Cornel West: Market-driven culture has destroyed virtue


The failure of civil rights leaders to address “Wall Street criminality” illustrates how money has corrupted American culture, according to Professor Cornel West.

At book launching event on August 24 following the 50th Anniversary March on Washington, West condemned mainstream civil rights leaders for ignoring many the deeper issues affecting poor and minority communities.

“The fundamental difference between 1963 and 2013 is these days everything and everybody is up for sale,” he said. “It’s a market-driven culture. Just dangle enough money, dangle enough possessions, dangle enough assets, and folks will come running — which means we don’t get too much integrity, honesty, decency, and virtue. You get folks obsessed with having assets, folks obsessed with having wealth and position.”

Civil rights leaders like Ella Baker, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X “would never sell out,” West added. “Never. They had integrity, they had decency, they had virtue, they had honesty. And that is what we’ve got to teach our young folk, because our young folk these days are exposed to all of this culture of superficial spectacle.”

He blasted the March on Washington for ignoring “Wall Street oligarchic power,” the prison-industrial complex, and drone strikes.

“I think our mainstream leaders disappointed the people today,” West remarked. He lamented that civil rights leader and MSNBC host Al Sharpton had become the “bona fide house negro of the Obama plantation.”

“They say, ‘Oh, brother West, you’re always so hard on the President,’” West continued. “No, no, no, no. I’m doing the best I can do to love the people enough to tell them the truth. That’s what the bottom line is.”



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Comment by Stephen Pettiway on June 2, 2014 at 7:30pm

That is why it is paramount that we connect Wall Street with Main Street in accordance with Mr. Developer vision and now mine as well. When you think about infrastructure, you think about Water  Treatment Plants, Electrical Transmission Plants, Railroad Transportation Systems and a percentage of Americas Cash Flow. Most which is located in the Ghettos of America which means he who controls the Ghettos, Neighborhoods control these Utilities, to say the least, And if you all handle you all end on Wall Street and Corporate America can you just imagine the Damage we can create Oh Boy.

Comment by clarence Merke on November 26, 2013 at 9:27pm

In this country today all that matters now is how much money you make doing a job rather than how well you get the job done. 

It is a very sad state of affairs.


Comment by Cliford Eralie on November 16, 2013 at 11:19pm

It is sad but very true. We have become a country of prostitutes and whores that are ready to sell out to who ever for what ever, no matter what damage is done. Churn and Burn that is the way it goes.

Comment by The Developer on September 28, 2013 at 7:18pm

For it is written. The love of money is the root of all evil. 

Money is something that brings out the worst in people. Greed is a disease that has plagued mankind since the dawn of time. This is an unfortunate reality.  

The only way we can change this dilemma is to somehow change the hearts of men and women to have empathy for one another. To feel one another's pain, to follow the Golden Rule. To treat our neighbor the same way we would like to be treated. If we all followed that rule the world would truly be a different place. 

The wold is full of self serving people and groups that have no regard for the pain of others. 

The world is in real need of  "Road to Damascus  experience".

The Developer

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