Cornel West said civil rights leaders who are supporting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonZuckerberg moves spark 2020 speculation Franken emerges as liberal force in hearings SNL honors Obama with emotional musical tribute MORE have lost their way.
He added that black politicians in support of the former secretary of State don't have the "courage" to support rival Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to Trump: 'Women aren’t going back to second-class citizenship' Sanders: 'Amusing' that Trump attacked establishment sitting right behind him Trump: Why didn't protesters vote? MORE, VICE News reported Sunday.
"There's no doubt that the great John Lewis of 50 years ago is different than the John Lewis today," West said.
"He's my brother. I love him, I respect his personhood, but there's no doubt he's gone from a high moment of Martin Luther King-like struggle to now [a] neoliberal politician in a system that is characterized more and more by legalized bribery and normalized corruption. That's what big money does to politics. And the Clinton machine is an example of that."
He said Lewis and Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) are "neoliberal politicians," which he defined as "a politics that proceeds based on financializing, privatizing and militarizing."
He said they are part of the group of politicians who "are well adjusted to injustice owing to their ties to big money, big banks, and big corporations, and turning their backs, for the most part, to poor people and working people. Poor people and working people become afterthoughts."
He continued, saying, "Most black politicians these days are neoliberal politicians, so it's almost natural for them to side with Hillary Clinton. But with the neoliberal era coming to a close, four months from now [when the party picks its nominee], you watch how the shift sets in."