Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cornel West on Barack Obama

Prof. Cornel West is easy to mock. His self-conscious gesticulations, his extravagant verbalizations... and that neck scarf. What’s up with that look?

But he’s not stupid. And he’s not boring. A half-hour spent listening to Cornel West isn’t a half-hour wasted.

So I’ve embedded below Prof. West’s appearance this week on Al Jazeera English (split into two parts for YouTube).

During this interview, West spoke much about Barack Obama. West supports Obama for president... while hastening to add that he considers Obama fundamentally a politician who, like all successful politicians, is controlled to some extent by “elites.”

Prof. West went on to provide a full-throated endorsement of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright... the best defense of Wright’s rhetoric that I’ve seen.

This interview also touches on the Iraq war, hip-hop music and Islam.


29 comments:

Francisco said...

Let's not forget Professor West will survive the upcoming robotic-lead Apocalypse and will become leader of the few free humans fighting against the machines. (At least that's what they show in The Matrix) Not a whole lot of Latinos made it to freedom in the future, but My black peeps are in charge, so we are OK.

Lola Gets said...

Yea Al Jazeera! And I actually know that interviewer. Hes kinda cool. Imma have to call over there today and say congrats.

L

dez said...

LOL, francisco! I guess we Latinos are not as hardy as we think.

I would vote Prof. West for President.

theBhc said...

Great Stuff! Can you imagine this on an American network? I sure can't, even more so after that pathetic nonsense that was supposedly called a "debate" last night.

SJ said...

LOL fransisco I just watched the Matrix Reloaded for the 2nd time since 2003 a few days ago...and yes I was surprised to see West playing one of the "elders".

BC Cook said...

Except that I'm an atheist, I agree with everything Prof West had to say. The truth IS painful.
Of course, I don't exist: a 65-year-old white female.

Undercover Black Man said...

theBhc: Don't get me started on that fiasco of a debate last night. I wish I had live blogged it... because 30 minutes I was in rageful disbelief at how much time they were wasting on garbage.

By the way, welcome to y'all coming from Crooks and Liars.

Bklyn6 said...

Prof. Cornel West is easy to mock.

Word. Clifton East.

(Where's Afro Sheen when you need it?)

West wants Obama to challenge the corporate elite; I can't help but think that if he is elected President, he'll be beholden to them. :-(

Anyway, thanks for posting!

theBhc said...

UBM: you should check out Will Bunch's Open Letter to "Charlie and Stephie" for some righteous indignation.

cheers!

Cethirien said...

I think there were plenty of hot sweaty Latinos and Latinas at that rave scene in Matrix Reloaded. Also what was Apoc's ethnicity?

By then though people would have been more mixed.

Al-Jazeera actually has incredibly thoughtful segments (wow intelligence pays!), all for free viewing on YouTube, which is great because it is very hard to get Al Jazeera in North America.

Batocchio said...

When I first saw West on a Firing Lane debate, his exaggerated manner made me laugh. He's pretty damn sharp, though, about a lot of things. There's a long tradition of professors who are eccentric. Thanks for posting the videos.

Casey said...

I love Dr. West since I heard him on real time. He is a fresh intellectual that comes off as honest, without a personal agenda. Bravo.

and yup... from crooks and liars.

Des said...

coo coo ka choo.... Had to get that out.

I agree with most of what Cornel West said in his interview. In addition to further fleshing out the Rev. Wright's position, I thought he did a decent job of explaining the gap between himself as an "activist" and Obama's position as a politician.... especially at the end when he said, "I'll dance all day and night....and will be in your face the next day"


And to add to BC's comment about being an atheist...I may not be an atheist, but I tend to disagree with some of Cornel's more religious oriented msgs. I believe that morality can exist and be addressed in our society and others without everything coming back to the "Cross".

Michael Fisher said...

Well, the one good thing that came out of the debate is the Clinton's campaign rationale ceased to exist. There is no way that she from hereon can appeal to any super delegates that they should choose her because Obama is supposedly non-electable.

Thus, effectively her campaign is over.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Before you take that champagne out the ice box, Michael... the fuck we gon' do about Sean Hannity??

He is absolutely hammering this guilt-by-association bullshit night after night... and he finally pushed it into the legit-media datastream.

Laying Hillary to rest is gonna be the least of Obama's problems. The GOP is gearing up to destroy the man.

Kenya W said...

^UCBM
Say WORD! What you say is true. Sean "Pain In My Ass" Hannity is not going away. He is so fake. I don't think that he believes half of the stuff he says. But, he knows there are people out there that eat it up.
Ignorance is bliss!

hiebz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rev. Swagger said...

Professor,

Your level of commitment for the different roles currently attached to those in the public sphere and those in the private is exemplary and rare!

I agree that Hillary is far from the largest hurdle out there for true progress. Also, the neocon mouthpieces embedded in the media are another force to be reckoned with. But I believe that the largest hurdle to overcome in this nation is that of having an energized, educated public. Too many are putting their brains on cruise with banal television programing. We need a majority of citizens to consistent, active agents in their communities while speaking truth to power!

Take care, all!

cnulan said...

Rachel Maddow has shown exactly how to handle the "Rev. Wrighting" of Baraka...., this meme should be picked up and proliferated as broadly as possible, because it has broad applicability to the core vulnerability of "conservatism as identity politics".

Shazza Nakim said...

Thank you for sharing this information. I will check it out for sure.

Undercover Black Man said...

Shazza: Welcome. Thanks for commenting.

Craig Nulan: You're dead on it.

Antonio said...

Wow great interview. A few times Cornel West seemed to rhyming ala Jesse Jackson (which I find kind of cheesy), but he's right on the money with this interview. And I like the note about being right in Obama's face once he gets elected.

cuz said...

Rev. Jeremiah Wright will be the guest on Bill Moyers' Journal next week (Friday, April 25). Check your local listings for your PBS station and time.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Recovering from getting back to work after a month on IR.

Damn good interview. But I didn't realize al Jazeera had an affilliate in DC the way it gets demonized. That's cool as hell.

Dave, I deal with that debate in a satirical manner in this week's piece on ebonyjet. Stay tuned - it should go out on Monday.

Cornel was really on top of his game in that interview.

Kudos to one of my favorite shows, Bill Moyers for giving Rev. Wright the forum he deserves after getting the shaft in the media.

Where are the haters at? I know there have to be some out there from past Stakes Be High commentors.

Undercover Black Man said...

Kudos to one of my favorite shows, Bill Moyers for giving Rev. Wright the forum he deserves after getting the shaft in the media.

For real? Last night? I didn't know. I'll try to find that video...

And I'll check out your piece next week, DeAng.

Hope life is getting back to normal for you.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave, I guess that was kudos in advance based on cuz's announcement. Sorry about the mix-up.

Kudos to cnulan for that Rachel Maddow clip. She tore Scarborough a new one. With facts.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ My fault, my fault... I missed cuz's comment. Sorry about that, cuz. Thanks for the heads-up!

Abdul-Halim V. said...

about Latinos in The Matrix, don't forget the AFro-Cubana Gina Torres who plays a decent role (and ended up married to Laurence Fishburne too)

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. I am a white (not just my pink skin, but my laregely leave it to beaver life experiences) suburban mom in Alabama and I get what Prof. West is saying and I get what Rev. Wright is saying and I don't get why the rest of the white people are so scared, upset, surprised, etc. Glen Beck is going to have an aneurysm over this. The whole reason Obama has "risen above" race is because he can listen to and talk to both worlds and he could explain each to the other if given the chance without always having to couch his words in terms of politics. I find this whole manufactured controversey to be racist. No black man or woman could have gotten to where Obama is in the Democratic party without taking the path he has through the black church and the inner city, which, sorry white folks, both contain a lot of sometimes angry/critical/unforgiving black people who see the world much differently because of their experiences and the experiences of those close to them. I just wish some non-threatening black person (Bill Cosby? Oprah?)could explain this to all the otherwise liberal minded whites who are running scared at the sight of a black man (rev. right) raising his voice against condemnable government policies.