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  • Samira Burnside

"Trans Joy has the Final Word", Dr. Cornel West on his run for President

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

On July 5th, I sat down with presidential candidate Dr. Cornel West. He entered the race under the banner of the People's Party, but has since switched track to run for Green Party. Cornel West has been a modern philosopher, social intellectual and political activist for decades, as well as an acclaimed author. An avid critic of the U.S's foreign empire building and defender of the rights of the oppressed, Dr. West has carried his activist history into his present run for president. When transitioning to the Green Party, West had this to say about his platform:

 

"We can end poverty, endless war, cop cities, mass incarceration and ecological collapse, and provide housing, health care, reproductive rights, reparations, education and thriving wages for all. People have had enough of organized greed, institutionalized hatred, and normalized indifference to the lives of poor and working people of all colors. Yet the bipartisan consensus is siphoning trillions of dollars into wars that bring us to the verge of nuclear holocaust and tax giveaways to billionaires already drenched in obscene profits at the expense of struggling workers."


“Meanwhile the parties of war and Wall Street are throwing millions of children back into poverty by allowing the child tax credit expansion to expire; they are stripping 15 million Americans of health care in their failure to extend Covid Medicaid coverage; and they are denying food stamps to untold numbers of the vulnerable unemployed in their use of a debt ceiling crisis, that could have been avoided, to impose austerity on everyday people. And this comes as two thirds of Americans are already living paycheck to paycheck, 40% of renters are economically stressed, young people are mired in hopelessness, and diseases of despair - including addiction, overdoses and depression - are surging, contributing, along with the Covid debacle, to the shocking decline in lifespan in recent years."


“It’s no wonder Americans are abandoning the political parties that have brought us to this crisis. As the corporate parties betray our families and communities, the number of people who consider themselves politically independent is now twice the number identifying as either Democrats or Republicans. The number demanding a choice outside the corporate duopoly is at a record 62%. And a new poll shows the number of Americans who consider voting 3rd party vastly exceeds those who do not."


“We must reintroduce America to the best of itself! In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Dorothy Day, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Edward Said, Luisa Moreno, Chief Joseph, and so many other visionaries, we are demanding a world of justice, truth and love for us all. Let’s do it together.”


 


Dr. West, despite his seemingly deep-rooted leftist ideology has however received a large amount of criticism towards his "right-wing DNA" and seemingly "right-wing" tendencies. This has come from a number of sources, such as mainstream news media like MSNBC. The root of this criticism can be drawn back to West's appearances on shows like the Russel Brand show and the Ingraham Angle, as well as articles like the one that West co-wrote for the Wall Street Journal praising Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's defense of the importance of literary classics in education. It has understandably scared off many LGBTQ+ Floridian leftists from supporting West's campaign as DeSantis continues to pass more and more extremist anti-queer legislation, such as the criminal bathroom ban that went into effect on July 1st of this month. Despite the presidential candidate having spoken out against DeSantis's fascist tendencies and anti-equality policies, this article in praise of a specific policy that DeSantis created has become a cornerstone of the public discourse around Dr. West.


So, as the 2024 elections approach and as DeSantis continues to base his campaign on the primal fears of America and the culture war and it becomes clear that trans and queer rights are on the ballot, I asked Presidential nominee for the Green Party Dr. Cornel West to about what he would do for LGBTQ+ people once in office, his history as an activist and what that means for his policies and his views on the claims of his "right-wing DNA". Enjoy the interview.


 

(Transcript coming soon.)

 

This Article was Written by Samira Burnside. You can contact her at sburnside@thequeernotion.com .


You can find out more about Dr. Cornel West's campaign at https://www.cornelwest24.org/ .

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