- The Washington Times - Monday, October 6, 2014

President Obama hasn’t exactly been a gift to the black community, said Cornel West in his new book, “Black Prophetic Fire.”

Instead, Mr. Obama has “made it more difficult for black courageous and radical voices to bring critique to bear on the U.S. empire,” he wrote in an excerpt published by Salon.

Mr. West said black activism under Mr. Obama has moved from social movements to politics — and that’s not a good thing, Raw Story reported.

“This shift produces voices that are rarely if ever critical of this system,” he said in his book. Mr. West went on to say that Mr. Obama has basically shuttered the “prophetic voices” that would have led the country from its present state — one where “desperate poor people whose labor is no longer necessary for the system [are left] at the bottom.”

Mr. West said: “The state of black America in the age of Obama has been one of desperation, confusion and capitulation. The desperation is rooted in the escalating suffering on every front. The confusion arises from a conflation of symbol and substance. The capitulation rests on an obsessive need to protect the first black president against all forms of criticism.”

Mr. West then called the Obama administration primarily a “Wall Street presidency, drone presidency, mass surveillance presidency,” Raw Story reported. “His major effort to focus on poor black men was charity and philanthropy — not justice or public policy.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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