Cornel West Scolds Al Sharpton: 'Tell the Truth About the White House'

Princeton professor and civil rights activist Cornel West, in an interview with Diverse magazine, had some harsh words for MSNBC's Al Sharpton.

"Tell the truth about the White House":

“Whoever thought that Brother Al wouldn’t be protesting any administration?” asks West, who served as an adviser to Sharpton’s 2004 presidential campaign. “You watch his show on MSNBC and you want to say, ‘Brother Al, you come out of the Black prophetic tradition like me. Tell the truth about the White House,’ but he won’t say a mumbling word.”

West also had some harsh words for Sharpton's MSNBC colleague Melissa Harris-Perry who he brought to Princeton from the University of Chicago:

“I have a love for the sister, but she is a liar, and I hate lying,” says West, adding that Harris-Perry later said on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” that West attacked Obama’s White mother in the interview with Truthdig.com. “I don’t talk about people’s mamas. She’s reinforcing all of the vicious perceptions of me as a racist, and she knows better than that.”

Harris-Perry’s scathing critique, West says, has more to do with the fact that the Center for African American Studies unanimously voted against her when she came up for promotion from associate to full professor, adding that her work was not scholarly enough.

“There's not of lot of academic stuff with her, just a lot of twittering,” says West, who added that her book Sister Citizen, released last year, was “wild and out of control.”

“She’s become the momentary darling of liberals, but I pray for her because she’s in over her head. She’s a fake and a fraud. I was surprised how treacherous the sister was.”

Syracuse University professor and social commentator Boyce Watkins agreed with West:

West had run off the plantation by speaking freely, not as an enemy of the Obama Administration (he campaigned heavily for the president), but as someone who demanded that we give a voice to the voiceless. But when you have 96 percent of the Black vote, there is almost no incentive to do anything for Black people, especially those who are poor or in prison.

It’s much easier to convince Black people to be quiet by using political goons to terrorize any voices of dissent. I can just hear someone at a closed-door meeting making the statement, “The negroes are getting upset, what do we do? Perhaps we should find one of our personal negroes to fight him.”

Well, in full overseer tradition, the Democrats have created well-paid African-American attack dogs willing to defend their actions at any cost. Since Harris-Perry and her friends had no legitimate defense to the critiques of Dr. West, they presumed that it would be easier to simply discredit him. You see, if you kill the messenger, you never have to deal with the message itself.

Harris-Perry allowed herself to be used by the liberal establishment and their media channels to paint Professor West as irrelevant, petty, and ignorant in his critiques.


Watkins concluded:

In the Black community, leading Democrats have learned the dictator lesson well: If we hijack a few figureheads in the Black community and convince them to always speak in support of our agenda, we don’t actually have to do very much for Black people themselves.

It’s much easier to take care of the Head N*gger In Charge (HNIC) than it is to take care of the people they represent – just give them big media guns and have them aim those guns at any of the field negroes who choose to participate in the rebellion. That’s what makes Melissa Harris-Perry so harmful.

Although Watkins didn't address what West said about Sharpton, one could make the same case about the reverend given his claim to 60 Minutes last May.

As Lesley Stahl reported at the time, "Sharpton told us that having a black president is a challenge: if he finds fault with Mr. Obama, he's aiding those who want to destroy him. So he has decided not to criticize the president about anything - even about black unemployment that’s twice the national rate."

Fits Watkins' description to a tee: "In the Black community, leading Democrats have learned the dictator lesson well: If we hijack a few figureheads in the Black community and convince them to always speak in support of our agenda, we don’t actually have to do very much for Black people themselves."

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Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.