DISCLAIMER: “I, metamars, am speaking only for myself in this diary and my comments therein, and am not speaking for NPA, Dr. Cornel West, MyFDL, or Jane Hamsher.”
The recent dustup due to Hedges’ article on Cornel West could be a real God send. While some of what West said was probably ill-advised, he also touched on many things that the NPA (New Progressive Alliance) could enthusiastically back him on.
I’m a little afraid that West will back down, overall, out of fear of becoming a pariah. See http://my.firedoglake.com/kgosztola/2011/05/18/cornel-wests-disgust-with-obama-should-not-make-him-a-pariah/
Much better would be to go on the offensive, IMO. I.e., exploit this dustup (with West’s blessings, of course), to take things to a higher level. Specifically, West, with the NPA’s backing, could undertake an education program, with the initial target the US black community, of teaching them about, say, Obama’s Top 10 betrayals, and Obama’s Top 5 betrayals of Afro-Americans.
This might draw howls of protest from main stream media’s “service intellectuals” (to use Denis Rancourt’s phrase), but that would be a good thing, provided West and the NPA stick to their guns.
To increase the trouble making factor (with the resultant extra media attention), a 3rd prong of the educational effort could be incorporated, namely one exposing the Top 10 Veal Pen members (and individual service intellectuals whose effect on the public mind is similar). Maybe Ed Shulz will rank as a Veal Pen-nish service intellectual, despite his lefty preferences.
One of the maddening things about American politics is that people are too tribalistic, and tend to demonize their opponents across the board, unfairly. This makes opportunistic and rational cooperation on specific issues very difficult, and is thus dis-empowering for the electorate, as a whole. However, it’s just as maddening when large segments of the population are so ignorant that they can’t identify who their enemy is, on any particular issue. (This is sort of the opposite of dichotomous tribalism.) Obama is not the friend of black or white Americans when it comes to health care, and a whole lot of other stuff. It’s a shame that more black Americans don’t realize this, but this situation is rectifiable.
Time to make – by educating Afro-Americans, and eventually the rest of the counrty – some enemies in high places, no? The folks at blackagendareport.com could also be key allies.