NPR: Cornel West Talks Poverty

Dr. Cornel West was recently interviewed By Michelle Martin for Tell Me More on NPR.  I’ve never had a chance to hear Dr. West before, but I was fairly impressed by this interview.  Here’s a piece of the transcript from the interview.


President BARACK OBAMA: I have a special responsibility to look out for the interests of every American. That’s my job as president of the United States, and I wake up every morning trying to promote the kinds of policies which are going to make the biggest difference for the most number of people so that they can live out their American dream.

MARTIN: Is he wrong?

WEST: You see, he didn’t hit your first part, when you said black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs, that’s a different question than special responsibility for everybody. I’m saying that’s not true. He has not made poor people a priority. They had – the White House responded to Tavis Smiley and I, last week after Jesse Washington’s speech in AP, and said they have made poor people a priority in this administration. I say that’s a lie. I want to see the evidence. Let’s argue the case out. Not personal, let’s look at the evidence.



Anyways, head over to NPR and listen to the interview.


9 thoughts on “NPR: Cornel West Talks Poverty

  1. Also, let me just say this, Cornel West admits to having no relationship with the Tea Party.

    This is exactly the problem; his views of politics and revolution is far too ideological and far too partisan. It is too narrow and unimaginative in short.

  2. @craig,

    Not saying that no one should speak for the poor, its that they should speak first.

    Also, there are a number of leaders tired of hearing Tavis Smiley and Cornel West pretending like they are THE leaders of the black community.

    • I think as Christians, the Biblical mandate is clear, that God’s command is to speak for the poor and oppressed regardless of whether or not they can speak for themselves.

      As to your second point, that’s a fair criticism.

  3. Pingback: Speak up for the Poor, or Allow them to Speak for themselves? | Political Jesus

  4. Pingback: Christian Charity: A Response to Rod « Simul Iustus et Peccator

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