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What's next: Cornel West talks United States post-election

Thomas O'Neil-White

Where do we go from here is not only on the mind of every American citizen after the presidential election, but was also the title of Monday evening’s speaking engagement hosted by the Western New York Peace Center, featuring world-renown author, activist and American philosopher Dr. Cornel West.

Four years of Donald Trump as President have only re-emphasized West’s contention that the United States is suffering from a rotten soul, and there are three pillars of that rot:

“Greed,” he said. “Tied to predatory capitalism. Profit, profit, profit. Money, money, money. Wall Street greed, especially over the last 50 years, because the predatory capitalist system has become highly financialized…and a massive distribution of wealth from poor and working peoples of all colors, many of whom voted for Trump…

“White supremacy in all of its manifestations. So when you think of white supremacy it has a number of different forms but it is inseparable from predatory capitalism. Profit maximizing, exploiting people’s labor across the board.

“The third pillar: militarism. And that militarism goes hand in hand with toxic masculinity, projected.”

Through militarism, West said our country’s leaders view the rest of the world as something to dominate, and other people as ripe for exploitation.

He said he has little faith that Joe Biden and his "neo-liberal policies" will do much in the way of ridding the country of rot, but advises oppressed people to speak up, organize, and put pressure on the President-elect to make the United States a more equitable country for its inhabitants.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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