*Activist Cornel West has expressed disappointment with President Obama’s response to last week’s shootings of black men by police in Minnesota and Louisiana.
“I thought it was weak,” West said, according to The Washington Post. “He’s always got to explain to white America how black people are feeling. Black people don’t feel as if we’re being treated unequally — it’s a fact that we’re being treated unequally. He sort of always has to serve in this translating role. That’s how he rolls, but that’s not how I roll.”
West said while Obama called Thursday’s attacks on Dallas police officers “a vicious and despicable act,” he would not use those exact words to describe police-involved killings in general.
West said the president’s latest remarks emphasized how Obama has not taken advantage of time to speak out on racial justice.
“He’s been running from the issue for too long. When he finally gets pushed into a corner, he says something eloquent and articulate. But you’ve got to be able to hit it head on,” West said.
Cornel has been consistently critical of President Obama concerning his public statements on racial inequality and injustice. In 2014, West took aim at the Obama’s reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
“The thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency.,” Cornel explained. “The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. We ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist. Another neoliberal opportunist.”
Cornel West once said “there’s no prophetic integrity” in Obama’s leadership.