Cornel West calls Obama the ‘Black face of the American empire’


Philosopher Cornel West.(Reuters / Lucas Jackson)
Activist and public intellectual Cornel West has lashed out at President Obama’s run as the United States’ top official, calling him the “Black face of the American empire.” He says Obama has marginalized social movements that criticize US policies.

In an excerpt from his upcoming book, titled ‘Black Prophetic Fire,’ the controversial Union Theological Seminary professor claims that President Obama’s ascendancy represents a large shift of African-American leaders enmeshing themselves with the political establishment. As a result, West argues that Obama’s presidency has made it harder for African-Americans to criticize US policies which continue to make their lives difficult.

“The unprecedented historical symbolism of the first Black president has misled many if not most Black people to downplay his substantial neoliberal policies and elevate his [and his family’s] brilliant and charismatic presence,” West writes in the excerpt, which was published online by Salon.

READ MORE: Cornel West slams ‘counterfeit’ Obama’s presidency

West went on to pan Obama for policies that he claims benefit Wall Street, as well as for failing to take action on issues that affect the poor and minorities.

“The Obama presidency has been primarily a Wall Street presidency, drone presidency, mass surveillance presidency unwilling to concretely target the new Jim Crow, massive unemployment, and other forms of poor and Black social misery,”he writes. “His major effort to focus on poor Black men was charity and philanthropy — not justice or public policy.”

Read more at RT News

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