[Marxism] Fwd: Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency” - Salon.com
lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Aug 24 08:50:15 MDT 2014
Cornel West: "It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane and you get
Kenny G in brown skin." Brilliant.
Q: So that’s my first question, it’s a lot of ground to cover but how do
you feel things have worked out since then, both with the economy and
with this president? That was a huge turning point, that moment in 2008,
and my own feeling is that we didn’t turn.
A: No, the thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be
counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone
presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The
Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East,
especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he
acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about
the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that
he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice
rhetorical flair. And that’s a very sad moment in the history of the
nation because we are—we’re an empire in decline. Our culture is in
increasing decay. Our school systems are in deep trouble. Our political
system is dysfunctional. Our leaders are more and more bought off with
legalized bribery and normalized corruption in Congress and too much of
our civil life. You would think that we needed somebody—a Lincoln-like
figure who could revive some democratic spirit and democratic possibility.
Q: That’s exactly what everyone was saying at the time.
A: That’s right. That’s true. It was like, “We finally got somebody who
can help us turn the corner.” And he posed as if he was a kind of Lincoln.
Q: Yeah. That’s what everyone was saying.
A: And we ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist.
Another neoliberal opportunist. It’s like, “Oh, no, don’t tell me that!”
I tell you this, because I got hit hard years ago, but everywhere I go
now, it’s “Brother West, I see what you were saying. Brother West, you
were right. Your language was harsh and it was difficult to take, but
you turned out to be absolutely right.” And, of course with Ferguson,
you get it reconfirmed even among the people within his own circle now,
you see. It’s a sad thing. It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane
and you get Kenny G in brown skin.
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