Public intellectual Cornel West tore into many of this week’s speeches surrounding the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s “I Have a Dream” speech, accusing everyone from President Obama to Rev. Al Sharpton of “sanitizing” Dr. King’s vision.
“Brother Martin himself, I think, would’ve been turning over in his grave,” West said of the event. “[King would have wanted] people to talk about Wall Street criminality, he wants people to talk about war crimes, or drones dropping bombs on innocent people,” he asserted.
“Instead,” he lamented, “we saw the coronation of the bonafide house negro of the Barack Obama plantation, our dear brother Al Sharpton.” West went further declaring that Sharpton’s decline was “supported by [MSNBC analyst] Michael Dyson and others who’ve prostituted themselves in a very ugly and vicious way.”
West and Tavis Smiley both lamented that black leadership has become “so sold-out” so as not to have the courage to be a “bull in the china shop,” break rank, and talk about “racism, poverty, and militarism” at an otherwise “bought-out” event.
This is not the first time West has referred to Sharpton as being “on the Obama plantation.” The radio host made the same claim in July when he felt Sharpton did not advocate hard enough for a Department of Justice “civil rights” prosecution against the recently-acquitted George Zimmerman.