One Nation Under a Groove


Brenda Perez, Senior Reporter

“When it comes to talking about justice, this is not primarily a matter of what your politics are, what label I could put you under. It is about being true,” Dr. Cornel West said.

Dr. Cornel West addressed the large crowd of students gathered in the Ferguson Auditorium at Texas A&M University-Commerce on Wednesday as well as a group of students from Commerce High School. He brought a message of love, understanding, acceptance, and humanity for all.

Dr. Cornel West is a respected author of over 20 books, including Race Matters, has been an activist for over 50 years, and graduated from Harvard Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University. He is a professor teaching at both Harvard and Princeton.

His words focused on the younger generation and what he feels they can do to be more caring and accepting, his ideas for what the young generations can use their voices, and how to do it all with love. Dr. West acknowledged that the younger generation “under 30 has to have their own moral awakening” and they have to find out what is worth not only fighting for but dying for.

“Everyone has their own voice. Do not imitate anyone else,” Dr. West said.

Dr. West also talked about a struggle that some of the younger generation has: the need to get “revenge” for the injustices they are seeing and feeling in our society. He plainly said that revenge is not the end goal.

“It is not about revenge; it is about justice. Black freedom has never been about revenge, it has always been about justice,” Dr. West told the audience. “Justice must be rescued by something more than justice, namely love.”

Dr. West discussed his long involvement with the Black Freedom Movement, 50 years, and how during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s it became popular, or “hip”, to care about others and to have a sense of compassion. It was a time when the Freedom Movement would not have advanced without the help of “the white brothers and sisters.” Once compassion became part of the culture and a sense of politically moral orientation, it became fundamental for people to wrestle with the issues.

“All of us can undergo change,” Dr. West said. “The early Malcom X had some issues when it came to our precious white brothers and sisters, but the later Malcom X came to the humanity of love.”

In response to what he believes is wrong with America today Dr. West acknowledged that “the problem is the indifference to evil, which is more powerful than evil itself.”

“It is not that America has become more evil, just more indifferent,” Dr. West said. “People are scared to tell the truth; it takes too much sacrifice to do it.”

Dr. West encouraged the youth to be more sympathetic, more empathetic, and to learn how to take responsibility for injustices that are happening in our society. He asked the students to be aware, to discard their prejudice, and “to learn how to die” because learning to die is the best way to lose their “incorrect and preconceived notions and judgments of others.” He encouraged them to “get a sense of the world and to leave their bubble.”