Responding to the announcement of
Revolution and Religion: A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian

September 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion


When you consider that religion influences the majority of humanity in one way or another, the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian can be extremely important—particularly if it encourages religious leaders and their followers to develop a strategy that plays a major role in the struggle for emancipation. With this in mind, I strongly support the Dialogue.

Richard Brown—Former Black Panther; San Francisco 8 Defendant;
Host Committee for the Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue


Because I believe in God. A dialogue between two people who have inspired me. Bob Avakian is a revolutionist and I'm always talking about a riot. Cornel is a man of faith, so I just want to see and listen.

Margarita Rosario (mother of Anthony Rosario and aunt of Hilton Vega,
murdered by the New York Police Department in 1995)


I would like to go to New York. First, because I have a lot of respect for Cornel West. I've heard one of his talks, at one of the big churches down on Wilshire; he was talking with Tavis Smiley. And I like what he had to say about poor people and about Obama's non-action. I know everybody thinks he's a messiah for Black people; and I did too when I voted for him.

Cornel opened my eyes... he brings it to reality. I'm not no great Christian, but he brings it down factual; the dirt, and the tricks, and the things this system does in America. And gives you a little humor with it.

Avakian I've never heard personally. I've gotten some of his videos. From his videos, and what I've read of him, he's a... I'm not communist—but I'm not anti-communist.... He's gotten my attention because he talks about the welfare of the people. All the people.

71-year-old Black man from South Central Los Angeles


This Dialogue will no doubt be one of the most challenging and inviting ideological journeys that anyone has been on! I think there will be a lot of laughter and tears, and it will put revolution back on the map in this country in a massive way.

Jesse; a member of the band Outernational


I am planning to go. Now is the time for me to take an active role in making the system work for future generations. Cornel West understands what is going on and is fearless. He's not afraid to tell the truth to the mainstream media. He understands what oppression is in America. I don't think a lot of people in America know what oppression is except the oppressed.

Angelina—mother victimized by the system


BA must be heard globally and we must get out the message that the system must be restructured. The only person I know that can do that is BA and the revolution. It goes to show this Dialogue is needed because we look at the world and the world is doing politics and religion and BA is looking at it scientifically.

It is important so many religions are out there and so many of them are confusing the people. It's like they are pacifying the people with politics and it's the same old talk with different people doing the same thing but doing nothing. It's going all around in a circle to confuse and oppress the people.

Grandmother whose grandson is in a Texas jail


I want to see how many young people show up. I'm trying to spark an interest in the children around the Bronx that don't think that this affects them. It's kind of hard to reach them. I'm always trying through music and poetry. We need to reach them.

Kevin from the Bronx, New York City


I want to be there. And yes, I'm going to fundraise to go, and there's no way I wouldn't go. Because I'm always open, and I always love hearing Bob Avakian talk; and since he's talking about religion, and especially that he's getting into it with someone who is religious, that's like something that sparks my curiosity to know what they're going to talk about. Especially because BA has said a number of times that we unite with people that are religious, if they have the same hatred for everything that's happening in the world, then we should unite with them.

But then, at the same time, it's harmful to have that religion in many ways. So I would love to hear what Cornel West thinks about that, and I would love to hear what BA has to say about that; because that's a question that comes up a lot. A lot of people don't get into the revolution because they know that we're communists, and they know that we're atheists. And so that is one thing that they hate about us, and some things that they love about us [laughs]. That's a question that's raised a lot: Can we unite even those who believe that there is a god and I don't?

Young woman in the LA Revolution Club


I feel like it is important for the future of Blacks and Latinos. It's important for us to fight and stand up against injustice. We need to get together and not fight each other but get together and fight the system. You see now Ferguson got the attention of Obama because they are fighting the system. I am hoping to get unity amongst us, to stand up against the government. We asked years ago and kept asking, we marched with the civil rights and Black Panthers. What are we supposed to do, keep asking?

Joshua, Young Latino, Washington Heights, New York City


I think there's a confluence of minds here; even though they come from quite different directions. They are both very concerned about the human condition; not just about this country, or that country; but the human condition, on a global scale. Cornel West is a leading public intellectual who has a high degree of visibility, and to have him debate, he has been debating Carl Dix, and now he will be debating Bob Avakian who, as I said earlier, I think he's a person who has considered this problem, the problems of the human system, but thinking about where we need to go from here; what kind of system is needed, to get to a better world, and a strategy to get from here to there....

An important point right now is to raise people's consciousness; to get them to be participants, and to engage in the dialogue... And that raises consciousness; you have to address issues, you have to assess them. I don't think I have the answer to everything, and that's why you hone your arguments, and improve your understanding, through reading, and through discussion. And a discussion like this is very valuable. I'm looking forward to this; I think it will be very valuable, with high visibility, so it should increase the visibility of the issue, and the consciousness of the population as a whole. That's a great opportunity.

A retired professor in Los Angeles


This is incredible—that this is being posed to people right now. Is it going to be live webcast? People around the world will want to watch this.

A young lawyer

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