In case you missed the intellectual throw down between Al Sharpton and Dr. Cornel West check it out. The battle ground was MSNBC and it was over a topic often discussed in “brothaman” circles (like barbershops) all over the nation. The issue? Frustration over whether Obama is representin’ enough. The first black president is supposed to give us communal props, right? Or is this too much of a load to put on him?
West thinks Obama is not doing enough to take care of his core constituency. Blacks overwhelmingly supported his presidency (and will continue to do so) so show more love. But West and Tavis Smiley have been haters almost since day one of the Obama presidency.
It is interesting that Obama has played the role of King Maker with Al Sharpton. He has shown Sharpton’s National Action Network much more love. My take is Obama politically can’t be seen as “too black” so he can’t (at least in public perception) embrace all the influential leaders of the black community. However he must embrace a few to maintain street cred, and make no mistake about it – embracing Sharpton is politically risky.
BTW although it may look like it there is no animosity between these two as they have been friends for years. Sometimes that’s just the way we get down.