Cornel West: Obama the First 'N*ggerized' President

"White supremacy is American as cherry pie."

On CNN Monday, civil rights activist Cornel West shamed President Obama for what he characterized as allowing himself to be too "scared and intimated" to truly stand up for African-Americans and fight against "white supremacy."

West, honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America made the comments in response to Obama's choice to use the N-word in a statement about the mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston by white supremacist Dylann Roof.

Calling white supremacy as "American as cherry pie," West blasted Obama for failing to be the fearless leader the black community needs him to be.

"Too many black people are niggerized," West said, explaining that the word meant a black person who is too fearful to really confront white racism. "I would say the first black president has become the first niggerized black president," said West.

WEST: You can't talk about wealth and inequality, you can't talk about education, you can't talk about massive unemployment and under employment and you can't talk about drones being dropped on people in other parts of the world without talking about white supremacy and its ways in which it operates. It doesn't have to be overt. The president is right about that. But too many black people are niggerized. I would say the first black president has become the first niggerized black president. 

CNN ANCHOR: What do you mean by that?

WEST: A niggerized black person is a black person who is afraid and scared and intimidated when it comes to putting a spotlight on white supremacy and fighting against white supremacy. So when many of us said we have to fight against racism, what were we told? "No, he can't deal with racism because he has other issues, political calculations. He's the president of all America, not just black America." We know he's president of all America but white supremacy is American as cherry pie. 

We're talking about moral issues, spiritual issues, emotional issues. White supremacy has nothing to do with just skin pigmentation, it has to be what kind of person you want to be, what kind of nation we want to be. Democrats and Republicans play on both of those parties in terms of running away from the vicious legacy of white supremacy until it hits us hard. Thank God for Ferguson. Thank God for the young folk of all colors. Thank God for Staten Island and fighting there. Thank God in Baltimore, now the precious folk in Charleston.

This is not the first time that West has denounced Obama. In 2011, he went "ballistic" on the president for failing to meet his radical progressive standards. Last summer at an anti-Israel rally, West condemned Obama as a "war criminal" for killing innocent people with drones and providing funds to Israel for "killing innocent Palestinians in Gaza."

Video, transcript via RCP

Issues

People

Organizations