Michael Dyson's article in New Republic, "The Ghost of Cornel West" amounts to a highly discursive way of saying "fuck you" to the guy, but it gives interesting insight into how the community of black social justice leaders was shaken up -- for better and for worse -- by Obama's presidency.
Apparently, West has a personal beef, having been denied tickets to Obama's inauguration despite making sixty-five public appearances in support of his 2008 campaign. I can't blame him for being pissed. However, the alleged ego-bruising takes no credibility away from his lucid conclusion that Barack was a “neoliberal opportunist” all along.
While Obama being the first black president is a crucial topic for sociological examination (Dyson is apparently writing a book on it), simply being one color or another (or gender) does nothing to change the status quo of millions of Americans working for less than a living wage, a blatantly racist criminal justice system, and acts of oligarchical tyranny like Obama's beloved Trans Pacific Partnership. Hats off to Cornel West for publicly challenging it.