"Cornel West attacks Obama as "too comfortable" with smart Jews. http://bit.ly/ko69nT"
At first glance, Frum's tweet has the perhaps not unintended effect of leaving the reader with a sense that either Barack Obama or Cornel West is an anti-semite of the Mel Gibson variety. As a tweet, it's quite effective. By mentioning President Obama, philosopher West, and implying anti-semitism, Frum rounds the bases in one short sentence. You get a nice grouping of Obama with "radical" Blacks who stereotype Jews. One has to appreciate the talent involved in packing that much gasoline into less than 140 characters. Well played sir.
Frum's link leads to the second page of Chris Hedges' May 16th TruthDig column, "The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic," which painstakingly details Professor West's beef with the President. Hedges' column explains West's two-fold personal and political disappointment in Obama's apparent concessions to the ultra-wealthy elite. On one hand, the Professor seems insulted that the President had not done more to personally interact, respond, and thank him for his support during the campaign, which seems sort of petty but whatever. On the other, West is infuriated by seemingly counter-productive actions such as Obama's appointment of Timothy Geitner and Larry Summers to oversee a corrupt financial sector whose corruption they themselves participated in. This attack seems fair. Appointing Summers and Geitner to oversee the financial sector is sort of like appointing FEMA's Michael "Heck of a Job" Brown to oversee the current Mississippi flood. Like, didn't he screw that up the first time?
You may be wondering at this point, where Jews fit into all this.
It's clear from Professor West's quotes in Hedges' column that he's personally salty with the President, leading him to the sort of "you a house n!@@a" character assassination I'd hoped we left behind in the late eighties. West:
"I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men,” West says. “It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation. When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And that’s true for a white brother. When you get a white brother who meets a free, independent black man, they got to be mature to really embrace fully what the brother is saying to them. It’s a tension, given the history. It can be overcome. Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.
“He feels most comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want,” he says."
In it's own way, West's critique of Obama isn't much different than the sort Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, or Dinesh D'Souza deal in. Along the lines of Gingrich's, "What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?"
But West only mentions Jews in passing. As far as I can tell, the word Jewish appears ONCE in the entire lengthy article. To take, "Cornel West attacks Obama as "too comfortable" with smart Jews" from one passing mention of comfort with middle-class, white, AND Jewish men in a long article focused on personal insult, the financial sector, politics, race, and so on, seems ... hmm what's the word, disingenuous ... at best.
Still, nice tweet. Sphere: Related Content