There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. There is a bigger price for living a lie.

— Cornel West

The most bumbling Cornel West quotes that will inspire your inner self

You have to have a habitual vision of greatness .

.. you have to believe in fact that you will refuse to settle for mediocrity. You won't confuse your financial security with your personal integrity, you won't confuse your success with your greatness or your prosperity with your magnanimity ... believe in fact that living is connected to giving.


Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public

Cornel West quote Too many young folk have addiction to su

Too many young folk have addiction to superficial things and not enough conviction for substantial things like justice, truth and love.


Empathy is not simply a matter of trying to imagine what others are going through, but having the will to muster enough courage to do something about it. In a way, empathy is predicated upon hope.


Too many young folk have addiction to superficial things and not enough conviction for substantial things like justice, truth and love.


The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of inspiration.


We have to recognise that there cannot be relationships unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty, unless there is love, patience, persistence.


A fully functional multiracial society cannot be achieved without a sense of history and open, honest dialogue.


To be human, at the most profound level, is to encounter honestly the inescapable circumstances that constrain us, yet muster the courage to struggle compassionately for our own unique individualities and for more democratic and free societies.


The condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak, it means then that if you have a prophetic sensibility, you are committed to loving others and if you love others, you hate injustice.


My dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men.

As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he's always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination.


Justice is what love looks like in public.


If the Kingdom of God is in you, you should leave a little bit of heaven wherever you go.


About Cornel West

Quotes 337 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Educator
Birthday October 16

To get up in the morning & do the monumental tasks that face us, our labor is best fueled by love.


Courage is being true to yourself, true to a sense of integrity.


The blues aren’t pessimistic. We’re prisoners of hope but we tell the truth and the truth is dark.


It takes tremendous discipline, takes tremendous courage, to think for yourself, to examine yourself.


You've got to be a thermostat rather than a thermometer.

A thermostat shapes the climate of opinion; a thermometer just reflects it.


I loathe nationalism. It is a form of tribalism--the idolatry of the 20th century.


Every president needs to deal with the permanent government of the country, and the permanent government of the country is Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats and the questions becomes what is the relationship between that president and Wall Street.


We have to be militants for kindness, subversive for sweetness and radicals for tenderness.


When ordinary people wake up, elites begin to tremble in their boots.


You see it even in our educational systems, where the market model becomes central. It's a matter of just gaining a skill or gaining access to a job to live in some vanilla suburb, as opposed to becoming a critical citizen concerned with public interest and common good.


You keep folks so intimidated. You can give them money, access, but they're still scared. And as long as you're scared, you're on the plantation.


The only countervailing force against organized money at the top, is organized people at the bottom.


We are intent on building a movement.

The next step is grassroots town meetings. We must keep alive the dialogue around the covenants.


White supremacy is so deep-seated that it's hard to see it eliminated.

But we could definitely push it back.


Patriarchy is a disease and we are in perennial recovery and relapse.

So you have to get up every morning and struggle against it.


It's a spiritual malnutrition tied to a moral constipation, where people have a sense of what's right and what's good. It's just stuck, and they can't get it out because there's too much greed. There's too much obsession with reputation and addiction to narrow conceptions of success.


Black people have always been America's wilderness in search of a promised land.


Nihilism is a natural consequence of a culture (or civilization) ruled and regulated by categories that mask manipulation, mastery and domination of peoples and nature.


There are three dominant tendencies in a neoliberal society: financialized, privatized, militarized. And when it comes to black poor people, we get all three.


I don't draw any distinctions between forms of bigotry or forms of ideology that lose sight of the humanity of people. I can't stand white supremacy. I can't stand male supremacy. I can't stand imperial subjugation. I can't stand homophobia.


When ordinary people wake up, elites begin to tremble in their boots.

They can't get away with their abuse. They can't get away with subjection. They can't get away with subjugation. They can't get away with exploitation. They can't get away with domination. It takes courage for folk to stand up.


Clever gimmicks of mass distraction yield a cheap soulcraft of addicted and self-medicated narcissists.


We live in a predatory capitalist society in which everything is for sale.

Everybody is for sale, so there is ubiquitous commodification - be it of music, food, people, or parking meters.


King's response to our crisis can be put in one word: revolution.

A revolution in our priorities, a reevaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens.


Reelection ought not to be the primary preoccupation of any politician.

It ought to be standing up for truth and justice.


Christians got a lot of work to do. But, the spirit of Dorothy Day is alive. Martin Luther King is still alive. Malcolm X and the prophetic Islamic tradition is still alive. We can't lose sight of those prophetic religious folk who, even given their kin in the same tradition, says, you all are wrong on this, but we're still in the same tradition.


There's no doubt that many of the mainstream white institutions tend to be cosmetic and symbolic when it comes to including African-Americans, whereas we black folk tend to be much more sensitive about embracing others, and we have a long history of that.


Greatness is telling the truth & being courageous in pursuit of justice.

The worst thing you could tell young people is to be successful but become well-adjusted to an unjust status quo as opposed to being great & being maladjusted to an unjust status quo.


It is very difficult to sustain a high-quality relationship that has the kind of mutual intensity, that has a kind of mutual respect, without putting in time.


There are various forms of weaponry, intellectual weaponry, spiritual weaponry, political weaponry, economic weaponry. Because we are on the battlefield, and there are bullets flying, some symbolic, some literal and the life of the mind is a crucial place where the battle goes on.


Of course, the aim of a constitutional democracy is to safeguard the rights of the minority and avoid the tyranny of the majority. (p. 102)


I remind young people everywhere I go, one of the worst things the older generation did was to tell them for twenty-five years "Be successful, be successful, be successful" as opposed to "Be great, be great, be great". There's a qualitative difference.


The black agenda, from Frederick Douglas to Ida B.

Wells to Martin King, has always been the most broad, deep, inclusive, embracing agenda of the nation.


The interesting thing for me is, if that had been a left-wing person raising questions, [President Obama] probably would have expressed his anger. Because Obama really does get upset about progressives.


I believe that all of us have gangster proclivities and greedy orientations that need accountability. That's why democracies are necessary. We have to have institutions to try to curtail the use of arbitrary power so that our greedy orientations and gangster-like proclivities don't get out of hand.


I was a gangster when I was young. I had a Robin Hood mentality and tended to always want to support the weak against the strong, but sometimes it was cohesive and I really needed to fall in love with the power of education to find the right venue to express my rage. I still have a righteous indignation at injustice, no matter what form it takes.


There's a certain pleasure of the life of the mind that cannot be denied.

There's a certain pleasure about being around people who enact a playfulness when it comes to the world of ideas.