Tavis Smiley x Dr. Cornel West talk about Lupe Fiasco

Seattle Weekly interviewed Smiley & West the other day and part of the conversation was Lupe. Check it below!

You say that what we need most is a leader who'll make this a priority. You said Obama would do a much better job than Romney. Dr. West, you interviewed Lupe Fiasco at the teen leadership conference that UCLA organized with the Tavis Smiley Foundation. He told the kids there: I don't vote, I'm not going to put people in office who pay off the bankers and let the school system fail, etc. Dr. West, you didn't challenge him on that point. Mr. Smiley, you came on and said, "What an amazing conversation that was." Is that the right message to send to teens, if what we need to fight poverty is a leader: to not vote?

West: No, but what I think Brother Tavis is telling you, though, brother, is that it's top-down and bottom-up. Top-down is, of course, to have a president who cares about working and poor people. Bottom-up is to create a movement that puts pressure on the president. And you have to have both. Lupe comes out of the Occupy movement, he comes from bottom-up. Tavis and I embrace both.

Lupe saying he doesn't vote--well, no, we disagree with that. But his major point was that the political system is broken. So for him that's not a major priority. He's got a right to that opinion.

Smiley: I think that Lupe is absolutely entitled to his opinion, even if I disagree with it. Dr. West says all the time, when you love people, you tell them the truth, the truth as you see it. That's Lupe's truth. And he needs to stand in his truth. Those young people need to be exposed to that particular point of view. And they're bright enough to understand that that's his point of view.

After Lupe left, and we had an open session, kids talked about it. It was a wonderful debate.

via Seattle Weekly


  1. We do need some presidents who would do better for the country. But, I don't see that coming anytime soon hell no I'm not voting.

  2. You gotta love Lupe! #The Freedom of Speech! Always be conscious and respectful of others, but never be afraid to tell them how you feel in standing up for what you believe in.....you never know who is on the same page, but are too afraid to open up. Give your views a voice. At the end of the day - God is our judge!

    One love peeps! Lupe Fiasco, you Rock! :-*

  3. Bobby Kennedy for President

  4. When someone like truman was allowed to drop atomic bombs on the innocent people of hiroshima and nagasaki why would I bother voting. In a land where Casey Anthony is set free Zimmerman is set on bail and Troy Davis is unjustly executed and Trayvon Martin are killed, our government is the root of it, so I won't vote for some puppet/figurehead who will bring ”change”.

  5. ***"truman was allowed to drop atomic bombs on the innocent people of hiroshima and nagasaki"***

    OH! Let's never mind the FACT that Japan DIDN'T want to end WWII!!!...

  6. True but lets also look at the fact that we put innocent japanese people from japan and even here in the u.s in internment camps. Something they definitely didn't do to us. And lets not forget the fact at how reluctant we were to join the war which in turn was also a reason for over 11 million deaths.

  7. u serious nigga? Those innocent ppl were responsible for perl harbor? And we joined the war and thank god we did we could all be nazis by now but lets just stand around and watch as a man brings genocide to the world and wants to rule the world stfu. Zimmermen well be free becuz he is innocent! Trevon was a 17 year old drug dealer. Not the 12 year old they show in the pictures he was defending himself.


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