Cornel West Hates on Ta-Nehisi Coates. Again.

Comments

1
Cornel West is still angry that Obama didn't invite him to join the administration.
3
Crystal clear column, excellent!
4
This is about as interesting as a disagreement between David Brooks and George Will.

It is a sad little fight between two wealthy men who are more invested in their identity as public intellectuals than they are in doing any sort of nuanced or original thinking.

And for his part, Charles continues to show worrying signs of early-onset dementia, unable to focus on the topic at hand, helplessly drifting away from the conversation and instead falling into a fugue of mumbling the same old special words to himself, over and over again.
6
@5

I suppose, but I think Charles is a wino, not a pothead.
7
1) There's no such thing as economic theory that doesn't include markets.
2) Thanks for the push-back on the overuse of "neoliberal" which has come to mean nothing
3) Cornel is a theoretical political philosopher. But politics can never be theoretical.
8
Excellent post, Charles. Once again you renind me why I still look at SLOG every once in a while.
9
I guess disagreeing with Coates = "hating" on him? Muede is like any number of self-deluded Liberals who like to claim that everything bad that's happening right now started with Trump. They ignore how hopelessly corrupt, right-wing, and war-mongering the democrat party was under Obama and previous administrations.

Since Muede's chosen in SLOG to ignore the meat and potatoes of Cornel West's op-ed, here's heaping helping:

Unfortunately, Coates’ allegiance to Obama has produced an impoverished understanding of black history. He reveals this when he writes: “Ossie Davis famously eulogized Malcolm X as ‘our living, Black manhood’ and ‘our own Black shining prince.’ Only one man today could bear those twin honorifics: Barack Obama.”

This gross misunderstanding of who Malcolm X was – the greatest prophetic voice against the American Empire – and who Barack Obama is – the first black head of the American Empire – speaks volumes about Coates’ neoliberal view of the world.

Coates praises Obama as a “deeply moral human being” while remaining silent on the 563 drone strikes, the assassination of US citizens with no trial, the 26,171 bombs dropped on five Muslim-majority countries in 2016 and the 550 Palestinian children killed with US supported planes in 51 days, etc. He calls Obama “one of the greatest presidents in American history,” who for “eight years ... walked on ice and never fell.”
10
I do appreciate seeing a Slog post that goes for understanding the mixture of what's in a person, rather than picking out what you hate and railing against it.
11
Heck maybe next Charles will attack what Cliff Mass is actually saying.
12
how is it that a few drops of old man mudede juice is more important than the destruction of a stable, even prosperous african nation? being neolibs is how. not one mention of libya in coates' book. afghanistan, yemen, iraq, all named once in a lump as if dropping off some bombs is all obama was doing there. haiti, absent. why? out of sight, phantom mind. africa is a fantasy to coates, and to mudede too. they hear diaspora as a funk to groove to not a polity, their wriggling west correctly explains as pessimist. they dance in hatred of all humanity. they're neolibs, and hate the world like our supermacist system taught them to. they have no vision. out of sight, phantom mind.
13
As soon as I see or hear the term "neoliberal," I know I'm the speaker has nothing worthwhile to say. It's a meaningless term that translates roughly as,"The person being described has positions that aren't at the farthest left extreme of the spectrum," and also I know that the speaker would rather have Republicans win every election than support an imperfect left-wing candidate. Feh. A pox on their houses.
14
It's all kayfabe.
15
I think you need to note that the Neoliberals such as Friedman/"the now repentant" Sachs were bastards who inflicted their "free market" ideals upon much of the world starting in the 70s via war on the third, the recovering second world, and even more discretely the first world; be it via mass killings, torture, and massive economic deprivation. This was done at a rapid, blitzkrieg of a pace. People, unlike economies, are not something that just magically "snap back".

Obama, for all his many faults, is more of an incrementalist and nudger - a.k.a. a Behavioralist. Something a guy just won a Nobel economics prize for this year. It can be bad too. But you can't just lump him in with those I list above.
16
@13 - Well said. Switch a couple of words around and @9 sounds just like a trump cultist.
17
What a sad little man (figuratively).
18
whenever i hear "neolib" i know i can tune out because usa is the best nation and the nations that aren't the best need to be controlled through imposed austerity (also, states need austerity, damn uppity, um, people). plus foreigners are the only ones neolibs target so i tune it out and blame, um, the right, and, um, the left. change a couple of words around it sounds like i'm totally, um, blessed by the crystaline entity.
19
It's not even controversial that what one doesn't say is as significant as what someone says. Coates not criticizing Obama's neoliberal economics and empire building is very significant and West is correct to point out that is probably the reason why Coates is the darling of corporate media.

Charles Mudede doesn't like Cornel West for some reason; according to his own psychobabble analysis, it must be because Charles is jealous of Cornel West.
20
In the socio-political environment of today, when just about any public figure is found to engage in horrid behavior (i.e. sexual harassment/assault, borderline or outright racist comments, nationalism, etc...) They are fully condemned and any attempt to mention any positive achievements they have made is seen as some sort of apologism. However when Obama presides over an astronomical level of deportations and the wanton bombing/murder of civilians oversees and someone uses this same logic to criticize those who continue to champion him it's petty?

People could at least standardize their logic. It's great that America came to a point where we elected a black man as president, even if there's plenty of work to go yet in terms of racial equality. But we can still admit that Obama had some real POS tendencies that cannot be swept under the rug or be separated from who he was as a whole. We don't need to deify the man.
21
Democrats/liberals will continue to pretend they're not nationalists while they continue to ignore horrid US foreign policy and practice as long as their politicians enact liberal social policies at home. Go ahead and support Israeli apartheid as long as you can be assured of getting a cake for your gay wedding.

(Of note, I fully support the right of individuals the marry whom they love and be unobstructed in this pursuit. Just saying that that's a very low bar for the deification of any political figure or party.)
22
I realize that cornel west started it, but i think it’s really weird for white people to co-sign on calling a black man, famous for his reparations advocacy, a 'neoliberal'. White liberals and progressives have a tendency to treat the word like it’s interchangeable with 'clinton supporter' when her base -- and the base of the democratic party -- is women and black people. Being a progressive and an ally requires giving women and minorities space to have different priorities than you do, and to let them have a different sense of scale for what matters.
23
@22 I'll have to check to be entirely sure but I don't think that West "calls" Coates a neoliberal. I think West is merely saying that neoliberal media uses Coates (as in blackwashing by using Coates image?) because Coates isn't fundamentally challenging neoliberal capitalism.
25
@23 west doesn't say directly "coates is a neolib" but with "Coates and I come from a great tradition of the black freedom struggle. He represents the neoliberal wing that sounds militant about white supremacy but renders black fightback invisible." and "Coates’ neoliberal view of the world" he may as well have.