Dr. Cornel West

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


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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Georgia's picture
Submitted by Georgia on
You know what is really bothering you dear Dr. West, Ivy League Professor extraordinaire? You are in conflict with President Obama because he is not a descendant of slaves and therefore in your mind not worthy or able to understand African Americans. Are suggesting that our first African American President, President Obama is supposed to correct 300 years of oppression, injustice, and disenfranchisement in a 4-8 years job that no one who looked like him ever held before? If you were President, what would you be doing differently? Why not engage President Obama, rather than sitting on the periphery spewing out covetous ranting just to get a national spotlight. Well I hope you enjoy your moment of fame. Better yet, tell us what you are doing on a national level to address the issues you are talking about. I know nothing because you are not a transformational leader within the African American community and you do not possess the character. However, in my lifetime, I have encountered only two African American men that have reached these levels; they are Dr. King and President Obama. You represent a plethora of hypocrisies as you strut about with your Harvard University Degree and Ph.D. from Princeton University. Mr. Ivy League, if you care so much, why didn’t you choose to attend or teach at an HBCU? Not prestigious enough? Oh, I get it, we African Americans are just good enough for you to feed your selfish self-centered attention grabs. Get a grip, you "wanna be" Black Panther, get a grip. What frustrates me the most are African Americans like you who continue to perpetuate the Willie Lynch Curse… keeping us dumbed down and disenfranchised from American society, while you go around telling White people and any other people willing to listen, how pitiful we are. Don’t talk about it be about it! I am extremely proud of the achievements and contributions of both Dr. King and President Obama. They feed my soul with hope and promise for a better future, you sir, do not.

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