Re: Talking Black (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
I"m with Glenn's wife, but I associate it more with the rot of postmoderism in our universities and the excess that has allowed many people top posts at Harvard in part by being merely "women" or "african american," and not necessarily good logicians, and better scholars. Likely the change to admit blacks wouldn't have occurred without the social change driven often by Ideals of justice and equality and public sentiment (and some of West's Continental Leftism), but overall though, I think we all suffer a loss when the ideas that drive change aren't deep, nor good enough to to which reasonable people can disagree. We can do better.
Cornell West strikes me as a pretty deep thinker, but he's floating around in creative thinking animated and anchored to modernism and postmodernism...which I hope is on the way out, or at least challenged more vigorously. He plays a caricature of himself, adopting that accent as though it were a cheap suit, and the threads are showing despite the good works.
Summers was merely pointing out (like he did with women by the way, and he was partly pilloried on public sentiment not merely on the merit of his arguments) that there are standards to which the university must adhere, and West, making pretty bad rap albums, not producing much of higher scholarship may not have been meeting.
I'm sure West would probably justifies this in his mind, but history is a harsher judge.