8 comments on “Cornel West Unhappy That Obama Will Be Sworn in Using Martin Luther King’s Bible

  1. Uncle Albert,

    I’m not sure how it works exactly, but from what I’ve read he was being sworn on a combination of a bible belonging to MLK and one that belonged to Lincoln.

  2. Jellytot on said:

    Powerful…..you get the impression that West may just regard POTUS as a bit of a calculating fake.

  3. prianikoff on said:

    Somewhere, I can’t remember where, I saw the comment.

    Martin Luther King: ” I have a dream”
    Barack Obama: ” I have a drone”

  4. I get where Cornel West is coming from but in repeating “I come from the tradition” isn’t he also saying that Obama does not come from that same tradition.

    West seems to be coming close to saying that Obama is not coming out of the African-American history and legacy of slavery but is a Johnny-come-lately African interloper into the African-American story.

    It’s almost the flip side of the right-wing racist birther argument.

  5. The Toilers Will Rise on said:

    Neil,

    West is angry that Obama is swearing on King’s Bible while doing little to advance the progressive political struggle King dedicated his life to. Without the struggle of the civil rights movement it would not have been possible for Obama to be elected at all.

    This is a powerful speech by West calling for justice for the oppressed. That’s what matters.

  6. The Toilers Will Rise,

    I totally agree that West is “calling for justice for the oppressed” but his rhetoric is also saying that Obama comes from a different tradition, which comes close to saying “he’s not part of our narrative” or even “he’s not one of us”.

    It was a clever bit of rhetoric by West that calls for justice for the oppressed (and the USA does imprison far too many men of colour; and life is harder for many people from minorities) but he also asserts his difference from Obama.