Black folks are sounding off on Twitter in response to Cornel West’s critique of Ta-Nehisi Coates. The Harvard professor has been the focus of African American ire since his blistering criticism of the nation’s first Black president.
“Coates’ allegiance to Obama has produced an impoverished understanding of Black history,” West wrote in The Guardian, about his response to Coates’ new book, We Were Eight Years in Power.
West said his disagreements with Coates “are substantive and serious.” He calls Coates the “neoliberal face” of the ongoing struggle for Black freedom. Coates’ worldview fails to take into account, among other things, the power of Wall Street, American military policies and the dynamics of class, West stated. He seems to be bothered that Coates’ book has gained wide attention— it praises President Barack Obama and fears the “tenacity of White supremacy.” West calls Coates too pessimistic in his view of white supremacy as “almighty, magical and unmovable.”
But West’s biggest beef with Coates appears to be that he views the former president as a “deeply moral human being.” The problem is that the Obama administration conducted scores of drone strikes in the war against terrorism and looked the other way while Palestinian children were in Gaza, the scholar stated.
Twitter users rebuked West. More than a few of them said West is jealous that Coates is a rising star while West has become largely irrelevant. Others seem to sincerely lament that West somehow got lost during the Obama presidency. He’s now like “a crab in the barrel” pulling other Black scholars down, one Twitter user said, pointing to his earlier feud with Michael Eric Dyson that seems to be directed now at Coates.
SOURCE: The Guardian