not fall into a discussion focused on the individuals. 

 

Black people being a "monoth" is a red herring.  Being a sell out is a charge that is and has been made because there has been a unwritten exchange between the White House and news coverage.  This isn't limited to the Obama admin.

Last edited by Muhammad Cipher

  West is a TRAITOR!!!!!!! Bottom line.  And has no respect for our historical position in this country.  He has no vision and he has no RIGHT to stain what we have accomplish in this nation with his social jealousy,  envy and irresponsiblity to black children and future descendants.  It is almost as if one has to pass his rule of achievement in order to satisfy his palate of justice and truth.  The truth is West hasn't DONE a damn thang for the Black cause but yap his mouth.  He is a typical cowardice "genius" that massa looks to...to justify what has been said about Blackfolks in the past.  West feeds that....he along with Smiley Dyson and others.  These MEN are an embarassment to all the slaves who DIED in this country, in the Atlantic ocean and in Africa.  That's why I believe that their so-called intelligence are FAKE, artifical, and pretentious.  All this combined knowledge and this is what they come up with?  West and others should be standing by my President with PRIDE, DIGINITY and respect.  But no they are throwing stones while living in "glass" houses.   ANYONE!!!!! Who puts their minds to it can EARN the white man's PH.D degree.  Cuz all it is is reading and writing....but!  It takes a collection force of blackfolks to move our culture to the next level of outstanding legacy.....not by doing what these little men are doing cuz they are undermining, criticizing and minimizing the "process" while they stand on the side lines DOING absolutely to help the "cause" along other than continuously yapping their lips.  What are THEY doing for blackfolks?      Anyone KNOW?

 

Is there a Cornel West school anywhere in the states?  What about a Dyson charter school or or or Smiley Academy?  Are they implementing a way to give back to the black community with MONEY in hand ready to do the work required?  I mean since these men KNOW everything.  I am INSULTED by these men.  Cuz their  holier than thou attitude is sooooooooo typical of us.  I call men like them siddity negroes who have mastered the English languge and smile in the white man's face and then reprimand our own just to stay on massa's side.  West, Dyson, Smiley were the last men I thought who would turn their backs on the process of our social evolution/change...they were the last folks I thought would do this:  hate on another BLACK MAN!!!!   They are taking the white man's education toooooo far cuz they are not looking at the BIG picture and no matter how much schooling one gets, if you not able to have critical thinking....the ability to look outside and BEYOND the white man's glass of thought....then DON'T talk about helping your people.  DON'T say you are for the black cause....cuz you ain't.  You're nothing but a steppin fetchin entertainer for the white man.  That's all.  And I would go even further to say that West and guys like him however educated they appear to be are nothing more than a bunch of twisted envious steppin fetchin wanna be brothas with a gift of gap and a HUGE social chip on their shoulders....and having that chip does NOTHING but keep us back as a people[crabs in a barrell comes to  mind].  Snubbing they noses to their responsibility to teach one reach one.    And for those selfish/self-centered reasons alone folks like me don't LISTEN to a rheotric word these  men have to spew-especially about my President.  I don't hear a damn word.  Cuz why?  West is a TRAITOR. Dyson is a TRAITOR.  Smiley is a TRAITOR.  They are worse than Benedict Arnold.  Worse than so-called Judah.   Worse than black on black crime.   But!  

I have a problem with West actually calling the President "blackface", but what West is saying is essentially true, however, the mistake West keeps making, especially right now, is that the blame does not lie squarely at the feet of the President.  

 

The blame lies squarely at the feet of the Congress, more specifically at the feet of Congressional members that have passed bills and voted on legislation over the past 12 years, before AND during President Obama's presidency, that do not address poverty, unemployment, and American jobs, not only that, but, go as far as to block bills brought before it that would address the very issues that West is complaining about.   

 

Now, I do have to say that since Cornell West knows full well how our government works, how bills and legislation gets passed, and that the abilities of an American president are limited to having an agreeable Congress.  It does sound rather personal that West would go as far as to call President Obama "blackface" and make such incriminating statements about President Obama, as if an American president has the powers of a dictator at his disposal, while not even mentioning the role of Congress in addressing such issues, especially under America's current economic circumstances.  

 

To be fair, you do have to wonder why President Obama left so many of Bush policies in tact, renewed the contract with Blackwater, did not take advantage of Democrats having control of Congress when he was initially elected, to have a jobs bill passed and to ensure the Healthcare Bill would not be watered down.  

 

But, I am still surprised to hear Cornell West speak of President Obama in such terms. 

Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

ANYONE!!!!! Who puts their minds to it can EARN the white man's PH.D degree.  Cuz all it is is reading and writing....but!  It takes a collection force of blackfolks to move our culture to the next level of outstanding legacy.....not by doing what these little men are doing cuz they are undermining, criticizing and minimizing the "process" while they stand on the side lines DOING absolutely to help the "cause" along other than continuously yapping their lips.  What are THEY doing for blackfolks?      Anyone KNOW?

 

Is there a Cornel West school anywhere in the states?  What about a Dyson charter school or or or Smiley Academy?  Are they implementing a way to give back to the black community with MONEY in hand ready to do the work required?  I mean since these men KNOW everything.  I am INSULTED by these men.  Cuz their  holier than thou attitude is sooooooooo typical of us.  

 

I HAVE to AMEN that, Ms. Koco!!  Preach it my sistah!!  You took the words right outta my mouth!! 

 

West (and his "brother" Dyson) spent DECADES in the White man's most elite Ivy League schools ... NOT advancing the Black cause or young Black minds .... but preferring, instead, to relish in the accolades and status and 'pat on the head' reserved for the kind of "good Negroes" that they were ALL too happy to 'puppet' themselves into .... and kowtow to our oppressors to show them that they could be.    (Oh, and let's not forget about the big, fat paychecks/trick payments that went along with that!)

 

None of them EVER offered their so-called 'intellect' (or money or expertise) to the young Black minds that so desperately would/could have benefited from it while striving for excellence within ANY of our HBCUs.  So they need to just STFU about what whoever else is NOT doing whatever else for Black people and the Black collective. 

 

They chose to spend their lives writing books for big money payouts about Black people .... instead of writing books to advance educational uplift and positive historical knowledge for Black people.  So their credibility in that arena amounts to a sum total of ZERO, as far as I'm concerned!!!

 

As far as the interview goes, though ... and what he had to say ... especially about the shortcomings of the President .... I would have been able to respect his position much more ('cause I wouldn't say he was necessarily wrong about all of it!) ... but failing to acknowledge the unprecedented amount of obstructionism and unhidden racism and racial hate from the White community and White Members of Congress that this President (and no other) has had to face ... as if it doesn't exist or as if it isn't paramount to the kinds of issues the President can and cannot, has and has not been able to deal with .... is disingenuous, at best, and moronic, at worst.

 

It's not like the President - or ANY President - gets to do whatever he wants whenever he wants to do it.  From early on in his presidency, President Obama DID offer specific plans and agendas to tackle the environment, climate change, green energy and comprehensive financial reform,  He's taken strong (White/Republican) opposition heat for his decision to delay a major oil pipeline because of ecological effects to the environment.

 

And while Dr. West has no BIGGER fan in his complaints against the horror of "prison industrial complex' problem than I ... the President - ANY President does not have the jurisdiction and control over STATE-RUN prisons that Dr. West seems to think he does!!  He can say the words "fix the prison industrial complex problem' all he wants to.  He can't MAKE any individual STATE actually do it, though!! 

 

The good Dr. and his new little flunky puppy, Mr. Smiley, would have a much bigger effect and control over mounting a successful campaign against the unfairness of States' (in)justice systems by encouraging the masses of Americans (of all races) to reject the unfair and discriminatory laws within those states .... as evidenced by what just happened in California where it was the VOTERS that had to be the ones to decide to AMEND the unfairness of the 3-Strikes Law.

 

If those two would stop putting so much effort into complaining ... they might just find a way to put the two halves of their brains together to formulate ONE actually intelligent thought!!    Until then ... I have to agree with Ms. Koco, that they are just a sad disappointment to Black people, our community and the Black experience as a whole.

Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.
- Mark Twain's Notebook, 1898

 

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
- This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain

 

$100 computers can make our concepts of education obsolete which are actually nothing but schooling. 

 

I always found this story interesting:

 

The Status Civilization (1960)by Robert Sheckley

http://librivox.org/the-status...-by-robert-sheckley/

 

Xum

@Sista Sunnubian:  Well I NEVER heard West talked this LOUD until we had a black president.    He may be right in some of his assessments....but!  He's preaching to the choir.  He should use HIS POWER to do SOMETHING remotely FOR Black folks other than run his mouth to a wall.  Cuz where I stand...TALK is you know kinda CHEAP coming from a brotha who makes plenty of MONEY yakking about the black cause.....and yet does absolutely NOTHING but spew loud NOISE.    As I said earlier not only is he a COWARD.....but!  He is also two-faced.  Back in the day, we used to call folks like him "oreos."  Unfortunately this description still applies today.  But!

Well my dear brother, Dr. Cornel West, instead of trying to sell your former road dogs on the open real estate market, here is what you can do:


Since President Obama has been reelected for 4 more years, you Dr. West sir, along with Tavis Smiley, have another 4 more years to make your case to the newly elected, 2d term President Of The United States about your purposed agenda and the obvious ills of the African American community (that the President knows all too well about) and other concerns like foreign policy, mass poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages and etc etc etc and whatever else you need to readily discuss with the President.


In the first 4 years, you Dr. West and your side kick Mr. Smiley, felt that Black people abandoned both of you and you sir, along with your friend Mr. Smiley, made a decision and decided to totally abandon the annual "State Of Black America" forum and "The Covenant with Black America", a national plan of action to "keep the current sitting President on his toes" and address the primary concerns of African Americans today -- from health to housing, from crime to criminal justice, from education to economic parity. 


Why A Covenant and Why a Convenent at that time?


As we witnessed in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, Americans are deeply divided between race, class, gender, political ideology and moral values.


A divide so extreme, that in order to bridge it, we must speak openly, freely, without judgment and work together. It is imperative that we take this opportunity to consider the issues of particular interest to African Americans and to establish a national plan of action to address them.


No longer can we sit back and expect one political party, one segment of the population or one religious denomination to speak for us or to act on our behalf. It is our responsibility as an entire community to no longer be left behind politically, socially, or economically and to bridge the economic and social divides ourselves, by encouraging a conversation and a commitment that will inevitably benefit all Americans.


For the last ten years, the country's visionaries, educators, public policy makers, religious leaders, opinion makers, and community organizers (Dyson, Sharpton, Melissa Harris-Perry and others you're mad at)  have come together to weigh in on the most challenging issues facing Black America. This symposium—The State of the Black Union—has always encouraged dialogue and the exchange of ideas about issues and factors that gauge the progress of America's promise for African Americans.


Dr, Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, what happened to all of that and why now after 4 years of observing the President who has done nothing according too you, no return now to the Covenant or something similair?


Why just throw away ten years of hard work, effort and total Black progress that African Americans wanted you (Tavis) to keep and maintain moving forward just because the President is an African American who is also now in his second term?


Black people didn't tell Tavis to abandon it...your brother did that all by himself.


No one put a gun to your dear brother Tavis Smiley's head (or force you to readily assist him) to dump his 10 year cause and agenda but if you ask him (as I watched him get asked a question from a caller about this on a news show), he gets pissed off and will quickly blame it's entire demise squarely on as he called them "trifling Black negroes who loved Obama so much he couldn't possibly continue".


Bullshit!


What have you and Tavis been doing for the last 4 years? Very little.


What are you doing right now? Starting up with the very same shiggity as before now in Obama second 4 year term as President,


So I (and the rest of Black America) can readily expect to see both you and Tavis doing the same ole shit as before...Talking loud, saying and doing nothing.


My question to you Dr, West (and notify Tavis):


What if Mitt Romney had won?


Would the State of Black America and the Covenant (or something similair to it) make a comeback KNOWING that "White man" Romney moreso than Obama, who is according to you, completely useless, would look straight in the direction of ALL Black people, look directly into their eyes and disavow all and any knowledge of their entire existence.


But as I said, you and Tavis now have a second chance (4 more years) to do what you didn't and refused to do in the first 4 years: directly challenge the President with your agenda up close and personal with the door wide open to debate, compromise and analysis with the President (if you ask, he will invite you and Tavis to the White House with no problem) instead of now trying to develop another 4 years of personal and professional visibility across the media's spectrum with 4 more years of you and your dear brother Tavis Smiley's continuous moaning and bitching.


You got 4 more years with the Black man in the White House and that's it.

 

The real question is (what you and Tavis need to seriously ponder if you're really serious).....

 

What are you and your brother gonna do?

 

Either "shit" in the positive (follow up their stated intentions with action and complete tasks with a greater degree of efficiency or timeliness) "or get off the pot" in the negative (failing to act),


Stop writing this bullshit and get down to work.

Last edited by Cholly
Originally Posted by sunnubian:

I have a problem with West actually calling the President "blackface", but what West is saying is essentially true, however, the mistake West keeps making, especially right now, is that the blame does not lie squarely at the feet of the President.  

 

The blame lies squarely at the feet of the Congress, more specifically at the feet of Congressional members that have passed bills and voted on legislation over the past 12 years, before AND during President Obama's presidency, that do not address poverty, unemployment, and American jobs, not only that, but, go as far as to block bills brought before it that would address the very issues that West is complaining about.   

 

Now, I do have to say that since Cornell West knows full well how our government works, how bills and legislation gets passed, and that the abilities of an American president are limited to having an agreeable Congress.  It does sound rather personal that West would go as far as to call President Obama "blackface" and make such incriminating statements about President Obama, as if an American president has the powers of a dictator at his disposal, while not even mentioning the role of Congress in addressing such issues, especially under America's current economic circumstances.  

 

To be fair, you do have to wonder why President Obama left so many of Bush policies in tact, renewed the contract with Blackwater, did not take advantage of Democrats having control of Congress when he was initially elected, to have a jobs bill passed and to ensure the Healthcare Bill would not be watered down.  

 

But, I am still surprised to hear Cornell West speak of President Obama in such terms. 

 

He's words seem harsh because it cuts at peoples desire to see a Black man be successful in a way that separates his actions from the good ole boy system.  But increasing what is happening that people who did (or want) to support Obama cannot reconcile that desire with Obama's own record.   This is going to heat up, as many did in fact cut him a break during the election, because they didn't want to see Mit win.  However, the issues they raised didn't disappear, nor did their concerns. 

 

During the campaign, Obama ran against congress. However, for West (and other critics such as Glen Ford) they are quite specific in pointing out the polices introduced and pushed by Obama vs. those who are in congress. 

 

Its a mistake to try and comb through West's criticism desperately looking for a justification to dismiss them.  In all of the response to his words, nobody can call Brother West a liar.  During the exchange with Dyson, Ford remained focused on policy and the perception of the president (which is something West was responding to with his Blackface comments). 

 

There are two defensive politics ideas that deflect from examining  Obama's record and objections to his own actions.  That is Obama would act different if....  ____________ would get its act together, stop blocking and support him.

 

In this case, fill in the blank with The Congress, Black People, The anti-War movement, Occupy Movement, displaced workers, etc etc.  What is increasingly absent from all of this discussion (especially in Black media circles) is a direct engagement of the issues raised by all of the above groups.  Can't lay blame on the Congress when Obama ceeds to them even when he isn't required to (debt ceiling mess), and intervenes in their function when he sees fit (tax deal prior to the debt crazy summer). 

 

On your last point, those who are really critical on Obama's record will (sadly but accuracy point out) that he not only has kept Bush policies in place, he's pushed them forward (again West's anger and comments on the NDAA).

 

 West (et al) have a clear record and consistency on being passionate about issues and not persona's.  As a community we are more passionate about Obama's persona than the issues he faced with and his decisions as a result.

 

He (and others) are emotionally invested in the effects of policy NOT the person behind them.

 

Something interesting to keep in mind (or to ask self) is....'who is the head of the Democratic party?' Is it the sitting President (as a democrat)? Or is it Obama's advisers?  Bill Clinton?  Hillary? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last edited by Muhammad Cipher
Originally Posted by Muhammad Cipher:

one also has to wonder if our dear brother would be so upset at his colleagues with access to the White House if he had been given that ticket to theinauguration.

 

 

One has to wonder no such thing.  West's comments are based on Obama's record.

 

This is part of why there is a spit between issue based/and cheerleader journalism in the Black community.

 

Brother West as been quite fair and consistent in is criticism of President Obama.  Of course these kinds of cheer-leading cannot begin to deal with how Glen Ford tore through Micheal Eric Dyson.

 

 It would be nice to read an article that deals with the issues that Tavis and West continue to bring up and not fall into a discussion focused on the individuals. 

 

Black people being a "monoth" is a red herring.  Being a sell out is a charge that is and has been made because there has been a unwritten exchange between the White House and news coverage.  This isn't limited to the Obama admin.

Excellent analysis. I wish people would offer an analysis on the substance of the comment instead of ad hominem attacks on West et al. Where are the inaccuracies in West's statement? As West notes, Obama is more fiscally conservative than Richard Nixon, more socially conservative than Lyndon Johnson. Under Ronald Reagan, the nation had a more progressive federal tax rate.  

 

Not once during the campaign season did anyone bring up issues associated with  the growth in poverty in this country, with figures such as 40% of black children growing up in homes below the poverty level.

 

No one mentioned the prison industrial complex, which several progressive scholars/activist have come to refer to as the "New Jim Crow."

 

I am not asking anyone to like West or Smiley - I have said on more than one occasion that I personally think that Smiley is a superficial, narcissistic ass - but there critique has merit. Moreover, if we fail to listen to them, then we are no better than dupes who inhabited the echodome that was right wing media (Fox et al) who were in for a rude awakening last week, when they realized that their vision of America was an empty fantasy, and that reality had passed them by.

"Excellent analysis. I wish people would offer an analysis on the substance of the comment instead of ad hominem attacks on West et al." 

*************************************************************

 

Is why West should have left the "Blackface" comment out of his critique of President Obama.  I personally don't believe that President Obama, just like any other President of the United States, is beyond criticism, but, I do believe that the focus of the criticism should be his policies.  

 

 

He's words seem harsh because it cuts at peoples desire to see a Black man be successful in a way that separates his actions from the good ole boy system.  But increasing what is happening that people who did (or want) to support Obama cannot reconcile that desire with Obama's own record.   This is going to heat up, as many did in fact cut him a break during the election, because they didn't want to see Mit win.  However, the issues they raised didn't disappear, nor did their concerns. 

 

During the campaign, Obama ran against congress. However, for West (and other critics such as Glen Ford) they are quite specific in pointing out the polices introduced and pushed by Obama vs. those who are in congress. 

 

Its a mistake to try and comb through West's criticism desperately looking for a justification to dismiss them.  In all of the response to his words, nobody can call Brother West a liar.  During the exchange with Dyson, Ford remained focused on policy and the perception of the president (which is something West was responding to with his Blackface comments). 

 

There are two defensive politics ideas that deflect from examining  Obama's record and objections to his own actions.  That is Obama would act different if....  ____________ would get its act together, stop blocking and support him.

 

In this case, fill in the blank with The Congress, Black People, The anti-War movement, Occupy Movement, displaced workers, etc etc.  What is increasingly absent from all of this discussion (especially in Black media circles) is a direct engagement of the issues raised by all of the above groups.  Can't lay blame on the Congress when Obama ceeds to them even when he isn't required to (debt ceiling mess), and intervenes in their function when he sees fit (tax deal prior to the debt crazy summer). 

 

On your last point, those who are really critical on Obama's record will (sadly but accuracy point out) that he not only has kept Bush policies in place, he's pushed them forward (again West's anger and comments on the NDAA).

 

 West (et al) have a clear record and consistency on being passionate about issues and not persona's.  As a community we are more passionate about Obama's persona than the issues he faced with and his decisions as a result.

 

He (and others) are emotionally invested in the effects of policy NOT the person behind them.

 

Something interesting to keep in mind (or to ask self) is....'who is the head of the Democratic party?' Is it the sitting President (as a democrat)? Or is it Obama's advisers?  Bill Clinton?  Hillary? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West's words do not "seem harsh because it cuts at peoples desire to see a Black man be successful in a way that separates his actions from the good ole boy system", Dr. West's words should have kept the focus on legitimate criticism of President Obama's/his administration's policies, is all I'm saying.  

 

Also, it is the fact that West knows full well what saying a Black person is in "Blackface" (or i.e., Whiteface) really means in African America.  It is the equivalent to a Black person calling a another Black person a 'housenigger'. As far as African Americans are concerned, 'housenigger' really means a Black person that can't be trusted by other Black people, a Black person that will stab the Black race in the back, a Black person that will deliberately work with Black people's oppressor to help oppress Black people, a Black person that will sellout another Black person or the entire the Black race just to impress White people.  

 

I personally don't see President Obama being in "blackface" merely because he did not issue an executive order designed to specifically help Black people in America and and only Black people, or because he has not titled any of his many policies/plans to help the poor "Program For Poor People".  

 

What about our republican dominated Congress that has blocked any and all Obama programs/policies that could not be implemented without their vote?

 

Does Dr. West honestly believe that any of the following policies/programs do not help the poor or African Americans?  

 

 

****************************************************************

:

 

Urban Policy

Progress

The President signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Office of Urban Affairs.

The American Jobs Act would rebuild the economy the American way-- based on balance, fairness and the same set of rules for everyone from Wall Street to Main Street. In urban communities, the American Jobs Act would modernize public schools, invest in roads and bridges, cut payroll taxes for every American worker and more.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included broad support for urban communities.

 

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Five Things You Should Know
1.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will set and enforce clear, consistent rules to hold banks, credit cards, mortgage lenders, and others accountable and protect consumers from abuses and deceptive practicesLearn More ...

2.

To help make college more affordable, President Obama created the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth $10,000 over four years and currently helping 9 million families cover the cost of college, and doubled investments in Pell Grants. Learn more...

3.

President Obama negotiated a bipartisan agreement that led to a payroll tax cut for 160 million working Americans, giving them in effect a 2 percent raise through the end of 2012. A family earning $50,000 got a tax cut of around $1,000, or about $40 with every paycheck. Learn more...

 

4.

The Affordable Care Act – President Obama’s landmark health reform law – is already making the health system more secure for American families. Nearly 17 million children can no longer be denied care due to a pre-existing condition, 6.6 million young adults can stay on their parent’s insurance through age 26 and more than 5 million seniors have saved an average of $768 each on the cost of their prescription drugs. Learn more...

5.

Simplifying and expanding access to refinancing at today's low interest rates could save millions of responsible homeowners about $3,000 a year on their mortgage payments. Learn more ...

 

 

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WE ALL STAND TO BENEFIT BY SIMPLIFYING REFINANCING

The Plan to Help Homeowners

Congress is considering a plan that would help millions of responsible homeowners save hundreds of dollars each month by refinancing their mortgages.

Why refinance?

Today, home interest rates are at historic lows—on average, below 4 percent. The average homeowner could save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s low rates, but far too many borrowers are locked out of a chance to do so. Complicated application processes and eligibility requirements, costly appraisals, and the fact that many homeowners owe more on their mortgage than the value of their home make refinancing all but impossible for millions of Americans.

 

How would the proposed plan help homeowners?

The plan to expand access to refinance is simple: make it easier for millions of responsible homeowners to refinance, even if they are underwater. The proposal would establish a quick and hassle-free process for homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments and want to refinance—no more tax forms, and no more appraisals—just a lower interest rate, and lower payments each month.

What about underwater homeowners?

 

When the housing bubble burst, home values dropped, and millions of homeowners who did the right and responsible thing—shopped for a home, secured a mortgage, and made their payments on time each month—were left with houses worth less than they paid for them and mortgages worth more than their homes. Today, many of these homeowners are locked out of refinancing because they are underwater or because their credit took a hit.

 

The proposal now being considered in Congress will help millions of these families. Whether your home has fallen in value or your credit was harmed, as long as you've been paying your bills on time in recent months and your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you will finally be able to refinance.

How does refinancing help the economy?

 

Millions of homeowners who refinance could see hundreds of dollars in savings each month, but that money does more than just help individual families. Those homeowners will have more money to pay bills, more money to spend in shops and restaurants in their communities, or more money to save for college or new car. In turn, this spending—made possible by refinancing—will benefit our entire economy, and help spur the growth we need.

 

 

Where's my "refi"?

 

President Obama’s refinancing proposal requires Congress to act, and until they do, millions of families will be prevented from refinancing and saving hundreds of dollars each month.

 

Speak out if you support helping homeowners.

 

You can use the hashtag #MyRefi to add your voice on mortgage refinance policy. Jump to the tool to see if you qu

 

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Five Things You SHould Know
1.

Startup companies represent a significant percentage of job creation in America. The Obama Administration is making an unprecedented commitment to entrepreneurship in America. Learn more

2.

The Obama Administration is committed to doubling the number of exports from 2009 levels by 2014, helping businesses grow their revenue and profits by penetrating new markets and creating jobs here in America. Learn more

3.

Retooling the patent system in America and facilitating commercialization will make it easier for entrepreneurs and innovators to bring their ideas to market. Learn more

4.

President Obama signed trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama into law, which together will support tens of thousands of good paying jobs. Learn more

5.

Attracting foreign investment into the American economy and keeping American companies right here at home is a major focus of this Administration as a way to create jobs. Learn more

 

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To prepare Americans for the jobs of the future and help restore middle-class security, we have to out-educate the world and that starts with a strong school system.

MAKING COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE

President Obama has expanded support to help more students afford college, while calling for a shared responsibility in tackling rising costs

PREPARING OUR KIDS FOR SUCCESS

Educating every American student to graduate from high school prepared for college and for a career is a national imperative.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Higher education is not a luxury. Earning a post-secondary degree or credential is a prerequisite for 21st century jobs, and one that everyone should be able to afford.

SUPPORTING GREAT TEACHERS

We need great educators to teach our children the math and science skills that will enable them to compete for jobs in
the future.

HELPING EARLY LEARNERS

A child’s first years offer a critically important window of opportunity to develop skills that determine their success.

RACE TO THE TOP

22 million K-12 students are benefitting from President Obama’s historic reforms

 

To me, the only thing that makes Dr. West's commentary even minimally respectable is the fact that he didn't focus, neither exclusively or even primarily, only on complaining about the President's lack of addressing the "Black issues" ... which is the complaint that most Black "President-complaining" people seem to ONLY be able to complain about!!  (The "the Black President isn't fixing the Black issues of the Black agenda that specifically targets Black people" crowd).

 

He, at least initially, threw at the President the lack of addressing ... oh, let's see, climate change, the environment, drones, Wall Street and trade unions, et al.  All of which are pretty universally deemed "ALL-American" issues ... or those that affect the WHOLE of the American population.  Not just Black people.

 

Of course, he couldn't leave it there and had to "go Black" at the end (which I suspect was probably his intended purpose all along - with Bro. Toto .. er.. Tavis at his side!)... with the issues of poverty and prison ... which are disproportionately African American-affecting issues ... and the usual Black-issue-related complaints hurled at the President by disgruntled Blackfolk at his lack of action of concentrating on a distinctly Black agenda.

 

But let's be real, for a moment .... it's not as if there was ANY room in this election to 'run the gamut' on all or even most of our social or domestic ills.  Basically the ENTIRE focus of this election was directed and initiated by the MEDIA ... and what was supposed/considered to be our number one, most important, whats-on-EVERYBODY's-mind issues of JOBS and the ECONOMY was the specific focus of the entire presidential campaign!!! 

 

It was a position LOCKED on by Republicans and the Republican media ... (supposedly) the White (voting) majority ... and then everyone else in between (not just domestically, but as a part of foreign concern, too!)  Including us ... (and our supposedly over 20% unemployment rate!!).  All conversation was basically re-directed to that regardless of what else was being said as 'the only issue Americans cared about.' 

 

N-O-T-H-I-N-G was (supposedly) more important in public discourse than JOBS and the ECONOMY.  Which is why most other 'fringe' issues were not brought to the forefront.  By the President or anybody else, for that matter.  And to single him out for that seems more like sour grapes complaining than an honest critique of perceived shortcomings.

 

However .... had the issues of climate change, the environment, Wall Street and the like actually BEEN brought up ... let's be clear that it would have actually worked in the President's favor .. considering that Bills offered by him on those very issues were REJECTED by the Republican Congress on every level ...  yet legislation of some variety WAS STILL passed on each and every one of those issues despite such opposition!!!

 

Also, if the idea is to actually be HONEST (which I suspect in Smiley & West's case it was not!!) ... credit would have to given to the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION for their support in ... and brief's written on behalf of ... reducing the FEDERAL crack cocaine sentencing disparity ... which is the only only level that the President of the United States really has any jurisdiction over when it comes to prisons.  Each STATE sets their own individual legal/judiciary/sentencing/court/incarceration actions.

 

So .... in the end, Dr. West's little "bitch and moan" session lacked the attention to detail and fact that it needed to be taken as any more than sour grapes!! 

 

As Cholly has said ..... he laments 'holding the President's feet to the fire" to address the issues he raises ... but can't seem to muster the manhood to actively take ONE physical step towards being the one to "push" the President towards solutions that he claims are Black America's most dire and urgent.  He's sitting on his ass in front of a(nohter) microphone just 'talkin' loud but not actually doin' a damn thing!!

 

And, I would suspect, is also the reason he's disparaging of the Rev. Sharpton, Melissa Harris-Perry and Micheal Eric Dyson ... ALL of which have a daily, public, (and well-and-steadily-paid) national voice that speaks to the issues specific to Black America (racism, voter suppression, discrimination, racial hate-speech, etc.) on TELEVISION, no less.  And ALL of whom contribute to give voice and opinion to and for Black opinion with the HIGHEST number of Black guest commentators, experts, academics, legislators, organizations on TV than any other station, bar none!!!

 

No doubt the fact that his opinion is neither sought nor paid for probably has a lot to do with that. 

Last edited by EbonyRose

"Does Dr. West honestly believe that any of the following policies/programs do not help the poor or African Americans?  "

 

Probably not, however that's not saying much. 

 

Giving $10 to a student or family buried in debt does help them-but its disingenuous to pretend as if he solves, or even puts a dent in the problem. 

 

Almost every single program that has been marketed as a great achievement has yielded mediocre results given the degree of the problem.  The home refi program was and is a massive flop, because there's no threat to the banking industry for non compliance.  The'll do it if/when they get to it, and if they don't ....oh well.   This is a pattern seen with most of the programs and proclamations from the W.H.  And as much as people like to shift the focus onto Tavis and West (et al), you hear these complaints from people directly involved in those industries up to and including some of the "traditional" organizations.

 

I could care less about the White House marketing of their ideas and programs.  Im interested in the detail, design, implementation and results of those programs in light of the problems people are facing.  That's what critics are really locking in on, and for good reason.  In the post concerning the '5 things you should know' regarding the patent system, foreign investment and the Trade deal........smh.....if people understood who that directly benefits (how and why) there would be an even BIGGER outcry.

 

This is the price we (as a community) are playing for getting emotionally involved in President Obama at the expense of social issues that are impacting us and the larger community (of which we are apart of). 

 

I personally don't see President Obama being in "blackface" merely because he did not issue an executive order designed to specifically help Black people in America and and only Black people, or because he has not titled any of his many policies/plans to help the poor "Program For Poor People".

 

 

That's your right to feel that way, but its not apart of  Tavis, West, or Ford's  argument and critique of Obama's policies.

 

What they have pointed out is that there is power in the Presidency to issue such an E.O. that would directly benefit the people, and that power has been used in administrations past.  

 

There's a big difference between NOT doing something because its an impossibility, and NOT doing something because you're determined NOT to do it, talk about it and discuss it.   And as its been pointed out before, the types of programs that could directly solve these problems (or bring the quickest relief) are a part of this countries history----and are not even being discussed OR are being deliberately excluded and dismissed if they are brought up.

 

As far as West's use of the term "Blackface", I understand how and why you'd be upset over it.  For me, its not much different than the type of characterizations tossed at Clarence Thomas.  It's not center on the fact that people just don't like Thomas, or Thomas's failure to live up to the exception of the Hardcore Black Revolutionary.  Nope...its Thomas's steadfast shadowing & echoing of Scaila.  There are even times when Thomas is more Scaila than Scaila!

 

So while it may cut to hear it......for me I cannot say its without merit. 

 

 "Hell..now I wanna vote on who the advisors will be.. "-Erykah Badu

Originally Posted by sunnubian:
 

Does Dr. West honestly believe that any of the following policies/programs do not help the poor or African Americans?  

 

 

 

Dr. West (nor his supporters) don't really seem to CARE about ANYBODY who the President's policies and programs have actually HELPED!! 

 

After all ....  he can't complain about - and he's certainly not going to compliment - the President for anything positive he may have done.

 

In fact ... I haven't heard the good Dr. utter ONE WORD of consideration for anything the President has ever done to help even ONE Black person in any way!!!  So ... it's possible he doesn't think any such "positive action" has ever taken place or benefited any Black person in America.  Ever.

 

Last edited by EbonyRose
Originally Posted by EbonyRose:
Originally Posted by sunnubian:
 

Does Dr. West honestly believe that any of the following policies/programs do not help the poor or African Americans?  

 

 

 

Dr. West (nor his supporters) don't really seem to CARE about ANYBODY who the President's policies and programs have actually HELPED!! 

 

After all ....  he can't complain about - and he's certainly not going to compliment - the President for anything positive he may have done.

 

In fact ... I haven't heard the good Dr. utter ONE WORD of consideration for anything the President has ever done to help even ONE Black person in any way!!!  So ... it's possible he doesn't think any such "positive action" has ever taken place or benefited any Black person in America.  Ever.

 

 

 

That simply isn't true.  But you are close to something.

 

Most of the Black commentary has been focused on discussion things from the perspective that makes Obama look good.  The problem is there is a wide and quite diverse spectrum of opinion and observation of Obama's decisions that are not at all focused on how it makes Obama look---be it good or bad.  

 

If you consider persons criticism invalid or suspect because "it makes it seem as if he's done nothing for........" there's a very good chance that criticism is itself invalid. 

 

West, and quite a few others including Dennis Kucinich are upset with Obama NOT because there are Black people who have benefited (no matter how small the number) from a W.H. endorsed program.  They're upset because Obama has increased the number of DRONE attacks, which as West pointed out...are war crimes.  They where war crimes when Bush did it and the legality of it hasn't changed because Obama is now in office.  The Bush W.H. stated its position on the Unitary Executive---but it was Obama that pushed and signed the NDAA.  Obama talks about 'Economic patriotism' and then turns right around and pushes for and signs another 'Free Trade' agreement. 

 

 

Each time someone attempts to deflect the criticism away from Obama by dismissing as a 'personal' issue or grudge, I (and anyone else) can easily point out how and why the criticism has merit based on Obama's own record.

 

 

**the irony..... we are to believe that we should be MORE like the Latino population who presses Obama----while attacking and dismissing those who actually press Obama.

Originally Posted by Muhammad Cipher:

Each time someone attempts to deflect the criticism away from Obama by dismissing as a 'personal' issue or grudge, I (and anyone else) can easily point out how and why the criticism has merit based on Obama's own record.

 

 

 

And herein, yet again, you are proving my point exactly, M.C.!!!

 

The problem is NOT with any excessive "dismissing of criticism" of the President!!  I can't think of ONE person on this board ... NOT ONE ... (with the exception of Ms. Koco, of course ) who has EVER denied ... shall we say "shortcomings" .... of the President for various actions taken by him on one issue or another!!  NOBODY claims that the President walks on water .... the claim by most is that he does good things and bad things.

 

But, by the same token, however .... you can't show me ONE SINGLE WORD in print by Dr. West (or YOU for that matter) ... that is anything but criticism or complaint ... AS IF there is NOTHING that the President has ever done, no policy he has ever implemented, no action he has ever taken that BENEFITS any American ... and especially any African American ... in any positive way!!!

 

It's not that the majority of people "refuse to see reason" and are hell-bent on only dismissing any criticism of the President ... it's that too many people like you and the good Dr. refuse to see reason and acknowledge that there are ALSO POSITIVE results in some of the actions that the President has implemented.

 

Yes, continuing drone attacks is a negative action on the President's part  ... but millions of Black school children getting improved education thanks to "Race to the Top" ... is ALSO by virtue of actions by that same President!! 

 

By your own admission, you can easily find why a criticism of the President 'has merit' .... but then why is it so hard to accept that certain compliments have the same merit as well??

 

Dr. West has gotten in front of a microphone ... once again ... to lament the condition of "the poor" in America.  But, are the "poor" Black senior citizens who are now saving thousands of dollars a year with the closing of the prescription drug 'donut hole' somehow not a part of that "poor Black demographic'?? 

 

If so ... why  not ONE WORD of acknowledgement about them??  From either of you?? 

 

The issue being taken with Dr. West is that it's ALWAYS .... criticism, criticism, complaint, complaint, complaint, criticize, disparage, negativism after negativism ... then complain, complain, criticize, vilify ... and then complain and criticize some more!! If there's any "denial" being bandied about ... it's from those who refuse to acknowledge that not EVERYTHING that the President has done has only been to drop DRONE BOMBS on people!!    Or ignore the "poor."  Or NOT do the things he has NO legislative power to do!! 

 

Most of us have at various times expressed support and dismay at various things the President has done.

 

But Dr. West's criticism is most definitely "personal."  He's NEVER tried to honestly critique the President's overall performance .. and give credit AND criticism ... where BOTH are rightfully due. 

 

His mission is and has ALWAYS been to direct ONLY criticisms of the President as he perceives them ... one by one, issue by issue, ... and over and over and over again.  And your unwavering support of that type of inequitable disparity .... speaks volumes for your own unwillingness at an attempt at 'equal debate' where the President's concerned.

 

Especially when you're asking for the same from everybody else. 

Last edited by EbonyRose

"And your unwavering support of that type of inequitable disparity .... speaks volumes for your own unwillingness at an attempt at 'equal debate' where the President's concerned"

 

Can't agree.

 

Its really simple.  Cut out all the marketing hype and lets look at the programs and policies based on their design, the implementation, the performance in light of the depth of the problems people are facing.

 

Every program you name, and policy you cite is subject to the same test. 

 

If your focus is on the marketing, then its understandable how and why you'd be so upset. Its good to have programs that you can point to and say 'hey we've created these jobs'.  However, its not so good to look at the data that shows clearly there is a massive decrease in the wages of jobs being created.  The auto bailout is good in a general sense, but you cannot ignore the conditions of the bailout given that the new workforce working for $14hr (down from ~$25hr). That has a measurable economic impact that aint good in the long term.  You buy some time politically, but during that time the level, expectation and standard of living trends down.......and people feel it.  

 

And before you can say "well its the businesses that are not hiring", Obama can take a page from FDR who created the WPA and CCC....and he didn't do it asking congress to do so. 

 

He can't have it every which way.  If things look good its a testament to how awesome Obama's is and if they start to look bad well.......its really the Congresses fault.  

 

Last edited by Muhammad Cipher

I don't agree with Race To the Top, There's no way you're going to sugar coat it to make it go down any smoother. with 16% of black folks unemployed and god knows how many are underemployed, living on less than $250,000 the standard for the 'Middle Class' and enough of us live in neighborhoods or communities where the teachers are piss poor and lack access to proper teaching tools while being required to teach to a test. What are they going to kick kids out of class who don't perform so they can keep their jobs and the children who have some difficulty learning are DENIED access to the help they need because of pay for performance??? BLACK PEOPLE WAKE UP! This isn't for YOU/US!

@Yemaya ....

 

Well ... since it hasn't been all that long since it started, I think the jury's still out on just HOW affective this program it is or isn't going to be.  But what I think the good thing about Race to the Top is, is that .... it's not about 'teaching to a test' ... and actually it's not a national standard that every school has to adhere to, regardless of where they are or what types of students they have or even how much money as a school district they have.

 

Race to the Top is a contest, more than anything.  It asks individual states to come up with a comprehensive plan to bring up the education and graduation level of their schools ... however they best see fit!!!  Which I think is a lot better than telling EVERY school in the country that you have to do the SAME exact things and reach the SAME exact goals .... in order to "pass" (an impossible to achieve) national rating system.

 

Any state that wants to compete has to come up with a "Plan" to upgrade/enhance/improve their education system ... statewide .... and those states that submit such a "plan" that show promise that it will improve the grade-level education of students are entered into a "contest" to receive million of dollars in federal money to implement those plans!!!

 

Now, again, I don't know if it's actually working out like this .... but, from what I've read, it's helping schools/states/school districts whether or not they "win" funds from the government because all these plans are available to look at and access no matter who submits them ... and supposedly, even schools that aren't getting money are getting good, solid ideas and suggestions for changing their curriculum to fit their own individual circumstances.

 

And while I haven't heard of any particular "report" coming out that says how this program has been working .... I did read an article the other day that said that for the first time in ... I don't remember how long .. Black high school graduation rates has gone over the 50% mark ... (@52 percent!!) .. although we still lagged behind every other demographic.

 

Now ... IMO, teachers unions are STILL one of the biggest impediments to education ... and, since there is no "national education plan" in place (like NCLB was) ... things like that ... or teachers pay and performance issues ... or even national testing have not been addressed.  And then, on top of that, you have the whole "charter school: mess that needs to be straightened out, as well!!  So, it's still not "all good" for our children as of yet.

 

But .... I'll willing to give it a little more time (not much, though, 'cause my patience is wearing kinda thin 'cause I think we should know more by now as far as what, if any, achievement this thing is producing!!) to see where 'Race to the Top' goes before I kick it to the curb!!

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