Cornel West and “Hope on a Tightrope”

Once again, Cornel West leads us to a gateway to insight and reflection in his latest offering “Hope on a Tightrope.” Not convinced? Try these on for size:

Quotes from “Hope on a Tightrope” by Cornel West

It takes courage to ask – how did I become so well-adjusted to injustice?

The courage to love truth is one of the preconditions to thinking critically.

If you accept uncritically and blindly, then it’s clear you don’t really have a love for the truth. You have a love for what people tell you.

Sometimes we just fall in love with lies.

Any time you surrender a prejudice or give up a presupposition, that’s a certain death. To learn to die in this way is to learn how to live.

Where there is no death, there is no life.

The marketplace culture of consumption undermines community, undermines links to history and tradition, and undermines relationships.

If you think you can possess your soul by means of possessing things, you’ve got moral constipation stalking you!

You don’t have to agree with Kafka. But if you can make it through The Metamorphosis and then just go off and have a taco at Taco Bell, something is wrong.

Truth is all about allowing suffering to speak.

I am in no way optimistic, but I remain a prisoner of hope.

If you view America from the Jamestown Colony, America is a corporation before it’s a country. If it’s a corporation before it is a country, then white supremacy is married to capitalism.

No, the original sin [of America] was the dispossession, subjugation, and near extermination of the indigenous people prior to the founding of the United States.

White supremacy – now that’s the real original sin that grounds American Indian and African oppression. That’s the precondition for a nation that could then be founded on the exploitation, subjugation, and hatred of African people.

And the white supremacy inside of black people leads us to demean ourselves and devalue ourselves. We view ourselves as less beautiful, less intelligent, less moral.

Though the reality of racism and exclusion in undeniable, racism is not the sole problem.

We have got to come up with mature forms of black self-love, black self-respect in which whiteness is not a point of reference, either negative or positive.

Can’t we be pro-humanity and embrace our colors and cultures? {emphasis mine}

All of us are our momma’s child and our daddy’s kid, whether we like it or not.

We live in a society that suffers from historical amnesia.


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