Tag Archives: cornel west

Suspicion and the Cornel West – Melissa Harris-Perry controversy


To quote Tami Winfrey Harris:.  “It’s not that liberals have labeled Harris-Perry HNIC; it is that men like West thought that position was exclusively theirs.”[Racialicious]

I was over the moon (so to speak) when Melissa Harris-Perry announced her upcoming show on MSNBC.  Whenever she subbed for Rachel Maddow my attention span increased, (perhaps those guest host gigs were auditions). But I also felt a tug of suspicion so I do agree with Dr. Boyce Watkins (quoted here)  on this point only:

In the Black community, leading Democrats have learned the dictator lesson well: If we hijack a few figureheads in the Black community and convince them to always speak in support of our agenda, we don’t actually have to do very much for Black people themselves.

Dr. Watkins would do well to drop the word Democrats from that statement. If you scan the political spectrum you will see that Republicans are guilty as well.  What white liberals and conservatives have in common is that they seek people of color (PoC) who won’t rock the boat of white privilege and supremacy too much; a mild tempest is fine, especially when directed at opponents, but they will unleash hell if a storm breaks out and hits too close to home. Here’s an example from Melissa Harris-Perry’s blog at The Nation:

Some members of the white liberal political community are appalled and angry that I suggested racial bias maybe responsible for the President’s declining support among white Americans [The Epistemology of Race Talk  @ The Nation]

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