It was one of those book talk channels, Sunday afternoon I think. An hour call-in show for Cornel West's new autobiography Brother West. I can't stand dialogue in which every other word is "brother". Cornel talks more like a preacher than ever, and constantly brags about being a Christian. His worst response, I thought, was to a very nice and polite white separatist--that's right--in which his Christian brother talk did not waver while politely and weakly disagreeing with the caller's point of view. He also failed to challenge the notion of white pride.

This talk show had Democratic and a Republican call-in lines, indicating the poverty of political choices with which we are presented. All the blacks called in on the Democrat line, the rednecks on the Republican line.

Granted, Cornel is one of the view who breaks through the media corporate bias, but the rational content of his remarks get more and more diluted by his clownish preacherly routine.

This nation is doomed.

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Replies to This Discussion

It makes me wonder how much of the "preachifying" from both West and Dyson is mere theatrics because they know no black leader can excel unless he is walking hand in hand with the zombie Nazerene...
In many cases, self-deception takes precedence over deception of others. Politicians are so chameleon-like they themselves can't tell whether they're sincere or not. Joining the church was Obama's way of becoming black, which makes it all the sadder. I don't think his relationship with Jeremiah Wright has received much insightful treatment.

Wright is either defended as a hero, or denigrated as an extremist. He received the most generous treatment in the mainstream media from Bill Moyers, which was fine as far as it went. But Bill Moyers could not account for the discrepancies in Wright's world view. And indeed, the so-called progressive community is as incoherent, confused, and intellectually backward as the rest of American society. So any exactitude about the political philosophy and ideological orientation of any rebellious figure is out of the question when your supreme goal in life as a white progressive is to find a black person who will graciously permit you to kiss his ass. Hence a leftover dashiki crackpot from the '60s gets a pass.

So much for "progressives", "activists", etc. But what about Obama posing as a progressive with an identity issue? Doesn't he know a petty bourgeois nationalist when he sees one? Or perhaps his mentality is akin to that of the white liberal, who's not really so liberal when it counts but makes all the right gestures?
Is this the interview?

C-SPAN | Washington Journal
Yes, it is. Thanks.
I can't remember exactly, many be it was Dick Gregory who suggested back in the 60s, before he lost his mind and reverted to Southern superstitious blathering, that we start calling one another "Citizen", like in the French Revolution. Sounds too impersonal and bureaucratic, though, and besides there's no civic life to be a citizen of. Anything's better than "brother" or "sister" though. And I'm an only child and glad to be one.
I can't stand "comrade" either, which still floats around in the geriatric left, I suppose. I haven't been to New York in a while, though I've encountered this silly stuff on the Internet more recently. Probably you don't want to know anyone who would call you "comrade". We could try "your highness".
Sister Adriana, does that mean you aren't interested in joining us for the wemoons' healing ritual and bad drumming next full moon?
Alive and meaningful my ass. But that bit about capitalizing "Negro" I've heard before, a little known fact. I think Hubert Harrison was involved in the campaign to capitalize "Negro".
I've noticed Dr. West sounding more and more like a preacher. I saw him on some teevee show recently... can't remember if it was The Colbert Report or The Daily Show. On the one hand, I was happy he was there, because some of the things he talks about don't get talked about often enough. On the other... I think he could be warm and humane without tossing around all the gawd stuff. Maybe for him they are associated?
Colbert, but he's been doing so many talk shows he might have done Jon Stewart too. His scruffy bug-eyed demeanor reminds me of an old routine on In Living Color. Cornel West does have a gift of the gab, and he has some useful sound bites to offer on social and political topics, but the overall presentation becomes more and more farcical, and not intellectually coherent. Granted, the American public is brain dead, but he ought to talk more like the professor he's supposed to be and teach how to think in a disciplined manner, instead of reverting to all this annoying churchy talk.

By comparison, Michael Eric Dyson is much slicker, and not scruffy, but perhaps more obnoxious. Both of them have studied some heavy-duty books, but they've adapted their spiel to the ethnic marketplace and the media freak show, with no apparent sense of embarassment.
Colbert nailed West: He said that West was talking to him as if Colbert were a character on Sesame Street. In my estimation, West's preacherly tone is directly linked with his Christian certitude, which leads him to treat everyone around him like children. West is simply playing the role of a Black Jesus, who lectures people into the faith of a child. What I find fascinating is that West seemed oblivious to Colbert's scathing critique. I suspect that West's Christian certitude prevents him from seeing or registering the nature of Colbert's comment, which confirms Ralph's point, that West experiences "no apparent sense of embarrassment," even when someone exposes his patronizing philosophy and tone in front of millions of people.
I am a newcomer to the world of Colbert. Sometimes I find his performances brilliant, other times off the mark. In his mock interviews, he sometimes seems to be serious, and then he breaks into a joke. Because his shtik is acting out as a self-parodying conservative, one presumes he is making fun of himself more than of his guests. But it's often hard to tell. His recent interview with Richard Dawkins is a case in point. He attempts to make Dawkins look like a fool more than himself. What Colbert was trying to do with West is not transparent to me, but he obviously noted the cartoon-like self-presentation of Cornel West--his scruffy head, his body language, gestures, facial expressions, tone of his voice, and came up with an apt comparison.

West has gotten much worse in recent years. When I first met him just as he was beginning to become a celebrity, at the end of the '80s, he did not behave like this. Then he had small audiences of lefties, presumably, and he wasn't tempted to perform in this way given the sizable white component of his audience. Many years later, as a star, even when he went on a book tour with fellow narcissist Michael Lerner (who was far more obnoxious, and got even worse when he became a rabbi), West still acted like a real person and not a cartoon character.

I've seen West on the Howard University Channel speaking in black churches. Perhaps it is that experience that sent him over the edge. He can still be eloquent in certain instances, but the brother-talk has taken him over and now he's a pod person possessed by the black church. While attempting to deliver sermons to his interviewers, he also seems to be begging for agreement: I'm not only a nice guy, but I'm a nice guy because I'm a Christian, and you want to be a nice guy, too, right? His response to the white separatist caller in this TV interview is just bizarro.

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