Famed critic and activist Cornel West said that Bernie Sanders supporters, faced with the probable decision between a “milquetoast neoliberal” and a “childish” Frankenstein in the U.S. general election, must be sincere like jazz musicians.
“I think people ought to be free to think for themselves. It’s part of being jazz-like,” he said in an interview Monday with Salon.
West, a professor and theologian, has endorsed Sanders, who in turn selected him on Monday to help write the Democratic platform at the party’s national convention in July.
Sanders’ other picks include Congressman Keith Ellison, Native American activist Deborah Parker and environmentalist Bill McKibben.
If Sanders' campaign should end without him receving the Democratic nomination, West said activists should be “letting people know why it is that we have such limited options in terms of the ballot box and what forms of activism can we engage in to be thermostats and shape the climate of opinion, rather than just be thermometers and register and reflect that climate of opinion."
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The jazz reference came after a “Cornel West Concerto” by the jazz composer and activist Arturo O’Farrill, who sat in on the interview.
West did not say how he would want Bernie supporters to vote should he lose, but he said that they should be honest with themselves and back his candidacy as long as possible.“Brother Bernie,” as West calls him, is motivating supporters to “go down fighting until the last moment” because they are “tied to a cause, not just a candidate.”