Cornel West and Barack Obama at 2007 fundraiser
Cornel West, a race-relations professor at Princeton, this week slammed President Obama as a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”
“And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it,” he said.
West made the remarks Wednesday in an interview with the TruthDig website.
West told the website his “dear brother,” Barack Obama, has a “certain fear of free black men.”
Continued West: “It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. … When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening.”
West charged Obama feels most comfortable with “upper middle-class white and Jewish men” who consider themselves “very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want.”
The criticism shows a major shift in West’s views of Obama. During the 2008 presidential campaign, West served on Obama’s Black Advisory Council. West, whom Obama has described as a personal friend, was a key point man between Obama’s presidential campaign and the black community.
It was West who first introduced Obama at the politician’s initial foray into the Harlem community.
West introduced Obama on stage at a 2007 Harlem fundraiser. At the time, Obama took the stage calling West a “genius.”
WND reported West introduced Obama on stage at the fundraiser after first railing against the “racist” criminal-justice system of the “American empire.”
A scan of YouTube clips found West introducing Obama at the fundraiser while stating the “American empire is in such a deep crisis” and slamming the “racist criminal-justice system” and “disgraceful schools in our city.”
“He is my brother and my companion and comrade,” said West of Obama.
WND found a video that shows Obama taking the stage just after West’s introduction, expressing his gratitude to West, calling him “not only a genius, a public intellectual, a preacher, an oracle … he’s also a loving person.”
Obama asked the audience for a round of applause for West.
West served as an adviser on Farrakhan’s Million Man March and is a self-described personal friend of the Nation of Islam leader. West authored two books on race with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who was at the center of a controversy in which Obama criticized Gates’ treatment by police outside his home after a report of a burglary.
With research by Brenda J. Elliott