Tag Archives | Cornel West

Cornel West has already destroyed it again — This time at Harvard

With the month of April not yet over, once again Cornel West has proven that he is one of the contending voices in America.

After a stunning 20-minute speech filmed in a Manhattan church at the beginning of this month, which played prelude to another public address and subsequent march against police violence and the prison industrial complex (organized by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network), he has now lent his voice to a weeklong protest called Heat Week that has been occurring at Harvard University. So, after temporarily shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge, he went north where students launched the Divest Harvard campaign, as a call for the Ivy League University to unalign itself with fossil fuel interests. It turns out a few million dollars are tangled up in Harvard from coal, oil, and gas companies.

On the students’ website they’ve posted calls to:

  • immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuel companies
  • immediately divest direct holdings (currently $19.6 million) from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies
  • divest indirect holdings in the top 200 fossil fuel companies within 5 years, and reinvest in socially responsible funds.
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For those of you who say there are no voices leading America, you need to watch 20 mins of Cornel West

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For those of you who say there are no moving or powerful voices left in America, you might want to direct your attention to a 20-minute clip of American philosopher and activist Dr. Cornel West speaking in a Manhattan church on April 6th of this year. In it West delivers a dizzying, fiery, and tear-jerking sermon reminiscent of the greatest moments in the tradition of American political speech.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network organized the event, A Call to Act, and it’s no surprise that the Stop Mass Incarceration Network exists or that Dr. West participated. The US now has more prisoners and prisons than any other country on the planet, a fact West is well aware of as he regularly speaks out over the New Jim Crow and to inmates serving time. In fact, the land of the free is now home to more prisons than colleges.… Read the rest

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Cornel West Calls Obama A ‘Counterfeit’

Bertman westProfessor Cornel West has never been one to mince words and in this interview for Salon he tells Thomas Frank that President Obama “posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency”:

Cornel West is a professor at Union Theological Seminary and one of my favorite public intellectuals, a man who deals in penetrating analyses of current events, expressed in a pithy and highly quotable way.

I first met him nearly six years ago, while the financial crisis and the presidential election were both under way, and I was much impressed by what he had to say. I got back in touch with him last week, to see how he assesses the nation’s progress since then.

The conversation ranged from Washington, D.C., to Ferguson, Missouri, and although the picture of the nation was sometimes bleak, our talk ended on a surprising note.

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Cornel West on Obama and the Democrats

Official_portrait_of_Barack_ObamaCornel West laments the betrayal of the disenfranchised by Obama and the Democrats at large. He advocates for support of third party candidates in order to move our government away from its current state of corruption.

Gaius Publius writes at AMERICAblog:

As you may know, there’s a war going on in the black community, and Barack Obama is at the center of it. We’ve done some reporting on it ourselves. For example:

Cornel West on Obama — “Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic”

Eddie Glaude on Cornel West and “The Obama Deception”

Ed Schultz interviews Cornel West & Melissa Harris-Perry on the criticism of Obama from the black community

Weekend thoughts: Cornel West and Tavis Smiley on Obama 2013

From the outside the gist is this (written in mid-2011):

A number of communities have felt betrayed lately by Obama and the Democrats in general — it’s foolish not to admit that.

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150 Million Americans are in Poverty

Tavis Smiley and Cornel West discuss their new book on Democracy Now!:
The latest census data shows nearly one in two Americans, or 150 million people, have fallen into poverty — or could be classified as low income. We’re joined by Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, who continue their efforts to spark a national dialog on the poverty crisis with the new book, The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.
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Jay-Z and Cornel West, Live at the New York Public Library (Video)

Controversial but super cool Princeton professor Cornel West recently spent over an hour in conversation with Shawn Carter a/k/a Jay-Z (no introduction required) at the prestigious New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, moderated by Paul Holdengräber, the NYPL Director of Public Programs. Their dialogue was inspired by the contents of Jay’s new book Decoded and covered everything from NWA, Michael Jackson and Thom Yorke to greed, race, politics and social activism.

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