Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West have been two of President Obama’s most vocal critics in African-American community. Recently during an episode of ABC’s This Week, Smiley said that Obama was “dishonoring” Martin Luther King Jr. by giving a speech at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington while simultaneously pushing for military air strikes in Syria. Now Smiley and West are taking it a step further, demanding that Obama remove the bust of MLK from his office so long as the president supports war with Syria.
During an episode of the Smiley and West radio show, both Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley agreed that Obama should remove the MLK bust from the Oval Office since the president can’t adhere to the principles adhered to by Dr. King.
“Here you have a war president with a peace prize. Once again the parallel between King and Obama just doesn’t measure up. He ought to just take that bust out of the Oval Office if you’re going to dishonor Martin in this way,” West said.
President Obama replaced the bust of Winston Churchill with that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 2009. Many saw the replacement of the Churchill bust as an act of disrespect to Great Britain. It marked the first time that the bust of an African-American had ever been placed in the Oval Office.
“And the president used the phrase as you recall, Doc, in his speech. He talked about the moral power of non-violence. He talked about the moral force of non-violence. Those are his words on Wednesday and then you look up at 48 hours later and then you these plans to go to Syria,” Smiley said.
Smiley may get his way on Syria since Sec. of State John Kerry bungled a question at a news conference, unwittingly leaving the door open for Syria and the U.S. to reach a diplomatic solution and avoid war.