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I apologize to come back to this diary only this late in the night. I got hold up on my way back home from work and had to attend other responsibilities. I will try to read through all your comments and react, if I feel I can. Thank you for commenting at all! I didn't expect that.

Second apology: For some reasons I can't spell Cornell just with one "l". I made this mistake all over the diary and in comments. Forgive me, it's my German inner spelling nazi who just needs to spell Cornell with two "l"s. Honestly, I am ashamed. I will try to edit this, where I can. I should not try to write anything while at work.

You tell me that this is not a place where principled black leftists should be supported or even mentioned ?

Cornel West speaks from the bottom of my white privileged social-democratic heart.  Just because he hits you with some uncomfortable truth that is tough to swallow, I say, you take the bitter medicine and listen. Unless you want to end up seriously sick, the medicine needs to be taken, swallowed and digested.

Here are a couple of paragraphs of his interview this morning on Democracy Now.

AMY GOODMAN: During his remarks on Friday in the White House press room, President Obama addressed the calls for the Justice Department to file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I know that Eric Holder is reviewing what happened down there, but I think it’s important for people to have some clear expectations here. Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government, the criminal code. And law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s President Obama.

CORNEL WEST: And that’s not true.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Cornel West?

CORNEL WEST: That was him saying, "Keep your expectations low. Sharpton, don’t get them too fired up. Keep the rage contained." We know, when it comes to the history of the vicious legacy of white supremacy in America, if the federal government did not move, we would still be locked into state’s rights. And state’s rights is always a code word for controlling, subjugating black folk. That’s the history of the black struggle, you see. So what he was saying was: Don’t expect federal action. Well, Sharpton is going to be in trouble. Marc Morial, two brothers, they’re going to be in trouble.

AMY GOODMAN: Urban League.

CORNEL WEST: The Urban League, absolutely. Ben Jealous—God bless the brother—he’s going to be in trouble. He’s getting folk riled up to hit up against this stone wall. The next thing, they’ll be talking about, "Well, maybe we ought to shift to gun control." No, we’re talking about legacy of the white supremacy. We’re talking about a criminal justice system that is criminal when it comes to mistreating poor people across the board, black and brown especially. And let us tell the truth and get off this Obama plantation and say, "You know what? We’re dealing with criminality in high places, criminality in these low places, and let’s expose the hypocrisy, expose the mendacity, and be true to the legacy of Martin." You know there’s going to be a march in August, right? And the irony is—the sad irony is—

You may read the transcript or listen to the interview here. I have no expectation that anyone would actually agree with what Cornel West is saying, set aside even talk about it... and especially not here. I am discouraged to write a real diary about this. I would need serious time to express why this moves me and then it would only upset me to read the reactions to it. But you can't say now you didn't know about these thoughts. And I find them important to think them through - thoroughly.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This site's collective opinion of Cornell West, (7+ / 0-)

    ever since he stopped praising President Obama, has not been kind.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 02:03:34 PM PDT

    •  well I don't do collective opinions /nt (8+ / 0-)

      "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

      by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 02:09:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What you write is true, so far as it goes (5+ / 0-)

      but I would maintain that before he stopped praising President Obama the site's collective opinion of Cornell West was most likely something along the lines of, "Oh yeah, I've heard of that guy, I think."

      I make this claim without regard to the relative value of his opinions, then or now, and with full recognition that there are some people here who have been thinking about what Prof. West has to say for a long time.

      My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
      --Carl Schurz, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

      by leftist vegetarian patriot on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 02:16:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think any time you use racially tinged language (14+ / 0-)

      to describe the President people are going to react negatively.  Obama doesn't have a plantation and he isn't keeping anyone there.   Cornel West marginalizes himself at times.  He has referred to Obama as a

      "Republican in black face"

      Earlier this year, West told TruthDig that Obama is “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.” I’m not sure why race is even injected into that critique.

      Read more: http://ideas.time.com/...

      By using racially coded language he guarantees a backlash against his comments.  Its his right to say what he likes, and I often agree with the crux of his statements, but attacking Obama along racial lines will piss people off.  That is just reality.  
      •  How true. (5+ / 0-)

        Calling him a Republican in a Democratic face would've been much more apropos.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 02:28:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know if I remember it correctly, but it (0+ / 0-)

          was mainly from the black community that the racially loaded question was asked, if Obama is "black" enough. It didn't seem apropos back then, but that doesn't mean that the question was not in many people's mind. You can't control people's thinking. Those who asked this question, had their valid reasons, or do you think they are all just racially biased and irrational or insulting?

          And if you listen to his interview, he clearly incorporates "all the beautiful children" of the world and white people as well.
          You only want to hear the criticism of a black man by a black man, you don't want to hear the other side that is inclusive in Cornell's words.

          "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

          by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:42:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree with the thrust of what you've written (11+ / 0-)

        about the topic in general, but you've gotten it exactly right with the racial language.

        This is why I think West has changed. He's literally throwing out neo-confederate dog whistles to hate on not only Obama but innocent black bystanders like Melissa Harris Perry. This sort of stuff was inconceivable for the man who wrote The American Evasion of Philosophy and Race Matters.

        Yeah, West has changed -- a lot.

        •  agreed n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gramofsam1, mimi, etherealfire

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by Denise Oliver Velez on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:10:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I really would love to learn that in more detail (0+ / 0-)

            How about a diary about the "before" and "after" Cornell West.
            With examples given in context. That would help.

            "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

            by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:43:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I Am Not as Harsh (6+ / 0-)

          I agree that the man that I have met, Professor Cornel West, has become extremely strident since 2008.  I don't dismiss what he has to say, though.  I do think that Professor West believes he is doing the right thing, and certainly the issues he raises are critical for our community and too often ignored in favor of symbolism. That being said, his rhetoric has gone over the top and folks are right to raise hell about it (even though IMO not right to dismiss what he says a priori, even if he is being an asshole in how he says it.)

          OTOH, many of the people who routinely bring up Cornel West are such in their discussions of race that you know they are not scholars of the man's work; he's just the convenient Black face that they hide behind to try and make points they would otherwise not credibly be able to make in their own names.  Usually, they don't have the nuance that Professor West has when he's not in polemic mode.

          •  thank you for answer, as for the people who (0+ / 0-)

            routinely bring up Cornel West in their discussions, I don't count myself into that group. I have twice written a short diary of speeches I heard by Cornel West. Being a foreigner with no education in Afro-American political history, I react just to the speeches I hear and have no further context for the history behind Cornel West.  

            I don't hide behind him. Wouldn't know why I have to hide anyway. So, I don't understand that expression. Who of the Afro-Americans uses Cornel West to hide? Hide what ?

            I think it's regrettable that he can't be heard, because even though you can raise hell about his rhetoric, what he says is important to hear especially by those, who are not that scholarly and educated. Unless you would raise the same hell over "schmoozing" rhetoric of the moderate Democrats or endless hateful rhetoric from the right, I just don't think that it is an important enough thing to get all upset over his rhetoric. Cornel said Obama's and Holder's rhetoric was "sentimental". Can't help that I had similar feelings when listening to Obama's words. Nice words, soothing words, human words, but not important ones politically speaking for a President of the US.

            People were grateful that Obama at least said something at all. Fine, I can follow those feelings, better something nice and good than nothing. I would expect more and be not that modest. He IS the President of the US after all.

            Being a political public figure of that power worldwide, I would say he didn't address the issues that are at hand. And that's basically what Cornel complained about in his interview.  

            You will hear similar rhetoric among many blacks outside the US.  Of course that doesn't interest any American. Considering the foreign policies imposed on African countries, I wonder why it doesn't interest them.

            And don't think just because people don't like to hear this kind of Cornel's expressions and people can dismiss ithem as "non-scholarly" that the thoughts behind them are not valid and should not be listened to.

            "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

            by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:02:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Actually some of his writing has been featured (8+ / 0-)

      here - in Black Kos.

      My thoughts on Cornell are a bit different.  He's not an organizer, never has been, nor was he an activist really.
      Which is why he has had very little impact in the overall black community - though he has had quite a following of college students.

      He is a brilliant academic and is a strong advocate for Democratic Socialism, and is a member of that political party.

      Black radical critiques of Cornell have been around for a long time, dating back to his days in Sacramento, some of which I actually pushed back against - not everyone had to join the BPP.  There is an important role for black academics in our multi-faceted movement(s)

      I don't think this site has a "collective opinion" of Cornell, though I will say that he has been mentioned a lot here in recent times, only when some folks needed a black voice to quote to back up whatever particular position they were espousing to denigrate Obama...up to and including Cornell's dismissal of the Obama's blackness - which is amusing, given that certain cultural nationalists hung up on skin color definitions dismissed Cornell with the same illegitimate rhetoric.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:01:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, you think that Cornell's dismissal of (0+ / 0-)

        Obama's blackness is meant literally.

        Obama has NOT the Afro-American anchestry and did not experience Afro-American family life in he less privileged class, when he grew up. I don't know why one can't acknowledge that.

        I would say Obama grew into the Afro-American experience when he left Hawaii and went to Occidental College and from then on all the way. But his experience was a privileged one, nevertheless, very soon.

        So, tell me why people thought Cornell "was not black enough". I am curious.

        "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

        by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:51:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mimi - there is a long tradition (6+ / 0-)

          of different trains of thought and practice within the black community - black folks are obviously not monolithic.

          You'd have to go back and read debates between DuBois and Booker T Washington.... positions taken by Garvey, by Douglass...

          There were splits between (and among) SCLC, SNCC, CORE, the BPP, DRUM, RNA, US, the NAACP, Urban League...just to get started  

          There  are/were black Marxists, black Democratic Socialists, black Revolutionary Nationalists, black Anarchists, black separatists, black integrationists, black Cultural Nationalists...black pacifists versus those who advocated for armed self-defense...Pan-Africanists....

          There were critiques and differences within the majority"white" CPUSA - resulting in the formation of "clubs" like the Che-Lumumba group on the west coast  

          To confuse you a bit more - many of the positions taken by core cadres were/are supported by black community members across the lines of ideology...so for example you will see people embrace both Malcolm X (who had a range of positions over time) and a MLK.

          Can't write a comment that covers all of our history, all of our ideologies, all of our organizations with specific ideologies here

          Suffice it to say - it is more complicated that boiling it down to who is left and who is not or who is "principled" or "progressive" or not.

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:42:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I appreciate your comment very much, thank you, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TiaRachel

            but you ask any listener to Cornel West basically to be a history buff of the various factions, ideologies and organizations of the Afro-American community in the past hisotry in the US, before they can simply say, I understand what Cornel West is saying and I agree with him for the most part, being not intimidated by his rhetoric.

            How many people of the afro-american community aside from academics and elderlies, who lived through these times, have this knowledge?

            Are young Afro-Americans getting this education at your college system? How "privileged" must an Afro-American young man be to go to college and then even get into these specifics of the factions of the  Afro-American political and ideological movements?

            I only see most young Afro-American young men ending up in the military or in prisons or desperately trying to get an education, while constantly threatened by the outlook to not make enough money to ever live a decent, dignified life as free, independent men.

            Your answer wouldn't help my son, to make it quite clear. I understand its complicated, but I would appreciate, if for all the complexity there wouldn't be the baby lost with the bathtub water.

            Cornell West is able to put his view points in words that can be understood by non academics and less educated people. Which most people are. Howard Zinn had the same capabilities. And they both were not liars to make it very clear.

            That's very important, if you like the way West does it or not, he does more to further the understanding than a selection of afro-american intellectuals debating themselves in public leaving a lot of people behind more or less confused.

            Or may be it's just me being cranky, because I was never given the opportunity to educate myself that way. Had to fucking survive and never been able to become
            an academic and historian. You know I do the dishes (with a science degree) and my son does the "Heavy Schlepping" because he is physically strong. None of us had the privilege and time and opportunity to learn all this.

            Forgive me that I get emotional here. I guess I would have been more educated in Germany even about those issues, because I would have had enough time to read a lot in my "free" time about these issues and my son's reading capability developed normally than
            what happened to both of us in this country. I feel dumbed down, used and hindered from learning here.
            Sorry to say. Now I am angry. Sorry for that too. Let's just drop it.

            Hopefully I will dig into that history one day as well into lots of other things I would like to educate myself about.

            "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

            by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:37:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To be fair... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TiaRachel

              ...I've met black high school kids that have a lot of this knowledge. It doesn't necessarily require a college education, just someone to let you know that there is a history.

              Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

              by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:46:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  that may be very well true, I shouldn't have said (0+ / 0-)

                that and may have a wrong perception about it. I have only anecdotal experience to go by. Are these issues part of the mandatory classes a highschool student has to take?
                If so, I apologize.

                "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

                by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:05:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nope (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mimi

                  At least, not in any of the schools I ever attended. It may be that it is taught in some. However, some kids are lucky enough to have parents who care enough about their kids to explain this country's complex history to them.

                  Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                  by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:20:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You have to somehow be connected to (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                moviemeister76, mimi

                a community to which this is important -- which most non-black (and non-lefty) americans don't have. (And even many of those who consider themselves left-ish don't have much historical awareness.) Certainly I wouldn't expect non-americans to know this stuff, even its existence, when it isn't taught to most americans.

                I agree with mimi that there sometimes seems to be an unfair expectation that anyone discussing AA/race issues (or anything even remotely related) should know this stuff or be silent and listen (to who, they may not know), that anyone who doesn't take the depth of historical awareness (of which many are unaware) into account is doing it deliberately. It's a tricky situation.

                •  Yep segregation of knowledge (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TiaRachel, mimi

                  Segregation has hurt this country so much. That's why I swear by Twitter. I've learned more in the last year following people on Twitter than I have in the four and a half years previously in college. There's a ton of nonsense on Twitter, but there's also a massive community of very educated folks sharing knowledge left and right. For free!

                  On the other hand, what I also see in this thread (and pretty much everywhere else) is white people who act as if they are experts on black history and black people, and that is insulting as all get out.

                  Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                  by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:46:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If I was the one, who left this impression behind (0+ / 0-)

                    I apologize, but I think I said several times that I don't have any "expertise" set aside very basic knowledge about the progressive movement.

                    I plan to go to school when I know that I can live on my retirement money and don't have to work anymore. And lots of classes and or reading will be about the history of POC in various parts of the world, but especially here in the US. Wish me luck with that. I need it.

                    "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

                    by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:59:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  BTW (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      msrevis, mimi

      Anyone who claims to be coming to the defense of Professor West should at least evince the respect necessary to spell his name properly:

      It's Cornel.

      •  I addressed that in my second apology (0+ / 0-)

        on the top of the introduction of the diary. It was very unfortunate that I couldn't stay with the diary when I posted it and only could come back late at night.

        "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

        by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:07:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  and I don't claim to defend Professor West, (0+ / 0-)

        I really don't think he would need any defense at all by a person like me.

        I said that I liked what he said., his rhetoric being what it is.  That's all. That's not a defense.

        "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

        by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:08:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm white, and I don't have any objections (6+ / 0-)

    to what Cornell West is saying here.

    His style is confrontational, and I think it is possible that the Justice Dept will prosecute George Zimmerman, but Obama is always overly cautious and moves like a snail to take positions on many issues.  A little prodding may be a good thing.

    I don't think that Obama's record on civil rights is very good in general, and certainly not for a Democratic president.  He took a full term to come out in support of marriage equality (I always wondered if that was because he is a bit too religious), supports the NSA surveillance program, and has been very aggressive in going after whistle blowers.

    His main emphasis on racial issues has been to call for African Americans to be responsible for their actions.  This is laudable and is something a white president couldn't do, but surely he could also touch on issues of discrimination and inequality more than he has.

    I often disagree with Cornell West, but not on this one.

    •  I am always amazed how very frightened (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Annalize5

      many people in the US are over "confrontational" opinions.

      I don't listen too often to Cornell West, but if I would go step by step through the interview, I would not find many arguments I could counter him with or disagree.

      People don't like his style of rhetoric, I guess. Strangely enough it's expected of us to take any more soft-ball centrist and hollow rhetoric and swallow that one, accepting being force fed with that one any day any time.

      "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

      by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 02:17:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The link below the video isn't working for me. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi
  •  I knew him and he doesn't speak for me (16+ / 0-)

    as a principled black American progressive.

    I don't like to comment on him because both sides have reduced the topic to a typical rox/sux issue and have simplified West, what he's done and what he represents.

    Cornel changed my life twice by taking me under his wing and patiently teaching me certain things even though the first time I wasn't in a class of his and he wasn't famous yet.

    There's an article at the Root from a few years ago about how people who have known him feel about him. It's entitled, "Why I would take a bullet for Cornel West":

    http://www.theroot.com/...

    And I agree with the writer. Because of who he was, the number of people he taught and helped, his brilliant teaching, I would take a bullet for him.

    But that Cornel is not today's Cornel, and it's not just because he criticizes President Obama. It's because he's fundamentally not the same person.

    He's been through a lot, including being humiliated at Harvard and almost dying of cancer.

    The clarity and logic that were hallmarks of his thinking are gone.

    The ground breaking work on pragmatism is never coming back, nor is the ambitious attempt to reconcile African American historical philosophical and prophetic thought with pragmatism, nor is the audaciousness and brilliance and logic of the philosophical task he set out for himself, nor his brilliant explanation of it to generations of students. The Cornel who thought that philosophy could change the world by changing our fundamental framework for thinking is gone.

    That's why people, especially black people who knew him and learned under him, no longer agree with him -- not just because of a knee jerk reaction to his criticisms of Obama, which frankly often are often illogical.

    The personal vindictiveness he's shown toward other African American public figures who disagree with his positions and have perfectly legitimate positions of their own, like Melissa Harris Perry and Al Sharpton, are not things that the real Cornel would have done. That kind of personal attack and back biting is simply incomprehensible in Cornel West -- and it seems to explain a lot of his hatred (not too strong a word) of President Obama, which in turn seems to have come from anger at not getting tickets to the first inauguration.

    And don't get me started about teaming up with a documented con man and fraud like Tavis Smiley who never once expressed any interest in the problems of working class and poor black people until Obama didn't show at his "summit."

    Maybe Cornel West resonates with you because you don't have the same actual concerns as African American principled leftists -- like this administration's finally getting rid of the discrepancies between crack cocaine sentencing (mostly black people) and powdered cocaine sentencing, when the majority of black people in federal prison are there over drug charges. If you think that Cornel's rants about drones in Afghanistan are more important that drug sentencing of 30,000 or so federal prisoners, that may be because of where you sit in society.

    For many black people, Cornel is a respected uncle and elder -- but the one who went off the deep end and sits and the end of the table at Thanksgiving ranting somewhat incoherently. He's still our uncle but that doesn't mean we take seriously what he has to say.

    •  You're quite postive that it's West who changed... (4+ / 0-)

      and not you?

      From the outside, it looks like someone with principles versus sellouts.

      •  Yes I'm quite positive I haven't changed (7+ / 0-)

        but you seem to be a mind reader and time traveler of some sort, capable of going through the intertubes to my home and back in time to when I was young to analyze me -- as well as when my African American friends who knew or read or listened to Cornel back then and agree he has changed.

        But you're entitled to your privileged opinion that anyone who disagrees with you about who is and isn't a "principled black progressive" is a sell out.

        •  Yes, let's throw that word "privileged" in there. (3+ / 5-)

          Only black people have valid opinions about black people?  Then only white people can have valid opinions about white people, no?

          You can 'dis West all you want, making him out to be a daffy old fart and not worry about disagreement from anybody you claim to be white?

          It's a nice way of trying to eliminate discussion in an overwhelmingly white forum when you claim to be black.  Who know who or what you really are?

          And it adds so much to its power when you bold and italicize it.  Very impressive.  I'll bet Cornell and all your professors were quite impressed when you demonstrated your mastery of word processors.

          LOL.  If there is an ounce of truth to your claims that you studied under West, I'm sure he'd be quite proud of you now.

          •  You sound like a defender of Zimmerman (6+ / 0-)
            Only black people have valid opinions about black people?  Then only white people can have valid opinions about white people, no?
            First of all, this isn't about "black people" and "white people" except to the extent the diarist introduced the concept of a "principled black leftist" which she felt entitled and privileged to define and you have endorsed. I addressed Cornel West as an individual and a teacher.

            From the quoted language above, you seem to be suggesting that black people do not have valid opinions of other black people that conflict with yours. if they do, and they conflict with yours, they are sell outs.

            Dank ya boss.

            Sorry, but that's exactly what your comments add up to.

            •  You're the one trying to shut me up. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, priceman, TheMomCat

              I admire West.  I admire his courage in bucking the Establishment and criticizing a President.  It takes nerve these days.

              You dismissed the guy you claim as a mentor.  Pardon me, but I'm skeptical that Cornell West would know you from Adam.

              •  But you are obviously self-privileged (4+ / 0-)

                Let's recap. Mimi wrote a diary about Cornel West saying he speaks for her.

                I simply said he doesn't speak for me as a "principled black progressive" and laid out the reasons why and how other "principled black progressives" I know and who personally have known Cornel West agree.

                For that, without knowing me or my writing, you called me a "sell out".

                Who made you the arbiter of who is and is not a principled black progressive?

                (And note how different mimi's diary is from yours; she says West spoke for her; not that West must speak for all "black progressives" -- or else.)

                What gives you that authority?

                On what authority do you have the power -- even if self deluded, self-appointed power -- to say any African American who disagrees with Cornel West is a sell out?

                What authority could that be other than your perceived white privilege -- the right of generations of white people to tell us who our legitimate leaders are?

                And it has nothing to do with your real life economic privilege.

                It has to do with your obvious, self evident, privilege on display right here.  Poor white sharecroppers in the south displayed that kind of white privilege, despite being poor and oppressed. It doesn't have to do with socio economic privilege. It has to do with the assumption of power and authority over the conversation.

                Who made you the arbiter of who is and who is not a principled black progressive? Please answer that question.  Please provide a summary of your deep reading into  the black progressive intellectual tradition of which Cornel West was once a leading figure.

                And please spare us the "reverse racism" whining about "shutting you up" by pointing out your exercise of racial privilege in determining who is a principled black progressive and who is a sell out.  We hear that enough on Fox News. Don't need to read it on DailyKos.

                •  this explanation of what white privilege means (0+ / 0-)

                  I haven't heard before:

                  What authority could that be other than your perceived white privilege -- the right of generations of white people to tell us who our legitimate leaders are?

                  And it has nothing to do with your real life economic privilege. (I haven't heard that one before)

                  It has to do with your obvious, self evident, privilege on display right here.  Poor white sharecroppers in the south displayed that kind of white privilege, despite being poor and oppressed. It doesn't have to do with socio economic privilege. It has to do with the assumption of power and authority over the conversation.

                  I think it's fair to assume that not many people associate what you describe with white privilege. But I heard the expression here at dailykos for the first time and not that long ago. There might have been other discussions about it years ago, that I don't remember having followed.

                  So, if that is your definition of white privilege, then I have misunderstood a lot of things before. Really white privilege is only the "power and authority over conversation"?
                  Usually power comes with socio-economic privilege related to it. I apologize then for my mis-interpretation of that expression.

                  "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

                  by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:27:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  to tell you the truth, I don't know anything (0+ / 0-)

                  about  the "black progressive intellectual tradition" and I kind of dislike the word "progressive". It doesn't tell me where someone stands.

                  I don't know what it means today to be a "progressive". Are there "principled progressives" ? What is the difference between a "principled social democrat" or a "principled leftist"
                  and a "principled progressive" ?

                  Very confusing, and as Cornel West in the interview said, as your two-party system is dysfunctional and dying, I wonder what the heck all this is supposed to mean?

                  Your system it broken FUBAR and it's no wonder that nothing changes when people don't know what it means to be a "principled progressive". Unless of course you are unprincipled then everything works ... to your own advantage.

                  "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

                  by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:40:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The meaning of language (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LaEscapee, triv33, priceman, TheMomCat, mimi
              Only black people have valid opinions about black people?
              does NOT suggest that
              black people do not have valid opinions of other black people that conflict with yours
              It suggests that one person has as much of a right to an opinion as another, which should be the obvious starting point.  But it clearly cannot be assumed as such.

              And, if it isn't about "black people" and "white people", why have people been making it about that since Obama was elected?  It is disingenuous to make that claim after what you had already posted, and to claim bringing up privilege is not making it about white people and black people.

              Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think I can guess what you would claim, and it has nothing to do with reading your mind or time travel; it has to do with seeing this shit so much I can hardly stand it.  If you're anything like others I have seen attempting to invalidate the opinions of white people critical of Obama's policies, you believe that black people, as the oppressed people, know the black experience in a way white people can never know.  So far so good.  But you also believe that, because of oppression, black people also know things about white people that white people don't know.  If you are at all typical, you feel free to accuse any white person who disagrees with you of disagreeing because they have been unaware of their privileged position and are therefore unconsciously being prejudiced.  If a white person objects to being characterized thus, then that is proof of the unconscious prejudice.  Sincerely, forgive me if this is not you--it certainly is most people I have seen argue the way you argue here.

              There is no way to argue with such a position, a position that claims to know my unconscious motivations while taken exception to having your mind read.  Who claims to be the only authority on the black experience while allowing no authority to your interlocutor on the white experience.  Why would anyone ever want to carry on a discussion on these terms?  Sure, you can find guilty feeling white folks, many of whom have never engaged these issues deeply or in a personal way, but can you find real discussions of an understandably painful and loaded topic which can open eyes and enlighten?

              I'll tell you what I decided a long time ago and until now never bothered to try to bring to the angry, accusing battles on this site.  I will include white privilege in the conversation (despite the terrible name, which implies it is a privilege to be treated with simple dignity and with one's natural rights respected), if you will include black trauma in the conversation.  By that I mean, if I have been formed in a crucible which renders me blind to certain aspects of my behavior and the experiences of others, then I say that similarly there are plenty of black people whose relentless abuse and suffering has similarly rendered them unconscious of their own blind spots and prejudices, of their inability to understand my experience.  Perhaps trauma could render a person incapable of distinguishing a sensitive white person who never needed anyone to explain the suffering they were seeing and hearing about and the fact of their exemption from it from a white asshole who'll pretend to be your best friend then whisper the n word to me as you walk away.

              But what I would rather do is not read minds or psychoanalyze at all and each of us take what we say at our word, with presumed mutual respect and leave out making unverifiable claims about motivations or the state of another person's unconscious.  That does not mean that I object to discussion of the crucial topic of what is misnamed white privilege, but I do claim that personalizing such a discussion stands zero chance of ever improving anything.  Are we not looking for social change rather than for psychoanalysis?

              What is unacceptable for discourse is the slanted playing field, the loaded dice.  Of course it's about "white people" and "black people", or at least everyone's prejudices around race.  That is been made more than obvious by the years of discussion on this site, years in which every important issue I can name has had the issue of race brought into it on the grounds that a significant portion of criticism of this administrations policies spring from unconscious white privilege rather than from principled engagement with the issues.  NSA spying is merely the latest in a long line.

              Please forgive me if I have mischaracterized you.  I am not familiar with your commenting history.  I am really not directing this at you; I am directing this at a dynamic on the site that has been very successful at blunting criticism of this administration.  If I have got you wrong, I hope you can find your way to forgive this misdirected rant and engage me with respect.

              Otoh, if I have hit the mark, then respect is the last thing I expect to receive, much less a fair reading of my remarks.

              Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

              by geomoo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:50:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And you are wrong. (4+ / 0-)

                Just as an example:

                I will include white privilege in the conversation (despite the terrible name, which implies it is a privilege to be treated with simple dignity and with one's natural rights respected)
                It's not merely about respect and dignity.  It's about the advantages whites have by birth.  It's about the advantages and opportunities that don't come with being born black in America.  And my last sentence in itself is so laughably reductive and inadequate because I don't want to write a dissertation here.

                It's stuff you/we are fortunate enough to never have to put our minds to, if we choose not to (which is a massive failure in reading the general state of affairs in this nation -- a far more critical issue than who's tracking one's facebook posts and e-mails).  

                You, clearly, have chosen not to put your mind to it much, and now that the black community and its allies are sick to death of this shit and finally speaking out and calling it for what it is, you find it an inconvenient interruption to your -- yes -- privileged conversations.

                "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

                by Yasuragi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:14:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And now who is the mind reader? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  priceman, TheMomCat, triv33, mimi

                  It is tiresome to have to explain, but 2 + 2 - 4, which I explain to you, trying not to appear condescending, because you have clearly chosen not to put your mind to learning this.

                  I say clearly, but actually, like you, I'm just making shit up.  Does that feel insulting?  It should, because it is insulting in precisely the way your comment is insulting to me.  Now leave me the fuck alone.

                  Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                  by geomoo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:56:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, about those advantages (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TheMomCat, triv33

                  Define it however you want, the point is not that some people had, it is that others had not.  The goal is for everyone to have, not for some to be knocked down.  But that is what is happening, what Glenn Ford called the n****rizing of the middle class.  Sure, a lot of white people lack the imagination to understand that their government doesn't actually care any more about them than it does about the black people they feel superior to.  And this white privilege thing is used to keep black people from understanding the same thing--that it's not a race thing, it's an economic thing, and that everyone interested in justice and equality should be allied.  It is a terrible piece of propaganda to make being able to afford to eat or be ignored by cops a so-called privilege.

                  But you don't know shit about me personally, nor about what I do and don't understand.

                  Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                  by geomoo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:04:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's amazing to see white privilege in action (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HamdenRice
                    the point is not that some people had, it is that others had not
                    White people who have issues with white privilege always have issues with that first part.

                    Oh, and you're wrong. The point is both that some have it, and some don't. The only people who want to erase the first part are people uncomfortable with white privilege, making them want to erase that first part from the definition.

                    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                    by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:51:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Illogical and essentially divisive (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      triv33, BigAlinWashSt, mimi, priceman

                      It's hard to know whether this is willfully missing the point or honest.  Assuming it is honest, then insisting on making someone wrong for having basic rights and enough food to eat validates my point--this is no way to create a just society.

                      The notion of the misnamed white privilege is fundamentally a notion of complicity.  No matter a person's behavior, just by the fact of being white there is complicity in racism.  This is the point, and it is entirely valid and useful, however misnamed.  But complicity is notoriously difficult to address, to deal with in a healing manner.  There has been work on this issue, for example in South Africa after apartheid.  It has been learned that one of the ways to heal is through re-enactment in a safe setting in which victim, perpetrator, and bystander can come face to face in a non-traumatic way with the reality of the crimes.  Often stick figures or shadows on a screen are used to prevent the rational faculties from being overwhelmed by the horrors being depicted.  To throw around such a loaded idea carelessly and accusingly during a political discussion about unrelated topics, I'm sorry but it's destructive and stands no hope of contributing to healing.

                      Complicity is slippery and everyone, and I mean everyone, resists.  You can check out this proposition for yourself by checking in with how concerned you feel for the children being killed by drone strikes while you sit over in the US in relative safety.  Sure, you may feel somewhat unsafe because of racism just as plenty of whites have felt somewhat poor and somewhat oppressed despite the color of their skin.  But just like those whites, your life is better by the simple fact of living in a country who props up its financial wealth by killing people around the world.  Dr. King understood this, he tried to teach us about these connections.  So, I ask you, how ready and willing are you to study and learn about the plight of farmers in Afghanistan living under the 24/7 sound of drones in their skies, drones which might kill their children at any moment?  How ready are you to accept some degree of responsibility for the deaths of these children?  And how far along the path do you think it would help you if people were screaming "Imperialist!" at you for merely expressing an opinion?

                      The imagination necessary to understand this is exactly what Cornel West appeals to in his statement that President Obama is a global George Zimmerman.  Can you see the truth in this statement, or are you blinded by more petty loyalties to a person, a race, class, or nation just as many whites have been blinded by loyalty to race?

                      Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                      by geomoo on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:12:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  thanks and agreed /nt (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        geomoo, priceman

                        "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

                        by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:15:47 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  But what I want to know ... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Denise Oliver Velez

                        is more about your views on how I should behave like a "typical black person." You seem to have run away from that topic.

                        As the Trayvon Martin tragedy shows, it's important for black people to know how NOT to behave like a typical black person, aka "Joe Typical Negro," and after dropping some advice on us about it, you seem to have fled the scene.

                        Please, please enlighten us.

                      •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Denise Oliver Velez

                        First of all, I'm white. So please, whitesplain some more about loyalty to race.  The very fact that it didn't occur to you that a white person could call you out shows you for what you are.

                        Second, I actually do study the plight of folks living in Afghanistan as modern Middle Eastern studies has been my primary focus as a history major. I've been in class and had discussions with classmates from Pakistan and Lebanon who have very strong opinions about drones. You shouldn't assume that just because someone thinks that Cornel West and you are wrong about this that they are ignorant of life in the Middle East.

                        Third, echoing someone else further down, I am also curious about what you meant by "typical." You showed your ass on that one, and now are too scared to go back to it. Why is that?

                        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                        by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:32:02 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Did this "fact" come out of your ass? (0+ / 0-)
                          The very fact that it didn't occur to you that a white person could call you out shows you for what you are.
                          It must have brought this one along with it:
                          You shouldn't assume that just because someone thinks that Cornel West and you are wrong about this that they are ignorant of life in the Middle East.
                          Those are assumptions, and they are wrong.  It is possible that this argument is not the same old argument that you already had in your mind.

                          I'll tell you what I AM afraid of, and I'm not kidding--being attacked ruthlessly by people who are determined to make me into a projection of their imaginations in order to justify tearing me to shreds, verbally, of course.  Or worse, by operatives who are paid to prevent constructive discussions which might be harmful to the President.

                          I'm sorry so many people are so angry.  I'm sorry it prevents their being able to read for meaning.  I'm sorry there are people in our country willing to interfere with open discussion for money.

                          I'll quote Thomas More:  I pray you consider the possibility that you may be wrong.  I won't be discussing these things, which matter to me a lot, with people who think nothing of sneering, mocking, and making up stuff up about what I and others think and feel.

                          Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                          by geomoo on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:31:41 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That's a bunch of word salad (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Denise Oliver Velez

                            And avoidance. I guess some folks just can't admit when they're wrong.

                            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                            by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:52:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's me telling you, quite plainly (0+ / 0-)

                            that what you say I assume and think could not be more wrong.  As far as what I do actually think and assume, that has not been discussed anywhere in this thread except with the diarist.

                            Which is why I don't do this any more.

                            Good-bye.

                            Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                            by geomoo on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:05:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Oh, "typical" (0+ / 0-)

                          conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern

                          Ex.  We wanted him to have the typical college experience of living on campus.

                          Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                          by geomoo on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:36:47 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  So, because I am born white, it's my fault (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  geomoo

                  that I am privileged compared to people, who are born black in America?  

                  I acknowledge that I am privileged, but I don't accept that it is my fault or has been under my control. I acknowledge that a person born black in the US is not privileged by birth, but I don't accept to say it's the black person's fault or was under his control.

                  I have difficulties to understand this conversation.

                  "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

                  by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:35:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Who said it's your fault? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Denise Oliver Velez, mimi

                    You recognize the situation, mimi.  No one is blaming you.  Nor is anyone blaming blacks.  I don't see where you got that impression.

                    "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

                    by Yasuragi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:27:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  mimi, it's a good and honest question (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mimi

                    The goodness of your heart shines through, and that is refreshing here.

                    I invite you to read my comment immediately above this one.  In short, white privilege has to do with complicity, a notoriously difficult concept, in the abstract but especially in practice.  My view is that as white people in America we are precisely as complicit as a non-Jew in Nazi Germany.  Unfortunately, that does nothing to answer the questions of how "guilty" we are, how responsible we are, and most important of all, what we should do about a terrible system that we feel little power in being able to affect.

                    Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                    by geomoo on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:51:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  What an awful comment that misses the point (5+ / 0-)
                Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think I can guess what you would claim,
                And what would be the basis of that?
                If you're anything like others I have seen attempting to invalidate the opinions of white people critical of Obama's policies,
                Like others? Do you mean lke other black people -- which is what the rest of your comment is about? You then go on to project what "others" think, and how they don't let you express your opinion because, you know, all that power they have over you.
                If you are at all typical, you feel free to accuse any white person who disagrees with you of disagreeing because they have been unaware of their privileged position
                Looks like you are projecting LOTS of psychodrama here. The point isn't all the Obama rox/sux debates, or other disagreements.

                Let me say this as clearly as possible:

                Its that a poster says any black person who disagrees with Cornel West is a sell out.

                Which is to say, that poster claims there is only one valid black principled progressive opinion.

                You don't think that is an assertion of privilege?

                You seem to be confusing the calling out of a self evident, explicitly demonstrated example of privilege with all the hurt feelings you've ever experienced from "others" on DK.

                As for your own privilege, can I repeat your words:

                If you are at all typical, you feel free to accuse any white person who disagrees
                This is an explicit statement by you that typical black people accuse any white person of prejudice. Sorry, but that's exactly what you said. Typical black people accuse white people of prejudice. Are there typical black people any more than typical white people? This has nothing to do with Obama rox/sux debates. It has to do with your seemingly invincible belief that typical black people go around accusing white people. That's what you said.
                There is no way to argue with such a position, a position that claims to know my unconscious motivations
                No, this is not about your unconscious motivations. It's about your actions -- or more precisely, the exact wording of what you just wrote: typical black people accuse white people of prejudice.

                It doesn't take any guessing about your unconscious motivation to restate your language and criticize it. You believe from your own language, that there is such a thing as a typical black person, and that sort of person routinely makes groundless accusations of prejudice against white people. No psychological analysis is necessary to ask the larger community what they think of this sort of language.

                So here's what I've learned from "principled progressives" today:

                1. Any black person who disagrees with Cornel West is a sell out.

                2. "Typical" black people make groundless accusations of racism against white people to shut them up.

                And are we on Fox News or DailyKos.

                •  Jesus (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HamdenRice, Denise Oliver Velez, mimi

                  You have far more patience than me. All I wanted to do was type in all caps. "Typical?" Holy hell.

                  Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                  by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:52:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My college roommate had an expression (3+ / 0-)

                    We were both black with roots in the South. When he was talking about a black person and I wanted to know whether the person was West Indian or African (there was a diverse black student population) he would say, "no, he's just Joe Typical Negro."

                    In this thread I've learned that I am Joe Typical Negro. I think thanks to the comment I responded to, today, we are all Joe Typical Negro.

                •  I like your response here, but can you at least (0+ / 0-)

                  try to define what is a "principled white progressive" and what is a "principled black progressive" and if there are differences between them, could you identify them?

                  The word progressive doesn't tell you in which direction or where to someone is "progressing". Progressiveness, is that an ideology?

                  "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

                  by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:23:06 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sorry to say but "principled" is kind of a joke (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mimi, Denise Oliver Velez

                    It's not a serious label. A DK member, "Old pissed off liberal" wrote a diary a few days ago trashing everyone he thought wasn't a "principled progressive," including the owner of the site, Markos Moulitsas.

                    So I really just mean "progressive." Progressive is left of center in the Democratic Party, but not radical or revolutionary. At least that's my definition. It's based on the history of the "progressive movement" of the early 1900s, a reform movement that was, ironically, mostly based in the Republican Party, led at one point by President Theodore Roosevelt, as well was mid western state level politicians, although there were Democratic progressives like Governor Al Smith of New York.

                    The progressive movement eventually morphed into the New Deal under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose ideology basically came to define American liberalism. But "principled" is just forum talk.

                    •  HamdenRice ... thank you ... (0+ / 0-)

                      I obviously can and did read OPOLS diaries and all the comments (if you can believe it.) ... I also read kos 'I don't give a two shits" diary and all the comments. I can read, though my comprehension isn't that good ...

                      You know it's very hard for a foreigner to understand the historical facts about the Republicans at one point in time being the heart of the "progressive movement" and then to end up being the heart of the New Deal and the Democratic Party.

                      I swear I will read this thoroughly one day, but it goes against anything imaginable from the point of view of an ideological based German Social Democrat considering the history that Social Democrats had in our history.

                      And I wonder about the "liberalism" the movement then  defined. As everything is so nicely mixed up and fogged away, your liberalism gets borderline libertarianism, which then can be a left-wing kind or a right-wing kind. You know that I hate this spaghetti kind of ideological mish-mash confusing any straight forward thinking person. It gets annoying and then boring too.

                      But I hear you. I am now much clearer about what progressives, being principled or not :),  stand for ...
                      not to mention liberals as well.  (Well you do understand that I am lying now, right)  There are rather radical liberals and libertarians out there as far as I can see, at least on single issues.

                      Please don't bother to answer me, I know I am just obnoxious. The reason why I don't feel I understand this site is because I really have no idea what liberals and progressives stand for in this country. Especially progressives. I don't get it. The divide here on this site makes it incomprehensible to me.

                      "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

                      by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:18:42 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Parsing this nonsense actually is fun (5+ / 0-)

                There is so much here, it's kind of amusing.

                others I have seen attempting to invalidate the opinions of white people critical of Obama's policies,
                You seem to be mixing up two completely different discussions. Some people are "invalidating" the opinions of other people (race isn't involved) because they disagree over policy. I've noticed at DK, there are many people who don't seem to believe that people can honestly disagree over policy. You have mixed that up with the fact that there is, in fact, a lot of racist rhetoric thrown at this president, obviously the first black president. This is pretty clear cut on the part of some Republicans. It's a strategy that many in the mainstream media have pointed out, like the dog whistle of calling him the "food stamp president." Pointing out that there is, as a factual matter, a lot of racist rhetoric is not the same as "invalidating" the opinions of white people on policy issues. The fact that people who consider themselves liberals or progressives also have used racial rhetoric is sometimes brought up in discussion here. The fact that a person is a liberal doesn't mean they can't be prejudiced -- as the commentary to this diary shows. Pointing that out is not trying to invalidate policy discussion.
                you believe that black people, as the oppressed people, know the black experience in a way white people can never know... But you also believe that, because of oppression, black people also know things about white people that white people don't know.  
                I guess you've drawn that conclusion because I'm one of the "others" and a "typical" black person. But DK has an excellent feature by which you can look at all of my diaries and all of my comments.

                Please find the diary or comment in which I said I know things about white people that white people don't know. Because, remember, you said "you believe," that is, you are referring to a particular individual person whose comments have been recorded here.

                If you can't find such a comment or diary, doesn't that mean that you have simply made a judgment about me, as an individual, because I'm a "typical black person" and one of the "others"? And if you've made that false pre-judgment based on your assumption about me being a typical black person, what does that make you? And I'm not psychoanalyzing you; I'm citing your own sentence back to you. Again, please provide the exact sentence in which I said that. If you can't find such a sentence, and if your conclusion was based solely on your belief that I'm a "typical black person" then I would ask you to make an honest assessment about what your statement means about you.

                a position that claims to know my unconscious motivations while taken exception to having your mind read.  Who claims to be the only authority on the black experience while allowing no authority to your interlocutor on the white experience.
                Actually, nothing I've written in this diary thread is about "unconscious motivations" or psychoanalysis. It's about words used. If I object to Ezekiel in Exile calling me a "sell out" because I said Cornel West doesn't any longer represent my opinion, and point out that it's an exercise in racial privilege to tell black people which black intellectuals they may and may not agree with,  I'm not referring to Ezekiel's unconscious motivations. I'm referring to a (preposterous) and obviously prejudiced position he is taking right here and now.

                Similarly if you write that I "claim to be the only authority on the black experience" while denying white people authority on the white experience -- while providing no evidence whatsoever, even though my diaries and comments are freely available -- seemingly only on the basis that you assume I'm a "typical black person," wouldn't I be justified in saying that not only are you exercising white privilege, but that you actually are demonstrably prejudiced? Isn't prejudice pre-judging a person based on his perceived membership in a racial group and the perceived characteristics of that group? Regardless of your internal psychological state, how is your entire commentary not a display of obvious prejudice you have about "typical black people"?

                I will include white privilege in the conversation ...  if you will include black trauma in the conversation.
                What makes you assume that my opinion here is shaped by "black trauma"? Again, you are confusing the here and now, with psychoanalysis of past experience. If anything, I've demonstrated a certain amount of educational privilege, not trauma, having been able to study with Cornel West.
                then I say that similarly there are plenty of black people whose relentless abuse and suffering has similarly rendered them unconscious of their own blind spots and prejudices, of their inability to understand my experience.
                Well at least you've improved a little here by saying that there are "plenty of black people" who suffered "relentless abuse" rather than all black people or "typical black people." But again, I'm not trying to understand your experience, which is impossible through the medium of a discussion board.

                I'm trying to understand your language -- your assumption that as a "typical black person" I have certain views that deny your experience and try to silence you and make groundless accusations of racism. Again, there's no reason for you to assume these things given the capabilities of DK's comment history and diary history pages.

                years in which every important issue I can name has had the issue of race brought into it on the grounds that a significant portion of criticism of this administrations policies spring from unconscious white privilege rather than from principled engagement with the issues.  NSA spying is merely the latest in a long line.
                Actually, I simply don't see "every important issue" every discussed at DK having had race dragged into it. To prove that this statement is actually true, rather than your perception, we'd have to do some sort of statistical analysis of discussions of important issues. Without that analysis, I would just offer my opinion that most discussions of important issues never bring race into them. Perhaps you are overly sensitive to discussions of race and they stick out in your mind when they have come up? As for the NSA issue, they have generally not been about race. Race came into it when kos, a person of color, was asked about the NSA story and said he didn't give two shits about it. That's hardly dragging race into it. It was a white DKer, OPOL who dragged race into it with a whining, illogical, reverse racism screed that suggested he felt shut up about the topic simply because kos, personally, didn't give "two shits" about the topic. It seems that just as Ezekiel believes I have to support Cornel West, OPOL believes that kos has to care about the NSA story; otherwise we are using race to "shut them up". Curious.
                Please forgive me if I have mischaracterized you.  I am not familiar with your commenting history.  I am really not directing this at you;
                Three observations: You have mischaracterized me. You are not familiar with my commenting history, even though it is freely available to you and yet you decided to characterize me anyway. If you are "not really directing this" at me, then why are you directing it at me-- other than because you think I'm a "typical black person" and you know all about what "typical black people" think and how they act on this site?
                •  Oh boy, HamdenRice, I love your comments, but (0+ / 0-)

                  may I ask you a joking question ? Are you married? I just couldn't help imagining being your wife and trying to handle you in a discussion. Totally overwhelming... :-)

                  Please don't be offended. I am trying to lighten up the tensions here. It's a joke. Your eloquence is terrific, but I am gasping for air right now...

                  BTW, who defines Kos a person of color ? You or he himself?

                  And what do you think who has the privilege to define anyone's affiliation to a certain race or color?

                  I for example completely misunderstood kos comment and was not in the least thinking he tried to "defend" persons of color with it. Actually I thought the opposite. Does kos have a default affiliation with  "persons of color"? Which color is that?

                  All I know is that he is Equadorian born and mostly US raised. And that he is a self-described former Republican turned liberal, progressive and an all around very generous man. That's it. I couldn't detect anything more.

                  Quite confusing, but I doubt that I am the only one who didn't get that part of his response (understandably considering the shortness of his expressions).

                  And another BTW. So OPOL was in your opinion representing a man of a "whining, illogical, reverse racism screed that suggested he felt shut up about the topic simply because kos, personally, didn't give "two shits" about the topic.

                  If OPOL is displaying reverse racism then I would say the whole European Union may right now fall into the "whining, illogical, reverse racism screed". Lots of folks who seem to fear to speak up and feel shut down.

                  Peace, as OPOL would say.

                  And may be we just should all use some pink glasses, then at least we all look the same and color is not the defining issue.

                  "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

                  by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:47:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Well, you seem to take offense that I called (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheMomCat, triv33, Annalize5

              Cornel West a "principled black leftist". Obviously that was a side kick at the reactions to a certain diary in the last days with the title "No place for principled lefties".

              I am not an academic, but I guess I am not wrong in saying Cornel West is black and a leftist (at least compared to other black progressives). I can't quite prove that he is principled, but it looks to me, he is consistent in what he is saying, so that would speak for some principles he holds up and considers valuable, or not?

              So, am I not allowed to characterize him that way? In how far am I "privileged" to make that characterization, so as if I shouldn't be allowed to make such but take the freedom nevertheless, because I am privileged (is that code word for being white?)  And in how far do I have to be entitled to make such a remark? Strange wording. So you think I should not feel "entitled" to express myself the way I did? Why not? What has "entitlement" to do with that?

              Do I need a permission to use this description. If you think I am stupid, then please prove to me, that Cornel is not black, not leftist and not principled. Please.

              "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

              by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:17:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  He is not consistent (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                msrevis, HamdenRice

                He's been consistent for about, oh, five years. His entire career before then, his entire body of work, is inconsistent with what he has said in the past five years. If you read the stuff he wrote in the 1980s, it is almost antithetical to what he says these days. I find a lot of what he says these days to be word salad compared to how precise he was back then.

                I would wager that a lot of white people aren't aware of that on this site because most only started paying attention to him when he started criticizing Obama. He's become "my black friends says" shield some white people here use in order to prove they aren't racist.

                Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:56:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  ok, I promise I will try to read up on his history (0+ / 0-)

                  though I have a lot of other things to read that I right now consider more urgent.

                  "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

                  by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:49:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I highly recommend it (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mimi

                    The American Evasion of Philosophy was really interesting for me. I read it back when I was in my Pragmatism phase. It reads like someone who's trying to get tenure so it's highly technical. I read Race Matters right after and liked that even more.

                    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                    by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:15:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I suspect it's not that (0+ / 0-)

                  "most only started paying attention to him when he started criticizing Obama", but instead that West began to be talked about in venues familiar to many white people with Obama's candidacy/presidency. I know that I was only vaguely aware of him, before somehow he started turning up all over the place (and I pay some attention to non-mainstream/establishment thought). Now, maybe that has to do with him criticizing Obama -- but wording it in the way you do seems to assume motivations that I suspect are not universally accurate.

                  But then, I also think that the 'my black friend' syndrome is often unconscious, at least in casual pundits/theorists (which most posters here are).

                  •  I agree that it is likely unconscious (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TiaRachel

                    Many of the pundits I've witnessed doing it would have called someone else out for doing it five to ten years ago. But I also think that a lot of what actually gets posted here is just regurgitated stuff from pundits. We reflect our own media.

                    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                    by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:18:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Shit, that means as a white man ... (6+ / 0-)

            ... in a mixed race family, I can only have valid opinions about white men in mixed race marriages.

            Damn!

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:22:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well there are plenty of us here who (11+ / 0-)

            do know who Hamden Rice is - and perhaps if you paid a little attention you would too

            He isn't "claiming to be black" - he is.

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by Denise Oliver Velez on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:33:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  HR -Don't call someone on here (5+ / 0-)

            out of their race.

            You want to disagree with Hamden's remarks - fine.
            He's quite capable of presenting his pov.

            This however, is unacceptable

            "It's a nice way of trying to eliminate discussion in an overwhelmingly white forum when you claim to be black.  Who know who or what you really are?"

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by Denise Oliver Velez on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:36:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If you knew anything at all about these issues, (4+ / 0-)

            you'd know the  name Hamden Rice, and wouldn't have the temerity to question his identity.

            So right off, you're out of your depth.

            The rest of your comment is execrable, and utterly HRable.

            "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

            by Yasuragi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:56:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I Thought (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            msrevis, moviemeister76

            That some of us made clear that attempting to impugn the racial self-identification of people of color from the President on down was going to get HRd? Really, that diary wasn't that long ago.

            Disagree all you like with Hamden Rice. But when you question whether or not he is Black when he has said he is Black, just because don't dig what he said, your privilege earns you an HR.

            So here's mine. As I promised several months ago I would do whenever I saw it.

      •  That's a rather shocking reaction to Mr Rice's (3+ / 0-)

        comment.

        He's laid out exactly what's changed in Dr West, not just for himself, but for many people, and that's your interpretation?

        Did you even read past his first sentences?

        "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

        by Yasuragi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:50:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yo (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        msrevis, moviemeister76, HamdenRice, mimi

        You do realize that you had better make sure you have your facts well in order before calling a person a sellout, right? Seriously, that is just beyond acceptable.  Especially in a cross-racial discussion of this type.

        Since you admit you are looking at this "from the outside" perhaps less spewing and more listening would be in order.

    •  I hate when people make statements like this (5+ / 0-)
      If you think that Cornel's rants about drones in Afghanistan are more important that drug sentencing of 30,000 or so federal prisoners, that may be because of where you sit in society.
      Nowhere does the diarist make that statement.  Nor does Cornel West ever say drug sentencing isn't as important as drones; why reduce him to caricature?  

      No single person can define the complete concerns of "African-American principled leftist."  MLK and Malcolm X both often pivoted to critiques of US intervention in foreign lands because they saw it as part of the same racist philosophy that was in-play within America - white lives privileged over people of color.  

      And if Tavis Smiley wasn't concerned with poor black people, why has he been hosting his summit since 2000?

      He developed a friendship with host Joyner; together they began hosting annual town hall meetings beginning in 2000 called "The State of the Black Union", which were aired live on the C-SPAN cable television network. Each of these town hall meetings focused on a specific topic affecting the African-American community, featuring a panel of African-American leaders, educators, and professionals assembled before an audience to discuss problems related to the forum's topic, as well as potential solutions.[39] Smiley also used his commentator status on Joyner's radio show to launch several advocacy campaigns to highlight discriminatory practices in the media and government and to rally support for causes such as the awarding of a Congressional Gold Medal to civil rights icon Rosa Parks. Smiley also began building a national reputation as a political commentator with numerous appearances on political discussion shows on MSNBC, ABC, and CNN.

      Also in 1996, Smiley began hosting and executive producing BET Tonight (originally BET Talk when it first premiered), a public affairs discussion show on the Black Entertainment Television (BET) network. Smiley interviewed major political figures and celebrities and discussed topics ranging from racial profiling and police brutality to R&B music and Hollywood gossip. Smiley hosted BET Tonight until 2001, when in a controversial move, the network announced that Smiley's contract would not be renewed.

      I personally am not a fan of Smiley but I hate to see someone who has done so much work just dismissed as an Obama-hater.  
      •  West made the statement (5+ / 0-)

        I listened to DN for as long as I could but when he began referring the the president as a criminal because of the drone policy, I admit I switched stations.

        The diarist is referring to that same program.

        •  I would be interested in a link (0+ / 0-)

          and the context in which Cornel West referred to President Obama as a criminal.

          I admit I switch a lot of stations and end up returning to Democracy Now, because it's the only more leftist orientated news show that is professional and not sensationalizing. It's selective, but it has exactly the selection I am looking for, because you don't get any of this on any other news channel.

          "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

          by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:58:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Hmm -- chemo-brain? That can really (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheMomCat, corvo, priceman, HamdenRice

      cause problems with 'clarity and logic' in thinking.

      I'm not intimately familiar with West, but my in-passing opinion over the past few years is that he's one of those public thinkers who's often, well, not exactly wrong...

      I don't see where mimi said

      If you think that Cornel's rants about drones in Afghanistan are more important that drug sentencing of 30,000 or so federal prisoners,
      And the quoted segment has nothing to do with drones or Afghanistan, or the relative importance of drug sentencing. Was that somewhere else in the interview? Or is it a running conflict?
      •  In the interview segment I heard this AM (5+ / 0-)

        he said that Obama could not speak on criminal law matters because he was a criminal murderer as a result of drone strikes. That's the same interview, I believe, the diarist is citing.

        •  Doesn't seem to have made an impact on her. (0+ / 0-)

          Maybe that goes to your point about different priorities -- I don't have the time to go through the interview now.

          That's the sort of thing that I'd dismiss with an eye-roll (like the 'plantation' language. Certainly not the first lefty I've ever heard who holds that complicity with Imperial America is morally disqualifying), then maybe see if he delivers any substantiating evidence with real-world impact. But I can see how actually knowing the guy makes it a more immediate experience.

        •  Was "W" (0+ / 0-)

          a murderer?

          There are no sacred cows.

          by LaEscapee on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:21:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  yes, but if I were you, I would have quoted (0+ / 0-)

          him from the transcript. I did below.

          "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

          by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:52:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  indirectly ... (0+ / 0-)

        he talked about drones in Pakistan, Yemen and Somaila only in so far that he said that Obama should be as concerned about the dead children in Pakistan, Yemen and who might have been killed by US drones as he is with Trayvon Martin:

        CORNEL WEST: Well, the first thing, I think we have to acknowledge that President Obama has very little moral authority at this point, because we know anybody who tries to rationalize the killing of innocent peoples, a criminal—George Zimmerman is a criminal—but President Obama is a global George Zimmerman, because he tries to rationalize the killing of innocent children, 221 so far, in the name of self-defense, so that there’s actually parallels here.

        AMY GOODMAN: Where?

        CORNEL WEST: In Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen. So when he comes to talk about the killing of an innocent person, you say, "Well, wait a minute. What kind of moral authority are you bringing? You’ve got $2 million bounty on Sister Assata Shakur. She’s innocent, but you are pressing that intentionally. Will you press for the justice of Trayvon Martin in the same way you press for the prosecution of Brother Bradley Manning and Brother Edward Snowden?" So you begin to see the hypocrisy.

        Then he tells stories about racial profiling. They’re moving, sentimental stories, what Brother Kendall Thomas called racial moralism, very sentimental. But then, Ray Kelly, major candidate for Department of Homeland Security, he’s the poster child of racial profiling. You know, Brother Carl Dix and many of us went to jail under Ray Kelly. Why? Because he racially profiled millions of young black and brown brothers. So, on the one hand, you get these stories, sentimental—

        AMY GOODMAN: Ray Kelly, the former police chief of New York City.

        CORNEL WEST: That’s right. And yet, you get the bringing into his circle—

        AMY GOODMAN: The current one, yeah.

        CORNEL WEST: And, in fact, he even says Ray Kelly expresses his values, Ray Kelly is a magnificent police commissioner. How are you going to say that when the brother is reinforcing stop and frisk? So the contradictions become so overwhelming here.

        AMY GOODMAN: But President Obama, speaking about his own life experience, going from saying, "Trayvon Martin could have been my child," to "Trayvon Martin could have been me"?

        CORNEL WEST: Well, no, that’s beautiful. That’s an identification. The question is: Will that identification hide and conceal the fact there’s a criminal justice system in place that has nearly destroyed two generations of very precious, poor black and brown brothers? He hasn’t said a mumbling word until now. Five years in office and can’t say a word about the new Jim Crow.

        ...and may be this here:
        AMY GOODMAN: So you’re saying that President Obama should not only say, "I could have been Trayvon Martin," but "I could have been, for example, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki," the 16-year-old son—

        CORNEL WEST: Yes.

        AMY GOODMAN: —of Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike.

        CORNEL WEST: Or the name of those 221 others, precious children, who are—who were as precious as the white brothers and sisters in Newtown that he cried tears for. Those in Indian reservations, those in Chinatown, Koreatown, those in brown barrios, each child is precious. That is a moral absolute, it seems to me we ought to embrace. And if that’s true, then we’ve got monstrous mendacity, hyper hypocrisy and pervasive criminality in high places. That’s why Brother Snowden and Brother Manning are the John Browns of our day, and the Glenn Greenwalds and the Chris Hedges and Glen Fords and Bruce Dixons and Margaret Kimberleys and Nellie Baileys are the William Lloyd Garrisons of our day, when we talk about the national security state.

        AMY GOODMAN: Clearly, the power of the personal representation is what grabbed people on Friday.

        CORNEL WEST: Absolutely.

        AMY GOODMAN: You also had Attorney General Eric Holder doing the same thing—

        CORNEL WEST: The same thing.

        AMY GOODMAN: —when he was speaking at the NAACP convention on Tuesday. Holder drew parallels between his own experience as an African-American male and those of Trayvon Martin, when he recalled times in his life when he was racially profiled.

        Read further for more "sentimental" remarks ...

        "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

        by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:23:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for your outstanding comment (0+ / 0-)

      (sorry for coming back to the diary so late at night).

      As you might know I am not an academic and not US raised or educated. I don't know Cornell West's whole history, but am grateful that you talk about it and I will follow your links and do some more reading.

      I am definitely not that sensitive to racially charged language, because I have heard it in other context all too often and don't get upset anymore. Obviously I recognize his language as clearly loaded to make his point of views more than clear, so that nobody can miss what he is thinking. But that doesn't get my blood boiling, what I am amazed about is, as an outsider, that the opposition seems to come more from within the afro-american academic community than from the white community. (heh, may be they don't listen to him at all to being with).

      I will hold myself back in criticizing Obama, but I do not think that it is "healthy" not to criticize Obama, because he is black.

      And I wonder what other argument the Afro-American community has to NOT criticize Obama other than that it is one of their own and the accomplishment to have a black President alone is enough to hold back any criticism of him.
      I simply think that this is "on the long" run not a good enough reason (though understandable considering what this country's history is). Especially now, as he is in his second term and basically any criticism wouldn't harm his reelection.

      To be muzzled by default to say anything critical of the Obama administration and policies he has so far implemented, is frankly getting on my nerves and I find it goes too far on this site. I think one can be critical without being a "traitor" and without harming or smearing Obama as a person or as a President. He is an excellent President, but his policies are not always excellent and one has to be free to voice that.  

      ... and it's not just because he criticizes President Obama. It's because he's fundamentally not the same person.

      I would like to learn more about this. About the humiliation at Harvard, for example.
      not just because of a knee jerk reaction to his criticisms of Obama, which frankly often are often illogical.
      I agree that his wording to describe what Obama represents (Plantation owner) is there to provoke. But do you have examples of other "knee-jerk" reactions? You know him so much better and follow what he says. Why do you think he
      has "changed"?

      With regards to Travis Smiley, I can follow you. I don't understand this relationship. Something I never understood, but haven't tried to find out either. So, what is the reason for their cooperation? Is it possible that Brother Cornell just needed money, especially if he was that ill ? If he has been humiliated at Harvard, may be he should wear that humiliation as a batch of honor. There are pretty weird types coming out of Harvard, which I wouldn't respect in my dreams.

      The personal vindictiveness he's shown toward other African American public figures who disagree with his positions and have perfectly legitimate positions of their own, like Melissa Harris Perry and Al Sharpton, are not things that the real Cornell would have done.
      Can you give examples or links to what represents his vindictiveness towards Harris Perry and Al Sharpton?  Are you aware that not only Cornell could have changed, but Harris Perry and Al Sharpton as well over time? It's legitimate to change one's thinking. Obama changed perhaps as well. So, I have no problems at all with people, who knew him so well, about changing their minds about him. I am not an insider on that. I am an outsider looking at what kind of voices one can hear in the official media talking head world. Cornell's voice is not "televised".

      But I don't know him well. My diary relates just to what he said in this interview today. For the most part I agree with what he means to convey, it's another question, if you like the wording with which he tries to accomplish that.

      I also have to admit that I am tired of not hearing critical voices from the Democrats left of the center of Obama's policies so far.

      I like Obama a lot. But he is the President and likeability is not everything. He has a great responsibility and in many areas he has not shown the willingness to push hard enough for implementation of goals, he often so eloquently describes without going further and acting or walking his talk.

      and it seems to explain a lot of his hatred (not too strong a word) of President Obama, which in turn seems to have come from anger at not getting tickets to the first inauguration.
      Well, here I think I won't follow you. It seems way too cheap for a man like Cornell West to feel that way. Anyway you can watch the inauguration on television much better than by "being invited".
      He's still our uncle but that doesn't mean we take seriously what he has to say.
      Well, time will tell, one day YOU are the uncle at the end of the table and some younger folks will not take what you say seriously. That is more a fate each generation is going through and few make the experience to end up regretting to not having taken seriously what the "crazy uncle" has told you all along. May be one day it's a matter of him saying "I told you so".

      Just remember that for me it's just sometimes a breeze of fresh air and relief to hear someone pounding away and hitting the fist on the table and speaking his mind no matter what.

      Again my apologies to not respond earlier. My evening was just too full with other responsibilities I had to take care of. Thank you for your comment, really I appreciate it coming from you.

       

      "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

      by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:30:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  excellently put, Hamden. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      msrevis, HamdenRice

      This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

      by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:42:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And This (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      msrevis, moviemeister76, HamdenRice
      I don't like to comment on him because both sides have reduced the topic to a typical rox/sux issue and have simplified West, what he's done and what he represents.
      This is why I rarely mention him now, as well.  The same oversimplifications as it relates to discussions about President Obama are evidenced when discussions about Cornel West come up here at Daily Kos.  Too much noise, not enough nuance IMO.
  •  Black people should go too Defcon 4 (0+ / 0-)

    And use all means necessary to protect thier children,if they let them do it  Trayvon ,what gonna stop them from doing it too your child

  •  I didn't have the guts, mimi (7+ / 0-)

    I fear for you.  I would like to support, but I've put in my time and paid the emotional price.  I doubt I'll be reading the comments.  I will warn you, the comparisons between the exploitation of our time and the plantation will likely bring fire and brimstone down upon you like you have seldom experienced.  Gird your loins.

    That is one great interview.  On the one hand, it is heartbreaking to see this principled, brilliant voice of conscience sidelined while millions sit rapt listening to President Obama pretending to be reflective and to care deeply about something he has not done a damn thing about, including even raising public awareness.  On the other hand, hearing the truth spoken plainly is music to the soul.

    This man is a beautiful spirit, a gift to our times.  It is a frightening sign of our times to know that such a person is reviled, is dragged through the mud, is spitefully pushed from mainstream discussion.

    Anyway, I listened to this earlier today.  Here are a couple of quotes I picked out:

    President Obama is a global George Zimmerman, because he tries to rationalize the killing of innocent children . . . in the name of self-defense.
    Let's tell the truth and get off this Obama plantation.
    Good luck.   You'll need it.  You'll find less discussion and more character assassination, I fear, including your own.

    Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

    by geomoo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 03:46:03 PM PDT

    •  Eek. With rhetoric like that, (4+ / 0-)

      West certainly isn't going for the 'logical clarity' audience.

      Reminds me of Sirota, a bit. There's that same seed of a point, buried in so much provocative language that any further discussion is likely to generate much more heat than light.

      •  It's a personal comment, (4+ / 0-)

        and it has meaning to me.  I fear I've been away too long to remember how dangerous that is.

        My point is not buried, it is up front.  But people are so accustomed to assuming everyone is trying to manipulate, trying to make a point, trying to gain an edge, using any tactic they can dream up to look good and/or make someone else look bad.

        My comment is straightforward and thoroughly grounded in extensive experience attempting to participate in discussions which touch on white privilege.  If you really think it's all about me and my personality and style, then either you are being disingenuous or you haven't seen the things I have seen.

        For example, to predict one misreading of my comment:  I'm not trying to make anyone look bad; I am expressing honest emotion.  I am not being melodramatic or playing the victim game when I say simply that I feel traumatized somewhat by what I have experienced here and that I stopped doing it for that reason.  It has not been me who has brought the heat--it has been me whose attempts to bring light have been met with scorn and sneering dismissal, among other things.  To write the way you do means ignoring a few years of pretty horrendous behavior.  Forgive me for not pretending the past never happened, and for not assuming the future will be different.

        Your response is a good reminder.  I already knew I was getting too drawn back in.  Good luck with the non-provocative language and the bringing in of light which is so common to this place, or would be if it weren't for people like me and David Sirota and dallasdoc and slink, and joanne and poligirl and corvo and on and on and on.  Feel free to pretend that there is something wrong with all of us.  I no longer fight these battles.

        Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

        by geomoo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:59:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And it's not "rhetoric" nt (0+ / 0-)

        Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

        by geomoo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:00:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  West's language certainly is. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Denise Oliver Velez

          Which is what my comment was referring to.

          •  So sorry. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            triv33, TiaRachel

            Shades of PTSD.  Truly, it goes to show how on edge I am.  Sorry for going off like that.

            I disagree with your assessment, but it seems clear that I'm in the minority.  My liberal friends say, "Wow, West sure is hard on Obama." or "says terrible things about Obama."  Honestly for me, I feel I am hearing truth spoken plain and straight and with a spiritual grounding that refreshes my spirit.  I doesn't strike me at all as rhetoric--I would say I agree with every syllable in this interview.  If anything, I feel he stops short of naming Obama for what I think he is, a liar plain and simple.

            Sad to feel so out of step with most of the country, even with like-minded people like you.  I do agree that such talk is unlikely to convince, although I obviously cannot speak to how it plays with a black audience, especially with black people who share his Christian belief.  For me, it does me a world of good to hear what strikes me as moral authority so thoroughly absent from all sides of public discussion these days.

            Sorry again for going off like that.

            Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

            by geomoo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:28:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know, no need to apologize imho, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              geomoo

              and if you think it's shades of PTSD, then let me tell you, that before I had heard Obama's speech and Holder's comments, I just read here how "happy and relieved" everybody was about Obama's words with regards to the Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman aquittal.

              When I came home, my son (supposedly inflicted with PTSD as well) just asked me if I had heard Obama's speech (he assumes as I work in a news office I did) and I said no and asked him how it was. I can't quote him exactly but it reflected a lot of what Cornell West said and what your feelings seem to be, if I understand your comments correctly.

              I later listened to Obama ... well ... I didn't say anything to my son, because I didn't want to upset him and rather leave him alone to deal with his disappointments, but silently I thought his judgement was harsh but correct.

              So, be it. And welcome to the club of PTSD inflicted people running on the edges. You are not alone. And what you think matters a lot, believe me. Hang in there. And may you have peace.

              "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

              by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:50:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well, there's that 'not exactly wrong' thing. (0+ / 0-)

              In general, I agree with the principles West seems to espouse. But I think the way in which he expresses himself is, like Sirota, chosen more to be 'provocative' or to rally the choir than to persuade. The Obama/Zimmerman comparison... I can see a reasoned discussion of how the same mindset leads to both US foreign policy and Zimmerman's actions (something I think people *should* think about), but neither Sirota nor West made that argument. Possibly too involved in being confrontational.

              (And apology accepted --I figured tempers were getting high. I tried to keep things thoughtful, but, y'know.)

            •  Oh, and to me, 'rhetoric' implies (0+ / 0-)

              using language specifically for maximal emotional effect, as opposed to imparting knowledge. There's value in that, but it's not something I'm comfortable with.

          •  sure it is and it has its reasons and (0+ / 0-)

            just because it is doesn't mean that the meaning of his words are wrong. It's very clarifying in a way. No talking around issues, no fog, no hiding of truth.

            Compare that to right-wing rhetoric, same thing, other goal, hiding the truth, talk around the issues.

            "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

            by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:41:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  logical clarity is often missing the points (0+ / 0-)

        as well. There is a plus and minus to almost everything.

        "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

        by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:49:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am always amused that people get (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Annalize5

      very upset if the left uses "utmost provocating rhetoric", but if the right is doing it, you just have to appease to it, smile and reach over the aisle.

      I don't need support, do you want to scare me, because I have quoted Cornel West?

      Character assassination? Mine? I have no character to assassinate. It has been killed already.

      Coming to think of it ... may be ... if Cornel West has gone through cancer ... being close to death changes people a lot.

      I am referring here to Hamden Rice's comment that Cornel West has changed a lot, because he has gone through a lot.

      All the more reason for me to listen to him carefully. He is my brother, if he wants to or not, I have declared him to be my brother. And if he is gone through lot of hard times, I shall be my brother's keeper. There is no need to diss this man.

      "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

      by mimi on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:36:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The triumph of the police state (7+ / 0-)

    has never liberated anyone except the police and the owners of the state.   Those who think instituting massive wall-to-wall electronic surveillance of the entire American public  somehow represents the maximum liberation of African-Americans have yet to make anything resembling a case for their position.  Remember, the next president, and the one after that, and the one after that, and every president in perpetuity, will inherent the powers we turn over to this president.  Do we really think that a police state is a path of greater justice for non-white Americans just because Obama demands it?  

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" ~Dr. Samuel Johnson

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 03:56:06 PM PDT

    •  It seems to me that Obama is playing on fear (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheMomCat, corvo, Ezekiel in Exile

      to promote this policy.  I wonder which party has made effective use of that tactic in the last 60 years.  It seems that Obama is taking a page from the Repubs' playbook, here.

    •  It used to be that (3+ / 0-)

      "think of the next president!" was an argument that got some traction around here.  Ever since the recent NSA revelations -- no longer.  It's as if the idea had never been articulated on this site, except by a few cranks such as you and me.

      One wonders.  How did that argument get 86ed so quickly?  Are we really all that convinced the next president will be a sweetness-and-light Democrat? and not, say, Hillary Clinton? let alone a real Republican?

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:26:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This site is being played... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, geomoo, TheMomCat

        by some hard-core political operatives.

        I just got locked out until I played the "I was a bad boy," check-the-box game.

        Maybe they should call it Daily DEO.

        I do appreciate the recs above.  It's getting so it takes guts to rec a sensible comment.  Too many people hide out of fear.  What a progressive site!

        •  This site was never progressive. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ezekiel in Exile, geomoo, TheMomCat

          It's pro-Democratic Party, and most Democrats aren't progressives.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:43:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm neither. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, geomoo, TheMomCat

            But that's neither here nor there.

            I'm with Graeber:

            How many voters does it take to change a light bulb?

            Trick question.  Voters never change anything.

            I must admit that I'm somewhat saddened that more and more see things the way I do.  This kind of system failure will not be fun for any of us to live through.
        •  Making recs a topic of public discussion (6+ / 0-)

          was a turning point, imo.  i was around when it happened, and it coincided with the more visible presence of those-we-cannot-accuse-of-being-operatives.  (Let's not speak of such again.)  So, people started discussing who had rec'd what, and making accusation on the basis of who rec'd whom.  That had never happened before--it was a totally new thing, and it is very effective in creating the fear you mention.  I wrote a diary suggesting that recs be made akin to voting in a voting booth in terms of being off limits for public discussion.  It received little response and a few solid site members responded in disagreement with the idea.

          If a critic of the administration proves troublesome, it is much easier to isolate that critic by pounding him or her with accusations of racism and other vile accusations, then accuse others who rec that person.  Once isolated, the member's voice becomes more marginalized.  It creates polarity and fear; it is a very effective tool of social manipulation, skillfully deployed.  Concomitant with that, people started being discounted on the basis of being in the hiddens, of having other unrelated comments hidden.  This tactic was made easier by people being made afraid to uprate.  It is a simple matter to hide comments on trumped up charges, then use that fact in a general campaign against that person (which violates site policy, fwiw).

          I'll tell you precisely when ruthless manipulations of this sort entered what had always been a contentious and spirited site--it was the 2008 primary in the form of Obama supporters insulting and shouting down HRC people.  If you weren't here, it was horrible.  I foolishly chalked it up to misguided supporters, used to say, "I wish Obama could win but y'all lose."  I interpret those events differently now.

          But I'm not afraid any more.  I am not as invested here, I don't expect much and I don't plan to be around much.  I'm here because West is one of my heroes and because this white privilege nonsense hits close to one of lifetime commitments.

          Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

          by geomoo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:44:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good that he speaks for you - (3+ / 0-)

    a white "progressive."
    He doesn't speak for me. I have yet to meet any black person that he speaks for. Except Tavis Smiley, that is.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:56:57 AM PDT

    •  I actually do know a few people he speaks (5+ / 0-)

      for who are members of his political party, who I knew as CPUSA'ers - but I rarely run into them at community events.

      I have used segments of his text "Race Matters" in the classroom.

      Don't get me started on Travis however :)

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:23:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you categorize me as a "white progressive"? (0+ / 0-)

      I am white, but sure as hell I don't know what a progressive is and as long as I don't know that I am not one.

      If I am anything at all, I am a German Social Democrat with very greenish affiliations, if that is of help to you.

      I read this site since 2004 and it was the only place where I could find at least some people who had something to say that reminded me of Social Democracy. Other than that I don't identify with any "liberals", "progressives" or "hippies". As if any of those have a party platform that one can live with and vote for.

       

      "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

      by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:36:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  At first I thought you were black, what (0+ / 0-)

        with you referring to West as "brother" and all.
        I read further and saw that you self-identified as "white."
        Re the progressive, forgive me. Sometimes I can't tell who is who anymore.

        Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

        by JoanMar on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:33:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no problem, I don't know who you are either, (0+ / 0-)

          it's a problem when conversing in a mixed racial environment that is "anonymous".  For me it's even worse, I forget who is what, be it female or male, or white or black or all the other colors people self-identify with. Sux getting old.

          "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

          by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:53:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I admit I've gotten it mixed up in the past too. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JoanMar

          what I've gleaned recently is that mimi's a German lady with black kids.

          This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

          by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:18:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  there was a time he spoke for me. his Harvard (5+ / 0-)

    days.  I met him then, 'cause my then-girlfriend was a student.  I got to sit in on classes, and later got to converse with him and get my copy of Race Matters signed.

    I just about worshipped him in those days.

    it's hard to reconcile the man I met with the man who would say these things:

    I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men.… It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation.”
    I couldn’t get a ticket [to the inauguration] with my mother and my brother. I said this is very strange. We drive into the hotel and the guy who picks up my bags from the hotel has a ticket to the inauguration…. We had to watch the thing in the hotel.”
    I mean, I’m glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies.
    indefensible stuff there, to me.  I hesitate to guess what's going on with him, though my thoughts aren't charitable.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:41:51 AM PDT

    •  I've read a lot of Cornel West's stuff (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mallyroyal, mimi

      Particularly his early work, and it's just so different from how he is today. Not sure what's going on with him, but I do find it sad.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:02:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  he sounds bitter and angry and disappointed (0+ / 0-)

      may be, but that doesn't mean that what he says is factually wrong.

      I have not read Cornel West's books (yet). But I guess, as I am used to in your face racial language from various corners, I can't get easily upset about it. (thick skin as matter of self-defense I guess)

      I have a keen sense for hate inciting racial rhetoric. Cornel West doesn't have that at all. He doesn't incite hate, but he wants to incite clarity of thought in a foggy world of "words".  He has "in your face" expressions, and I guess for a reason. I feel always the urge to cut through a lot of what I consider dishonest rhetoric in US media talk. So, I give him slack to get a little "in your face" as a reaction to that. I understand it's scary to most people and should be avoided if possible at all.

      But I think Cornel West is too much of an academic and in fact a loving inclusive human being that he can afford to speak like that. I don't know many who could do that and I would in approval of it. But for some reason, I give him a lot of slack.

      If you read carefully through Obama's first book, you might remember that there are passages in there about an incident with his white grandmother. She expressed thoughts that showed her fear to be potentially attacked by black men   a whining, illogical, reverse racism screed that suggested he felt shut up about the topic simply because kos, personally, didn't give "two shits" about the topic. (if I remember it correctly... can't look it up right now, at least by "people of color" in today's speak).

      Obama felt apparently for the first time a certain racial prejudice in his own beloved grandmother. He had also some very soft and very vague criticism of his white grandfather. I don't remember exactly anymore what it was (related to his ambitions and his professional goals). But he was raised by them and loved them. So whatever he had inside him as "critical observations" was certainly pasted over by the love he felt to his grandparents. And I consider that human and normal.

      His formative years he spent with his mother in Indonesia and with his grand parents and his mother in Hawaii. Both are not typical "Afro-American" experiences. I disagree with Cornel West here to say all Obama has known is culturally white. Though it's true for the most part, it is not completely so, as I think he has experienced his white grandparents and his mother and stepfather, Asian Americans and Indonesians as playmates and the shadows of his African father - at least in his imagination and from what he was told about him - he has had more experiences than kids raised in a white American family.

      Obama has also not experienced "black African culture" as a child and teenager. He came to understand that one, if I am correct, only after his father's death on his first trip to Africa. And he became to experience Afro-American culture only as a young student in Occidental College and then later on all the way, especially through Michelle and his embeddedness with African-American social issues as community and political activist. You may know that much better than me, so correct me if I talk nonsense.

      Obama really didn't know much of his own father. He had two memories of him and the rest he had to painstakingly try to recover from his white families descriptions and some few letters and post cards. Had Obama known and lived with his father, you don't know what his experiences and judgement of his father would have been (within the context of a mixed race marriage in a white American family).

      I say he might be lucky that he didn't know hs father  better, because Obama  -with all  the lack of real experience of his father, - was able to paint a very, very positive picture of his own father, due to the fact that his white family really didn't talk bad about him. So, there is not much of an influence of "African cultural experiences".

      Considering this Cornel West is not that much off, but certainly painfully direct, in his evaluation.

      The use of the word "blackface" is upsetting as it is derogatory, I agree on that. People, who are disappointed, tend to use such words. It is certainly sad to see how much Cornel West seems to be hurt by the Obama Presidency. But then he is not alone in that. And you have to admit that as being a reality.

      "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

      by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:23:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  here's the thing, mimi. in this country (of which (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mimi, gramofsam1, moviemeister76

        Hawaii is a part) when you look like him or me, you get "the black experience" by default.

        that may sound pat, but thats how it is.

        anyway the indefensible stuff I was talking about was the pop psychology Dr. West used.  "the president has a fear of free black men????"  I wouldn't let anyone on here get away with that nonsense, and certainly won't hear it from someone who should certainly know better, like Dr. West.  disappointment is no excuse.

        I certainly do admit the reality that a lot of people feel like Dr. West.  I certainly do not admit that a lot of BLACK people feel that way.  it's just not the case.

        This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

        by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:11:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hear you ... (0+ / 0-)

          and clearly I have no idea how many Afro-Americans agree at least partly with what Prof. Dr. Cornel West says. Apparently very few.

          I don't think that Pres. Obama at this point fears anything or anybody anymore, which is not that good of a situation to have either. I could even imagine he doesn't care for his legacy that much and would be glad if the whole Presidency would be over with. I must say he had extraordinarily difficult circumstances to deal with and no matter what I have high regards for the way he tries to deal with them.

          The problem I see is that many black people are not distinguishing if the criticism of Obama comes from the left or the right and if the criticism come from the black left or the white left.

          They see left-centered criticism as racist the same way as they see white right-wing critics, which I think is unfortunate. A lot of issues are swept under the rug that way. But then, what do I know. It's my interpretation of what I see. I just don't know to interpret it differently.

          And there is a tiny minority of people thinking in Hawaii that being part of the US is not what they consider their dream come through, but let's forget that too. It's not my thing to talk about and OT.

          "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

          by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:40:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The thing is Mimi, that's Afro American experience (3+ / 0-)

        I don't think you can get more plain "Afro American" than me. Upthread, I mentioned that my college roommate and I used to refer to our ethnic group as "Joe Typical Negroes" to distinguish ourselves from the more exotic black people, like Obama, who is roughly my generation.

        Five of my eight great grandparents were slaves -- and all in Virginia, even though on different sides of the family.

        Yet in almost each generation, an African, or Afro Caribbean, or mulatto, or South Asian (Indo-Pakistani), or white (Irish), or Native American immigrant or person was integrated into the family tree. That's the "typical" history of Afro Americans. That's why I don't see Obama as not Afro American. He was a black youth in America, regardless of his ancestry and he married into Michelle Obama's "typical" Afro American  family -- much like people married into my family -- and that makes him Afro American. "Typically" so.

        Despite his exoticism, he's pretty typical of Afro American history.

        •  well explained, thank you, really, I am glad (0+ / 0-)

          you talked about your own experience and family history.

          What I don't understand in this context is that your family (and I assume from what you say that your black family members were the ones who had integrated an African, Afro Caribbean or mulatto or South Asian or white or Native American) and not the other way around. (I am so glad it was that way in your family, not all are that lucky).

          Now, how many white American families have integrated the same "rainbow" coaltion in their families and integrated them in a fashion that the mixed-race children all feel like they are "black or afro-american or other shades of color"?

          What I wonder is how many "Afro-Americans" are willing to distinguish between mixed-raced children from different kind of mixed-raced family and marriage set-ups.

          Don't you think that the set-up of a "black" mixed-race child, who has a white American mother and a black non-American father, is different from a "black" mixed-race child, who has an American black mother and is raised within a black American family, who integrated the white parent into its family successfully, or is raised within the a white American family, who "accepted" to integrate  the non-white parent and mixed-race child sucessfully?

          And then think about all those mixed-race children, who  didn't have much of any family to begin with and either lived in single parent households or with step- and/or foster parents. I see them all as different and believe that, if they could, would self-identify all different.

          Don't you think one could think about the differences for the child's upbringing, dependent on wether the father is white with a black mother or the mother is white with a black father?

          I have no statistics about mixed race marriages and divorces among mixed-race couples in the US, where both are American born and grown within the American cultural and social context. I don't know how many worked out fine and hold.

          But I could imagine there are statistical differences between those with white mothers and black fathers and those with black mothers and white fathers.

          Now to make the thing more complex, what do you know about that, if members in those marriages are not raised in the American culture, being white and black from somewhere else?

          You forget that Obama's mother said once that "it would have never worked" with regards to her marriage explaining them being left behind by Obama's father very early.

          After the father being gone, no Afro-American family context to grow up in was left for Obama. Indonesia is not an "Afro-American" typical cultural experience. After that he lived "the white American culture" not the "afro-american" one til he graduated from highschool.

          I agree with you completely with regards him becoming and growing into an "Afro-American" experience and luckily so, Michelle was the best thing that could happen to him, seriously. Now how much of an Afro-American family experience would Obama have had, had he married into a white American family?

          West spoke of his cultural experience as a child, not about the pigmentation of his skin, I would say. He uses the "skin" part to present him being a political human being who didn't grow out of a Afro-American family context. At least that's the way I understand Cornel West in that regard. It's tough to acknowledge that it is partly true, mostly, and everyone considers it a rude comment, because nobody can control the family and culture he grows up in. But it still describes some true facts.

          He was a black youth in America, regardless of his anchestry ... and that makes him Afro-American.
          Well, I wonder if my son is an Afro-American then ... because ... it's pretty tough to grow into that ... if you don't have the Afro-American family to grow up or into.

          And I must say that I don't like you using the word "exoticism" with regard to Obama. That is a word that in my ears is "racial". It's a white man's perception of an African to be "exotic". I am not used to hear that wording from a black man.  

          I haven't heard Africans call their other African brothers to be "exotic", but many white people would use that word in contexts that are mostly subtly racist.

          Just saying. You know, I love the very young. They don't care about that stuff, luckily and/or hopefully. I agree with Obama on that one. Obviously I am old relict from bygone times ... where people weren't that easily integrated.

          Peace, as OPOL would say. We all need that as my mother would have said.

          "Im Land der Schatten ist die Wahrheit eine Lüge"

          by mimi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:19:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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