Cornel West Criticizes Obama, Says He Isn't A Revolutionary Figure Like Nelson Mandela

Cornel West Criticizes Obama, Says He Isn't A Revolutionary Figure Like Nelson Mandela Source: Al Jazeera / YouTube

Barack Obama will be headed to Johannesburg on Tuesday to deliver the annual Nelson Mandela lecture. However, his invitation has received some criticism, particularly from author and political activist Cornel West.

READ: Ta-Nehisi Coates Deletes Twitter Account After Richard Spencer Endorses Cornel West's Critique 

Speaking with Al Jazeera, West discussed the opposition against Obama delivering the Mandela lecture, stating that even though Mandela made neo-liberal deals with corporate elites both in and outside of South Africa, he was still a revolutionary.

"We don't want to lose sight of his tremendous vision and courage as a revolutionary leader as part of a social movement, and then the degree to which he himself ended up compromising by making neo-liberal deals with corporate elites," West said.

"Now Barack Obama - you have a neo-liberal black president of the most powerful empire in the world; he was never a revolutionary figure in the way Nelson Mandela was."

"...I think the people have the right to protest because you don't want Obama to come in and act as if somehow he is connected to the revolutionary Mandela," West continued. "I respect his right to speak, but he is held to account...the last thing you want to do is act as if Barack Obama is some kind of grand progressive figure. No, he was a neo-liberal counterfeit."

Obama recently made his first visit to Kenya since leaving office. The former U.S. president was in Kogelo, the rural birthplace of his father, to speak as well as launch a sports and training center founded by his half-sister, Auma Obama. according to NBC News.

Source: Al Jazeera