As a stay-at-home father of two young children, I don't have that much time to read. Thus, I am savoring every word and page of Cornel West's new book (Thank's Rock City for the gift) , Democracy Matters. It is really too bad it wasn't published a year or two ahead of the elections. I am not seeing any media/reviews of the book, but perhaps I missed it. I would put this on a blogger's must read to put your eyes somewhere else besides the monitor for a while.
Here are a few of the more savory thoughts and ideas:
Page 18 - Aggressive militarism is false security - a mere diversion from attending to the necessary domestic policies of compassion that can "heal your wound" (Hosea 5:13). Escalating authoritarianism is a species of injustice that tightens the rope around one's own neck ("for not by force shall man prevail"; 1 Samuel 2:9).
Page 20-21 - The blues is not siply a music to titillate; it is a hard-fought way of life...the ugly terrorist attacks on innocent civilians on 9/11 plunged the whole country into the blues. Never before have Americans of all classes, colors, regions, genders,a nd sexual orientations felt unsafe, unprotected, subject to random violence, and hated. Yet to have been designated and treated as a nigger in America for over 350 years has been to feel unsafe, unprotected, subject to random vilence, and hated. The high point of the black response to American terrorism (or niggerization) is found in the compassionate and courageous voice of Emmett Till's motehr, who stepped up to the lectern at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago in 1955 at the funeral of her fourteen-year-old son, after his murder by American terrorists, and said: "I don't have a minute to hate. I'll pursue justice for the rest of my life."
Since 9/11 we have experienced the niggerization of America, and as we struggle against the imperialistic arrogance of the us-versus-them, revenge-driven policies of the Bush administration, we as a blues nation must learn from a blues people how to keep alive our deep democratic energies in dark times rather than resort to the tempting and easier response of militarism and authoritarianism.