Radical Black scholar and Protestant minister Cornel West announced his campaign for the US presidency on Monday, APA reports citing Sputnik.
He is running on the People’s Party ticket, a third party formed by disaffected left-wing Democrats.
“In these bleak times, I have decided to run for truth and justice, which takes the form of running for President of the United States as a candidate for the People’s Party,” West said in a video posted to Twitter.
“I enter in the quest for truth, I enter in the quest for justice, and the presidency is just one vehicle to pursue that truth and justice – what I’ve been trying to do all of my life.”
“I come from a tradition where I care about you,” West said, listing off a number of issues including a living wage, decent housing, women’s bodily autonomy, universal healthcare, and “the escalating destruction of the planet. The destruction of American democracy.”
"I know there are precious people in your life who you care for. That’s why it’s important for you to be involved, important for you to participate. We’re not talking about hating anybody, we’re talking about loving, we’re talking about affirming, we’re talking about empowering those who have been pushed to the margins,” West continued.
A prominent public intellectual known for his self-described socialist views, West endorsed US Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), another socialist, when he launched a left-wing challenge to the Democratic mainstream in 2016 and again in 2020. West is known for his strong criticisms of former US President Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black leader, who in 2012 he called a "Rockefeller Republican in blackface."
In the video, West said he decided to run on a third party because “neither political party wants to tell the truth about Wall Street, about Ukraine, about the Pentagon, about Big Tech.” He called former President Donald Trump a “neo-fascist,” and Biden a “milquetoast neoliberal.”
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and educated at Harvard and Princeton, West has taught at both schools as well as at Yale, and is currently a professor of philosophy at Union Theological Seminary. He is a Baptist minister who marched for Black civil rights in the 1960s and strongly sympathized with the Black Power movement, saying the only reason he didn’t join the socialist Black Panther Party was his religious conviction toward nonviolence.
West is running as a member of the People’s Party, a third party which was formed in 2017 by a group of former Sanders campaign workers after the Vermont senator was denied the Democratic Party nomination by a strongly pro-Hillary Clinton Democratic National Committee (DNC), which handed the nomination to the former secretary of state instead.
In the summer of 2020, West joined a group of dissident Democrats for an online “People’s Convention” hosted by the People’s Party after Joe Biden, a centrist, became the Democratic nominee for president. Another convention attendee, self-help author Marianne Williamson, has also decided to run for president in 2024, albeit once more in the Democratic primary.