Election 2012: An Interview With Cornel West
Cornel West explains why Mitt Romney is a lot worse than Barack Obama, and why he feels that Obama has not addressed the most pressing issues facing this country.
Watson Ladd: What are the failings of Barack Obama’s presidency that prompted you to publicly criticize and distance yourself from the administration and the Democrats last year? As you pointed out last year, in an interview by Roland Martin, looking at the country today what we see is mass incarceration, mass unemployment and underemployment, and poor quality public education. Does Obama deserve to lose the election for betraying his campaign promises? If not, how can he be held accountable?
Cornel West: I appreciate that question. I always like to begin with an analysis of the system under which we live. It is a system that allows for vast wealth inequality: 1 percent of the population owns 42 percent of the wealth and the top 400 individuals have wealth equivalent to the bottom 150 million. It is a system that was in place, of course, before Obama came on the scene. It has been in place for a long time. It has been tilting toward Wall Street. It has been tilting toward the powerful and the wealthy, whereas workers have been engaged in tremendous sacrifice, wrestling with stagnating or declining wages. And then, of course, we have the poverty tied to the prison industrial complex and new Jim Crow.
The interview is well worth reading.