Jonathan Capehart: Cornel West Is No Better Than A Birther

Washington Post writer Jonathan Capehart has taken after Cornel West's remarks in an interview at with strident disagreement.

From the interview:

No one grasps this tragic descent better than West, who did 65 campaign events for Obama, believed in the potential for change and was encouraged by the populist rhetoric of the Obama campaign. He now nurses, like many others who placed their faith in Obama, the anguish of the deceived, manipulated and betrayed. He bitterly describes 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.

Capehart responds:

What West said is no less offensive, harmful and wrong than what Dinesh D’Souza said — with an assist from Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee — about a presumable anti-colonial and un-American mind-set possessed by Obama. Whereas these folks tried to deny the president his citizenship, West is trying to deny him his inherent blackness. By indulging in the “Obama-as-other” narrative, West is no better than a birther. By making petty complaints in that Truthdig interview about the lack of returned phone calls and not getting Inauguration tickets, West is no different than Gingrich in 1995 , when his displeasure over his seat on Air Force One led to a government shutdown.

Melissa Harris-Perry and Adam Serwer weighed in, too with similar reactions.

I don't understand what the goal is when it comes to Cornel West's opinion. He says in that same interview that if the only backstop against fascism is Barack Obama, he'll go with that. If the goings-on in Republican states and the United States Congress doesn't convince you of that, then look to the Supreme Court's future to understand what's at stake. So why come out and call President Obama a tool of the oligarchs? It makes no sense, and is suppressive in nature and intent.


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