Just when I say I am out, they pull me back in.
The gravy train keeps on flowing. Now Brother Cornel and Tavis Smiley are adding some closure to the "Is President Obama Black and Progressive Enough?" battle royal intervention/spectacle of these last two weeks.
In the above interview, Dr. West really did a great job of fleshing out some of his claims--and also displayed some intellectual Aikido and misdirection as he called out the "chattering classes." However, there are/is still a meta-level set of questions hanging in the air, questions that to this point have not been thoroughly explored.
Stated simply: first principles have not been satisfied.
This error in reasoning and argumentation has created an entry point for much of the back and forth bomb throwing on the West-Obama episode that has occurred on many websites...and of course here at WARN.
Ultimately, who gets to play the Black authenticity police?
More specifically, what and who is a free black man? What does it mean in this context to be free? What does it mean to be black? How does masculinity complicate the narrative? What happens when those words--which are laden with such great socio-political weight--are put together? What synergy occurs (or not) in that phrasing?
Help a brother out if you could. Many are building an argument based on notions of authentic negritude which are not being interrogated. Thus, unstated assumptions are taken as matters of fact (and agreement). To my eyes and training this is lazy thinking that we all should work to transcend.
So, let's have some real talk about our priors, first principles, and definitions--especially before convening a drumhead court on the deck of the USS Blackness for the purpose of convicting President Barack Obama of crimes either real and imagined.