Politics

Cornel West Delivers Blistering Takedown of Ta-Nehisi Coates—Michael Eric Dyson Responds

Cornel West talks to protesters before a march to the Ferguson, Mo. police station. Activists planned a day of civil disobedience to protest the shooting of Michael Brown in August and a second police shooting in St. Louis, October 2014. (AP Photo)
Cornel West talks to protesters before a march to the Ferguson, Mo. police station. Activists planned a day of civil disobedience to protest the shooting of Michael Brown in August and a second police shooting in St. Louis, October 2014. (AP Photo)

(Observer) – Cornel West took to his Facebook page on Thursday afternoon to deliver a blistering takedown of Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose new book, Between the World and Me, came out this week.

Mr. West seemed to take issue particularly with Toni Morrison’s endorsement of the book—which addresses the issue of race in America in the form of a letter to Mr. Coates’ son—and the fact that she had compared Mr. Coates to our generation’s James Baldwin.

“In Defense of James Baldwin – Why Toni Morrison (a literary genius) is Wrong about Ta-Nehisi Coates,” Mr. West, a professor emeritus at Princeton University, begins. “Baldwin was a great writer of profound courage who spoke truth to power. Coates is a clever wordsmith with journalistic talent who avoids any critique of the Black president in power.” (Mr. West originally referred to a “Tony” Morrison in his digital diatribe, though he has since corrected his mistake.)

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