Monday, February 29, 2016


Dr. Cornel West, one of the preeminent public intellectuals on issues of a race and inequality and an avid Sanders supporter, had harsh words for civil rights leaders supporting Clinton's campaign during an interview with VICE News as he toured South Carolina on Sanders' behalf last week.

West spoke at length of "Brother Bernie's" activism during the civil rights era, while questioning Clinton's commitment to the cause. When asked why some civil rights leaders were backing Clinton's campaign, including Rep. John Lewis, who marched in Selma in 1965, West replied that Lewis and others had lost their way.

Cornel West Says Civil Rights Leaders That Support Hillary Clinton Have Lost Their Way | VICE News

More broadly, West asserted that black politicians supporting Clinton lack the kind of "courage" it takes to support Sanders and to "pursue truth" and justice.

"Most black politicians these days are neoliberal politicians, so it's almost natural for them to side with Hillary Clinton," he said. "But with the neoliberal era coming to a close, four months from now [when the party picks its nominee], you watch how the shift sets in."

Neither Clyburn's office nor Lewis' responded to requests for comment for this story.

West's comments come just eight months after he praised Lewis at a Unitarian Universalists event honoring the congressman, who received a human rights award. At the time, West called Lewis a "moral titan" and suggested that the same young people he now says are more courageous than Lewis could learn something from the congressman.