Cornel West

(Cornel Ronald West)

Cornel West
Cornel West
  • Born: June 2, 1953
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Educator









Cornel Ronald West is an American philosopher, political activist, social critic, author, and public intellectual. The son of a Baptist minister, West focuses on the role of race, gender, and class in American society and the means by which people act and react to their "radical conditionedness". A radical democrat and democratic socialist, West draws intellectual contributions from multiple traditions, including Christianity, the black church, Marxism, neopragmatism, and transcendentalism. Among his most influential books are Race Matters (1994) and Democracy Matters (2004).

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
A number of Black folk supported the police profiling of Arabs just to get some of the pressure of their backs. There was no moral consistency. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Administrations of both parties lie. The question is the weightiness of the lies. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Anybody has a right to put forth their nonsense as long as they don’t engage in anything that does someone else harm. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Barack Obama is a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Clarence Thomas is a … man who stands with the strong against the weak. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Don’t get too wrapped up in the flag because every flag is superseded by the cross. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Justice is what love looks like in public Justice & Injustice
Look at the history of empires. They come and they go. They ebb and they flow. History
No matter how mendacious elites may be, they cannot extinguish the forces for good in the world. Miscellaneous
The destiny of the well-to-do is not separate from the destiny of the ordinary people. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
These days to be great is to exceed on prosperity; greatness today has nothing to do with moral magnanimity. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
To talk about race in America is to explore the wilderness inside ourselves and to come to terms with a history that we’d rather conceal. History
We live in the age of the American empire. States. Nations & Nationhood
We shouldn’t be surprised when Presidents lie. Presidents lie very often. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
A black agenda is jobs, jobs, jobs, quality education, investment in infrastructure and strong democratic regulation of corporations. The black agenda, at its best, looks at America from the vantage point of the least of these and asks what's best for all. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
And when I talk about love, I'm talking about something that's great, though, brother. I'm talking about something that will sustain you. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Anytime I look at a president, I don't care what color he is.
Black people have been working hard for decades.
Clever gimmicks of mass distraction yield a cheap soulcraft of addicted and self-medicated narcissists.
Every president needs to deal with the permanent government of the country, and the permanent government of the country is Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats and the questions becomes what is the relationship between that president and Wall Street. Government
Hey, you got something going here. I think we've got a chance for some progressive policy that actually focuses on poor and working people.
I am excited to have a black president because white supremacy is real and it needs to be shattered.
If they think they have issues with the president not doing enough for the poor now, wait and see what happens if the opposition takes office. Then they would really need a poverty tour.
I'm not saying that President Obama should be exempt from criticism, nor do I believe it is some act of racial treason for a black person to hold our president accountable for his actions.
It's impossible to translate Wall Street greed into one or two demands.
King's response to our crisis can be put in one word: revolution. A revolution in our priorities, a reevaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens. Life ;Power
Larry Summers, I think, he had a long history of arrogance and relative ignorance about poor people's culture and working people's culture and so forth. History
Love and trust and justice, concern for the poor, that's being pushed to the margins, and you can see it. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Trust
My dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he's always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination.
Poor people and working people have not been the focus of the Obama administration. That for me is not just a disappointment but a kind of betrayal.
Racism is a moral catastrophe, most graphically seen in the prison industrial complex and targeted police surveillance in black and brown ghettos rendered invisible in public discourse.
The problem is we need much more moral content.
We had a much deeper sense of community in '67 than we do in '97. This is important to say that not in a nostalgic way because it's not as if '67 was a time when things were so good. Time
We have a market-driven society so obsessed with buying and selling and obsessed with power and pleasure and property. Society ;Power
We need to put strong Democratic pressure on President Obama in the name of poor and working people.
We want an economic team, Paul Krugman and Robert Kuttner, Joseph Steiglitz's people and others, who say, you know what? We're sophisticated economists but we're concerned about poor and working people.
We want to bear witness today that we know the relation between corporate greed and what goes on too often in the Supreme Court decisions.
We will not allow this day of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to go without somebody going to jail.
You've got to be a thermostat rather than a thermometer. A thermostat shapes the climate of opinion; a thermometer just reflects it.