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Cornel West: ‘President Obama Has Very Little Moral Authority’ on Martin Case

Posted on Jul 22, 2013
Democracy Now!

Dr. Cornel West, professor at Union Theological Seminary and African-American author and activist, Monday examined the remarks President Obama had made Friday when he compared himself to Trayvon Martin, the black teen gunned down in February.

Martin’s killer, former neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, was acquitted on all charges last week when a jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the 17-year-old’s death.

“Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman asked West to respond to the president’s identification with the slain Martin.

“… President Obama speaking about his own life experience, going from saying ‘Trayvon Martin could have been my child’ to ‘Trayvon Martin could have been me’?” Goodman asked.

West was not gulled into praising the president for his words, when, as the professor says, Obama’s actions don’t match up.

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“That’s beautiful,” West responded to Goodman. “That’s an identification. The question is: Will that identification hide and conceal the fact there’s a criminal justice system in place that had nearly destroyed two generations of very precious, poor black and brown brothers. He hasn’t said a mumbling word until now. Five years in office and he can’t say a word about a ‘new Jim Crow.’ ”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

‘Democracy Now!:


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