Cornel West continued to air his scathing grievances with the Obama administration this past Wednesday in an interview with Pierce Morgan. The Princeton professor and celebrated black intellectual began by explaining why he previously referred to the president as a “black mascot” for “Wall Street oligarchs,” as well as the “proud” head of the “American killing machine.”
“I supported by dear brother Barack Obama because I wanted to bring an end to the age of Reagan, greed running amok, indifference to poor people, and highly polarized body politic,” he said. “When he moves into office, who do we get? We get his economic team coming right out of Wall Street.”
West’s biggest beef with the Obama administration is that he believes it is not concerned enough with the plight of the poor. “We all have gangster proclivities,” he joked, but says that Wall Street personnel acting on those proclivities is what caused the economic crisis. And since he believes that the Obama administration is “in the shadow of Wall Street,” and perhaps part of the greedy “age of Reagan,” the poor will not receive the attention they need unless something changes.
When asked how his criticism of Obama was different from attacks by Fox news, West responded by saying that Obama was a “mascot” and a “puppet,” but still a human being who should not be called a “socialist” because he is “very much an extension of the corporate state that has been squeezing out the juices of our democracy.”
Also interviewed alongside West was Tavis Smiley, a TV host and radio personality. Smiley spoke about their upcoming project “The Poverty Tour: A Call to Consciousness,” where the two will get in a bus and visit 15 different cities to talk to and about the poor.
They plan to “use this date of August 6 through 12 to put as much attention, as much focus, as much spotlight as [they] can, on raising the issue of poverty in America higher on the agenda,” especially “in this presidential race…about to [be] embarked upon” says Smiley.
Morgan, Smiley and West seemed to agree that American innovation is necessary for joblessness to return to a normal level, and that people do not seem to be fostering this innovation because they are not angry enough with the state of affairs in their country.
Towards the end of the interview Morgan asked whether Smiley or West would be willing to vote for President Obama in the upcoming election. Both declined to answer.