Cornel West Says that Sharpton, Dyson are “Up for Sale”: Let’s Talk about That One, Shall We?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.”- Malcolm X

In case we’re not noticing history replaying itself, here it is:  Barack Obama is John F. Kennedy and Cornel West is Martin Luther King, the preacher/scholar who is determined to die telling the truth, no matter what the consequence may be.  It’s important to remember that it was possible to love both Kennedy and King,even as Dr. King refused to work for even the most benevolent politicians (as Al Sharpton has done with the Obama Administration, making himself a defacto employee).  In the same vein, it is possible to love both Cornel West and Barack Obama, and I find myself in that category.  I even appreciate the vast intellect of the ever-so-curious Al Sharpton.

When Dr. King died, he was also hated by many people of color.  His determination to directly confront even the most inconvenient truths is what gave him a legacy that lies in the tradition of the greatest truth-tellers of all time.  History has proven that Dr. King’s fights for justice, peace and equality were ultimately good for our country, even if his words rattled the complacency that existed all around him.  He could have gotten rich by “playing the game,” and surely would have been given a broader platform.  But the love for his people was so pure  and direct that he was willing to give both his life and his livelihood to keep black American interests at the forefront of the national conversation.

Cornel West is, in my opinion, the most dangerous black man in America, and that’s why most self-serving, manipulative politicians hate him.  There is nothing the establishment fears more than a highly-intelligent,conscientious, powerful, courageous and determined black man.  Among all of the public figures I’ve had the chance to interact with, Cornel West has been the most impressive and the most persuasive:  Even those who disagree with him respect him in the end, and his agenda is not tainted by a quest for money, fame or power.  In my assessment, Dr. West is simply “burdened” with the intense desire to honor a higher power by relentlessly advocating for those who are less-fortunate, which can be a crime in a capitalist society.

 In a recent interview,Tavis Smiley asked if President Obama is ever going to say the words “prison industrial complex” in public.  Perhaps there are those who don’t care about this matter, or think that these problems belong to other people.  But I’ve seen families up close who’ve been devastated by this issue, and this is simply a fight I cannot ignore.  Other concerns, such as black unemployment,urban violence and unequal educational systems are not problems that we created ourselves, and similar to white Americans, we too have the right to demand that our tax dollars be used to help resolve these problems.  Anyone who attacks a black person for speaking up for black people might need to check his psyche.

In the same interview as Smiley, Dr. West goes directly at those who should be his allies, Al Sharpton, Michael Eric Dyson, and Melissa Harris-Perry, using the term “up for sale” to describe their behavior over the last two years.  I consider all of these people to be friends, but the lines in the sand have been drawn by dollar bills being supplied by MSNBC like machine guns being sold to African rebels so they can kill and contain their own people.  There are ways that an outside power can use its ability to reward and punish to create factions where none previously existed, making it easier to take resources from the people without compensating them.  In Africa, the resource being taken might be oil, and in black America, the resource being extracted is our votes.  Divided black leadership and the containment/control of Al Sharpton have made black people easier to conquer for the Democratic Party, who’ve become masters at getting African American votes without compensation.

MSNBC is deeply committed to pursuing the Democratic agenda, while diverting leading black figures away from speaking up about any kind of unique black agenda.  The black agenda, in their minds, should only exist as a coincidental benefactor of liberal objectives, and any black face on their network is effectively being rented out the way black professors are drawn away from black problems to work in ivory tower buildings that were built for white kids.  Conformity is the rule of the day, for it is far more profitable to be liberal than it is to be unapologetically black.

I won’t pretend to know why Sharpton, Perry and Dyson are so loyal to the Democratic Party (notice that certain black faces are dispatched to the airwaves to keep the field negroes under control whenever we start to think for ourselves – see the gay marriage debate and immigration as perfect cases-in-point).  But what I can say is that I openly wonder if the words coming out of their mouths would be the same if there weren’t a massive paycheck behind them.

When I look at Cornel West, I see a man who’s paid a tremendous financial price for sharing his point of view.  When I look at Al  Sharpton, I see a man who has profited handsomely from his perspective.  In fact, I argue that Sharpton might even be marching in front of the White House had Jesse Jackson and not himself been embraced by the Obama Administration (I also remain confused about how my friend Michael Eric Dyson went from saying vicious things about Obama that I would never say to suddenly singing his praises like the pledge of allegiance).  Money and power seem to make all the difference in a world where uncomfortable conversations about poverty and the prison industrial complex are met with shrugs from officials who love running into black churches to beg for African American votes.

Rather than attempting to decide if Cornel West is right or wrong, why don’t we try this:  Let President Obama open the door for real leadership by letting black leaders propose solutions to piercing problems.  Instead of taking care of some people and rejecting others, bring several black public figures to the table and hear what they have to say.  That means bringing Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley,Michael Eric Dyson and Julianne Malveaux (an Economics PhD who knows a great deal about the black unemployment problem) in one room, allowing everyone to give their opinions on what we can do as a nation to confront the daunting and persistent disease of racial inequality in America.  Any black person who doesn’t think that race still matters in America is either living in denial or living under a rock – the president must deal with this issue.

The president can’t fix all of these problems by himself, we know that.  But he should not be allowed to ignore them either, since no president has been allowed to do so.  When we talk about victories for black America, we can’t presume that wins and losses are determined solely by the condition of the black aristocracy.  All of us should be factored into the equation.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of the book, “Black American Money.” To have Dr Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.



468 Responses to Cornel West Says that Sharpton, Dyson are “Up for Sale”: Let’s Talk about That One, Shall We?

  1. There are many solutions the media just doesnt tell you about them…. Do research! We had solutions forever…so called leaders like Al have done nothing since Martin died… Pls wake up brodas…

    • Why can’t these idiotic “leaders” attack the real problem? The myopic ignoramuses in the so called balck community who elect dolts like JJjr and bobby rush. If these are your elected officials that should be in congress trying to bring progresss to your communities. instead of asking the president to do what they should be doing, ask them what they are doing to attract industries to your areas so that you can have jobs.
      If The companies are taking jobs out of the country, tell your elected officials to revamp the tax code so that they won’t have the incentive to move your jobs. Stop b******g.

      , mr black panther bobby decided to don a hoodie in congress to protest trayvon Martin while his constituents in Chicago murder each other for fun.

      • Martian, you hit the nail on the head. It’s the congressional and local leaders that must be held accountable. There access is more direct to the community than the President!

        • I am so glad someone knows how the system works! I find so interesting that these individuals want to hold Obama accountable because he is black, but none of them, and I emphasize none, were going on poverty tours when Bush was in office. Or any other president for that matter. The rhetoric is so blunt. I can look at the Urban League Plan and see that most of the points are local issues, and those that remain the national economic foundation is being repaired. So, this is just more hot air.

          Case in point, look at the significant gains being made by Latinos around the country. Why is that you might ask that they are moving forward, and we continued to be poised for the same non-action oriented rhetoric? It’s simple! Their leaders are united and engaged in action, where our leaders are engaged in personal enterprise to enrich themselves. I didn’t vote for Obama because I’m a MSNBC lead sheep. I voted for Obama because although his policies do not address concerns of the African American community directly, we can benefit from those policies because they effect our communities. It’s like black leads are trying to be the elephant in the room when they need to do a serious needs assessment, prioritize and implement grass root efforts to create traction on the issues to get them addressed locally and hold their local elected representative accountable.

          • I have to co-sign on the points made by Martian, Michael and Montely. May I add that Black people have have enough capital to solve most of the problems we face. We pour over $1 Trillion into the U.S. economy every year, giving us the power to shift market shares from one U.S. company to another. We have the voting power to put politicians in office from the local City Councilmen to the President Of the U.S.A. Instead of complaining and hating, our called leaders and academics should try be putting together coalitions to draft proposals to mobilize the capital and resources we have.

          • Well said Montely.

            These dollar rich, Black celebs facinated with re-enacting pre 1865, 19th century America and engaged in poverty tourism are victims of the best outcomes of the doctrine of so called “White” supremacy. The scientific name for it is self hate.

            Let my people think.

            great post.

          • @Montely,that is an absolutely brilliant assessment of the situation.

      • A recent analysis of the federal budget from a little more than a decade ago reveals that the Bush Tax Cuts of 2001 are the reason for the deficit we are dealing with today. The decline in government revenues was felt to be sustainable with economists predicting sunny economic skies over the next 10 years. What they didn’t expect was the republican party would create a severe financial crisis and two expensive wars. That has made all the difference in the world for president Obama and this generation.

        Racist caucasians have created a stock pile of dangerous weapons with the intent of killing you know who! The only response from AA’s to this serious threat is buying more gold teeth, tattoos, hair extensions, expensive tennis shoes and handbags, alcohol, tobacco products, crack, popping bottles-making it rain and other insignificant BS. Caucasians created a fake god- a white man with long hair to whom Black ppl pray to each day and night. The book associated with this fake god- the Bible instructs Black ppl to “Love thy Enemy” and “Slaves obey your Masters”. Black people, your enemy is planning to wage an all-out war against you and your only response is to- Love and Pray for Them. Black ppl, please realize you must overcome your fear of caucasians which is responsible for your paralysis to this eminent violence. The time has come for black ppl to stop being slave minded drones to this wicked nation and it’s fake religion.

        • Bill Will–

          Right on my brother!

          I wish that you, “Wizard G”, “Imhotep” and so many of the other outstandingly aware, smart, and brilliant brothers and sisters having commented on this thread lived in Washington, D.C. or very close by. Sounds to me like we “the people” need to come together, brainstorm and develop the necessary solutions and to develop and launch a long overdue strategic, effective, peaceful, and unfailed revolution to eliminate brainwashing, provide knowledge, awaken consciousness, promote self-respect, love and righteousness, garner renewed minds, teach proper actions, gain, spread and achieve tight unification of black people in America nationwide and to be exceeded by achieving spread of the same for and with black people in Carribean and in Africa. Such is not impossible and can in fact be done!

    • It is no wonder we continue to suffer in great numbers!

      It appears difficult for many in our community to dessimminate,understand, or differentiate between the good men and women who are fighting against terrible odds to help us all, and those who have lost their way and are no longer to be considered good! The good men and women are those who are blocked from main stream media and scorned by the masses of ‘ignorant’ people. The bad ones, or half-bad ones, are those who have gained favor from the main stream media and the “Anglo-elite” corporate oligarchy.

      If people can’t tell the good from the bad what is causing this? And what other forms of “suspension of disbelief” are they suffering from? What other kinds of “white supremacist” fabricated belief systems has our community of the ‘descendants of African slaves’ fallen into? Why can’t even some of our most educated and intelligent “blacks” think their way out of the entrapment of humanly created superstitious, antiquated, and dangerous “God” religious beliefs? It is no wonder we continue to suffer in great numbers! Although Cornel West has been irreparbly brainwashed by “white” created/induced religious beliefs, he is still a man who obviously loves and cares for all people, and especially “black” or African American people!

      • amen. although the President is african-american he has to answer to the caucasian power structure. we have never had a so-called negro/colored man as President. we as a people are struggling with everyday life. President Obama has a job. he works for the powers that be. he gets paid. he can’t pass laws that only affect the african/colored/negro people. we are looking at this all wrong. President Obama is not our saviour.

    • @gabriel, have you done anything? Al Sharpton has taken on every injustice perpetrated upon Black people worthy of attention. He’s not only talked about it, he’s walked it. Where do you people get off talking about what someone else hasn’t done when you haven’t done anything? Unlike some of the so-called Black leaders who just talk and criticize, Al Sharpton has been in the streets fighting for Black peoples issues. He hasn’t always been right, but at least he’s takes action instead of sitting on his a*s like West,Smiley,Watkins and the rest of these so-called educated idiots. You’re right about one thing though; Pls wake up brodas…

      • Patraeus and the others of the 1% have literally proven themselves above the law! We are not safe because of these greedy power-hungry “surrogates” who gladly respond to the whims of the “Uber-elite”.
        The uber-elite with their colonialist powermongering greedy agendas, hide behind the skirts of ‘their’ politicians and so-called ‘government officials’ like Obama and Romney etc., and they feel quite comfortable and safe knowing that the masses are well neutralized by psychological, traditional, religious, and peer conditioning ‘norms’. They feel comfort in the knowleged that they have made themselves ‘untouchable’ by hiding behind their surrogates and in knowing that these surrogates are also safe, but if necessary can be sacrificed!
        The populace, on the other hand, has been neutralized by the same tactics and tools that have been used for at least a millennium! But some tools have been upgraded and changed to accomadate a changing ‘global’ mindset. The human thought processes however, still function in the same manner across time, as to be easily convoluted, and manipulated by seemingly invisible devices and tweaks. Divide and conquer has always been one of the greatest and steadfast tools of the “elite” and that tool is used in every possible form! ‘Secretive function’ is another tool, and we are kept in the dark about many issues that are threatening to our livelihoods and that of our children! We, as US ciitzens, are so far out of the loop that we will never know about the dastardly deeds that Gen. Patraeus and his cohorts have their names attached to! And they provide ‘dark cover’ as the uber-elite commit genocide and pillage here and across the globe!

        • We should know that the script we are ‘captured’ in is a “white-supremacist” playbook. It is and it always will be, regardless of whether the populace recognizes it or not! A few good men will not be manipulated and made “surrogates” by the Anglo-elite and their hoards of ignorant selfserving humans, be they black, white, or other. But a few good men are no match for a long ‘family line’ of powerful ‘Eurocentric’ world pillagers and murderers!

          These “Uber-elite” have been playing their games for centuries, and they only get better at it while the world populace is literally unable to see or form a clue as to what is happening to us in this world!

          Our minds are constantly being tampered with from the day we are able to comprehend, but we (most of us) appear to be oblivious of that fact and worse still most of us are trapped in antiquated, superstitious religious beliefs that are as dangerous to the world as any other negative psychological input! We are caught up in a proverbial “catch 22″ which most cannot recognize, and many wish to ignore altogether!

          Those who have wealth and power do not recognize that they are ‘not’ good people, and those who live in poverty are often driven to desperation. The “elite” have been at their game since ‘forever’ and they know how to best utilize people on every level and phase of our existence! If most of us are unaware of our basic social enemies (which is in one way expressed by our eagerness to “vote” for surrogates of the uber-elite), and are naively subjected to their belief systems and partiotic psychobabble, we will never be able to get optimal relief or justice! What is worse is that like ‘Syria’, if the masses were to realize that we are being played, and decide to ‘try’ to make drastic change, we would see our police and military etc. turned on us like dogs to a bone!

      • you are absolutely correct. I respect Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for their contributions. The ones sitting on their a**s are the ones who need to get up and use all of that Eurocentric education they internalized and do something for black people’s condition.

        How, that can be done is a mystery to me. I have been teaching and lecturing to turned heads and closed minds for years. I have surmised black people do not want to know their history, therefore, they remain as “trees without roots”, Marcus Garvey.

        I think our greatest problem is our acculturation to white culture in the United States and lack of knowledge of our history. Maybe if we knew the entirety of our history we could begin to respect our humanity. I insist that our history should be put in the history books –right now! Nothing should be left out our successes and our weaknesses, our truimphs and our faillures, everything! Now!

        Each year in February we pretend that we are learning Black History, we sing, dance and do recittations of MLK King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and shun any real history programs that really teach black history. Count the ones you see at a Kwanza program. For the past 86 years of studying Black History, we should know something by now. We should have internalized our accomplishments and gained important sense of self. We should know I am because you are, you are because I am.
        We need to turn inward and begin appreciating where we have been and where we are going!

        • Bahati–

          Right on my brother!

          I so wish that you, “Wizard G”, “Imhotep”, “Big Will” and many of the other outstandingly aware, smart, and brilliant brothers and sisters having commented on this thread lived in Washington, D.C. or very close by. Sounds to me like we “the people” need to come together, brainstorm and develop the necessary solutions and to develop and launch a long overdue strategic, effective, peaceful, and unfailed revolution to eliminate brainwashing, provide knowledge, awaken consciousness, promote self-respect, love and righteousness, garner renewed minds, teach proper actions, gain, spread and achieve tight unification of black people in America nationwide and to be exceeded by achieving spread of the same for and with black people in Carribean and in Africa. Such is not impossible and can in fact be done!

      • Well said Bro. James. Black people are still looking for a Messiah to rescue them from themselves.Well, Messiah’s have come in the form of Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Farrakhan, Noble Drew Ali, Garvey and others. But the direction and instruction they give concerning sacrfice, doing for self, and self love, black people dlon’t want to hear it.We have more blacksgraduating from universities then ever before, we are more affluentthen ever before, have more opportunity then ever before, yet here we are still begging white folks for the cumbs off of their table. Black poverty?? I can’t tell!! How much we spend on taatoos? How much onjeans, sweasters, expensive coats and ($30 caps!!) Those Labron tennis are about 200 – 300 dollars…I don’t see many white, people or latinos rocking “em. Ain’t got a computer, but got 10 pairs of tennis under an un-made bed. live in the ghetto, but got a Lexis parked out front. Ain’t got a job, but can get that hair did and thos nails done every other week. Even the bsby ‘rockin Jordans. We got enough money to smoke blunts and weed all day. Could and should be in school, but are opting to stand on the corner and cry about white folks won’t employ you–what are you qualified to do??? As far as the prison industrial complex, stop breaking the law. And usually it your own people who we victimize!! I ain’t even worry about the KKK any more–I’m afraid of the Bloods, the Crips, and other black gangs that prey on the black community–be it the elderly, babies and everybody in between. If the Prez dosn’t do anything for blacks directly ever…He has already did enough by running for the highest office in the land and winning. What he did was show other blacks–in particualr, our children what the possiblities are. Before he ran, it was almost unthinkable to believe a black man could win in our lifetime–remember, other blacks, men and women had tried and lost. So what this man did was to destroy tyhe possibilities of impossibility. Thank you Mr. Obama for paving the way for my son and other black mens son for ever mopre. Thank You, sir.

    • Analysis of the federal budget from a little more than a decade ago reveals that the Bush Tax Cuts of 2001 are the reason for the deficit we are dealing with today. The decline in government revenues was felt to be sustainable with economists predicting sunny economic skies over the next 10 years. What they didn’t expect was the republican party would create a severe financial crisis and two expensive wars. That has made all the difference in the world for president Obama and this generation.

      Racist caucasians have created a stock pile of dangerous weapons with the intent of killing you know who! The only response from AA’s to this serious threat is buying more gold teeth, tattoos, hair extensions, expensive tennis shoes and handbags, alcohol, tobacco products, crack, popping bottles-making it rain and other insignificant BS. Caucasians created a fake god- a white man with long hair to whom Black ppl pray to each day and night. The book associated with this fake god- the Bible instructs Black ppl to “Love thy Enemy” and “Slaves obey your Masters”. Black people, your enemy is planning to wage an all-out war against you and your only response is to- Love and Pray for Them. Black ppl, please realize you must overcome your fear of caucasians which is responsible for your paralysis to this eminent violence. The time has come for black ppl to stop being slave minded drones to this wicked nation and it’s fake religion.

  2. What can President Obama say about the prison industrial system when n****s are so h**l bent to go there! Violence in the Hood? Take Suge Knight, Russell Simmons Master P and other producers of Hip Hop Death and Destruction to task! Unemployment? GET A TRADE! Like other races and cultures seem to do! Cornel West and Tavis Smiley go after the REAL Culprits ….US not the President! I’m SICK of so called leadership not looking within.

    • Why are these idiots calling themselves leaders anyway? They need to be clear and call themselves n****r leaders because intelligent, independent and free thinking black people don’t need these noise making charlatans, including this Watkins blowhard.

      • I knew this watkins guy was a narcissistic piece of work the first time I saw him on some website and he called himself, “the scholar for black America” lol


      • @Louis Parker. We are a so-called community of descendants of Africans who were enslaved by very powerful and very racist “white-supremists”! Our ancestors were stipped of their native tongues,religious beliefs,languages,cultures, traditions, and tribal cohesions! What was put in place of those very important things that made them who they were (Africans of many nations), were the idiosyncracies of the “white population” including the likes and dislikes of African “blackness”. In other words, our ancestor’s souls were drained and filled with an assimilated “white soul” of sorts.
        The centuries have passed and we have not regained anything our ancestors lost! In fact we have continued to be assimilated into the same very hateful atmosphere that brought us here! What is worse, those same type of people own and control this country because they murdered, raped, and pillaged, to take and retain it! They continue to use those same tactics against the world! And because we have become almost exactly like them, despite their hatred for us, we are guilty by association!
        After all is said and done, our minds are not the minds of true Africans, and our actions are not part of our ‘true’ nature, but we have, and continue to be ‘bastardized’, and we have all lost our way in all sorts of ways!

        Those ‘others’ who come here of their own free will, have many advantages over us because they have not lost languages, cultures,traditions, and traces of what they are, or who they are! What’s more, they all have a country which helps to support them, and which gives them certain protections we are not privy to. We, on the other hand, have lost ‘EVERYTHING’ and we are not protected by anything! And our minds? We are living the lives of “fractured cultural” helter-skelter nomads in a white man’s social-structure and we can’t even grasp that concept or what it means! We have a difficult time understanding ourselves, each other or our vile “benefactors”. We will never fair well as a community but some individuals will always do well because some humans tend to do whatever it takes regardless of how foul, ignorant, retarded, and inhumane it may be!

        • Wizard G–

          Absolutely positively right on my brother! I so wish that you, “Wizard G”, and many of the other outstandingly aware, smart, and brilliant brothers and sisters having commented on this thread lived in Washington, D.C. or very close by. Sounds to me like we “the people” need to come together, brainstorm and develop the necessary solutions and to develop and launch a long overdue strategic, effective, peaceful, and unfailed revolution to eliminate brainwashing, provide knowledge, awaken consciousness, promote self-respect, love and righteousness, garner renewed minds, teach proper actions, gain, spread and achieve tight unification of black people in America nationwide and to be exceeded by achieving spread of the same for and with black people in Carribean and in Africa. Such is not impossible and can in fact be done!

      • Louise–

        Right on my sister!

        I so wish that you and many of the other outstandingly aware, smart, and brilliant sister and brothers having commented on this thread lived in Washington, D.C. or very close by. Sounds to me like we “the people” need to come together, brainstorm and develop the necessary solutions and to develop and launch a long overdue strategic, effective, peaceful, and unfailed revolution to eliminate brainwashing, provide knowledge, awaken consciousness, promote self-respect, love and righteousness, garner renewed minds, teach proper actions, gain, spread and achieve tight unification of black people in America nationwide and to be exceeded by achieving spread of the same for and with black people in Carribean and in Africa. Such is not impossible and can in fact be done!

    • A more critical inquiry might be the influence of the “military-industrial [oil] complex), the one which Eisenhower admonished Kennedy to beware. This monstrocity killed John, Robert and Martin. Had President Obama humbled himself before it, he would have suffered a similar fate by now!

    • My exact feelings, radiah. The police wouldn’t have arrested me if I had not committed a crime, and therefore the judge wouldn’t have been able to convict/incarcerate me, for the same reason. I made the decision to commit the crime, which means I’m the one who is responsible for my confinement. A friend of mine once said, “99.999999999999% of the circumstances and situations that we find ourselves in, we are responsible; because we made the decisions that got us in them”. A few years ago, some “professional” African-Americans argued, “There wouldn’t be any guns, alcohol, or drugs in the Black community if white folks didn’t bring them in”. My thought at that time, and now, is that regardless of what others may bring into the community, that doesn’t mean that I have to take part in it. I’m a recovering alcoholic/smoker–who haven’t had a drink, or smoked a cigarette in over 25 years–yet alcohol and cigarettes are still in the hood. When I chose to drink or smoke, I did; since I’ve chosen not to, I haven’t. Though guns are prevalent in the hood, I have never owned one, and have no intention of owning one. And, I have never experimented with either heroin, or cocaine, though it is plentiful in the hood. White folks brought schools, libraries, communit colleges (job-training opportunities), churches, boys/girls clubs, boy/girl scouts, etc. into the hood, why aren’t more Blacks taking advantage of them? Because we have chose not to. Self-responsibility is the key. “If it is to be, it’s up to me”. Cornell West, Tavis Smiley, and Dr. Boyce Watkins are doing well because each took advantage of the opportunities that were available to them. And, even more amazing is that Booker T. Washington, Benjiman Baneker, Carter G. Woodson, Marcus Garvey, et al.–who didn’t have the educational/voacational opportunities that are available to today’s Black youth–managed to make a living for themselves, their families, while (at the same time)were also able to contribute to the betterment of society. Why is it that Dr. West, Dr. Watkins, and Tavis Smiley feel that today’s Blacks can’t achieve anything without a President Barack Obama? They did. I did. Many other Blacks have. Maybe it’s because some of us don’t have the motivation, the commitment. Let’s attempt to determine why they don’t, and come up with some strategy to assist them in overcoming whatever impediment that exists.

      • Satyrdean–

        Right on my brother or sister!

        I so wish that you, “Wizard G”, “Bahati”, “Imhotep”, and many of the other outstandingly aware, smart, and brilliant brothers and sisters having commented on this thread lived in Washington, D.C. or very close by. Sounds to me like we “the people” need to come together, brainstorm and develop the necessary solutions and to develop and launch a long overdue strategic, effective, peaceful, and unfailed revolution to eliminate brainwashing, provide knowledge, awaken consciousness, promote self-respect, love and righteousness, garner renewed minds, teach proper actions, gain, spread and achieve tight unification of black people in America nationwide and to be exceeded by achieving spread of the same for and with black people in Carribean and in Africa. Such is not impossible and can in fact be done!

  3. Sorry buuuuut, I didn’t see Cornel and Tavis being this demanding and in your face with other presidents so it’s hard to take them seriously. Further, I’ve seen them do a lot of talking, not doing. What financial price is Cornel paying? He’s a professor at a prestigious college. Really Boyce, you don’t have to kiss everyone’s b**t.


    Solution: POVERTY 2013

    Focus synergy on Barnstorming/Town Hall Meetings/Radio for a Constitutional Amendment concerning “Eradicating Poverty in USA” – with concise action plan -

    Since 1999 the evangelicals has marketed amendment to Constitution to defend their agendas’, why not make a concerted effort by all concerned to engage the Nation with this idea ? – We recommend other issues to amend the Constitution WHY NOT POVERTY ? Just a thought -

  5. Further, the guy above has some valid points. They should go HAM on these rappers wasting money on the strip clubs, clothes, cars and their mouth. Why not go HAM on them for not putting their millions together to send Black men, especially, to college? Why not go HAM on these entertainers for not promoting “family life”? Surely, we have more than TI. And please don’t get me started about how Black women are portrayed in their videos. They need to go HAM on that ASAP. They look kinda like nagging sideline whores wanting to be the main lady. Child bye!

    • Amen Tess, I never hear neither of them address those issues, real issues that are destroying our young people.

    • Never equate Education with Intelligence!!

    • @ TESS I hear you fully on the detriment to black youth and black folk in general by media types including entertainers. I find it necessary to lay responsibility at each of our own steps. Consider this: disintegration of the family, s****l irresponsibility by both men and women. And its not about being in church. One can be responsible without spending hours every Saturday or Sunday crying, spitting, foaming, dancing and such. You would think that with all the opportunities that exist today, black folk would take advantage of them without pause. We need to be our own messiah! We’ve embraced our religious, political, and other leaders and communities in the past and done handsomely. However, some have perhaps thought that this releases humanity from responsibility for itself. So wrong! We will find our leaders locally in our church, in our community, but more importantly, in our mirrors…

  6. Thanks Tess -


  7. We can’t approach black issues on only one level.we need people on the inside to get things done. We have always fought without the resources(media, cash,name recognition). It’s now time for new approaches.

  8. Hear Hear…..

  9. Tell Dr. West and whoever else to go kick rocks… Nobody has time for this foolishness; he is mad because he has not been invited to the White House… If he got an invitation tomorrow his whole tone would change overnight… “Lions don’t have to roar. There is power in silence, confidence, and persistence. Those who work don’t talk, and those who talk don’t work. Handle your business. Measure your efforts by results. Focus your time, energy, and activity on mastering and executing a plan.

    Avoid the energy draining practice of telling people what you’re going to do. Instead, spend your time and effort in doing the things that are necessary to accomplish your goals. Keep your focus. and stay determined in order to pursue your dream. Let your work, not your words, speak for itself. You deserve!”

  10. So Boyce, Black people didn’t follow your lead and months of propaganda to vote the President out of office, now its on to phase two of your plan which is no doubt paid for by your advertisers ranging from the republican party (vote for Romney) to companies that won’t hire Black people. You have reached a new low, even by your standards, in comparing your boy Cornel West to Martin Luther King. I don’t recall Dr. king charging Black people a minimum of $25,000 a pop to speak to Black audiences and share his knowledge and his love for us.. Dr. King was not married to a White woman as a way of expressing his “love” for his people. Dr. King did not emerge on the political scene only to attack other Black leaders as Cornel and Tavis and you have done. Speaking of you. You have attacked or complained about every Black person who has been successful in getting a job in the news media. This is classic crabs in the barrel mentality. Now you’re complaining about a Black leaders invitation list to the White House that won’t include you, Tavis and Cornel. I don’t blame the President one iota for excluding those who have had a four year obsession with criticizing his every move, trying to convince other Blacks to stay at home on election day or still smarting because they didn’t get a personal invitation to the White House for the first inauguration. Its fine to be a constructive critic of the President, but don’t think we are so stupid as to not see your remarkably tranparent motives even though and your crew try to cloak them in your ” love” for Black people. Cornel West is no Martin Luther King and you, mister, are no Malcolm X. Your criticize Sharpton, Dyson and other Blacks on MSNBC, when in fact, nothing would make you, West and Smiley happier than to be sitting in their seats and drawing those fat paychecks for yourselves. And guess what? If your candidate Mitt Romney had won, he wouldn’t have invited you and your crew to the White House either. Peace.

  11. Dr. West, a lot of the problems in the African-American community were created by African-Americans. We abandoned God and family and we shun education. We cannot blame Rev. Al and others for our lives and we cannot sit around and allow ourselves to believe President Obama is the solution to all of our ills. I bet 90% of African-Americans do not realize that Puerto Rico voted to become the 51st state this week or that the supreme court is reviewing keeping the voting rights act we fought s hard for in this country.

    If we don’t step-up we are going to get left behind in America. I fear for the future of our youth.

    • Elizabeth–

      Excellent information. But one of the huge problems is lack of “education” and “knowledge” black children are not taught in American public schools the truth about black people, but are overwhelmingly taught White European and White American history. Black children are not taught about ancient African high civilizations to know that black people were first to develop math, science, medicine, etc…and that white europeans learned from black people. Black children are taught about black people as slaves and a little about up from slavery in America. They are deliberately not taught the truth about ancient Africa nor about black people who were kings, queens, military generals and strategists, architects, builders, sculptors, scientists, doctors, astronomers, religious theologions and so on in ancient Africa. They are deliberately not taught about themselves and so the quality, level, and types of courses and curriculums black children receive via American public schools, television, movies, and advertisements is grossly deceptive incomplete, and deliberately distorted. Were it not so, there would not be little black children in America or elsewhere who when they are presented with a black, brown, and white babydoll and asked which one they believe is beautiful and the best the children always select the white doll. This is the sickening and destructive effect of White Americans and Europeans’ long and continuing deliberate indoctrination of black children to self-hate and view themselves as inferior systematically and institutionally ingrained and that still goes on right now in the 21st century, which results in millions of sick black people in America and elsewhere both with or without numerous colleges degrees. We must quickly move to rapidly address and immediately change what is taught in American public schools.

  12. If I has a “friend” use this analogy (“the lines in the sand have been drawn by dollar bills being supplied by MSNBC like machine guns being sold to African rebels so they can kill and contain their own people.”)to describe my participation on a TV show, I would not need enemies. And, it is for this reason why I do not need a leader. I advocate on the behalf of myself and the behalf of my family.

  13. Their perspectives and opinions do not contain the only solutions in town, which, by the way, I haven’t heard any from either of them. There are many roads to accomplish the same task. Just because Sharpton and Dyson don’t choose to approach a solution in the same manner as they would, or even as you would, does not make them less committed or dedicated to a cause. You, so called intellectuals need to get over yourselves. And that table of round table participants you suggested is a joke. I’ve met them all and I’d take Obama, Biden and Sharpton with his press and curl over the whole lot of you who have so much to say about what others aren’t doing, any day. I, too, am so sick of this discussion that you, Dr. Watkins, seem to get so much satisfaction from perpetuating. I might would suggest that you and Cornel (cause Tavis AIN’T no intllectual) take all your intellect and figure out how to solve the problem rather than just report the problem, but then I’d be taking away your choice to participate in the way you choose, just as Cornel’s criticism of Sharpton and Dyson attempts to take away theirs.

    • Haywood Fennell, Sr.

      A lot of folks do not agree with Cornell West, and that is their right. What you could have done and printed something else more interesting and positive. We don’t need “haters” and we need to grow up. ALL of us. West and ALL the other so-called leaders should be solution driven and that includes you around bringing attention to ALL the youth in need of relative educations that will assure them an ability to compete for jobs in the future. If Cornell and you as well the others had to look for work to feed yourselves and your families, you would not be wasting the readers time talking about Cornell West, the Pest.

  14. I hesitate to respond to these articles because I do not believe that the author will even venture to read the comments. In this case, I hope I am wrong. I totally agree with what Dr. Watkins is addressing and I think that now is a good time to address it. I , and many in my circle, have been troubled by Rev Al’s sudden muzzling. I guess as he gets older, he is looking for security because we do not take care of our elders who have “fought the good fight” for us for most of their lives. With that said, I agree that a dialogue must begin between President Obama, Dr Cornell West and others of like mind. I do believe that the rhetoric must be such that it is inviting for the President to come to the table. I am very passionate about many of the issues facing the Black community and I am able to get my point across without name calling and anger. Some folks cannot take that type of confrontation and they will either avoid you or completely shut down. My question to you Dr, Boyce is…What are you doing to encourage this dialogue between the President and authentic black leadership. What can you orchestrate to make sure that that leadership is supported and protected?

    • You make a good point. However, there has been a Black Caucus for many years and no one has approached them. These local representatives can do more and have greater access to the president than self-appointed Black Leaders who cannot even put together a cohesive and comprehensive agenda. I think the problem is not what is being said, but how it is being said. I hear a lot of whining and that’s it. Excuse the president if he doesn’t have time to listen to whining he has already heard. He does have a country to run.

  15. Oh! one last thought, Dr. Watkins. Please don’t let your ego convince you that the only reason you receive so much opposition is because, we the people, are too short-sided, not adept or sophisticated enough to understand all the complexities involved. Educated or not, everyone has a spirit and is capable of discerning the spirit and motives of others. And Tavis’ love for black folks is a joke, although I do believe it started from a genuine place, it has now become his hustle. What he does not understand is that you do not need a college degree to know it. But he will go to his grave waving that banner because he believes in the concept of the talented tenth, which is elitist and insulting to the people. And we don’t need leaders, we are each capable of leading ourselves and advocating for the least among us. I think it’s really kinda sad and pathetic that we still frame our discussions from this perspective.

    • just about the wisest, clearest words spoken on this thread! Thank You, Sister.
      Two questions: Why are most of “Dr” Watkins ideal king’s councillors males, instead of mothers, women directly nurturing tomorrow’s “leaders” (all the children of all the moms)?
      Isn’t it better to strategize coalition-building among civil society groups (besides just churches and businesses), like women’s rights, children’s rights, immigrant rights, civil rights, human rights, nonprofits to create greater strength for all our “special” interests or “favorite” issues (or focused action/identity groups) than to continue to beat a dead horse of how a few well-placed (in media and academe) loud-mouths with good intentions have feet of clay like the rest of us?
      i mean, like, “All of Us or None”, the prisoners’ families’ rights group is one we should all be behind, tying the fortunes of our own struggles with those far worse off than we are — and tying it to the shared struggle of South Africans whose “Jim Crow” experience under “apartheid” they (South African activists, unionists, scholars) say wasn’t as horrible as what Palestinians have been suffering the past 40 years under Israeli apartheid. We have to keep the bigger picture in mind, that our human dignity is under attack by powerful greedy folks in “high” places, it’s an international struggle against capitalist commodification of all of the earth and every one of our children, who aren’t seen as human beings of infinite worth, but as pouches to stuff with brand loyalty that have to be trained to be obedient and insatiable consumers.
      i mean how many you take your wee ones to fast food chains to shut them up with instant toys and heavily salted sugar-saturated junk foods? We are all connected and our littlest actions have global repercussions. We can’t count on “our leaders” whoever they might be to “save us” from ourselves — we have to be willing to go to the public library, alone and with our kids, and study, and get to city hall and make our elcted “officials” do our bidding about potholes and nuclear missiles — all of it is our business, else we be the slaves of others’ agendas.

  16. They are still spewing this nonsense. We will never learn. It is always the same with us black folks. I used to have this saying that you can’t put three black PHD’s in a room together and have cooperation.

  17. Even if you think that West is all talk, what about President Obama mentioning the prison industrial complex? We still have to stick to the issues. President Obama has neglected the Black agenda; and in my opinion what good is a Black president if he doesn’t address Black issues; that’s simply window dressing.

    In my opinion, to h**l with the “one drop” rule that man has decided on; White man anyway, President Obama is White. He’s half-African, half-White, with no “real Black” experience in this country until he was like 18. Raised by a White family his entire life (who’s ideologies have been instilled in him) for all intents and purposes…this man is White!

    I tell you what I sure hope that the anti-Christ–if there is one–does not appear as a Black-tinted beings, because Black folk are sure to be doomed.

  18. At first glance….it appears that the Black perspective is on the auction block in exchange for votes and/or support for the Democratic Party.

    At second glance…I am drawn to the idea made popular by Steven Covey, “The Maturity Continuum.” He categorizes people living and existing in one of three phases of life, dependence, independence, and interdependence. I believe communities of people are similar existing/coexisting in the same fashion.

    Examining the collective Black community, in my opinion, I see a community of Dependence. Sometimes unsure but mostly unable to define and pursue the aims and objectives of free people. I believe democracy is best suited to aid and assist the aims of Independent people/communities/societies. Further Capitalism supports the objectives of the free and can exploit the objectives/needs/wishes of the weak (dependent).

    Covey explains, how in relationships the progression of existence develops from dependence, moving on to independence, and the highest level is interdependence. He adds that dependent people cannot experience interdependence, only independent people have the resources (mentally, physically,emotionally, financially, and politically) as examples, to create the environment for interdependence.

    Flash back to the topic at hand. Today’s leaders and provocateurs are symbolically and theoretically positioned to carry out the aims and objectives of the ruling class. Placing blame on the Obama administration for not focusing on the issues that plague Blacks is the appearance of speaking truth to power. When, in my opinion, I believe it is the height of hypocrisy!


    Politicians are representatives not leaders. Leaders are chosen not hired. Those who are hired are not messengers but spokespersons. More importantly, the vast difference between men and boys is the ability to accept responsibility and be accountable for self and those to whom we are responsible.

    Obama is not the solution nor the problem but simply a symbolic representative of possibility. We, you and I, are the writers of our future. A future that begins within the walls of our creative and imaginative aspiration. Dr. West, Smiley, and others represent what some of us desire, others among us need, and a few of us imagine. However, what is missing is a collective vision. Slaves were united because everyone could imagine, believe, and envision what they collectively and individually thought was FREEDOM. Liberty was delivered and freedom denied. That is the real problem.

    The global institution and system of Racism/White Supremacy denies Blacks the ability to openly express and experience FREEDOM to the point that we abdicate our responsibility to; first think about what is in our best interest, second act in a method to attain the tangible fruits, and third demand a seat at the table of power.

    Dr.West may have valid measurable points and positions but did we election/nominate him or his ideas to represent our collective wishes/desires? Conversely, did we re-elect and abdicate our voting power to a representative unable to deliver politically what is in our best interest?

    I believe, we first should understand our situation. We are a voiceless, powerless, people. Why? We are unable or maybe unwilling to collectively demand Justice. Why do I say that? We send our children to be educated within a system that historically denies us access to freedom, both in thought and expression. Secondly, we collectively desire only to obtain and acquire material possessions. These items are symbols of wealth, power, achievement.

    45 years after the murder of Dr. King tell me what collective ideas have we agreed upon that supersede what King offered? None, that I can recall or am familiar with. Some would say we are living in the past or maybe even a dead community. I say, as a community we are children aspiring to become adults but have yet to learn to lessons or possess the faculties to articulate those desires and so we fight and cry when we should learn, reflect, plan, and act.

    Honestly, we need all parties mentioned and some standing on the fringes/sidelines. Each contribute something of value as others are simply placeholders until the real leaders are chosen and have accepted the challenge.

    • You are so on point. This was the stated focus of the United Negro Improvement Association that Malcolm X never got to start if I recall correctly.

      • Btw, I assume by your name you’re nationalized. I, Raziel Jaffarri Bey, am nationalized too! Study and show they self approved. Great post.

  19. History should teach us to be suspicious of those receiving a paycheck. History should also teach us that it takes us all….the Obamas, the Wests, Sharptons, the Malveauxs, the Harris-Perrys, the Farrakhans……..all working together, understanding each other’s roles, and necessarily working in coalition with other progressives who take many forms from msnbc to goodman to michael moore to bill maher. If you believe the “Black agenda” is somewhat compromised on the msnbc or Democratic stage (and I don’t, it all depends on how you advance it), then you have to concede, Mr. West and Mr. Smiley, that it is still easier to advance the discussion and solutions about the prison/industrial complex, the drug war, education, reparations, policy toward Africa, Citizens United, etc. due to these “compromised” people in place. Let’s get to work and be careful minimizing each other in the process.

  20. I, too, am getting very tired of all the in-fighting. I believe all of those referred to in this article have much to offer to our community and I respect the work all have done. The biggest problem I see is with Dr. West and Tavis Smiley. While President Obama, Rev. Sharpton, Dr. Dyson, and Ms. Harris-Perry are going about their business doing what they do, Dr. West and Mr. Smiley are spending their time and energy critizing and complaining. My advice, just do your job; that’s what Dr. King did. He spent his time working for our people, not critizing President Kennedy. And to Dr. Watkins, “The People’s Scholar,” it seems from the majority of the comments the “people” have a different view than you. By the way, who gave you that title anyway?

  21. I have to ask, Are we a seperate nation of people by our own choice? Obama is a president for all the people. What would he look like advocating differently for one grop of people. We are under the same laws of the land. King and other died for us to have our civil rights. All we have to do is enforce them when we see wrong doing. I’m tired of all this lying and self admiration for the purpose of being seen as fools. Maybe we are, we don’t have too much to show for it, own nothing that amounts to anything. Where are our chain grogery storees, our medical clinics and hospital,our car dealerships, and evrything else we need to live. Until we own someting to take care of the masses, we need to shut the heck up and try to do better. A some people have the nerve to say the President should do something about all the kiling in chicago. This goes to show how ignorant we are. The man is not in our homes where the problems start. Look at all the states that don’thave all this killing. Why not? Get off this black and white thing. We are Americans and we all have faults. It looks as if we can’t live together so, we’ll die together as fools holding hands and peeing on ourselves as we go down ying. West,sorry you didn’t get enough attening growing up. Perhaps you should take prozac for your condition and anyone else that thinks like you.

  22. Simply…said!
    What is going on in Black America…have we lost our minds. We are no longer a honorable compassionate people of power and substance.

    We have lost all sense of our dignity…shameful!
    Fred Douglass said…

    “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”

  23. It kills me to see comments of blacks not supporting their own Dr. west is telling the truth you never see sharpton until cameras are rolling.. Blacks need to stop hating on each other because we do need leadership as a community. I voted Obama but truth is he hasnt done anything for our community. I and my child both have experienced tons of racism since obamas been elected.. its like no one speaks up anymore its frowned at…. Willie lynch is all up and through my ppl and blacks display it daily how their house negroes keeping quiet to keep Master happy..wake ppl

    • TO: POSTER DOUGLAS: What did you do about the way you and your daughter were treated? Shame on you for keeping quite, There are laws against this, depending on what it was. May I please repeat, “Obama is for all people”. Get off your stool and uphold what Dr. King fought for. Be an example for your daughter. Where is your backbone? I didn’t know black people and white people have a different constitution and different laws. No wonder our kids are failing in school, look what we are teaching them. Why are we waiting for someone to come alone and save us? Why are we the only race going around talking about we need leaders. Other than elected officals and pastors only if they followign moral laws. Do we not have brains and must be led all the time? Have you ever thought the bible is our handbook for the correct leadership? The way some of these posters on this site talk, it looks as if we need to be given 10 states, only for blacks” and elect a black president. While we are at it, we can bring all our car dealerships, private hospitals, universities, state of the art schools, museums,hotels, airplanes, guns shops, banks, clothings stores, schools and grocery chains. We can open the doors of the prisons and take all the criminals with us. What did I miss? Oh, we need a lot of funeral homes because we’ll die in less than six months from the lack of life sustaiing resources and fighting and killing each other. Second option, we can get the heck out of here and go back to Africa. Flights are leaving daily, or you’ll be delayed because you need somebody to pay your fare and house and feed you when you get there? douglas you are not who you pretend to be….Like my response? LOL.

  24. Al stands on what’s RIGHT AND WRONG, NOT BLACK OR WHITE. What I see Al doing is standing up for the human race. He shows the video, the black & white print or plays the audio (THE FACTS) and then he gives his opinion. Unlike Fox News who spreadS ignorance, racism and hate & sometimes CNN. Fox can show a video, audio or just flat out lie, put a spin on it, flip flop it to demonize President Obama or any other black person with power. But you don’t hear West, Smiley or any other blacks criticizing them or doing a bus tour. The Republicans have not shown us any policies or an agenda that would help the poor, the middle class, women or blacks, so most of us don’t gravitate to them. If I lost my job tomorrow, The Affordable Health Care Act would be my best friend. President Obama has the best interest of blacks and everyone else. I voted for Obama instead of not voting at all, if Romney would had won the election our conditions would have gotten worse. The black race is quick to criticize, critique and bash our own, because The Pursuit Of Power is a real m***a. We can only help ourselves when we show up to vote for(Presidents, Governors, Senators, Mayors, DA, Judges, City Council ETC). Getting an education and using common sense is helpful also. Racism is 100% a road block on all levels. Obama can’t make me go to work everyday, be responsible, name my kids a name that won’t hinder them, teach my kids life skills, values and respect or get involved with the political process, that’s an individual choice. I can’t knock Sharpton, Perry or Dyson for what they do. If I want to bring attention to prisons, systematic racism, police brutality, the poor and black on black crime, I have to start my own platform. And if I present it to people in a positive way and not ram it down their throats, someone with a microphone and or an audience might give me and opportunity to get my point across. Some people are so educated, that they let common sense fly right of the window. You are a scholar, but you are no better than anyone else, GIVE RESPECT AND GET RESPECT IN RETURN. We are in this together, trying to survive.

  25. Ronald, my brother ….. Now that’s what I’m talkin about! You summed up my feelings 100%. Well stated! Much props and much love!

  26. Next up…Mr. Frederick Douglass said
    “Power concedes nothing without demands,”

  27. U said it all Hashim..!! Votes without mobilization and actualization is like brushing your teeth without toothpaste! ! What is the definition of politics my people? Once u find that definition then explain how we use those tools to influence the allocation of resources? BP SHELL AND EXXON get their allocation ever year with 80 billion in tax subsidies(ie: corporate welfare) ! Your tax dollars continue to go to others that exert their infuence to have resources allocated in their fashion. Why not us? Maat….

    • Imhotep–

      Right on my brother! I so wish that you, “Wizard G”, and many of the other outstandingly aware, smart, and brilliant brothers and sisters having commented on this thread lived in Washington, D.C. or very close by. Sounds to me like we “the people” need to come together, brainstorm and develop the necessary solutions and to develop and launch a long overdue strategic, effective, peaceful, and unfailed revolution to eliminate brainwashing, provide knowledge, awaken consciousness, promote self-respect, love and righteousness, garner renewed minds, teach proper actions, gain, spread and achieve tight unification of black people in America nationwide and to be exceeded by achieving spread of the same for and with black people in Carribean and in Africa. Such is not impossible and can in fact be done!

  28. This story should have been published by some rabble rousing street corner character. It behooves me how a Business ‘scholar’ stoops to this diatribe. This is similar to Romney’s team myopic vision of what America truly is…

  29. First and foremost, who appointed any of these folks as being OUR leaders?

    Secondly, we have to understand there is no such thing as the UNITED States of America!!! Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. It also covers certain counties in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota, and some local jurisdictions in Michigan and New Hampshire are states that still voice themselves against the Civil Rights Act and Affrimative Action. Each state has its own constitution and it would seem that these so-called leaders would draw attention to their individual policies of exclusion….so why don’t these folks deal with each of these states to change their laws as oppose to thinking they will achieve it by sitting down with Obama who has to give the image of being the President for ALL of the people of this nation?

    Dr. King addressed the racial issues to each of the states that demonstrated any form of discrimination bringing attention to the entire nation. Why don’t these brilliant so-called folks go to each of the states to begin a movement to address the issues state by state to prove their cases? This is how you get Obama’s and the nation’s attention with some validity instead of coming up with arguements against each other. In my book, they all capitalize monetraily on some level just opening their mouths, but let’s take it to the places where the problems are actually occurring as a start to unify the problem before those who are suppose to remedy the situation on a Federal level.

  30. Black Leaders, who are they. I have a brain cell to think with. I feel that we the American blacks did not vote to make these people our leaders. Half of the people are just talking. As James Brown said talking loud and saying nothing. I have more respect for a street sweeper with very little education at least he is keeping it real. He know that the environment need to be clean in order for people to live in it. And he is doing his part but saying very little. Why is it that we do not become a part of the puzzle and play our big part. Then the problem will be solved. Put a little sweat equity in your community. You know I never here the Amish people yelling about anything. They are self sufficient and lead a peaceful life.

  31. Please correct me if I’m wrong….BUT…no other President has invited persons to the White House to discuss “Black Issues” so why should President Obama? The issues that our world faces crosses over racial lines and affects EVERYONE regardless of s*x, religion or socio-economic status! OhI’m not decieved, racism is alive! However, I don’t think this is a Presidential problem as much as it is a Communal problem. Rather than waiting on the President to have this conversation in the White House, this conversation should be taking place in the crack house, the w***e house, Big Momma house, candy lady house, numbers house, school house and church house! Truth is conversation is NOT ENOUGH! After talking there needs to be ACTION! All of these men and women spend time pontificating about change, but not enough intimate time pursuing it! Instead of charging for your own events, show up at the schools or church rally FREE OF CHARGE and throw support behind the efforts of someone else! Have real conversations with people reminding them ofthe consequences of their actions! Talk about taking/using birth control rather than having all these baby daddies and mommas, about not using welfare as a crutch but the assistance it was meant to be, about getting an education, experiencing life beyond your hood, respecting self and others and I could goon and on! These conversations used to start at the kitchen table not at a conference table in the White House!

  32. Pingback: Cornel West Says that Sharpton, Dyson are “Up for Sale”: Let’s Talk about That One, Shall We? | Black Blue Dog | MichaelBenjamin2012's Blog

  33. We should all examine ourselves…for the sake of our people.

    Who we are or what we have became as African-Americans, black folks in the age of Obama?
    No, I am not opposing the President…I have support him non-stop!

    However,we must not forget President Obama is a politician first. A public servant of the people…yes. That includes black folk too!

    There must be immediate demands put on our most beloved President Obama. If we don’t stop this non-sense now! It will affect each and every one of us…our families and our children.

    The time to be in the line is now…not next year or the third year. This is certainly in the best interest of black people. We will be the last in line and as the saying goes.

    We will receive nothing for the 94-97 percent vote…the black community delivered to Mr.President Obama…this week. Go tell that on the Mountain!

  34. Dr Boyce is once again talking BS: “Cornel West is Martin Luther King.” Wrong Dr B. Cornel West is no Dr King!
    “When Dr. King died, he was also hated by many people of color.” Wrong again Dr B. Who were these many people of color who hated Dr King? Maybe you may get away with these fabrications with young people, but those of us who were mentally mature during the 1960s know that you’re talking trash.

  35. A repeat of my comment made earlier this year:
    Dr West and Dr Boyce fit the profile of those critics of President Obama who says that African Americans voted for Obama because they thought that once he became president he would solve all of their problems. He would have filled his cabinet with Africa Americans and end all discriminations against us.
    No one individual can solve the problems of the descendants of the former slaves of America.
    One of our biggest problems is our internal worship of Caucasians.
    Ever since the end of American slavery we have been aping the behaviour of the Caucasian race. Our leaders at that time felt that the best way to win the approval of other Americans was for the former slaves to imitate the behaviour of the Caucasian to show them that we were just like them. No matter how hard we tried to make our physical appearance and mannerism the same as theirs, they continued to mistreat us (the first self made female millionaire in Americas’ history was a woman of African descent who invented chemicals to straighten the thick curly hair of African-American women).
    Do we need President Obama to address the lack of self love that many African American exhibit? Do we need the president to address the “black on black,” crimes that exist everywhere African American live. Do we need Pres Obama to tell us to love our hair instead of straightening it or getting weaves that looks like Caucasian hair instead of the curly hair that our Creator bestowed on us?
    I was extremely happy when President Obama was elected, but I didn’t expect him to do anything different than any other president who also had the overwhelming support of the African American community. In fact I expected him to do less than what was done by previous Democratic presidents in respect of appointing African American to important positions in the government. I knew that if he had done this, the racists would accuse him of filling his cabinet with unqualified members of his own ethnic group.
    The problems of our people will take a collective effort to solve.
    President Obama is the President of the United States of America not the president or problem solver for one ethnic group.
    The so called leaders of our people have not been addressing the major concerns of our community. They waste their efforts criticizing the government or some politician or some local police department or some company or whoever else for abusing or discrimination against African Americans.
    We have many of our people graduating from some of the best colleges and Universities in the world every year.
    Instead of coming out of these institutions with a plan for establishing businesses (so that they may employee or train some of the millions of our unemployed people); they come out looking for jobs with some Caucasian owned and controlled corporation.
    If the education they received was the same as others received, why are they still behaving like slaves, looking for “master” to provide a job for them?
    An intelligent slave is just the same as an unintelligent slave. They are both looking for a master to work for.
    If our historical and present day situation was the same as other ethnic groups, then that would be okay. But it is not. We are the descendants of a despised race. Those of us, who have been fortunate to receive a better education, must show some concern for our people.
    (To some degree I don’t really blame these graduates; I blame our so-called leaders for not leading)
    Men and women with true intelligence look for a way to do something outstanding with their knowledge.
    There are more wealthy African Americans today than we have ever had in our history in America. But what are they doing with their wealth? Aping the behavior of wealthy Caucasians.
    Our hearts have become selfish. Criticizing President Obama for not doing enough to help African Americans is so much easier than looking at our own behaviour.
    A collective effort from those with the intellectual ability to plan a strategy for changing the conditions of our people would be a good start.
    A plan that would be passed on to our people to show them what part they need to play in order for this plan to succeed.
    Right now there is nothing. No plan or collective effort that we all can participate in, in order to help ourselves. All these organizations; and so-called intellectual; but none of them with a strategy to bring about a better condition for our people.

    Just criticism of the president for not being the “negro/black” savior.

  36. What we need to be working on is bringing all of these individuals together so that they can sit together and sort out the differences and come back to the table so they can start working together for the people once again!!!

  37. He loves black people but has a white wife

    West is such a hypocrite, and no comparison to Dr. King… He loves black people but has a white wife and mulatto children… Please stop the foolery, he still mad over an inauguration ticket please tell him to examine his own self hatred and why a women of non African descent makes him feel better about himself and then he can talk to me. Instead I view him as a jealous mouthpiece in black face that goes home to his family who look nothing like the people he claims to love so much… Hypocrisy at its greatest.

  38. I’m so tired of this. Dr. West I respect you tremendously, but was Mr. Tavis Smiley up “for sale” when he led so many of our people into taking these bogus mortgages with Wells Fargo? Remember, this was the same bank who help lead our economy in the ditch?
    Mr. Smiley use to give seminars funded by Wells Fargo, so people can take these mortgage loans.
    How much was Mr. Smiley paid?

  39. I beg to differ The President has:

    Prevented Hunger and Improve Nutrition: “The President’s Budget provides $8.1 billion for discretionary nutrition program supports, which is a $400 million increase over the 2010 enacted level. Funding supports 10 million participants in the WIC program, which is critical to the health of pregnant women, new mothers, and their infants. The Budget also supports a strong Child Nutrition and WIC re authorization package that will ensure that school children have access to healthy meals and to help fulfill the President’s pledge to end childhood hunger. The President continues to support the nutrition provisions incorporated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).”
    - Revitalize Distressed Urban Neighborhoods: “The Budget includes $250 million for HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program, which will target neighborhoods anchored by distressed public or assisted housing with physical and social revitalization grounded in promising, measurable, and evidence-based strategies.”
    - Increase Funding for the Housing Choice Voucher Program: “The President’s Budget requests $19.6 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher program to help more than two million extremely low income families with rental assistance to live in decent housing in neighborhoods of their choice. The Budget continues funding for all existing mainstream vouchers and provides flexibility to support new vouchers that were leased and $85 million in special purpose vouchers for homeless families with children, families at risk of homelessness, and persons with disabilities.”
    - Preserve 1.3 Million Affordable Rental Units through Project-Based Rental Assistance Program: “The President’s Budget provides $9.4 billion for the Project-Based Rental Assistance program to preserve approximately 1.3 million affordable rental units through increased funding for contracts with private owners of multifamily properties. This critical investment will help low-income households to obtain or retain decent, safe and sanitary housing. In addition, the Administration requests $350 million to fund the first phase of this multi-year initiative to rationalize the Housing Choice Voucher program and convert Public Housing to project-based vouchers.”
    - Promote Affordable Home ownership and Protect Families from Mortgage Fraud: “The Budget requests $88 million for HUD to support home ownership and foreclosure prevention through Housing Counseling and $20 million to combat mortgage fraud. In addition, the Budget requests $250 million for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation’s (NRC) grant and training programs. Of the $250 million, $113 million is requested for foreclosure prevention activities, a $48 million increase (74 percent) over 2010.”
    - Fight Gang Violence and Violent Crime: “The Budget provides $112 million for place-based, evidence supported, initiatives to combat violence in local communities, including $25 million for the Community-Based Violence Prevention Initiatives that aim to reduce gun and other violence among youth gangs in cities and towns across the country, and $37 million for the Attorney General’s Children Exposed to Violence Initiative, which targets the youth most affected by violence and most susceptible to propagating it as they grow up.”
    - Expand Prisoner Re-entry Programs: “The Budget provides $144 million for Department Justice prisoner re-entry programs, including an additional $100 million for the Office of Justice Programs to administer grant programs authorized by the Second Chance Act and $30 million for residential substance abuse treatment programs in State and local prisons and jails. In addition, the Budget provides $98 million for Department of Labor programs that provide employment-centered services to adult and youth ex-offenders and at-risk youth..”
    - Fully Fund the Community Development Block Grant Program: “The Budget provides $4.4 billion for the Community Development Fund, including $3.99 billion for the Community Development Block Grant Formula Program (CDBG), and $150 million for the creation of a Catalytic Investment Competition Grants program. The new Catalytic Competition Grants program uses the authorities of CDBG, but will provide capital to bring innovative economic development projects to scale to make a measurable impact.”

    what part of these are not a help to the black community?

    • I agree with you. I guess people don’t see it that way because Obama didn’t publicly say these are the concerns of the black community that he is addressing with those programs.

  40. The comments are loaded with many truths and filled with love,that i’m certain you,WEST,SMILEY,and your other like minded WANNA BE LEADERS. I suggest to you Mr. Watkins,you need to re-think your agenda,you are in the middle of THE MISERY LOVES COMPANY syndrome,we the AFRICAN AMERICAN community are far from being impressed with the obvious,that being your angry with the PRESIDENT,because he has ignored your lack of intelligence to get your point across. IT is so typical of the black men who tend to deem themselves LEADERS of BLACK AMERICAN.Tavis has gone from extremely qualified,to extreme unqualified.West is a unkept babbling total idiot,and you sir are an educated fool. WHY would either of you expect PRESIDENT OBAMA to want to sit and listen to your ignorance,while knows you’re only there for a photo opt and a sandwich after which you will ask for some napkins. I know you know,we can do better,WEST is actually a clone of the TEA PARTY WEST,both say the most low life things ever and then wallow in it and think people feel them. REAL AMERICANS have sent a very obvious message this time,voting PRESIDENT OBAMA in office this time is a message,that message being let’s start healing for real,let’s use the intelligence and resources to recover together. The PRESIDENT is as learned as either of you who are impressed with your degrees. The difference is he chose to groom himself to be a leader rather than just one day designate himself to that position. I do know all few of you know in your warped minds the path you have chosen to be heard is totally outdated. PRESIDENT OBAMA is aware of his duty to all AMERICANS,he accepts the responsibility,and put his life on the line everyday for fools like you and your associates. There is never a mention of assassinating either of you WHY because you are ineffective,and not relative. However you expect the PRESIDENT to cave in to your ALLEYNESS,that’s not going to happen. FYI..AL SHARPTON and ERIC DYSON,have paid their dues to have their opinion matter,getting paid is what happens is not a crime, I know you all know that. I will close this note to you THREE AMIGOS by saying,PRESIDENT OBAMA knows who you are,he also knows what you are and like that lousy WHITE TEApublican PARTY and their many racist trashy members,he will continue to allow you all wallow in the mud,while he’s being PRESIDENT OF THESE UNITED STATES…PEACE

  41. Never mistake Education for Intelligence!!!

  42. President Obama won with a Mandate, 332 Electoral Votes to Romney’s 206. Agree to disagree. “That means bringing Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley,Michael Eric Dyson and Julianne Malveaux (an Economics PhD who knows a great deal about the black unemployment problem) in one room”. Don’t allow those that tried real hard to prevent this President’s Re-election from occurring, Work with the President to get this deficit down, show these crazies that African American are more than just “dividing them and attempting to conquer them”. We The People Have Spoken, And President Obama won, so lets work with him.

    • You are talking to black, blue dogs…………..its fruitless. Dr watkins, Dr west and Smiley are talking from a platform of divide and we will be victorious. When blacks began to talk about other blacks as being bought, it is only payroll envy.

  43. Dr. West is like a rotten apple in a bushel of good apples. What is he doing to change the negative image Afro-Americans have?? …not a d**n thing!! Instead, it’s easier to blame the President and Rev. Al Sharpton. Dr. West is beginning to sound and look like Donald Trump.

  44. Brother and sister, From the top to the bottom, most folks do what they are told to do, our president is no different,but the real question is this, what are you going to do.ONELOVE

  45. I would be satisfied if people, black, white or indifferent would think for themselves and stop looking for glory hunters to speak for them. I am also d**n tired of people looking for President Obama to fix black unemployment exclusively. Blacks need to get off their a***s and make things happen. Yes, I am a southern born black who had to make things happen for myself without the benefit of affirmative action.

  46. Dr. Watkins,

    Here we go again!! As a so-called Black intellectual, you are still trying to defend another so-called intellectuai, Dr. Cornel West!! He and Tavis Smiley are always trying to “put down” people like Al Sharpton and the MSNBC crew that supports President Obama. Why can’t they just get over it; President Obama has BEEN RE-ELECTED!! Can’t you so-called Black intellectuals come to grips with that/ Now you’ll be doing what Haley Barbour, Karl Rove , Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and other Repiblicans who can’t accept the reality that the President WON DOES- Blame their defeat on Hurricane Sandy!!

    You, Dr. Watkins need to do some investigative reporting and ask some questions of Dr. West and Tavis Smiley such as:

    1. Who is financing the West and Smiley bus tour? Could it be the Koch brothers or other right-wing billionaires?
    2. Why is it that West and Smiley have access to network time on Fox News? What’s behind this?
    3. Who are West and Smiley REALLY working for? Are they being paid to stir up confusion in the Black community and blame it on President Obama? Where were they during the eight years of George W. Bush’s administration?
    4. Did West and Smiley feel so left out when, according to them, they were”snubbed” by the Obamas? How many times were they invited to the White House BEFORE Obama became President?


  47. From what i have been reading the comments made here….most of you are
    to young to know What Jessie Jackson, Dr. Martin King have done. Jessie
    is still doing, but guess what most of you get your facts from the media

    I have posted this before if you want to know what Jessie Jackson have
    done read the book/Jessie Jackson America’s DAvid by Barbara A Reynolds.
    You know you can go to Amazon books and get it but you don’t want to
    know.Mmost black people just want to follow main stream America and think
    u are going to reap the benefists of having a black President that is
    fair to all.Read slowly what Cornel West is about and reread the blog
    of DR Boyce Watkins and get your heads up out of the sands/some of us
    need to focus on what the man is saying and stop feeling bad about
    being Black in America.The President make u feel like you are somebody
    so you like the sybolism of that . But we need a President that we
    can ask for for what we need like the rest of the American people
    the Gays the Latinos the illegal immigrantst you know what he did for
    them. Wake up Everybody !!! Wake up!!! Things going to get really bad
    and i will tell you like DR Watkins i told u so. I rephase what i say
    going to get really bad it is going to get worst !!!!!!!!

    • I am old enough to know precisely what Jackson and others have done is the civil rights movement. I also know what the Nation of Islam was doing during that time and a host of other black community groups, to include the devlopment of Malcomn X and his maturation into Haji Malik El Shabazz. Discourse does need condescending tones. It is obvious to many of us that something major is driving this type of negativity. I guess you like the symbolism the Wadkins, West, and Smiley’s represent in discourse regarding black issues. That is the other side of your consternation and condescention.

      The problem with your argument and conclusion is that nobody is asking. What is really being said is that as a black man first, and president second that Obama should take up our cause just because. That’s not how the process works. People in the black community don’t hold their local representative(s) accountable, and it is those individuals in Congress that effect the plight of black communities around the nation. If you weren’t focused on the noise you would have a working knowledge of how the process works. There is such a thing as the Black Caucus. My elected representative, the Honorable Maxine Waters, is a member of the Black Caucus, and makes herself available to her constituency. I visit her local office often, and see the same faces over and over again. Black and Latino. She goes to Washington and gets us what we need that cannot be provided at the local level. That’s how it works. If your needs are not met go see your local representative, so your concerns will be heard in Washington, or at the White House!

  48. Boyce; Spell Leadership, its spelled Respect!! A piece of paper w/PHD that you received from A Iceberg College does not make, You, Tavis, West, Really Smart in the correct dimensions; nor God For Bid… A Leader of Blackness. West needs to Go South and Teach at the Black Colleges and Stop Staying IvyLeague…Bring your White Education text to the poor and the under educated Youth… Tavis had 11/Eleven years to speak to all the Poor, & Jobs, They were Poor w/o Jobs Then!!!; llyears, when he had a fake State of Black America C-Span TV, Also, You are not Going to be Invited to the WHITE HOUSE, Thank God; All of you mentioned: are @@@@@Haters. Plus Jealous, Common Decency is needed to approach the Sit Down at the Table.; Bringing, humility, Integrity and decency – Boyce you attempted to beat up the President of U.S. on Al’s Radio Show, until you were thrown-off. All of you will go down in history as writing, talking about The First Black President 2X in a Terrible Way!!! Where were the numerous comments for Bush and Clinton, They were So Great, No Sounds of Discontent from your black hole, no sale of Wolf Tickets for the White Presidents. All of you are Two-Faced!!! White and slightly black.

    Spell Smart, Obama; that is SMART. White People do not drag their people down, dumb or smart; but A Negro Will; I DONT want to leave Jesse out; Talking about the man’s private parts that is and was a Sick & Sad Statement… (How do you fellowship with that)

    There is no Over Come Moment; as you Gang Up and Demean the President every chance you Get!!

    White People love to See you Morons Act Out – A Delayed Trio + 1…
    The Duo, Smiley $ West, House n*****s; Working directly for the Rich Cracker; being Used by the Plantation Boss to talk Dirty/Negative/Telling Lies about our President; Have you No Shame???; Shame on All of You…

  49. We need more people like Cornell West who are real advocates,today’s so call advocates and leader are nothing more than puppets who are there for the money,and limelight where are our black leaders?

  50. John Kenndy———paid Democrat Adam Clayton Powell 50,000 dollars to endorse him and campaign for him.

    The Democrats have been paying off SO CALLED black leaders for a long time.

  51. Please name the President that pursued a Black Agenda???? Surely not Bill Clinton who sold out and moved quickly on Welfare Reform? Martin Luther King cannot be compared to Cornel West. MLK would never have worked or taught at an elitist college.

  52. Mr. West and Smiley have a right to question the President, my problem is do they question the people that is in direct contact with the black communities such as the Aldermans, Councilmen,church leaders and the most important people their parents. We should have a serious discussion about the plight of the black race, but to lay the blame on one person because he is the leaader of the free world is shameful, I don’t agree with all of the president policies but to start name calling is childish and doesn’t solve one problem. I don’t look for so called black leaders to speak for me because I’m a leader for my family by talking and teaching my nieces,nephews that education hardwork will get them everything they want in this world and that fast money is just that, also if you are looking for some-one else to pick you up you are one step behind. We need to stop demonizing each other and start offering solutions to these problems before we become extinct in this world which is happening right before our eyes.

  53. I, like many others, now all of the black leaders mentioned in this commentary and it is very hard, hurtful, and disappointing to see such great minds and love being destroyed because of hate and jealousy.

    Dr. Watkins, you are going to destroy yourself because of the hate that is being so obvious by the tone and tenure of your letter. There is so much work to be done and each of you are brilliant within your own rights.

    Al Sharpton and Michael Eric Dyson, and Melssa Harris-Perry should be paid for the work that they are doing and the work that they are doing is outstanding.

    You had your blog and website, your own path, long before either of the above mentioned 3 were on MSNBC.

    You own will come to you if you will just proceed in love and faith.

    When you dig a ditch for others you will dig a dtich for yourself.

    There is enough money, reward, and recognition for all if you just focus on your mission.

    We need for everyone to work together collectively. There is alot that you can do initially to bring about prison reform.

    Start with ALEC and all of their actions to privatize prisons, etc. The President, I am sure is concerned. Any President, regardless to race has to have help. Contact Van Jones and Color of Change, Professor Michelle Alexander, and others to take action.

    To publically spread hate is not the answer. The disunited is not the example we need. I so want to continue respecting you as I have respected Dr. Cornell West. We are in a global community now and the
    environment in the United States is totally different. We have to do
    a lot more work individually and collectively within our own race before any more progress is made.

  54. Sylvia C. Washington

    OH, GIVE US ALL A BREAK!!! West and Smiley, long ago, blew it with me with their rhetoric. President Obama needed the second term to work on doing what is right by Black folks. He addressed many of the issues facing us in his first term — now is our time.

    For some of us, we don’t need a lot to tell us that our lives don’t matter to the larger society. I see that voter suppression was/is a strategy that was directed uniquely to us, so….legacy time!!!!!!

    Now, my issue is WHERE WAS THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS as a unified body!!!! Individuals spoke, but where was the CBC with the voter suppression and denigration going over the many months???

  55. Republicans Sabotaging The American People

    To Dr. West and Mr. Smiley,

    Instead of going back to square one of your 2008 attack tatics against our President of these United States, how about if you try a different approach to the matters that you are concerned about. Here’s what you do: go to the state with the worse sitiuation for African Americans, then go to the worst neighborhood in that state, open an office in the middle of that neighborhood, and then START BUILDING THE NEIGHBORHOOD, ECONOMICALLY, EDUCATION SUPPORT, FAMILY SUPPORT, ETC. Go knock on 2 doors in the middle of the block on both sides of the street and start building, brick by brick, door by door, house by house, block by block, neighborhood by neighboodhood. Just keep moving outward for change. You will be suprised what kind of support you will get. Now, there will be challenges, but that is to be expected. But you will have made enough of a coalition of neighborhood residents behind you. Start small and build BIG!!!
    Just something different to consider.

  56. Criticizing Sharpton and Dyson is not contributing to the solution. How about working with them to move forward our agenda. I am disappointed in Tavis and Corneal. Always suspect of men who talk Black and Sleep White Dr. West.

  57. With President Obama’s re-election win, and his knack of not dabbling into racial issues, does that suggest that the only way to recongize Blacks politiccally socially and otherwise in these United States is to look the other way about race, or racial issues, and hope that they would go away?

  58. Funny that Dr. West would say that about Sharpton and Dyson. I was beginning to think he and Tavis were up for sale.

  59. Everyday people need to be in that ‘meeting of the minds’. those who experience prison and its effects, how they got there, criminal justice, driving while black, nobody listens to the regulars.

  60. I first lost respect for Tavis Smiley when he supported Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama. I got a pretty good picture of who he really is when he left the Joyner show to pursue more lucrative opportunities. I believe he wrote two bestselling books while on the Joyner show, at least one of which was written from the contributions of Black listeners. How much of that money did he put back into the community? He is clearly and opportunist. When he teamed up with Dr. West (for whom I once had a great deal of respect), and they began bashing Barack Obama, I lost all respect for the both of them. Talk is cheap. What are you really doing to offer solutions? The problems they seem to be so passionate about can best be handled on the state, city, and community level. Develop a plan of action, and collaborate with the (many) wealthy Black Americans to solve our problems. When Bill Cosby attempted to disclose the cause of many problems in our communities, he was widely criticized. We did not want to hear the truth, and take responsibility for our own demise.

    The President is unable to fix many of the problems that plague our communities. As a public school educator, many of our problems are rooted in the family (or lack thereof). Black parents need to start raising their children and imparting values, particularly toward education, respect, and a work ethic. I am sad to say that my worst behaved students are the Black ones. They are loud, disruptive, disrepectful, and focused not on education, but on foolishness. As a Black educator working in a predominantly white environment, I am truly embarrassed at the behavior of Black youth. We cannot expect the President to fix this, even though he and his wife are the perfect example of what family life should be. If Tavis and Cornel truly want to provide solutions to the ills of the Black community, let them began with building strong families, promoting education, a strong work ethic, and eradicating the welfare mentality. Until they do this, I am not interested in hearing them bashing the President and other Black “leaders.”

    Immigrants become successful in this country not because they are looking for a government handout, but because they work hard, support each other, educate their children, SAVE their money and invest in businesses rather than bling. Black people need to do likewise. We did it back-in-the-day, and we can do it again. I am a product of inferior schools, but was able to become a successful, well-educated adult; because my parents believed in family, education, and hard work. Dr. J

    • Great comments!

    • All I can say is, Amen!

    • Tavis Smiley didn’t support Hillary Clinton for president. Find me one interview or one article where Smiley said he was supporting Hillary Clinton for president. We let these lies snowball into monumental hatred for this man and it’s something he never said. As far as the Black Covenent book, he published the report on that a long time ago. And if we are to be honest, he left the Joyner show because of death threats and hate from Obama freaks.

      To you and all the Obamites out there who think President Obama is above anyone’s criticism, WAKE UP! We elected a president, not a king. Thank God we have these two and a handful of others that are being honest. All presidents respond to heat and that’s exactly what they are giving him. What good does it do to worship this man when the least among us are suffering. They are right to do the work they are doing. If a black man from Chicago thats supposed to be a community organizer can’t do the work, then no one can. This is our chance! No president coming down the line will care.

      And we really have to get past this idea that all black folks are looking for a handout. We are not fools. No one has to tell us to raise our kids right. No one is demanding that Obama send them a $1,000 check every week. But we do realize that there are matters that the government has to take responsibility for as well. Your whole mentality needs to change. Your mentality is the reason you are not successful with your black students. The can clearly see that you don’t care and are only concerned with the white kids in the room. They feel your resentment and contempt. They know you sized them up before they even sat down on day one. Until you show you care and are willing to take an interest in them, they will continue to give you h**l.

  61. I am a older “black” person that aligned my ideology along with Malcom X ( you hit me with a rock I will hit you back with a larger rock) and slightly with M. King Jr. I respect Dr West but there is no comparison between the two, Dr west is a person of words and Dr king was a person of words and action. I guess what Im saying is you have to walk the walk and Dr west fails to do that.

  62. Dr. Cheryl Smith-Brown

    I always loved the old Dr. Cornel West. Bought and read his books and tried to find every interview that was on You-Tube to watch. But, this new Dr. Cornel West, is off beat. I agree with some of what he is saying, however, his tactics and timing are off and have placed him on the “Wrong Side of African American History”.

    Someone needs to take Cornel to the side and say, ” look , I understand where you are coming from, but you are going to have to put this s**t on hold until we get Obama re-elected. Why because, the 1st African American Presidents’ second run for office is not the time to act a fool .

    So, if any of you know Cornel personally, check him. Tell him he needs to stop this bullshit, apologize to the President and apologize Dr. Dyson and stop making hurtful statements. Then he and Tavis need to go see the President and act like they have some sense.

    Dr. Cheryl Smith-Brown

  63. This was way back…To what Shirl said, Read “America’s David.”

    …Our President,Mr.Obama and many others will never accomplish. What Martin and Jesse have given to black Americans and all other Americans…it will go down in the history books. Dr. Martin L.King,and Rev.Jesse Jackson both have a tremendous body of works…that changed the landscape of America, in so many ways. Please you fools!

    The President is the highest job that one can aspire to have. All Presidents will leave legacy of their works…and history is often unkind to them.

    Show Respect! Rev.Jesse Jackson
    Jesse Jackson- also,run for President he paved the way for Mr.President Obama.

    Stop…and look in the mirror at yourselves! Shameful,that 99% of you black people ain’t fit to go!

  64. Thats quite a stretch, trying to see Dr. Cornell West as Dr. MARTIN lUTHER kING. I MARCHED WITH MLK, CORNELL WEST IS NO DR. MARTIN LUYHER KING. He is an intelligent man who mouths off about the ailments of society. He talks the talk but words without deeds accomplishes very little.

  65. Times have changed. Black people were not intergrated into white America, Jim Crow was the order and white folks could literally get away with murder before Dr.King’s asassination in 1968. Today”s laws and civil rights and “integration”, in schools, communities, and housing over these 44 years has not changed racism,, but black folk will stand up to white folk and injustice. Plus the political face in the states and the country with an education has made segregation passe and unlawful. That’s the difference, now equality is relative to how you make in America against all odds.

  66. Dr West is right about these types of Negroes! They have been bought & Paid for! One day soon these types of Negroes Must Die! No One is above the Group (Black Nation) if you sell out you should be kicked off the Planet! Obama could be a trick keep your eyes pealed my real Black Fam! Obama could be a trick to fool Blackfools again into thinking America has Changed? It’s full of institutional Racism!

  67. Having actually been there and participated in America’s social change since the 1940s I am emotionally torn between deep sadness and anger. Having survived actually being born on a White owned southern farm in an actual sharecroper’s living quarters and never having a birth certificate, and being allowed to serve in the US Army after a year of college as a Biology major – articles like this really make me want to stand up and testify, especially at such a critical juncture in history that we have now arrived.

    Having actually successfully navigated mine fields created by White racists and crazed Negroes, educated beyond their intelligence, for more than 70 years as an openly Black male – Sisters and Brothers what we are witnessing with this protracted attack on President Obama and the three named MSNBC contributors is the manifestation of a spiritual bacteria that was skilfully and deliberately introduced into the ancestery of the anti-OBAMA rhetoric group. This is a psycho/spiritual thing. No need to write a fictional script or pay to see a scary movie. Here is the real thing, live and in living color.

    Having had a spiritual awakening and now empowered by God’s grace to know the difference between education and indoctrination until I determine whether a more full response will come from my resivoir of sadness or anger I simply offer the following.


    Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value. Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point – that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you. There is only one alternative – self-value. If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved.

    You will always think it’s a mistake or luck. Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within. Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences. Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security. Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them.”

    - Jennifer James, actress, anthropologist, speaker.

    P.S. I have been fighting for Black liberation since 1955. I was fired upon one Saturday evening at Ole Miss while dispatched from Ft. Campbell, Ky on official duty. I am an eye witness Dr. Watkins. Extremeism in the cause of EGO and pocket change is a deadly and damning vice. Cornell West is no Dr. MLK. Tavis Smiley is no Frederick Douglas. President Barack H. Obama is President of the United States of America for a second term.

    His presence on the world’s biggest stage is God’s amazing grace gift to all struggling, mentally ill and dehumanized Black and poor people. No more excuses. Look! All the analytical phD rhetoric and BS aside. If you can’t read or write, just look!! If your head is all screwed up with warmed over plantation “Meology” preached at you on Sundays as the word of the Lord by Black preachers engaged in presenting a culturalized version of Roman Catholocism…. Look!!! If there isn’t an entact Black family in your whole town… Look!!!! There is one beautiful family for the whole world to see, residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, DC. God has spoken and on November 6, 2012, the majority of MULTI CULTURED America said Amen.

    Use your resources to urge Black America to Look at possibility and apply universal principles or look silly throwing stones at evolutionary progress. It didn’t have to be done your way or my way but it had to be done. Sit down in a comfortable chair. Do some deep breathing. Slowly, in through your nose..slowly out through your mouth. Close your eyes. See mr. and Mrs Obama loving each other while being hated by thousands of their ignorant and apathetic countrymrn and women. See them lovingly and prayerfully nurturing their daughters as you slowly breath in and out. Smile as you envision Black families like theirs emerging now and in the emerging successful American future. Sip some pure water and listen to a great Beatles’ song……”LET It BE.”

    By God’s grace, because I love you, and because of what my body and soul have endured for more than 7 decades I have shared some truth, wisdom and understanding with you. Go in peace and love your fellow haman beings.

    Ecclesiastes 9:11



    • Barbara Whiteside

      WOW! Eloquent, wise, and loving – and spoken from the voice of experience. Thank you, Bob. I am so touched by this, I must share it with others.

  68. Society, especially DuBois “Talented Tenth” has its methods of sweeping the truth under the rug. The truth is only the truth if someone, of who approval is given, tells it. Back in 1990, during the debate over the use of the term African American instead of Black, Jessie Jackson and Ramona Edelin were in the forefront because they were accepted leaders, and molded the concensus of other so-called Black leaders.

    No one thought to investigate the notion and see where the term and/or use of the term orginated. It just so happened that I wrote a poem by the name of “I CAN” in 1987 in the Black History Calendar. Line 25 of that poem created the term African American as it is used today.

    Because my name was not in the headlines like Jackson and others, this fact was swept under the rug. For a quarter of a century now, rather than acknowledge the truth, scholars choose to ignore the origin of African American, although it is the accepted jargon of the times!

    When this fact was revealed, rather than accpeting it with definition, copyright and all, the very people who I renamed began bashing me, and said I didn’t create the usuage because it had been around for hundreds of years. In 2008 I wrote a book entitled: i can: the origin of Afr-i-can Amer-i-can. The Copyright Registration Number is TXu 1-641-591. To date I have been unable to publish the book to tell one of the greatest stories in our history because I don’t have the money.

    At one time or another, Cornell, Gates, Sharpton and scholars around the world have been apprised of this fact. They remain silent. By the way, Jessie Jackson stole the concept out of a complimentary 1989 Black History Calendar that I sent Coretta King for allowing me to use her likeness on the cover. Subsequently, Jackson fell from grace with Mrs. King.

    I would think that this is a story that Dr. Watkins and others everyone who used the term African American need to know. For a quarter of a century, no one has been interested or cared about why they are called Afr-i-can Amer-i-can!

  69. The joy of the Lord is my strength. No man can or will ever be able to do for me as He does. It doesn’t matter who is in the white house. MY GOD SHALL SUPPY ALL MY NEEDS. I have seen the poverty side and I have seen the middle income (Comfortable) lifestyles. I have been knocked back down to poverty level and God is doing the MIRACULOUS in giving me back alllllllllllllll the devil has stole from me. Let go and Let God is my message here. HE GOT YOU! Tust and BELIEVE HIM ONLY! The actions and statements by the SO CALLED black leaders have nor will ever have the power of Jesus Christ! I rest my case! It doesn’t matter what battle you are facing. GOD GOT YOU!

  70. Everybody wants to be the chief, nobody wants to be an Indian.

  71. The elitism of our establish Black leadership is killing the masses of Black people. What an INSULT to the Black grassroots leaders and other who participated in months and months of national White House conference calls on the “Black Agenda” and demanded that Obama create a dedicated website for these agenda items to be publicly listed as priorities which the administration did and since this did not come from the established leaders then they’ll just do this back and forth as if the Obama Black Agenda wasnt created and listed under his jobs plan. SAD SAD SAD

  72. The misery I see in the Black community is heartbreaking,I knew Dr. King personally and neither Obama ,West or othershad the courage of Rev.King.Our leadership looks coward compared to
    our leadership of old. None speak of the illegal,immoral wars,the new slavery,prison work complex.Rev.King went to the people and listened to them,now Rev.Sharpton and our other leaders strut around and ignore the people.

  73. You forgot to talk about my man Roland S Martin …he holds it down when given airtime. Love to see him given a bigger platform. He always asks and addresses the tough questions.

  74. I am continually amazed and sometimes baffled at the way a lot of Black folks spend time slamming our Black leaders and Pres. Obama over issues and problems that they did not create. THE PROBLEM OF POVERTY has been a deep and serious one in this nation for over 100 years. Back when Dr. M. L. King was marching…one of his big protests was to help plan the POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN…when folks set up a “tent city” in Wash. D.C. — From that some results did happen.

    PRES. OBAMA has put forth some initiatives to improve our schools, to boost AFRICAN AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENT….to help small businesses, and other services to help the unemployed, veterans, etc. To say he has not is simply not true. We do need to do more…but he has done some good things. He is fighting up against the GREEDY REPUBLICANS.

    BUT NOW WE HAVE THE REPUBLICANS…who are the main culprits in setting up policies…and helping the rich get richer. We should be blasting them…as it is clearly WHO IS AT THE ROOT OF THESE PROBLEMS. They don’t even want RICH FOLKS to pay one dime more to help pay down the nation’s deficit. They want to get rid of PELL GRANTS, SCHOOL LUNCHES, MEALS ON WHEELS, MEDICARE, MEDICAID, PLANNED PARENTHOOD, FOOD STAMPS… and the list goes on. THEY ARE THE REAL CULPRITS in the SYSTEMIC causes of poverty.

  75. It refreshing to see how many of you can see through the smoke screen that West and others are generating. Our problems can not be resolved by President Obama. Anyone who is looking for the master plan should review the life and legacy of Garvey. Remember the lesson that brother Steve Cokely taught, do not expect anyone to advance the cause beyond their personal reach. Only the few can operate behind enemy lines. There is no glory and no riches and no fame for those so committed.

  76. I can truthfully say i was interested in Tavis SMILEY and Cornel West—-but as time passed and my eyes were opened —-i realized that they were no different than the “SUM” of their own “EGOS”—-wanting to be “SOMEBODY “different than the so-called lay people—-and they probably didn’t know it themselves—-”ASOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY’ they have become ABSOLUTEY PUZZLING to me—- especially Mr. TAVIS—I think a little “REFECTION” is in ORDER for BOTH of them. PEACE!!!!!

  77. People hating Cornell West because he challenges this country on the critical issue of poverty, Black people believing age old racist stereotypes about their own, Black people who are so erratically racist that they won’t challenge a President ( who I respect and admire) because he is Black, a race of people who settle for second class citizenship with respect to schools, neighborhoods, quality of life, etc. Far too many of us are lost.

  78. The unique Black agenda is a myth. We continue to allow how white people view and treat us define who we are and what our agenda is. For example when I attended Wichita State University in 1964 my agenda was to make sure that I was the 5th Black athletic scholarship athlete to graduate. In 1970 when I received by PhD from the University of Alberta in Canada my agenda was to publish the first thesis in my field of Geomagnetic Depth Sounding.

  79. Never forget that Barack Obama was raised by a white mother and grandmother from El Dorado, Kansas (which is 20 miles east of Wichita) in Hawaii. His father figure was his white grandfather. If he didn’t have an African Father you would think that he is white and has white values and has white reactions to white people. Think about it.
    I applaud any one that is trying in their way to make life in America better for Blacks. All this chatter is just about style points not winning or losing. d**n right I am interested in acquiring money, power and fame. We are not playing touch football here, this is a full contact blood game.

  80. Dookie b**t Johnson

    f*k that shyt trying to compare Cornell West to Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King would be highly insulted, and he would be right. Cornell West is a lecturer, but he has never been on the frontline like Dr. King or Rev. Al Sharpton. Boyce, as critical as your analysis is supposed to be as a PhD, how could you not possibly ignore noting this contrast between King and West. West talks a good game, but it’s a vacuum. Get real!

  81. Should Smiley &. West run for President and Vice President of the USA?

  82. This article is akin to the crab in a barrel syndrome. Mr. West is a chronic complainer of whatever action the President takes. Mr. Watkins is an instigator. To compare Cprnel West ideology with that of Dr. King is ludicrous. It It take a lot more than being able to put some words together to be POTUS, Mr. West intellectual bashing of the POTUS is shameful.

  83. The comments are better than the article. Chose your group. Do all you can do fitr the good of the group. And may the most “Good” prosper.

  84. We gave the President of the United States over 90% of our vote and he didn’t have to work for it. Our Latino brothers and sisters gave him 70% of their vote and he had to pay for it with the executive order “Dream Act”. The African American vote is just taken for granted. We need to leave the Democratic Party in droves simple re-registering as Unenrolled. As far as Dr. West is concern his issues with the President are based on what he feel was a personal rejection by the President, he needs to grow up. Have you noticed Republican candidates rarely come into the Black community, democrates including the president spent very little time in the black community (other than in the swing states) which I somewhat understand. We have to organize around our interest and begin to vote not for the candidate, but for our interest. They say the President is re-organizing, we as African Americans and Latinos we need to form a united front around the issues that effect us as a people, and stop this Willie Lynch mentality and us our vote effectively.

  85. While Dr. West and Mr. Smiley are being taken to task here for being critical of Obama and the black media intellectuals who support the Democratic Leadership I dont see anyone actually addressing the substance of the issues they raise about President Obama and his so-called liberal agenda

    1) Black/Latino Poverty at historic levels (1/4th of African Americans/Latinos are impoverished) – (Romney actually made more references in the debate to poverty than did Obama did who never mentioned it )

    2) The expansion of Bush’s surveillance state and the targeting of American citizens for assassination without judicial review. ( aka an expansion of the most repressive national security policies of the Bush era)

    3) The expansion of a failed Afghanistan policy that has resulted in the unnecessary deaths of thousands of civilian Afghani’s and hundreds of United States military personnel, as well as the further loss of hundreds of billions of dollars in the failing effort

    4) The escalation of drone warfare that has resulted in the killing of hundreds of innocent women and children that has further facilitated resentment against American policy in the Muslim world

    5) Obama’s hiring as trusted advisors members of the Wall Street financial elite Giethner, Summers et al -the very people whose policies and world view helped cause the financial crisis -. Or the example of hiring the CEO of GE Jeff Immelt – famous for slashing many thousands of jobs – to head his jobs council

    6) The dissing of Progressives by Obama’s 1st Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who called members of the progressive caucus “F&%*g retarded”

    7) The early surrender by Obama of a public option for the national health care program in favor of turning national health care over to Fortune 500 Insurance Corporations

    Rather than ad hominem attacks from either side wouldn’t it be better to stick to addressing what can be done to solve these issues?

  86. Here’s a thought, and perhaps many have not seen this letter, but it is important to note that we can be quite fond of an individual, and simultaneously be diametrically opposed to some of their perspectives. I spent much time at Princeton, and have had conversations with Dr. West, and although I disagree with his approach, I value him, and his perspectives. See below:

    Len, Playthal Benjamin was a young brilliant professor at U Mass in 1971 when I went there. He was by far the most intellectual and articulate member of the African American Studies Department and these facts alone gave rise to intra-racial jealousy and subterfuge. He left U Mass in 1972 I believe. Every word that he has written in this response to Cornell West’s Op Ed piece in the NYT is accurate, timely, and poignantly analytical. Thanks for sharing this masterpiece with me. I shall forward it to several other people whom I know will be encouraged after reading it.

    An Open Letter to Dr. Cornell West

    Pundit, Poet and Philosopher Share a Bright Moment
    On Dr. King, President Obama and Politcal Reality
    Dear Cornell
    After reading your Op-Ed column on Dr. Martin Luther King in the New York Times, I felt compelled to sit down and write you a letter. Since the conversation that I want to have with you is about public matters i.e. the fate of our nation and the Presidency of Barack Obama, I decided to make it an open letter and put it on the internet so everyone can see it. I feel it is my duty to respond to your column because you are such an influential public intellectual and moral scold people listen when you speak. Like E. F. Hutton on finance, you da man with many people on matters of morality and politics. Since I have publicly pledged to praise saints, celebrate heroes, unmask charlatans and chastise scoundrels I could not remain silent. You have all the trappings of intellectual and moral authority – Harvard education, PhD, author of influential texts, able orator, Princeton Professor of Religion – but the more I watch what you are doing with these powerful assets…I fear you are squandering them my brother, and you are in danger of hurting us all with your folly.
    I am employing the term folly in the same sense as the two time Pulitzer Prize winning historian Barbara Tuchman in her path breaking book “The March of Folly.” Here the term folly refers to the decisions people make – – usually leaders of nation states – that all observable evidence suggests is against their own interests. And there can be no doubt among partisans of the working classes and foes of the plutocrats, which you claim to be, that the Tea Party /Republicans are avowed enemies of our agenda. Yet you are at this very moment engaging in activities that if continued will aid a total takeover of our national government by these vicious enemies of the working class.
    Thus I have no doubt that in the present struggle for the soul of our nation and the survival of organized labor – which is the vehicle through which the working class defends their gains and advance their interests – you are missing your true calling in this great fight. As a self-declared spokesman for the working class and the poor, the proletariat and lumpen-proletariat, you are curiously at odds with the actual spokesman for the working class, the elected leaders of the great unions, who correctly view President Obama as the only friend of poor and working class Americans among all the people who are likely to become the next President of the USA!
    Even as I write the Teamster Union President Jim Hoffa is on WNBC TV reaffirming their support for the reelection of the President; although they have some sharp disagreements with him about strategy. They do not question that Barack is their friend and the Republicans are the enemy; and if empowered would callously take away rights that the working class struggled for a century to win. The contrast between what the leader of one of the world’s most powerful unions had to say on this matter, and what you have been saying, highlights the fundamental disagreement that I have with you about your criticism of the President.
    Dr. Nathan Hare – who holds two PhD’s, one in sociology and one in Psychology – is a longtime intellectual warrior in our struggle, a man who was on the front lines of engaged scholars when you were running about in knee pants in the wilderness of Sacramento chasing fire flies, states the problem succinctly. In a recent statement on Facebook, Dr. Hare argued that black critics of President Obama must first make it clear that there is no alternative to supporting the President and the Democratic Party in the coming elections. That is the only way your criticism can be constructive rather than destructive Cornell.
    The difference is clear: constructive criticism is a critique that will help us defeat the Grand Obstructionist Party in the coming elections. Destructive criticism is the kind of loose and mindless diatribes that confuses and demoralizes people to the point where they decide that they cannot vote for either party and stay home…effectively turning the national government over to the Republicans. I am afraid, Dr. West, that this will be the result of your misguided, overly-emotional and often irrational attacks on the President. Alas, I am increasingly hearing threats to remain at home on election from your acolytes.
    Unlike you, the Teamster leader made it clear that there was no chance that organized labor was going to abandon the President because the Republicans are the enemy of the working class. While he didn’t like it, he understood the compromises the President has made. They get it that the President was forced into certain compromises in order to get anything done and avoid disaster. But you, Dr. West, don’t get it! You talk in terms that suggest the President has betrayed the entire progressive legacy because he was forced to compromise!
    When in fact, the very concept of compromise means that you have to accept something you don’t want in order to get something you want. Whereas the Teamster leader was clear in his purpose and what must be done, you prattled on in your NY Times Op-Ed in such a muddled fashion one could easily conclude that you think President Obama could have solved the problems you rightly highlight but just wouldn’t do it!!! And therefore deserves defeat in 2012 – which goes without saying if your first charge is true! If you are not saying this, then what the f**k are you talking about?
    What for instance do you mean by the following passage? “The age of Obama has fallen tragically short of fulfilling King’s prophetic legacy. Instead of articulating a radical democratic vision and fighting for homeowners, workers and poor people in the form of mortgage relief, jobs and investment in education, infrastructure and housing, the administration gave us bailouts for banks, record profits for Wall Street and giant budget cuts on the backs of the vulnerable.” Considering that on two thirds of the issues you mention here the President actually proposed policies to do just what you said he should; I am constantly amazed at how people print stuff like this from you and don’t seem to recognize that it is muddled non-sense!
    The only other person who manages to get away with publishing incoherent gibberish on a regular basis is Stanley Crouch, but at least he has the refuge of poetic license and people are so hypnotized by his use of language they don’t notice that he is making no sense. Your argument is the kind of stuff one expects from an impassioned but not very well educated undergraduate student…someone who has listened in on the conversations of mature intellectuals and got bits and pieces of the conversation and is now trying to reconstruct it –but doing so badly!
    It is embarrassing to hear someone who is widely regarded as one of the nation’s premiere intellectuals say things like: “The administration gave us bailouts for banks, record profits for Wall Street and giant budget cuts on the backs of the vulnerable.” First of all the bank bailout or TARP was passed during the last days of the Bush Administration, and was an admission that their economic policies had failed. Thus the task of any serious analyst of our present economic mess is to point out with clarity that the Republicans now running the House, and all of their presidential candidates, are advocating those same policies – only now they are on steroids! Your failure to address this issue is itself enough to disqualify you as someone we need take seriously.
    The problem with the kind of editorial you have written for the Times is that you are not required to suggest any policy options or strategies for achieving them. It does not take much to demonstrate that your argument is morally pretentious empty rhetoric, a hysterical rant that leads nowhere. Do you really think this nation, and the black community especially, would be better off if the banking system had failed…if the president had stood back and allowed the world financial system to collapse? If you do you are the most highly educated moron in history, a worthy ally of the Tea Party! If you don’t believe it you are a dangerous charlatan and hypocrite and therefore of one heart with the so-called “Tea Party Patriots.”
    Instead of pointing out that President Obama has passed the most stringent regulations on Wall Street since the 1930’s, and nominated Elizabeth Warren, the brilliant Harvard Law professor and longtime advocate for the poor, to head the new agency, you attack him for saving the world financial system from collapse! Instead of denouncing the Republicans for refusing to confirm Professor Warren and fund the agency tasked with implementing the new financial regulations, while opposing any attempt to tax the rich, who are sitting on record profits, you attack the president for the success of the business community which is the engine that propels this economy.
    Rising profits in the corporate sector is proof that the President’s policies to save the economy from a great depression that many economists believe would have been worse than the 1930’s has succeeded! That’s how capitalism works Cornell! And, in spite of the fact that both of us wish it were otherwise, Americans overwhelmingly support capitalism! If the democrats were in control of the Congress however, they would have done away with the Bush Tax cuts and raised the effective corporate tax rate by terminating many of the tax write offs that they presently enjoy. It is the Republicans that are preventing this from happening…but you continue to blame the President. Your actions in this regard is leading some of your critics to conclude that you are really a paid agent for the plutocrats – especially since your so-called “Poverty Tour” designed to embarrass the President is paid for by a major commercial bank! – a false witness with a hidden agenda designed to so confuse the issues that many who voted for President Obama in the last election will stay at home this time and give the election to the Republicans.
    That’s what some folks are beginning to say about you Corny. However I am not one of them. In my view it doesn’t matter if you are a paid agent of the right or not, because I can’t imagine what you would do differently if you were a paid agent. As the New York Times columnists Charles Blow has demonstrated by crunching the numbers: If everybody who voted for the President votes for him in the coming election, but 10% of Afro-Americans who voted stay at home, Barack will lose! Hence whether you were paid for your role in this or not is a distinction without a difference. The result will be an unmitigated disaster for the least among us…the people you claim to care about the most.
    While your Op-Ed is full of hysterical moral preachment and pretentious sophistry masquerading as deep thought, with false analogies popping up everywhere like Banquo’s ghost, you never rise to what I believe is your true calling in the great struggle to determine whether civilization or savagery shall triumph in America. Sometimes you tease us with the possibility that you recognize your role, but you never rise to the occasion. A poignant case in point is the following observation: “King’s response to our crisis can be put in one word: revolution. A revolution in our priorities, a re-evaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens.” Obviously this transformation is a matter that is far beyond the control of any politician; this is work for preachers, philosophers and theologians.
    If you had been unable to recognize it before, the implications of your observations in the Op-Ed should have clearly defined your calling. You are a professor of religion at Princeton, a position which invests you with great authority on the interpretation of biblical texts. Hence instead of dispensing bad political advice and spouting questionable historical analysis, what we desperately need you to do is lead an assault on the theology that fuels so many of the arguments of the far right. How is it possible that you can stand silently by and bear witness to far right evangelists preaching a false doctrine that converts Jesus Christ from the champion of the poor and down trodden, into the God of billionaires that grind the poor underfoot to make the rich richer?
    How have you chosen to attack President Obama instead of Rick Perry, an unabashed foe of the working class who literally wraps himself in the bible, that is leading all Republican candidates in the polls, when Barack is the only friend of the poor who has a chance of being elected to the Oval Office? Why are you not running around like a watchman in the night yelling “Blasphemy!” “Sacriledge!” to the top of your lungs? Was it not Jesus who said: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven?” Did not Jesus Christ despise usurious bankers so much that he drove the money lenders from the temple with violent action? If I, a man whose devoutly Christian senior daughter has declared “an un-churched heathen,” is offended by this perversion of the teachings of Jesus why aren’t you? If their false theology offends a wretch like me – an avowed atheist beyond salvation – why are you so nonchalant Chilly Willie? You who claim to love the lord every chance you get ! I have wracked my brain seeking an answer to this enigma.
    If you are not the stealth provocateur out to do the president in for money or personal animosities fueled by envy, revenge or blind ambition, then you have misread your role and tragically squandered your splendid gifts worse than anyone I can think of now or in the distant past. Ten years ago you ran around the country urging people to vote for consumer advocate and political gadfly Ralph Nader rather than Al Gore, the Democratic candidate. And in doing so you helped to elect George W. Bush; if the 300,000 wayward Democrats had not voted for Nader in Florida, Al Gore’s margin of victory would have been so large that the controversy which put Bush in office would never have been an issue. Not only are you far too arrogant and self-righteous to fess up your role in this disaster, and seek forgiveness from the multitude of Americans who were injured or killed by Bush’s decisions on the economy, taxes, war and peace: You are doing it again!!!!!
    It seems that you never learn, or you refuse to learn, but I warned you that your misguided preachment could result in the election of George Bush and it did. In fact, I published a commentary of several thousand words laying out the dimensions of the impending disaster titled “On Choosing the Lesser Evil” and I have posted it on this blog to remind people of the destructive role you played 10 years ago. It is inconceivable that you learned nothing from that experience; but alas, either you learned nothing or you are clear in your purpose to destroy the Presidency of President Obama no matter what. That would make you a helpful ally of the Tea Party if not an agent. Should these right wing anti-government zealots achieve total control of the US government; the sins that they commit against working people of all colors will also leave an indelible stain on your character. It would be poetic justice worthy of a Shakespearian tragedy to watch you wander about like Lady Macbeth crying “Out damned spot!’ in a futile attempt to white-wash your role as midwife to the calamity.
    Playthell G. Benjamin
    Harlem, New York
    August 29, 2011

  87. It’s amazing how blacks are so divided. We have all these intellectual men and women with so much to offer, but instead of coming together, WE TEAR EACH OTHER DOWN. Our egos won’t let us unite. Light skinned, dark skinned, long hair, short hair, fat, skinny, educated and uneducated are just some of the issues that keep us divided. RACISM WITHIN THE AFRICAN AMERICAN RACE, HINDERS US FROM BEING EVEN GREATER. We bash and trash ourselves. We don’t need the KKK, THE REPUBS, THE TEA PARTY, THE RIGHT WING, Fox News or the local news and news papers to degrade us, WE DO IT TO OURSELVES. We are quick to point our finger at someone else, when we aren’t doing a d**n thing. If you feel passionate about something, start an organization and go for it. President Obama, Al Sharpton or no one else is stopping you from advancing. It could be your nasty, aggressive attitude(WEST, SMILEY AND WHOEVER ELSE WHO IS BASHING OUR brothers and sisters on tv). We are quick to say we don’t have any blacks on tv or in the media, now that we do, we degrade them every chance that we get. THE PURSUIT OF POWER IS DESTROYING AMERICA.

  88. Rev. George Brooks

    First of all, John Kennedy had far more backbone than Barack Obama, and he was not under the control of the men behind him, as much as Obama is with David Axelrod and his crew of jews, who are actually in full control of Obama, who is merely a puppet on a string. Ohama has absolutely no power and control, with this team of Jews that are always right at his side. But even Cornell West and Tavis Smiley will say anything directly about this, and call off Axelrod, Peter Rouse, Jacon Lew and other names. Nor will Al Sharpton or Michael Dyson, who have sold out to them, and not to Obama, because, again, Obama is NOT IN CHARGE. I’ve been trying to find out, without success, how much silver Sharpton is receiving for being their “yes man” on TV. And please don’t ever even say the name of Al Sharpton, Michael Tyson, Jesse Jackson or Cornel West along with the words Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And while I like the fact that West and Smiley have been standing up and calling out Obama, isn’t everyone aware of West and Smiley not receiving their paychecks from any black people, but also from white folks. So they too are limited in what they can do and say, and who they can and cannot talk about. Are they not? So you won’t be hearing them say anything against their “white masters” any time soon, no matter the fact that their bosses and places of employment are no doubt guilty or some racism sometimes. So they are all what I call “modern-day slaves,” including Obama, who is merely sitting in the presidential seat, and saying what he is told by the Jews around him. — Rev. George Brooks

  89. Rev. George Brooks

    Boyce Watkins, when are YOU going to bring up the issue of Jews controlling the White House, which needs to be fully discussed not only here, but by you and all of the other supposedly “top Negroes” that are in the media, politics, and other leadership roles? As well as the issue of racism in Israel, who are going to now go to work on Obama and his Jew bosses to get involved in the Iran attack issue. It seems all black leaders are not free to speak to this. Even thoug Jimmy Carter, Alice Walker, Snoop Dogg, Kareem Jabbar, myself, and a tiny few others are willing to talk about the apartheid there, which is hurting BLACKS from Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as Palestinians and CHRISTIANS in Israel. And did you know that on Israeli TV recently they called Jesus a monkey? But where is your topic on Jews ruling Obama, especially, with only quiet little Valerie Jarrett being there, among all of those Jews and other white folks in the White House, running the president and the whole show. Do they have Your Black World and Black Like Moi “chained” too, like they have Jackson, Sharpton, the NAACP, the Black Caucus, the black preachers, black radio, black newspapers, etc. etc, etc ? — Rev. George Brooks

    • When is Rev. George Brooks and the other want to be “top Negroes” in our community going to do something here in the shadow of your want to be churches. Give us an example of what you can do in your own community, before you go sticking your two cent in Dr. Boyce Watkins business.

  90. Pingback: Dr. Boyce Watkins Examines Cornel West's Sharpton, Dyson, Perry are 'Up for Sale' Comment | EURweb

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  92. Dr West and Tavis Smiley…..Sitcho’ a*s down somewhere and STFU. Stop interfering with positivity and stop hatin’.
    That’s it and it ain’t complicated. If you want to be good soldiers, and again, sit down and STFU.
    William Wharton at the top of this page! Thank You for your comments, they are on the money!

  93. Envy and jealousy is the mother of death a and murder…sad.

  94. Martin Luther king was for civil rights for all not just blacks. Does the Dr. And Smiley feel ignored by the president? Why can’t they sit down and reason or get an understanding with one another? We should all be able to work together. Not sit back and call one another names. This is just one more tool to use to separate us. We must not fall for this.

  95. There are no more “one leader” . We all need to be leaders in our community. Martin Luther king, Malcolm x, president Kennedy died so we can all be leaders. They were examples of good leaders. Let’s not put this weight or burden on one person. This is too much for one. President Obama can’t be held responsible for all our problems. What are solutions that we have in our hands today! Right now!

  96. Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification
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  97. На этот раз стоит поднят ьвопрос о смысле жизни, стоит ли жить на самом деле, вот вы ради чего живете? что вами движет? почему вы делаете то что делаете?

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