Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Donna Brazile Reaches YBW to Set the Record Straight on Cornel West

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World – Scholarship in Action 

I can personally confirm that Donna Brazile, the well-respected Democratic strategist, is a really nice person.  When I say a “nice person,” I mean really nice.  Not, the fake, polite kind of “nice” that people use to reference those in power, but the honest-to-goodness “nice” that you get from a guy (me) who doesn’t care much about keeping famous or unethical friends. 

Donna once did something very kind for my brother years ago, long before anyone knew who he was.  I respect any big shot who is willing to help a young black man trying to achieve his goals.  I don’t think Donna knew that my brother was related to me at the time, which makes her kindness all that more special.

Donna is on my mind, because she reached out to Your Black World the other day to give me some clarifying points about her meeting with Cornel West at Princeton University. I’ve written a bit about the meeting between Brazile and West, particularly as it pertains to the perception that the meeting was structured in response to the well-known blow up on MSNBC that occurred between Prof. West and Rev. Al Sharpton.  In seeming contrast to my personal interpretation of the meeting, Ms. Brazile let me know that the meeting had been planned back in February and not in response to the events that took place on MSNBC.  I’ll admit that even though I take Ms. Brazile at her word, it’s hard to imagine that she wasn’t happy to use this meeting as an opportunity to deal with Prof. West’s vehement opposition to the most recent activities of the Obama Administration.

With that said, Ms. Brazile also made a point that I found to be quite accurate and noteworthy. 

"We have to have an inside, outside strategy. We have to do defense and offense,” she said. “The fact that Brother West is on the outside makes my job easier.”

This is the point that should be remembered by every Obama loyalist who somehow thinks we are helping the president by squashing anyone who is remotely critical of the administration.  The fact is that by surrounding the Obama Administration with “yes” men and women, we are going to find our community ignored by political insiders who only give oil to the squeakiest wheel.  So, by speaking up on behalf of the black community and making sure that our issues are placed firmly on the table of discussion, we are helping President Obama do his job better.

In the video conversation below, Dr. Wilmer Leon and I discuss the Brazile/West/Obama dynamic and what it means for black America.  Enjoy! 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYK20n8C]

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