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Dr. Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West Takes Issue With President Barack Obama Taking Oath With Martin Luther King Jr.'s Bible

ICTMN Staff
1/22/13

Dr. Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary Professor, was recently on C-Span for a discussion on Poverty in America where he addressed an interesting aspect of President Barack Obama’s oath that made his "blood boil."

West spoke out against the idea of President Obama sworn in to office with his hands on Martin Luther King Jr.’s bible.

In the video clip below you can hear West explain it as, “When I got the news that my dear brother Barack Obama, President Obama, was going to put his precious hand on Martin Luther King Jr.’s bible I got upset. And I got upset because, you don’t play with Martin Luther King Jr. and you don’t play with his people. By his people what I mean is people in good conscience, fundamentally committed to piece and truth and justice.”

West goes on to explain how this situation offended him.

“…All the blood sweat, and tears that went into producing a Martin Luther King Jr. generated a brother of such high decency and dignity that you don’t use his prophetic fire as just a moment in presidential pageantry without understanding the challenge that he presents to all of those in power no matter what color they are, no matter what color they are. So the righteous indignation of a Martin Luther King Jr. becomes a moment in political calculation and that makes my blood boil.”

West proceeds to highlight the three crimes against humanity to which Martin Luther King Jr. died fighting against – Jim Crow, carpet-bombing in Vietnam, and poverty of all colors including “Indian reservations, in brown boroughs, and yellow slices, and black ghettos.”

“So I say to myself, brother Martin Luther King Jr. what would you say about the new Jim Crow? What would you say about the prison industrial complex? What would you say about the invisibility of so many of our prisoners, so many of our incarcerated, especially when 62 percent of them are there for soft drugs, but not one executive of a Wall Street bank gone to jail? …. Martin what would you say about the poverty in America now?”

 

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Cornell West...what a great bastion of Biblical theology...(LOL)...I'm surprised that MLK's Bible didn't burst into flames from having a socialist marxist muslim touch it...

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I think this commentary is stupid and embarrassing. MLK Jr. was there and he was fine with it. So, Dr. West should chill out.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Indeed, what would he say about a president of color who greatly expands said poverty, possibly on to future generations?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
You don't play with GOD or HIS people. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a MINISTER of the Gospel, not GOD.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
PREACH!!!!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
oohh...excellent point!!! Why do folks get sent to jail for drugs when the U.S. C.I.A. and other various U.S. Agencies are trafficking trillions of drugs every year yet the real crooks don't. Can you answer that question Obama the Terrorist?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
obama in my opinion.. has brought GREAT shame to MLK .. not only by using his Bible .. but by the lies he told when he promised to uphold the Consitution. obama is a disgrace to America and to the black people in general.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
We can all tell the real Martin Luther King Jr. when we meet him on the other side..

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Despite the points that Dr. West has brought up I can truly believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. would of felt highly honored to have his bible used (although with that of Abraham Lincoln's) for the oath of in the 2nd inauguration of President Barack Obama.........so he should stop raining on everyone's parade.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I am so bored of this guy's schtick -- having to turn himself into a cartoon character who always wears the same outfit and ludicrous look, what a strutting little peacock!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Amen . Obama consistently attains his height by coming in a back door. Obama didn't earn it . He needs to find his own way to be a leader. King's fight was continuous & unselfish & didn't care about popularity votes . His conscience was pure & single minded & driven by "his" convictions . We need more people like King . King didn't ride on anyone's coattails,just truth !

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
this guys a republican...need i say more. They would argue the presidents choice of toilet paper. What a bunch of sour grapes. He won .......Go President Obama. We love you that's why your president.....

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Agreed.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Agreed.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I can't imagine that I will agree with Mr. West on much. I do agree with him on his point about using MLK as a political prop. King fought for everyone to have EQUAL protections under our Constitution. He cause was just and right. Obama wants to disregard the Constitution to fundamentally deny our rights. Rights given by God and not man. MLK knew and believed this. Also using God's Word to legitimize his goals is indeed playing with God. Blasphemous.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Caution against idolizing anybody, including MLK. See nothing wrong with using the swearing in as a point to spread information. War criminals, poverty, new Jim Crow...etc.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Obama isnt even qualified to carry MLK's umbrella. MLK performed from his own efforts without the use of speech writers and teleprompters. No comparison between MLK and the annointed one.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
"Swearing on a stack of bibles," Cornell, is appropriate if your an habitual liar and using the inaugural as an occasion to lampoon our virtuous Christian heritage, which as you point out, MLK was a part of and Obama is not when he promotes the gay agenda which is unbiblical, he is unethical when his Czar's intellectually molest children in school with it, or uses the Secretary of Defense to force soldiers against conscience and beliefs to institutionalize it, or religious organizations to participate against conscience to administer birth control in Obama-"Care". So yes, it was a white wash by the first black president and the first Lampoon-Augural.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I still don't get how using Dr. King's bible is taming or playing with Dr. King's legacy. It was a show of gratitude for everything that Dr. King had done. It's sad the Cornel West didn't get that.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
If Dr. West is interested in running things , he should run for President. MLK111 was ok with POTUS using the BIBLE so should everyone else. They should take away your DR in Theology Dr West.

Doug Hall's picture
Doug Hall
Submitted by Doug Hall on
Oh please...West is interesting within the confines of your head, but totally irrelevant in the real world.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Whether you agree or not, Dr. West 's take on this issue is thought-provoking...Father open our eyes.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
This is absolutely ridiculous and so are most of these comments. What an Oscar performance! We did not need this moment in history. We are well aware of the legacy of MLK. I think it was nice that the President wanted to honor Dr King's legacy (especially since it was MLK holiday) by using his bible at the inauguration. The King family felt honored and do not seem to have an issue with it, so why does he? Bernice King was interviewed on CNN and MLK III was on the platform at the inauguration. I used to have much respect for Cornel West. However, the last couple of years he has really shown himself to be devisive and has become no more than a "so called" black leader trying to seize a moment in the spotlight at any cost. I am so sick of Cornel and Tavis complaining all the time, yet offering no real solutions. Anybody can hold a forum or write a book about the problems of Black America, but it takes real courage and leadership to actually do something about it! We should be more supportive and uplifting rather than "crabs in a bucket" trying to tear each other down in order to build ourselves up!

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