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In Defense of Cornel West

Shouldn’t scholars also be teachers?

Cornel West photo by a katz via Shutterstock

This week Michael Eric Dyson published a very public dismissal of Cornel West—ostensibly, for West’s ongoing critique of Barack Obama and the president’s left-liberal supporters. At times, West’s caustic criticisms seem to impugn the character of both the president and West’s colleagues among the black intelligentsia. Dyson compared West to Mike Tyson biting the ears of his opponents and portrayed him as a scholarly powerhouse past his prime. The Internet has been quick to respond to the story. In The Nation, Dave Zirin called out Dyson for his somewhat selective reading of West’s recent political stands against the Obama administration.

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What to Watch for in Tonight's Republican Economics Debate

The Republican candidates meet tonight to talk economics. Here are five things you should watch for.


Tonight, the Republican presidential candidates gather at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire to debate economic policy. The GOP field has yet to address economic issues with much specificity, so the debate could be a milestone.

To bring you up to speed, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney remains the front-runner, but conservatives don’t seem to trust him—that could change after he's endorsed today by conservative darling Chris Christie, the blustery New Jersey governor. Texas Governor Rick Perry is best positioned to challenge Romney, but keeps screwing up at debates. Businessman Herman Cain is the conservative flavor-of-the-month but lacks the resources and perhaps the basic policy knowledge to challenge the two serious contenders. Everyone else on stage is there on a quixotic mission to sell books/be elected in 2016/push a pet issue.

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