So, first, let me clarify that the title of this blog comes from a hip-hop song that i’ve got stuck in my head right now…other than the extremely loose connection (name only) to the scholar that I plan on quoting shortly, there is no relation between “Swagga Like Us” by Jay-Z and T.I. (featuring Kanye West) and the rest of this blog…I just thought I should clarify.

So, I viewed a documentary a couple nights ago about human trafficking. Extremely compelling. I’d absolutely recommend it (Call & Response). Anyways, Dr. Cornell West was interviewed for the documentary. If you’re not familiar, Dr West is a scholar, public intellectual, philosopher, critic,pastor, and civil rights activist–all the while, a professor at Princeton. He had some brilliant historical insights into the problem of human trafficking we have in the world today.

Although the topic deserves our attention, this blog isn’t about human trafficking either. There was something that Dr. West said that’s stuck with me. Forgive my paraphrase–i wasn’t taking notes–but it was somthing like this:

I say these people deserve our attention. When someone feels like they are not worth attention, they feel as if they are without worth. And feeling worthless is hardly a step up from being extinct. If you agree with me–that these poor, disenfranchised outcasts deserve our attention, give them back their sense of worth. 

Apply “these people” to any number of groups of people–those Christ has called us to give our attention to…the orphans, widows, hungry, sick, in prison, lonely, broken, disenfranchised, hurting…

I feel like i’m doing his quote an injustice. I should’ve taken notes. But maybe you can catch a hint of the magnitude of his intent?


Another quote of his that I’m crazy about: “Justice is what love looks like in public.”