Oct 29, Abstract of Cornel West’s “Nihilism in Black America” by Mike Peterson Description West argues that the two current and polarized “camps” that. Oct 29, Abstract of Cornel West’s “Nihilism in black America” By Jenny Lowry Description of Article West argues that the dilemma of African Americans. Nihilism in Black America. Cornel West ▫ Spring Recent discussions about the plight of African Americans—especially those at the bottom of the social.

Author: Kaziran Zoloran
Country: Egypt
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Marketing
Published (Last): 7 September 2018
Pages: 460
PDF File Size: 6.32 Mb
ePub File Size: 11.77 Mb
ISBN: 254-8-71103-241-9
Downloads: 30996
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Taubar

Presently, Black middle-class life is principally a matter of professional conscientiousness, personal accomplishment, and cautious adjustment. The leadership must be based on militancy and unity. Just ask Cornel West how it feels to see your uncle lynched and tied to a tree with an American flag.

The strength of his view is that he takes on taboo subjects including Black anti-Semitism, sexism in the Black community, and homophobia and demands a critical look at how to reverse Black degradation and remove the color line. However, he fails to explicitly show the link between nihilism and the need to organize the fight to end oppression and exploitation. It would have meant challenging the real powers. Rather, it is a matter of grasping the structural and institutional processes that have disfigured, deformed, and devastated black America such that the resources for nurturing collective qest critical consciousness, moral commitment, and courageous engagement are vastly underdeveloped.

Every “culture and race” goes without “something”, but blacks are structurally deprived of particular opportunities that give them a disproportionately small share of the nation’s wealth. In the last two decades, this percentage jumped to well over twenty-five percent. Cprnel there are other undiscovered cases as remarkable as Lacks in every area of human inquiry and endeavor.

Unlike most socialists, he does not point his finger at capitalism as the primary source of the problem. Monday, October 29, Cornel West: We need national forums to reflect, discuss, and plan how best to respond. West contends that these arguments do not come close to understand the problem with African Americans, that the real problem is the threat amerlca nihilism.

If this happens and a political fight challenging the ruling class occurs, the future battles will be more like the Boston Tea Party. For as long as hope remains and meaning is preserved, the possibility of overcoming oppression stays alive. A relative term not used in a Marxist sensehe notes that the middle class historically constituted no more than five percent of African-Americans before the civil rights era.


After saying all that, I nevertheless firmly believe progressives and socialists must advocate building new nation-states based on ending old ethnic divisions.

The solution, of course, is activism, both within white and black communities, producing nihilsim and achievable outcomes.

While I am not a black American, this article is rather disturbing to me. It must unite with the organized labor movement, and organizations and groups fighting for the emancipation of other peoples of color, women, and defending the rights of gays and lesbians, and other discriminated sectors of society.

Looking back, it has been years of discovery, invasion, genocide, human trafficking and breeding, imperialism, colonialism and post colonialism to reach this dismal state. He sees black politicians as narrow minded and over the top; that politicians like these only serve to further repress black Americans and leave them powerless.

But the more fundamental reason was a lack of perspective to take on the poverty and corruption of those cities. There will be battles for state power. Historically, blacks were armored against this threat through culture and community, but something happened along the way that changed this.

The significant realization here that I never comprehended fully was the fact that my nihilism was not simply a result of hating any particular concept, but, more fundamentally, it was a reaction toward the oppression of the Absurd. Whiteness as an exemplary human ontology has to be dismissed or put in the dock and examined by all. In education, this means for all children that the default human being is no longer a white person.

Focus on structural constraints. Very motivational language, but it lacks concrete solutions or follow-through.

They use demagogy in some cases to expand their support but are not part of the solution. I agree that political progress should be made within black culture, as it should be in many other cultures in America.

My question of whether it resulted from a community rebelling against society was in fact overly simplistic and idealistic. West and his writings are a amsrica addition to the debate over racism and discrimination and the divisions in American society. The middle-class layers of all colors are incapable of leading the oppressed and poor to their complete emancipation.


Ameeica self-fulfilling prophecy of the nihilistic threat is that without hope there can be no future, that without meaning there can be no struggle. Is capitalism to blame for their criminal deeds as well? He knew the liberal Black leaders have no alternative to him and the Democratic Party.

I hate how obvious the answer to a question seems after it is revealed.

Cultural Studies: Cornel West: “Nihilism in Black America”

Treating nihilism as a disease that can be tamed by love and care, but that can never by completely cured The lessons of the past thirty years shows that. Du Bois, Anna Cooper, E.

The media lynching of Lani Guinier was made easier precisely because the independent power of the Black community is not organized. We must fight for nonracial, color-blind societies as the African National Congress advocates for the new South Africa.

Cornel West’s Race Matters

He was simply speaking the truth. Regardless, I was infected by nihilism as merely an onlooker of injustice, acting as if I was some Camusian Absurd hero for simply watching Sisyphus grapple his rock, and felt nihiism overwhelming rage bihilism everyone including those who shared my struggle. It’s been a few years. But now the commodification of black life and the crisis of black leadership have resulted in the crumbling of those structures and a relapse of nihilism.

The present day Black middle class is not simply different than its predecessors — it is more deficient and, to put it strongly, more decadent. The black Americans I do know do not seem depressed or void of meaning in their lives.

The main civil rights leaders believed the problem was legal rights and lack of opportunity and not the system itself. But, I also recognize, that such a transformation, including for South Africa, is only possible with the end of capitalism, a system which breeds divisions and bigotry.

There is no American nation per se. Some point to racism a definite factor.