Cornel West and the ‘P’ Word: West’s Description of Brothers in Jail as ‘Precious’ Misses the Mark

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  • Cornel so crazy.

    I’m talking about Cornel West, of course, and his recent anti-President Obama rant.

    BlackAmericaweb columnist Michael Cottman has more than adequately and excellently covered what West said about Obama, and, just as importantly, why.

    This column will be about West and the “p” word: precious.

    Before West’s rant, I thought I knew what the definition of precious was. But after hearing the way he used it, I figured I was wrong.

    “There’s a criminal justice system in place,” West huffed, “that has nearly destroyed two generations of precious, poor black and brown brothers.”

    So those brothers now residing in the nation’s jails and prisons are “precious,” are they?

    Here’s the definition of precious from Merriam-Webster online dictionary: “1. Of great value or high price. 2. Highly esteemed or cherished. 3. Excessively refined. 4. Great, thoroughgoing.”

    And these five definitions come from the Web site “1. Of high cost or worth; valuable. 2. Highly esteemed; cherished. 3. Dear, beloved. 4. Affectedly dainty or over refined: precious mannerisms. 5. Informal thoroughgoing; unmitigated: a precious mess.”

    When West referred to the brothers in jail or prison as “precious,” I have a hunch he was using the word in the meaning of any of the first four definitions from the Free Dictionary.

    I have no doubt that West, being on the far left of the political spectrum, considers America’s criminal element – the black and brown part of it anyway – to be of “high cost or worth.” Or “valuable.” Or “highly esteemed, cherished, dear and beloved.”

    Yes, black and brown reprobates are all those things to West. In what will most certainly be a futile attempt to bring West back to reality, I’ve compiled a list of some of the black miscreants West finds so “precious.”

    1.    Darrell Brooks: On the night of Oct. 2, 2002, Brooks kicked in the door of a house in East Baltimore. He tossed in some gasoline and then torched the place.

    The family inside couldn’t escape the inferno. Carnell Dawson and his wife, Angela Dawson, were killed. So were their five children.

    You will never, as long as you live, hear West refer to Carnell Dawson, Angela Dawson or any of their five children – all every bit as black as the criminals West’s heart bleeds for – as “precious.”

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    29 thoughts on “Cornel West and the ‘P’ Word: West’s Description of Brothers in Jail as ‘Precious’ Misses the Mark

    1. I guess I don’t understand why you have a problem with him using the word ‘precious’ to define these human beings. No matter the reason, they are “precious” to someone. Not to negate or minimize their wrong doings either. I think Dr. West’s usage in broader than you give him credit for in this case. You will find deviant behavior in every ethnic and racial group. You listing these offenders and their crimes to advance your point, just demonstrates that you are looking to find those who are easy to vilify or demonize. Our communities don’t need additional help in that respect. We are bombarded daily with “examples” of said behavior. Embracing ALL people as precious should be the mandate.

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    3. There is nothing “precious” about the black brothers in jail. They are there for a reason–to keep the rest of society safe from their raping, mugging and killing.

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    6. Both the author and West are right — There are precious brothers in prison; and there are miscreants as well. It seems that there is an awful lot energy being placed on semantics. Or, perhaps it has more to do with the continue black castration of West. Some of those complaining comatose black folks should wake and stop complaining about radical black folks that no longer can be contained on the plantation.

      • Walt: I assume you use the term “plantation” metaphorically. For me when I observe a person using terms in the year 2013 like slave, and plantation says to me that that person is living in the past, and isn’t progressive. At least come up with a new term that fits 2013 because “plantation” does fit.

        • OOPS!! I meant it DOESN’T fit. My tolerance level is very low for people that live (too much) in the past.

        • Joy: I hope your question is satire. I can’t imagine you are serious. After all how else would it be used other than metaphorically?

    7. my classmate’s mother makes $82/hr on the computer. She has been out of work for 8 months but last month her pay check was $16634 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more….www.Rush64.ℂℴm

    8. I don’t think he means “precious like your describing it. Lets look at what he’s saying from a common sense view.

      • Thank you. The entire article missed the point of what the man was saying. We have to be fair in what we read and write.

    9. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
      Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
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    10. And this coming from a college professor!! Wow…..I would think he would have used different wording. I think West has gone over the edge. The Nutty Professor comes to mind.

    11. Cornel West is such a self-serving, disingenuous, phony that if Hitler was still around he’d be calling him, “my very dear and precious, brother Adolph.” Every time he’s about to stick a knife in someone’s back he preface it by talking about how much he loves them. Personally, I’m sick of even hearing that dude’s voice.

    12. cmy buddy’s aunt makes $83 hourly on the computer. She has been out of a job for five months but last month her pay check was $12732 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site….www.Rush64.ℂℴm

    13. When West referred to the brothers in jail or prison as “precious,” I have a hunch he was using the word in the meaning of any of the first four definitions from the Free Dictionary.

      Maybe you should stop being a hypocrite for a moment and double check the non-free dictionary to reference your hyprocritic BAW news article before someone besides Barak can understand WTF you are trying to say! F’you and the folks (in quotations) you represent. I am going to continue to listen to truth ok faithful!?

    14. Lol. Are you idiots so simple that you don’t realize his use of the word precious is more than likely to be applied to black and brown people that are in jailed on trumped up charges that others get off for. That there is still 2 education systems and judicial systems…. (rich and poor) As the writer of this bull shit… You owe your readers an honest unbiased opinion on his statement but since he speaks against that jack ass in the white house you will vilify one of the black men that speak honestly, intellectually, and openly without fear of repercussions.

      • Jason,
        You are absolutely correct, although I would have chosen different words to express it. It is astounding to watch black Obama groupies defend this man in the most illogical ways. West’s use of the word precious is made a point of contention. All while President Obama and Eric Holder use their authority to continue the prison industrial complex and expand it. Black people are the ones who suffer most but that does not matter to the President’s boosters like Gregory Kane. Whether its Bradley Manning, Mumia Abu Jamal, or the thousands of black men locked up under the foolish war on drugs. President Obama could actually bring justice to those victimized by the criminal justice system but he will not. Still people like Kane are more concerned about shutting up Cornel West than seeing the President do the right thing.

        • Question for you…so if you do something illegal like selling drugs your preferred treatment would be to let the person go? Its plain and simple to me…don’t do the crime and you wouldn’t be in that situation in the first place! Damn how hard is it to do the right thing??? Actions have consequences!!!

        • Blak so do you consider people that voted for Clinton, and Carter groupies? What about the people that voted for Bush……were they groupie?

    15. my buddy’s sister-in-law makes $74 every hour on the laptop. She has been unemployed for six months but last month her payment was $18744 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more…..www.Rush64.ℂℴm

    16. Which rant? Any time I hear or see Cornell West he is ranting against President Obama. He is getting to be very tiresome. If I want ranting lunatics I will watch Faux News.

    17. Your criticism of C. West is not in the proper context intended by C. West. By the way, I am not a fan of C. West, especially by virtue of his public slander of President Obama.

      • That’s true its not in proper context. Those people deserve to be in jail but the drug laws are what I think West is talking about and the huge profit made by the prison system on non violent offenders

      • Then Cornel West needs to be specific in his speech (terminology) and leave no room for interpretation. Perhaps if he stopped grandstanding, he may be able to make a valid point. Haters period make me sick particularly when done so in the guise of educating…such BS!

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