VIDEO: Princeton prof slams Obama for ‘non-existent agenda’ for black America

Kaitlyn Schallhorn
Former Reporter

  • Video shows professor's harsh words for Eric Holder and Reverend Al Sharpton
  • Event was hosted by the International Socialist Organization
  • An Ivy League professor last week accused President Obama of possessing a “lukewarm, nonexistent agenda for black Americans,” during a speech to a group of socialists at a Temple University.

    Associate Professor of African-American History at Princeton University Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, delivered the speech Thursday and had harsh words not only for Obama, but also Reverend Al Sharpton and Attorney General Eric Holder.

    "Instead, oftentimes, many of them are more concerned with protecting their proximity to the first black president than actually challenging him on his lukewarm, nonexistent agenda for black Americans."   

    “[N]either Sharpton, Obama, or the tens of thousands of other black elected officials in this country have any meaningful solutions to the crises that inflict black communities,” she said.

    “[M]any of them are more concerned with protecting their proximity to the first black president than actually challenging him on his lukewarm, nonexistent agenda for black Americans,” she continued.

    Taylor criticized Obama, as well as Sharpton, for encouraging what she called “racist explanations” to improve conditions in African-American communities, such as discouraging black men from wearing saggy pants and encouraging those men to go to school on time.

    “The Obama administration has been marked by a complete reluctance to engage in any meaningful discussion about racial inequality in the United States for fear of him and his administration being described as, you know, in the grip of the black community or as being beholden to black interests,” Taylor said.

    WATCH: Prof. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor blasts President Obama

    The professor credited the heightened media attention surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American teenager, by police in Ferguson, Mo., with doing more to facilitate a national conversation about race than Obama’s six years as president. In a video of her talk obtained by Campus Reform, Taylor claims Michael Brown was shot and killed simply “because he was an African-American.”

    “Instead of actually reaping some sort of benefit the nation’s first African-American president, since 2008, African-Americans have bore [sic] the brunt of the economic crisis in the United States in any number of ways,” Taylor told approximately 23 students gathered in the classroom.

    Taylor claimed that predominantly African-American communities have suffered throughout Obama’s presidency with issues such as foreclosures and evictions, high poverty levels, unemployment, and incarceration.

    Even Holder didn’t escape Taylor’s criticism Thursday night as she blasted his appearances in Ferguson, Mo., and Sanford, Fla.,—the town where Trayvon Martin was killed—as just sending “a message that something was being done.”

    “But people should know that when Eric Holder was dispatched to Sanford, Florida to investigate independently what happened to Trayvon Martin, the results of that investigation were inconclusive because really what it is, it’s a performance, it’s a show to say that the government is on the side of the people of Ferguson or the people of Sanford without really having to actually do much when there are concrete demands that are actually being made,” she said, making air quotes around the words “something” and “investigate.”

    Taylor also scrutinized corporations in her talk for “hoarding” their money, and Obama for not pouring more money into the public sector.

    “You have a president who seems to be saying that money is no object when it comes to chasing various terrorist groups around the Middle East,” Taylor said. “And so the issue is not now nor has it ever been a question of there not being enough money. It all has to do with where they want invest the money that exists.”

    The speech, entitled “Racism, Capitalism, and the Ferguson Rebellion,” was hosted by the International Socialist Organization (ISO) to discuss how “the entire history of capitalism in the US [sic] and elsewhere is founded on the oppression and exploitation of Africans and African-Americans.”

    ISO did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform.

    Watch the full video here: 

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn





    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Former Reporter

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, Kaitlyn was a reporter at Red Alert Politics and covered business and restaurants for the Alexandria Times.  

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