Like most who attended the 50th anniversary commemoration of the March on Washington, Cornel West appreciated the symbolism of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic crowd of tens of thousands gathered to celebrate a landmark event in civil rights history. And, as usual, the professor and radio commentator also had his own spin.
"[We] saw of course the coronation of the bona fide house Negro of the Obama plantation, our dear brother Al Sharpton, supported by the Michael Dysons and others who’ve really prostituted themselves intellectually in a very ugly and vicious way," West said on the Friday broadcast of his Smiley and West radio program.
The prostitution reference is a not-so-thinly-veiled criticism of Sharpton, host of MSNBC's PoliticsNation, and Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson and other African-Americans who frequently appear on the cable network.
West also believes the speeches would have caused Martin Luther King Jr. to "roll in his grave" because of the lack of focus on jobs and other key issues.
"He wants people talking about the new Jim Crow and the privatization of education, and the various ways in which the well to do, the oligarchs and plutocrats are getting away with murder," West lamented. "You didn’t hear that whatsoever. You not only got a tame Martin Luther King Jr., but a real sense in which who he really was at the end of his life hardly surfaced at all."
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(Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images)