Cornel West: March Organizers Are Part of the “Obama Plantation”

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Cornel West: Washington March Organizers are Part of the “Obama Plantation”; Says Sharpton Attempts to “ContainBlack Rage”, Jay-Z an Example of the “Re-Niggerization of the Black Professional Class.”

Bruce Dixon’s Open Letter to Melissa Harris-Perry, Toure, Joy Ann Reid: Stop the Hate, Grow Some Guts

Glen Ford: US Military Conquest of Africa “All But Complete”

Through AFRICOM and massive amounts of military aid and training, the US literally owns every army on the African continent, except those of Eritrea and Zimbabwe.  Glen Ford explains….

Rev. Al Sharpton and other organizers of the March on Washington 50th anniversary commemoration are so tightly tied to “the Obama plantation,” said activist and academic Dr. Cornel West, “we won’t get to focus on the New Jim Crow; we won’t get to focus on the privatization of education; we won’t get to focus on the land grabs and the gentrification of land it the city; we won’t get to focus on working class people; and we certainly won’t get to focus on the drones and those bombs landing on innocent brothers and sisters in Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia, and especially the 222 innocent children who have been murdered by the U.S. government so far, and counting.”

President Obama is scheduled to speak at the August 28 event at the Lincoln Memorial. Dr. West, of the Union Theological Seminary, in New York City, does not plan to attend. “If Martin [Luther King Jr.] were to show up at this march and they asked him to give a speech,” said West, “what he would say would be so subversive that those on the Obama plantation would be revealed for who they are, which is obsessed with career, obsessed with access, obsessed with status as opposed to being obsessed with the suffering of poor Black brothers and sisters.”

Speaking on Black Agenda Television, Dr. West said George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin has fueled “an overwhelming Black rage, and Brother Sharpton and the others are trying to contain it, and of course Obama and Holder are fearful of it, because Black rage is always the catalyst to Black self-determination, toward Black self-respect, and toward Black self-defense.”

Dr. West rebuked entertainment mogul Jay-Z, who said his “presence is charity” to Black people, “just like Obama’s is.”

“It’s what I call the re-niggerization of the Black professional class, where you have fear, you have a tremendous sense of being intimidated even though you have big money,” said West. “So you say to Brother Jay-Z, What are you risking? We don’t want to just see you successful, we appreciate it, we want to see you faithful to something bigger than you, and faith has to do with risking something. The only way you become de-niggerized and free is when you are willing to risk, when you’re willing to go against the grain, to show you’re not fearful, you’re not afraid. Unfortunately, Jay-Z at his worst is an example of folk who get so elevated that they don’t show courage and take a risk for something that is bigger than them.”

When the White House gets upset, Black MSNBC talking heads get apoplectic. MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Toure and Joy Ann Reid whipped themselves into McCarthyite fervor against secrets-leaker Edward Snowden. Harris-Perry and Reid lost all sense of decorum, screaming like banshees at Wikileaks spokesman Kris Hrafnsson. In an open letter to the trio, Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce Dixon described Harris-Perry and Reid as playing “a reprehensible game of make believe, where leakers are criminals instead of heroes, Wikileaks is a conspiracy instead of a media organization, Joy Ann’s a tough district attorney and Melissa’s a special agent ready with the handcuffs.” As for Toure’s reflexive defense of Obama’s global dragnet for Snowden: “We all know you’re just repeating what the White House the Pentagon the intelligence agencies tell you. That’s just plain lazy, man,” said Dixon, in his latest Black Agenda Television commentary. “Until the three of you grow the guts and integrity to represent something besides your own shallow careers on the tube, stop the fronting, stop the hate, and leave the real journalists alone.”

This email was sent to you by the publishers of Black Agenda Report, your weekly source of news and commentary from the blackleft since 2006 at

  • This needs to be said often and loudly. The folks at MSNBC have lost all intellectual integrity in their zeal to portray everything Obama does as perfect and when they disagree…well they just don’t do the story. They’ve given up reporting on the Mass Govt Surveillance and refuse to acknowledge the connection to stop and frisk because why? What they are doing to their viewers is dishonest and a disservice and a betrayal of everything the civil rights movement was about. They scream about Voter Suppression only to ensure that they GOTV for Hillary Clinton, and I’m not voting for her.

    The civil rights movement was led by a variety of black activists with different points of view. Not everyone agreed with MLK. But regardless of your perspective on strategy, different opinions were respected and supported. We were all marching to the same place, after all.

    This goes for the white hosts, too, and why MSNBC is tanking. This is also why people voted for Ralph Nader rather than Al Gore.

  • If Tavis Smiley and Cornel West don’t have anything constructive to add to the national debate, they really need to shut up. They’ve lost all respect from over 90% of the Black community, yet, they continue to run their mouths in what seems to be a vain attempt to salvage any vestige of relevance that they might have left. But in the process they’re only succeeding in coming off like the snake that bites himself after having his head cut off.

    With respect to the fiftieth commemoration of the March on Washington, Cornel West is quoted as saying the following:

    “We had very low quality leadership today on the stage. We saw bona fide apologists for the Obama administration. There was no serious talk about Wall Street. There was no serious talk about the new Jim Crow, no serious talk about drones, no serious talk about the U.S. security state, no serious talk about the massive surveillance state. It was about just voters’ rights and maybe some vague reference to jobs. Martin Luther King Jr. turns over in his grave. He turns over in his grave.”

    “It was JUST about voters’ rights and maybe some vague reference to jobs!!!!?” Is the man insane? Voters’ rights is the very foundation of this democracy! And when he and Tavis Smiley were out hawking their books during their so-called poverty tour – which seemed to disappear as soon as the election was over – “jobs” seemed to be the most important word in their vocabulary. So why is the subject of jobs lest than important today?

    The fact is, the United States is currently knee-deep in a CLASS WAR. The corpo-Republican coalition doesn’t care any more about poor and middle-class White people than they do Blacks, women, gays, or Hispanics. They have a vested interest in keeping the American people miserable, angry, and divided in order to prevent us from coming together to mount an effective response to their agenda, which is to lower the American middle-class standard of living to conform to the new global economy. Therefore, anyone whose primary animus is to promote division in America without ever putting forward any constructive solutions to address our problems should be looked upon with deep suspicion, and that includes Tavis Smiley and Cornel West.

    We should also take into account their history and associations. Tavis Smiley is closely associated with numerous ALEC-associated corporations such as Walmart, Exxon/Mobile, Nationwide Insurance, and Wells Fargo Bank, and the ALEC Consortium is leaving no stone unturned to promote national policies that are directly focused toward undermining the interests of the poor and minority, including obstructing our right to vote.

    Smiley was also involved in the Wells Fargo “Ghetto Loan” scam, where Wells Fargo Bank agreed to pay $175 million to settle the discrimination suit which, according to the Department of Justice, targeted over 30,000 Black and Hispanic borrowers for subprime loans with a higher interest rate than for similarly situated White borrowers between 2004 and 2009. According to the Department of Justice, it was the second largest housing discrimination case in United States history (

    As for Cornel West, he joined forces with Ralph Nader in the 2000 Presidential Election to help get George W. Bush elected. Bush became President of the United States by winning the state of Florida by 537 votes. In that same state, the Nader/West coalition tore away 97,488 votes from Vice President Al Gore. So when we consider the fact that our current economic condition is a direct result of the economic policies of the Bush administration, Cornel West is more than just a little responsible for the very conditions that he’s now complaining about ( . . . MORE

  • Kevin Zeese

    Wow–quite an attack.

    When I look at that stage and see people like Eric Holder, speaking for a half hour!, the man who is a corporate DC lawyer, who allowed the torturers to go free, overturned disciplinary action recommended by DOJ experts against the torture lawyers who justified torture. The man who during the Clinton years developed the torture rendition program. And, who as Attorney General led a DOJ that did not prosecute one banker who collapsed the economy. It sure sounds like Cornel is correct in his description of the day. When I look at who is at the front of the march – people like Rep. Steny Hoyer, a corporatist politician, — again, it sure looks like Cornel is right.

    When MLK was an activist he also did not have a lot of respect in the African American community. Some thought he was too nonviolent, others thought he was too aggressive. Remember the Letter from a Birmingham Jail was written to black preachers who criticized him. It is not a surprise that Cornel and Tavis are disliked in the Black community — they dare to criticize the first Black president. Don’t you think Obama deserves criticism? He constantly — and I mean constantly — is killing civilians around the world. He invades country without UN or congressional approval (he is about to attack Syria, again illegally). He performs as judge, jury and executioner in even killing American citizens. He surrounds himself with an economic team made up of Wall Street bankers. He puts in place a health law that is a health insurance giveaway scheme that will make health care worse in the U.S. He even puts a Monsanto executive in as the food czar! These are just a few examples of many showing Obama selling out the people for his campaign contributors. And, what has he done for the Black community. The community is worse off than before he became president on almost every measure — it is poorer, less able to get a college education, lost more of its wealth, is living shorter lifespans — what has he done for African Americans.

    Your vehement reaction to Cornel and Tavis is because they are telling truths you do not want to hear about President Obama. But, they are truths, whether you like them or not.

  • Jo

    No justice, NO PEACE!

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