Cornel West on How Intellectuals Betrayed the Poor

I met Cornel West last year in San Francisco at the American Academy of Religion. I am looking forward to attending AAR in Chicago this weekend,

Preach it, Brother West!


The Call of Simon Peter in Luke 5:1-11
Biblical Texts and Historicity
On Pseudonyms and Insults
Korihors, Secular Humanism, and the Book of Mormon
About Chris Henrichsen

Chris Henrichsen has moved Approaching Justice off of Patheos. Find his latest posts and the new Approaching Justice. Thanks!

  • Eric L. Wattree

    What Has Obama Done for the Poor and Middle Class?
    Many of the people who go around talking about Obama hasn’t done anything for the poor and middle class generally break down into two categories – self-serving demagogues who are out to mislead the people for their own gain, and the victims of those demagogues who are basing their opinion on what they’ve been told, since most of them obviously haven’t read anything beyond the sports page in twenty years.
    While the former group are disgusting for trying to mislead the people for person gain, at least they’re trying to better their condition. The latter, on the other hand, are not only disgusting, but sad. These people are obviously too lazy-minded to, at the very least, keep themselves informed enough to protect their own families.
    Many of them can tell you the name and birthdate of the bat boy was who cleaned the bat that was used to scored the winning run in the 1936 World Series. Yet, these same people won’t spare a couple of minutes to make sure their families aren’t victimized by demagogues. Maybe it would be more effective if instead of telling them that corporate fascists intend to enslave their families, we told them that the fascists are going to abolish ESPN and the Soul Train Awards. Maybe then we’d end up with a nation full of political scholars.
    I mean, they don’t have to be brilliant to obtain this information. All they have to do is go to Google and look it up. So what has Obama done for the Poor, you ask? He’s done the following – and this is just the short list:

    1). He stopped the nation from hemorrhaging 800,000 jobs A MONTH under Bush. I’d say that helped the poor and middle class.

    2). He stopped the nation from going into a second Great Depression. I would think, that also helped the poor and middle class.

    3). He save the American auto industry. I’m pretty sure that also qualifies as helping the poor and middle class.

    4). He was the first president to successfully passed healthcare reform in 70 years. That not only helped, but will save the lives of many of the poor and middle class.

    5). He created more jobs in 27 months than Bush did in 7 years. That definitely helped the poor and middle class.

    6). While he was doing all of the things above, he also managed to get Osama Bin Laden in his spare time – and if you remember, Bush spent 7 years, upward of a TRILLION dollars, and killed or maimed thousands of American troops in that effort. But Obama managed to pull it off with two helicopters and a handful of men.
    Bush and Cheney’s incompetence and greed in this matter destroyed and/or disrupted thousands of poor and middle class families, while the rich had to look at their ever swelling war profits just to know that the nation was involved in conflict. The war had no impact on them, because the rich don’t send their kids to die for this country – that’s a job for poor folks. Thus, Bush and Cheney’s mismanagement of both the economy, and the war in Iraq, played a major role in what got us in this economic quagmire in the first place. Yet, we didn’t hear a word from critics like Tavis Smiley and Cornel West during George W. Bush’s fiasco. Where were these two defenders of the poor and middle class then?
    But Obama didn’t complain about that – he didn’t have time to complain, and he didn’t have time to respond to the ridiculous charges of envious Black-on-Black racists. The president is an adult, with adult concerns, so he was, and is, much too busy cleaning up the mess left behind by the relative ear-splitting silence during the Bush administration, of those who have suddenly discovered a newfound concern for “the least of these.”
    While others were plotting, fighting for attention, and whining, President Obama was busy doing following: . . . MORE