Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dr Cornel West Speaks Out about the President

I'm happy to hear one of my American heroes, Dr Cornel West (natal chart below), speaking out against the current US administration and President Obama. First came a report of Chris Hedges' interview with Dr. West (see HERE). Some snips:
No one grasps this tragic descent better than West, who did 65 campaign events for Obama, believed in the potential for change and was encouraged by the populist rhetoric of the Obama campaign. He now nurses, like many others who placed their faith in Obama, the anguish of the deceived, manipulated and betrayed. He bitterly describes Obama as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”
“When you look at a society you look at it through the lens of the least of these, the weak and the vulnerable; you are committed to loving them first, not exclusively, but first, and therefore giving them priority,” says West,
“I have to take some responsibility,” he admits of his support for Obama as we sit in his book-lined office. “I could have been reading into it more than was there."

"I was thinking maybe he has at least some progressive populist instincts that could become more manifest after the cautious policies of being a senator and working with [Sen. Joe] Lieberman as his mentor,” he says. “But it became very clear when I looked at the neoliberal economic team. The first announcement of Summers and Geithner I went ballistic. I said, ‘Oh, my God, I have really been misled at a very deep level.’ And the same is true for Dennis Ross and the other neo-imperial elites. I said, ‘I have been thoroughly misled, all this populist language is just a facade.....

“We have got to attempt to tell the truth, and that truth is painful,” he says. “It is a truth that is against the thick lies of the mainstream. In telling that truth we become so maladjusted to the prevailing injustice that the Democratic Party, more and more, is not just milquetoast and spineless, as it was before, but thoroughly complicitous with some of the worst things in the American empire. I don’t think in good conscience I could tell anybody to vote for Obama. If it turns out in the end that we have a crypto-fascist movement and the only thing standing between us and fascism is Barack Obama, then we have to put our foot on the brake. But we’ve got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties. Our last hope is to generate a democratic awakening among our fellow citizens.

Then came this appearance with Ed Schultz on MSNBC.

Dr. West has courage! We need more of this. A variety of viewpoints can be found in commentary around the net, but the best single-liner I've seen is one I'd have used myself: Dr. West simply said what needed to be said : the Emperor has no clothes.

For more on this topic and a response to Ms Harris-Perry's remarks by Kevin Gosztola - see HERE

I wrote a little about Dr West and his natal chart back in 2008 - here is the gist of what I wrote then:

Dr. Cornel West, author, lecturer, public speaker, social activist, democratic socialist and major figure in African American academia, including the illustrious Princeton and Harvard. I've seen Dr. West on several occasions as a guest on Bill Maher's "Real Time". Each time I've been impressed by his eloquence, charm and ability to hold my interest, whatever the subject under discussion. He obviously has a brilliant mind, yet his approach is straightforward and lacking in all the scholarly affectation so often encountered among the egg-head community.
A descriptive paragraph from here:

"...... an eloquent lecturer, whose lithe and energetic body was
totally involved in the torrent of words and ideas that tumbled from his mouth. He asked his listeners not only to hear what he said, but to enter into his thought processes and share his enthusiasms or generate their own thoughts and enthusiasms. His speaking style was symbolic of his convictions, which rejected the divorce of body from mind, of emotion from intellect, characteristic of much philosophy since Descartes. In a time when many philosophers would be horrified to be called preachers, West (although not an ordained minister) was not embarrassed to preach an occasional sermon. For him a passion for social justice was as intellectually respectable and demanding as the most rigorous intellectual analysis of propositions, and the two were never far apart in his philosophy."

Born on 2 June 1953 in Tulsa, Oklahoma (I didn't have him down as an Okie!)Birthtime unknown.

Sun and 3 planets in Gemini (the sign of mental process, communication, a quick mind). Good start! Two of the Gemini planets are conjoined, Mercury and Mars at 22 degrees. Mercury is at home in its own sign, Gemini, therefore unadulterated by other influence, though strengthened and energised by Mars. (PS: Here I have to eat my words, written in the post about Newt Gingrich's Gemini planets earlier this week : "too much of a good thing" I said. My prejudice was showing. My bad.)

Saturn and Neptune are conjoined in Libra (diplomacy and justice), Moon is in Aquarius between 9 and 22 degrees (social awareness). So, Air, the mental element, rules - Gemini, Libra and Aquarius predominate. Gemini and Libra planets in close trine, and the Moon is very likely in trine to both, though how close we can't be sure. What a circuit, enabling all kinds of mental acrobatics!

One more point - in January 2002 Dr. West underwent surgery for prostate cancer. Saturn (restriction, limitation) visited Gemini from May 2001 to Dec 2002, hitting his 4 Gemini planets one by one along its journey, reflecting what must have been a very worrying and restricting time for Dr. West.


Gian Paul said...

A very intelligent man indeed. Lots of good apects between his governor Mercury in Gemini and other important planets, all in Air signs.

Where he may be periodically "carried away" is by his weak Venus placement in Aries, opposed by Neptune. Especially considering Obama's relations with that planet.

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~ Hmmm - good point GP.
Neptune always manages to get a look in when Obama comes under discussion. ;-) That Venus in Aries could relate to his impulsive and enthusiastic support for Obama in 2008 - he leapt before he looked (into the clues that, I understand, were there all the time.)

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Twilight, I wasn't aware Dr. West was born in Tulsa, either. Interesting. And until I read his biography on Wikipedia a few minutes ago, and the link you provided, I wasn't aware of his entertainment career. ("West appears in both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.")

Also being a fan of Bill Maher's Real Time, I've always respected Dr. West's commentary and ideas. He sees what so many refuse to see; he speaks out against what so many refuse to acknowledge.

Twilight said...

Jefferson's Guardian~~ Hi!
Oh good! I'm glad you like him too.

I wish we could clone him.

I haven't seen the Matrix sequels in which Dr West appeared - next time one shows up on HBO I'll make a point of seeing it. :-)

Jefferson's Guardian said...

I was talking to a friend a couple of days ago and The Matrix came up. We both thought people, especially since the horrid Bush II regime and the aftermath of The Crash of 2008, would find it even more relevant.

I'm going to make a point of watching it, again, soon.

Twilight said...

Jefferson's Guardian ~~~ Yes a reviewing might be in order for me too. I saw it years ago but it didn't really float my boat then. Maybe now it will make more sense. ;-)