*The always outspoken Cornel West was invited on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” to react to President Obama’s recent interview with podcasting comedian Marc Maron. During his chat with Maron, Obama said the n-word, sparking criticism and national debate.
“Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter sat down with West to discuss race in America and the president’s now-infamous use of the word “nigger.”
West says Obama needs to come to terms with what the word really means.
“What does he mean by “nigger?” What does it mean to keep people afraid and scared and intimidated, to keep black people thinking that we are less intelligent and less beautiful, to make sure we are still dominated in our minds, that we still have slave mentalities.”
West says society cannot erase the nation’s history of using the n-word to dehumanize Blacks by pretending it never happened, because the damage has already been done and now it’s long past the time to start the healing process.
“It is a matter of truth,” says West. “And allowing suffering to speak, it is a matter of justice, and [Obama] should have been talking about it for seven years.”
West explained the n-word’s White Supremacy roots, and how Americans should reflect on the word in order to come to terms with America’s racist foundation.
“It is not about the word, it is about how does it get us to come to terms with the truth about America. Founded on white supremacy, indigenous peoples’ land taken, their babies and women violated, enslaved Africans for over 80 years under the U.S. Constitution, unbelievable terrorism and torture.”
West was encouraged by how much more Obama talks about racial issues, but when he said that racism isn’t “endemic,” it’s clearly a lie.
And the reason he said it, West explained, is because he’s “afraid of Fox News, afraid of the right-wingers,” but at this point he should be “standing up out of moral conviction.”
Later in the show, West and Stelter talked about the media criticism of Obama’s use of the n-word, with West lamenting how the race conversation is “marginalized” on cable news, calling MSNBC “Obama propaganda” and Fox News “right-wing propaganda.”
West credited CNN for being able to “wrestle with insights,” but said at the end of the day it’s all about the profit margin.
Watch the full interview below, via CNN: