Houston Forward Times

23 April 2014 Written by  TaShon D. Thomas

Dr. Dyson and Dr. West Please Sit Down


In what has to be the most intriguing feud of intellectuals ever, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Dr. Cornel West have resorted to a battle that can only be compared to rap stars. While speaking at the National Action Network hosted by the chief poverty pimp himself, Al Sharpton, Dr. Dyson called out Dr. West’s criticism of him by saying that "He was not that important!" After years of the back and forth between the so-called intellectual African American leadership, I am calling them both of them out and saying enough is enough.

As you may have been able to tell I am not a huge fan of any of them. I truly believe that most of our Black intellectuals have lived out their "usefulness" amongst the community. Every year, there seems to be a convention call for all Blacks to get involved in the community. At each of these conventions, there is a call to action about what needs to happen in our community. And every year, after the networking and politicking is completed, absolutely nothing gets accomplished. While in the meantime, Black intellectuals such as Dr. West and Dr. Dyson are able to sell numerous copies of their books, which basically are all the same.

But my number one criticism of them is that while they talk about Black upliftment they refuse to be in the battlefield until a camera is pointed to it. Dr. West is a professor emeritus at Princeton and Dr. Dyson is a professor at Georgetown. When you ask each of them why they do not and have not taught at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) they have two answers: 1) HBCUs refuse to pay me enough; and 2) HBCUs refuse to work with my schedule. This disturbs me because HBCUs are the breeding grounds for the next generation of Black leaders and they should be taught by those who are capable to brining them to another level. I have much respect for every professor at an HBCU, especially if they received their education from an Ivy League university, but returned to their community. Those professors truly understand that the mission of HBCUs looks toward changing the future, not putting changDyson-Weste in your pocket today.

You cannot talk about how African Americans need to change to a crowd who truly does not know much about our plight. Yes both Dr. Dyson and Dr. West give speeches at HBCUs around the country, but the true education of our youth cannot be done through one speech. The scores of Americans that cling to the likes of Dr. Dyson and Dr. West are not those of the community, they are that of the ivory tower. Students of HBCUs could care less about their rhetoric, but want to know about their solutions. Which by the way, neither Dr. Dyson nor Dr. West have presented solutions to solve our problems. They just reiterate the fact that we have problems.

So to Dr. West and Dr. Dyson I call upon you to sit down and let the true community leaders do our work. While you two continue to bicker, our Black boys are dying and going to jail. While you two continue to bicker, our Black girls are losing their self-esteem. While you two continue to bicker, our community is slowly crumbling. My generation deserves to be taught by educators who truly care about the development of our community. In other words, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Dr. Cornel West, and others we say to you "YOU ARE NO LONGER THAT IMPORTANT!" #ijs

TaShon Thomas is a young politico and serves in different capacities throughout the city of Houston, including being the youngest Executive Committee Member of the NAACP, Houston Branch. TaShon can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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