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Daily Beast: The Sad But Self-Inflicted Fall of Cornel West

From Barrett Holmes Pitner writing at The Daily Beast:

Michael Eric Dyson’s blistering takedown of Cornel West in The Ghost of Cornel West for The New Republic not only closed the door on a decades-long friendship that arguably led the way in black American thought at the end of the 20th century, but also displayed how the roles of black leaders have evolved during Barack Obama’s rise to prominence.

Dyson starts off by describing West’s animus toward the president as a love that has turned into a hatred so severe that it would make the heavens shudder. He mentions the times when West called Obama a “Rockefeller Republican in blackface,” on Democracy Now! and a “brown-faced Clinton” in Salon magazine. He discusses a moment when West told him, Dyson, that he does not “respect the brother at all,” referring to Obama. All this in the first two paragraphs.

As the piece winds its way to the conclusion that solidifies the end of their personal and professional relationship, a narrative of West emerges as a man of supreme intellect who thought that he had reached the pinnacle of African-American thought. West had even gone so far as to start referring to himself as a prophet. He believed that he was the voice that the black community would run to when in need of clarity. Dyson was one of those voices early on, so West’s fall from grace in his eyes is all the more striking. He was a self-anointed prophet, who has publicly lost one of his most significant disciples and a friend.

Read the rest of the story at The Daily Beast.

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