WATCH: Anderson Cooper Breaks Down During Poignant Moment Discussing George Floyd’s Funeral with Cornel West
CNN’s Anderson Cooper choked up and became teary-eyed during a poignant moment discussing George Floyd’s funeral with Dr. Cornel West.
On Cooper’s Tuesday night show, West revisited the funeral of the man whose death has ignited unrest over racial injustice and police misconduct across the nation. In doing so, the Princeton professor weaved together a number of social justice threads and invoked Cooper’s newborn son into a soliloquy about power and speaking truth to it.
“I saw brothers marching in, like in Shiloh Baptist church, and pick up that coffin and go and walk out, my daughter was there, couldn’t take it, man,” West began, ratcheting up his rhythm. “And yet, I got to bounce back. And I will bounce back. Because we got a love that the world can’t take away. The world makes — being black a crime, but we refuse to get into the gutter and we’ll go down swinging like Muhammad Ali in the name of justice. And we do it for brother Wyatt [Cooper] and my daughter and for the Asians and for the whole world. Because that’s the only hope of the world and that kind of love is always tragicomic and you got to get ready to get crucified with that kind of love. And you need to keep dishing it generation after generation after generation.”
“The Floyd family lifted up that spiritual moral banner in the midst of a moment in which we got all of the lies and crimes and be it — to benefit the Pentagon or Wall Street or White House or even Congress itself, we know they don’t represent the best of this country,” West continued. “It is just that the best of this country right now seems to be so powerless, but in the streets of our nation, we see this multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-gender, different sexual orientations and different religions.”
“And I think we’ve got hope in the form of motion but we have to get ready for the backlash,” West warned. “We have to get ready for the neo-fascist clamp down because it is coming. It is coming.”
“Yeah. I’ve had — I have to say, you’re — I never had the honor of taking one of your classes. But I feel like I’m a student of yours and I learn lessons every time you speak,” an emotional Cooper said, overwhelmed in the moment and rubbing his face in his hand. “And um… I just think it’s…”
Sensing his host’s emotional reaction, West jumped in to offer solidarity.
“No, we’re in it together, brother. And the beautiful about tears — Socrates never cries but Jeremiah does and so does Jesus. We cry because we care, we’re concerned. It’s not about political correctness, it’s not about self-righteousness, we are cry because we are not numb on the inside, we don’t have a chilliness of soul and a coldness of mind and heart. We cry because we connect, but then we must have a vision and that includes all of us and have an analysis of power that’s honest in terms of the greed, especially at the top. In terms of the hatred running amok, in terms of the corruption, not just White House and Congress, too much churches, too many mosques, too many synagogues, too many universities, too many civic associations, and then the greed in us. You and I talk about this all of the time right? The gangster in us. Because we’re wrestling with this day by day and that’s why we need each other, my brother.”
Watch the video above, via CNN.
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