An African-American seminary professor blasted President Obama for being an inauthentic African-American.
Union Theological Seminary professor Cornel West accused Obama of being “a Rockefeller Republican in blackface.”

Blackface was a makeup used in the 19th and 20th centuries by white actors to caricature African-Americans, creating a negative stereotype. The use of blackface today by white Americans is considered racist, or at least insensitive.

West’s comments came on Nov. 9, three days after Obama’s re-election, during an interview on Democracy Now!

Speaking about the lack of discussion about poverty during the 2012 presidential debate, West said he was pleased the right wing did not take over the government, but he was displeased with Obama.

Questioned about the harshness of his comment, West said: “Oh, that’s what we have. Richard Nixon is to the left of him on health care. Richard Nixon’s to the left of him on guaranteed income. And the same policies in terms of imperial foreign policy is at work.”

“Our battle is just beginning,” said West. “We have yet to take off the gloves.”

West also charged that three liberal African-American personalities on MSNBC had betrayed their moral heritage.

“They have sold their souls for a mess of Obama pottage. And we invite them back to the black prophetic tradition after Obama leaves. But at the moment, they want insider access, and they want to tell those kind of lies. They want to turn their back to poor and working people,” said West.

The seminary professor accused Obama of having a “crypto-fascist” foreign policy.

TV host Tavis Smiley also appeared on the program and offered a robust critique of Obama.

“Not helpful,” tweeted Robert Parham, executive editor of, about the “Rockefeller Republican in blackface” comment.

In a follow-up tweet, Parham said, “Moral critique is needed, but can Christian left speak without name-calling, bomb-throwing rhetoric?”

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