CNN anchor Anderson Cooper was moved to tears on Tuesday following an impassioned call for racial justice from civil rights activist Dr. Cornel West.
On CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” the prominent social critic recounted Tuesday’s funeral for George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man whose death at the hands of police last month has sparked a worldwide cry for an end to systemic racism and police brutality.
West shared his admiration for Floyd’s family and generations of resilient Black people who embraced love in the face of subjugation and invoked Cooper’s newborn son Wyatt in his call for justice.
“We’ve got a love that the world can’t take away. The world ... may make being Black a crime. But we refuse to get in the gutter, and we gonna go down swinging like Ella Fitzgerald, Muhammad Ali, in the name of love and justice,” West said. “We’re doing it for Brother Wyatt, we’re doing it for my daughter, we’re doing it for the Asians, we’re doing it for the whole world.”
Cooper said he’d never had an opportunity to take one of West’s classes but that he feels like a student whenever he hears West speak.
“We’re in it together, brother,” West replied. “And the beautiful thing about tears ― Socrates never cries, but Jeremiah does and so does Jesus. We cry because we care, we’re concerned. It is not about political correctness. It’s not about self-righteousness. We cry because we are not numb on the inside.”
Watch the full interview above.