Thursday, January 18, 2018

THE ATLANTIC lies about Cornel West

Cornel West wrote an important column.  In it, he called out Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Is that column really that difficult for Swait Sharma to grasp?

If so, maybe she needs to stop writing.

She certainly needs to do better than this:

If there’s real beef between the Harvard philosopher Cornel West and The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates, Coates says he doesn’t understand it. West is a vocal critic of Coates and his status as a public intellectual. 
 Coates addressed the controversy at a panel Tuesday hosted by The Atlantic, saying he remains confused why the feud started in the first place, and that he can’t seem to find a huge difference in the things West has spoken about and what Coates himself has written.

No, in the video you posted, Ta-Nehisi Coates did not address it.  Nor, Swait Sharma, did you.

It's not that difficult to understand.

Cornel West called Coates out  and it was clear why:

Coates wisely invokes the bleak worldview of the late great Derrick Bell. But Bell reveled in black fightback, rejoiced in black resistance and risked his life and career based on his love for black people and justice. Needless to say, the greatest truth-teller about white supremacy in the 20th century – Malcolm X – was also deeply pessimistic about America. Yet his pessimism was neither cheap nor abstract – it was earned, soaked in blood and tears of love for black people and justice.
Unfortunately, Coates’ allegiance to Obama has produced an impoverished understanding of black history. He reveals this when he writes: “Ossie Davis famously eulogized Malcolm X as ‘our living, Black manhood’ and ‘our own Black shining prince.’ Only one man today could bear those twin honorifics: Barack Obama.”
This gross misunderstanding of who Malcolm X was – the greatest prophetic voice against the American Empire – and who Barack Obama is – the first black head of the American Empire – speaks volumes about Coates’ neoliberal view of the world.
Coates praises Obama as a “deeply moral human being” while remaining silent on the 563 drone strikes, the assassination of US citizens with no trial, the 26,171 bombs dropped on five Muslim-majority countries in 2016 and the 550 Palestinian children killed with US supported planes in 51 days, etc. He calls Obama “one of the greatest presidents in American history,” who for “eight years ... walked on ice and never fell.”

I don't know what's more pathetic -- that Swati joins Coates in pretending it's difficult to understand what Cornel West has written or that THE ATLANTIC thinks they exist to run interference for their writers.

I meant to note this nonsense in the snapshot today but forgot so we're noting it now.