Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cornel West Unleashed: Obama is a Republican in Black Face; Sharpton, Dyson, and Harris-Perry are Political Mercenaries and Sell Outs



Brother Cornel is at it again. He is dynamic and pragmatic. Before the election, Dr. West was calling out President Obama as one of his fiercest critics. In the weeks before the election, Brother West urged everyone to vote for Obama because the alternative was totally unacceptable. Cornel is now calling out Obama as a blackface Republican.

Moreover, he has expanded the target list to include black academics and activists such as Doctors Melissa Harris-Perry and Michael Dyson, as well as Reverend Al Sharpton--a group he considers guilty of having "sold their souls for a mess of Obama pottage."

What is the bigger game here? Is Brother Cornel just ratcheting up the tension for a national tour that will climax in a pundit battle royal where all of the mentioned parties go at live? Is Brother Cornel sincere (which I think he is)? Or are his complaints and critiques just part of an elaborate type of political theater? What the heck is going on here?

52 comments:

Steven Augustine said...

CW's "revival tent academic" act always got on my last nerve (though it's not as bad as Zizek's schtick)... but I think he's merely speaking the obvious (first level) truth here about the Black "leaders". The "solution" for poverty he gives at 5:50, though, is just more ridiculous happy talk. The fact that they could go for 14 minutes in a discussion about poverty in America and not mention the unmentionable "National Defense" (ie The Invasion/ Occupation) budget tells you everything about how effective their (or anyone's) "efforts" against American poverty will be.

They don't get it: this isn't the 1960s and even mobilizing people into marches and sit-ins (a la OWS) exerts *zero* pressure. The tired old tactic is to Paternalize the Gubmint by A) "alerting" it to an injustice under B) the poignant belief that it gives a damn. That only sort of worked under the old "Two Super Power" model in which the US was busy trying to prove (to the rest of the world: all the little hearts and minds in little countries it was aiming to sign up) that "we" were better than the USSR. Ah, the Good Old Days!

All in all, West is no radical. He knows what it's safe to say (what he's *expected* to say) and he'll go no further than that. TS is a little better than CW but what's he going to do? Risk a bullet for the sake of perhaps *starting* the process on what would, realistically speaking, have to be a century or two of fiercely-fought change?

Steven Augustine said...

(re: poverty: I'm referring to video 2)

nomad said...

its the same as befo
not a dance you need
hit the flo
an indulge in the apathy

http://blackagendareport.com/content/treble-army-discobama-0

Shady_Grady said...

Cornel West has a schtick and can be personally as abrasive as anyone else. I don't know what's going on with him and Professor Harris-Perry. Did he make a move and she shot him down? Cause it seems really personal..

That said he is essentially correct that black intellectuals and media elites and the black voting population have ceded moral demands or even self-interested demands on the President in a way that few other groups have done. It's unhealthy. And President Obama has moved right in ways that would have attracted opposition from blacks and white liberals in previous presidents.

But given that West ignored all this to come out for the President instead of staying true to his own convictions, he's revealed himself to be just as much of a charlatan as the people he's criticizing. So he should go sit down somewhere.

ed said...

Interesting that I see not one comment or reference in this article or the comments about the message - the plight of the poor in America.

Is this a battle of intellectuals or a serious intellectual discussion about the issue of hand - poverty in America?

Steven Augustine said...

@ed: it may not have been the comment you wanted, but I commented on poverty. In my opinion, when all the material wealth in (or controlled by) America is filtered either through corporate pockets or the "defense" budget (perhaps that's redundant), the poor will be forced, increasingly, to eat dirt and drink their own blood... during their brief visits on Earth. THEY are definitely winning the War on the Poor.

nomad said...

@ed
Are u kiddin me? This article is not about poverty in America. It's about defending Obama's image. Hence, niggerize those who criticize. Come on Grady, why is West's criticism of Obama (and his surrogates) always reduced to some personal pettiness? Can't he have a legitimate objection to Prez' policies? Or of the black misleaders who enable his abandonment of the poor?

As for voting for Obama, how can you blame anyone for choosing the apparently lesser of two evils? I certainly don't. What I blame lesser evilist for is not holding this just-happens-to-be-black president's feet to the fire in the intervals between the faux-democratic elections. A hail of criticism and demands from the black intelligentsia might alter the trajectory of this corporate shill. It might not, but at least they would not be acquiescing to an antipoor (antiblack) agenda.

Steven Augustine said...

And, for what it's worth, I grew up in the second-worst neighborhood in Chicago (a neighborhood made famous by the POTUS, ironically); I had the (not immediately apparent) good luck of being born into the poorest corner of my family. I'm sure I was poorer, as a child, than most of the people who will comment in this thread; maybe than most of the people reading it.

We never went hungry but my sister and I rarely had second helpings of the excellent, healthy food my mother made from scratch (I saw the inside of a McDonald's approx. once a year)... our clothing was clean-but-elaborately-patched... I never even had a bike as a kid, and there was just one little b&w television in the whole well-scrubbed apartment, plus one radio and one big old RCA console record player.

We were raised to *never* be late, never steal, always be polite, *always* be better than the white kids we were gradually being prepared to meet (I didn't attend an integrated school until I was 14).

How did I make it out? I didn't participate in the "mainstream" culture; I didn't fall for any of the American definitions of me... I didn't fall for any of the traps: the funky bullshit, the macho bullshit, the drug bullshit, the intercourse-in-grammar-school bullshit.

The reason I diverged was temperament, the reason I survived was having a hyper-vigilant mother, a present (though divorced) father, an extended family of readers and all those books.

Yes, and I was lucky enough to be in kindergarten in 1964 rather than 1984. By the time Reagan got in, and all the brainwashing and progressives-killing social engineering commenced in earnest, the problem of Poverty became the Method of Genocide... and now it's already very late in the game.

I can't blame people who've been fed poison and lies for generations if they can't somehow turn that around and become "successes" in a world that doesn't give a damn about them, at best, and quite often wants to see them in prison, or dead, or out of the country (a la Abraham Lincoln's shining vision of the future).

It's pretty obvious that things have been pushed to this extreme for a reason.

nomad said...

Great story, Steven. I think that the people who have so little empathy for poverty have never experienced it. One of the fondest memories of my own childhood was being hungry. From infancy.

Steven Augustine said...

@nomad: because of the attention BHO brought to the neighborhood, there's quite a lot of video material on it out there, so I was watching something late the other night. I have to admit that the little waves of horror (otherwise known as "nostalgia"? laugh) it sent through me (from way the fuck over in another hemisphere) nearly overwhelmed my empathy.

I'd have never thought, back then, that it was possible for the place to get more hellish than it was in '68, but...

CNu said...

Allegedly radical politics have been fully and completely assimilated.

What ALL of these racial entertainers share in common is that their affluent, 1% serving lifestyles are funded by elite institutions and establishments.

There is no truth, autonomy, or sincerity in any of them, and, the politically radical negroe problem in America has been permanently solved.

Steven Augustine said...

And the problem isn't limited to Negro Hackademia: fancy explainers like Slavoj Zizek, and even Noam Chomsky, know what they can and can't say, so they do and they don't with equal zest. One of the few who goes, nobly, where he really shouldn't, is Michael Parenti... and, of course, Cynthia McKinney, who goes *so* far to fetch back some Truth for us that I sadly expect her to get cancer, or a plane crash, before she gets gray.

Steven Augustine said...

PS A geopolitical non-sequitur: is anyone else' Brodar telling them that Madame X (otherwise known as Paula Broadwell aka the Fall of the House of Petraeus) is touched with the tar brush (as the old timers used to put it)? She looks exactly like some cousins of mine who "passed" until age (and shrinkage) made them darker... laugh.

CdV: any inside skinny on that? Haven't seen it mentioned anywhere. Merely curious.

chaunceydevega said...

@SA. Touched by the tar brush. Good one. Nice Harlem Renaissance touch.

You are the expert on such things. You outed Thordaddy, her people are from North Dakota. Maybe some black exodusters who crossed over.

She is a mighty fine looking and attractive woman--triathlete, expert shooter, military historian, etc. She is my type; I can understand why he strayed. Paula could put a hurtin' on a man.

Was he smart. No. Dumb actually. But given the choice between her and what Petraeus had at home--based on looks--no contest.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/biographer-mom-2-accused-petraeus-affair-idyllic-family-article-1.1199932

nomad said...

i think i saw her in a movie w tom cruise.

Anonymous said...

Rashida Jones can play her in the made-for-teevee movie.

- Buddy H

Steven Augustine said...


"Paula could put a hurtin' on a man."

Esp. a 60-year-old Don Knotts type.

"Rashida Jones can play her in the made-for-teevee movie."

Or Bliss Broyard! Or Lolo... laugh

Steven Augustine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Augustine said...

PS The Wife: not to be cruel but... yeah, CdV speaketh the truth. And what's the point of being the head of the CIA if you can't enjoy a honeytrap now and then? I just can't believe the *head of the CIA* wasn't better at hiding that shit. No cone of silence? No proxy servers...?

chaunceydevega said...

@SA. The good general is in amazing shape. I have no doubt he could keep up with the good black ops lady. I bet the physical issues were what drew him from the good wife at home. He also had another lady on the side. They are gonna come out by the bushel full now. The General is an alpha male supreme; he has many women.

Steven Augustine said...

He needed one less babe and one more Tor!

Steven Augustine said...

Re: "Alpha Male"... on the other hand:

“Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be “an ass-kissing little chickenshit” and added, “I hate people like that”, the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior."

chaunceydevega said...

@SA. Head of CIA and DOD? Is that not a classic example of an Alpha Male?

Steven Augustine said...

Not sure, CdV! Those are bureaucracies like any others, on some levels, and we know that getting ahead is more often about (pardon me) giving it (or licking ass)... or all kinds of Machiavellian factors... than extraordinary capability. Wasn't that alky and super-weenie GWB the Commander In Chief for 8 years?

Um, have you seen that they've outed Paula's rival? Another fox! So, in any case, Petraeus deserves credit for good taste (like that other alpha male, Silvio B!).

Steven Augustine said...

Just checked CRYPTOME, only two tidbits about Paula there thus far; it's worth checking again soon, as they tend to dig up some nuggets on events/stories like these

Shady_Grady said...

@Nomad, West called Obama every thing but a child of God and then urged people to vote for him. That seems inconsistent.

West has attacked Harris-Perry in some pretty nasty terms that seem unrelated to any public statements she's made.

West definitely can and should attack those he sees as sellouts or being on the wrong side but when he then complains bitterly that he didn't even get a seat at the 2009 inauguration it makes one wonder how much of his criticism of Obama was based on essentially personal and private concerns. It makes him look and sound petty.

Shady_Grady said...

@Nomad..I definitely agree with holding the President's feet to the fire and that some people who should know better have failed to do so.

Steven Augustine said...

@Shady:

Speaking of feet and fires, I wrote this long, long ago on a Quasi-Progressive site called 3Quarks Daily (excerpt):

"Bitching long and loudly at Obama's "bad compromises" *now* is the only hope. Winkingly cheerleading his obvious behind-the-scenes deals with the Clintons, or his upcoming surge in Afghanistan, or his convenient sop to Christohomophobianism, and so forth, is not only foolish but may also, in fact, be, you know... wrong."

Posted by: Steven Augustine | Dec 26, 2008 2:04:47 PM

Cavoyo said...

"fancy explainers like Slavoj Zizek, and even Noam Chomsky, know what they can and can't say, so they do and they don't with equal zest."

Chomsky even wrote a whole book about this (The Manufacture of Consent).

Razor said...

SA, you have a point when you criticize Cornell West and Tavis Smiley for not going directly at the entrenched problem of the run-away train called our Defense budget with all of it's new "black holes" which directly affect the povery of our nation. However, you and the rest of the commenters here completely digress from the salient points and truth of what they are saying. Instead, you all have engaged in very personal attacks on the messengers of much truth, without denying the existence of the truth coming out of their mouths.

True, neither of them are Harry Belfonte or Paul Robeson, who sacrificed large chunks of their careers for you and I. But neither are they Dr. Dyson or Rev. Al who have been selling their souls since Obama got elected, and I suspect will continue to do so. Especially Rev.
al who has been reduced to a minstrel caricature, albeit a well compensated one.

The truth is that while Dr. Dyson will not touch issues that he championed before Obama got elected, as mass black incareceration and Wall Street immorality, he can be found licking the boots of the man that licks the boots of his former targets, just because he gets access. Shameful! Prof. Harris-Perry same thing..all of a sudden brain dead around Obama. All of this would be tolerable if Obama really acted as if he had a heart for black folks, but it's the exact opposite. That's only for a select few who are not critical. Whatever they were or wasn't before Obama was elected, they still are. Besides, they are dead right.

If we do as you all, except for Nomad, suggests, then we will marginalize all of Obama's critics..and to what end? If Obama continues on his present trajectory, you all gonna be some sorry "respectable negroes" at the end of his second term. At least they have heart to say so.

Steven Augustine said...


@Razor:

1. "If we do as you all, except for Nomad, suggests, then we will marginalize all of Obama's critics..and to what end? "

What did I suggest we do?

2. In other words: you're applying the "lesser evil" theory to Obama's critics. Why not pay closer attention to Michael Parenti or Cynthia McKinney or Glenn Ford instead? And why do you think West or Smiley (or, eg, Jon Stewart) are broadly-known, as opposed to the above-mentioned three, in the first place?

Steven Augustine said...

@Cavoyo: I'd never consider Chomsky a fount of total disinfo, I just think he (quite understandably) tiptoes around certain things

nomad said...

@Shady_Grady
Interesting. "West has attacked Harris-Perry in some pretty nasty terms that seem unrelated to any public statements she's made."
A quick Google of their debate. West doesn't seem to have said anything about Harris-Perry that I wouldn't have thought myself, if I ever took the time to listen to her. And I don't even have an acquaintanceship with her. And I know CD meant the words "Political Mercenaries and Sell Outs" as a criticism of West's characterization of Dyson and Harris-Perry but, to quote Bo Diddley: Ain' got nothin to do with this, but I believe the fella's right.
As for West's critique of Obama, he's been a lot more polite than the vampire deserves.

ellemarie said...

Much of what I was thinking has already been said, so I unfortunately have nothing substantive to add. I want to thank Shady Grady though for validating my numerous google searches for info on Ms. Broadwell's background. I thought I was the only one thinking homegirl has been passing.

Invisible Man said...



I think what West is talking about is that Sharpton was all about the disparity between rich and poor and hammered Obama about the issue. Then Obama called him in for a meeting gave him a radio show, and he turned into an Obama's champion

And while Cornel West might have blazed Obama harshly maybe if people like Chauncey and the rest of the Black community challenged Obama to stick to his original principals then Cornel West wouldn't have had to have been so strident. The Black community fell asleep and woke up with nothing

CNu said...

lol, every.single.one'a'deeze.tricks simply wants what the Rev. Al got.

everything else is merely conversation...,

Invisible Man said...

CNU,

I'm reading this book on Booker T Washington by Robert Norrel and it's pretty deep actually

But there is one quote that sticks with me "Fredrick Douglas lived in an epoch of moral giants whereas Washington moved in an error of merchant princes.

Cornel West is a moral giant. I have read his work. But Sharpton and Dyson ( I've read his works too) are merchant princes. Chauncey is a merchant prince as well, on his way up. I hear Obama's gonna give him a lemonade stand right outside "de White House". Think about all those tourists. He's gonna be rich. Thing is in the clause with the secrete service department will say he's the only one who can serve the lemonade and he's gotta always smile and be uber happy and an agent will be watching him to make sure he represents the President well.

Razor said...

SA, what do you all suggest we do? Pile on, that's what. You all made a fair point that West and Smiley are intellectual and elite hustlers on race issues. Rev. Al, Harris-Perry and Dyson aren't? All of them are. West and Dyson on a higher level intellectually. So?

What seperates them for the purposes of their discussions,even though they are not going out on any death-defying limb in doing so, is that only West and Smiley have used their sharp skills they all possess to critically examine the BS in Obama's game ( the difference between the rhetoric and his grotesque actions), that happens to affect all of us.

They don't deserve hero status, but they are not exactly acting like the total chumps Dyson, Sharpton and Harris-Perry are. They can at least honestly engage people like Cynthia McKinney, Michael Parenti or Glen Ford. Can you say that about the aforementioned sellouts. West and Smiley are correct to call Obama a Republican in blackface...McKinney, Parenti and Ford sure does. I understand that it goes down better coming from them...but still...it's true.

Invisible Man said...

Well actually Cornel West and Tavis Smiley have a lot more to lose, which is why I give them a lot of credit and I remember Tavis Smiley when he had no
social conscience, he was a male version of Oprah, he met Cornel West and blow up! But don't get it twisted I miss McKinney and glade she's still speaking up and I love the Black Agenda Report

Razor said...

CNU, don't go Ayn Randyian on me please. Rev. Al's got nothing that I want that bad. I told you already that he has become a caricaturized minstrel. I hardly know him anymore.

Steven Augustine said...

Razor:

I think the Sharptons and Jacksons of this world are backed by and working for TPTB (whether they know it or not; actually, I'm pretty sure Jackson knows it; he certainly knew it way back when, on that historic balcony, eh?); West is a coonshow-clown of very little intellectual depth and Dyson is merely a blazing mediocrity (lucky to have gotten in on the Hackademic gravy train). Smiley is doing his best with what he's allowed to say.

Whereas BHO is just a very effective spokesmodel for the ongoing global crime of Empire. He's got blood on his hands (as any figurehead in that office will) and no obvious desire to "uplift", protect, enrich or serve any Serfs, black or white or brown. Obviously.

I think you've made the mistake of thinking that my "attack" on the clowns, crooks, spies, shills and sell-outs of the Mainstream Media and Hackademic Complex, some of whom are critical of BHO, must mean I'm pro-BHO. Which is an error that's easy to make when we're all trained to think in False Dichotomies.

So, to be clear: my enemies' enemy is not, by default, my friend.

I'm for the marvelous Ms. McKinney, and the with-it Mr. Parenti and the right-on Mr. Ford. The others, mentioned above this paragraph, are each just varying degrees of cartoon.

Steven Augustine said...

Ever read Sherman Skolnick on Jackson ? Interesting stuff. Read it with a skeptical eye (no one is 100% right or even 100% sane) but do read it.

nomad said...

Hmmm...Is Obama actually to the right of his hero, Ronald Reagan? Wish he had Reagan's courage.
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/from-god-himself.html

nomad said...

And, back to the psy op babes...things just got more complex, as was inevitable. What the heck does this mean?

"The FBI probe into the sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus has expanded to ensnare Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced early Tuesday.

According to a senior U.S. defense official, the FBI has uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of “potentially inappropriate” emails between Allen and Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old Tampa woman whose close friendship with Petraeus ultimately led to his downfall....The senior defense official said the voluminous collection of emails sent between Allen and Kelley occurred between 2010 and this year, but did not give details. The official also declined to say whether Allen sent or received any of the messages from his military or government email accounts, or if classified material was compromised.

That works out to about 20 pages of emails per day for the past three years. WTF?"
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/11/another-shoe-drops-petraeusgate-investigation

Steven Augustine said...

"What the heck does this mean?"

It means that Bill Clinton and Silvio Berlusconi are laughing their asses off

BigPhank said...

Brother West is jealous and insecure. He wants to be the preeminent voice in Black academia and the power and notoriety that comes with it.

Steven Augustine said...

Sadly, the preeminent voices of Black Hackademia tend to come from the Kapo Class; however, logically speaking, if you were running the world's largest and most powerful plantation, would you have it any other way?

Razor said...

SA, I'm sorry if you thought I was a part of the fan club of either West and Smiley, who do have mouths full of sour grapes. I did however appreciate their shining some light publicly on the sad state of our black leadership, even though they necessarily have included themselves by implication. Their opposition to Obama is not a full confession as to their past culpability of egotistical profiteering, but there is some value in their publicly breaking ranks and coming out on Obama on some issues.

Maybe there is some glimmer of hope for them. I don't know.





Invisible Man said...

"You end up with a selective appropriation of Obama and people like him. And his cousins on the street, Jamal and Latisha and Shaquille and all of them, they’re not a part of that. Their suffering is rendered invisible as people are preoccupied with Obama and company, who make whites more comfortable. Lessens their fears and anxieties. Allows them to embrace him while still demonizing, marginalizing, Latisha there!

Cornel West on The Obama’s presidency

nomad said...

I don't care whether Smiley and West are flawed. At least they are on the right side of morality. We need more voices speaking up for the poor. So I don't want them to shut up. Do whatever you can to oppose this evil in the smiling black mask. And his Satan sandwich.
http://blackagendareport.com/content/freedom-rider-grand-bargain-satan-sandwich

And, for LOL! "The president was so eager to begin the cutting process that he called two people who are allegedly his rivals, Republican congressional leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, on election night. The two people who should be his opposition were among the first he reached out and touched. Both men ignored the president and told someone in their respective households to say they were asleep."

"Tell him I'm not at home."

BWWWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.....

Steven Augustine said...

Also of interest, starting at 3:50…

Anonymous said...

What's going on here is that Cornel West is 100% correct.

I disagreed with West's call for folks to vote for Obama though.

He should have been calling for folks to vote Green Party out of protest of the rightward drift and corporate tilt of the modern Democratic Party.

But other than that, Cornel West is clearly on the right side of the issues and history here. Obamabots and folks who voted for Obama simply out of fear are on the WRONG side of history, and are making things worse by co-signing the Democrats NeoLiberal, corporatist agenda. First up, Grand Bargain, an instant betrayal by the Dems and Obama of the very people who put them into office.

That's why I voted for Jill Stein.