Presidential candidate Cornel West and author Gabor Maté met for the first time this week to discuss the horrors of Israel’s war on Gaza.
“I don’t know about you,” Dr. Maté says to Dr. West, “but for me, what’s going on is one of the heaviest things, if not the heaviest thing, I’ve witnessed in my whole life. I don’t know how to compare tragedies, but there’s something about what’s going on right now that seems heavier and darker.”
West responds: “When you watch precious human beings being literally killed, crushed, demeaned, degraded, day after day, it makes you think that this particular historical moment has a certain grimness and darkness that others don’t.”
The two men use their complex histories with tragedy and suffering to analyze the horror of the current moment.
“I’ve always felt that no evil would surprise me and no despair would paralyze me,” West continues, “because you and I know the history of the species.”
But the conversation that stems from this is a much more hopeful one, where the scholars’ vast study of philosophy and history intertwine to create a message not of helplessness but of possibility.
Hear the full conversation on how oppressed people create music of rebellion, their favorite philosophers, and a final message to take from the conversation: “Never again is not a tribal slogan. It’s a universal slogan. It applies to everybody.”
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