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    An Interview with Cornel West on Occupy, Obama and Marx

     

    by Shozab Raza and Parmbir Gill

    Fresh from his winning debate at Oxford, Dr. Cornel West discussed a ranged of subjects with two graduate students. “More and more these days, race is taking a class form because you’ve got a black middle class that is often times indifferent to the black poor.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of November 12, 2012

     

    Racial Solidarity in Misery

    Who won on November 6? “If maintaining a degree of racial solidarity is a victory, then both sides – those that were solidified by their whiteness, and those that were solidified by their Blackness – I guess you can say that they both won that,” said Columbia, South Carolina, activist and author Kevin Alexander Gray. “Every economic and social indicator since Barack Obama got elected is in the negative.” Gray is author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics.

    Wealth Wins Big

    The issue of “poverty was almost completely missing in the campaign,” said author and political analyst Paul Street. “Wealthy people own this political system: they own the economy, they own the society, the own the government, they own the politicians.” Street is author of The Emperor’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power.

    Blacks to Become More Invisible

    Reflexive African American loyalty to President Obama reminds Dr. Anthony Monteiro of Malcolm X’s critique of Black affection for President John F. Kennedy: “We put him first, and he put us last.” The same goes for Obama, said Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “And us being last will be even worse in his second term, because he does not need the Black vote again. Black people will become more invisible.”

    Capitalists Running Scared

    President Obama’s preventive detention law and his plans to introduce “a new legal architecture” on national security in his next term, show that U.S. rulers live in fear of the people, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “When the state has to show its hand in such a heavy-fisted way, it is clear that they are anticipating a severe crisis for which they do not have a response,” said Yeshitela.

    Seattle Likes Socialists

    Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative candidate for the Washington State House of Representatives, won 27 percent of the vote on November 6. It is no longer taboo to campaign openly as a socialist, said Sawant, a professor of economics at Seattle Central Community College. “Times are changing, it’s not the Cold War propaganda era, anymore.” She attributes the party’s success to “the massive crisis of capitalism and the anger that people are feeling” at the financial oligarchy.

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    With Poverty Worst in Decades, Maybe We Owe Tavis and Cornel an Apology

     

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    In much of Black America, it is dangerous to one’s political health to put forward a critique of the First Black President. Just ask Dr. Cornel West and veteran broadcaster Tavis Smiley. “Whenever Smiley and West try to bring up poverty, they are shut down, like the cousin who wants to tell grandma that her delicious soul food is going to give her diabetes.” It seems that protecting the political prospects of the Top Black Icon is more important than fighting growing poverty among the Black masses.

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