Tag Archives: Dr. Cornel West

NewsOne Now: The Cornel West Black Prophetic Fire Podcast


On Friday, Dr. Cornel West joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” to discuss his new book, “Black Prophetic Fire.” During their wide ranging conversation, Dr. West discussed the premise for his book, his criticism of President Barack Obama and the subsequent backlash for publicly opposing the nation’s first Black commander in chief.

DON’T MISS: TJMS: Dr. Cornel West On ‘Reniggerization’, Popular Blacks Eliminating Truth From Their Message

Dr. West also talked about the state of education in our community, police brutality, mass incarceration, unrest in Ferguson, battle between the young and old in the movement for social justice, Black leadership and those in power too afraid to push a Black agenda.

All that and more in this special edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast.

Dr. Cornel West On Popular Blacks Eliminating Truth From Their Message


Today On the Tom Joyner Morning Show: Roland Martin talks to activist and author, Dr. Cornel West on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. His new book, ‘Black Prophetic Fire’ is about connecting African Americans who’ve been willing to speak prophetically about the issues of today.

“We have to remember we come from a tradition of great people. We’ve got to tell the truths and expose the lies,” Dr. West says.

On popular Blacks telling the truth:

“When he died, Dr. King was trashed. We’re witnessing the reniggerization of people who have wealth but they are all scared to tell the truth.”

Listen to the Tom Joyner Morning Show 24/7! WEEKDAYS: listen continuously every 4 hours starting live Monday – Friday at 6am ET.

Catch Tom Joyner’s Right Back at Cha every WEEKEND: starting at 6am ET Saturday – 5:59am ET Monday.

ROLAND MARTIN: ‘Dr. Dyson, West, Glaude, Perry — Do What’s Right For Black Folks!’


Today On the Tom Joyner Morning Show: Roland Martin is tired of the pissing match going on between black America.

“How is it that we have the ability to say, Mr. President, we love you and respect you, but when it comes to the parent plus loan we disagree with you?” Martin questions.

Click inside to hear more of Roland’s thoughts. It’s a heated one!

Read the rest of the interview below:

Listen to the Tom Joyner Morning Show 24/7! WEEKDAYS: listen continuously every 4 hours starting live Monday – Friday at 6am ET.

Catch Tom Joyner’s Right Back at Cha every WEEKEND: starting at 6am ET Saturday – 5:59am ET Monday.

ROLAND MARTIN:  You know, Fannie Lou Hamer said I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.  And you know what, Tom?  I’m sick and tired of these damn black public intellectuals constantly involved in a pissing match with each other.  First you have Dr. Cornell West, he’s criticizing Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Dr.Melissa Harris Parry, and then Dr. Dyson, he comes back, and he’s criticizing Cornell West and talking about ego.  Then people hitting me on Twitter to see what Professor Eddie Glaude had to say about Dyson and the rest of them.  And I wish all of them would shut up and be quiet and focus on really what’s happening in black America.

For some reason the election of President Obama has made black folks act like they stuck on stupid that somehow we cannot offer real critiques based upon public policy.  But for some reason it’s always personal.  Is this a personal attack?  An attack on him?  An attack on each other?  Yet when you look at what is hurting black America, Tom, the results are real.

When you talk about what’s happening with black unemployment, black teen unemployment, we’re talking about; we lost 53% of black wealth due to the home foreclosure crisis.  When you talk about what’s going on with black businesses all of these things are happening, but for some reason we have this inability to have a grown up conversation and we have so called educated multiple degreed black public intellectuals acting like black kids are on the playground who don’t know how to behave with one another.  The real deal is this.  Yes, we have the first black president, but he’s also the 44th president of the United States.  And just like African Americans have the ability to put forth public policy and offer real critiques when it came to Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, go down the line, to Carter, to Ford, To Nixon, to Johnson, to Kennedy and go on and on and on and it’s always been the case.  But for some reason we don’t know how to act now.

Tom, it’s been a month since The Wall Street Journal did a story talking about $23.09 billion dollars in loans given to small businesses last year.  How much did black folks get? 1.7%.  For a month I’ve tried to get the Small Business Administration to come on this show to explain what in the world is going on and how to fix it.  We haven’t heard anything.  But for some reason that hasn’t been the talk.  We can’t somehow talk about what’s really hurting folks because we have the pissing match going on back and forth.  And it makes no sense.

How is it that we have the ability to say, Mr. President, we love you and respect you, but when it comes to the parent plus loan we disagree with you? The President gave a vigorous speech on Friday at the National Action Network Convention when it came to the issues of voting rights.  But we should have the sense as adults to look at Congressman John Lewis, and Reverend Joseph Lawry, Reverend CT Vivian and others who said, Mr. President; we disagree with your judges in Georgia because you are putting forth one guy who actually was the attorney behind voter ID.  We can praise his speech on Friday but still criticize a nominee on Monday if that person will not stand up for African Americans.

We know the deal the President cut, yet we can still offer a real critique.  So the challenge, Tom, for all these black public intellectuals is to if you don’t have anything substantive to say that’s not a personal attack keep your behind in the ivory tower and have your intellectual conversations there, because black folks have some real business out here.  Black folks are really hurting.  And all of you, frankly, are members of the 1%.  And so if we’re going to move forward as a people it is going to require us to be adults.

To be willing, to look at one another and say; Mr. President, Congress, Governors, State Lawmakers, we are going to be principle, we are going to look you in the eye.  We are going to challenge you on policy.  It’s not going to be personal.  It’s not going to be petty.  It’s not going to be silly.  What it is it’s going to be principle.  That should be the operation of every single one of us.

And so I would say hit the reset button right now.  Dr. Dyson, Dr. West, Dr. Glaude, Dr. Perry, all of you, make a decision to say you’re gonna advance what’s right for black folks and not some silly nonsensical Ivy League discussion.

Washington Watch with Roland Martin, 01.15.12, Video Podcast

At the top of our agenda this week, Mitt Romney wins New Hampshire and says, “We resent the wealthy”? Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry attack Mitt for being a – wait for it – a capitalist! And the First Lady says, “I am not an angry Black woman.”

Our “Washington Watch” newsmaker, Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the Democratic National Committee on the Obama presidential campaign as well as voter suppression.

In the “Washington Watch” roundtable, Heather McGhee, Washington director for the DEMOS think tank; Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University professor; Deborah Simmons, senior correspondent for “The Washington Times”; and Politico’s White House correspondent Joseph Williams.

Also, a new TV One series highlights folks who are Black and missing and invisible to the mainstream media. Also in the show, “The Biggest Damned Lie” of the week. Plus, remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

All that and more in this week’s edition of “Washington Watch.”

Download the “Washington Watch with Roland Martin” Video Podcast.

Dr. Cornel West Sounds The Alarm On Poverty: People Of All Colors Are Catching Hell (VIDEO)

According to a special report from the U.S. Census Bureau, 46.2 million Americans are now living in poverty. The number of those living in poverty in America has grown by 2.6 million in just the last 12 months, and that is the largest increase that we have ever seen since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959. And, yet, when we watch these political debates, you rarely hear anyone talk about doing something about it.

Dr. Cornel West is sounding the alarm, and he’s here to talk about it.

MR. MARTIN:  Now, it’s very interesting when we talk about this whole issue of poverty or the poor.  I remember last year when the President gave his State of the Union address, I made mention that he did not mention the poor – the actual word.  What was interesting, though, a lot of Black folks on my Facebook page, on my Twitter page were angry.  They were angry, saying, “How dare you say that!  The President – he mentioned other things.”  “[There’s a] lot on his plate.”

And I said, “Wait a minute.  How is it that you get mad by me simply making the statement that he didn’t say it, and he should have said it?”

You face, and have faced, significant criticisms, along with Tavis Smiley, folks –

DR. WEST:  Yes, yes.

MR. MARTIN:  — tearing you apart, ripping you to shreds on social media, saying, “They’re knuckleheads,” “Shut up.”  And so what do you make of folks angry with you, angry with Tavis by talking about poverty, talking about the poor, being critical of the President and others?  Is it a question of people wanting to ignore the issue, or trying to be more protective of the President?

DR. WEST:  Yeah, I – I think in so many ways, it has to do with protection of the President.  I can understand that.  I want to protect him, too.  I pray every day for the safety of his precious family.

At the same time, I look on these walls, and who do I see?  Harriet Tubman; Frederick Douglass; Angela Davis; Malcolm X; Martin Luther King, Jr.  What does that mean?  They have a fundamental commitment to truth.  The condition of truth:  to allow suffering to speak.  So, you begin with the poor.  They could be Jim Crow[ed] and enslaved.  Now, they’re either in the ’hood, tied to the new Jim Crow – which is the prison-industrial complex – and we must speak to their plight and their situation.  So, when Bro. Tavis came up with the idea of the poverty tour last summer – “Let’s hit 18 cities, 11 states, seven days,” and we gon’- — we – we’re gonna do what?  Allow their voices to be heard.  Start on the reservation.  Indigenous brothers and sisters need to be heard.  Went to the ’hood.  Went to the brown barrios.  Went to the vanilla poor sections with the White brothers and sisters – right across the board.

And now, what do we get?  [The] Occupy movement another month later, concerned about what?  Corporate greed; wealth inequality; too many precious, priceless poor people of all colors catching hell, while the 1 percent own 41 percent of the wealth.  The top 400 individuals in America have wealth equivalent to the bottom 150 million.  Now, see, there’s something sick about that, my brother.

MR. MARTIN:  What do you see as the end result of the conversations?  Are you seeing movement?  Are you seeing –

DR. WEST:  Oh, absolutely.

MR. MARTIN:  — action?  Are you seeing political action, but also grassroots action to confront this issue of the poor in this country?  A- – and let me be clear to our audience.  When I say “the poor,” I’m not talking about Black people.  There are poor White people in America.

DR. WEST:  We’re not talking only about poor Black people.

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

DR. WEST:  It’s all of them together.

MR. MARTIN:  Right.  It’s – [crosstalk]- —

DR. WEST:  Absolutely.

MR. MARTIN:  — there are poor folks –

DR. WEST:  Absolutely.

MR. MARTIN:  — across the board, from Native American, Asian, White, Black, Hispanic – you name it.

DR. WEST:  Absolutely.  Well, Bro. Tavis and I just finished a book called The Rich and the Rest of Us:  A Poverty Manifesto, and it’s about the perennial poor.  Some folk ’ve been poor for a long time.  Some folk ’ve been dealing with depression before the recession hit.  Then you’ve got the near-poor, one out of two Americans either in poverty or near poverty.  When you bring in that near poverty, it expands.  And then, of course, you[’ve] got the new poor.  Middle-class folk – we met many middle-class folk of all colors used to be making $125,000 now broke as the Ten Commandments, financially.  They’re making $10,000 a year, living in their cars.

MR. MARTIN:  I’m glad you brought that up, because during the conversation you guys had this week at George Washington University –

DR. WEST:  Yeah[?], had[?] a wonderful –

MR. MARTIN:  — Suze Or- —

DR. WEST:  — dialo- — thanks to Michael Moore.  [Crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  — Suze Ormond said –

DR. WEST:  — yeah.

MR. MARTIN:  — that everyone has a responsibility to do what they can to keep themselves out of poverty.

Now, to that particular point you just made – and, again, it’s not condemning anyone, but don’t we also have a problem that people don’t understand what it means to live within their means?  And so when you begin trying to live above your means, all of a sudden, one, small blip; all of a sudden, you go from that $100,000 job to poverty.  And so how do we also get people to understand that you can move yourself out of poverty, but it also means changing also how we live and –

DR. WEST:  [Crosstalk.]

MR. MARTIN:  — and our outlook and how we spend and how we save?

DR. WEST:  Well[?], that – that’s part of it, ’cause anytime you talk about poverty, you are talking about personal responsibility and lifestyle; but you’re also talking about structures and institutions.

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

DR. WEST:  Now, if, for example – part of our problem is we’ve got a political system so broken, that you[’ve] got a Republican Party that is mean-spirited towards the poor, that’s mediocre in its candidates, and that’s tied to big money.  You[’ve] got a Democratic Party that is centrist.  We don’t have a party that speaks directly to the needs of poor people.  The – the R- — Re- — Democratic Party’s tied to big money, too.  They’re better than the Republicans – [unintelligible] – with[?] Bro. Barack Obama is so much better than the Republicans.  We all know that, but who did he just choose for his chief of staff?  Right out of Citibank, right out of Citigroup.  ’S part of not just [the] 1 percent.  Look at the kinds of activities they have done vis-à-vis poor people.

The problem is poor people, who are precious and priceless, do not have lobbyists in Washington; and so even among our congressmen, we’ve got Maxine Waters.  You[’ve] got Steve Cohen, Bernie Sanders, Keith Ellison — a few.  For the most part, most of those congressmen and women – they[’re] so tied to the big money, too, they’re not concerned about poor folk.

What would Bro. Martin say?  Focus on the preciousness of poor people, even when you’re unpopular.

So, when Bro. Tavis and I get trashed, you know what I tell him?  I say, “Brother, we gon’ love Black folk, we gon’ love folk no matter what; but we gon’ tell ‘em the truth no matter what, because in the end, our commitment is to the truth and to


MR. MARTIN:  All right.  Well, we certainly appreciate it, Doc.  Keep tellin’ the truth –

DR. WEST:  It’s always a blessing –

MR. MARTIN:  — and – [crosstalk] –

DR. WEST:  — [crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  — always welcome on the show.

DR. WEST:  I tell ’em you[’re] sharp as you can be.

MR. MARTIN:  Well, we try.

DR. WEST:  [Crosstalk] – a little bit.

MR. MARTIN:  It’s an[?] Alpha man[?].  How[’re] we doin’?

DR. WEST:  Oh, but you – [crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  [Laughs.]

DR. WEST:  — but you’re sharp in mind, too, there, brutha.

MR. MARTIN:  I appreciate it.  Thanks a lot.

DR. WEST:  Indeed.

Washington Watch Roundtable: Romney Thinks You Might Be Envious Of His Money, Is FLOTUS An Angry Or A Strong Black Woman?

Has President Obama put free enterprise on trial, does Mitt Romney think you are envious of him and is First Lady Michelle Obama a strong or an angry Black woman?

This week’s roundtable discussion features Heather McGhee, Washington director of DEMOS, Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University professor, Deborah Simmons, senior correspondent for “The Washington Times” and Politico’s White House correspondent, Joseph Williams.

MR. MARTIN:  Folks, welcome back to “Washington Watch.”

I want to play a sound bite from Mitt Romney, because I think it speaks to this topic we’ve been talking about, and we’ll chat about it in a moment.  So, here’s what Mitt Romney had to say about this whole issue of envy.


MR. MITT ROMNEY:  Pres. Obama wants to put free enterprise on trial.  And in the last few days, we’ve seen some desperate Republicans join forces with him.

This is such a mistake for our party and – and for our nation.  The country already has a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy.  We have to offer an alternative vision.  I stand ready to lead us down a different path where we’re lifted up by our desire to succeed – not dragged down by a resentment of success.


MR. MARTIN:  See, here’s what’s interesting when you hear that particular comment over a 15 or so period [sic], top 1 percent, 270 percent in terms of [the] amount of money they earn – the growth.  The rest of us – 40 percent.  I think people are saying, “Look, I” – “I get rich guys.  I get that.  But when I’ve gotten poor” – when you’ve had people literally drop from one class to another, they’re saying, “That’s the problem – when there’s such a wide gap between what you have and what I don’t have.”

DR. WEST:  I mean Ro- —

MR. WILLIAMS:  [Crosstalk] –

DR. WEST:  — Romney ought to be ashamed of himself.  That’s ridiculous!  I mean the idea of confusing righteous indignation in the face of un- — injustice versus envy for the rich.  That’s just his way of trivializing the suffering of poor people and trivializing the suffering of working people.

MR. WILLIAMS:  Well, it’s also a hollow argument coming from a guy who’s worth, you know, upwards of 120, 150, hun- — $170 million when people are struggling to hang on, when job security is at its lowest, when children are expected to do less well than their parents, and the – there was a study released yesterday, I believe, that showed that it’s harder to move from one economic class to the other than it’s ever been in the entire nation’s history.

MS. SIMMONS:  Or, to rise up from –

MS. MCGHEE:  And what does he say –

MS. SIMMONS:  — one –

MS. MCGHEE:  — to that?

MS. SIMMONS:  — yeah –

MR. WILLIAMS:  Absolutely.

MS. MCGHEE:  “You’re just jealous” –

MS. SIMMONS:  — to the other.

MS. MCGHEE:  — “of me.”


MS. MCGHEE:  That’s what he’s saying!  “You’re just jealous of me.”

I just – I hope he keeps saying it, because I just think it is a complete and total loser.  It allows us to heep [sic] – keep having these conversations about what kind of economy we really want to have.  I mean it’s just – it’s such a terrible thing –

MR. MARTIN:  I – I –

MS. MCGHEE:  — for him to go out there, saying.

MR. MARTIN:  — I – I –

MS. MCGHEE:  “You’re just jealous.”

MR. MARTIN:  — I’ve made the point on this show when – ’cause whe- — when – because I think part of the problem that I have is that when we have conversations like this – especially when you watch these other Sunday morning news shows, these cable news shows – it is always framed in the ideological position of Republican or Democrat.

MS. SIMMONS:  Right.

MR. MARTIN:  But the reality is people are just so angry today, they’re saying, “Look.  I’m mad at the left.  I’m mad at the right.  I’m mad at the GOP and the Dems,” and I think you do not have somebody who is saying, “Look.  Forget ideology.  This is simply not right.”

MS. SIMMONS:  Right!  And that’s –

MR. MARTIN:  “This is unjust.”

MS. SIMMONS:  — that’s the very argument that’s going on now, which is one of the reasons why there’s so much in- — inbred brickering [sic] – bickering going on among the Republican Party, ’cause it ain’t goin’ on among the Democrats right now, than – than it – but it probably will when we get –

MR. WILLIAMS:  Well, not –

MS. SIMMONS:  — to the congressional session.

The thing is this.  Mitt Romney is trying to not channel so much a – a conservative point of view as he is trying to channel Ronald Reagan’s –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. SIMMONS:  — point of view, which is, “Money is money.  Don’t be mad at me because I’m rich.”  The problem is it’s not an ideological point of view, because there’re more of us in the middle class who are pissed and angry than that time when the angry White man brought Ronald Reagan into the White House.  What Mitt Romney – my man Mitt – has to try to figure out is how does he tap into the independents and the college graduates who are now in a position –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. SIMMONS:  — where they ain’t got two nickels to rub –

MR. MARTIN:  Now –

MS. SIMMONS:  — together.

MR. MARTIN:  — I’m glad you brought up “angry,” because First Lady Michelle Obama – she spoke to this whole issue.

MS. MCGHEE:  Oh, yeah[?] – [crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  There’s a new book out –

MS. MCGHEE:  — [crosstalk].

MR. MARTIN:  — called The Obamas, by Jodi Cantor of “The New York Times,” and this whole idea of the angry, Black woman.  And so here’s what she had to say to Gail King.


FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA:  You know, I guess it’s more interesting to imagine – [chuckles] – this conflicted situation here and a strong woman and a – you know – but that’s been an image that people have tried to paint of me since, you know, the day –


MS. OBAMA:  — Barack announced – that I’m some angry, Black woman.

MS. KING:  Yeah.

MS. OBAMA:  And –

MS. KING:  How do you –

MS. OBAMA:  — you know.

MS. KING:  — deal with that – tha- —

MS. OBAMA:  You know, m- —

MS. KING:  — that image?

MS. OBAMA:  — I – I just try to be me, and – and my hope is that, over time, people get to know me, and they get to judge me for me.


MR. MARTIN:  Now, here’s what’s interesting.  I read the book, finished it in – in two days this week, and the clear theme is that here is a woman who was upset with how the President’s staff was handling policy.  They – she felt they were not prepared.  They were not doing their job.  The communications was horrible.  And here’s someone – and I’ve said this to the President directly – “She can articulate your vision much better than anybody in this White House, including you!”

MR. WILLIAMS:  Absolutely.

DR. WEST:  She was right.

MR. WILLIAMS:  Well – well –

DR. WEST:  She’s right.

MR. WILLIAMS:  — absolutely.

DR. WEST:  She was telling the truth.

MR. WILLIAMS:  Abso- —

DR. WEST:  But that’s – [crosstalk] –

MR. WILLIAMS:  — -lutely.

DR. WEST:  — the culture, you see.  They don’t really have a category for a brilliant, charismatic, strong, Black woman.

MS. SIMMONS:  Uh-oh!

DR. WEST:  That they have to reduce it –

MS. SIMMONS:  [Chuckles.]

DR. WEST:  — down to a stereotype.  The culture’s still too immature to really deal with brilliance, charisma, strength in one, Black woman’s body – even when she’s in the White House, as it were.  And so we end up having to have this kind of conversation.  This is – [unintelligible] – selling out books and so forth and so on.

MR. WILLIAMS:  Well, there also – it’s – it’s an easy stereotype to get to, and I think Dr. West is right in that you can look back and see where the communication was horrible, where the policy was kind of muddled.  The healthcare fight was – was a prime example.

MS. SIMMONS:  Right.

MR. WILLIAMS:  And, you know, to a – a lesser point, yeah, the stereotype is just really frustrating; but there also – it occurs to me, I think, why wouldn’t Black women be angry?  They earn less, on – you know, per capita –

MR. MARTIN:  [Chuckles.]

MR. WILLIAMS:  — than most people in the workplace.  They live shorter lives.  They don’t advance as quickly as even Black men, who have a hard time advancing.  I mean so there’s a lot of legitimate reasons, but it’s not necessarily a stereotype.

MR. MARTIN:  I also think something has to change as well in terms of how we respond to it.  I think at some point, Black folks have to say, “White folks, that’s y’all’s problem.”

MS. SIMMONS:  Right.

MS. MCGHEE:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  That’s first.  But – but, secondly, if I – if I demand excellence, that’s not “angry.”  That’s demanding excellence.  If I believe something is not being done appropriately, then I’m going to say so.

And so I’ve dealt with the exact, same thing and [people] saying, “Oh, my God.  The angry Black guy.”  I’m not angry.  The White guy over here who’s cussing you out, throwing stuff, slamming doors, kicking trash cans – that’s angry.  I’m simply asking a pointed, direct question.  Now, you ain’t never had somebody Black ask you that question like that before.  That’s part of the problem.

So, I think at some point, Black folks have to push back on White folks by saying, “Look, I’m not playing this game, and you’re not going to get a rise out of me because of your insecurities.”

MS. SIMMONS:  “Yeah, but you’re not” –

MR. WILLIAMS:  [Crosstalk] –

MS. SIMMONS:  — “going to get the rise” –

MR. WILLIAMS:  — strategy.

MS. SIMMONS:  — “you expect out of me.”

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. SIMMONS:  “You might get a rise, but not the” – and that’s the thing with the Michelle Obama stereotype.  Whatever this stereotype – and it’s on Black women – it’s being misread and misinterpreted.  We might be a- — Black women got a lot more to angry about than what –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. SIMMONS:  — yeah, exactly.  But the thing is – is that we don’t necessarily express it the way we’re expected to express it, whether it’s because there ain’t no man in the home, and we got babies there; whether it’s because we know that people are trying to k- — kick Barack Obama out of the White House, which means Michelle” –

MR. MARTIN:  “Pres. Barack” –

MS. SIMMONS:  — and Grandma –

MR. MARTIN:  — “Obama.”

MS. SIMMONS:  — Robinson – yeah, Pres. Barack Obama out of the White House, and that means Michelle and Grandma Robinson [go], too.  See, we look at – a lot of times – this might be a stereotype – Black women just don’t look at what y’all want us to look at.  We’re looking at – at other surface things, whether we – we have a family of our own or not.  And that’s not being taken into account, because if Michelle Obama were really angry, I don’t think she would’ve been sitting down so calmly –

DR. WEST:  [Chuckles.]  Absolutely.

MS. SIMMONS:  — with another strong, Black –

DR. WEST:  Exactly.

MS. SIMMONS:  — woman.

DR. WEST:  Exactly.


DR. WEST:  But in a culture shaped by White supremacy, Black self-confidence is always viewed as arrogance.

MR. MARTIN:  Absolutely.

DR. WEST:  Black strength is viewed as somehow –

MR. MARTIN:  Absolutely.

DR. WEST:  — anger; and, yet, we got good grounds to be – have a righteous indignation.

MS. SIMMONS:  Gotcha[?].

DR. WEST:  Like Jesus at the temple, we have grounds for righteous indignation!

MR. MARTIN:  Right.  Joseph.

MR. WILLIAMS:  And – and the big picture, again, here is Laura Bush was incredibly assertive.

MS. SIMMONS:  Absolutely.

MR. WILLIAMS:  Nancy Reagan was incredibly assertive.

MS. SIMMONS:  Absolutely.

MR. WILLIAMS:  We still have not entered this “post-racial society.”


MR. MARTIN:  Well, I’ll tell you right now.


MR. MARTIN:  I – I think – I think Dr. West’s point is very simple – and I tell Black folks all the time – “If they want to call you ‘arrogant,’ fine, but you be confident.  You be strong.  You be assertive, because that’s a hell of a lot better than being weak.”


DR. WEST:  [Crosstalk] – you, brutha.

MS. SIMMONS:  [Chuckles.]

DR. WEST:  You – you hit it.  You hit it.