Posts Tagged ‘Cornel West’


[ht: cb]

Brother West

Posted: 20 December 2009 in Uncategorized
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Here’s Cornel West, in a recent interview, on Barack Obama and Larry Summers:

At that symbolic level, I can understand the tears, I can understand the jubilation, I can understand the euphoria. But I always knew there was a sense in which he, now heading the American empire, was tied to the shadow government, tied to CIA, FBI, tied to the establishment waiting to embrace him. It was clear when he chose his economic team, when he chose his foreign policy team, he was choosing, of course, the recycled neo-liberals and recycled neo-Clintonites that substantially you’re going to end up with these technocratic policies that consider poor people and working people as afterthoughts. Beginning with bankers, beginning with elites.

Barack Obama leans toward Wall Street, mesmerized by the elites, wants to be embraced by the establishment, wants to preserve his legacy as a president, more in the language of the neo-liberal and neo-conservative columnists than in the hearts and minds of everyday people.

In terms of disrespecting and dishonoring me, I forgive Larry Summers. I draw my own lines in the sand, but I won’t demonize the brother. . .

But he has a braininess that lacks wisdom and vision. He has a smartness that lacks a sensitivity to the poor and the marginal. You and I encountered a lot of that kind of braininess and smartness at Harvard. I don’t find that attractive or appealing at all. I think that it’s empty in a certain sense. I was surprised that Barack Obama could be seduced by that kind of braininess and smartness that leads to policies that don’t put jobs and homes at the center, but as an afterthought.

And, if you think about it, that’s a good description of most mainstream economists.