Michael Eric Dyson, THE NEW REPUBLIC
(The New Republic) — There has been a great deal of commentary about my article on Cornel West published in The New Republic’s May issue. I’d like to take a few lines to address the most salient responses, though hardly at the length of my original essay.
Complaints of length aside,1 many wondered why I published my essay now. After all, West has been extremely hostile and unapologetically vicious for quite a while. Did I time my article, as some suggested, as a bid for Hillary Clinton’s attention, and to show the Democratic establishment that I could make mincemeat of one of their most vocal critics? I have often accused the Democrats of lacking spine, so that makes little sense. There’s a far simpler and unsexy answer: I published it when I finished it. I’m working on a book on President Obama and race and that has taken the bulk of my writing time. Between teaching classes, offering lectures, preaching in churches, and, yes, protesting the death of black folk and speaking at marches against police brutality, it took me nearly a year to compose this essay. When I got it into good shape, I offered it to The New Republic.