Dear Cornel West: Examining Your Legacy and the Impact of Your Presidential Bid.

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( Dear Cornel,

What will your legacy be? How will your children and grandchildren view you?

Like you, I am concerned about the murder of civilians in Palestine, Haiti, and Sudan. I’m also worried about the lives of civilians in our country. You’re polling at 4% in Michigan, and 3 % nationwide according to Quinnipiac enough to elect Donald Trump. Are you sure you want to help install a dictatorship?

Dear Cornel West: Examining Your Legacy and the Impact of Your Presidential Bid.

Donald Trump pledges to end Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. For millions of older Americans, Social Security is their only income. The elimination of Medicaid will triple the homeless population, most of whom will be Black.

Donald Trump has pledged to end Obamacare. Millions of Americans are alive today because of Obamacare, including those with pre-existing conditions.

Donald Trump wanted Black Lives demonstrators shot. How will demonstrations be handled during a Trump administration? Law enforcement’s attitudes toward Black Americans were supposed to change after Floyd George’s live execution. It hasn’t. These executions, which usually happen after traffic stops, continue.

Donald Trump referred to Black mothers as “bitches”” and Hispanics as “vermin” and “animals.” He has said that liberal Jews are destroying America and had dinner with white nationalist Nick Fuentes, a Hispanic, who, like Irish American Steve Bannon and Jewish American Stephen Miller, has forgotten his history.

Trump’s hateful, vile rhetoric is responsible for the drastic rise of hate crimes experienced by Jews, Hispanics, and Asian Americans. He said that Hitler did some good things and that he kept “Mein Kampf” as a bedtime reading. Statistically, Blacks are the most hated group.

You and Rabbi Lerner thought that Minister Farrakhan was the only problem for Jews. The late Michael Morgan, conductor of the Oakland Symphony, told me that Minister Farrakhan hired a Jewish teacher to coach him on performing Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E Minor.” He worked on the concerto for three years, culminating in a performance with the Oakland Symphony to “say in music what I could not say in words.” His performance is on YouTube. Since then, white nationalists, not members of the Nation of Islam, have shot up synagogues.

Ironically, you’ve been accused of antisemitism because you endorsed a cartoon that was considered antisemitic. Compounding this charge, you accepted money from the same right-wing GOP billionaire as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas: Harlan Crow, the billionaire political donor with controversial links to Thomas, who has given the maximum contribution to your campaign for president, “The Hill” reported. You were shamed into returning the money. Crow is the guy who collects Hitler paraphernalia.

The April 11, 2024, edition of the Times reported that Jill Stein, Putin’s dinner companion, had received support from one of Trump’s money people, Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.

The “Times” report says that the GOP has offered you help. Have you accepted? Are you receiving dark money from their supporters?

What about some of those surrounding Trump? A relative has criticized Stephen Miller for doing the bidding of an antisemitic President. He reminded Miller that members of his family didn’t survive the Holocaust, yet this sinister creep wants to block Black farmers from receiving compensation denied them for decades. He has influenced Trump’s immigration policy. Trump says he prefers immigrants from “nice” countries like Denmark.

Taxes? Trump promised billionaires who raised money for him at Mar-a-Lago that he’d cut theirs. Yet, the media bosses instruct their pundits and reporters to identify the alienated “white working class” as their base. In 2020, 48% of white college graduates and the majority of white women voted for Trump.

Who do you think will lose their jobs if Stephen K. Bannon, an Aryan Irish American and antisemite, dismantles the administrative state? Blacks will be purged from the Civil Service.

Trump leaving abortion decisions to states like Arizona, Alabama, and Nebraska has already led to thousands of women queuing up for emergency care; how do you think this will affect Black, Latino, and Native American women? Millions of Blacks don’t have the beautiful health care offered to academics like you and me. The statistics are dire: Black women are twice as likely to get Alzheimer’s as whites, and prostate cancer among Black men is among the highest in the world.

Even though you might tip the election, you have avoided the scrutiny you’d receive if a strong Black press existed. Will you have a press conference to answer the questions raised by David Masciotra in “The New Republic” (December 29, 2023)? Will those Black public intellectuals found acceptable by the media remain silent about your bid?

“As Forbes revealed in an investigation earlier this month, West is broke—living ‘paycheck to paycheck,’ he says—despite earning $500,000 per year over the past three decades. That’s because he has often failed to pay taxes, resulting in liens totaling in the hundreds of thousands; his current IRS bill is approximately $483,000. Despite his sizable debt, he has overspent—purchasing multiple homes, including a Four Seasons condo in Boston.”

I thought that Jesus’s form of transportation was a mule, and he depended upon strangers to feed and house him. You’re not the only Black post-modern theologian who enjoys kingly living. You guys have each other’s backs, so you’re getting a pass.

You’ve defended Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine, the position of Nation magazine progressives. Who are your donors?

Is this presidential bid all about Obama providing you with only one ticket to his inaugural?

Don’t you realize that your progressives will turn on you and have more options than you? They can retreat to anonymity under an autocracy. Or go right like the Neo-Cons, who were former radicals, or Max Eastman, the socialist who ended up writing for The National Review, or progressive Norman Mailer, who became a fan of Pat Buchanan later in life.

No, Cornel—you have to decide how you want to be known by future generations: as a brilliant scholar, a “spoiler,” or even a pariah. Your election bid is not between you and your presidential rivals but between you and history.



Written by Ishmael Reed

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