Cornel West: Obama a 'Republican in Blackface'

In an interview, the professor pulled no punches regarding the president's priorities.

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Tavis Smiley and Cornel West (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

Cornel West has made it clear that he feels that President Obama should be more proactive in tackling issues like poverty and the prison-industrial complex. Some African Americans see the professor's views as divisive, while others say he's speaking truth to power. Recently, in an interview with Democracy Now, West and Tavis Smiley were asked about the president's priorities, and while Smiley said Americans must encourage the POTUS to be the best he can be, West was much more critical, writes the Atlanta Daily World.

"I think that it's morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion -- poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well, no talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people. So we end up with such a narrow, truncated political discourse, as the major problems -- ecological catastrophe, climate change, global warming. So it's very sad. I mean, I'm glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies" ...

When asked his opinions of Michael Eric Dyson and MSNBC hosts the Rev. Al Sharpton and Melissa Harris-Perry, both strong Obama supporters, West responded with equal candor: