Two Princeton scholars clash over the president's record, but the real divide is between assimilation and racial unity.
It was the kind of insular, issue-driven, black-on-black debate that ordinarily doesn't attract the media spotlight, even on the slowest news day. But thanks to the unprecedented profile of Barack Obama, the most famous black person in modern history, this one got hot.
truthdig.com, 16 May 2011
The moral philosopher Cornel West, if Barack Obama’s ascent to power was a morality play, would be the voice of conscience. Rahm Emanuel, a cynical product of the Chicago political machine, would be Satan. Emanuel in the first scene of the play would dangle power, privilege, fame and money before Obama. West would warn Obama that the quality of a life is defined by its moral commitment, that his legacy will be determined by his willingness to defy the cruel assault by the corporate state and the financial elite against the poor and working men and women, and that justice must never be sacrificed on the altar of power.
Phi Beta Iota: Cornell West is a Nobel-level philosopher (when the Nobel is not being pimped by Nowegian politicans). He has kept his integrity when white men like Larry Summers and half-white men like Barack Obama have lost theirs–if they ever had it. This discussion is NOT about race. It is about integrity. West wins, Obama loses…as do we all.