Skip to main content

Those who read this blog regularly know that with all my faults, I am a person of faith. That is my disclaimer.

What you may not know is that I’ve long been a fan of Dr. Cornel West. He may well be America’s premier or most important public intellectual. For decades he has stood up for the poor, workers, unions, women, LGBT folks, and progressive values.

Dr. West wrote two great books on two of the most important questions in American life and history — Race Matters and Democracy Matters. Just these last few years he has hooked up with broadcast journalist Tavis Smiley to tackle inequality and campaign for a more just society.

So it was a difficult revelation for me to see such hard and unfair criticisms of West because he has challenged President Obama and others on questions of war and the economy.

Now I take a backseat to nobody in the personal and institutional effort I made for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but I know that we can’t and shouldn’t think and act in lockstep.

And I want my spiritual leaders — the first being Rev. Timothy McDonald of First Iconium Baptist Church to act differently from my political leaders.

Dr. West is an African-American preacher as well as philosopher, theologian, teacher, and writer. He quite rightly claims the heritage of the African-American prophetic spiritual leader just like Rev. McDonald and Dr. Joseph Lowery. They cannot be told what to do and on fundamental human values they will not compromise.

That is a good and necessary thing not just for a just society, but even for a real movement for a just society.

Let us encourage those who raise their voices and act against inequality. Let us have a vibrant debate about an economy that works for all of us, and let us discuss the consequences to all our lives when capitalism has run amok. Let us think hard and deeply about what is happening to the people of our nation.

Let us proclaim ancient wisdom and teachings that can serve to shine a light on greed that has gone so far as to become evil.

Let us find and explore that place in our hearts and souls that loves mercy and justice, that gives us the capacity to love others.

Photo source: Mike Cicchetti via Flickr

Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Get Stewart's new mini eBook Change is Coming for FREE NOW!

Originally posted to StewartAcuff on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 05:02 AM PST.

Also republished by Hellraisers Journal, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Anti-Capitalist Chat.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site