Cornel West on Van Dyke Verdict, Kanye and President Trump

He’s considered one of the country’s most visible intellectuals, noted for the way he expresses his views on racism, politics and even pop culture.

Author and professor Cornel West of Princeton and Harvard was in Chicago on Thursday to address the campus of Chicago State University. The school is renaming its library in honor of the late Chicago poet Gwendolyn Brooks, who taught at CSU for 10 years in the 1990s.

In a discussion Thursday with “Chicago Tonight,” West talked about Brooks’ legacy, but also some other notable Chicagoans, including Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted two weeks ago of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of teen Laquan McDonald.

West said this kind of accountability is rare, but important for the community. What will also be important, West says, is whether Van Dyke’s sentence, which has not yet been determined, is commensurate with his crime.

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