Cornel West Explains Why It Bothers Him That Obama Will Be Taking The Oath With MLK’s Bible
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[Cornel West Explains Why It Bothers Him That Obama Will Be Taking The Oath With MLK’s Bible]
[Cornel Ronald West (June 2, 1953)] Source: LYBIO.net
But now when I got the news that my dear brother, Barack Obama, President Obama was going to put his precious hand on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Bible, I got upset. And I got upset, because you don’t play with Martin Luther King, Jr. and you don’t play with his people. And by his people, what I mean is people of good conscience, fundamentally committed to peace, and truth and justice. And especially the black tradition that produced him.
All the blood, sweat and tears that went into producing a Martin Luther King, Jr. generated a brother of such high decency and dignity that you don’t use his prophetic fire as just a moment in a presidential pageantry without understanding the challenge that he presents to all of those in power no matter what color they are. No matter what color they are!
[Cornel Ronald West] Source: LYBIO.net
So, the righteous indignation of a Martin Luther King, Jr. becomes a moment in political calculation, and that makes my blood boil. Why? Because Martin Luther King, Jr., he died owing to three crimes against humanity, he was wrestling with. Jim Crow, traumatizing, terrorizing, stigmatizing black people, lynching, [and so forth] – not just segregation the way the press likes to talk about.
Second, carpet bombing in Vietnam, killing innocent people especially innocent children, those are war crimes Martin Luther King, Jr. was willing to die for. And thirdly, was poverty of all colors. He said it’s a crime against humanity for the richest nation in the history of the world to have so many of its precious children of all colors living in poverty, and especially on the chocolate side of the nation in on Indian reservations and brown barrios, in yellow slices, and black ghettos, then. We call them hoods now, but ghettos then.
So I said to myself, “ok nothing wrong with putting your hand on the Bible.” Even though the bible is talking about justice and Jesus is talking about “the least of these.” But when you put in Martin’s bible? I said, this is personal for me. This is the tradition that I came out of. This is a tradition that’s connected to my grandmother’s prayers, and my grandfather’s sermons, and my mother’s tears, and my father’s smile, and it’s over against all of those in power who refuse to follow decent policies.
So I say to myself, “Brother Martin Luther King, Jr., what would you say about the new Jim Crow? What would you say about the prison industrial complex? What would you say about the invisibility of so many of our prisoners? So many of our incarcerated, especially when 62% of them are there for soft drugs, but not one executive of the Wall Street bank going to jail? Not one!” Martin don’t like that. Not one wiretapper. Not one torturer under the Bush administration, at all.
[Cornel Ronald West] Source: LYBIO.net
Then, what you say about the drones being dropped on our precious brothers and sisters in Pakistan and Somalia and Yemen? Those are war crimes, just like war crimes in Vietnam. Martin Luther King, Jr., what would you say? “My voice hollers out,” and don’t tame it with your hand on his bible. Allow his prophetic voice to be heard. Martin, what would you say about the poverty in America now, beginning with the children and then the elderly, then our working folk, and all colors not just here, around the world. Don’t hide and conceal his challenge. Don’t tame his prophetic fire.
So, as much as I’m glad that Barack Obama won, I think that brother Mitt Romney would have been a catastrophe, and I understand my brother Newt told the truth about fat vampire capitalism but that’s true for the system as a whole not just Mitt Romney in that regard.
But when Barack Obama attempts to use that rich tradition of Frederick Douglas and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, use the tradition of A. Phillip Randolph, use the tradition of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, use the tradition of Tom Hayden and so many others struggling to produce that voice that pushed Martin in a direction that he did, I get upset.
People say, “Oh brother West, there’s Smiley in West, hating Obama.” No, no. We just loving the tradition that produced Martin Luther King, Jr. and we’re not going to allow it to be in any way sanitized, deodorized and sterilized, we want the subversive power to be heard. That’s what made me think, when he said he was going to put in his hand on that bible. And I’m praying for him. I’m praying for him. As is Newt – both of us Christians, you Catholic, I’m holy-ghost funky-gut gut-bucket Baptist, but we’re praying for him, putting pressure on him.
So Dr. West – so Doctor mentioning the children.
[Cornel Ronald West]
[Tavis Smiley] Source: LYBIO.net
And that’s a perfect segue to go straight to Jonathan and to Mariana.
Cornel West Explains Why It Bothers Him That Obama Will Be Taking The Oath With MLK’s Bible. Martin Luther King, Jr. generated a brother of such high decency and dignity that you don’t use his prophetic fire as just a moment in a presidential pageantry. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.