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Social media is currently a twitter with the fall-out from the stand-off between two famous black intellectuals, Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson. Once friendly colleagues, their deteriorating relationship has gone public, each one criticizing the other‘s stance on the policies of Barak Obama who has continued to snub both of these Liberals, leaving them to sulk about not being included in the White House inner circle in reward for supporting his presidential campaign.


Currently fueling the fire of this feud is the article Dyson wrote for The New Republic Magazine in which he put West in the same “has-been” category as boxer, Mike Tyson, describing him as a one-time formidable fighter currently reduced to being a caricature of himself, seduced by the idea of becoming a pop culture celebrity, increasingly shunned by his peers. Dyson adds insult to injury  by further asserting that West’s relentless strident personal attacks on the President are connected to his failed marriages and the frustration that comes with impotency. West’s position has been to put Dyson in a category with Al Sharpton, and contemptuously chide Dyson for modifying his criticism of Obama, considering this flip-flop tantamount to being a sell-out lackey, sucking up to the Establishment. People are taking sides, with each man having his supporters.


Other erudite Blacks are disapppointed with both men for what many perceive as a clash of egos, rather than a constructive dialogue about more relevant and urgent black issues. And, naturally, there is a chorus of voices digusted by the airing of dirty laundry by 2 prominent black spokemen, wary that this divisive display will make white detractors happy.


What can be said? If the cops ain’t shootin down black men, they’re shootin down each other, be it on the streets with guns or in the halls of academia with verbal bullets. Blacks may have a double consciousness, but it’s becoming increasingly evident that we do not have a collective one. We are not of one mind. We’re all over the place, chasing our tails. Ruff-ruff.

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I think they are both positioning themselves to sit at the feet of the next Democratic nominee. It's all posturing and no substance. Both guys haven't really accomplished anything for Black America and they are basically playing a role that caters to their pockets. West is making music videos with Jill Scott and selling records, and Dyson is play pretending that he is the voice of the Hip-Hop generation. Neither provides solutions, just rhetoric. This is a poor man's Booker vs Dubois with a lot less substance.

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This is a link to the New Republic article Cynique referenced


"President Obama betrayed him. He’s stopped publishing new work. He’s alienated his closest friends and allies. What happened to America’s most exciting black scholar? By Michael Eric Dyson"


This video, included in the the article, pretty much sums up West critique of Obama.  It is a position that I personally agree with.



The personal attacks between West and Dyson (and other prominent Black folks) are shameful.  The only beneficiaries of these media fuels beefs are wealthy white owned corporations, but what else is new?


When white liberals who are supportive of Obama, like a BIll Maher, use their platforms to propagandize on how great the Obama administration is doing is equally shameful, because any Black person, in any inner city knows, this is not true.  Indeed, the data show this as well.


West is simply one of a few Black people, with a platform, willing to explain this to the broader community.


If Sharpton, Dyson, Perry, and others want to continue perpetuate the illusion that everything is going swimmingly in the Black community, it is easily to understandable why they may be called paid tools of our drone wielding empire, by West, or simply liars.


I would have been nice to see Dyson's article in a Black publication, but I'm sure the New Republic paid him a lot more that any Black publication would to shot down another Brother.

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A very eloquent exercise in rhetoric on the part of progressive liberal Cornel West.  Ironically, Obama's conservative black critics on the right such as Dr. Ben Carson are equally passionate in their criticism of the president.  So Obama is caught in the middle, and that makes him a Centrist - a leader who still has the backing of the majority of black people and who was recently voted the most admired man in the world. He  is also the captive of corporate America and all of its tenacles, which include a "bought-and-paid-for" Congress and the military industrial complex. 


It's time for a wake-up call for those who think this capitalistic country still has an agenda for democracy. America is no longer the land of opportunity; it is the domain of opportunism.  The 2ist century has outgrown the unskilled work force and the poor and needy are doomed to be constants in society.  I don't agree that Obama is painting a picture that shows America is "doing swimmingly in the black community".  He's not that blind. But all he can really do is offer moral support to his down trodden black brethern. The angry voices demanding him to take action offer no viable solutions.  He'll be out of office soon and the next president just may be a woman, but don't look for her to take up the cause of feminism.  Unless this country is forced to go back to the drawing board, there will be no great change except that which inexolerably comes with time. The POTUS will do whatever is in the best interest of keeping America powerful.


Black folks set their expectations too high in thinking that Obama would improve their lot.  But they still have Jesus to place their futile hopes in.

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Here is one thing that I noticed as both an entrepreneur and as corporate employee.  


White people in power always hook each other up.  Black people in power rarely hook each other up, indeed they may do you harm.


NWA described one aspect of their rap "F*uck Tha Police"


But don't let it be a black and a white one
Cause they'll slam ya down to the street top
Black police showing out for the white cop
In corporate America, it is not uncommon for Black managers, in an effort to "prove" themselves, to treat other Black employees more critically. Often there is the desire to be "the only one," which creates a hyper-competitive environment between Black folks in the corporate arena.  Rare is the Brother or Sister who will go out on a limb to help you--usually out of for fear of their own job security. On top of all of that, there are rarely Black folks with sufficient power to help in the first place.
So while Obama prides himself as being the "President of ALL Americans," all the other presidents had no problem being the presidents of rich white people.  
This really is the source of the disappointment some Black feel regarding Obama.  Black people got no special benefit, under an Obama presidency, but wealthy American benefited a great deal as the income gap continues to broaden.  
Sure one can explain that Obama would never have won the white house if he gave anyone a clue that he would show favoritism to other Black people, but once you are in you can do whatever you want, right?  
I believe Obama did do what he wanted to do once he got in...
If a police officer pulls another cop over for speeding, there is an understanding that they won't get ticketed.  You have a buddy with a nice job, you'll get that interview.  Getting the "hook up" has become a disparaging remark in the Black community.  Within the white community it is just doing business...
...or running the country.
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You guys have summarized this perfectly. Obama was never going to do anything extra. Black people are always Waiting for Godot. It's a surreal life that our people exist in. I mean we are basically always in a position of waiting to be saved as opposed to saving ourselves. Then again, we do save ourselves, we just don't extend the oar out of the boat to pull in more people. I had a long dialogue about this yesterday. The only thing anyone could come up with about the problems in Black America was history and slavery and not being able to overcome those issues. It's the same thing over and over and no one realizes the true power of Blacks is in the disposable income we spend. It's a financial struggle and we could fix "us" without Obama or leaders, but we can't get on the same page. I've been looking through the tags on Twitter for huria and the blog list. Outside of Troy and me there is only one other mention on Twitter. We just don't help each other.

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Here is an interesting article in reaction to, the New Republic article and defense of Cornel West:


By Carl Dix and Lenny Wolff (April 22, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper)
This article is a more accurate description of West activities, in my opinion.  Unfortunately the smaller publication will not get nearly the attending the New Republic's article will get. Those who own  the media control the narrative.
The following is a statement by Dr. West

The escalating deaths and sufferings in Black and poor America and the marvelous new militancy in our Ferguson moment should compel us to focus on what really matters: The life and death issues of police murders, poverty, mass incarceration, drones, TPP (unjust trade policies), vast surveillance, decrepit schools, unemployment, Wall Street power, Israeli occupation of Palestinians, Dalit resistance in India, and ecological catastrophe.

Character assassination is the refuge of those who hide and conceal these issues in order to rationalize their own allegiance to the status quo. I am neither a saint nor prophet, but I am a Jesus-loving free Black man in a Great Tradition who intends to be faithful unto death in telling the truth and bearing witness to justice. I am not beholden to any administration, political party, TV channel or financial sponsor because loving suffering and struggling peoples is my point of reference. Deep integrity must trump cheap popularity. Nothing will stop or distract my work and witness, even as I learn from others and try not to hurt others.

But to pursue truth and justice is to live dangerously. In the spirit of John Coltrane’s LOVE SUPREME, let us focus on what really matters: the issues, policies, and realities that affect precious everyday people catching hell and how we can resist the lies and crimes of the status quo!
 I pulled this statement from Facebook, West posted it there on April 23rd.
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Con Game or True Struggle for Social Justice
Featuring Michael Eric Dyson & Cornel West  
An editorial by Rudolph Lewis
Baltimore (12 December 2003) — They each in turn (these men in business suits) danced onto the stage of the Lyric Theater (Baltimore) with the latest moves of the Hip Hop Scene. They were cheered and received standing ovations (by some) as they strutted their stuff, shook their tail feathers, and flashed their pearly whites as they approached the mike to entertain the receptive throng of 1200 who each (mostly) paid his (or her) $60 for a ticket to hear the word from three popular and glib black leaders.
Though their lingo and style were that of thugs from the hood, these three men — Tavis Smiley, Michael Eric Dyson, and Cornel West — are highly respected black entrepreneurs or Baptist preachers, or university professors (with tenure) or all three. With each delivering for forty-five (45) minutes a "sermonic lecture," it was difficult to establish whether the occasion was one for careful reflection on and examination of the plight of the oppressed in America or a combination of an evangelical (get happy) church meeting and a hip-hop rap concert....
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In the black community there remains the problem that you've talked about before... there can only be one. Think about it like this, in film in the 80s it was Spike, 90s John Singleton, 2000s Tyler Perry, Now there is Lee Daniels. It's like White America picks it's black leader in every industry and that's who is promoted.  We don't have enough togetherness to accept or promote as many people as we want and listen to all of the different voices. Instead someone has to be torn down for someone to rise.Since Dr. King it's been Jesse, Bill Clinton Al Sharpton and then Cornell West... kind of... but you get the picture. Dyson is now attempting to assert himself as the voice of Black folks because we can only have one.


It's crazy! But it even happens in literature. It was Toni, then Alice, then McMillan, Then Adichie now.  We can never have more than one voice. This is the problem with not owning our own media outlets. the funny thing is we have never had a voice in finance, I wonder why?

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IMO, West and Dyson are like a pair of divas ridiculing each other’s plastic surgery. Their feud has been reduced to a sideshow, and doesn’t even reach the level of rivals vying for the Alpha Male status because neither one of them wields any power other than an ability to polarize their black social media audience. Meanwhile, President Obama is able to remain above the fray, probably amused by how 2 of his most relentless critics are neutralizing each other.


As an aside, one of Obama most influential staffers is the person holding the title of Senior White House Adviser, a woman by the name of Valerie Jarrett, someone who dates back to his and Michelle’s grass root Chicago days. She and Michelle are long time BFFs and both rumored to be super bitches who throw their weight around. I suspect they provide sounding boards for the positions Obama takes and when it came to  racism, they apparently decided a moderate stance was the most practical one. I also wouldn’t be suprised if they were whispering in Barack’s ear telling him to ignore West and Dyson as well as Tavis Smiley, relegating the 3 stooges to the category of ego-centrics who are jealous of the President.


As for the poor showing of black entrepreneurship, white people aren't united either.  They are very competitive and treacherous in dealing with one another and, as group are in the same boat as Blacks when it comes to being up against the big conglomerates.  Any progress they make is a result of an innate advantage.  They have white skin.  Ya think? 

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LOL, "pair of divas ridiculing each other’s plastic surgery."  I'm going to quote you in the next eNewsletter.


Sure, white indie businesses have to compete against corporate monopolies too.  Google put a lot of indie websites out of business, or marginalized them--most of those where white owned.  But those white owned business owners simply don't have the additional burden of being Black in a country suffering from the legacy of hundreds of years of legalized slavery and institutionalized racism.


Black business, indeed people, have no choice but to work together.


Consider the fact that West posted his response on Facebook.  As short as it was imagine the potential benefit to a Black owned property if they were given the scoop.


​Also, Dyson wrote his brutal critique of West for a white owned publication.  He could have easily given it to a Black owned newspaper.  


Again, we lose, big white owned companies won, and Black folks are the losers.


One day we will get it together.

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