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Noted academic, activist and philosopher Cornel West has made public many times his disdain for the policies and political moves of President Barack Obama. Along with Smiley & West talk radio co-host Tavis Smiley, West has aimed some sharp – and perhaps bitter – barbs towards the president regarding treatment of the poor. The Princeton professor continued his weighty criticism of Obama in a recent interview with popular progressive news outfit Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, while in Chicago. 

Cornel West on President Barack Obama:

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.

West did express relief that GOP hopeful Mitt Romney failed in his bid to win the White House, but still painted Obama as a purveyor of Right Wing ideologies and tactics. Tavis Smiley was equally critical, espousing some of the same themes found in their collaborative book The Rich And The Rest Of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.

Both West and Smiley’s aims to make poverty, joblessness, and class, an issue of national importance are noteworthy aims, but it appears on the surface that it’s nothing more than egotistical mudslinging.

Check out the interview below:


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Photo: AP