Re: What? He Said He's White

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https://twitter.com/GeeDee215/status/622019751213187072


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:34 AM
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Brooks's "style" - if you want to call it that - sure does a lot of work here. If you take away all the pomposity, on the one hand it would be a little less irritating because less Lofty Thoughts That I'm Thinking but on the other it would just look like standard racist internet garble. David Brooks is basicall a Dickens character along the lines of some of the preachers in Bleak House - pious, ridiculous and none the less effectively evil.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:40 AM
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If you could take away all the pomposity, would it still be David Brooks?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:42 AM
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Based on this alone they should take Brooks' slot and give it to Coates. People have been calling for that swap for years anyway.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:46 AM
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(Technically I guess people called for them to hire Coates instead of Douthat, while simultaneously saying that Brooks should be canned- good enough for me.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:47 AM
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4 I dunno, does Freddie DeBoer think Coates is ready?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:49 AM
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I mean, no, it wouldn't; but it's so weird to me that something so hilariously racist gets taken seriously as long as it's dressed up in forty dollar words.

"I think that we should mostly talk about how Black people commit crimes and don't love America enough and that our national history of white supremacy is all water under the bridge"...I mean, I expect more from NYT racists than something one could find in the comments section at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. What are we paying them for?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:49 AM
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5: You spelled caned wrong.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:49 AM
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7 to 3, obvs.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:50 AM
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7.1: The forty dollar words are what the economists call his "added value."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:51 AM
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Written as a letter to your son, you talk about the effects of pervasive fear.

Oh come on, NY Times editors. This is middle school English stuff.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:52 AM
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4: There was a rumor that Coates was offered the job and turned it down (of course he wouldn't have been taking Brooks' place -that would disrupt the delicate conservative-liberal balance!)


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:53 AM
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7.2 What are we paying them for? Humility.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:55 AM
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I'll never understand why the Times didn't consider my idea of rotating 4 or 6 non-US columnists through a given space on the op-ed page: alternate Mondays from Asia and Eastern Europe, alternate Wednesdays from Latin America and Africa, etc., etc. We wouldn't so much of any given writer as to build the homicidal contempt that we feel for the current inhabitants and we'd also get exposed to other perspectives and blah blah blah.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:02 AM
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I'll never understand why the Times didn't consider my idea

Did you make them aware of it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:02 AM
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I have ideas, neb; I don't communicate them.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:25 AM
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Speaking of conservatives, hasn't Larison been absolutely killing it on Iran, Yemen, and the Republican nomination race?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:40 AM
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Didn't Coates comment on the extreme difficulty of writing something good and meaningful given format, length, audience, and other constraints, and maybe also say he couldn't imagine doing it regularly for any length of time?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:44 AM
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Above should include "in the NYT oped space".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:45 AM
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17: Yes! But he's been steady killing it for a long time now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:46 AM
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18: Yes.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:47 AM
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20: See. More killings by black men.


Posted by: Opinionated David Brooks | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:49 AM
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I guess it reveals a major character flaw for me to confess that I don't understand what's so bad about the column*. Sure, it "exposes" Brooks as being somewhat ignorant about black experience in America, but I had to put scare quotes around "exposes" because we already knew that. Brooks seems to acknowledge that his initial reaction may be unjustified defensiveness and that maybe he just needs time to reflect on it further. It seems like the book affected him.

* I mean, it's sort of terrible as an editorial column, but doesn't strike me as terrible as a reaction to reading Coates' book, which I understand to be what is being criticized here.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:55 AM
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23: I agree with this.

It's really a better reaction than I would have expected from Brooks.

Of course, Brooks isn't going to agree with Coates' disdain and contempt for the American Dream. Neither would Barack Obama.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:59 AM
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23, 24: Wow, do I not get that. I mean, I'll give Brooks's reaction as unsurprising for a stupid, wealthy, sheltered, middleaged white guy -- not worse than you'd expect from that demographic and maybe a little better because he at least read it and acknowledged that maybe his reaction was flawed. But that's some major league soft bigotry of low expectations there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:02 AM
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But that's some major league soft bigotry of low expectations there.

The pillow-softest bigotry and the very lowest of expectations are an important part of the stupid, wealthy, sheltered, middle-aged white guy lifestyle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:06 AM
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Brooks seems to acknowledge that his initial reaction may be unjustified defensiveness and that maybe he just needs time to reflect on it further.
I read this as a rhetorical device.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:06 AM
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Brooks seems to acknowledge that his initial reaction may be unjustified defensiveness and that maybe he just needs time to reflect on it further. It seems like the book affected him.

Even with that charitable interpretation, if that's where he ends the column, his defensive reaction is all he's leaving his readers with. If doesn't meaningfully move on from the position in future columns, would you conclude it's pure concern trolling?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:09 AM
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"For you, slavery is the original American sin, from which there is no redemption."

There is no fair reading of Coates' writing that supports this assertion.


Posted by: not clever enough | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:21 AM
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The original American sin was fucking over the natives. Slavery came later.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:23 AM
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29: Yeah, I could get it to defensible if I rewrote it as "from which there as yet has been no redemption." Coates is all about how this stuff is still ongoing now. But not what Brooks wrote.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:26 AM
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23: One reason that it's a bad column is that it doesn't say anything new at all. (Or, I suppose there's some novelty in Brooks having to actually acknowledge what Coates said before regurgitating the usual lines.)

"I know you're upset, but I don't think racism has anything to do with all the crime that Black people commit, why don't we ever talk about that. I think you're too negative about America. I admire Abraham Lincoln. I name-check initiatives that support Black children but do not name check any actual Black people. Unless you have a better attitude about the American Dream, your people will never be uplifted."

How is that different from something that could have been written in 1960? Or in 1920, for that matter? It's not just racist argle-bargle, it has no grain of originality.

"I know I'm white and you have things to say about your experience as a Black person, but they upset me so I'm going to pretend to take you seriously and then not listen"....that could have been written at pretty much any point since about 1700.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:31 AM
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It should be called "Pretending To Listen To Ta-Nahesi Coates While Really Dinking Around On My IPhone".


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:32 AM
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17, 20 I haven't read Larison in a long time*. Now rectified. Thanks.

(IIRC I got tired of his weird brand of Orthodox conservatism when that came through but he's always been good on foreign policy).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:39 AM
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28: his defensive reaction is all he's leaving his readers with

Well, no he's also leaving his readers with:

Your new book, "Between the World and Me," is a great and searing contribution to this public education. It is a mind-altering account of the black male experience. Every conscientious American should read it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:50 AM
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Dude, he pays it all sorts of compliments and then says, but I don't really buy any of it, because the American Dream is mighty. It's condescending and dismissive.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:53 AM
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36: He disagrees with it. Of course he does!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:59 AM
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"You poor thing, you can't appreciate the greatness that is America because of your trauma. If only you could put that past you. Still, I'm proud of myself for paying attention to you for a minute. Isn't America great?"


Posted by: not clever enough | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:00 AM
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but I don't really buy any of it

I really don't get this tone from the editorial. To me it reads much more like "but I really think you're being too pessimistic (although I'm white and privileged so maybe I genuinely don't understand how bad things are; maybe I should just shut up for a while and keep listening)."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:04 AM
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39 excerpting from 36.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:04 AM
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although I'm white and privileged so maybe I genuinely don't understand how bad things are; maybe I should just shut up for a while and keep listening

Again, rhetorical. So much posturing about maybe listening for a while, so little SingTFU.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:14 AM
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How do those reading Brooks uncharitably interpret his concluding paragraph?

Maybe you will find my reactions irksome. Maybe the right white response is just silence for a change. In any case, you've filled my ears unforgettably.

Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:24 AM
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42: "Fuck you for writing something that people will read that makes me feel bad in ways I can't give credence to"?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:30 AM
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I mean, "filled my ears" is a pretty ugly turn of phrase. Implies mass alone without substance.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:31 AM
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43: Can I borrow that for the next time I do peer reviewing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:32 AM
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44; And "unforgettably" is an insult too, because he's comparing it to an annoying tune that won't leave your head?

I get that everyone hates Brooks, but this is kind of ridiculous.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:35 AM
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42: "Because of cultural changes since the 1990s, I can't actually dismiss your ideas out of hand or openly say that I think that you're lying/playing the race card, so I have to bracket my real thoughts with some compliments."


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:38 AM
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I mean, look, I went through my "people of color, they are just so sensitive, right...but wait, maybe I'm racist for thinking that" phase too, and I had the mother wit and the courtesy to work that stuff out in my head. If Brooks were having some kind of slow-motion epiphany about race in America, he too would probably have the decency to keep his trap shut while he worked on it instead of saying "maybe I should sit with this a while, but nope, I'm not going to."


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:41 AM
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47: See? You're actually admitting there's been progress!

Seriously, all Brooks is doing is taking Chait's side in his argument with TNC. That's not exactly a surprise.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:43 AM
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You can play this game with every Brooks column. He may be a dummy, but he knows his job, so he'll always throw liberals a bone, and always end up siding against them.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:50 AM
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I think peep gets it right. Wasn't there literally for real an exchange between Coates and Obama in which Obama criticized Coates for being too pessimistic about the positive side of the American dream, in terms that aren't that different than this column? Or did I just imagine that I read that somewhere.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:52 AM
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In any event, the overall point of the article, at least read even semi-charitably, isn't very different (aside from the self-identification as white, obviously) from something Obama (or Eric Holder, or a host of other establishment black politicians) could have written.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 10:00 AM
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50: Yes, but in this case he's siding with liberals against a radical.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 10:02 AM
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The column suffers from half-measures. By addressing it as a letter to Coates, Brooks was playing off Coates writing his book as a letter to his son. But Brooks should have gone all the way and started off "Dear Son."


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 10:14 AM
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46: No, "unforgettable" on its own is not passive aggressive.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 10:16 AM
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My dear boy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 10:16 AM
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You know, if we're going to have conversations like this, we should actually read the book and have a reading group on it.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 10:24 AM
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It doesn't seem fair that you read a book by Coates and a column by Brooks. You need to read Bo-bo's in Paradise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 10:26 AM
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54: Now, that would have been new!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 10:29 AM
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OK, i just read the "letter to my son" excerpt. It was good! And, like a lot of good essays, impressionistic and not argumentative. Again, I stand with peep in believing that Brooks' fundamental response in this column was thay of a standard-issue American liberal (including a black liberal) to someone more radical. Yes Brooks is an idiot and it's fair to read the column with past idiocy in mind but that response is basically the classic US liberal response to radical critiques from black radicals for, I dunno, at least 50 years now.

But we should have the book group. And Bob in particular should comment, since a fair critique may well be that Coates is insufficiently Marxist for his radicalism to stick.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 10:43 AM
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And Bob in particular should comment, since a fair critique may well be that Coates is insufficiently Marxist for his radicalism to stick

Yes, this is also certainly a plausible critique of Baldwin.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 11:01 AM
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If we're going to address this issue with any precision, we need to establish a sliding scale of objectionability. Here's what I'd propose.

1. Not objectionable at all
2. Well-meaning if misguided
3. Incorrect or otherwise obtuse
4. Subtly racist
5. Overtly racist.

Based on comments so far, I take urp, peep and Roberto to be somewhere between 1 & 2 on this. LB seems skeptical of putting it anywhere lower than three, Blume resides at least in the 3 to 4 range; ogged is more squarely among the 4s.

I'm going to go with Frowner and score this a straight-up 5.

Sure, Brooks starts with a sympathetic description of Coates' account of the physical fear attached to being black in the US. He correctly notes that Coates' message is important and accurate. Then he wisely considers whether it's appropriate for him to respond, and even comes up with the right answer:

I suppose the first obligation is to sit with it, to make sure the testimony is respected and sinks in.

So up to this point, he's generally no worse than a 2.

But he's just setting this up to knock it down. He then repudiates what he's said to this point. In fact, he's not going to sit with it and respect Coates' testimony and let it sink in.

He says not everybody is Jefferson Davis. Some people didn't enslave others at all. Some, like Lincoln, were uncomfortable with slavery and didn't want it to spread any further. That balances it out.

Some white people lynch blacks, others don't. The glass is half-full.

Violence is embedded in America, but it is not close to the totality of America.

Is this still a high 4? Maybe it is kind of subtle, and a casual reader won't recognize that Brooks is asking people to ignore huge swaths of history for the specific purpose of minimizing the ongoing suffering of black people.

But from there, Brooks says that to move forward, America must renounce the truth about about race relations. What is Coates' fundamental error, per Brooks? I shit you not, it is Coates' rejection of a "dream" in favor of "excessive realism" about the plight of African Americans:

By dissolving the dream under the acid of an excessive realism, you trap generations in the past and destroy the guiding star that points to a better future.

Christ, what an asshole.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 11:05 AM
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On a one to 5, I meant to be giving it a 4. Racist, just not much worse than I'd expect from Brooks' demographic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 11:16 AM
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Pretty sure that Obama would agree with that "dissolving the dream" line. Indeed that's a recurrent theme of both his speeches and the "Audacity of Hope" book.

I mean, it's perfectly fair to believe that Brooks is basically a con-artist whose job is to concern-troll liberals into doing nothing about major issues of social justice. We certainly have years of evidence that this is the case. But that's based on evidence outside of this column. These particular lines from this particular column are basically no more or less than the standard-grade American liberal response to black radicalism (yes, there are huge structural and historical problems of racial injustice in the United States, but there is also a noble countervailing tradition in the liberal American dream of work and prosperity and equality, etc., and we must look to those values, and not merely despair over structural injustice, if we are to make progress).


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 11:19 AM
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Partly it's obtuse with regard to race, partly it's obtuse with regard to Coates' entire point. Even whites who have the best intentions and aren't racist at all benefit from historical trends, economics, unconscious biases, etc. To which Brooks replies, "But not everyone is a racist!" Thanks coach.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 11:23 AM
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65 -- I think the response (again, the standard liberal one) is to recognize the unfair conferring of benefits on white non-active racists as perfectly true and valid. i think Brooks would agree with you there. And I don't think that, here, he's making the standard stupid conservative argument that race isn't a problem if there's not a literal lynching or formal legal discrimination going on. He's saying something different -- that the best way to overcome that unfair advantage is to look for ways to extend the liberal vision of America to African-Americans by building on positive traditions of liberty and equality. And that it's counterproductive, unrealistic, or (self) defeating to renounce those values as a myth built on the backs of black people. This is the standard liberal response and I daresay the actual belief of a lot of people even here. Again it seems to me that people are missing just how radical Coates' critique is (in the most recent book) and just how different from, and resistant to, that kind of radicalism standard-grade American liberalism is.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 11:35 AM
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66 is correct.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 11:40 AM
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that the best way to overcome that unfair advantage is to look for ways to extend the liberal vision of America to African-Americans by building on positive traditions of liberty and equality
Nah, that's bullshit and I don't think it's the standard liberal response- it's the nice way of putting the conservative line that affirmative action is also racism. It's pretty close to, "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 11:45 AM
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Look, this is very lame and maybe annoying, but I'm going to quote at elaborate length from Obama's 2008 "More Perfect Union" speech because it makes the point so effectively. This kind of rhetoric -- yes, we must fight to overcome the legacy of slavery, but not give up on the American dream -- is exactly what standard American liberalism is. Note the line "the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution" [Obama means, that the Constitution always already recognized that slavery was wrong, not that slavery was actually embodied in and endorsed by the 1787 Constitution, which it was]. And the parts where he starts to critique Jeremiah Wright, notably the line that Wright's radicalism "expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America."

"We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."
Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.
The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation's original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.
Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution - a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.
And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part - through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.
This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign - to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction - towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.
This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.
I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton's Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I've gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world's poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners - an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.
It's a story that hasn't made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts - that out of many, we are truly one.
Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans.
This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either "too black" or "not black enough." We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.
And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn.
On one end of the spectrum, we've heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it's based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we've heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.
I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely - just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.
But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.
As such, Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems - two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 11:56 AM
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Or, for example, this 2009 speech by Obama to the NAACP, which led to wild applause from that audience, but that goes further (in both directions) than anything that David Brooks says. Overcoming structural inequality is important -- but only to build up the American dream. And that requires both government action but also commitment from black communities themselves. Key graphs:

But we also know that prejudice and discrimination -- at least the most blatant types of prejudice and discrimination -- are not even the steepest barriers to opportunity today. The most difficult barriers include structural inequalities that our nation's legacy of discrimination has left behind; inequalities still plaguing too many communities and too often the object of national neglect. These are barriers we are beginning to tear down one by one -- by rewarding work with an expanded tax credit; by making housing more affordable; by giving ex-offenders a second chance. (Applause.) These are barriers we're targeting through our White House Office on Urban Affairs, through programs like Promise Neighborhoods that builds on Geoffrey Canada's success with the Harlem Children's Zone -- (applause) -- that foster a comprehensive approach to ending poverty by putting all children on a pathway to college, and giving them the schooling and after-school support that they need to get there. (Applause.) I think all of us understand that our task of reducing these structural inequalities has been made more difficult by the state and structure of our broader economy; an economy that for the last decade has been fueled by a cycle of boom and bust; an economy where the rich got really, really rich, but ordinary folks didn't see their incomes or their wages go up; an economy built on credit cards, shady mortgage loans; an economy built not on a rock, but on sand. That's why my administration is working so hard not only to create and save jobs in the short-term, not only to extend unemployment insurance and help for people who have lost their health care in this crisis, not just to stem the immediate economic wreckage, but to lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity that will put opportunity within the reach of not just African Americans, but all Americans. All Americans. (Applause.) Of every race. Of every creed. From every region of the country. (Applause.) We want everybody to participate in the American Dream. That's what the NAACP is all about. (Applause.)

....

But all these innovative programs and expanded opportunities will not, in and of themselves, make a difference if each of us, as parents and as community leaders, fail to do our part by encouraging excellence in our children. (Applause.) Government programs alone won't get our children to the Promised Land. We need a new mind set, a new set of attitudes -- because one of the most durable and destructive legacies of discrimination is the way we've internalized a sense of limitation; how so many in our community have come to expect so little from the world and from themselves.
We've got to say to our children, yes, if you're African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that somebody in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. But that's not a reason to get bad grades -- (applause) -- that's not a reason to cut class -- (applause) -- that's not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. (Applause.) No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands -- you cannot forget that. That's what we have to teach all of our children. No excuses. (Applause.) No excuses.

Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 12:21 PM
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Obama's and Brooks's messages are distinctly different. Note in 70 how Obama invokes the Harlem Children's Zone to talk about the good things that Americans can accomplish.

And then we have Brooks, who uses it to minimize the KKK:

There's ... a Harlem Children's Zone for every K.K.K.

Obama is very much in line with Coates, and opposed by Brooks, when he says:

The most difficult barriers include structural inequalities that our nation's legacy of discrimination has left behind

That sounds like "excessive realism" to me. Brooks (and I think Coates) both disagree with Obama - to them, "the dream" requires whitewashing structural inequalities.

Coates rejects that approach, and Brooks endorses it. Obama says no, that's not what the dream requires of us at all.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 12:35 PM
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71 -- there's certainly (we know from elsewhere) much daylight between Brooks and Obama on what is to be done about social injustice. But I think you're deeply misreading all three of the Brooks column, Obama, and Coates. For both Brooks and Obama, structural legacies of racism are real, but can be overcome (and realistically can only be overcome) by drawing on American tradition to expand the American dream (which is something that at least Obama sincerely believes in) to all, and, indeed, that is in many ways the point of Obama's entire political project. Brooks and Obama differ on the means to that particular goal, and we know from elsewhere that Brooks' means are basically foolish, but the goal and their basic underlying analysis is the same.

For Coates, at least as of 2015, the entire political project of bringing African Americans (or others) into the American dream is bullshit as a political project, because the entire concept is based on a fundamental miseading of American history, which in turn was fundamentally (and not just in the "sin of an otherwise noble project," but fundamentally) built on slavery. The best we could do would be to offer African Americans reparations for the past wrongs, but since we know that's not going to happen, realistically the only thing that African-Americans can do is recognize the existence of the core historical problem and unite to fight against white oppression, broadly defined, without hoping to participate seriously in the American dream. Fundamentally different visions which lead to fundamentally different analyses of what is to be done.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 12:46 PM
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71. For me, the real question is whether Coates wouild agree with "without hoping to participate seriously in the American dream." African-Americans will be an indigestible, oppressed, unhappy part of our population forever?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:16 PM
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73 -- here is what Coates says (in the excerpt that I've read, perhaps he comes to different, more optimistic conclusions somewhere else in the book):

"The two great divisions of society are not the rich and poor, but white and black," said the great South Carolina senator John C. Calhoun. "And all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected and treated as equals." And there it is--the right to break the black body as the meaning of their sacred equality. And that right has always given them meaning, has always meant that there was someone down in the valley because a mountain is not a mountain if there is nothing below.
You and I, my son, are that "below." That was true in 1776. It is true today. There is no them without you, and without the right to break you they must necessarily fall from the mountain, lose their divinity, and tumble out of the Dream. And then they would have to determine how to build their suburbs on something other than human bones, how to angle their jails toward something other than a human stockyard, how to erect a democracy independent of cannibalism. I would like to tell you that such a day approaches when the people who believe themselves to be white renounce this demon religion and begin to think of themselves as human. But I can see no real promise of such a day. We are captured, brother, surrounded by the majoritarian bandits of America. And this has happened here, in our only home, and the terrible truth is that we cannot will ourselves to an escape on our own.

It is actually kind of amazing that someone with this pessimistic and radical a vision has endeared himself to white liberals.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:25 PM
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My read is that he'd say it's not really a matter of what African-Americans do or hope, it's about white America doing something that is radical to the point of self-destroying.

(Not in the Kotskovian kill-yourself vein, more along the lines of reconstituting what it means to be white America beyond recognition.)


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:29 PM
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so imma give myself the point on that one


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:29 PM
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perhaps he comes to different, more optimistic conclusions somewhere else in the book

Yes, at the end he decides he was just having a bad day, and everything is pretty much hunky-dory.

Oops! That would be a spoiler if it wasn't completely false.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:31 PM
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For Coates, at least as of 2015, the entire political project of bringing African Americans (or others) into the American dream is bullshit as a political project, because the entire concept is based on a fundamental miseading of American history, which in turn was fundamentally (and not just in the "sin of an otherwise noble project," but fundamentally) built on slavery.

It wasn't my intent to contradict this. My reading of Coates is the same as yours. I think my reading of Obama is pretty close to yours. It's this specific Brooks essay on which we disagree.

Try this: Coates, like Brooks in his essay, sees "the dream" as being dependent on a reading of history that falsifies and minimizes historical racism. Brooks endorses the dream and the falsification; Coates rejects them.

Brooks is upfront about this. After minimizing the racial violence of US history, he correctly says that he disagrees with Coates because Coates engages in "realism."

Obama is doing another thing altogether. There is zero chance that he would go before the NAACP and mock the US's history of white terrorism by saying, "There's a Harlem Children's Zone for every K.K.K."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:36 PM
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73: I think the idea is that without racial oppression baked into it, it wouldn't be recognizably the American Dream. Things might improve in racial terms, but the improvement won't look like folding blacks into current white society, because you don't have current white society without blacks to oppress.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:37 PM
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I think Le Tigre is mostly right about this being the "standard liberal response" but misses the dance between the Obamas and Brookses on it.

Brooks is using it as a marker, to say "this is the standard American redemptive response, watch how far you stray from it."

When Obama does it he's often pushing it as far as it will go.

What do we think he means about Rev. Wright in that speech? There's a subtext of "this is how I have to frame it, but listen close to the original message."

Conservatives pick up on that tension and always hold it against liberals.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:38 PM
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that said, Brooks is 100% an uncharitable asshole. The simplest way to point it out is the (Jim Henley?) "how to use but in a sentence" trick. A non asshole would have said, "I believe in the essential redemptiveness of the American Dream, that it can be expanded to make good on its promise -- but Ta-Nehisi Coates makes a strong argument that it cannot." An asshole says "Here is what Ta Nehisi Coates says, but I'm not listening to it."

(If he was actually arguing points, it would be different -- but he's just saying "here's a challenge to a powerful myth, but I'm sticking with the myth. Rhetorically I don't think he's planning anything different.)


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:42 PM
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Obama has done more to call out the fundamental difference of the African-American experience than anyone else with half the pulpit. He has couched it in the narrative of liberal redemption but he has also spoken from a place of blackness that complicates it, though it doesn't overturn it.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:47 PM
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The line that struck me as really gratuitous is Brooks saying that Coates was writing as if he were determined to be misunderstood.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:47 PM
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83: Alex Balk at the Awl really identified which specific lines were gratuitous.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 1:48 PM
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81 -- Obama does about the same thing when he says "But all these innovative programs and expanded opportunities will not, in and of themselves, make a difference if each of us, as parents and as community leaders, fail to do our part by encouraging excellence in our children. (Applause.) Government programs alone won't get our children to the Promised Land ...."

"here's a challenge to a powerful myth, but I'm sticking with the myth.

I take the point in 80. And we all know that David Brooks is, in fact, an asshole. But this particular device is, in fact, precisely what Obama and liberalism generally are committed to. In many ways that's the whole point. Now, Obama may have better reasons for wanting to stick to the myth (which, I think Obama and Brooks believe at some level is not ultimately a myth) than the ones that Brooks articulates, but that really is the point of Obama's rhetoric, and it leads directly to Obama's policy approaches to, among other things, criminal justice. There's really almost no daylight at all between what Brooks says *in this particular column* and what standard liberals like Obama say. Now, to be sure, the rhetoric is (because of what we know from other places) probably being deployed for different ends -- for Obama, it's to encourage support for government programs that broadly speaking redistribute a little bit of wealth, for Brooks it's broadly speaking to oppose such programs in the name of "opportunity" or "culture" or some such conservato-libertarian nonsense. But it's essentially the same rhetoric and at its core rests on the same underlying diagnosis of the problem with black America (black people have been denied full participation in the great American dream) and the same broad-scale solution, albeit with different details (create the conditions for them to participate, by government intervention/cultural transformation through education/opportunity through the market).

Coates is saying something very different indeed.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 2:04 PM
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84: That would be funnier if that web site did not load like shit so often that it took me 30 seconds and three reloads to get the joke.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 2:11 PM
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70: Actually, most of the applause was just Rachel Dolezal clapping extra fast.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 3:14 PM
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70: Actually, most of the applause was just Rachel Dolezal clapping extra fast.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 3:14 PM
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There's really almost no daylight at all between what Brooks says *in this particular column* and what standard liberals like Obama say

You keep talking about this particular column, and you keep refusing to engage this particular column in any way except impressionistically. (Contrast your treatment of Brooks with your direct engagement with the texts of Obama and Coates.)

You do quote the column once, in passing, here:

Pretty sure that Obama would agree with that "dissolving the dream" line.

And here's the line:

By dissolving the dream under the acid of an excessive realism, you trap generations in the past and destroy the guiding star that points to a better future.

As with the KKK-Harlem thing, I'd like you to imagine Obama actually reading this line, as written, off his teleprompter. I can't imagine it. If your mileage really varies on this, I'd be interested to know it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 4:35 PM
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89 -- I 100% think that Obama could and would have delivered that "dissolving the dream" line and have quoted a bunch of stuff above that I think indicates as much. Maybe not the phrase "excessive realism" (Obama is a better rhetorician, I think, say something more like that abandoning the "dream" isn't itself realistic) but the point is the same -- yes, structural injustice is real, but dwelling on it to the point of abandoning hope is counterproductive.

I doubt that Obama would have said exactly "for every KKK, there's a ___." Again, he's a better rhetorician. But it's not far off than what he's said in passages I quoted above, or below, at the Selma speech. I think that people are (very understandably) letting the true fact that Brooks is generally an asshole blind them to just what a mainstream liberal view he expressed in that column. Brooks isn't taking the "racism doesn't matter unless it's incredibly overt" line, he's threading the needle with exactly the same "the past matters but there's been progress and there's hope for the future and the American dream will survive and don't give up hope" that's at the core of American liberalism.

Just this week, I was asked whether I thought the Department of Justice's Ferguson report shows that, with respect to race, little has changed in this country. And I understood the question; the report's narrative was sadly familiar. It evoked the kind of abuse and disregard for citizens that spawned the Civil Rights Movement. But I rejected the notion that nothing's changed. What happened in Ferguson may not be unique, but it's no longer endemic. It's no longer sanctioned by law or by custom. And before the Civil Rights Movement, it most surely was. (Applause.)
We do a disservice to the cause of justice by intimating that bias and discrimination are immutable, that racial division is inherent to America. If you think nothing's changed in the past 50 years, ask somebody who lived through the Selma or Chicago or Los Angeles of the 1950s. Ask the female CEO who once might have been assigned to the secretarial pool if nothing's changed. Ask your gay friend if it's easier to be out and proud in America now than it was thirty years ago. To deny this progress, this hard-won progress -- our progress -- would be to rob us of our own agency, our own capacity, our responsibility to do what we can to make America better.
Of course, a more common mistake is to suggest that Ferguson is an isolated incident; that racism is banished; that the work that drew men and women to Selma is now complete, and that whatever racial tensions remain are a consequence of those seeking to play the "race card" for their own purposes. We don't need the Ferguson report to know that's not true. We just need to open our eyes, and our ears, and our hearts to know that this nation's racial history still casts its long shadow upon us

Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 4:55 PM
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Does Obama really believe that stuff, or does he have to say it to get white people to vote for him? The Wright controversy was bullshit and so I'm not sure how much we should read into what bullshit Obama said to get out of it.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 5:28 PM
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TNC had somewhere a really interesting discussion of what actual Black conservatives are like (eg Malcolm X) and how they disagree with Black liberals (eg MLK and Obama) that hits many of the same points that RT is making here.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 5:32 PM
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91 -- he says it to black audiences all the time as well as in his published book. I guess in his heart of hearts he could be a secret radical but since his message is 100% consistent with the liberal response to black radicalism for the past 50 years and since every other sign points to Obama being a liberal, not a radical, I'm inclined to believe he's 100% sincere.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 5:34 PM
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Obama is a really bad example of the way liberals talk: he's the President. He must necessarily temper his remarks.

64: These particular lines from this particular column are basically no more or less than the standard-grade American liberal response to black radicalism

Perhaps the standard-grade American white liberal response. Watch Melissa Harris-Perry's show some time: she and her panelists speak often of the black body, its burden and cooptation, the routine violence against the black body, the extent to which (white) capitalism is founded on violence against black (and brown) bodies, and so on. And MHP is no radical.

The characterization of liberals Le Tigre is insisting on here is obnoxious. Unless ... there's an operative distinction between liberals and progressives? Is that it? Are liberals supposed to be understood as milquetoasts?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 5:46 PM
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There's usually a distinction drawn between progressives (on the left) and liberals who are somewhere around center left but benefiting from a lot of privilege and a tendency to endorse right ideas at inconvenient times.

I think the main difference with Obama is that he wouldn't accept a real distinction between the hopeful idealism and realism - speaking gently, admittedly, about the realism part but still refusing to separate the two of them the way Brooks or Coates will.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:25 PM
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"Brooks is an asshole" is doing too much work here, Tigerbeat. Look at the way he puts this, for example.

I find the causation between the legacy of lynching and some guy's decision to commit a crime inadequate

It's assholish, but entirely consistent with specifically American conservative assholery that (sometimes) acknowledges, but (always) minimizes, the effects of systemic racism. It's "the legacy of lynching" and not "the legacy of lynching, redlining, poverty, inadequate and unfair policing, underfunded schools, etc. etc." that actually goes a hell of a long way to explaining some guy's decision. Liberals acknowledge this; conservatives don't.

You can't tell someone not to give up hope unless you totally 100% convince him that you understand why he might, and Brooks, and conservatives, don't do that. Obama does.

Brooks and Obama might be aligned in terms of their belief in the power of the American dream, but their differences aren't rhetorical or personal, they're ideological.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:44 PM
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Drones. Q.E.D.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:45 PM
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I 100% think that Obama could and would have delivered that "dissolving the dream" line and have quoted a bunch of stuff above that I think indicates as much. Maybe not the phrase "excessive realism" (Obama is a better rhetorician, I think, say something more like that abandoning the "dream" isn't itself realistic) but the point is the same

I think you've hit our irreducible difference. I view "excessive realism" as being key to Brooks' point. You view it as a rhetorical error. I think Brooks' expression of equivalence between the KKK and the Harlem Children's Zone is an important part of his point. Again, you see it as an infelicitous phrase that Obama wouldn't have used because Obama is a better phrasemaker.

There's a question-begging quality to your analysis. If Brooks doesn't sound like Obama in this piece, he meant to. No true Brooks would say something that Obama wouldn't say.

But let's turn it around. If Obama were responding to Coates, he might say:

In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans.

Would Brooks say that? Functionally, by your reckoning, that phrase fulfills the same function as the KKK/Harlem phrase does. But I'm here to tell you, just as Obama wouldn't have used Brooks' phrases, Brooks wouldn't have used Obama's phrase or anything like it. The two are talking about two different things. Brooks presents racism as a historical phenomenon, not something that flies on flagpoles today. (That's one reason for the clumsiness of the Klan/Harlem construction.)

Obama is presenting two visions of America, and arguing that the authentic America is the one where whites and blacks get along. America is great, Obama tells us, because the real America is like that "powerful coalition." No true American would fly a Confederate flag.

This isn't exactly bullshit. Let's call it "aspirational." But Brooks correctly calls him out on it. Brooks agrees with Obama that America is great, but he knows damn well that America is both things.

This country, like each person in it, is a mixture of glory and shame. There's a Lincoln for every Jefferson Davis and a Harlem Children's Zone for every K.K.K. -- and usually vastly more than one. Violence is embedded in America, but it is not close to the totality of America.

I think you get thrown off in part because Brooks is being very careful to set a mood, and it's the same mood that Obama is trying to set. They both want to convey a plausible sense of history that is racially conciliatory but not threatening to white people. (Brooks couldn't give a fuck about black people, mind you, but he's got to advocate racial conciliation so that white people aren't put off.)

Also, I think you'd understand Brooks better if you realized that his stated position is closer to Coates in some respects than it is to Obama. And you can't seem to reckon with situations where Brooks is right and Obama is wrong.

Violence is embedded in America ...

No shit. But Obama disclaims that view.

We do a disservice to the cause of justice by intimating that ...racial division is inherent to America.

Obama is saying that America is great because it transcends its evil. Brooks is saying that America is great, including its evil. Obama says racism must be overcome by working past it or defeating it; Brooks believes it can only be overcome if African Americans ignore it.

By dissolving the dream under the acid of an excessive realism, you trap generations in the past and destroy the guiding star that points to a better future.

The failure to realize the dream, Brooks tells us, is the fault of African Americans and their excessive realism.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 6:55 PM
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91: I kept restraining myself from introducing that issue because I don't actually think it's actually relevant. Whether or not Obama believes his own bullshit, his stated views are, as R. Tigre says, representative of a prominent strand of liberal thought, and Tigre is really talking about liberals more than Obama.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:01 PM
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Oops. 99 was written before reading 93.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:02 PM
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98 -- if I'm reading you right, what you're saying is that Brooks is a sophisticate who agrees as a factual matter with the basically pessimistic view of American racial history articulated by Coates, but also believes that we should consciously lie about it because [presumably conservative reasons]. That seems .. not right. It's giving Brooks way too much credit for depth. It seems pretty unlikely that this is his view. I think the simpler and more accurate reading is that Brooks does believe a whig-history version of America -- that America, basically, works and that its flaws, which are real, and structural, can be overcome through a progressive expansion of those included within it. Now, because it's Brooks, we know that his version of inclusion is both weirdly morally paternalistic and market-based, but what he's reacting to is disagreement about whether it makes sense or not to have a basically optimistic view of America.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:56 PM
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I think the simpler and more accurate reading is that Brooks does believe a whig-history version of America -- that America, basically, works and that its flaws, which are real, and structural, can be overcome through a progressive expansion of those included within it.

Even that seems too sophisticated for Brooks.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 7:59 PM
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I don't really disagree with 96 but, like a lot of the responses here, it's really about other stuff that we know about Brooks, not this column. Saying that lynching isn't a full explanation for black criminal behavior is a shorthand that Obama would agree with. I agree that Obama would give a fuller answer, but in this particular piece Brooks spends a couple of paragraphs giving Coates' explanation and does in fact mention redlining. It's basically the classic liberal move since forever.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:05 PM
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Yes, but in this case he's siding with liberals against a radical.

Coates is really only radical in one way: he's thoroughly pessimistic about procedural reforms. He's not really invested in radical social movements offering alternative prescriptions, though. This is what I take to have been Cornel West's criticism linked in the other thread.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:08 PM
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104 seems right (can't vouch for the part about Cornel West). Also, thinking about Coates is about 800x as fruitful and interesting as thinking about David Brooks, so we should have a reading group amd talk about that.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:27 PM
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if I'm reading you right, what you're saying is that Brooks is a sophisticate who agrees as a factual matter with the basically pessimistic view of American racial history

No. I'm saying that in many important respects, Brooks has the same view of the facts as Coates, and that in many respects, they are both correct.

But optimism and pessimism are judgments about how we ought regard the facts; they are not the facts themselves.

Brooks and Coates each accurately see a violent, racist American. Brooks likes it; Coates doesn't.

Coates: America is full of racists and violence and sucks!
Brooks: America is full of racists and violence and is great!

Coates: Never Forget!
Brooks: Forget!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 8:58 PM
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I think the simpler and more accurate reading is that Brooks does believe a whig-history version of America -- that America, basically, works and that its flaws, which are real, and structural, can be overcome through a progressive expansion of those included within it.

Conservative whig history is more like, "people were wrong in the past, and not just in America, but anyway in America we're all better now and if you try to draw a connection between anything that people were wrong about in the past and something that's going on in the present, you probably secretly hate America, unless you overtly hate America. Don't be so negative, you nabob! And also, radicals who contributed to progress weren't actually that radical if you ignore their radical statements, which you should do unless you're a revisionist, and revisionist history is bad history."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 9:59 PM
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Tigger and Pfootball, thank you. This has been illuminating.

In this back and forth the discussion has been mainly on contrasting pairs. I think what has been missing is the explicit contrast of the three positions: Brooks, Obama, Coates.

Earlier, Pf wrote: Brooks endorses
the dream and the falsification; Coates rejects them.

Yeah. Where does Obama fit here? I think he endorses the dream and rejects the falsification.

I gotta admit that I am very sympathetic to the essential pessimism of the Coates position (which I base not only on the excerpt but on other things he has written or quotes from him). Still, for me, it doesn't mean that people shouldn't try either individually or systemically to white supremacy and its effects.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 11:03 PM
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to white supremacy and its effects.

was missing the key word reduce after to.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07-17-15 11:10 PM
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Brooks has several times endorsed the Bell Curve and Charles Murray's work. So he's not a Jack Kemp conservative.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 07-19-15 12:22 AM
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