Cornel West Says ‘Neo-Fascist Gangster’ Trump and Neoliberal Democrats Expose America as ‘Failed Social Experiment’

May 31, 2020
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May 31, 2020 Editor
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Cornel West Says ‘Neo-Fascist Gangster’ Trump and Neoliberal Democrats Expose America as ‘Failed Social Experiment’

“I thank God people are in the streets,” said the Harvard philosopher and activist. “Can you imagine this kind of lynching taking place and people are indifferent? People don’t care? People are callous?”

by Jon Queally, staff writer

Published on Saturday, May 30, 2020 by Common Dreams

photo above: Protesters set a police vehicle on fire during a protest following the death of George Floyd outside of the CNN Center next to Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, United States on May 29, 2020. It was announced Friday that Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer caught on camera with his knee on Floyd’s neck, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. (Photo: Ben Hendren/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

WN: Dr. Cornel West again tells it powerfully like it is! He in doing so not only calls out Trump for the Republican neo-fascist thug he is, he points to the utter betrayal of the Democratic Party Obama years (and its current rejection of Sanders and his democratic socialism in favour of neoliberal Biden) to check the voracious scourge of neoliberalism. On the contrary: Obama fully embraced Wall Street’s militarized neoliberalism. (See ” “Militarized neoliberalism” and the Canadian state in Latin America for the Canadian version of militarized neoliberalism. And this is not only in Latin America–besides our fully being intertwined with the American economy, and therefore their worldwide militarized capitalism.) If anything, Obama and all he stood/stands for is worse than Trump, in that he portrayed himself as a reformer, accepted a Nobel Peace Prize for his “anti-nuclear stance” in full-fledged deceit (authorizing for instance at the end of his presidency 1 trillion dollars for upgrading the American nuclear arsenal), and waged endless imperialist wars for the benefit of the 1% corporations[1] whom he slavishly served–and now reaps handsomely his grovellingly ill-gotten rewards.

The manner in which we treat other nations contains many of the same elements as the racism and violence which the demonstrations on our streets are denouncing. The US military has its knee on the throat of the world. We must vanquish this shape-shifting, Orwellian spectre with which our overlords ensnare us, with their lies of “they hate our freedoms”. Defund the Pentagon!

tells it like it is in this dead-on article: The US Military Has Its Knee on the Throat of the World. She writes:

We slander these two nations [China and Russia] in our media, and impose sanctions, challenging them to respond. Trump’s assertion that “we live in a hostile world of evolving threats” neglects to mention that we ourselves provoke those threats.

But the National Defense Strategy demands “full-spectrum dominance”. This requires absolute control, e.g. military superiority on land, at sea, in the air and in outer space. Therefore, in anticipation of a “high-end” war with these “near-peers”, an exciting upgrade of our arsenals will be required.

Please also see: Police, Prisons, and the Pentagon: Defunding America’s Wars at Home and Abroad by William D. Hartung.[2] You may see as well my War, Police and Prisons: Cross-Examining State-Sanctioned Violence. Far beyond Eisenhower’s observation about a “Military-Industrial Complex” to beware of, there is a Police-Prisons-Military-Industrial Complex that not only criminally robs the poor–and for instance fully a quarter of Blacks in the U.S. live in poverty–but exports death on a massive scale around the Globe. And we Canadians are in full lockstep with that reality through NATO, weapons components production for mass slaughter on the Planet, and our own arms sales industry.

Trump at least tells it like he is!: a neo-fascist thug. (Please see too The Woman-Hater-in-Chief; and Would Refugee Baby Jesus Have Been Torn From Mary’s Arms by Trump?)

Please also see “Trump Justice Department Killed Police Reform Programs That Could Have Helped Minneapolis“. The subtitle says it all:

Instead of helping cities change police practices, the Justice Department is threatening to turn federal resources on protesters.

Federal Justice Department Thugs all! And this is (The “Great Again”) America: Home of the Free![3] But one must read of course the fine print: for the 1% filthy rich, the 20% white middle class rich, and White America. (See: “We Are the 99 Percent—Except for the Top 20 Percent of Us“.) For that matter except for Privileged Whites Worldwide where everything is White-washed and at our disposal. We such Whites too readily forget or ignore Jesus’ words:

Woe to you, [Highly Privileged Whites], you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. (Matthew 23:27 and 28)

Instead, to the left (though extreme right) is the White House Thugs’ Creed:

Trump inverts the Cross (the sheathed sword–that Church Father Tertullian said Jesus told the Church to “put up” forever) into a tool of violent state oppression.

 

 

 

Put differently: The world over, “The Systems” in place have not failed. They were designed under White colonialism precisely to do what the White Police Thugs did to Mr. Floyd: put nonwhites under the knee of endless oppressions to the point of murder if deemed “necessary”. And it has ever been “necessary”. The bent knee on the neck of the Black Man is the ultimate symbol of White Racist Power.

And where was the Ultimate White American Thug? Hunkered down in a White House bunker while police the nation over, and the military summoned by Top Criminal Godfather Trump to be at the ready to slaughter the protesters, protect everything/one White: from that Washington House of Horrors to . . . you get the idea. As Der Spiegel (the Time magazine of Germany) indicated:

Am Ende aber bleibt dieses Bild: Während das Land brennt, verkriecht sich sein Präsident in den Keller.–In the final analysis this image lingers: While the country burns, its President skulks away to the cellar.

So this: perhaps it’s about time that that White House built by slaves, once long ago turned black by pre-Canadians in the War of 1812 to 1814, be blackwashed again, ever after to remain the Black House of America–one that definitively smokes out not only Trump hunkered down in that putrid hell-hole of Wretched White Supremacy, but drives out every White racist and institutional manifestation of such in America, in Canada, in the world–sending all (of us!: for we have seen the Enemy and it is us!–Pogo) definitively back to where any such trace of such slithered out from: from under the rancid rock of Wretched Structural Racism! AND NO MORE WHITE-WASHING EVER AGAIN! Maranatha!

The Firebug [literally the Fire Devil]: A President sets his country on fire

Please see Der Spiegel‘s dead-on but tragic June 6 cover, and run cursor over top of image for the translation!

Cornel West is unsparing in his calling out the abysmal failure of neoliberalism. You will find on this website several posts about him by clicking on his name. You will also find several about Barack Obama by clicking on his name. The contrast between West and Obama could not be starker. Hence my Open Letter to Michelle Obama, that my white liberal friends in Canada excoriate–because white liberals in America and the world over are so sucked in and love the First Black Man and Lady in the White House!

We read in this brilliantly incisive piece, “Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism“:

[Chris] Cuomo here plays the role of sentinel of the establishment, guarding the gates of discourse, dictating to blacks and whites alike what is or is not appropriate when it comes to critiquing the first black president.

Obama is the right kind of black man, while Baraka is the wrong kind. Obama the liberal is deserving of respect, while Baraka the radical is deserving of scorn. Sorry Ajamu, you’re just not the right kind of black man.

And while black men are murdered seemingly every single day by law enforcement, Obama pens op-ed pieces arguing that “Every day, [police] confront danger so it does not find our families … We recognize it, we respect it, we appreciate it, and we depend on you.” This is the right kind of black man, one who is passive and subservient in the face of ongoing, brutal oppression and violence. Baraka on the other hand, a man who has repeatedly lent his vocal support to the Movement for Black Lives among many other pro-black social movements, is caricatured as a bigot and racist.

Please see also: Cornel West: Black Lives Matter Is an Indictment of Neoliberal Power.

So yes, my liberal white racists: Barack and Michelle Obama are, have always been, Uncle Toms vis à vis their own fellow Blacks–and any form of democratic socialism. Obama in his political ambitions and service has been a Hollow Man Filled With Ruling Class Ideas. This was the conclusion of the massive biography of him by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and law professor David J. Garrow in writing an incredibly detailed 1078-page (1460 pages with endnotes and index included) biography of Barack Obama from conception through election to the White House: Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. In a review by  , we read:

The Obama-King contrast continues into Obama’s post-presidential years.  As Garrow showed in Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (William Morrow, 1986), the great Civil Rights leader and democratic socialist Dr. King sternly refused to cash in on his fame.  Now that he is out of the White House, Obama, by contrast, is cashing in. He’s raking in millions from the publishing industry and Wall Street and he’s back to his old “hobnobbing” ways with the rich and famous.

The reverend would be [91] years old if he had been blessed with longevity.  My guess is that he would be less than pleased at the life and career of the nation’s first technically Black president.

For an extensive bibliography by superb bibliographer (on multiple social issues) Patrick S. O’Donnell, please see: After Slavery & Reconstruction: The Black Struggle in the U.S. for Freedom, Equality, and Self-Realization —A Bibliography.

Now please watch the following interview with Dr. West. You may also get a flavour by reading the excerpt below.

I just heard an interview with Sen. Cory Booker where he uses the phrase: “A spiritually combustible moment“, when speaking about the dynamics of the current protests. Is this “the Kairos Moment” that has been used from a theological perspective[and much more–see the Wikipedia article you may click on.]? I.e. the fall of Apartheid and the fall of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. A provocatively powerful phrase. –(my friend) Allen Harder)

Then I urge you strongly to listen to Rhodes Scholar Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey deliver the most powerful, gut-wrenching speech I’ve viewed on race in America! That follows immediately below this one.

As I listened, I kept thinking of a close relative who simply scoffs at this reality! He discounts it all! His response to Senator Booker, were he to give him a half of a minute of air time before pressing the delete button would be: Fake News! It’s all made up! He’d then trot out a whole bunch of selectively misinterpreted statistics about Blacks killing more Blacks than the police do (a pile of shit!–intentional French–and completely missing the point: see Fatal Force, The Washington Post‘s database on police shootings; and this article about his hero, Trump whom he emulates: “The gap between Trump’s world and reality is widening. It’s disturbing to watch“)–to prove he’s right. And immensely more tragically I also know this: my close relative is one of untold millions of White Racists around the world who in response inconceivably see no evil, hear no evil, deny any evil done by Whites against non-Whites (or of course that they’re even racist). Yet they live on the same Planet in the same year as I do!!! Now that is unadulterated, pure-and-simple, full-dose EVIL RACISM! (See for instance Fox News’ completely uninformed Tucker Carlson showing incredible denialism vis à vis white systemic racism while calling for nationwide further systemic oppression of nonwhite “urban terrorists”: “Fox News’ Tucker Carlson goes after Trump and Kushner over protests“. Then consider conservative Tom Nichols’ compelling piece: Tom Nichols responds to Bret Stephens with an incredible Twitter thread.–a “a fairly thorough dismantling of the ‘both sides’ approach of some in the media”–by teacherken / Daily Kos (07/04/2020) . )

Germany’s Der Spiegel now calls America essentially a banana republic, having lost most competent experts to a “C-Team” of nothing but Yes-men: Aber die USA sind tatsächlich zu einer Art Bananenrepublik verkommen: Der amerikanische Staat hat in den vier Trump-Jahren massenweise kompetente Experten verloren. Im Weißen Haus ist nur noch ein “C-Team” an Leuten übriggeblieben, die jeden Wunsch Trumps erfüllen.

And if one discounted fully two-thirds of the sources in the following highlighted piece–as I say of the police and guards in Canada from over a 40-year career of working with prisoners and returning citizens–there is far too much that is damning of Trump–and of Canadian police and prison guards! Please see the extensively researched: From pandering to Putin to abusing allies and ignoring his own advisers, Trump’s phone calls alarm US officials“. And that is just the phone calls!

In the next video, Phil Vischer gives us a brief, pointed history lesson on “Race in America“. In conjunction with that, one may see several posts that variously address the centuries-long enormous and tragic racial disparities. Another post to visit is “The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today“. Please understand what “family wealth” means (To calculate net worth, add up the value of every single one of your assets. Next, subtract the sum of all of your debts.)–then weep. Please also watch William Barber II deliver a powerful sermon June 14, 2020. Just click on footnote here.[4]

Far too often, a post like this is dismissed out of hand. As said, I have relatives like that: so blinded by bigotry, so unwilling to discuss issues calmly, rationally; so a “my mind’s made up–don’t bother me with facts” position that precludes any alternative view in their tiny worlds of (tragically) deliberate not-knowing. Hence the need for prophets like Dr. Barber in the footnote above. Even someone is dismissed as mild-mannered as Sports Commentator Bryant Gumbel, speaking to a lifelong “Black tax” in America:

Its the added burden that comes with being Black in America. And it’s routinely paid. No matter how much education you have, how much money you make, or how much success you’ve earned.

It’s about the day-in day-out fatigue of having to explain the obvious to the clueless.

It’s about having to overlook blue failings and white failings so that they can be conveniently viewed as black issues.

Please see footnote 4 above for the full video commentary.

Now please watch Frederick Douglass’ Descendants Read ‘What To The Slave Is The 4th Of July?’   Wow! After viewing that, then please read Black Lives and the Fourth of July; and An Open Letter to President Trump on Behalf of Social Studies Teachers Everywhere.

SO PLEASE WATCH AND LISTEN–REALLY REALLY LISTEN!!!

Freedom in the 21st century is underscored by a median wealth of $142,000 per white family and $11,000 for Black families. These facts accentuate the shortcoming of the historical legacy of Union victory: that the abolition of slavery did not sever white supremacy from the fundamental core of American political economy.– Black Lives and the Fourth. . .

For another riveting voice please see: “Jericho Brown’s 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry speaks with power and urgency about racism and violence“. Then listen to the CBC interview (June 7, 2020) with him. (It is also clickable on the article page). Powerful! Again, we must REALLY REALLY REALLY listen!!!

An additional note: Today, while worshipping online with Saint Albans Church, Ottawa Canada (which my wife and I find profoundly impactful; having begun tuning in only since the start of the COVID-19 season), on the Day of Pentecost–the third great celebration of the Christian Year–we were powerfully engaged by this following video, Come, Great Spirit! It is purposely set as counterpoint to that raging racism both to the south, and in Canada–as the previous post details. It was produced by: THE WORK OF THE PEOPLE.

C.S. Lewis described coming across the work of George MacDonald as “crossing a great frontier”. The discovery–only today–of this amazing body of cinematic work with over a thousand films to the credit of Travis Reed, founder, feels like crossing a great frontier! The tag line is so understated: “FILMS FOR DISCOVERY AND TRANSFORMATION“. Spend time on the website. Read about Travis’ Christian journey that began at a U2 concert . . . You could spend hours there! Wow! And wow again!!! Talk about the Church made up of a “great cloud of witnesses!” Revel in this great resource! Tell me your thoughts!

Then read the article in America Jesuit Review, “To fight racism, Catholics[/Christians of all stripes] must hunger for justice like we do for the Eucharist“. We read:

Catholics cannot be content to stand on the sidelines of this struggle. In the face of racism, Catholics must hunger for justice as we hunger for the Eucharist. The Gospel calls us, as we prepare for Communion, to “go first and be reconciled” (Matthew 5:24) with our sisters and brothers. At this moment, when the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the depth of our need for the sacraments and for community, this national outcry should lead Catholics, white Catholics especially, to conversion, repentance and reconciliation.

Amen!

In the end, as the African proverb goes, “The Church is hopeless. The Church is the only hope!” Amen again!

Now please feel Dee Wilson’s plaintive, haunting even and beautiful cry, so apt in this kairos moment: “The Medicine“. He is a member of Saint Albans Church, Ottawa Canada; and composed and performed this May 26, 2020.

excerpt:

Harvard University philosophy professor Dr. Cornell West appeared on CNN Friday night amid nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota and offered a searing indictment not just of white supremacy, the neo-fascism of President Donald Trump, and a criminal justice system that repeatedly brutalizes the poor and people of color—but also of a deep depravity that exists within the neoliberal capitalist system of the 21st Century in the United States that dominates both major political parties.

When you talk about the masses of black people—the precious poor and working-class black people, brown, red, yellow, whatever color—they’re the ones left out and they feel so thoroughly powerless, helpless, hopeless—then you get rebellion.
Dr. Cornell West, Harvard University

As protests raged in Minneapolis, outside Trump’s White House, and U.S. cities nationwide—including Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, and Oakland—West told CNN‘s Anderson Cooper in an interview, “I think we are witnessing America as a failed social experiment.”

“What I mean by that,” explained West, “is that the history of black people for over 200 and some years in America has been looking at America’s failure. Its capitalist economy could not generate and deliver in such a way that people could live lives of decency. The nation-state, its criminal justice system, its legal system could not generate protection of rights and liberties. And now our culture, of course is so market-driven—everything for sale, everybody for sale—it can’t  deliver the kind of nourishment for soul, for meaning, for purpose.”

***

WN: This is a new video June 23, 2020, and powerful (See also New Amnesty Map Documents ‘Shocking Extent’ of US Police Violence Against Black Lives Matter Protesters):

Please click on: America: Failed Social Experiment

  1. [1]The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman incisively writes inThe Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization:

    “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglass, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.”

    Noted social commentatorArundhati Roy called the above “the most succinct, accurate description of the project of corporate globalization that I have read.” Please see also peace activist/researcher David Swanson‘s “Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): The Terrible Plutocratic Plan“.

  2. [2]In it we read:

    Shifting Priorities

    Sharp reductions in spending on police, prisons, and the Pentagon could free up hundreds of billions of dollars for programs that might begin to fill the gap in spending on public investments in communities of color and elsewhere.

    Organizations like the Movement for Black Lives and the Poor People’s Campaign are already demanding these kinds of changes. In its moral budget, a comprehensive proposal for redirecting America’s resources toward addressing poverty and away from war, racism, and ecological destruction, the Poor People’s Campaign calls for a $350 billion annual cut in Pentagon spending — almost half of current levels. Likewise, the platform of the Movement for Black Lives suggested a 50% reduction in Pentagon outlays. And a new youth anti-militarist movement, Dissenters, has called for defunding the armed forces as well as the police.

  3. [3]In “Defund the Police: America needs to rethink its priorities for the whole criminal-justice system.“, by  Annie Lowrey, we read:

    A thin safety net, an expansive security state: This is the American way. At all levels of government, the country spends roughly double on police, prisons, and courts what it spends on food stamps, welfare, and income supplements. At the federal level, it spends twice as much on the Pentagon as on assistance programs, and eight times as much on defense as on education. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will ultimately cost something like $6 trillion and policing costs $100 billion a year. But proposals to end homelessness ($20 billion a year), create a universal prekindergarten program ($26 billion a year), reduce the racial wealth gap through baby bonds ($60 billion a year), and eliminate poverty among families with children ($70 billion a year) somehow never get financed. All told, taxpayers spend $31,286 a year on each incarcerated person, and $12,201 a year on every primary- and secondary-school student.

    And in conclusion:

    More broadly, the demand to divest from policing doubles as a call to invest in safety, security, and racial justice. This week, cops in riot gear teargassed teenagers, Humvees patrolled near the White House, and military helicopters buzzed protesters. At the same time, health workers fought COVID-19 wearing reused masks. This is not serving. This is not protecting.

  4. [4]

    (The article and link are here.)

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

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