Dr. Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary Professor, was recently on C-Span for a discussion on Poverty in America where he addressed an interesting aspect of President Barack Obama’s oath that made his "blood boil."
West spoke out against the idea of President Obama sworn in to office with his hands on Martin Luther King Jr.’s bible.
In the video clip below you can hear West explain it as, “When I got the news that my dear brother Barack Obama, President Obama, was going to put his precious hand on Martin Luther King Jr.’s bible I got upset. And I got upset because, you don’t play with Martin Luther King Jr. and you don’t play with his people. By his people what I mean is people in good conscience, fundamentally committed to piece and truth and justice.”
West goes on to explain how this situation offended him.
“…All the blood sweat, and tears that went into producing a Martin Luther King Jr. generated a brother of such high decency and dignity that you don’t use his prophetic fire as just a moment in presidential pageantry without understanding the challenge that he presents to all of those in power no matter what color they are, no matter what color they are. So the righteous indignation of a Martin Luther King Jr. becomes a moment in political calculation and that makes my blood boil.”
West proceeds to highlight the three crimes against humanity to which Martin Luther King Jr. died fighting against – Jim Crow, carpet-bombing in Vietnam, and poverty of all colors including “Indian reservations, in brown boroughs, and yellow slices, and black ghettos.”
“So I say to myself, brother Martin Luther King Jr. what would you say about the new Jim Crow? What would you say about the prison industrial complex? What would you say about the invisibility of so many of our prisoners, so many of our incarcerated, especially when 62 percent of them are there for soft drugs, but not one executive of a Wall Street bank gone to jail? …. Martin what would you say about the poverty in America now?”