Public intellectual and social critic Cornel West responded to Michael Eric Dyson’s article. That didn’t take long, and unlike Dyson’s article, it wont take you long to read in it’s entirety either. Responding to Dyson’s 10,000 word missive on Thursday morning, West comes back, not even mentioning Dyson by name. In three paragraphs on Facebook, West elevates the conversation, centering his response on pressing matters of the day.
“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!”
Well, and there you have it. Without dropping a dissertation in return, West shows Dyson to be petty, and unfocused on the major issues that affect millions of people. In Dyson’s case, I hope that freelance check was worth it for that TNR hit piece, cause he definitely played himself. West did not match Dyson’s word count, but answered the substantial accusations in a succinct fashion.
The best way to sum this up is, checkmate. Thoughts people?
Editors Note: I resisted the urge to add the words, “You Gon’ Get This Work” over Cornel West’s picture. It’s not magnanimous. *Smile*