Al Sharpton is too deferential to criticize the president and as as such is “still on the Obama plantation.”
That’s the assessment of prominent Princeton University professor and civil rights activist Cornel West.
As we reported previously, for Al Sharpton, the fallout from the Trayvon Martin shooting has projected his organization, the National Action Network, to center stage.
That notwithstanding, West and colleague Tavis Smiley, who do a radio show together, lamented that it is unlikely that the Justice Department will go forward with civil rights charges against neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman who was found not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter in the Trayvon Martin case. The feds are just going the the motions, West believes.
Many (but not all) legal pundits — including those sympathetic to the administration and the Martin family — have concluded the feds have limited grounds to bring a case against Zimmerman, however.
According to political commentator Smiley (listen to embed below), “Black people now find themselves at the mercy of an African-American Attorney General to do something else. He came out this week at the NAACP convention this week and talked about the stand-your-ground law. What do you make of the irony of who we have to depend on now to make a decision that I for one don’t believe is forthcoming.”
West then agreed with Smiley that it’s doubtful that any federal charges will emerge and specifically noted that Al Sharpton is not holding the president accountable for political reasons:
“…. I think they just its just smoke and mirrors at this point and it’s going to be on to the next issue as soon as they think this thing settles down. Now the good thing is it won’t settle down, and it’s going to create some kind of division within our black political class because it’s just too humiliating it’s too embarrassing — you see it with Brother Sharpton; Sharpton probably deep down wants to be critical of the president, but he can’t because he’s still on the Obama plantation… Why? Because he’s still too tied, he’s too uncritical, he’s too deferential, he’s too subservient as it were, and as long as that’s in place we’re going to find ourselves unable to tell the fundamental truth.”
On Friday, Tavis Smiley tweeted that the president’s remarks about Trayvon Martin’s death and the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict were “as weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid.”
An erstwhile Obama supporter, Cornel West has been vocal in his criticism of the president in various policy areas, including the lethal drone policy which he considers a war crime. On CNN this weekend, West claimed that that the Obama administration’s drone policy “makes us the George Zimmerman of the world in terms of killing innocent folk in the name of self-defense.”
Do you agree or disagree with Prof. Cornel West’s comments about Al Sharpton and his unwillingness to level criticism against the president?