05/20/2011 02:43 pm ET Updated Jul 20, 2011

West's Obama Remarks Reflect Psychological Projection

As a psychologist and researcher in the area of racial identity development, I hold respect for the intellectual capital Princeton Professor Cornel West sometimes brings to the table when it comes to race matters. However, his remarks about President Obama's racial identity places him at a kindergarten table when it comes to understanding the psychology of human behavior. In diagnosing Obama as having "a certain fear of free black men," West's own "perceived weirdness index" escalates. West cannot define Obama's feelings as fear simply because Obama holds a different relationship toward Blacks than West would prefer that he have; nor can West make attributions about any of Obama's emotions without a professional clinical evaluation that obviously West does not have the credentials to conduct. From Professor West's remarks, one might wonder about his comfort level with his own racial identity resolution. From a psychological perspective, West's remarks say more about his insecurity with his status as a Black American that he projects onto Obama and the rest of America, for that matter. I think Professor West projects too much.