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.

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If you have an institution of oppression over your head for hundreds of years, you might develop hopelessness.

Cornel West’s Race Matters | Solidarity

Monday, October 29, Cornel West: He, however, does open a debate about issues generally not hung out to dry in the broad public.

After saying all that, I nevertheless firmly believe progressives and socialists must advocate building new nation-states based on ending old ethnic divisions. Self-worth, or Black pride, is an important issue. There can be and will be individual exceptions. Does this pathos help or hurt his argument?

Posted by Jenny at 5: This is ridiculous; every culture and every race goes without something, but that does not mean that they are devoid of meaningful lives West blames history for the problems of black Americans today for their loss of meaning in life. In the last two decades, this percentage jumped to well over nhilism percent.

In this sense, it seems that culture is inseparable from politics and economy; that culture is often times made by politics and economy. In the s it is more and more a class b,ack.

Cognel and lifelong ‘guerilla’ actions would be necessary, including the training of children in homes and schools to resist dehumanization of any sort, requiring a different sort of parent at least; nihllism changes in health and medical care to end pervasive neglect and hostility to black life in medicine; and so on.


The solution is a politics of conversion, which treats the nihilistic threat as a disease that can be tamed but never cured. Williams’ “Culture is Ordinary” Raymond Williams: Slavery and white supremacy are prime examples of where nihilism started in America. This is a long process and arduous way forward, and at least years in duration forward from this point in time. Yet the way Dr.

Posted by Ryan Carroll at But, I also recognize, that such a transformation, including for South Africa, is only possible with the end of capitalism, a system which codnel divisions and bigotry. We need national forums to reflect, discuss, and plan how best to respond.

Thursday, October 13, Nihilism in Black America. For as long as hope remains and meaning is preserved, the possibility of overcoming oppression stays alive. And the conservative idea that what is needed is a change in the moral behavior of poor Black urban dwellers especially poor Black men, who, they say, should stay married, support their children, and stop committing so much crime ccornel immoral actions while ignoring public responsibility for the immoral circumstances that nihjlism our fellow citizens.

Newer Post Older Post Home. The fact that he offers no real evidence of his claim or a solution is problematic. 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.

West discusses how these camps focus too narrowly on structures liberal structuralists or on values, attitudes, and individualism conservative behavioristsand ignore the nihilistic threat: Those Blacks who are workers and unemployed have the most to gain.

The leadership must be based on militancy and unity. Not surprisingly, he sees the blcak of Black survival in moral and political-economic terms. It is neither a matter of a new Messiah figure emerging, nor of another organization appearing on the scene.

Malcolm called for the formation of a mass independent Black movement with international alliances. 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 the overwhelming rage toward everyone including those who shared my struggle. The failure of the Black middle-class leadership and the failure of their liberal ideology the conservative ideology will always have only a handful of supporters points to the need for a new vision and strategy.


This was not an ultraleft or sectarian stance.

Under Jim Crow this was less the case since the first task was to end American apartheid. During my first week of high school in the Mississippi school system, I sat with my older sister for lunch in the cafeteria. This all leads to political cynicism, which hampers the efforts of local activists, on whom the progressive effort depends. Focus on structural constraints.

Cornel West’s Race Matters

It’s been a few years. Focus on behavioral impediments. West contends that these arguments do not come close to understand the problem with African Americans, that the real problem is the threat of nihilism.

The conservatives blame the victim. Such an effort would be the end of a promising career in capitalist politics. He knew the liberal Black leaders have no alternative to him and the Democratic Party.

Just ask Cornel West how it feels to amercia your uncle lynched and tied to a tree with an American flag. It is primarily a question of speaking to the profound sense of psychological depression, personal worthlessness, and social despair so widespread in Black America.

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 and critical consciousness, moral commitment, and courageous engagement are vastly underdeveloped.