Quote of the week
'..The friends we have lost do not repose under the ground...they are buried deep in our hearts. It has been thus ordained that they may always accompany us...'- Alexandre Dumas - Diaspora
Cornel West – prophet or turncoat?
Prof Cornel West

Cornel West was once considered part of a triptych including  Skip Gates, and Anthony Appiah, representing the Black Academy. This triptych can be viewed as  either the leading edge of the Black Academy or a rogue’s gallery. Let us put this in context so as to understand the connection with Trump.  We need to understand the historical dynamics that generated this context.  For several decades ‘the conservative moment’  involved suppressing dissent of both left and right  by denying it…

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Failure of US journalism

After the widespread diffusion of the video of the assault on George Floyd rioting broke out in US cities  calling for the arrest and charging of the police officers involved.  There was considerable expressed surprise that when the demands were met the riots escalated.  ‘The turmoil was on display a short distance from the White House, where President Trump had called earlier in the day for his supporters to rally. Instead, hundreds of protesters mobilized on the streets of…

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Coming collapse of US cultural dominance:

At the present time the world dominance of US culture seems uncontestable. However closer scrutiny would show that the world is a far more complex place and the apparent dominance can be less than it seems. First, we can begin with the humorous. I remember listening to an American in the 1980’s describe the coming world dominance of US culture as  inevitable and universal and as a proof and precursor he pointed to the ubiquity of the  ‘Walkman’. It…

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The Economist – certified brain dead

It is  hard to believe  that The Economist  could outdo their last fiasco on Africa but believe it they have and  it is true. Readers may recall their report that stated that everyone in Tanzania was earning less than $2 a day, even the richest Tanzanians!!! (Note 1) Now they have  a piece explaining why Trump is so popular in Africa. (Note 2) “Nigerians, Kenyans and South Africans are twice as likely to hold pro-American views as the average…

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Candace Owens, Black Lives Matter and liberal views of racism

There is a major issue highlighted in the social confusion arising from this lady that is not being addressed. One of the core challenges of  Black America intellectual debates is its unwillingness to follow the argument strictly.  Focussing on the apparent conclusion it accepts or discards an argument accordingly. This tends to lead to discussions that are dialogues of the deaf. There is an important point that Candace makes and which is by no means exclusive to her that…

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Trevor Manuel at Winnie Mandela ‘s funeral – great hypocrisy

Trevor Manuel made a rabble rousing speech at Winnie Mandela’s funeral. His heart went out to the poor and outcasts of South Africa and he did not hesitate to point figures and mention names. It is not normal to use someone else’s funeral to launch one’s own new political agenda,having previously announced his retirement from politics.(Note 1) It dishonours the dead. Winnie’s funeral should have been about her not about Trevor Manuel’s  new political ambitions. He mentions her name…

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‘The Economist’ – purveyors of Fake News and false information.

What can one say? The Economist is a major journal that has been going since 1843 and has this to say about itself: ‘A recent editor, Rupert Pennant-Rea, once described The Economist as “a Friday viewspaper, where the readers, with higher than average incomes, better than average minds but with less than average time, can test their opinions against ours. We try to tell the world about the world, to persuade the expert and reach the amateur, with an…

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Trump, New York Times & Dean Baquet – the missing interview

A well known rule that most journalists seek to comply with  is that the journalist should not become the story or part of the story. However should there not sometimes in exceptional circumstances be an exception? I am thinking of Trump comments about ‘s****hole countries’ and the implication that people from such countries including Haiti have nothing to offer US. As some will know Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, is of Haitian parentage. Would it…

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WSJ and Charlottesville: Parsing the text

(Image courtesy of NBC News)   One of the enduring issues that arise when African Americans speak to a dominant media forum about race is a failure to ‘parse the script’. They come to a debate with their own version of the meaning of words and events and this is futile. While emphasizing their own views creates solidarity with a group and confirms them in their own world view it achieves absolutely nothing in a debate which rapidly becomes…

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Deaton & Case – ‘sea of despair’ revisited

Like a well worn script when we look back at the report of Deaton & Case we can see  precisely how it was strategized. A widespread opiod epidemic  is deflected from major US corporations  onto  the effect of equal opportunity and African Americans. Lets have poor Whites and poor Blacks have a fight. Our attention is turned away from the role of the pharmaceutical industry and medical profession to the effects of equal opportunity legislation.  In this case it…

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