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Cornel West announces his presidential campaign

The activist and philosopher said running for president is a step toward “truth and justice.”
Philosopher Dr. Cornel West delivers a speech in New York on Feb. 21, 2022.
The philosopher and writer Cornel West delivers a speech in New York on Feb. 21, 2022.Tayfun Coskun / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images file

Philosophy professor, historian and political activist Cornel West entered the 2024 presidential race on Monday. 

West, 70, announced his candidacy for the People’s Party nomination on social media, calling the presidency a vehicle for pursuing truth and justice. 

“I come from a tradition where I care about you,” West said in the video. “I care about the quality of your life. I care about whether you have access to a job with a living wage, decent housing, women having control over their bodies, health care for all, de-escalating the destruction of the planet.”

He said his campaign would also focus on ending poverty, mass incarceration, “wars and ecological collapse.” He criticized both Democrats and Republicans, inserting clips of himself calling Donald Trump a “neo-fascist and President Joe Biden a milquetoast liberal.”

In a message accompanying the video, he wrote, “I am running for truth and justice as a presidential candidate for the People’s Party to reintroduce America to the best of itself — fighting to end poverty, mass incarceration, ending wars and ecological collapse, guaranteeing housing, health care, education and living wages for all!” 

West has taught at Harvard, Princeton and Yale and is now a professor of philosophy at Union Theological Seminary. He resigned from Harvard’s divinity school in 2021 over a tenure dispute. 

West is known for his progressive activism, public commentary and writing contemporary classics like “Race Matters.” 

He supported Sen. Bernie Sanders, I.Vt., in his bid for the White House in 2020. A former Sanders staffer, Nick Brana, founded the People’s Party after the 2016 presidential election, according to The Hill. Like Brana, West has championed a break from the two-party system.  

“Do we have what it takes? We shall see,” West concluded the video. “But some of us are going to go down fighting, go down swinging, with style and a smile.”