As candidates for the Republican nomination for president debated Wednesday evening, Cornell West spoke to a packed auditorium at Tufts University.
“I've travelled this country every year for the last 32 years, I see magnificant intelligence, imagination and creativity among the American people,” West said. “How did we end up with these chaps? Something is wrong. Something is wrong.”
West, a professor, scholar and activist, spoke to students and other members of the Tufts at Cohen Auditorium Wednesday as part of the Faculty Progressive Caucus American Democracy in Crisis Series.
He spoke for over two hours, touching on a wide range of subjects. Here’s a few excerpts from what he said:
On the Occupy Movement: "I think that this coming spring we are going to see waves and layers of activism...this coming spring is going to be, I think, a magnificent flowering of awakening among young folks."
On the Indigineous perspective of American Democracy: “What does the American democratic experience look like from the vantage point of our indigenous brothers and sisters? It was their land, it was their precious babys, it was their men and women who were violated. World War 1 began in 1492, it’s been going on ever since.”
On White Collar Crime: "Predatory lending and market manipulation and insider trading on Wall Street. Not one prosecuted. That's criminal, gangster Activity. But when it comes to poor people it's intense police surveillance. That's why the jail's full of poor black brown and white brothers and sisters. Where is the moral outrage?"
On His Memory of Tufts: West's first wife was a student at Tufts while he attended Harvard, he said. "I used to walk from Harvard To Medford every day, that’s the kind of love I had."