One of America’s most famous African-American professors laid into America’s first black president Monday night as a sellout.
Appearing on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman,” Cornel West launched into a monologue about how America’s leaders, including President Barack Obama, care more about power and money than helping the suffering.
“Right now we live in an age of the sellouts,” the always-colorful Union Theological Seminary professor said, before attacking Obama from the left. “We live in an age of cupidity and love of money, money, money — Wu-Tang Clan, C.R.E.A.M, ‘cash rules everything around me,’ but it doesn’t have to rule me. But we have too many folk who are simply in love with money and access and power. And this is true when it comes to mainstream leadership; it is true when it comes to our president.”
“I mean, the president, you’ve got 500 Palestinian babies killed in 50 days. Did he say a mumbling word?” West, who is honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, continued. “Political calculation. Not moral conviction. The same is true in terms of poor people. You’ve got 40 percent of children of color living in poverty in the richest nation in the history of the world. That’s a moral abomination.”
West argued that Obama is too afraid of Fox News to not let his liberal freak flag fly.
“Where are the voices? Well, the president says, ‘no, Fox News is going to get me, right wing is going to get me, the neo-liberal opportunists, they say it’s not a major issue because they’ve got political calculation,'” West went on. “Who’s going to tell truth? The condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak regardless of your popularity. Where’s your integrity? We don’t have enough folk of integrity and that’s true across the board, whatever color.”
Letterman butted in to ask whether West’s monologue was meant to be an “indictment” of President Obama or “the political system?”
“Both,” West replied. “Because we have to take personal responsibility. There’s no doubt about it. But when you come into the office and you bring in Wall Street folk and you got drones and you still got massive surveillance and you say, ‘wait a minute, these are the choices you’ve got to make.’ You got to be accountable for your choices. Well, you don’t demonize a brother, but you criticize a brother.”
It should be noted that for all West’s talk about other people being greedy and being in love with “money, money, money,” he apparently asks for between $30,000 and $50,000 to give a speech. Not too shabby.
Maria Cole, an assistant to Cornel West at Union Theological Seminary, disputes that West asks for between $30,000 and $50,000 to speak, as All American Speakers Bureau advertises.
“I have confirmed that Dr. West has never engaged with ‘All American Speakers,'” Cole wrote in an email to The Daily Caller. “In fact, they do not link to his website where people go to inquire about his speaking engagements. They were never authorized on behalf of Dr. West to solicit any kind of fees or book engagements. Even the photo they use is at least 35 years old.”
“His average fee is about $10,000,” she continued. “He has done some for less (depending on the cause) and some for more (depending on the institution).”
An email to All American Speakers Bureau to get their side of the story has so far gone unreturned.