“The truth lies prostate on rugged heels with nameless calvaries.” – Dr. Cornel West, who’s obviously lost it, if he ever had it in the first place
Friday night’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, with guest panelists Cornel West and Mos Def, was so rife with hilarious – and in some cases insightful - comments from Mos Def that I could probably work a good three or four posts from it, but I’ll try to confine my thoughts on it to this single post.
Probably my favorite part of the whole evening was when Bill Maher wondered whether or not black people, many of whom are still backing Hillary Clinton in next year’s election, would eventually come home to Barack Obama the same way they did OJ.
Obviously the point he was trying to make is that a lot of black people’s support for Barack Obama has as much to do with tribal instinct as it does anything else. I know, having written four or five posts on the guy for this site, hardly any of the comments in his favor have had much to do with his stance on any particular issue.
Another interesting point I thought he made is that we might be fooling ourselves if we seriously think that a black man has a snowball’s chance in hell at being elected president in an age in which we still have shit like the Jena 6 (which, admittedly, doesn’t strike me as that much of an outrage) going on.
Mos Def’s counter: Barack Obama can win because he’s better-looking than any of the white candidates (even John Edwards – nullus) and also because whenever anything goes wrong, people always look for a black person to pin it on…
But whatever. After all, the guy is a rapper, right? Sillier I thought was Cornel West’s suggestion that black people’s support of Barack Obama wasn’t evidence of some tribal instinct but rather the critical intelligence of black people. Why? Because Barack Obama has a deep solidarity with “blues people.”
Oh, well in that case!
Say what you will about Cornel West though, but at least he’s not so far gone as to have wacky views on 9/11, the moon landing in ’69, the JFK assassination, the OJ verdict and so on and so forth. Mos Def? Clearly not so much.
As far as the OJ thing is concerned, I was glad to see him walk regardless of whether or not he did it, so I wasn’t really sweating that as much. But if you notice, Mos Def seemed to bristle a bit whenever it was mentioned that there’s plenty of crazy Arabs in the world who lived to blow shit up.
For example, not only does Mos Def believe al Qaeda didn’t have shit to do with 9/11, he doesn’t even believe that cell they busted in Germany last week were terrorists. When asked why, his response is that this country was founded on terrorism, and what about those Catholic priests who eff little boys in the a?
Perhaps TPAR could clear this up for us, but I was left with no other choice but to conclude that Mos Def is with the terrorists. Er, as I’m sure he’d call them, the freedom fighters.
To be honest with you, I began to suspect this the other day when I read his comments re: Jose Padilla. The thing is, I thought he might have had a point in that case, since who knows how they went about getting his fingerprints on an application to join al Qaeda, which is about the extent of their evidence against him?
But on the other hand, fuck Jose Padilla. As long as we know the guy was plotting to set off a dirty bomb here in the US, who gives a shit whether or not he was afforded due process? If it wasn’t for guys like him, we wouldn’t have all of these restrictions on our rights in the first place.
The gist of Mos Def’s argument seemed to be that these crazed Arabs aren’t terrorists, because the US has certain trees black people aren’t allowed to sit under, and so the US isn’t in any moral position to decide what’s terrorism and what isn’t.
If that’s the case, I’m at a loss for how his argument is especially different from Osama bin Laden’s in the video in which he attempts to recruit black people into al Qaeda, but I’m sure TPAR would be willing to explain the difference.