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I have been sympathetic to Cornel West and his recent brutal assessment of President Obama, but I can also sympathize with those who found his attacks to be unproductive and unfair. Writes Ta-Nehesi Coates:
Both are afflicted with a species of blindness, and intellectual sloth. Understanding and debating actual policy is hard. Enumeratingperceivedslights and name-calling, and dubbing it a black agenda, is not.
There is no real difference between Tea Partiers who insist that NAACP are the actual racists, and those who believe Obama is a "black mascot" damning the influence of identity politics. There is no real difference between those who push their agenda by implying that Obama isn't really American, and those who push their agenda by implying that Obama isn't really black.
Coates has a point here - West did not exactly fill his rant with illustrative examples, and I have yet to see him put anything out proving his assertions. I also understand why Coates is dismayed at West's resort to racial politics. I don't agree with Coates on this (I think race still plays an important role in American politics whether we like it or not), but I get that he would like the debate to move on.
I would like to see West come out and substantiate his claims. I happen to agree with
and have read much evidence to support the notion that Obama has done little to reform the corrupt political system he pledged to boldly reform. But while hyperbole and anger can be useful in bringing attention to important issues, West now has a duty to back his words with hard evidence.