This interview with Cornel West, American philosopher and professor at Harvard and Yale, among other universities, touches on many of the issues and concerns I see in the Philippines, even though West is talking about the situation in the United States. As West sees it, the US has not done enough to tackle the underlying issues of poverty, instead becoming too focused on window dressing solutions like diversity. ‘Black faces in high places’ as he calls it.
There are too many quotable passages so I’ll just leave off with two:
First, on the flag controversy in the US:
For me, every flag is under the cross. So often, the flag becomes an idol to worship or fetishize, to defer before––whereas for a Christian like me, the cross signifies unarmed truth, unconditional love. The flag is always a national symbol, and that national symbol is under unconditional truth, unconditional love––so the cross is always a critique of the flag. I never really thought that the flag required my uncritical allegiance.
Then, on how to face the present tide:
As things become more hopeless, we have to fight more intensely because of issues of integrity, honesty, decency, truth, justice. You have to choose ways of being in the world, even when it looks as if you have very little chance of being victorious at the present moment.