Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

27Jul/130

Cornel West: Obama’s Response to Trayvon Martin Case Belies Failure to Challenge “New Jim Crow”

The video below features Cornel West taking issue with President Obama's remarks last Friday about the Trayvon Martin tragedy, as well as the not-guilty verdict reached in the George Zimmerman trial. The full transcript from this interview is available at Democracy Now.

Among the issues Cornel West raises...

  • The contradiction when the President identifies with Trayvon Martin as a Black male who has been racially profiled (with tragic consequences), but offering little in terms of leadership or a federal agenda that transforms this nation's criminal justice system... one which targets and criminalizes poor, Black and Brown brothers and sisters across the country.
  • The contradiction presented when the president decries racial profiling in the case of George Zimmerman while simultaneously celebrating and praising the work of New York's police chief Ray Kelly, who is actively affirming and justifying the use of 'Stop and Frisk' as the policing policy in New York City - a policy fundamentally profiling and targeting Black and Brown communities.
  • Forecasting an impending moral test for Black leadership in this country who have rallied behind the President at every turn, yet who may run up against a brick wall while pressing the federal government (via the Department of Justice) to push a civil rights case against George Zimmerman in the wake of his targeting and killing of Trayvon Martin.  West comments on the signals offered by the President that the federal government might have limited influence in this regard, an assertion West says is so far from the truth, and further highlights a lack of commitment to these issues on the president's part.
  • Also forecasting what he fears will be a lack of strong moral courage and critique of government by the establishment Black leadership class during the upcoming activities commemorating the 50th anniversary the 1963 March on Washington, and the disgrace this will bring to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the many other leaders who challenged injustice in all of its forms and places.

I'd love to hear what you have to say about Cornel West's comments...

 

 

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