Bernie Sanders Supporter Cornel West Backs ‘Legitimate Forms Of Violence’

Philosopher Cornel West (R) greets Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at a watch party for the second Democratic presidential debate November 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders endorser and black radical Professor Cornel West explicitly advocated “violence that must flow from below” in a seldom seen video released in January 2015.

The comments came in an address to a French institute dedicated to the work of writer Frantz Fanon, one of the thought leaders of the Black Power movement and an acknowledged influence on President Barack Obama.

After discussing the work of the socialist Fanon in the video, West points to a photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. on his wall, and says:

I am not, like my dear brother Martin, a pacifist. I understand it there is a legitimate form of violence that must flow from below and all nonviolent options are in fact called into question Nelson Mandela understood that…

West, a professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, was an early endorser of Sanders. In August 2015, West described Sanders as “a long-distance runner with integrity in the struggle for justice for over 50 years.”

Rallies by Republican presidential nomination front runners Ted Cruz and especially Donald Trump have been repeatedly and violently interrupted by radical pro-Bernie Sanders protesters.

Why did Cornel West, who also taught at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris, talk about advocating violence?

The answer lies in the ideas of Frantz Fanon himself.

Fanon is a key to understanding the bewildering culture of black violence that has sprung up in the age of Obama.

Fanon has been a key influence on black political figures ranging from the Black Panther party to President Barack Obama. Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver famously said “every brother on a rooftop can quote Fanon” and Obama cited Fanon in his biographical book Dreams of My Father.

Fanon died in 1961 at the age of 36, just as his most important work The Wretched of the Earth was published in France. An English translation was published in 1963, and the book became an important touchstone for the New Left in the turbulent second half of 1960s. His writings about the impact of “colonialism” tied into the two major political issues of the era: the civil rights movement and the war in Vietnam.

Fanon explicitly believed in violence, once saying “violence is a man re-creating himself.” Fanon also said:

Violence is a cleansing force. It frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction; to make him fearless and restores his self-respect.

Fanon’s view doesn’t merely excuse violence; it describes it as a form of self-help and a method of gaining self-esteem.

The Black Power movement, from the Black Panther party in the 1960s to the contemporary Black Lives Matter moment, sees black Americans as just such a colonized people.

The philosophy of “violence as cleansing” espoused by Fanon may help explain why Twitter refuses to do anything about rapper Azealia Banks calling for Sarah Palin to be gang raped, why during last year’s rioting and looting the mayor of Baltimore instructed officers to allow protesters to express themselves and said that “we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”

It may help explain why murder rates have spiked in cities including Baltimore and Chicago. Meanwhile, the media was mostly silent last year when Black Lives Matter called for protesters to “burn everything down!”

As I described on this morning’s edition of Breitbart News Daily on , there’s an intellectual tradition to this violence:

According to Fanon’s viewpoint, criminals are not responsible for the behavior. They are merely pawns been created by an oppressive system, and it is the system itself that must be destroyed.

That system is, of course, capitalism. The “cure” proposed by Fanon, Cornel West and Bernie Sanders is socialism. Democrat incrementalists such as Hillary Clinton seem to believe the same thing, but just want to get there slower

This anti-American, anti-capitalist tradition is what is being taught at our nation’s universities right now. These are the ideas behind such things as the student uprisings at the University of Missouri Columbia. As Breitbart News pointed out, the leader of that protest acknowledged that Franz Fanon was one of the influences that helped radicalize him.

America’s universities teach our politicians and policy makers. They indoctrinate the attorneys, academics and media professionals. They’ve become a factory of anti-Americanism, churning out radicals decade after decade for some 50 years.

Until the ivory tower radicals are exposed, de-tenured and defunded, any victories at the ballot box will be short-lived.

Follow Breitbart News investigative reporter and Citizen Journalism School founder Lee Stranahan on Twitter at @Stranahan.


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