President Barack Obama, Dr.King & Cornel West

images-3I’m not sure how this got past me.  I watched the meaty part of President Obama’s Inauguration yesterday but I must’ve missed the telling that the Bible he was sworn in with was Dr. Martin King Jr’s personal one.

He used it to write his first sermon.  He travelled with it on his oratory tours for justice and in the trenches of his heart’s outcry: the historical nonviolent fight for peace.  According to his son, Martin Luther King, III, no one else has ever used that Bible.  No one until President Barack Obama was sworn into office with it yesterday and Cornel West is pissed!

He’s calling Obama names again, the remarkably treacherous: “Rockefeller Republican in blackface.”

“I think that it’s morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion—poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well, no talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people. So we end up with such a narrow, truncated political discourse, as the major problems—ecological catastrophe, climate change, global warming. So it’s very sad. I mean, I’m glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies.” 

West compares and contrasts Obama’s position as Commander in Chief with the drones dropping on innocent lives in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen to the Reverend Dr. King’s Civil Rights leader plea for justice and peace with regard to “carpet bombing” causing the loss of innocent lives in the Vietnam War.


I remember having a bout of anger myself when President Obama came out in support of gay marriage.  Let me say this: I do not discriminate against gays and lesbians concerning their civil rights, but I also do not recognize marriage as a civil union.  I see it as a holy one, one instituted and ordained by God to be between one man and one woman.  I stand in no more opposition to gay marriage than I do extramarital or premarital unions and this is the Word of God.

I was offended because I saw the President’s support as antiWord.  I did not vote for him.  I chose not to vote at all.  But I’ve since come to understand that I may have been hasty in the stand I made.  It was pointed out to me that I was holding & narrowing Obama’s Presidency of the entire diverse United States to the standard of Pastorship of the Church.  They aren’t the same.

God didn’t call President Obama to teach us the Word, and certainly not to serve as a life guide for Believers.  He called him to Commander in Chief.  Because the baby’s bathwater had a little dirt in it, I threw it out along with the baby.  It was a lesson in the futileness of hair splitting for me.  To pick apart such issues is to rescind my capacity to ever vote again.  I’m not willing to do that, furthermore, that’s not the will of God.


West both “interviewed & spoke for” Dr. King in a list of hypotheticals to drive his point home.

“Brother Martin Luther King, Jr., what you say about the New Jim Crow? What would say about the Prison Industrial Complex? What would you say about the invisibility of so many of our prisoners, so many of our incarcerated, especially when 62 percent of them are there for soft drugs and not one executive of a Wall Street bank gone to jail. Not one. Martin doesn’t like that. Not one wire-tapper, not one torturer under the Bush Administration — all,” said West.


Is it fair to Obama to have to bear the brunt of all this very weighty accusation of injustice?  Yes, there are many truths to what West is saying.  The American prison system has become a twisted manipulated wicked thriving self indulgent self sustained economy in and of itself.  Yes, “they” have created a streamlined systematically targeted pipeline for those “they” want inside it.  Yes, the executives of Wall Street and the American court system are well filleted but is it Obama’s fault that the Masons’ve hid all the bones?

Is it Obama’s fault that a presidential candidate in this country, in any democratic country, has to campaign for the position?  I think we might all agree that for a Black man in this day and age of the New Jim Crow to be elected President of the United States, twice (of which I’m told he’s only the 16th President to receive a second inaugural), that that man is obviously appointed by God for such a time as this.  Obama would’ve never been privy to this appointment of power had he taken the idealistic approach West’s traditions demand.

And so what about the progress?  What about the concept of our standing on one another’s shoulders as we fight for justice in the flavor God assigned to our heart’s desires and personalities?

We’re waiting, not for another King, we had a King.  Praise God that He strengthened & graced him to do what he was called to do at the time.  We’re waiting, not even for this Barack Obama whom the media loves to make sound messiah-like with its taut of the  “second coming” today and its crucifixion of him tomorrow.

(By the way, it’s really slick of the enemy to use the media to weave the “innocent” jokes of the second coming in as a way to begin the baiting & desensitization for the leadership of the antiChrist the Scriptures promised will come as a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing…. but I digress)

We’re doing our individual work as we wait on a Christ Who’s coming back when time has reached its fullness.

For many shall come in my Name saying, I am Christ and shall deceive many.  And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye not be troubled: for all these things must come to pass but the end is not yet.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against Kingdom, and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places and these are the beginning of sorrows.  ….And then many shall be offended and shall betray one another and shall hate one another.  (Matthew 24: 5-8, 10)

Time is compressing into itself.  The days are getting shorter and as a result, so are the years.  It, time, has changed and so is everything contained by it.  We aren’t the same country, nor world we were when God made Dr. King to shine his light.

We can be such an idolatrous people, and totally ignorant to it, too.  When our traditions are threatened, especially the ones ushered in by a beloved leader we get stuck in defending our idea about what’s going as we lose the stacking battles against what really is.

“So I (West) said to myself ain’t nothing wrong with putting your hand on the bible, even though the bible’s talking about justice, Jesus is talking about the least of these, but when you put it on Martin’s bible, I said ‘this is personal for me,’ because this is the tradition that I come out of.”

If I were to speak with Dr. West to table my views on the matter I’d tell him something like this:

Remember that the traditions of man make the Word of God of no effect.  Remember that the fight for national justice is bigger than any man could ever fight on his own.  While our beloved Dr. King fought the angst and ills of the spirit of hate, violence and discrimination, there were issues of justice God never touched his heart to passion on.

It’s why we need Him.  Because God makes aaaallllll the necessary appointments.  He sits one down in this cause, rises up another in that one.  Because Obama isn’t the Black man you think he should be, because he doesn’t hold the scales of justice in his hands the way you think he should, does that hardly make him wrong?  Is it even a possibility that you could be unjust in your plight for justice?

Dr. King’s Bible isn’t holier than the Bible, Dr. West, even though you love him.  And even though you love him (I love him, countless many love and honor him) the issues God placed in King’s (and your) bosom to fight for were not then and are not now, this nation’s only cause.”

Here’s the full article if you’re interested.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one.


About Alaina Odessa Expressions

Alaina Odessa is a Christian poet and author of Slow Running Honey, an anointed book of poetry that speaks to the secrets, self deception, and lack of self awareness that is holding many of God's people back from the abundance He created them for. She is creator of Alaina Odessa Expressions, a company dedicated to helping others 'Cultivate the God made self' through poetry, theatre, workshops, lectures, & television. Godly information fosters the mind renewal process all Christians must undertake to experience the fullness of Christ's sacrifice. Alaina Odessa Expressions strives to provide edifying, life changing content.
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7 Responses to President Barack Obama, Dr.King & Cornel West

  1. Just found a thought provoking blogpost by “Eric L. Wattree is a writer, poet, and musician, born in Los Angeles. He’s a columnist for The Los Angeles Sentinel, Black Star News, The Atlanta Post, and several other publications. He’s also a staff writer for Veterans Today and the author of “A Message From the Hood.””

    His post was on Bligotry-black on black racism… This snip comes from The Wattree Chronicle… … (cut & paste link to read entire article)

    West found the time to try to throw ice water on THE most auspicious moment in Black and American history by complaining about Barack Obama using Martin Luther King’s Bible to take the oath of office. Even if West’s criticisms of President Obama were true, the use of Dr. King’s Bible wasn’t a tribute to Barack Obama; it was a tribute to Dr. King. So what is Dr. West truly upset about?

  2. james dorsey says:

    Had Obama followed Dr. West; he surely would not have been president and maybe we would have had Roomney as president.As far as gays are concerned, I believe in live and let live, only God can judge the heart of man. If they want to get married, more power to them. I enjoyed reading your script Rev. Allen.

  3. Hi Alaina, wonderful article! In addition, I was glad too see that you came to a better understanding regarding our President’s role, duties and division of labor, as our Commander-in-Chief, for “all Americans.” I only wish that many other born-again believers, had come to a clear revelation as to the President’s role, and not withheld their all important vote. We must never forget that far too much, of a price was paid, for such a ‘right’ that we shouldn’t ever take for granted. I miss you my friend…love you much!

    • Thanks, John. Cycling through that process of understanding was long and difficult for me. Once I “realized” I actually grieved over not having voted for him. I can’t speak for other Believers who made a choice to withhold their vote for the same reasons I did, but I do thank God that His plans and purposes are fool proof… that we are safe to be ourselves and learn our lessons on this journey without fear because what shall be will be.

      Happy New Year to you…
      Love & Peace,

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