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Physicist, Startup Founder, Blogger, Dad

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Talking Ta-Nehisi Coates, Seriously?



Glenn Loury is Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences, Department of Economics, Brown University. John McWhorter is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he teaches linguistics, American studies, philosophy, and music history.
Loury (@19min): "He's a good writer but not a deep thinker, and he's being taken seriously as if he was a deep thinker... he's talented I mean there's not any doubt about that but the actual analytical content of the argument, there are gaping holes in it..."
On the dangers of Identity Politics:
Loury (@21min): Coates' immersion in a racialist conception of American Society ... everything through the lens of race ... is the mirror image or the flip side of a white nationalist conception about American society in which everything is viewed in terms of race and Williams in the review includes extensive reportage from his interview of Richard Spencer the white nationalist leader ... and has Spencer saying back to him in effect I'm glad that people eatin' up Tallahassee cause I'm glad that they're taking it in because it's a thoroughly racialized conception. It's racial essentialism at its utmost and that primes them: they really believe in race, these liberals who are reading Coates, and that means I can flip them says Richard Spencer. The day will come given their belief in race -- I can persuade them that they're white. Coates wants that they regret and lament and eschew the fact that they're white. Richard Spencer dreams of a day in which, them seeing themselves as white, they'll get tired of hating themselves and flip over to the side of being proud ...
I've been reading Coates for years, since he was a relatively unknown writer at The Atlantic. Here are very good Longform Podcast interviews which explore his early development: 2015, 2014, 2012.

Mentioned in the discussion: Thomas Chatterton Williams, New York Times, How Ta-Nehisi Coates Gives Whiteness Power.

More links.

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