Professor Michael Eric Dyson is a noted scholar, activist and a rap fan. He's been known to quote Nietzsche and Nas in the same breath. Earlier this week Dyson released his latest book, "The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America." The book seeks to examine his time in office and the impact his administration has had in the country. During his visit with The Breakfast Club this morning (February 5), the author also opened up about his love and critique of Obama, why he thinks Hillary can do more as president and compared himself and his former mentor, Dr. Cornel West, to J.Cole and Jay Z.
On If MLK Lived Today And How He'd Be Received
It’d be a tough way to go for Dr. King, man. At the end of his life, he was no longer one of America’s most admired men. A Gallup Poll said for the first time in 10 years he didn’t make the list of the most admired men. His own black school would not put him on the board of trustees until two year before he died because the white head of the board of trustees, brother Merrill, Merrill and Lynch, said he was a poor role model, because he went to jail too often. He wasn’t slanging crack, he was there trying to make a way for America. So many colleges and universities didn’t want to hear from him. He was at the low tide of his own popularity. Death resurrected him. His martyrdom saved him and made him a figure we have to deal with, like a 2Pac, like a Biggie. Not that they weren’t extraordinary during their lives. But martyrdom lends a different kind of interpretation to what you were doing. King was rescued, so to speak, from his social unpopularity by his martyrdom that thrust him into the history books.
On Stacey Dash And Her Black History Month Comments
Who is Stacey Dash? Who is Stacey Dash? Love you Gabrielle Union. No only are you fine and ridiculously chocolate charming. You are one of the most brilliant and gifted, social activists. I love D-Wade. I ain’t shooting a shot. But what I’m saying is that she’s my dear friend.….Uh, look, Stacey Dash, bless her heart, we always have black people who engaged in some conservative resistance of the mainstream views. I ain’t mad at that, do your thing. I don’t question their blackness. Clarence Thomas is black, it ain’t his blackness that I’m bothered by. It’s not Stacey Dash’s blackness, she’s a real black woman. She’s just a real misled black woman. She’s a real misinformed black woman. There are many white people who are more informed about black history than her. Which is why it’s never skin. It’s not a skin nationalism here, it’s not pigment. It’s not an epidermis fetish. What your body looks like, it’s what your brain is colored. And I think Stacey Dash has been mislead.
On Hillary Clinton And White Privilege Being Able To Make Her More Successful Than Obama
Bill Clinton has more permission, in public, to be black, than does Barack Obama. 'I know I’m black and I’m hooking up my people, but forgive me.' Bill Clinton ain’t black. So he can play the saxophone on Arsenio Hall. Obama can’t do that, he gotta be cool, gotta be careful. He can’t be too black, can’t be perceived as too angry. So, Hillary Clinton would have more ability to put forth public policy that would address the plight and predicament of black people. Look, I’ve sat in the White House, face to face with Obama. The president believes in a rising tide lifts all boats: what hooks up America, is gonna hookup black people. I think its opposite. What’s an example? The Civil Rights Act. The white souther senators said we’re gonna sink this bill, let’s throw in Title IX, women. They thought the country was so patriarchal and sexist, it would sink the bill because you threw women. But it passed. Not only did we hook up black folk, we hooked up women too. And then people who were other abled, what they used to call handicapped. And other people from other different ethnicities. So when you help black folks, cause of what we confront interns of racial injustice, the entire society is helped.
On His Mentor Dr. Cornel West
[We fell out] because I don’t call (the president) names, because I love Obama and respect tho as a black man who has done an unprecedented thing. Because I feel for the plight and predicament that he endures, as well as, however, the plight and predicament of black people, whom I love more than one particular man. Because I’m not name-calling I’m not there for a critic? He called me a boot licker, a prostitute, a sellout. I’m like, Doc, stop. Cause when I go in, I got to go 10,000 words deep. I’ma narrative your decline. And that’s worst than me just calling you names. Cause I’ma show you I love you, appreciate your genius, but show how you’ve been an echo chamber of your own voice.