Letterman to Cornel West: Am I ‘Ignorant’ To Think Race Relations Are Getting Better?

On the election of Barack Obama as president, West said, “There’s a difference between substance and symbol”

Letterman to Cornel West: Am I ‘Ignorant’ to Think Race Relations Are Getting Better? (Mediaite)

Dr. Cornel West stopped by CBS’ Late Show Monday night and while he was there host David Letterman had a very important issue he wanted to talk about: “I assumed, I think like many people of my generation, that we were on the right path to race relations in this country getting stronger, more positive, more equal, if you can say that,” he said. “I think, probably, I’ve been ignorant about that.”

West disputed Letterman’s description of himself as “ignorant” but said it is a “problem” to think that having a black president would solve America’s racial issues. “On the one hand, it’s a magnificent achievement at the symbolic level in terms of both having access to the most powerful office in the world and second the impact that it has on our precious young people of all colors,” he said. “But there’s a difference between substance and symbol,” he added.

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