- Cornel West said racism in America will not be resolved in weeks.
- In a Guardian op-ed, West said Trump was responsible for the hate campaign against people of color.
- West also criticized Biden and Democrats for not doing enough.
Activist and scholar Cornel West said that while former President Donald Trump is not the one actively killing black and brown Americans, he is leading a “war campaign against” them.
In an op-ed in The Guardian following the mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, West said things haven’t changed even after a summer of protests following the murder of George Floyd in 2020.
“After George Floyd’s death, there has been a wonderful display of multiracial solidarity, not just here but around the world. But the US has been unable to meet this neo-fascist challenge,” West wrote.
West said Trump’s troops have gotten “bigger” and their targets are people of color and other minorities.
Last weekend, a gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 people. Authorities said the suspect, an 18-year-old white man, drove for hours to the predominantly black community and was motivated by hatred. The suspect is reportedly a white nationalist who believes in the substitution theory, according to a manifesto published online.
“Trump is not there with a gun, but he is leading a campaign that continues what Malcolm X called a war against blacks and people of color. He does it within the electoral political system. He does not kill people. But he bears the responsibility in terms of context, don’t doubt, he’s still the dominant figure,” West wrote.
However, the political activist was critical not only of Trump, but also of the Democrats and the Biden administration. West said that while there was solidarity after Floyd’s death, it was “fickle” and that Democrats have not passed meaningful legislation to protect black people.
“The Democratic party was not even able to act decisively to uphold voting rights for black people,” he wrote.
West criticized Biden for saying he doesn’t think America is a “racist country,” and said Democratic leaders need to realize racism won’t be resolved in “a matter of weeks.”
“Race is the most explosive issue in the history of this country: from war to civil war to Buffalo,” he said.
He added that while the president cannot prevent racist killings, they can “send a message.”
“He can say, ‘I’m consistent because one of my top priorities is to make sure black people have their rights. If, after all the demonstrations and campaigns, racists pick up the message that politicians don’t really care about black people, we’ll end up exactly where we are now,” said West.