Cornel West could teach a class … in how not to gain credibility as a civic activist.
Professor West and his buddy Tavis Smiley have launched a poverty tour (because President Obama is not getting it done to their satisfaction, so they’re going to fix that intractable problem that Lyndon Johnson couldn’t solve either.)
Q:You lament in your book “Race Matters” that there’s a lack of black leadership. You’re smart, very charismatic — why did you never become what we would consider a black leader in the mold of Martin Luther King or Malcolm X?West: Well, one, it’s because we live in an age where there are no movements. But second, and most important, I have to be true to my calling. Martin King’s calling was to be a Christian preacher. Mine is much more linked to the life of the mind and being able to move back and forth. This weekend I was with Bootsy Collins at B.B. King’s. We wrote two songs together on his new album — that’s just one context where I try to play a very important role outside the academy. But my calling is still one of being an intellectual warrior and spiritual soldier.
Really, professor? You couldn’t march or organize because you were chilling with B.B. King and Bootsy, making music? Really really???
UPDATE: Here comes the rebuttal, “Really, Reid Report?“