Culture and Society
This is where we are right now. It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naive as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidate — particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.
As Lee immersed himself in these families’ daily lives, he witnessed tender interactions that ran counter to stereotypes of black men as indifferent or absent fathers. Despite challenging financial and personal circumstances, the men Lee encountered were “loving, present, and responsible fathers,” he says, who worked hard to provide for and nurture their children.
This strange country of cancer, it turns out, is the true democracy — one more real than the nation that lies outside these walls and more authentic than the lofty statements of politicians; a democracy more incontrovertible than platitudes or aspiration.
In the country of cancer everyone is simultaneously a have and a have-not. In this land no citizens are protected by property, job description, prestige, and pretensions; they are not even protected by their prejudices. Neither money nor education, greed nor ambition, can alter the facts. You are all simply cancer citizens, bargaining for more life.
Cornel West’s Quest For Justice
[Black people have] learned a lot from being invisible, spit on, dishonored, and devalued. One thing we’ve learned is that when you have been terrorized, it is spiritually empty to terrorize others back.
For a term paper I demanded a Louis Vuitton purse. For a take-home midterm, a Tiffany bracelet.
It was the last day of school, and I was walking with my dad. . . . Suddenly, he paused, looked at me intently, and said, “Son, you’re a black male, and that’s two strikes against you.” To the general public, anything that I did would be perceived as malicious and deserving of severe punishment, and I had to govern myself accordingly. I was seven years old.