Sunday, August 17, 2014

Black Scholars Cornell West and Michael Eric Dyson Blast President Obama

Professor, author, and intellectualist Michael Eric Dyson has expressed his disappointment in President Obama's responses to several events and issues, the latest being the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson MS police officer. Dyson feels President Barack Obama needs to take a more assertive approach to addressing the underlying issues at play in the metastasizing situation in Ferguson, MO. Dyson criticized local law enforcement and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) as well.

“I yearn for more response from the White House,” Dyson said. “This president knows better than most what happens in poor communities that have been antagonized historically by the hostile relationship between black people and the police department. It is not enough for him to come on national television and pretend there is a false moral equivalency between police people who are armed and black people who are vulnerable constantly to this.” - Michael Eric Dyson

Dr. Dyson also said Obama needs to use his bully pulpit to step up and articulate this as a vision. “He commended Attorney General Eric Holder for doing a tremendous job in filling in those gaps. Dyson says we need presidential leadership and the President needs to step up to the plate and be responsible.

Dyson's critique of the President comes on the heels of recent searing critique of the President by Civil Rights Activist, professor and author, Cornell West. Dr. West called President Barack Obama a war criminal during an August demonstration in Washington D.C. supporting Palestinians, Talking Points Memo reported.

Specifically West said:

“There’s an intimate connection between mendacity and criminality, between lies and crimes against humanity. And what I want to say to my Black brother in the White House: Barack Obama is a war criminal, not because he’s Black, or half-African and white, because his drones have killed 233 innocent children, and because he facilitates the killing of innocent Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, and it would be true anywhere else.”

West has often express displeasure with Obama's stance, response, and position on progressive values, specific action to attack poverty in general and on problems in the black community. West's attitude toward the President had often put him at odds with major Black personalities like Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey.

Some find it odd that entrenched Black figureheads like Dyson and West would be so pointed in their criticism of the President. Then others find it refreshing that some Blacks don't abandon their convictions for fear of being charged with abandoning and not not supporting the "Black" President.

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