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So, some black folks are bashing Princeton Professor Cornell West for his sharply phrased critiques of President Barack Obama’s failure to specifically address crisis- proportion problems in a long-suffering segment of American society: the black community.
Black supporters of the first African-American president echo the rationale advanced by Obama himself that he is the president of all Americans so addressing issues specific to African-American would be inappropriate.
However, that view side-steps the critical issue of the very American right to criticize a U.S. President.
Compounding the First Amendment criticism issue is the reality that Obama has addressed issues important to specific groups, including gays and women. He has even been addressing the issues of his political adversaries, the Republicans, like his embracing their demands for deficit reducing austerity by slashing services to the most needy.
“Are African Americans expected to shut up and suffer?” asked Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr., chair of Princeton University’s Center for African American Studies, in a commentary about the controversy over criticism of Obama by blacks. “That’s just not democratic.”
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