When I first became aware of Dr. Cornel West roughly twenty five years ago, I became enamored with his intellect and flowery speaking style. He spoke the language that college students were open to during that time. Fifteen years later my opinion began to shift about Dr. West as I began to see through what he was peddling on the talk show circuit as a self-grandiose populist. Years later, he teamed up with Tavis Smiley in an anti-Obama double team that still resonates poorly with me today. It wasn’t that I had a problem with them disagreeing with the president’s policies and politics. After all, that’s the American way. It was the way in which they attempted to tear at his legacy before it had a chance to form. I, along with many in the black community, will have a hard time forgiving the personal axe that both West and Smiley had to grind as they railed against the president’s every move.
In fact, if you read an April 19, 2015 column, The Ghost of Cornel West by in the New Republic, I believe you’ll get a feel for West’s continuing fight for relevancy in his quest to paint himself opposite the president.
Fast-forward to today and one has to wonder if Dr. West was on point with many of his accusations. One only has to look at the way Trump crashed into the White house to wonder how did so many miss the mark with their collective pulse of the country. Read Dr. West’s column in The Guardian, “Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here” to determine if he was that far off base with his assessment of liberals as a whole, and Obama in particular.
Also, contrast it with my column, The Obama Legacy, to see where Dr. West and I opinions align and/or run parallel.
What do you think?