FOX News And Cornel West Mourn For Black Folk

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Prof. Cornel West. Wonder what he'd be saying if he'd been invited to 2009 inauguration?

[Beneath The Spin]


This time Fox News is trumpeting that Cornel West is proclaiming that under Barack Obama Black people are being relegated to the Back of the bus.

But, as usual, both West and of course, Fox News,  fail to point out that the United States Constitution gives control of all spending to the United States House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republican Party.

We know what to expect from Fox News, but isn’t Cornel West bright enough to know about the Constitution? If he doesn’t, he shouldn't be running his mouth as much as he does. On the other hand, if he does know it, why is he all over Obama instead of the Republicans? If we had to depend on Cornel West we would never know that while he’s busy bad-mouthing Obama the Republicans are leaving no stone unturned to reverse the Civil Rights Act. Hmmm....

It is true, however, that the Black community is in dire need. But what we're in dire need of is having people like Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, and the illustrious "Blue Dog," Boyce Watkins, stop preaching us a sermon, and start living us one.

At this point I no longer even have to discuss Tavis Smiley, especially in the Black community, but with respect to Cornel West, he’s renowned for going around bragging to anyone who will listen about how much he loves his people.

Yet, he has never taught at a school that more than 1% of Black kids can afford to get into in his entire career. What's up with that? If he really loves his people as much as he claims, he’d be in the hood teaching 3rd grade, or at the very least, at a historically Black college.

And how many Black students could he help through school with his $30,000 per speech speaking fees? He could pay for some deserving Black student's entire college education with just two speeches - and, help the Black college that the student chose to attend, in the process.

Cornel West also joined with Ralph Nader to help get George Bush elected in the 2000 election. That created the very conditions that he's blaming on Obama right now.

Bush won the presidency by winning Florida by 537 votes. The Nader/West coalition took 97,488 votes from the Democrats in Florida alone.

In addition, in July of 2012 the Department of Justice announced that Wells Fargo Bank agreed to pay a $175 million settlement to reimburse over 30,000 poor and minority borrowers who were targeted in what has come to be known as the "Ghetto Loan Scam," in which West’s close associate, Tavis Smiley, is reported to have played a substantial role.

The New York Times reported that it was the "second-largest residential fair-lending settlement in the department’s history." Yet, as much as Smiley and West love to jump up and down over poor and minority abuse, on this particular issue - again, the second largest case of fair-lending abuse in history - they’re as quiet as two church mice, and with good reason.

Several articles, including one seeded on Newsvine entitled, "Tavis Smiley - "Ghetto Loan" Peddler for Wells Fargo," closely associates West’s road dawg, PBS talk show host, Smiley, with the Wells Fargo Bank scam targeting poor and middle-class Black and Hispanic borrowers. The article quotes Kelvin Boston, host of "Moneywise," and Keith Corbett, of the Center for Responsible Lending, as calling Tavis Smiley "the big draw" of the Wells Fargo scam. Specifically, the article states the following:

"Smiley was the keynote speaker, and the big draw, according to Boston [host of "Moneywise"] and Keith Corbett, executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, who attended two of the seminars. Smiley would charge up the audience — and rattle the Wells Fargo executives in attendance — by launching into a story about how he hated banks, and how they used to refuse to lend him money for his real estate projects in Compton, Calif., and elsewhere... But what appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth was actually just the opposite, according to a little-noticed explanation of the "Wealth Building" seminar strategy, contained in a lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

"Wells' plan for the seminars all along was to target black borrowers for higher-cost subprime mortgages, not for wealth-building, the suit charged. And the seminars were a part of the bank's overall illegal and discriminatory practice of steering black and Hispanic borrowers into riskier and more expensive loans."

In a statement by Wells Fargo put out after the bank agreed to a settlement of $175 Million, they said that while not admitting to any wrong doing, Wells Fargo agreed to a settlement of the law suit because the bank felt that it was the right thing to do. The settlement includes Wells Fargo paying the Black and Hispanic victims of discrimination $125 million in compensation, and an additional $50 million in down-payment assistance to borrowers in the affected communities.

So the question that remains is, if Wells Fargo Bank feels that paying compensation to the poor and middle-class victims of this scam is the right thing to do, shouldn’t Tavis Smiley, the most strident advocate of "accountability" and fervent crusader for the interest of the poor, feel obliged to do the same? Certainly, benefiting from the misery of the poor and minority community would run counter to Mr. Smiley's zeal for the need of the powerful to maintain accountability.

We also asked Cornel West, who loves to talk about the "prophetic tradition," what he thought was the proper course of action for his good friend and associate? What does the "prophetic tradition" dictate would be the appropriate action for Tavis Smiley to take in order to be "accountable" to these poor minority borrowers and the Black community?

As yet, we haven’t heard a word from either Smiley or West. So Tavis, West, if you really want to perform a public service for the black community it would be very simple - either put up, or shut up.



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