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Subject: "Cornel West Goes At Ta-Nehisi Coates (Swipe)" Previous topic | Next topic
Reeq
Member since Mar 11th 2013
11042 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 11:04 AM

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"Cornel West Goes At Ta-Nehisi Coates (Swipe)"
Sun Dec-17-17 11:05 AM by Reeq

  

          

oldie but goodie:
https://twitter.com/CornelWest/status/635996114060050432

anyway, you know he had to brand coates as a neoliberal lol. far left getting as predictable as the far right at this point. the horseshoe is real af.



-----------------------------
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/17/ta-nehisi-coates-neoliberal-black-struggle-cornel-west


Ta-Nehisi Coates is the neoliberal face of the black freedom struggle

The disagreement between Coates and me is clear: his view of black America is narrow and dangerously misleading


Ta-Nehisi Coates’ We Were Eight Years in Power, a book about Barack Obama’s presidency and the tenacity of white supremacy, has captured the attention of many of us. One crucial question is why now in this moment has his apolitical pessimism gained such wide acceptance?

Coates and I come from a great tradition of the black freedom struggle. He represents the neoliberal wing that sounds militant about white supremacy but renders black fightback invisible. This wing reaps the benefits of the neoliberal establishment that rewards silences on issues such as Wall Street greed or Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and people.

The disagreement between Coates and me is clear: any analysis or vision of our world that omits the centrality of Wall Street power, US military policies, and the complex dynamics of class, gender, and sexuality in black America is too narrow and dangerously misleading. So it is with Ta-Nehisi Coates’ worldview.

Coates rightly highlights the vicious legacy of white supremacy – past and present. He sees it everywhere and ever reminds us of its plundering effects. Unfortunately, he hardly keeps track of our fightback, and never connects this ugly legacy to the predatory capitalist practices, imperial policies (of war, occupation, detention, assassination) or the black elite’s refusal to confront poverty, patriarchy or transphobia.

In short, Coates fetishizes white supremacy. He makes it almighty, magical and unremovable. What concerns me is his narrative of “defiance”. For Coates, defiance is narrowly aesthetic – a personal commitment to writing with no connection to collective action. It generates crocodile tears of neoliberals who have no intention of sharing power or giving up privilege.

When he honestly asks: “How do you defy a power that insists on claiming you?”, the answer should be clear: they claim you because you are silent on what is a threat to their order (especially Wall Street and war). You defy them when you threaten that order.

Coates tries to justify his “defiance” by an appeal to “black atheism, to a disbelief in dreams and moral appeal”. He not only has “no expectations of white people at all”, but for him, if freedom means anything at all it is “this defiance”.

Note that his perception of white people is tribal and his conception of freedom is neoliberal. Racial groups are homogeneous and freedom is individualistic in his world. Classes don’t exist and empires are nonexistent.

This presidency, he writes, “opened a market” for a new wave of black pundits, intellectuals, writers and journalists – one that Coates himself has benefited from. And his own literary “dreams” of success were facilitated by a black neoliberal president who ruled for eight years – an example of “Black respectability, good Negro government.”

Coates reveals his preoccupation with white acceptance when he writes with genuine euphoria: “As I watched Barack Obama’s star shoot across the political sky ... I had never seen so many white people cheer on a black man who was neither an athlete nor an entertainer. And it seemed that they loved him for this, and I thought in those days ... that they might love me too.”

There is no doubt that the marketing of Coates – like the marketing of anyone – warrants suspicion. Does the profiteering of fatalism about white supremacy and pessimism of black freedom fit well in an age of Trump – an age of neo-fascism, US style?

Coates wisely invokes the bleak worldview of the late great Derrick Bell. But Bell reveled in black fightback, rejoiced in black resistance and risked his life and career based on his love for black people and justice. Needless to say, the greatest truth-teller about white supremacy in the 20th century – Malcolm X – was also deeply pessimistic about America. Yet his pessimism was neither cheap nor abstract – it was earned, soaked in blood and tears of love for black people and justice.

Unfortunately, Coates’ allegiance to Obama has produced an impoverished understanding of black history. He reveals this when he writes: “Ossie Davis famously eulogized Malcolm X as ‘our living, Black manhood’ and ‘our own Black shining prince.’ Only one man today could bear those twin honorifics: Barack Obama.”

This gross misunderstanding of who Malcolm X was – the greatest prophetic voice against the American Empire – and who Barack Obama is – the first black head of the American Empire – speaks volumes about Coates’ neoliberal view of the world.

Coates praises Obama as a “deeply moral human being” while remaining silent on the 563 drone strikes, the assassination of US citizens with no trial, the 26,171 bombs dropped on five Muslim-majority countries in 2016 and the 550 Palestinian children killed with US supported planes in 51 days, etc. He calls Obama “one of the greatest presidents in American history,” who for “eight years ... walked on ice and never fell.”

It is clear that his narrow racial tribalism and myopic political neoliberalism has no place for keeping track of Wall Street greed, US imperial crimes or black elite indifference to poverty. For example, there is no serious attention to the plight of the most vulnerable in our community, the LGBT people who are disproportionately affected by violence, poverty, neglect and disrespect.

The disagreements between Coates and I are substantive and serious. It would be wrong to construe my quest for truth and justice as motivated by pettiness. Must every serious critique be reduced to a vicious takedown or an ugly act of hatred? Can we not acknowledge that there are deep disagreements among us with our very lives and destinies at stake? Is it even possible to downplay career moves and personal insecurities in order to highlight our clashing and conflicting ways of viewing the cold and cruel world we inhabit?

I stand with those like Robin DG Kelley, Gerald Horne, Imani Perry and Barbara Ransby who represent the radical wing of the black freedom struggle. We refuse to disconnect white supremacy from the realities of class, empire, and other forms of domination – be it ecological, sexual, or others.

The same cannot be said for Ta-Nehisi Coates.


------

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
Damn
Dec 17th 2017
1
^^^ this right here 100%
Dec 17th 2017
16
RE: Cornel West Goes At Ta-Nehisi Coates (Swipe)
Dec 17th 2017
2
Yes and yes
Dec 17th 2017
3
      ^^^^^^ And West is Darth Petty
Dec 17th 2017
4
           Yeah pretty much
Dec 18th 2017
48
*waits for Cornel West article about his abusive friend*
Dec 17th 2017
5
why? Why would he?
Dec 17th 2017
6
      If he insists on calling out other public black figures
Dec 17th 2017
26
           he talks about state & national level politics
Dec 18th 2017
38
It's horseshit in the end because nothing will change without violence
Dec 17th 2017
7
he really really really likes saying neoliberal
Dec 17th 2017
8
Coates' audience isn't academia
Dec 17th 2017
9
hmmm
Dec 17th 2017
10
man, fuck cornel west (and balcony muppet ass tavis).
Dec 17th 2017
11
^^^^^^
Dec 17th 2017
12
*packs up, nothing more to add, Bruh man said it all up there ^^^
Dec 17th 2017
22
Well somebody sure sounds big mad!!!!
Dec 18th 2017
70
West is right to criticize Coates’s fatalism and pessimism.
Dec 17th 2017
13
i take issue with TNC tying his pessimism to atheism
Dec 17th 2017
19
thank you!
Dec 17th 2017
20
      lol!
Dec 17th 2017
21
I agree with you 100%
Dec 18th 2017
49
Black folks hate it when their public intellectuals disagree
Dec 17th 2017
14
^^^^^^^^^^^
Dec 17th 2017
15
RE: ^^^^^^^^^^^
Dec 17th 2017
17
      hmmm...never thought of it that way. Interesting,
Dec 17th 2017
27
      I think it's both
Dec 17th 2017
33
      *10,000 typos and misspellings but you know what I mean.
Dec 17th 2017
29
Exactly. This been happening since Dubios vs Ferris
Dec 17th 2017
18
Its because its less disagreements, more like taking Coates down
Dec 18th 2017
43
We hate transparently jealous disagreement.
Dec 17th 2017
23
the issue is that he arguing over decimal points....
Dec 17th 2017
34
you ever read his books? He's actually simplified his text a LOT ..
Dec 18th 2017
39
      ^^This...
Dec 20th 2017
136
seems like the only thing to disagree on with WS is how to destroy it
Dec 18th 2017
64
Exactly
Dec 18th 2017
72
people keep forgetting a really important detail tho:
Dec 19th 2017
125
      West isn't trying to be a leader either...
Dec 20th 2017
135
           I don't think Coates (and most people here) mind the criticism
Dec 20th 2017
141
           RE: West isn't trying to be a leader either...
Dec 20th 2017
162
I prefer this Cornell to the 90s one vs Sista Soulja
Dec 17th 2017
24
The Clinton administration pushed him HARD left
Dec 17th 2017
25
Most certainly
Dec 17th 2017
28
I never liked him before but something happened with the Obama admin
Dec 17th 2017
30
Ta-Nehisi Coates with receipts
Dec 17th 2017
31
ha! i love it.
Dec 17th 2017
32
damn
Dec 18th 2017
37
like a don.
Dec 18th 2017
40
lol. now this is how you counter ambiguous attacks
Dec 18th 2017
51
RE: Ta-Nehisi Coates with receipts
Dec 19th 2017
77
      coates deleted his twitter account over this
Dec 19th 2017
83
niggas still looking for leaders. unbelievable.
Dec 18th 2017
35
This is exactly why West is on that bullshit. He thinks he is *THE* lead...
Dec 18th 2017
36
LOL
Dec 18th 2017
42
Indeed.
Dec 18th 2017
65
West a dogg! he the leader of team BLACK! TNC dont got that dogg in him!
Dec 18th 2017
41
I firmly reside here
Dec 18th 2017
47
West gets half his paychecks dancing for CNN and Maher
Dec 18th 2017
44
pretty much...
Dec 18th 2017
46
Jelani Cobb shut it down last night:
Dec 18th 2017
45
RE: Jelani Cobb shut it down last night:
Dec 18th 2017
54
agreed
Dec 18th 2017
60
Dope.
Dec 18th 2017
61
Cornel tight nobody checking for him anymore.
Dec 18th 2017
50
Y'all just gonna attack Cornel instead of attacking what he said, huh?
Dec 18th 2017
52
He hasn't said anything they can honestly argue against that's why.
Dec 18th 2017
53
West had fair points, but his attack was more personal and petty
Dec 18th 2017
55
Cornel said a bunch of shit based on NOT reading Coates
Dec 18th 2017
56
RE: Cornel said a bunch of shit based on NOT reading Coates <- THIS
Dec 18th 2017
57
I think this is where the West piece actually comes from
Dec 18th 2017
58
Let's be honest, that title conjures up different connotations though
Dec 19th 2017
113
I've seen better critiques of TNC on Twitter than this shit, it's embarr...
Dec 18th 2017
67
"zacally" (c) redd foxx. balcony muppet ass ni&&a.
Dec 20th 2017
177
he sandwiched salient points in petty bullshit about someone else
Dec 18th 2017
66
Anyone read Kiese Laymon's version?
Dec 18th 2017
59
Kiese Laymon is that fucking dude
Dec 18th 2017
62
Kiese Laymon READ Coates work before commenting.
Dec 18th 2017
63
a novel idea.
Dec 18th 2017
69
A good read
Dec 18th 2017
71
Better than West's piece
Dec 18th 2017
74
I'm really frustrated
Dec 18th 2017
68
meh. umar johnson vs polight vs seti was more entertaining
Dec 18th 2017
73
I'm still tripping off "Prince of Pan-Afrikanism NIGGA" to this day
Dec 18th 2017
75
this fool made the Wakandans invaders that harvested alien tech
Dec 18th 2017
76
which is a more accurate criticism of his work than West puts out there
Dec 19th 2017
78
      seen, Poo Poo Platter even
Dec 19th 2017
134
TNC deleted his twitter
Dec 19th 2017
79
i like dude but he is way too thin skinned.
Dec 19th 2017
80
agreed
Dec 19th 2017
81
Yeah. At the same time you can tell he's a pure writing nerd
Dec 19th 2017
he got the usual backlash from berniebots and alt righters.
Dec 19th 2017
86
Yeah. At the same time you can tell he's a pure writing nerd
Dec 19th 2017
84
He was always that way on his Atlantic blog.
Dec 19th 2017
85
it's always been puzzling to me that I've never heard of yo till OKP
Dec 19th 2017
88
First mention I heard of him was here back in like 2008.
Dec 19th 2017
94
i caught on to him through bill maher, black msnbc shows, etc.
Dec 19th 2017
102
co-sign
Dec 19th 2017
110
      Lol. Exactly..was kinda waiting for you to show up...cuz yo went up
Dec 19th 2017
114
           lol, i think he was class of 92 or 93
Dec 20th 2017
146
                He was a bullied nerd (no shade - I wasn't bullied but I was a nerd).
Dec 20th 2017
148
ya'll hella judgmental.
Dec 19th 2017
124
^^^^
Dec 22nd 2017
199
this is a misread of the situation
Dec 20th 2017
166
Damn
Dec 19th 2017
82
he handled it right for him, which is all that matters.
Dec 19th 2017
123
      No, with great power comes great responsibility
Dec 20th 2017
154
           So what exactly is the responsibility that he's shirking?
Dec 20th 2017
163
                Answering his critics and those who disagree, in his own words.
Dec 20th 2017
171
                     he did that. he has always done that. to exhaustion
Dec 21st 2017
184
                          Thank you
Dec 21st 2017
191
                               you're welcome. i want to get better at kind, loving debate.
Dec 21st 2017
193
                                    Update: 3 years later, I don't care anymore. LOL
Sep 21st 2020
217
                                         Yo c'mon hahaha how the eff did you remember this exact comment
Sep 21st 2020
218
                                         LOL I didn't. I was looking for this post, then saw my reply in it
Sep 22nd 2020
223
                                         lmao
Sep 22nd 2020
224
I don't blame him. I mean, I blame him for being dramatic about it
Dec 19th 2017
87
nobody expects him to answer to it all though
Dec 19th 2017
91
making a big deal out of it is teenage
Dec 19th 2017
92
I agree with you here.
Dec 19th 2017
93
Why can't he just ignore any comments he doesn't want to reply to?
Dec 19th 2017
95
      yup
Dec 19th 2017
97
      exactly. nothing valiant about tucking his tail.
Dec 19th 2017
98
      The age-old OKP question
Dec 19th 2017
107
      I mean I can't speak for him but I'd think it'd be difficult ...
Dec 19th 2017
111
           TheAtlantic has curated message boards
Dec 20th 2017
145
                RE: TheAtlantic has curated message boards
Dec 20th 2017
178
deleting your whole account *is* making a big deal of it.
Dec 19th 2017
96
      i mean i said that shit was dramatic.
Dec 19th 2017
99
      I don't think it's about criticism
Dec 19th 2017
119
           ^^^^^^^this. everybody is judging from their own lens
Dec 19th 2017
128
he didn't really make a big deal though
Dec 19th 2017
118
exactly. he may not have even liked Twitter in the first place.
Dec 19th 2017
129
um we giving Twitter (and all social media) way too much importance
Dec 19th 2017
127
      ^^^^^
Dec 20th 2017
139
i dont blame him either. twitter is toxic
Dec 19th 2017
106
I'd like to see this too:
Dec 19th 2017
108
      im waiting to see him write about racism against africans in Paris
Dec 19th 2017
109
           have you read what Baldwin wrote on the subject?
Dec 19th 2017
116
           no, you have a link?
Dec 19th 2017
120
           have u been following kemi seba going Against the cfa franc
Dec 19th 2017
117
           *looks him up*
Dec 19th 2017
121
           why must he write about what we want him to?
Dec 19th 2017
130
                because he has said its an area he wants to explore and write about?
Dec 20th 2017
137
                     oh of course. hope and expectation is fine
Dec 20th 2017
165
                          well, i disagree.
Dec 20th 2017
167
                               ok understood..thanks for clarifying
Dec 21st 2017
185
i don't get what was dramatic about it.
Dec 19th 2017
126
      i just meant making the announcement about it
Dec 19th 2017
133
yeesh thats soft
Dec 19th 2017
89
disappointing ..
Dec 19th 2017
90
lol
Dec 19th 2017
105
Good for him
Dec 19th 2017
115
He made Richard Spencer's day
Dec 20th 2017
140
      Damn. This perspective is very interesting:
Dec 20th 2017
143
      It's not about Spencer. I think you're projecting a bit
Dec 20th 2017
144
      His actions say otherwise.
Dec 20th 2017
147
      I was referring to quitting Twitter
Dec 20th 2017
151
           I see. I can only assess what's there.
Dec 20th 2017
156
      Basically.
Dec 20th 2017
149
      Yep all of that
Dec 20th 2017
152
      ‘his followers’
Dec 20th 2017
158
           Ironic
Dec 20th 2017
159
      BRUH! Exactly!!!
Dec 21st 2017
181
      that's a Catch 22 that no one can win
Dec 21st 2017
186
Michael Harriot wrote a good piece
Dec 19th 2017
100
FATALITY
Dec 19th 2017
103
this is great.
Dec 19th 2017
104
flames
Dec 19th 2017
132
This dude seems confused on what neoliberalism means
Dec 20th 2017
175
      YUP. Hella disingenuous/dishonest
Dec 21st 2017
180
      Basically
Dec 21st 2017
183
      his take was clumsy
Dec 21st 2017
195
           It just simply doesn't follow...
Dec 21st 2017
197
He couldn't handle the pressure lol.
Dec 19th 2017
101
and even if that were true, that's human. so?
Dec 19th 2017
131
LoL @ folks being pissy about someone logging off....
Dec 19th 2017
112
one of the organizers of charlottesville at that.
Dec 19th 2017
122
Can someone explain why i should care about any of this.
Dec 20th 2017
138
If you don't care, then just don't care
Dec 20th 2017
142
RE: If you don't care, then just don't care
Dec 20th 2017
155
      Just listen to the first hr of this if you can...
Dec 20th 2017
157
Not interested in Black intellectual debate ?
Dec 20th 2017
153
You know you're doing something right when people come at you
Dec 20th 2017
150
Right? I'd be much more concerned if I was West
Dec 20th 2017
160
      People are giving this Nazi way too much credit
Dec 20th 2017
170
On West picking The Guardian as his platform:
Dec 20th 2017
161
buck fighting is sadly accurate here.
Dec 20th 2017
164
LMAO
Dec 20th 2017
172
      haha
Dec 20th 2017
174
eh. the guardian seems to be his platform of choice
Dec 20th 2017
168
quite the opposite
Dec 20th 2017
173
guardian posts a lot of articles on "both sides" of stuff
Dec 20th 2017
176
West picking The Guardian as his platform ? What ?
Dec 20th 2017
169
I can't get past West accusing anyone of
Dec 21st 2017
179
The Final Call responds to Jelani Cobb
Dec 21st 2017
182
Why are we so quick to dismiss West
Dec 21st 2017
187
West has been "out" since he started going at Barry. Coates
Dec 21st 2017
188
Out to who?
Dec 21st 2017
189
I think it largely is that simple.
Dec 21st 2017
190
RE: his reparations piece
Dec 21st 2017
196
      And that's why white people love him
Dec 23rd 2017
203
           Real talk
Dec 23rd 2017
211
Because
Dec 21st 2017
192
^^^ all of this. nm
Dec 22nd 2017
200
Most of us here say West has points about TNC
Dec 21st 2017
194
RE: Most of us here say West has points about TNC
Dec 22nd 2017
201
he seems to be intellectually dishonest and agenda-driven
Dec 21st 2017
198
West is doing it for the cllicks/ofay shine
Dec 23rd 2017
204
      I still love Dr. West's work but you're right about his pandering.....
Dec 24th 2017
212
as if any think piece by will change anything
Dec 23rd 2017
202
They love their privileges and comfortable lives too much to
Dec 23rd 2017
209
Robin DG Kelley weighs in
Dec 23rd 2017
205
Another good read
Dec 23rd 2017
206
he’s such an adult.
Dec 23rd 2017
208
Best assessment yet
Dec 23rd 2017
210
I'm suprised TNC lasted this long, dude is definitely
Dec 23rd 2017
207
Coates was propped up. A good writer, but still propped.
Dec 24th 2017
213
That’s unsettling. What think tank was this and what was it’s missio...
Dec 25th 2017
214
RE: I'm suprised TNC lasted this long, dude is definitely
Dec 26th 2017
216
"Coates and West in Jackson," from The Boston Review (swipe)
Dec 26th 2017
215
reading this again now hits different...
Sep 21st 2020
219
Why? Cornel is still Cornel, and Coates wasn't interested in a
Sep 21st 2020
220
      oh no doubt. I wasn't referring to him criticizing Coates
Sep 21st 2020
221
What happened to Sarah Bellum? n/m
Sep 22nd 2020
222

Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
4022 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 12:23 PM

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1. "Damn"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>oldie but goodie:
>https://twitter.com/CornelWest/status/635996114060050432
>

Damn again

>anyway, you know he had to brand coates as a neoliberal lol.
>far left getting as predictable as the far right at this
>point. the horseshoe is real af.
>


Nah it was some truth in there.

“Ossie Davis famously eulogized Malcolm X as ‘our living, Black manhood’ and ‘our own Black shining prince.’ Only one man today could bear those twin honorifics: Barack Obama.”

This gross misunderstanding of who Malcolm X was – the greatest prophetic voice against the American Empire – and who Barack Obama is – the first black head of the American Empire – speaks volumes about Coates’ neoliberal view of the world.

---------------------------
Signature

  

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Sarah_Bellum
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7486 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 04:06 PM

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16. "^^^ this right here 100%"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          


___________________________________________________________


DJTB YOMM

  

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Deacon Blues
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5013 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 12:34 PM

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2. "RE: Cornel West Goes At Ta-Nehisi Coates (Swipe)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

.
>
>The disagreement between Coates and me is clear: any analysis
>or vision of our world that omits the centrality of Wall
>Street power, US military policies, and the complex dynamics
>of class, gender, and sexuality in black America is too narrow
>and dangerously misleading. So it is with Ta-Nehisi Coates’
>worldview.
>
>Coates rightly highlights the vicious legacy of white
>supremacy – past and present. He sees it everywhere and ever
>reminds us of its plundering effects. Unfortunately, he hardly
>keeps track of our fightback, and never connects this ugly
>legacy to the predatory capitalist practices, imperial
>policies (of war, occupation, detention, assassination) or the
>black elite’s refusal to confront poverty, patriarchy or
>transphobia.


is this true or just not his focus?

dude

  

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Teknontheou
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32414 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 01:09 PM

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3. "Yes and yes"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

It's kind of unfair to TNC, because big name Black public intellectuals are like the Sith, they only allow 2 at a time, at most. So those 2 are expected to address everyone's concerns and areas of interest. TNC's thing is white supremacy and its effect on Black people (men). He doesn't do gender. He doesn't do deep philosophy. He doesn't do high level academic economic analysis. But everyone wants him to do all that stuff at a high level, so they get frustrated with him when he won't, or can't. And, to his credit, he has tried, in the past, but critiquing white supremacy is his strongsuit.

  

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Buddy_Gilapagos
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45437 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 01:46 PM

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4. "^^^^^^ And West is Darth Petty"
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

Still ain't forgive him for how he came at MPH.


**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"

  

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Hitokiri
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Mon Dec-18-17 09:47 AM

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48. "Yeah pretty much"
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

and the way he came at Dyson felt very much the same. I'm very much over Cornell at this point

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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Sofian_Hadi
Member since Jan 03rd 2003
3090 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 01:58 PM

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5. "*waits for Cornel West article about his abusive friend*"
In response to Reply # 0


          

---------------------------------------

"The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in." - James Baldwin

  

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kayru99
Member since Jan 26th 2004
15781 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 02:07 PM

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6. "why? Why would he?"
In response to Reply # 5


          

HOW would he?

  

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Sofian_Hadi
Member since Jan 03rd 2003
3090 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 05:18 PM

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26. "If he insists on calling out other public black figures"
In response to Reply # 6


          

And his ride or die was just outed as a sexually abusive asshole, West looks suspect if he doesnt say a word. Highly highly suspect.

---------------------------------------

"The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in." - James Baldwin

  

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kayru99
Member since Jan 26th 2004
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38. "he talks about state & national level politics"
In response to Reply # 26


          

and his boy is ACCUSED of improper relationships at work.
It doesnt fit his wheelhouse at all, honestly

  

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Atillah Moor
Member since Sep 05th 2013
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7. "It's horseshit in the end because nothing will change without violence "
In response to Reply # 0
Sun Dec-17-17 02:08 PM by Atillah Moor

  

          

It really doesn't matter who's essays are better

  

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Mynoriti
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8. "he really really really likes saying neoliberal"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

--------
http://ambitiondeficitdisorder.tumblr.com/

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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Sun Dec-17-17 02:10 PM

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9. "Coates' audience isn't academia"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Obama's audience wasn't academia

This dude needs to chill. I can't stand dumb smart people. He wants everything to be a deep dive analysis. That every atom of a problem needs to be carefully laid out in words for him. It's as if it goes over his head that people don't talk about everything they're aware of. That just MAYBE they don't have these blind spots that HE alone sees, that MAYBE like everything else in life people internalize what they know then convery a message to the audience that they have.

Obama ran a country. Coates publishes essays and writes books.

If he wants field tested research maybe he should be doing more to expand the pool of black philisophical study. At this point he SHOULD be chairing a think tank.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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shygurl
Member since Oct 08th 2002
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Sun Dec-17-17 02:28 PM

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10. "hmmm"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun Dec-17-17 02:37 PM by shygurl

  

          

Who are people that West has pubicly attacked? Obama, Melissa Harris Perry, Michael Dyson, Al Sharpton, Coates....

How is the whole fucking world falling apart, yet the harshest of your criticisms seem to fall on people who look like you? To me, his turn about in the last decade or so stinks of jealousy and pettiness, and honestly who needs the Bannons and Gorkas of the world when we can get the same hatred from within our own? smfh.

  

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poetx
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11. "man, fuck cornel west (and balcony muppet ass tavis). "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

8 yrs of showin they ass wasn't enough, so now they self-aggrandizing asses got to try and find the next popular political blackman who not them.

transparent fake ass muhfuckas.


peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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akon
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12. "^^^^^^"
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Castro
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22. "*packs up, nothing more to add, Bruh man said it all up there ^^^"
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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hip bopper
Member since Jun 22nd 2003
7385 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 01:30 PM

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70. "Well somebody sure sounds big mad!!!!"
In response to Reply # 11


          

  

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IkeMoses
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13. "West is right to criticize Coates’s fatalism and pessimism."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

TNC does treat white supremacy like it’s invicible and eternal. I don’t think black folks can afford to fear as much as TNC does. And that’s not divine hope speaking. I’m just as atheistic as Coates, but I think the trajectory of black people in this nation is proof enough that we are on the path of overcoming.

Five years after the Civil War there were less than 5 million of us. Now there are damn near 50 million of us. We ain’t dying, we multiplying. Literally.

That said...

West needs to sit the fuck down with this “neoliberal” shit and treating Coates like he’s a white liberal Trophy Nigga. West got nerve to call somebody myopic when he’s drinking the class struggle Kool-Aid. True, a lot of black people’s problems got economic causes and ramifications, but don’t fool yourself into thinking your Bernie Bros won’t hit you with the “identity politics”dismissal the next time a nigga gets shot by the police.

Also, we right in the middle of the #MeToo movement and ya boy Tavis is on the Summer Jam screen. Show some solidarity with your sistas, Brother West, and call a hypocrite out.

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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akon
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19. "i take issue with TNC tying his pessimism to atheism"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

>TNC does treat white supremacy like it’s invicible and
>eternal. I don’t think black folks can afford to fear as
>much as TNC does.

especially because he implies one is a result of the other- or is related to a notion that there is little we can do about white supremacy since they have no interest in changing the system (or something like that- basically he says human beings are trash so we shouldnt expect them to do better).
i cringe at that because to me its fundamentally antithetic to atheism- which (imo) places human agency at the core... yes we can be pessimisstic that things may not get better... (shit i am- this year especially).. but this has little to do with atheism. I think it discredits us atheists.

but... the throw-away sentence that CW puts in this article to try and critique this, i mean... smh. does.not.make.sense

"Coates tries to justify his “defiance” by an appeal to “black atheism, to a disbelief in dreams and moral appeal”. He not only has “no expectations of white people at all”, but for him, if freedom means anything at all it is “this defiance”.

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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IkeMoses
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20. "thank you!"
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

>especially because he implies one is a result of the other- or
>is related to a notion that there is little we can do about
>white supremacy since they have no interest in changing the
>system (or something like that- basically he says human beings
>are trash so we shouldnt expect them to do better).
>i cringe at that because to me its fundamentally antithetic to
>atheism- which (imo) places human agency at the core... yes we
>can be pessimisstic that things may not get better... (shit i
>am- this year especially).. but this has little to do with
>atheism. I think it discredits us atheists.

i couldn’t agree more.

>but... the throw-away sentence that CW puts in this article to
>try and critique this, i mean... smh. does.not.make.sense
>
>"Coates tries to justify his “defiance” by an appeal to
>“black atheism, to a disbelief in dreams and moral
>appeal”. He not only has “no expectations of white people
>at all”, but for him, if freedom means anything at all it is
>“this defiance”.

i’m just surprised that West didn’t call himself a Revolutionary Black Prophet or whatever after that paragraph.

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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akon
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21. "lol!"
In response to Reply # 20


  

          



>i’m just surprised that West didn’t call himself a
>Revolutionary Black Prophet or whatever after that paragraph.

but here he is playing at 'let me put myself up on a pedestal for a minute' - the complete lack of self-awareness is just amazing.

"The disagreements between Coates and I are substantive and serious. It would be wrong to construe my quest for truth and justice as motivated by pettiness. Must every serious critique be reduced to a vicious takedown or an ugly act of hatred? Can we not acknowledge that there are deep disagreements among us with our very lives and destinies at stake? Is it even possible to downplay career moves and personal insecurities in order to highlight our clashing and conflicting ways of viewing the cold and cruel world we inhabit?"

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Buddy_Gilapagos
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49. "I agree with you 100%"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          


**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"

  

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Sarah_Bellum
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14. "Black folks hate it when their public intellectuals disagree "
In response to Reply # 0
Sun Dec-17-17 04:01 PM by Sarah_Bellum

  

          

If all your intellectuals agree there is probably no intellect to be found. The historical beefs of your favs make this taken down look like light work. Dialogue and conflict is a part of it and it all doesnt need to be holding hands forever.
TC is a afro-pessimist coaching his words in kitchen table vernacular to make y'all comfortable with his nihilism. He won't call it that directly because it would make supporters white and black retreat. I'm happy to see it publically because I agree with him on most points but the majority of black academia hates Afro-pessimism with the a fiery passion of 10 thousand suns.
Cornel has done similar take downs of pessimist and vice verses. This fight between the Afro-futurist and pessimist has be going on for two decades if not three with similar volleys back and forth between sides. I love because it's important for the evolution of black thought!
All that said, I wouldn't take this so personal. It's an east coast west coast beef of black thought. If it never happened we would have missed out on so much great music, ideas and style that sprung from it.
___________________________________________________________


DJTB YOMM

  

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kayru99
Member since Jan 26th 2004
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15. "^^^^^^^^^^^"
In response to Reply # 14
Sun Dec-17-17 04:06 PM by kayru99

          

that's how ideas are developed and refined.
And honestly, Coates is pessimistic as shit, but clings like hell to the myth of Obama the Great Man (who incidentally got him out of obsecurity), and that is some obviously sideways shit, lol

  

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Sarah_Bellum
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17. "RE: ^^^^^^^^^^^"
In response to Reply # 15


  

          

He uses Obama as an inoculation against all the other straight up fundamental Afro-pessimist stuff he's saying. He knows Obama is a litmus test which black people's double consciousness is not set up to process fully or rationally. He's had to watch achademic after achadmic suffer trying to square it when it doesn't square or be truthful and labeled heretics.
He knows it doesn't jive... so I'm glad to see him get called or on it.








___________________________________________________________


DJTB YOMM

  

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kayru99
Member since Jan 26th 2004
15781 posts
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27. "hmmm...never thought of it that way. Interesting, "
In response to Reply # 17


          

I always just took him as one of those Apostles of Barry

  

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Sarah_Bellum
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33. "I think it's both"
In response to Reply # 27


  

          


___________________________________________________________


DJTB YOMM

  

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Sarah_Bellum
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29. "*10,000 typos and misspellings but you know what I mean."
In response to Reply # 17
Sun Dec-17-17 06:48 PM by Sarah_Bellum

  

          

___________________________________________________________


DJTB YOMM

  

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Boogie Stimuli
Member since Sep 24th 2010
13093 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 04:21 PM

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18. "Exactly. This been happening since Dubios vs Ferris"
In response to Reply # 14
Sun Dec-17-17 04:23 PM by Boogie Stimuli

          

or Dubois vs Garvey and many more.

I don't think people realize how silly they
look when they assert that Black intellectuals
shouldn't publicly disagree. The only real
issue is that most Black folk choose who white
folk grant a platform and don't even know the
other voices out here speaking actual facts...
which has happened throughout history since the
19th century, and ppl would know it if they
read history, but I know how that goes.

~
~
~
~
~
"Until you get outta my way, I don't wanna hear what you say aye aye"

  

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BigReg
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Mon Dec-18-17 08:03 AM

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43. "Its because its less disagreements, more like taking Coates down"
In response to Reply # 18
Mon Dec-18-17 08:04 AM by BigReg

  

          

West basically says he's shucking and jiving for white folks.

While not going to say that there weren't some drag out verbal fights between black intellectuals in the past; most were of the 'i respectfully disagree' kind.

It's 'He's the fake one, I am the real one'

  

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Castro
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23. "We hate transparently jealous disagreement. "
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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Vertigo
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34. "the issue is that he arguing over decimal points...."
In response to Reply # 14
Sun Dec-17-17 10:19 PM by Vertigo

          

He being West. And he STAY's doing that. The issue is not that there are disagreements among black voices. The issue is that West CONSISTENTLY makes a bigger deal over his issues with the nuances of other black voices, than the FAR MORE PRESSING issues that they agree on. So what happens is that both voices get lost because of Cornell's attacks, and that becomes the story to the non-black audience.

Sidenote, to me Cornell West is the Dennis Miller of black voices--ie, he uses every big word and random reference he knows to ENSURE that people can't make sense of 90% of what he says (in my opinion this is so he 1) sounds smarter than he is and 2) so he can't be disputed by non-academics). His grandstanding aside, this has the other benefit of making his voice COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT--whether he knows it or not, he's a sideshow, not a serious commentator. Read in PT Barnum voice: "come all, look at the overly bookish negro. He'll dazzle you with words you've never heard of all day long!"

Side-side note for anyone that listens to Joe Rogan's podcasts he does the EXACT same thing on many issues--most notably on issues of rape and false accusations. He'll (correctly) state that rape is a FAR bigger issue than false accusations of rape and that unreported rapes and rapes that aren't taken seriously are FAR more prevalent than false accusations--again all correct. That will be 30 seconds of time, maybe a minute, if the guest asks a question. Then he'll take 20-30 minutes to detail specific instances where a guy has been wronged by a false accusation of rape and how bad it was to his life. He will then give impassioned pleas about how serious the crime is and how it should never occur. All correct information, but when you look at the amount of time and passion he has on defending the men vs women, it's clear which issue is truly more important to him. The same with Cornell West--he spends all his time attacking other black people for not having the *exact* same opinion as him, vs a little of bit of time actually communicating said opinions--it's clear what's more important to him.

  

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kayru99
Member since Jan 26th 2004
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Mon Dec-18-17 01:43 AM

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39. "you ever read his books? He's actually simplified his text a LOT .."
In response to Reply # 34


          

for publication in mainstream media. Dude's a philosophy professor...he's gonna get into some pretty subtle ideas.
And I got no problem understanding him

  

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Sarah_Bellum
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136. "^^This..."
In response to Reply # 39


  

          


________________________________________________________


DJTB YOMM

  

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Atillah Moor
Member since Sep 05th 2013
13825 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 12:15 PM

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64. "seems like the only thing to disagree on with WS is how to destroy it "
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

what else is there to disagree about?

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
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Mon Dec-18-17 02:02 PM

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72. "Exactly"
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

>If all your intellectuals agree there is probably no
>intellect to be found. The historical beefs of your favs make
>this taken down look like light work. Dialogue and conflict is
>a part of it and it all doesnt need to be holding hands
>forever.
>TC is a afro-pessimist coaching his words in kitchen table
>vernacular to make y'all comfortable with his nihilism. He
>won't call it that directly because it would make supporters
>white and black retreat. I'm happy to see it publically
>because I agree with him on most points but the majority of
>black academia hates Afro-pessimism with the a fiery passion
>of 10 thousand suns.
>Cornel has done similar take downs of pessimist and vice
>verses. This fight between the Afro-futurist and pessimist has
>be going on for two decades if not three with similar volleys
>back and forth between sides. I love because it's important
>for the evolution of black thought!
>All that said, I wouldn't take this so personal. It's an east
>coast west coast beef of black thought. If it never happened
>we would have missed out on so much great music, ideas and
>style that sprung from it.
>___________________________________________________________


^^^^^^ All true

---------------------------
Signature

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
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Tue Dec-19-17 08:55 PM

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125. "people keep forgetting a really important detail tho:"
In response to Reply # 14


          

TNC wasn't trying to be anybody's Black leader. He's just a writer. He has opinions and writes about them. and people pay him for it.

that's it.

He isn't/wasn't trying to be Cornel West...

He's just on some "this is how i see the world"

as far as i'm concerned, there's no need for me to agree or disagree with his lived experiences.

Every writer ain't a leader.

TNC doesn't have to write about what other people want him to write about.

d

  

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Sarah_Bellum
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Wed Dec-20-17 05:34 AM

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135. "West isn't trying to be a leader either..."
In response to Reply # 125
Wed Dec-20-17 05:43 AM by Sarah_Bellum

  

          

He's an academic writing criticism of political thought. That is the very definition of his job.
A political writer who doesn't want criticism shouldn't publish. They should journal before bed and leave it on the night stand.
I agree with many of Coat's ideas. I agreed with them when they were said 20 years ago by the people who originated those ideas.
TC is thin skinned and precious about his writing but he is a public intellectual. Telling peers and academics who have spent decades researching black political thought "don't write about my ideas and how they should be categorized. Praise only" is not how critical theory works fundamentally. If that's what he wants, he picked the wrong genre to write in.

___________________________________________________________


DJTB YOMM

  

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Bluebear
Member since Apr 06th 2003
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Wed Dec-20-17 09:46 AM

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141. "I don't think Coates (and most people here) mind the criticism"
In response to Reply # 135


  

          

of his ideas. In fact, in most of the intros in "We were eight years in power" he acknowledges those criticisms and how they've altered the way he views things since writing pieces. I think his reaction and most of our objection to West is the personal and petty nature of his critiques (and the fact that he really does not seem to have read much Coates).

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
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Wed Dec-20-17 04:05 PM

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162. "RE: West isn't trying to be a leader either..."
In response to Reply # 135


          

>He's an academic writing criticism of political thought. That
>is the very definition of his job.
>A political writer who doesn't want criticism

he didn't leave twitter because he had a problem with criticism...he had a problem with white supremacists and the President chiming in on his criticism. there's a difference.


>TC is thin skinned and precious about his writing but he is a
>public intellectual.

I frankly think its wonderful for anyone to be thinskinned, because what that's really saying is that someone is sensitive and vulnerable. Which is a GREAT thing..imagine if more people were...so I never find that to be a fault or a negative in anyway. But socialization being what it is, other people have a problem with it.

Telling peers and academics who have
>spent decades researching black political thought "don't
>write about my ideas and how they should be categorized.
>Praise only" is not how critical theory works fundamentally.

who said that and when?

d

  

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Musa
Member since Mar 08th 2006
15510 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 05:01 PM

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24. "I prefer this Cornell to the 90s one vs Sista Soulja"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

He actually is calling out status quo and not afraid to go against the cult of personality.

<----

Soundcloud.com/aquil84

(HIP HOP)
http://aquil.bandcamp.com

  

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kayru99
Member since Jan 26th 2004
15781 posts
Sun Dec-17-17 05:16 PM

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25. "The Clinton administration pushed him HARD left"
In response to Reply # 24


          

  

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Musa
Member since Mar 08th 2006
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28. "Most certainly"
In response to Reply # 25


  

          

I'm still not a follower of his philosophy but I respect calling out the finances behind racism

<----

Soundcloud.com/aquil84

(HIP HOP)
http://aquil.bandcamp.com

  

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Reuben
Member since Mar 13th 2006
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Sun Dec-17-17 06:57 PM

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30. "I never liked him before but something happened with the Obama admin"
In response to Reply # 24


  

          

That got him on some frantz fanon with the canon shit.

_______________________________________
When discourse of Blackness is not connected to efforts to promote collective black self determinism
it becomes simply another recourse appropriated by the colonizer

http://hardboiledbabesanddarkchocolate.tumblr.co

  

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unfukwitable
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31. "Ta-Nehisi Coates with receipts "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/942517503586058240

======================================
http://www.zuitomedia.com/

  

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akon
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32. "ha! i love it."
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Mynoriti
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37. "damn"
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

--------
http://ambitiondeficitdisorder.tumblr.com/

  

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Reeq
Member since Mar 11th 2013
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Mon Dec-18-17 03:53 AM

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40. "like a don. "
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

------

  

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dafriquan
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51. "lol. now this is how you counter ambiguous attacks"
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

  

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Birdzeye
Member since Feb 29th 2008
419 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 02:56 AM

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77. "RE: Ta-Nehisi Coates with receipts "
In response to Reply # 31


          

What did this link say? It's no longer working?

Lurk everyday.. Post once a month..

  

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rawsouthpaw
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83. "coates deleted his twitter account over this"
In response to Reply # 77


  

          

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/365613-ta-nehisi-coates-deletes-twitter-account

  

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Basaglia
Member since Nov 30th 2004
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35. "niggas still looking for leaders. unbelievable. "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

____________________________________________________


Steph: I was just fooling about

Kyrie: I wasn't.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8OWNspU_yE

  

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Castro
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36. "This is exactly why West is on that bullshit. He thinks he is *THE* lead..."
In response to Reply # 35
Mon Dec-18-17 01:02 AM by Castro

  

          

Meanwhile, the rest of the world has adapted to fluid, headless group organizing.

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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howardlloyd
Member since Jan 18th 2007
2661 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 06:56 AM

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42. "LOL"
In response to Reply # 36


  

          

n/m

http://howardlloyd.bandcamp.com

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
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65. "Indeed."
In response to Reply # 36


  

          

It's hard not to read this critique as pettiness, because it's fucking inaccurate.

  

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40thStreetBlack
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Mon Dec-18-17 05:34 AM

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41. "West a dogg! he the leader of team BLACK! TNC dont got that dogg in him!"
In response to Reply # 35


  

          


<----- Long Live The King

  

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ambient1
Member since May 23rd 2007
41077 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 09:43 AM

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47. "I firmly reside here"
In response to Reply # 35


  

          

=======================================
Coolin...

  

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BigReg
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44. "West gets half his paychecks dancing for CNN and Maher"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon Dec-18-17 08:12 AM by BigReg

  

          

whenever they need a black face.

So him attacking Coates as the white neoliberal darling makes me think his glass house is under need of hella repair.

Id also say the current MTV friendly version of West accuses Coates of not calling out the institutions and systems of race like capitalism, on the flip West is rarely direct in calling out WHITE people on their shit like he does Obama if you notice. Coates makes it a point to point out how mainstreet everyday postman, picket fence america is complicit w/ gov and other systems, West is too busy going after the targets that won't hurt his current employers ratings. Being the socialist kook going in on Obama isn't as brave stand as he thinks it is.

  

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Vertigo
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Mon Dec-18-17 09:39 AM

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46. "pretty much..."
In response to Reply # 44


          

see post 34...he spends far more time attacking black folks than the extreme white folks...that tells me all I need to know about his motivations.

  

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Castro
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48996 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 08:11 AM

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45. "Jelani Cobb shut it down last night:"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://twitter.com/i/moments/942612074584256512

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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double 0
Member since Nov 17th 2004
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54. "RE: Jelani Cobb shut it down last night:"
In response to Reply # 45


          

that thread was amazing

Double 0
DJ/Producer/Artist
Producer in Kidz In The Hall
-------------------------------------------
twitter: @godouble0
IG: @godouble0
www.thinklikearapper.com

  

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Cam
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60. "agreed"
In response to Reply # 54


  

          

  

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Airbreed
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61. "Dope."
In response to Reply # 45


  

          

.

  

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BrooklynWHAT
Member since Jun 15th 2007
80022 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 10:11 AM

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50. "Cornel tight nobody checking for him anymore."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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flipnile
Member since Nov 05th 2003
12790 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 10:16 AM

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52. "Y'all just gonna attack Cornel instead of attacking what he said, huh?"
In response to Reply # 0


          

I ain't even up on anything that West *or* Coates does, but damn.

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem
https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/tu-quoque

  

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Reuben
Member since Mar 13th 2006
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Mon Dec-18-17 10:49 AM

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53. "He hasn't said anything they can honestly argue against that's why."
In response to Reply # 52


  

          

I never liked him but since he snapped during the Obama administration he's spoken nothing but facts but this is football to niggas, pick a team and defend it.

_______________________________________
When discourse of Blackness is not connected to efforts to promote collective black self determinism
it becomes simply another recourse appropriated by the colonizer

http://hardboiledbabesanddarkchocolate.tumblr.co

  

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Buddy_Gilapagos
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55. "West had fair points, but his attack was more personal and petty"
In response to Reply # 52


  

          

driven though.


**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"

  

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Castro
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56. "Cornel said a bunch of shit based on NOT reading Coates"
In response to Reply # 52


  

          

Coates posted the articles that refute what West asserted, namely that Coates doesn't write about LGTBQ issues, never wrote about Obama and drone warfare, and never wrote about wall street. Coates responded by posting MULTIPLE articles that covered each topic. West asserted that Coates is looking for white approval...yet it is West who continues work in Ivy league institutions, and it is West who never took Walmart to task but gladly took their money with Tavis. West basically accused Coates of being a neoliberal without properly defining neoliberalism nor examining where his work as a public scholar props up neoliberalism.

What else is there to say? Everyone wants this to be some type of deep discussion, but this is one dude mad about another dude's success. Its nothing more than that. Coates ain't out here writing 10,000 word hit pieces on Cornel like Michael Eric Dyson.

I'm not saying you have to agree with everything Coates pens...I sure as hell don't....but West is on some bullshit and has been for a LONG time.

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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BrooklynWHAT
Member since Jun 15th 2007
80022 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 11:21 AM

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57. "RE: Cornel said a bunch of shit based on NOT reading Coates <- THIS"
In response to Reply # 56


  

          

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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Hitokiri
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Mon Dec-18-17 11:38 AM

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58. "I think this is where the West piece actually comes from"
In response to Reply # 56


  

          

He made a statement the other week citing TNC's news book. Paraphrasing, West said, "He wrote a book called 'We Were Eight Years In Power.' Who is we?! We certainly weren't in power." TNC responded on twitter saying, the first paragraph of the book literally tells you that it's a phrase from reconstruction and he'd hate to be the bearer of bad news but the Grapes of Wrath isn't about murderous fruit etc." So, basically he said... "you're critiquing the book, without even having read the first page." And now West comes with this...

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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theeraser
Member since Feb 11th 2007
7209 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 04:51 PM

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113. "Let's be honest, that title conjures up different connotations though"
In response to Reply # 58


          

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
130829 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 01:10 PM

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67. "I've seen better critiques of TNC on Twitter than this shit, it's embarr..."
In response to Reply # 56


  

          

  

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poetx
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177. ""zacally" (c) redd foxx. balcony muppet ass ni&&a. "
In response to Reply # 56


  

          


peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
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66. "he sandwiched salient points in petty bullshit about someone else"
In response to Reply # 52


  

          

he's being attacked for the "petty bullshit"

  

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Cam
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Mon Dec-18-17 11:54 AM

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59. "Anyone read Kiese Laymon's version?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Dissimilar to Cornel West's critique of Ta-Nehisi Coates, Kiese Laymon's version has performed the exact same effort, but with respect. His exemplifies productive engaging discourse. Not to mention, at probably 10 times the length of West's needlessly verbose offensive take-down, Kiese's somehow was a pleasure to read.

Pasted below
-

"I picked up Ta-Nehisi Coates and his editor Chris Jackson from the train station in Poughkeepsie, New York one damp November night in 2011. After reading every word Ta-Nehisi had publicly written and every book Chris edited, I invited them up for a public conversation on “Autobiography and the Fictive Possibilities of Black American Nonfiction Writing.”

I don’t remember many details of the night, but I do remember Ta-Nehisi and Chris being extremely generous with my students and colleagues. I also remember both of them looking at me like I had a purple confederate flag flying out of my forehead when I asked what, if anything, they would change about Ellison’s Invisible Man.

I want to say I had no idea three years later, that Ta-Nehisi would obliterate the game with a lean percussive book called Between the World and Me. But that would be a lie. I knew the nation’s backlash against Barack Obama and black folks would intensify. I know Barack Obama’s backlash against black folks making loving critiques of him would also intensify.

Most importantly, I knew there was so much Ta-Nehisi had yet to read in 2011, and he tended to turn newly read books into blistering essays every few weeks on his blog. Ta-Nehisi’s two writerly superpowers had long been his desire to craft bombastic, but never too dense, political prose, and his ability to write through what he was currently learning within the pocket of the piece. When writing about his relationships with his father and brother in The Beautiful Struggle, it became clear that Coates’s hadn’t read or remembered Baldwin’s Notes on a Native Son or The Fire Next Time. In many ways, Ta-Nehisi was writing up a storm without a firm foundation in James Baldwin, the greatest essayist and storm-chaser in our nation’s history.

Though I’ve learned a lot about how to synthesize heavy political claims into satisfying prose from Ta-Nehisi, I have never been drawn to his takes on American politics, his lack of faith in black folks, the breezy attention paid to what black men bodies do to the bodies of black women, or his inclination to engage with woeful wack white writers not anywhere near as talented or evocative as he is. I was and will always be drawn to how he uses prose to actually pose questions that matter. Many of us spent years watching, hearing and seeing Ta-Nehisi write brilliantly and curiously through what he learned about The Civil War, jogging, presidential power, emceeing, white folks insatiable desire to plunder and white folks’ music. I don't know that there is another American writer who more effectively models writing as learning and discovery than Ta-Nehisi Coates.

I like to teach Between the World and Me as Ta-Nehisi writing through what he learned while reading and rereading The Fire Next Time in the age of our first black President. The election of President Obama presented us with the question of how should black cultural workers hold a black president, a white heteropatriarchal nation and ourselves accountable for the ways we all fail to radically love black people.

The night Obama was elected, my mother, a political scientist at Jackson State University, did not celebrate. She said that white Americans would punish Obama, punish us and punish the country in spite of his love of them. "There's a price to pay for publicly loving Black folks,” she said. “And I don’t think that most Americans, and any American President, are willing to pay that price.”

I watched Obama’s last State of the Union address the same time I was teaching Between the World and Me. I hoped his final State of the Union marked the end of young black folk ever wanting to be President of this country. Of course, I wanted the most benign person in that position because Federal and Supreme Court appointments determine life, choice, and death. But I was raised to never believe any viable candidate for President could govern with a sustained commitment to compassion, justice and a love of black folks. Barack Obama was hired to clean up a mess white Americans made, a mess that violently shaped the lives of vulnerable black folk here and abroad. He was elected to do that old black work. Obama did his work, as black folk tend to do. Then he failed to ever place blame for the mess where it belonged while deporting millions of our Mexican family.

Ultimately, Ta-Nehisi found a hope and belief in Obama that many of us wish he’d found in vulnerable black folks at large. In Ta-Nehisi’s final rumination of the Obama years, he granted an understanding to Obama’s deployment of his biography as a reason Obama couldn’t lose faith in white Americans. One cannot argue with another's biography. One can argue and indict the way one chooses to employ that biography. Obama, with all his white loving family and presumptions behind him, knew what he was doing when he called our young people "thugs" while failing to ever call white folks responsible for our suffering "thuggish" or "racist." That was not a choice guided by biography. That was a choice guided by anti-blackness and cowardice, as was his Libyan decision. I cannot co-sign his deployment of a white loving biography as shield from loving black people deeply, especially in the face of the waves of unconditional love we shared with him and the absolutely murderous contempt spewed at him and our people during his reign.

I wanted Ta-Nehisi Coates, our nation’s most influential writer, to actually hold the first black President accountable for what often appeared to be a lack of love of black folks in their last public conversation. I wanted him to talk to him the way we should always talk to folks who refuse to reckon with the harm inflicted on black folks. Instead, we watched the American President mesmerize and ultimately woo a brilliant writer, as Americans presidents, and American men with more power than moral principle, are all prone to do. Still, I am convinced that Ta-Nehisi’s public critiques of Obama actually saved some black lives. I can no more substantiate this claim than I can flap these fat-ass arms and fly, but I believe it is true.

I marvel at how Ta-Nehisi has literally made monuments out of the essay form. His words are both born and bond. This, in many ways, is the paradox of Ta-Nehisi Coates. He is the most influential writer of our generation, so he is treated as the most influential writer of our generation, but he is equally and obviously a curious black student publicly reckoning with the weight of white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and imminent empire at his own pace. I am thankful I learned from a black student from Baltimore brave enough to show us what he’s learning. Even as the titillated whitened parts of our nation beg Ta-Nehisi Coates for answers they already know, we will remember that it is the work, the questions, the reckoning, the organizing and a belief in black folks that will ultimately get us free. More than Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, Ta-Nehisi has intentionally and unintentionally helped some of us get closer to that "free" in this manically unfree nation obsessed with our labor, our gratefulness and our death by inviting the world to look at provocative drafts of his White American History homework."

-- few months ago, someone doing a volume on Ta-Nehisi asked me to write a 800 word afterword about the usefulness of his work. this is a draft. i hope i was fair in the little space i got. you can steal it if you want. i did the shit for free.

  

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Hitokiri
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62. "Kiese Laymon is that fucking dude"
In response to Reply # 59


  

          

He is the only writer that I currently prefer to TNC.
I can't wait for Heavy to come out.

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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Castro
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Mon Dec-18-17 12:12 PM

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63. "Kiese Laymon READ Coates work before commenting. "
In response to Reply # 59


  

          

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
130829 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 01:14 PM

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69. "a novel idea."
In response to Reply # 63


  

          

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
4022 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 02:00 PM

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71. "A good read"
In response to Reply # 59


  

          

It will fall on deaf ears to those who are putting Coates on that Obama pedestal.

---------------------------
Signature

  

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Atillah Moor
Member since Sep 05th 2013
13825 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 08:14 PM

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74. "Better than West's piece"
In response to Reply # 59


  

          

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
130829 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 01:13 PM

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68. "I'm really frustrated "
In response to Reply # 0
Mon Dec-18-17 01:15 PM by Dr Claw

  

          

at a segment of the black intelligentsia, and/or the alligned who call people who don't use the same critical language of Obama (and others) as "cheerleaders"

it's the "oh you a fanboy of ___________" shit you hear with tech shit, geek shit, sports shit, sports geek shit when one tribe catches you not saying THEIR words.

and then they go the Cornel West/IsaIsaIsa/Ittapupu route and call the dude a "neoliberal" (laughable) or "white liberal darling" because of it.

horse shit 100%. DNS 120%. glad this is being discussed in the open.

now how about talking about his approach to reparations and Googling the definition of "neoliberal" next time dude

  

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Riot
Member since May 25th 2005
14612 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 06:52 PM

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73. "meh. umar johnson vs polight vs seti was more entertaining"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

whatever point cornel has gets lost in the fact that this is roughly "hitjob" number 5 since him and tavis came out the dressing room with the steel chairs, trying to take down obamamania.





)))--####---###--(((

bunda
<-.-> ^_^ \^0^/
get busy living, or get busy dying.

  

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Garhart Poppwell
Member since Nov 28th 2008
17871 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 10:15 PM

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75. "I'm still tripping off "Prince of Pan-Afrikanism NIGGA" to this day"
In response to Reply # 73


  

          

and the Beanie Sigel impersonation Umar put on in the hotel room with the skull cap on

__________________________________________
CHOP-THESE-BITCHES!!!!
------------------------------------
Garhart Ivanhoe Poppwell
Un-OK'd moderator for The Lesson and Make The Music (yes, I do's work up in here, and in your asscrease if you run foul of this

  

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Garhart Poppwell
Member since Nov 28th 2008
17871 posts
Mon Dec-18-17 10:21 PM

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76. "this fool made the Wakandans invaders that harvested alien tech"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

instead of the creators of the technology they always were. If Wakanda were a real place this negro would be Gaston Maspero.

__________________________________________
CHOP-THESE-BITCHES!!!!
------------------------------------
Garhart Ivanhoe Poppwell
Un-OK'd moderator for The Lesson and Make The Music (yes, I do's work up in here, and in your asscrease if you run foul of this

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
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Tue Dec-19-17 05:01 AM

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78. "which is a more accurate criticism of his work than West puts out there"
In response to Reply # 76


  

          

given you actually read that pile of poo Coates called Black Panther

that exposed him as a pessimist of pessimists

  

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Garhart Poppwell
Member since Nov 28th 2008
17871 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 11:00 PM

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134. "seen, Poo Poo Platter even"
In response to Reply # 78


  

          

how you be named after an African country and pull THIS shit?

__________________________________________
CHOP-THESE-BITCHES!!!!
------------------------------------
Garhart Ivanhoe Poppwell
Un-OK'd moderator for The Lesson and Make The Music (yes, I do's work up in here, and in your asscrease if you run foul of this

  

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akon
Charter member
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Tue Dec-19-17 12:42 PM

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79. "TNC deleted his twitter"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.mediaite.com/online/ta-nehisi-coates-deletes-twitter-account-amid-cornel-west-feud-peace-yall-im-out/

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Reeq
Member since Mar 11th 2013
11042 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 12:59 PM

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80. "i like dude but he is way too thin skinned."
In response to Reply # 79


  

          

'i didnt get in it for this'?

'this' was pretty tame.

------

  

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MiracleRic
Member since Oct 21st 2002
45200 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 01:00 PM

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81. "agreed"
In response to Reply # 80


  

          

Let me sport my Air Hyperbole 2010s in peace. (c) ansomble

Building repetoires (c) spm since 1983

  

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BigReg
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Tue Dec-19-17 01:29 PM

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"Yeah. At the same time you can tell he's a pure writing nerd"


  

          

He ain't built for hardcore debate. Its a shame too, cause he would drop jewels and wasn't about constantly promoting his shit like some writers.

  

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Reeq
Member since Mar 11th 2013
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Tue Dec-19-17 01:40 PM

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86. "he got the usual backlash from berniebots and alt righters."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

i would assume most liberal writers and journalists are used to seeing that lil fusion coalition in their mentions.

this wasnt even a major dustup imo. just another weekend on twitter really.

------

  

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BigReg
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84. "Yeah. At the same time you can tell he's a pure writing nerd"
In response to Reply # 80


  

          

He ain't built for hardcore debate. Its a shame too, cause he would drop jewels and wasn't about constantly promoting his shit like some writers.

  

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Teknontheou
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Tue Dec-19-17 01:30 PM

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85. "He was always that way on his Atlantic blog."
In response to Reply # 80


  

          

  

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ambient1
Member since May 23rd 2007
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Tue Dec-19-17 01:51 PM

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88. "it's always been puzzling to me that I've never heard of yo till OKP"
In response to Reply # 80


  

          

like...we (should) have like 1 degree of separation

=======================================
Coolin...

  

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Teknontheou
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94. "First mention I heard of him was here back in like 2008."
In response to Reply # 88


  

          

  

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Reeq
Member since Mar 11th 2013
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Tue Dec-19-17 02:57 PM

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102. "i caught on to him through bill maher, black msnbc shows, etc."
In response to Reply # 88


  

          

i can see how he wouldnt be on a lot of peoples radar if they aint constantly in that world.

------

  

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GROOVEPHI
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Tue Dec-19-17 04:33 PM

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110. "co-sign"
In response to Reply # 88


  

          

dude graduated from my HS and NO ONE from my HS knows him.

  

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ambient1
Member since May 23rd 2007
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114. "Lol. Exactly..was kinda waiting for you to show up...cuz yo went up"
In response to Reply # 110


  

          

mine then went to yours
He lived on the same street as one of my exes
Went to Lemmel like she and ANOTHER one of my exes did and he would have been in her brother's class...

but bring this dudes name up and erybody goes Owl

weird...VERY weird



=======================================
Coolin...

  

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GROOVEPHI
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146. "lol, i think he was class of 92 or 93"
In response to Reply # 114


  

          

maybe he stayed to himself.

  

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Teknontheou
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Wed Dec-20-17 11:10 AM

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148. "He was a bullied nerd (no shade - I wasn't bullied but I was a nerd)."
In response to Reply # 146


  

          

And he's talked about how personally rough he found it to be in his neighborhood growing up. I think he retreated into books and Hip-Hop (like alot of us here). Maybe that explains why he's not known by folks who were in the school with him.

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
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Tue Dec-19-17 08:49 PM

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124. "ya'll hella judgmental. "
In response to Reply # 80
Tue Dec-19-17 08:50 PM by Damali

          

did he kill himself?

did he go on a crime spree?

did he post a tearful instagram video?

did he curse people and kirk out?

i'm really trying to figure out where the "thin skinned" and "dramatic" parts are. folks want him to stick around for their own entertainment. Sometimes people don't want to deal with other people's BS. that's smart.


He left Twitter.

big whoop.

Shit, we all should. Twitter is a trash heap.

d

  

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naame
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199. "^^^^"
In response to Reply # 124


  

          

the wild misreading of his malcolm x opinion and defiant misinterpretations of his motivations on leaving twitter make me think niggas lost their reading comprehension during the obama years.

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
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Wed Dec-20-17 04:17 PM

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166. "this is a misread of the situation"
In response to Reply # 80


  

          

this had shit to do with Cornel, but rather alt-righters and Bernie Bros who united like a bootleg Megazord to latch on to the so-called "neoliberal" criticism to blow up his mentions.

blocking each and everyone of them would have been a chore, and he can't be like me and call dudes a "S*v" or whatever so he said "fuck it"

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
4022 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 01:07 PM

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82. "Damn"
In response to Reply # 79


  

          

Coates did not handle that right.

---------------------------
Signature

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 08:47 PM

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123. "he handled it right for him, which is all that matters."
In response to Reply # 82


          

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
4022 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 12:10 PM

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154. "No, with great power comes great responsibility"
In response to Reply # 123


  

          

He has talent and a big platform, so it matters to more than just him.

---------------------------
Signature

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 04:07 PM

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163. "So what exactly is the responsibility that he's shirking?"
In response to Reply # 154


          

>He has talent and a big platform, so it matters to more than
>just him.

Who gets to decide how he uses his platform? Him or you?

d

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
4022 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 06:07 PM

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171. "Answering his critics and those who disagree, in his own words."
In response to Reply # 163


  

          

>>He has talent and a big platform, so it matters to more
>than
>>just him.
>
>Who gets to decide how he uses his platform? Him or you?
>
>d

He gets to decide how he uses his platform but it still matters more to those supporting him, given his position.

---------------------------
Signature

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Thu Dec-21-17 09:38 AM

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184. "he did that. he has always done that. to exhaustion"
In response to Reply # 171


          


>He gets to decide how he uses his platform but it still
>matters more to those supporting him, given his position.

this "matters more" part is what i can't agree with because you have no idea of how much it matters to him. there is no empirical way to determine that

its HIS life. HIS reputation. HIS livelihood. we don't get to tell him that he suddenly has a responsibility for the rest of us. He is not an elected official.

we gotta stop trying to create black leaders and just be that ourselves. YOU probably have an opportunity to positively influence young black youth in a greater way than TNC does..and if you don't know that, that's actually part of the problem.

and that's not snark...that's me, this old 46 year old lady that done learned a few things, telling someone younger than me (i assume..lol) to not point fingers at others to do something.

love u.

d

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
4022 posts
Thu Dec-21-17 11:22 AM

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191. "Thank you"
In response to Reply # 184


  

          

We disagree but I appreciate the respectful and positive post. Thanks for the love. love back at cha

---------------------------
Signature

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Thu Dec-21-17 11:34 AM

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193. "you're welcome. i want to get better at kind, loving debate."
In response to Reply # 191


          

d

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
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Mon Sep-21-20 02:47 PM

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217. "Update: 3 years later, I don't care anymore. LOL"
In response to Reply # 193


          

fuck everybody.

kindly debate my left tit.

*not u, Lurkmode, just sayin*

LOL

d

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
20150 posts
Mon Sep-21-20 02:49 PM

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218. "Yo c'mon hahaha how the eff did you remember this exact comment"
In response to Reply # 217


          

I'm dying.

----------------------------------------

"Fuck aliens." © WarriorPoet415

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Tue Sep-22-20 08:26 AM

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223. "LOL I didn't. I was looking for this post, then saw my reply in it"
In response to Reply # 218


          

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
4022 posts
Tue Sep-22-20 09:12 AM

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224. "lmao"
In response to Reply # 217


  

          

n/m

---------------------------
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IkeMoses
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Tue Dec-19-17 01:49 PM

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87. "I don't blame him. I mean, I blame him for being dramatic about it"
In response to Reply # 79


  

          

But I don't knock him for bowing out.

Social media has inflated the value of asymmetrical dialogue.

He puts out a book that compiles literal years of work. Cornel West spends a couple hours writing a thousand words to call him a neo-liberal Tom. Everybody and Richard Spencer's grandmama chimes in with 140 character responses. And TNC is expected to answer to all of it.

He's not obligated to play that game.

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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MiracleRic
Member since Oct 21st 2002
45200 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 02:29 PM

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91. "nobody expects him to answer to it all though"
In response to Reply # 87


  

          

it's one thing to have the urge to ignore it all...

nobody would even fault him for it...

but to go black over it just seems wild teenage for some reason

Let me sport my Air Hyperbole 2010s in peace. (c) ansomble

Building repetoires (c) spm since 1983

  

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IkeMoses
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92. "making a big deal out of it is teenage"
In response to Reply # 91


  

          

but logging off itself ain't.

i think most writers should, to be honest.

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
20150 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 02:36 PM

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93. "I agree with you here."
In response to Reply # 92


          

I think he provided his backing evidence, refuting everything West said ... then once the waters got dicey he bowed out to avoid diving into the muck. The evidence is there. The trolls can take it or leave it but he put it out there. No need to spend useless time and energy responding to people who probably didn't take the time to read any of the information he posted in response to West.

----------------------------------------

"Fuck aliens." © WarriorPoet415

  

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Teknontheou
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Tue Dec-19-17 02:40 PM

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95. "Why can't he just ignore any comments he doesn't want to reply to?"
In response to Reply # 93


  

          

How's that any worse than this?

  

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ambient1
Member since May 23rd 2007
41077 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 02:42 PM

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97. "yup"
In response to Reply # 95


  

          

=======================================
Coolin...

  

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Reeq
Member since Mar 11th 2013
11042 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 02:43 PM

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98. "exactly. nothing valiant about tucking his tail."
In response to Reply # 95


  

          

------

  

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flipnile
Member since Nov 05th 2003
12790 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 03:31 PM

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107. "The age-old OKP question"
In response to Reply # 95


          

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
20150 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 04:33 PM

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111. "I mean I can't speak for him but I'd think it'd be difficult ..."
In response to Reply # 95


          

... to resist defending yourself at every opportunity when you see the notifications popping up / click the Twitter app and see 1,000,000 mentions.

Easier to just do away with the medium for a few days / weeks / however-long and cool down a bit. Like I said, he responded cordially and factually with evidence to defend himself. Everything's there. No use tempting yourself by leaving the app in place.

Take a breather for a few weeks, then come back when the madness has died down. I would bet the house he's not gone for good.

----------------------------------------

"Fuck aliens." © WarriorPoet415

  

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Cocobrotha2
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Wed Dec-20-17 11:03 AM

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145. "TheAtlantic has curated message boards"
In response to Reply # 111


          

>... to resist defending yourself at every opportunity when
>you see the notifications popping up / click the Twitter app
>and see 1,000,000 mentions.
>
>Easier to just do away with the medium for a few days / weeks
>/ however-long and cool down a bit. Like I said, he responded
>cordially and factually with evidence to defend himself.
>Everything's there. No use tempting yourself by leaving the
>app in place.
>
>Take a breather for a few weeks, then come back when the
>madness has died down. I would bet the house he's not gone for
>good.

And he would interact with his readers deeply on there to talk through some of his essays and blog posts. He's mentioned that experience as being important to him as a way of interacting with people constructively.

Being on Twitter must feel like running around on the prison yard with gen pop. You can ignore the silliness all you want but you're bound to get roped into something lol.

<-><-><-><-><-><-><-><-><->
<-><-><-><-><-><-><-><-><->

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
20150 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 11:17 PM

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178. "RE: TheAtlantic has curated message boards"
In response to Reply # 145
Wed Dec-20-17 11:18 PM by Brew

          

>And he would interact with his readers deeply on there to talk
>through some of his essays and blog posts. He's mentioned that
>experience as being important to him as a way of interacting
>with people constructively.
>
>Being on Twitter must feel like running around on the prison
>yard with gen pop. You can ignore the silliness all you want
>but you're bound to get roped into something lol.

Exactly what I'm getting at ! "Don't argue with fools" and all that. I understand what people are saying, that it comes off like he's running ... but I just look at it as, he's trying to avoid getting lost in a sea of trolls and as a result potentially maybe responding in kind. Personally I think it'd be a *worse* look for him to ultimately say something he regretted as a result of getting frustrated by the inevitable nonsense that would be coming at him from all angles. A good example of this is Kweli ... he is a *brilliant* guy and I agree with just about every stance he has on issues of race and systemic oppression, and everything he writes about in blogs and on Twitter, etc...but at times I cringe at some of his responses on Twitter to folks cause it *looks* like he's lowering himself to the level of the trolls he's responding to.

Coates dropped the evidence he needed to, and bowed out for a bit. He'll be back.

----------------------------------------

"Fuck aliens." © WarriorPoet415

  

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Reeq
Member since Mar 11th 2013
11042 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 02:42 PM

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96. "deleting your whole account *is* making a big deal of it."
In response to Reply # 92


  

          

basically taking your ball and going home.

he has dealt with criticism before and maintained his presence. why is this different?

------

  

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IkeMoses
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Tue Dec-19-17 02:45 PM

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99. "i mean i said that shit was dramatic."
In response to Reply # 96


  

          

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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Bluebear
Member since Apr 06th 2003
3740 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 06:37 PM

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119. "I don't think it's about criticism"
In response to Reply # 96


  

          

I pretty sure dude could hold his own. I think he never wanted to play celeb intellectual (he wanted to write, get paid, and who doesn't like the attention), but he always seemed really uncomfortable with celebrity. And twitter beef is the height of celebrity nonsense.

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 09:01 PM

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128. "^^^^^^^this. everybody is judging from their own lens"
In response to Reply # 119


          

  

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Bluebear
Member since Apr 06th 2003
3740 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 06:35 PM

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118. "he didn't really make a big deal though"
In response to Reply # 91


  

          

I saw one or two posts explaining why he was leaving and then he left. I think everyone else made a big deal of him leaving.

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 09:02 PM

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129. "exactly. he may not have even liked Twitter in the first place. "
In response to Reply # 118
Tue Dec-19-17 09:03 PM by Damali

          

i strive to keep a healthy un-attachment to any and all of my social media accounts.

We give that shit waaaaay to much importance when it was literally nonexistent just a decade ago.

good for him.

d

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 08:59 PM

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127. "um we giving Twitter (and all social media) way too much importance"
In response to Reply # 91


          

this shit is so transient and unimportant

deleting it should never be seen as a big deal, imo.

d

  

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Mafamaticks
Member since Jan 12th 2004
4265 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 09:19 AM

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139. "^^^^^"
In response to Reply # 127


  

          

  

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akon
Charter member
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Tue Dec-19-17 03:29 PM

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106. "i dont blame him either. twitter is toxic"
In response to Reply # 87


  

          

and often serves little purpose especially in a back and forth.
what i would like to see him do is perhaps write out an article in rebuttal
but i'd also be ok if he just doesnt bother because CWs article (imo) was pure venom
but ive always felt like twitter has become an occasion to 'take down' people more so than to engage...

.. im sad to see him go
his takedown of gen kelly was so necessary.
his voice is necessary

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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IkeMoses
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Tue Dec-19-17 03:46 PM

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108. "I'd like to see this too:"
In response to Reply # 106


  

          

>what i would like to see him do is perhaps write out an
>article in rebuttal
>but i'd also be ok if he just doesnt bother because CWs
>article (imo) was pure venom

But like you said, it's probably wise he's avoiding directly engaging because Dr. West doesn't seem interested in having a meaningful debate. He just wanna son somebody.

>but ive always felt like twitter has become an occasion to
>'take down' people more so than to engage...
>
>.. im sad to see him go
>his takedown of gen kelly was so necessary.
>his voice is necessary

I agree. Twitter has no doubt expanded the breadth of our discourse, but I see no evidence that it's really deepened it. Hopefully TNC's time off Twitter means more essays, though.

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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akon
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Tue Dec-19-17 04:22 PM

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109. "im waiting to see him write about racism against africans in Paris"
In response to Reply # 108


  

          

in contrast to how African Americans are treated.

He's alluded to it several times...
if his sabbatical is to mean something, this should be it.
because those french bastards treat their ex-colonies which built their cities like leeches.

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Bluebear
Member since Apr 06th 2003
3740 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 05:25 PM

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116. "have you read what Baldwin wrote on the subject?"
In response to Reply # 109


  

          

always thought it was especially interesting. Not really sure what Coates could add there.

  

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akon
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Tue Dec-19-17 06:43 PM

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120. "no, you have a link?"
In response to Reply # 116


  

          

>always thought it was especially interesting. Not really sure
>what Coates could add there.


im pretty sure coates would add to it.
he always comes with a different perspective.
i'd like to read baldwin's

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Riot
Member since May 25th 2005
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Tue Dec-19-17 05:40 PM

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117. "have u been following kemi seba going Against the cfa franc"
In response to Reply # 109


  

          

i don't read any French (Google translate)but i see his social media impact growing

hopefully ppl are waking up
i think there was a good sized rally in Paris a few months ago


tho it will take more than awareness for the francophone leaders to actually take any action



)))--####---###--(((

bunda
<-.-> ^_^ \^0^/
get busy living, or get busy dying.

  

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akon
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Tue Dec-19-17 06:44 PM

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121. "*looks him up*"
In response to Reply # 117


  

          

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
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Tue Dec-19-17 09:07 PM

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130. "why must he write about what we want him to?"
In response to Reply # 109


          

why must we attempt to decide what's worthy and what isn't?

why can't he just write about what moves him?

shit, this is why i hope i'm never famous for anything...y'all hella demanding lol

  

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akon
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Wed Dec-20-17 06:56 AM

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137. "because he has said its an area he wants to explore and write about?"
In response to Reply # 130


  

          

>why must we attempt to decide what's worthy and what isn't?
>
>why can't he just write about what moves him?
>
>shit, this is why i hope i'm never famous for anything...y'all
>hella demanding lol

i dont get you line of reasoning here... we cant have hope and expectations of people we admire?

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 04:14 PM

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165. "oh of course. hope and expectation is fine"
In response to Reply # 137


          

but when you say this:

"if his sabbatical is to mean something, this should be it"

that goes beyond hope and expectation, imo.

d

  

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akon
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Wed Dec-20-17 05:20 PM

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167. "well, i disagree."
In response to Reply # 165


  

          

coates talks extensively about his reason(s) for moving to Paris,
a move planned way pre-trump
they are deeply personal and have to do with wanting his son to experience a life where every minute is now enshrouded with racial awareness (i think he touches on this in between the world and me)
also... his wife wanted to live in paris for a few.
i get that and nothing wrong with that.
it means something to him on that level.
for it to mean something to the rest of us...
soon after he moved to Paris he was at Hopkins giving a lecture
and someone asked him about his move.. whether he planned to be engaged with u.s politics or...
at the time he was like nope. moving, taking a break, improving my french etc.
id love to see what work he puts out as a result of that and that includes engaging with the issues in Paris (and specifically the biggest racial issue imo)
he's talked about doing this once or twice
just because I put a different level of what meaningful is, doesnt mean i dont wish the brother the best
neither does it mean i disparage his intentions to take a complete break.

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
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Thu Dec-21-17 09:42 AM

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185. "ok understood..thanks for clarifying"
In response to Reply # 167


          

and Happy Holidays

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
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Tue Dec-19-17 08:57 PM

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126. "i don't get what was dramatic about it."
In response to Reply # 87


          

was there a meltdown that I missed?

as far as i see, he deleted his account. if that's it, I think that's smart.

d

  

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IkeMoses
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Tue Dec-19-17 10:07 PM

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133. "i just meant making the announcement about it"
In response to Reply # 126


  

          

if you gonna bounce, just bounce. but i agree that there ain’t no shame in deactivating and i think more writers should.

i wish he woulda just retweeted that Richard Spencer tweet and dropped the mic by leaving that up as his last tweet, though. because nuff said.

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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BrooklynWHAT
Member since Jun 15th 2007
80022 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 02:03 PM

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89. "yeesh thats soft"
In response to Reply # 79


  

          

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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xandra360
Member since Nov 24th 2004
3156 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 02:26 PM

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90. "disappointing .."
In response to Reply # 79


  

          

he must know that comes with the territory.

~~~~~~~**~~~~~~~~

  

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flipnile
Member since Nov 05th 2003
12790 posts
Tue Dec-19-17 03:28 PM

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105. "lol"
In response to Reply # 79


          

https://target.scene7.com/is/image/Target/49168095_Alt07?wid=520&hei=520&fmt=pjpeg

  

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Bluebear
Member since Apr 06th 2003
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Tue Dec-19-17 05:02 PM

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115. "Good for him"
In response to Reply # 79


  

          

More people should do the same.

  

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Boogie Stimuli
Member since Sep 24th 2010
13093 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 09:25 AM

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140. "He made Richard Spencer's day"
In response to Reply # 79


          

Spencer just caused the disappearance of a Black
intellectual, and all he had to do was insert
himself in a disagreement by choosing a side.

You don't have to be invincible, but you can't make
it this easy for white supremacists.

A fellow Black intellectual came for him, and he
was willing to fight back. A nazi agrees with
one of many points and oh god it's too much, he
gotta bounce 'cause he's not here for this.
How can he ever argue that the white gaze isn't
the most important thing to him? How can he
argue that it doesn't encourage AND discourage
him more than anything else?

~
~
~
~
~
"Until you get outta my way, I don't wanna hear what you say aye aye"

  

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flipnile
Member since Nov 05th 2003
12790 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 10:40 AM

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143. "Damn. This perspective is very interesting:"
In response to Reply # 140


          

>A fellow Black intellectual came for him, and he
>was willing to fight back. A nazi agrees with
>one of many points and oh god it's too much, he
>gotta bounce 'cause he's not here for this.
>How can he ever argue that the white gaze isn't
>the most important thing to him? How can he
>argue that it doesn't encourage AND discourage
>him more than anything else?

  

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Bluebear
Member since Apr 06th 2003
3740 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 10:55 AM

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144. "It's not about Spencer. I think you're projecting a bit"
In response to Reply # 140


  

          

He didn't disappear, he didn't quit, he's simply not using one social media platform anymore. He frankly never seemed that into twitter. He used it kinda sporadically and mostly to advertise his projects. Sometimes you just recognize the noise for what it is and want to step away.

  

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Boogie Stimuli
Member since Sep 24th 2010
13093 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 11:08 AM

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147. "His actions say otherwise."
In response to Reply # 144


          

As for your projection angle, it's completely
illogical, as I don't address white people on
any "dear white people" stuff. I talk about
them to alert Black folks of what they're up to,
but not to them unless they insert themselves
into my conversation with Black folks.
Coates actually writes long pieces to white people.
He's on their platforms addressing them (and failing
to charge them with any action from what I know...
tell me if you know otherwise). That's not a projection,
that's just a fact. Please choose your words more
carefully if you're going to accuse me of anything.

>He didn't disappear, he didn't quit, he's simply not using
>one social media platform anymore.

Which means he disappeared from that platform.
Because of Richard Spencer.




~
~
~
~
~
"Until you get outta my way, I don't wanna hear what you say aye aye"

  

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Bluebear
Member since Apr 06th 2003
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Wed Dec-20-17 11:59 AM

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151. "I was referring to quitting Twitter"
In response to Reply # 147


  

          

that maybe you think he handed Spencer a win because quitting Twitter is something that would be something substantial to you and would indicate somehow giving up something, whereas I don't think it is for Coates.

  

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Boogie Stimuli
Member since Sep 24th 2010
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Wed Dec-20-17 12:31 PM

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156. "I see. I can only assess what's there. "
In response to Reply # 151


          

It took Coates some amount of effort to isolate
the points in West's critique and post the pieces
that challenge them, so it's not like he was
treating Twitter as some unimportant space when
he did that. NOW you say Coates views Twitter
as inconsequential.

Coates had made a good showing of himself
in his response to West. Spencer knew that
as well as the rest of us did. There's even
a long line of ppl cheering for it in here
and it was a somewhat necessary showing.
That showing is now unseen due to Spencer's
simple action.

IF it's true that Twitter is unimportant
to Coates, then he changed his mind from
the time he responded to West and now.

~
~
~
~
~
"Until you get outta my way, I don't wanna hear what you say aye aye"

  

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IkeMoses
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Wed Dec-20-17 11:16 AM

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149. "Basically. "
In response to Reply # 144


  

          

>Sometimes you just recognize the noise
>for what it is and want to step away.

Quitting Twitter is really, truly, literally not that serious. Niggas acting like he retired from the struggle or some shit. He ain’t even quit his JOB yo. He’s still a journalist that writes for the Atlantic and his work will be everywhere and discussed by everyone as soon as his editors click publish.

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
4022 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 12:04 PM

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152. "Yep all of that "
In response to Reply # 140


  

          

>Spencer just caused the disappearance of a Black
>intellectual, and all he had to do was insert
>himself in a disagreement by choosing a side.
>
>You don't have to be invincible, but you can't make
>it this easy for white supremacists.
>
>A fellow Black intellectual came for him, and he
>was willing to fight back. A nazi agrees with
>one of many points and oh god it's too much, he
>gotta bounce 'cause he's not here for this.
>How can he ever argue that the white gaze isn't
>the most important thing to him? How can he
>argue that it doesn't encourage AND discourage
>him more than anything else?
>

and now his followers on here are trying to downplay it.

---------------------------
Signature

  

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IkeMoses
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Wed Dec-20-17 12:39 PM

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158. "‘his followers’"
In response to Reply # 152


  

          

y’all niggas funny.

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
4022 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 02:28 PM

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159. "Ironic"
In response to Reply # 158


  

          

>y’all niggas funny.

---------------------------
Signature

  

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kayru99
Member since Jan 26th 2004
15781 posts
Thu Dec-21-17 05:41 AM

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181. "BRUH! Exactly!!!"
In response to Reply # 140


          

Meanwhile, West was in Charlottesville, and Ferguson, and Palestine and...
Interesting to see

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Thu Dec-21-17 09:47 AM

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186. "that's a Catch 22 that no one can win"
In response to Reply # 140


          

even considering whether or not Richard Spencer wins is focusing too much on white gaze

that has to be irrelevant to any decision we make.

i think ignoring and disengaging from these racists is always the right way to handle them. we gotta just focus on us. Our mental health, our well being, our livelihood.

the mental and emotional exhaustion from white supremacy is real so i applaud him stepping back from it to collect himself in whatever way he needs.

none of us are famous on that level so we don't know what offline/offscreen bullshit may have been coming at him.

d

  

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Hitokiri
Charter member
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Tue Dec-19-17 02:51 PM

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100. "Michael Harriot wrote a good piece"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

and I'm becoming more appreciative of the dialog that is being created, even though i stick with the belief that West's motivations do have one foot deep in pettiness.

https://www.theroot.com/from-an-ex-neo-liberal-why-ta-nehisi-coates-keeps-talk-1821429336

I love Cornel West. Part of the reason I am a fan of his is that, before my nonfame and lack of fortune at The Root, I taught a college-level course called “Race as an Economic Construct.” The idea of the course was to eliminate the subjectivity of race theory by explaining race in America through the lens of statistics and economics.

It was, at its core, the most neoliberal thing ever.

When this topic surfaced at the New York Times, the entire staff at The Root had a heated discussion that got intense at times. Contributing editor Angela Helm, Senior Reporter Terrell J. Starr and Associate Editor Kirsten West Savali suggested that we invite West in to expound on this and other topics, fully expecting him to dismiss us. After all, he is a world-renowned academic busy saving the world.

He showed up the next day.

To his credit, he sat down with Starr and Helm to answer every question they posed for over an hour. Starr asked him pointedly to explain his definition of a neoliberal:

Starr: What is a neoliberal? A lot of us have heard that word, but we don’t know exactly what it is.

West: Well, “neoliberal” is somebody of any color who sees a social problem and does three things; privatize, financialize and militarize. You’ve got a problem in the schools, privatize the schools, push back public education. Bring in the financiers, the profiteers. Make money on the test, make money on the teachers while you push out the teachers unions, and then you militarize the schools. You bring in security. We’ve got precious young brothers and sisters in the hoods going to schools like you and I going through the airport. That’s the militarization of the schools. Police, the same way. Outsource, militarize right across the board, so that a neoliberal is somebody who is obsessed with markets.

West’s characterization of neoliberalism is opinionated but largely correct. Neoliberals are the idealistic capitalists who believe that inequality can be solved by a complex combination of free markets and the idea that a majority of people (black or white) are good. They are usually 6-foot-2 white guys who left the Republican Party to vote Libertarian and believe in individual liberty. (Believe me, I recognize the irony in me calling West’s definition “opinionated.”) They think free-market capitalism is the cure for the woes of white supremacy, and focusing on race is one-dimensional and outdated.

Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates declared that he was leaving Twitter on Monday when white supremacist Richard Spencer seconded West’s assertion that Coates is a “neoliberal darling” who “fetishizes white supremacy.”

Lost in West’s criticism of Coates is an insidious undercurrent that repeatedly asks, “Why does he talk about race so much?”

In the New York Times interview that kick-started the beef between West and the public apparition of Coates (so far, Coates has declined to make this a “feud,” sticking to the Nas-vs.-Jay-Z philosophy of “keeping it on wax”), many of Coates’ fans laced up their 5411s, smeared Vaseline on their faces and were ready to ride out, insisting that West “keep Coates’ name out his mouth.”

I hesitate to call West’s callouts a “beef” because Coates is seemingly disinterested in becoming Biggie to West’s Tupac-ish shenanigans. (And yes, they have risen to the level of “shenanigans” because, even in the merit-based part of West’s argument, there is an undeniable level of saltiness that extends past the text of Coates’ writing.) Coates seems willing to defend his works, while it feels as if West wants to attack Coates personally. West’s disdain seems palpable. I fully expect West’s next op-ed to begin with a “Hit ’Em Up”-like preamble, “That’s why I ... ”—

You know what? Let’s not go there.

This is not to say that West’s characterization of Coates’ work has no merit. However one feels about former President Barack Obama, West’s contention that it is impossible to separate America’s unique brand of capitalism from white supremacy, thereby making the captain of the vessel—Obama, in this case—complicit in white supremacy, is worthy of examination. West also rightly points out that class, patriarchy and economics are all inextricably interwoven into the ball of yarn that is white supremacy.

Holding Coates’ feet to the fire and requiring him to take a more complex, bird’s-eye view of how this puzzle fits together is not only the right but the responsibility of a learned elder like West. Whether capitalism and greed created white supremacy or vice versa is a question of circular logic that may never be answered, although we must always pose it to ourselves. Requiring that Coates address that catechism in a text constructed around an entirely different subject might be unfair, but it is not completely out of bounds.

Even in his conversation with The Root, West cast his criticism in more nuance, explaining that Coates was a “brilliant brother, and we’ve got much to learn from him.” But West continued:

I just don’t like talking about white supremacy independent of the empire and patriarchy, especially of class. I think that we can’t be pre-Du Bois. Du Bois taught us white supremacy is always to be viewed in relation to class patriarchy and empire and homophobia and transphobia. If you’re talking about white supremacy as if it’s up here, you end up acting as if it’s all-powerful because it looks like it’s winning all the time, it’s winning all the time.

But it is the extra shit that makes West look like Michael Jordan throwing marbles on the court while LeBron James is breaking away for another awe-inspiring dunk. And with West—God love his brilliant soul—there is always the extra shit. Always.

Part of the accusations leveled by West is Coates’ obsession with race as defined by West—namely, white supremacy. In The Guardian op-ed that called Coates the “neoliberal face of the black freedom struggle,” West proclaimed that Coates “fetishizes white supremacy. He makes it almighty, magical and unremovable.” He paints Coates’ perception of white people as “tribal” and his view of white supremacy as “fatalistic.”

We have heard this before.

Last week, in an interview published by the National Review that sounded faintly like a slave master lamenting the fact that his best buck learned how to read, Andrew Sullivan said of Coates:

I brought a lot of readers to his blog and helped him get where he is. I think he’s a beautiful writer and a very, very sharp mind. I deeply regret where he ended up. ... And I think Beyond the World and Me was a really terrible book. Just the crudeness of it, in the despair of it, in the melodrama of it. It terribly disappointed me, and similarly his public position that we live in some crushing white supremacy, which I don’t believe we do, or that African Americans have no agency in terms of their lives and their future and that they haven’t made huge strides in this country and are not one of the most powerful and dominant cultural and political forces. So I don’t see it the way he does. I certainly respect him, but I find myself deeply alienated by his current politics. He didn’t used to be this doctrinaire or so absorbed by the sort of social justice left, but here we are.

Coates is a walking, talking, living, breathing explainer of the history and impact of white supremacy. He is adept at tethering the modern version of white supremacy to America’s long legacy of racism. Coates uses historical reflections to parallel the freedom struggle of 2017 to our nation’s previous incarnations of racial inequality. While Coates’ unfiltered method of exposing white supremacy might be controversial, it is also undeniable. His texts are nothing if not receipt-laden.

That tends to give white people the heebie-jeebies, and—while it may seem like a “fetishization” to some—the people whose anal cavities clench tight at the simple mention of the words “white supremacy” are the opposite of the neoliberals whom West wants to lump in as the lovers of Coates’ work.

There is unquestionably a trend toward neoliberalism in the discussion of race and white supremacy. West rightly points it out, because in this entire combustible conversation describing the co-opting of racial inequality by neoliberals and turning it into a euphemistic discussion of every other thing besides the evil perpetrated toward black America, there is no one more qualified to talk about it than the original-recipe darling of neoliberalism: the esteemed Cornel West.

West’s characterization of Coates’ work is valid only to those who misunderstand the entire meaning of neoliberalism. In fact, West’s philosophy of intertwining Wall Street, patriarchy and economic inequality is the basis of neoliberal thought.

I should know, because I was one of them.

In my idealism, I believed that white supremacy could be explained and solved by tying this nation’s actions to the Darwinian greed of capitalism and the apathy toward minorities who stood in the way of the supremacy of Western civilization’s need for domination. I believed that white people would never accept the inherent evil of white supremacy without its being tied to the macro-political reality of free-market economics.

Neoliberals are perfectly willing to discuss how the trans-Atlantic slave trade was a byproduct of capitalism and how the Industrial Revolution was the real death knell for slavery. They will talk about patriarchy as a part of cultural anxiety. But if anyone mentions the national complicity of white America in historical racism, they, like West, will accuse you of “fetishizing” white supremacy, with the clarion call that heralds the wincing of white people who refuse to realize the permanent strain of white supremacy that is still infecting America:

“Why must you always talk about race?”

That is why West zooms past his unwillingness to confront what Jelani Cobb termed his “stanning” for Sen. Bernie Sanders. West conveniently leaves out how Sanders disagreed with Coates’ stance on reparations or why Black Lives Matter activists had to storm the stage at Sanders rallies before he’d even address race head-on. West allows for his homeboy Sanders’ moderate racial positions in the name of politics, but not Obama’s.

There are many people who believe that focusing on race actually creates divisiveness, even when incontrovertible facts are included in the dialogue. They believe that the subject of white supremacy must be made palatable for the practitioners of the art of racism, and pointing it out loudly and without nuance makes talking about race myopic and devoid of hope.

Fuck those people.

Ask the mothers and fathers of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown Jr. about the “socioeconomic injustice” that pumped bullets into their bodies. Ask the children who attend inferior inner-city schools because white people don’t want to live next to them about the complexities of Wall Street. Macroeconomics, patriarchy and “pre-Du Bois thinking” never tossed a résumé in the trash because a black-sounding name was at the top.

The idea that one must address these separate but connected entities is correct at its core, but it is also neoliberal thinking at its highest level. Thinkers like Coates who address the inherent evil of white supremacy without muddying the argument with extraneous variables aren’t ignoring them. They are highlighting them.

When it comes to race, much of America is an ignorant kindergartner. West’s insistence that this country can’t understand the global mathematics of capitalism-fueled inequality without the calculus of macroeconomics is ultimately spot-on ...

But it is a fruitless exercise if they are unwilling to accept the simple math of white supremacy.

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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MiracleRic
Member since Oct 21st 2002
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Tue Dec-19-17 03:03 PM

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103. "FATALITY"
In response to Reply # 100


  

          

"West allows for his homeboy Sanders’ moderate racial positions in the name of politics, but not Obama’s."

Let me sport my Air Hyperbole 2010s in peace. (c) ansomble

Building repetoires (c) spm since 1983

  

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IkeMoses
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104. "this is great."
In response to Reply # 100


  

          

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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Ashy Achilles
Member since Sep 22nd 2005
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Tue Dec-19-17 10:03 PM

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132. "flames"
In response to Reply # 100


          

  

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Jon
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175. "This dude seems confused on what neoliberalism means"
In response to Reply # 100


          

He talks about how neoliberals blame capitalism and greed for racial injustice...yet actual neoliberalism is the endorsement of laissez-faire economics, not the critique of them.

  

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kayru99
Member since Jan 26th 2004
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Thu Dec-21-17 05:34 AM

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180. "YUP. Hella disingenuous/dishonest"
In response to Reply # 175


          

he's in way over his head here.
But, its the Root *shrug*

  

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Jon
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183. "Basically"
In response to Reply # 180


          

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
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Thu Dec-21-17 11:44 AM

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195. "his take was clumsy"
In response to Reply # 175
Thu Dec-21-17 11:44 AM by Dr Claw

  

          

>He talks about how neoliberals blame capitalism and greed for
>racial injustice...yet actual neoliberalism is the endorsement
>of laissez-faire economics, not the critique of them.

but his point was that types who embrace neoliberal economic policy tend to ignore race in place of class (IF they acknowledge it) often. which is true. hence the laissez-faire, privatize everything, capitalize everything, with reduced to no state interference.

economically, it tends to place much faith in meritocracy via markets. which on paper, should ignore things like critical race theory.

he also acknowledged that his own take is a heavily OPINIONATED definition of neoliberalism, like Cornel West's is.

  

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Jon
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197. "It just simply doesn't follow..."
In response to Reply # 195
Thu Dec-21-17 01:23 PM by Jon

          

>but his point was that types who embrace neoliberal economic
>policy tend to ignore race in place of class (IF they
>acknowledge it) often. which is true.
:
That's the opposite of true tho...like green to purple opposite. Laissez-fair pro-capitalism etc types are generally the polar opposite of those who concern themselves with things like class injustice and the negative effect of capitalism on society. Pretty much by definition. And laissez-fair neoliberal types who associate with the left anyway, do so for reasons *other* than class issues, typically it has more to do with identity politics, be it gender or racial issues, abortion choice, etc. And those Democrats and Democrat-voters who generally embrace the economic status quo, aka proponents of neoliberalism, tend to be the ones who will view these identity-based issues as the primary issue, if not the entire sum, mostly ignoring class and economic drivers. Like HRC running mostly on becoming our first woman commander, breaking the glass ceiling for drone droppers,framing any dissent as an attack on women, while mocking Bernie for his "ridiculous" ideas on single-payer etc, sucking up to AIPAC, selling weapons and dragging her feet on $15.

Her side argued against "socialism", deflecting on her militarism, while striving for new (mostly symbolic imo) milestones on identity issues.

Of course I'm bias on the HRC/Bernie thing, but the general divide holds up.

This is just like basic logic...if you're a neoliberal on the left, your leftist focus is solely on identity etc outside of the context of economic injustice...but I think a lot of these writers and pundits today actually think "neoliberal" means something totally different than what it means.



  

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isaaaa
Member since May 10th 2007
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101. "He couldn't handle the pressure lol. "
In response to Reply # 0


          


Anti-gentrification, cheap alcohol & trying to look pretty in our twilight posting years (c) Big Reg
http://Tupreme.com

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
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Tue Dec-19-17 09:08 PM

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131. "and even if that were true, that's human. so?"
In response to Reply # 101


          

Why must Black men be impenetrable? I like that he has a tipping point and controlled it.

d

  

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eclipsedInI
Member since Jul 29th 2002
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112. "LoL @ folks being pissy about someone logging off...."
In response to Reply # 0
Tue Dec-19-17 05:05 PM by eclipsedInI

          

after an actual Nazi agrees with one of their gatekeepers critiques of them


FOH.

i'd leave too before I said/did something i'd regret.

_____________________
puttin' the roota in the toota since 98'

  

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akon
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122. "one of the organizers of charlottesville at that."
In response to Reply # 112


  

          

>after an actual Nazi agrees with one of their gatekeepers
>critiques of them

didnt CW have to be protected by antifa at that rally?

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Deacon Blues
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138. "Can someone explain why i should care about any of this."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          



dude

  

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Hitokiri
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142. "If you don't care, then just don't care"
In response to Reply # 138


  

          

Why should anyone convince you of anything?

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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Deacon Blues
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155. "RE: If you don't care, then just don't care"
In response to Reply # 142
Wed Dec-20-17 12:20 PM by Deacon Blues

  

          


It just seems like Dr. West is mad at Coates for being something he isn't and apparently not interested in being, instead of actually critiquing his writings.

and questioning of his celebrity status seems like a shot to try and de-legitimize his voice.

I think the comparison to Malcolm X was not based on an extension of his worldview or ideology but rather a statement that he is an example of a strong black man.

The critics seem to ignore that Obama ran as a centrist and had to deal with an intransigent republican legislature. Obama is just more of a realist than an idealist. I think many had unrealistic expectations about what he could really accomplish as the first Black president.

but what i'm trying to understand is, what is the crux of this debate? Are the differing views really mutually exclusive? what is the difference any of it makes in our lives.


Still I think they are both brilliant, but this just seems like a distraction.



dude

  

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Boogie Stimuli
Member since Sep 24th 2010
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Wed Dec-20-17 12:37 PM

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157. "Just listen to the first hr of this if you can..."
In response to Reply # 155


          

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kbcxn1Ycf5s

It'll answer all your questions and more.

There's just so much to tackle here.

Neither is completely right nor wrong tho.

~
~
~
~
~
"Until you get outta my way, I don't wanna hear what you say aye aye"

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
4022 posts
Wed Dec-20-17 12:05 PM

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153. "Not interested in Black intellectual debate ?"
In response to Reply # 138


  

          

Not even curious ?

---------------------------
Signature

  

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EAS
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150. "You know you're doing something right when people come at you"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

for that number one spot.

And if you are on the radar of white supremacists to the point they need to chime in on shit....then yep.....that's further proof he needs to keep going down the path he's on.

I wish Cornell could've critiqued him without all the personal shit. Cornell had points, but I couldn't get over the bitterness. It was too distracting and made me feel sorry for him.

I wish Ta nehisi didn't delete his twitter but I understand.

  

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Bluebear
Member since Apr 06th 2003
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Wed Dec-20-17 03:22 PM

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160. "Right? I'd be much more concerned if I was West"
In response to Reply # 150


  

          

If you're ever in an argument and literal Nazi's are agreeing with you, you might want to rethink your position.

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
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Wed Dec-20-17 05:58 PM

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170. "People are giving this Nazi way too much credit"
In response to Reply # 160


  

          

>If you're ever in an argument and literal Nazi's are agreeing
>with you, you might want to rethink your position.

If Spencer is in agreement with Coates in the future while Coates is arguing with someone should Coates rethink his position ?

---------------------------
Signature

  

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Backbone
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Wed Dec-20-17 03:57 PM

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161. "On West picking The Guardian as his platform:"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://twitter.com/sunnysingh_n6/status/943041491261419520

This stood out as something recognizable (not limited to UK press either): "UK press thrives off such PoC, setting up what may be genuine points of debate as ‘buck fighting’ spectacles for white supremacy"

---

I don't know how much calculation is behind it, but surely there are platforms out there with a reader base that's more likely to be familiar with Coates' work. Guardian readers seem like an easy audience if you're looking to discredit a black intellectual (lurked the comment section there for a while, it's.. white).

Also I'm sad to see Coates leave Twitter, but it's not like he's going to quit writing and calling self-care "weak" is dumb.

___________________
"So this is what everybody's always talking about! Diablo! If only I'd known. The beauty! The beauty!"

  

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IkeMoses
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164. "buck fighting is sadly accurate here."
In response to Reply # 161


  

          

while i wouldn't call Dr. West a traitor or a white supremacist quisling, his insecurity is making him an unwitting Mandingo at Candyland.

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
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Wed Dec-20-17 06:10 PM

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172. "LMAO"
In response to Reply # 164


  

          

>while i wouldn't call Dr. West a traitor or a white
>supremacist quisling, his insecurity is making him an
>unwitting Mandingo at Candyland.

Nigga, did you just say "quisling"

I haven't read that word since I remember seeing this one ASSWIPE on a forum somewhere using that word in place of Obama's name (possibly because typing it hurt his butt so much).

thanks for that laugh, breh

  

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IkeMoses
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174. "haha"
In response to Reply # 172


  

          

i was just using homegirl's word from her tweet thread. it's legit the first time i've ever typed it in life.

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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akon
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Wed Dec-20-17 05:24 PM

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168. "eh. the guardian seems to be his platform of choice"
In response to Reply # 161
Wed Dec-20-17 05:24 PM by akon

  

          

earlier in the year he had a shitty article on there criticizing obama
i dont put much credence into where he chooses to publish his vitriol
its *what* he publishes that really concerns me

and i'm an avid reader of the guardian, btw.
i dont consider them to be some supremacist rag.

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Dr Claw
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Wed Dec-20-17 06:12 PM

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173. "quite the opposite"
In response to Reply # 168


  

          

>and i'm an avid reader of the guardian, btw.
>i dont consider them to be some supremacist rag.

using The Guardian as the fulcrum of a criticism of West is another in a chain of comments that miss the point...

now if he were on the Torygraph ... I mean the Telegraph

  

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Rjcc
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Wed Dec-20-17 08:51 PM

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176. "guardian posts a lot of articles on "both sides" of stuff"
In response to Reply # 168


          


www.engadgethd.com - the other stuff i'm looking at

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
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Wed Dec-20-17 05:54 PM

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169. "West picking The Guardian as his platform ? What ?"
In response to Reply # 161


  

          

West posted on his facebook and he did an interview with the Root

https://www.theroot.com/watch-cornel-west-on-neoliberalism-bernie-sanders-and-1821460694


>https://twitter.com/sunnysingh_n6/status/943041491261419520
>
>This stood out as something recognizable (not limited to UK
>press either): "UK press thrives off such PoC, setting up what
>may be genuine points of debate as ‘buck fighting’
>spectacles for white supremacy"
>
>---
>
>I don't know how much calculation is behind it, but surely
>there are platforms out there with a reader base that's more
>likely to be familiar with Coates' work. Guardian readers seem
>like an easy audience if you're looking to discredit a black
>intellectual (lurked the comment section there for a while,
>it's.. white).
>

Calculation ? It wasn't limited to the Guardian.

>Also I'm sad to see Coates leave Twitter, but it's not like
>he's going to quit writing and calling self-care "weak" is
>dumb.

He needs self care because of twitter ?

---------------------------
Signature

  

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Warren Coolidge
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Thu Dec-21-17 02:25 AM

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179. "I can't get past West accusing anyone of "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

trying to gain approval from White people...


a great irony in that....


a public fight isn't a good look for Dr. West IMO...

he and Tavis public petty tiff with President Obama didn't do him any favors as far as public perception.... Now you go after Coates...seemingly for the sake of going after him...

not a good look.

  

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anysenserobbed
Member since Mar 01st 2003
530 posts
Thu Dec-21-17 07:41 AM

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182. "The Final Call responds to Jelani Cobb"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Just need TD Jakes to weigh in now to get a black leader bingo

https://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/editorials/article_103942.shtml#.Wjnh6YROk3Q.facebook

  

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Musa
Member since Mar 08th 2006
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Thu Dec-21-17 10:05 AM

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187. "Why are we so quick to dismiss West"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

criticism of Coates?

Is he totally correct in all his criticisms no but some of them are on point especially the pandering to Obama even if he made some criticisms. What does criticism matter if you turn around and make excuses and glaze over it with but you are the best and the greatest ever.

My only criticism of West is his we are the world inclusiveness of people who do not reciprocate the support of Black issues in the USA.

<----

Soundcloud.com/aquil84

(HIP HOP)
http://aquil.bandcamp.com

  

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Teknontheou
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Thu Dec-21-17 10:07 AM

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188. "West has been "out" since he started going at Barry. Coates "
In response to Reply # 187


  

          

has been "in" since his reparations piece. Simple as that.

  

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Musa
Member since Mar 08th 2006
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Thu Dec-21-17 11:13 AM

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189. "Out to who?"
In response to Reply # 188


  

          

and Coates is in to who?

White folks

Black folks

People who follow popular-ism and cult of personality with no critical thinking.

People who are counter cultural to "white" cultural standards of mainstream media?

I think Coates is a great writer but I see the same flaws West saw?

Would West be the same critic if he was in Obama's crew and still criticized him because one thing we cannot refuse is West has integrity behind what he stands for and believes in.

Would Coates be the darling of the Atlantic if he was not in the cheerleading section of the Obama presidency?

Its not as simple to dismiss as people are trying to make it because West wasn't in the Obama circle.

<----

Soundcloud.com/aquil84

(HIP HOP)
http://aquil.bandcamp.com

  

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Teknontheou
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Thu Dec-21-17 11:19 AM

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190. "I think it largely is that simple. "
In response to Reply # 189


  

          

The majority of the response I've seen from black woke types, who are the main ones really delving into this, is that West is a washed up has-been who's just jealous of Coates.

  

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Boogie Stimuli
Member since Sep 24th 2010
13093 posts
Thu Dec-21-17 12:20 PM

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196. "RE: his reparations piece"
In response to Reply # 188
Thu Dec-21-17 12:24 PM by Boogie Stimuli

          

Then when he interviewed Obama and Obama said
that crap about immigrants not being ok w/ it,
Coates just let that ride w/o saying reparations
isn't about immigrants but about descendants of
slaves getting our due (and that really should
underline why the establishment prefers immigrants
and their children over DOS). What good are his
views if he gets the opportunity to present
them to president and doesn't (as Ms Carnell
said, Coates is good at doing everything it
takes to get to the finish line and then not
crossing it). The lack of meaningful action
is part of West's criticism.
Coates doesn't seem to understand that there
are responsibilities that he can't shrug off
that accompany the kind of regard that he welcomes.


~
~
~
~
~
"Until you get outta my way, I don't wanna hear what you say aye aye"

  

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Reuben
Member since Mar 13th 2006
1855 posts
Sat Dec-23-17 06:15 AM

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203. "And that's why white people love him "
In response to Reply # 196


  

          

He's a cozy warm blanket for liberal whites who don't think of themselves as racist.

I need to find this bit of adolph reed Jr talking about how whites see Coates.

Thing is Coates will just do his " I don't know why whites like me " thing and shrug it off

_______________________________________
When discourse of Blackness is not connected to efforts to promote collective black self determinism
it becomes simply another recourse appropriated by the colonizer

http://hardboiledbabesanddarkchocolate.tumblr.co

  

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Boogie Stimuli
Member since Sep 24th 2010
13093 posts
Sat Dec-23-17 11:10 PM

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211. "Real talk"
In response to Reply # 203


          

~
~
~
~
~
"Until you get outta my way, I don't wanna hear what you say aye aye"

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
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Thu Dec-21-17 11:30 AM

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192. "Because"
In response to Reply # 187
Thu Dec-21-17 11:31 AM by Dr Claw

  

          

>criticism of Coates?
>
>Is he totally correct in all his criticisms no but some of
>them are on point especially the pandering to Obama even if he
>made some criticisms. What does criticism matter if you turn
>around and make excuses and glaze over it with but you are the
>best and the greatest ever.

it's more than apparent that Coates does it by barely reading what Coates actually wrote/is writing on these topics.

for example, even I clowned the whole "Obama on pedestal" framing that had him compared to Malcolm X, but over time, Coates has walked those comparisons back, including in the very book that West uses to categorize Coates as a "neoliberal".

and the criticisms of him as "neoliberal", no matter how much certain leftists try to twist West's words into logical are just dumb as fuck. Coates doesn't seek a privatized, capitalized solution to the ills of American society. Or anything specific from what I can recall. It's based on him *liking* Obama the symbol, regardless of how he thinks of his policy (which IMO is not favorable, as time has passed).

The Venn diagram of ashy Umar types, MOR regular-degular contrarians and-post-grad smarter-than-though alt-talented tenth niggas annoyed by Coates's approach over the "Obama" matter is a full circle. All of these Niggas have a hard-on for people who offer anything less than full-throated disdain of Barack Obama. Not even ambivalence. If you're seen as saying anything complementary, you're a "cheerleader".

And if you sense some sort of pettiness in the above paragraph, take it times 1000 then multiply it by the googolplex factorial because that's where it really is when I don't self-edit.

And if you dismiss what I say based on that pettiness, well... that's how everyone feels about West half-assing Coates on the merits.

It boils down to:

"He like Obama too much"
"He ain't intersectional enough"
"He ain't finish college" (see Adolph Reed and associates)
"He get too much love from WHITE FOLKS"

"He, he, he"

(no Mike Jack)

It's not that his ideas don't merit criticism. That his fatalism shouldn't be challenged. Or maybe even that he should be prodded into thinking something more critically than he does.

But honestly, if he ain't really know (for example) how to really compile the problems of intraracial violence (particularly from black men to black women) or about the concerns of LGBTQ people in a way that is both thoughtful and productive instead of being merely empathetic, because of the pigeonhole in which he lives/thinks at this stage of his writing career?

...I really don't wanna hear it from him. Rather someone more qualified to tell that story.

In a general level, his beating the white supremacy drum is necessary, since so many, including black folks, try to omit its essential nature.

Yes, I'm mad. Let's move on.

Jays | Cavs | Eagles | Sabres | Tarheels

PSN: Dr_Claw_77 | XBL: Dr Claw 077 | FB: drclaw077 | T: @drclaw77 | http://thepeoplesvault.wordpress.com

  

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poetx
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Fri Dec-22-17 11:39 PM

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200. "^^^ all of this. nm"
In response to Reply # 192


  

          


peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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IkeMoses
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Thu Dec-21-17 11:41 AM

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194. "Most of us here say West has points about TNC"
In response to Reply # 187


  

          

Those points are drowned in saltiness tho. Only the broadest criticisms apply. Most of it is at best an unfamiliarity with Coates’ work and at worst an intentional misrepresentation of it.

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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poetx
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Fri Dec-22-17 11:50 PM

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201. "RE: Most of us here say West has points about TNC"
In response to Reply # 194


  

          

>Those points are drowned in saltiness tho. Only the broadest
>criticisms apply. Most of it is at best an unfamiliarity with
>Coates’ work and at worst an intentional misrepresentation
>of it.

you more charitable than me, b/c west has explicitly made his career since '07 / '08 about shitting on obama and, in the midst of the greatest ever and most pervasive political and social example of white ppl doing white things, decides to go at TNC neck. shit is transparently salty based upon the other shit cornel be on.

TNC has grown into the role of a public black intellectual -- take or leave that on it's own merits. it'd be different if this was a clapback, and tnc came at him first.

idk if it was Malcolm or someone else who said "Harvard has ruined more good niggas than bad whiskey", but by and large, blackety black ni&&as let cats like dr west, et al, cook from the ivy ivory towers.

if we really pulling cards he should be chairing a dept at Morgan or Howard.



peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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Reeq
Member since Mar 11th 2013
11042 posts
Thu Dec-21-17 01:25 PM

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198. "he seems to be intellectually dishonest and agenda-driven"
In response to Reply # 187


  

          

almost to the point of self-parody now.

like if you told me cornell west was going to address tnc before it actually happened, i would have told you he was going to call him a neoliberal, he was going to criticize tnc for showing too much reverence to obama, thered be something about drones and wall street, and somewhere along the way, members of the alt right would find common ground with him lol.

crazy how a man so refined and dynamic has basically reduced himself to being a cookie cutter far left archetype.

------

  

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BigReg
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Sat Dec-23-17 08:30 AM

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204. "West is doing it for the cllicks/ofay shine"
In response to Reply # 187


  

          

He’s got points, but they get drowned out with his obvious hate and pandering towards white media...i dunno.

There’s plenty of writers out there that got bars for Coates, Obama too, and don’t put extra sauce on it for white media. You can even watch it in real time, he’s much more real when in an interview full of black folks but has no problem basically calling obama a nigger on cnn with a Ruckus grin

  

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rorschach
Member since Nov 10th 2004
7723 posts
Sun Dec-24-17 03:16 AM

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212. "I still love Dr. West's work but you're right about his pandering....."
In response to Reply # 204


  

          

There have been several occasions where West has essentially 'gone on tour' behind the fact that he got locked up as part of a protest even those arrests were always expected.

Every time Cornel West goes out to a protest, he always finds his way to someone's talk show to talk about the experience....lowkey advertising how he's really out here rather than just being on paper with his dissent.

---------------------------------------


---------------------------------------

  

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seasoned vet
Member since Jul 29th 2008
5532 posts
Sat Dec-23-17 12:45 AM

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202. "as if any think piece by will change anything"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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Shaun Tha Don
Member since Nov 19th 2005
17967 posts
Sat Dec-23-17 07:48 PM

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209. "They love their privileges and comfortable lives too much to "
In response to Reply # 202


          

sacrifice them for the cause.

Rest In Peace, Bad News Brown

  

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Hitokiri
Charter member
20803 posts
Sat Dec-23-17 02:05 PM

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205. "Robin DG Kelley weighs in"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

http://bostonreview.net/race/robin-d-g-kelley-coates-and-west-jackson

When the emails started coming in, I ignored them. By day’s end, my voicemail and email inboxes were filling up with links to the Guardian, followed by links to Facebook pages and blogposts devoted to Cornel West’s takedown of Ta-Nehisi Coates. I felt like I was being summoned to see a schoolyard brawl, and, now that I no longer use social media, I was already late. By the time I read West’s piece, “Ta-Nehisi Coates is the neoliberal face of the black freedom struggle,” it had become the center of international controversy. Perhaps because West named me as an ally, the New York Times requested a comment, followed by Le Monde, and then a slew of publications all trying to get the scoop on the latest battle royale among the titans of the black intelligentsia.

The discourse about the piece descended to the level of celebrity death match, which is never about the celebrities but rather our collective bloodlust. Reactions are still coming in from all corners, calling out West for being dishonest and jealous, and for lobbing ad hominem attacks unrelated to his critique. Meanwhile Coates-haters are delighting in what they take to be the dethroning of the liberal establishment’s literary darling. Coates, to his immense credit, has bailed out of the fray, initially engaging but then exiting Twitter with a sigh of disgust. One can only hope he is reading and working and enjoying the holiday with his family. So to even call this a “feud” is something of a misnomer.

I, too, would prefer to stay out of it. I need to get a Christmas tree, a trampoline for my youngest, and finish grading papers. But I can't, partly because West named me in his piece and partly because I believe it is irresponsible of us to allow this kind of spectacle to, once again, obscure crucial political and philosophical issues. Black intellectual infighting is hardly a new thing, as Peniel Joseph recently reminded us. But social media encourages its rapid devolution, as many “followers” would rather tweet and retweet than actually read the subject of the latest Twitterstorm. As I wrote in these pages in 2016, there is a growing reluctance to read and engage arguments carefully, especially those with which we disagree. Besides, social media always loves a fight; the more personal and vitriolic, the more spectators.

For my part, I see value in putting Coates’s and West’s perspectives in dialogue. To be clear, I am not interested in repeating or endorsing West’s critique here, and Coates needs no one to defend him, certainly not me. Readers of Boston Review know that I have taken issue with parts of his Between the World and Me (2015)—yet, even when I disagree, I find Coates’s writing generative, thoughtful, and startlingly honest, and he pushes me to think harder and deeper about the depth of racism in both the public and inner life of black America. Rather, I want to offer brief reflections on what I find valuable in both Coates’s recent book, We Were Eight Years in Power (2017), and in West’s insistence on the transformative power of social movements. I believe that the reconciliation of their respective insights might open new directions. My mother raised my siblings and me to be Hegelians (even if his 1807 The Phenomenology of Spirit is not exactly bedtime reading), and that means the purpose of critique is dialectical, to reach a higher synthesis, which in turn reveals new contradictions demanding new critique.


West’s position should not surprise anyone, nor should his ideas be reduced to a couple of interviews and a short piece in the Guardian. He has always combined the black prophetic tradition of speaking truth to power with what he identifies as the anti-foundationalism of young Marx—a critical observation central to West’s book, The Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought (1991). West’s Black Prophetic Fire (with Christa Buschendorf, 2014) consists of dialogues that consider the lives and work of black prophetic figures, including Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Ida B. Wells, and Ella Baker. His insights into these figures are acute and often original, and he refrains from hagiography. For example, he is sharply critical of Douglass, whom he castigates for his relative silence on Jim Crow once he became a fully enfranchised and powerful voice in the Republican Party. The book also contains a subtle indictment of President Barack Obama, implying that his two terms as president, and the emergence of a black neoliberal political class, represent a betrayal of the principles basic to the black prophetic tradition. His criticisms of President Obama are not personal but directed at policies that , reflected both the neoliberal turn and the persistence of U.S. imperialism.

Coates found his calling during a particularly combative period for black intellectuals. In March of 1995, West was the target of a scurrilous attack by New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier, an essay promoted on the issue’s cover with the headline “The Decline of the Black Intellectual.” A month later Adolph Reed, Jr.’s followed with a piece in the Village Voice titled, “What Are the Drums Saying, Booker?: The Curious Role of the Black Public Intellectual” which names West, Michael Eric Dyson, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., bell hooks, and yours truly. In the essay, Reed characterizes us as modern-day minstrels and attacks us for being “translators” of black culture to white folks, and thus palatable to fawning white liberals. Reed’s piece left a deep impression on Coates. As he recalls in We Were Eight Years in Power, “I was determined to never be an interpreter. It did not occur to me that writing is always some form of interpretation, some form of translating the specificity of one’s roots or expertise or even one’s own mind into language that can be absorbed and assimilated into the consciousness of a broader audience. Almost any black writer publishing in the mainstream press would necessarily be read by whites. Reed was not exempt. He was not holding forth from The Chicago Defender but from The Village Voice, interpreting black intellectuals for that audience, most of whom were white.”

Those “feuds” of twenty-two years ago also generated an important Boston Review forum that centered on a provocative essay by Reverend Eugene F. Rivers III, “Beyond the Nationalism of Fools: Toward an Agenda for Black Intellectuals” (1995). In it, Rivers drops a dose of reality that is still relevant today:

The debate about responsibility has degenerated into star-worship and name-calling, the stuff of television talk shows. The issues are too serious for that. It is time to get back on track. The Black community is in a state of emergency; Black intellectuals have acquired unprecedented power and prestige. So let’s quit the topic of salaries and lecture fees, leave the fine points about Gramsci on hegemony to the journals, and have a serious discussion of how intellectuals can better mobilize their resources to meet the emergency.

Few took up Rivers’ call, especially as black public intellectuals gained greater access to mainstream media outlets. Coates benefited but could not shake Reed’s diatribe, wondering, “How do you defy a power that insists on claiming you?” For West, however, “the answer should be clear: they claim you because you are silent on what is a threat to their order (especially Wall Street and war). You defy them when you threaten that order.” I don’t believe the answer is so clear. The truth is, you cannot control who embraces your work, but you can call out those who are simply riding the fad or who are unwilling to act to change the realities that your work engages. This, I believe, is West’s major point: how do we translate critique into action as opposed to readers’ self-pity or self-satisfaction with being “woke?”

But even more importantly, not all white folks are the same. West and Coates know this, but given what passes for commentary on the Internet, I have to conclude that most people don’t know this. No one’s ideology or political stance is fixed at birth; ideas, perspectives, and movements are always in flux. Part of the task of mobilizing requires ideological work, changing minds, challenging received wisdom, revealing hidden structures of oppression and the possibility of human liberation. So even if Coates says he has very little hope, many read him and see for the first time the deeply entrenched and hidden processes that reproduce inequality within the United States. And they’re not all white! I’ve had literally hundreds of students—black, white, Latinx, Asian American—read Coates’s work on reparations or Between the World and Me (which was core reading for most first-years across our campus) and come running to my courses, questioning their liberalism, seeking out more radical critiques of racial capitalism, some even jumping headlong into groups such as Refuse Fascism (an organization with which West is associated).

So what are the substantive differences between West and Coates?

At the end of his Guardian essay, West writes that we cannot afford “to disconnect white supremacy from the realities of class, empire, and other forms of domination—be it ecological, sexual, or others.” Coates would agree. He treats these forms of domination as deeply intertwined but not synonymous: “I have never seen a contradiction between calling for reparations and calling for a living wage, on calling for legitimate law enforcement and single-payer health care. They are related—but cannot stand in for one another. I see the fight against sexism, racism, poverty, and even war finding their union not in synonymity but in their ultimate goal—a world more humane.” He may not map out what that “fight” for a more humane world might look like, but I don’t think his perspective can be reduced, as West does, to “narrow racial tribalism and myopic political neoliberalism.”

It is true that We Were Eight Years in Power does not give us a sustained critique of Wall Street or the global War on Terror, or keep “track of our fightback.” In fairness, that is not Coates’s project. Rather, the book offers personal reflections on the Obama years and the period leading up to Obama’s political ascendance, interspersed between eight previously published essays that explore a wide range of topics: the rabbit hole of black bourgeois respectability politics; race and Civil War history; the case for reparations; the impact of mass incarceration on black families and communities; the prophetic voice of Jeremiah Wright; the devastating price that Shirley Sherrod, a powerful advocate for small farmers, paid when Obama succumbed to right-wing pressure to fire her; and the constraints and contradictions of the Obama presidency.

Importantly, Coates’s title is a reference not to Obama’s administration, as many seem to suppose, but rather to Reconstruction and the white backlash that followed its tragic overthrow. Coates quotes Du Bois’s Black Reconstruction (1935): “If there was one thing that South Carolina feared more than bad Negro government, it was good Negro government.” Du Bois’s insight is key here; he recognizes that it was the success of Reconstruction in creating arguably the world’s first social democracy that posed the greatest threat to white supremacy. History has a long life: the ways in which formerly enslaved people not only helped overthrow the Confederacy but immediately went to work building a new society—armed, organized, and fighting back—is the story that haunts and illuminates Obama’s presidency.

Coates is certainly attentive to the forces arrayed against the Obama administration, and to the extraordinary hope black people had invested in him, but he is no apologist for Obama. He writes:

Obama was elected amid widespread panic and, in his eight years, emerged as a caretaker and measured architect. He established the framework of a national healthcare system from a conservative model. He prevented an economic collapse and neglected to prosecute those largely responsible for that collapse. He ended state-sanctioned torture but continued the generational war in the Middle East. . . . He was deliberate to a fault, saw himself as the keeper of his country’s sacred legacy, and if he was bothered by his country’s sins, he ultimately believed it to be a force for good in the world. In short, Obama, his family, and his administration were a walking advertisement for the ease with which black people could be fully integrated into the unthreatening mainstream of American culture, politics, and myth. And that was always the problem.

Coates chose the word “caretaker” very carefully. “Good Negro government” here might be described more precisely as “good Negro in government,” especially since the Obama years were a far cry from Reconstruction, when black legislators were empowered to rewrite state constitutions and were ubiquitous at virtually every level of local government. Coates also describes what he calls a “theory of personal Good Negro Government,” or the theory that if black people comport themselves respectably, dress and speak well, they can gain citizenship and acceptance. Historian Kevin K. Gaines, in his classic text Uplifting the Race: Black Leadership, Politics, and Culture in the Twentieth Century (1996), called this “uplift ideology.” But as Coates correctly argues, this theory “denies the existence of racism and white supremacy as meaningful forces in American life. In its more nuanced and reputable form, the theory pitches itself as an equal complement to anti-racism. But is that Good Negro Government—personal and political—often augments the very white supremacy it seeks to combat.” The takeaway is that what passes as “Good Negro Government,” the maintenance of the neoliberal order in black face, will not free us. On the contrary, it reinforces hegemony of the ruling racial regime, patriarchy, class domination, and U.S. empire. So Obama did good for a segment of the ruling class, but the ruling bloc is also composed of white people outside of elite circles whose deeply entrenched racism obscured their class anxieties and saw in Obama a symbolic threat to their status.

“For now,” Coates writes, “the country holds to the common theory that emancipation and civil rights were redemptive, a fraught and still-incomplete resolution of the accidental hypocrisy of a nation founded by slaveholders extolling a gospel of freedom. This common theory dominates much of American discourse, from left to right. Conveniently, it holds the possibility of ultimate resolution, for if right-thinking individuals can dedicate themselves to finishing the work of ensuring freedom for all, then perhaps the ghosts of history can be escaped.” This theory is an illusion, one liberals continue to hold on to: the belief that we are on the right track, we just need time and patience and a reminder of the ideals upon which the nation was founded. But this is the same democracy that sanctions the violence of the state, the Second Amendment, the castle doctrine, stand your ground laws, militias, vigilantes, and lynching as a form of popular justice (and entertainment). In other words, Coates rejects the American myth of democracy’s promise and the notion that liberalism is incompatible with slavery and white supremacy. It is a perspective found in Cedric Robinson’s writings on democracy, powerfully elaborated by Lisa Lowe’s Intimacies of Four Continents (2015), and one Coates culled from reading Edmund Morgan’s classic American Slavery, American Freedom (1975), as well as the work of Barbara J. Fields and David Roediger. For these thinkers, the liberalism that grounds U.S. democracy was founded on a definition of liberty that places property before human freedom and human needs: it permits (if not promotes) various forms of unfree labor, dispossession, and subordination based on “race” and “gender.”

This is where West and Coates part ways. It is not so much their understanding of history, though. West understands that U.S. “democracy” was built on slavery, capitalism, and settler colonialism. But he also recognizes its fragility or malleability in the face of a radical democratic tradition.

This radical democratic tradition cannot be traced to the founding fathers or the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. Instead, it is manifest in the struggles of the dispossessed to overturn the Eurocentric, elitist, patriarchal, and dehumanizing structures of racial capitalism and its liberal underpinnings. It is manifest in the struggle to restore the “commons” to the commonwealth, which has been at the heart of radical abolitionism—or what Du Bois called the Abolition Democracy. West knows that social movements, or what he calls “our fightback,” have and will alter history. West believes that we can win. While I wouldn’t call Coates’s vision fatalistic, it is deeply pessimistic because his focus is on structures of race and class oppression, and the policies and ideologies that shore up these structures. He is concerned that we survive.

Our movements have had to do both—find ways to survive and dare to win. Political mobilization and a vision of a liberated future matter, but so does a sober assessment of the forces arrayed against us (and by “us,” I mean all oppressed people everywhere). Sometimes we confront power directly; other times, we struggle to build power where we are—through collectives, mutual aid, community economic development, and the like. All of this is happening now, in Jackson, Mississippi, America’s most radical city, where a genuinely revolutionary movement is building our first cooperative commonwealth dedicated to the principles of democracy, human rights, workers’ power, environmental sustainability, and socialism.

The movement in Jackson embodies the best of West’s prophetic vision and Coates’s concern with building power amidst white supremacy. Although the struggle to make Mississippi a safe, livable, and sustainable place for black people has deep roots in Reconstruction, the promise of Jackson didn’t come on the radar of most progressives until 2013, when the late Chokwe Lumumba, a radical lawyer and leader in the New Afrikan People’s Organization (NAPO) and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), was elected mayor. Lumumba had come to Mississippi from Detroit in 1971 with the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika, a movement for black self-determination that envisioned the South as the site for establishing an independent black nation. The PGRNA initially demanded that the U.S. government hand over the territory to black people and recognize the PGRNA as a government in exile. In addition to the transfer of land, the PGRNA called for reparations from the U.S. government in the amount of $400 billion in order to sustain the new nation during its first few years. Although the demand for reparations never disappeared, the group eventually purchased land, set up cooperative farms, built institutions, and, despite relentless state repression, took root in the city of Jackson.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the MXGM developed the “Jackson Plan,” which included establishing a “solidarity economy,” akin to the Mondragon Corporation in Spain’s Basque region, through worker cooperatives; eco-friendly community gardens; building inexpensive, energy-efficient housing; and developing community and conservation land trusts to make land available to the community and house the homeless—an effort to restore the “commons.” But the plan also included a political strategy of creating People’s Assemblies, open meetings to discuss community needs, ensure full democratic participation, and mobilize working people to win political power. The People’s Assemblies were not only responsible for Chokwe Lumumba’s victory and the recent mayoral election of his son, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, but for creating a structure for participatory budgeting.

The city’s latest initiatives focus on addressing the needs of Jackson’s poor and working-class communities through cooperative economic strategies. In other words, concern with survival and the creation of new democratic institutions can consolidate power and move the city toward a sustainable future. Rather than see Jackson’s immense poverty and revenue shortfalls as barriers to building a radical movement, the People’s Assemblies and veteran organizers realized that the city’s ongoing crisis demanded a radical response.

The struggle for Jackson is certainly no cakewalk. State government is trying to strip the predominantly black city council of local control, has already reallocated revenues from the city’s 1 percent sales tax to other state initiatives, and has introduced legislation that would strip Jackson’s control of the airport and related commerce.

So I propose that we turn away from the latest celebrity death match, turn our attention to Jackson, Mississippi. Read Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi (2017), edited by Kali Akuno and Ajamu Nangwaya, And revisit the work of West and Coates and others wrestling with the critical issues of our times. I stand with West and his unwavering commitment to the power of collective resistance, his optimism of the will. And I stand with Coates and his insistence on a particular kind of pessimism of the intellect that questions everything, stays curious, and is not afraid of self-reflection, uncomfortable questions, or where the evidence takes him.

And above all, I stand with the people of Jackson, who have built the country’s most radical movement, mobilized new forms of political participation, and elected a people’s government committed to building a socialist commonwealth. Free the Land!

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
4022 posts
Sat Dec-23-17 03:08 PM

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206. "Another good read"
In response to Reply # 205


  

          

It was fair to both.

---------------------------
Signature

  

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IkeMoses
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70839 posts
Sat Dec-23-17 04:03 PM

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208. "he’s such an adult. "
In response to Reply # 205


  

          

-30-
You know it's drama, but it sound real good.

  

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catalyst
Member since Dec 27th 2005
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Sat Dec-23-17 10:11 PM

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210. "Best assessment yet"
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Thoughtful linking of Jackson.

  

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isaaaa
Member since May 10th 2007
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Sat Dec-23-17 03:50 PM

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207. "I'm suprised TNC lasted this long, dude is definitely"
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not on the same level as Henrik Clarke, Marimba Ani, etc. yet a lot of people put him there, which is SAD AF!

Dude is Dr. Skip Gates 2017.


Anti-gentrification, cheap alcohol & trying to look pretty in our twilight posting years (c) Big Reg
http://Tupreme.com

  

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Mori
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Sun Dec-24-17 05:15 AM

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213. "Coates was propped up. A good writer, but still propped."
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I attended a lecture he gave at a prestigous think tank in 2014, before Between the World and Me dropped. All white audience, panel members and sponsors.

I couldn't figure out why he was on stage. When his book dropped it all made sense.

He helped this think tank push ideas, which weren't bad, but the engine that propelled him is definitely white wealthy rich thinkers.

I appreciate West for calling attention to this because Coates is a writer, not necessarily an academic thinker. But his books are easy to read and relate to for MANY millennials.

I think West just couldn't sit back and see this little performance without noting who is pulling the strings.

Rise & Shine
Thrive & Grind
Heart & Mind

  

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Atillah Moor
Member since Sep 05th 2013
13825 posts
Mon Dec-25-17 01:22 PM

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214. "That’s unsettling. What think tank was this and what was it’s missio..."
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Deacon Blues
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Tue Dec-26-17 07:04 PM

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216. "RE: I'm suprised TNC lasted this long, dude is definitely"
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Damn, so Coates couldn't have come up with this by himself, has to be the man, really wow.

He's never professed to be an academic and there's room for several voices, stop the crab mentality

if you disagree with something, people can't just state where they disagree without trying to question someone's motive or heart, which you do not know, wow

just stop it

dude

  

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Marbles
Member since Oct 19th 2004
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Tue Dec-26-17 04:41 PM

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215. ""Coates and West in Jackson," from The Boston Review (swipe)"
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http://bostonreview.net/race/robin-d-g-kelley-coates-and-west-jackson

ROBIN D. G. KELLEY

When the emails started coming in, I ignored them. By day’s end, my voicemail and email inboxes were filling up with links to the Guardian, followed by links to Facebook pages and blogposts devoted to Cornel West’s takedown of Ta-Nehisi Coates. I felt like I was being summoned to see a schoolyard brawl, and, now that I no longer use social media, I was already late. By the time I read West’s piece, “Ta-Nehisi Coates is the neoliberal face of the black freedom struggle,” it had become the center of international controversy. Perhaps because West named me as an ally, the New York Times requested a comment, followed by Le Monde, and then a slew of publications all trying to get the scoop on the latest battle royale among the titans of the black intelligentsia.

The discourse about the piece descended to the level of celebrity death match, which is never about the celebrities but rather our collective bloodlust. Reactions are still coming in from all corners, calling out West for being dishonest and jealous, and for lobbing ad hominem attacks unrelated to his critique. Meanwhile Coates-haters are delighting in what they take to be the dethroning of the liberal establishment’s literary darling. Coates, to his immense credit, has bailed out of the fray, initially engaging but then exiting Twitter with a sigh of disgust. One can only hope he is reading and working and enjoying the holiday with his family. So to even call this a “feud” is something of a misnomer.

I, too, would prefer to stay out of it. I need to get a Christmas tree, a trampoline for my youngest, and finish grading papers. But I can't, partly because West named me in his piece and partly because I believe it is irresponsible of us to allow this kind of spectacle to, once again, obscure crucial political and philosophical issues. Black intellectual infighting is hardly a new thing, as Peniel Joseph recently reminded us. But social media encourages its rapid devolution, as many “followers” would rather tweet and retweet than actually read the subject of the latest Twitterstorm. As I wrote in these pages in 2016, there is a growing reluctance to read and engage arguments carefully, especially those with which we disagree. Besides, social media always loves a fight; the more personal and vitriolic, the more spectators.

For my part, I see value in putting Coates’s and West’s perspectives in dialogue. To be clear, I am not interested in repeating or endorsing West’s critique here, and Coates needs no one to defend him, certainly not me. Readers of Boston Review know that I have taken issue with parts of his Between the World and Me (2015)—yet, even when I disagree, I find Coates’s writing generative, thoughtful, and startlingly honest, and he pushes me to think harder and deeper about the depth of racism in both the public and inner life of black America. Rather, I want to offer brief reflections on what I find valuable in both Coates’s recent book, We Were Eight Years in Power (2017), and in West’s insistence on the transformative power of social movements. I believe that the reconciliation of their respective insights might open new directions. My mother raised my siblings and me to be Hegelians (even if his 1807 The Phenomenology of Spirit is not exactly bedtime reading), and that means the purpose of critique is dialectical, to reach a higher synthesis, which in turn reveals new contradictions demanding new critique.

West’s position should not surprise anyone, nor should his ideas be reduced to a couple of interviews and a short piece in the Guardian. He has always combined the black prophetic tradition of speaking truth to power with what he identifies as the anti-foundationalism of young Marx—a critical observation central to West’s book, The Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought (1991). West’s Black Prophetic Fire (with Christa Buschendorf, 2014) consists of dialogues that consider the lives and work of black prophetic figures, including Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Ida B. Wells, and Ella Baker. His insights into these figures are acute and often original, and he refrains from hagiography. For example, he is sharply critical of Douglass, whom he castigates for his relative silence on Jim Crow once he became a fully enfranchised and powerful voice in the Republican Party. The book also contains a subtle indictment of President Barack Obama, implying that his two terms as president, and the emergence of a black neoliberal political class, represent a betrayal of the principles basic to the black prophetic tradition. His criticisms of President Obama are not personal but directed at policies that reflected both the neoliberal turn and the persistence of U.S. imperialism.

Coates found his calling during a particularly combative period for black intellectuals. In March of 1995, West was the target of a scurrilous attack by New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier, an essay promoted on the issue’s cover with the headline “The Decline of the Black Intellectual.” A month later Adolph Reed, Jr. followed with a piece in the Village Voice titled, “What Are the Drums Saying, Booker?: The Curious Role of the Black Public Intellectual” which names West, Michael Eric Dyson, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., bell hooks, and yours truly. In the essay, Reed characterizes us as modern-day minstrels and attacks us for being “translators” of black culture to white folks, and thus palatable to fawning white liberals. Reed’s piece left a deep impression on Coates. As he recalls in We Were Eight Years in Power, “I was determined to never be an interpreter. It did not occur to me that writing is always some form of interpretation, some form of translating the specificity of one’s roots or expertise or even one’s own mind into language that can be absorbed and assimilated into the consciousness of a broader audience. Almost any black writer publishing in the mainstream press would necessarily be read by whites. Reed was not exempt. He was not holding forth from The Chicago Defender but from The Village Voice, interpreting black intellectuals for that audience, most of whom were white.”

Those “feuds” of twenty-two years ago also generated an important Boston Review forum that centered on a provocative essay by Reverend Eugene F. Rivers III, “Beyond the Nationalism of Fools: Toward an Agenda for Black Intellectuals” (1995). In it, Rivers drops a dose of reality that is still relevant today:

The debate about responsibility has degenerated into star-worship and name-calling, the stuff of television talk shows. The issues are too serious for that. It is time to get back on track. The Black community is in a state of emergency; Black intellectuals have acquired unprecedented power and prestige. So let’s quit the topic of salaries and lecture fees, leave the fine points about Gramsci on hegemony to the journals, and have a serious discussion of how intellectuals can better mobilize their resources to meet the emergency.

Few took up Rivers’ call, especially as black public intellectuals gained greater access to mainstream media outlets. Coates benefited but could not shake Reed’s diatribe, wondering, “How do you defy a power that insists on claiming you?” For West, however, “the answer should be clear: they claim you because you are silent on what is a threat to their order (especially Wall Street and war). You defy them when you threaten that order.” I don’t believe the answer is so clear. The truth is, you cannot control who embraces your work, but you can call out those who are simply riding the fad or who are unwilling to act to change the realities that your work engages. This, I believe, is West’s major point: how do we translate critique into action as opposed to readers’ self-pity or self-satisfaction with being “woke?”

But even more importantly, not all white folks are the same. West and Coates know this, but given what passes for commentary on the Internet, I have to conclude that most people don’t know this. No one’s ideology or political stance is fixed at birth; ideas, perspectives, and movements are always in flux. Part of the task of mobilizing requires ideological work, changing minds, challenging received wisdom, revealing hidden structures of oppression and the possibility of human liberation. So even if Coates says he has very little hope, many read him and see for the first time the deeply entrenched and hidden processes that reproduce inequality within the United States. And they’re not all white! I’ve had literally hundreds of students—black, white, Latinx, Asian American—read Coates’s work on reparations or Between the World and Me (which was core reading for most first-years across our campus) and come running to my courses, questioning their liberalism, seeking out more radical critiques of racial capitalism, some even jumping headlong into groups such as Refuse Fascism (an organization with which West is associated).

So what are the substantive differences between West and Coates?

At the end of his Guardian essay, West writes that we cannot afford “to disconnect white supremacy from the realities of class, empire, and other forms of domination—be it ecological, sexual, or others.” Coates would agree. He treats these forms of domination as deeply intertwined but not synonymous: “I have never seen a contradiction between calling for reparations and calling for a living wage, on calling for legitimate law enforcement and single-payer health care. They are related—but cannot stand in for one another. I see the fight against sexism, racism, poverty, and even war finding their union not in synonymity but in their ultimate goal—a world more humane.” He may not map out what that “fight” for a more humane world might look like, but I don’t think his perspective can be reduced, as West does, to “narrow racial tribalism and myopic political neoliberalism.”

It is true that We Were Eight Years in Power does not give us a sustained critique of Wall Street or the global War on Terror, or keep “track of our fightback.” In fairness, that is not Coates’s project. Rather, the book offers personal reflections on the Obama years and the period leading up to Obama’s political ascendance, interspersed between eight previously published essays that explore a wide range of topics: the rabbit hole of black bourgeois respectability politics; race and Civil War history; the case for reparations; the impact of mass incarceration on black families and communities; the prophetic voice of Jeremiah Wright; the devastating price that Shirley Sherrod, a powerful advocate for small farmers, paid when Obama succumbed to right-wing pressure to fire her; and the constraints and contradictions of the Obama presidency.

Importantly, Coates’s title is a reference not to Obama’s administration, as many seem to suppose, but rather to Reconstruction and the white backlash that followed its tragic overthrow. Coates quotes Du Bois’s Black Reconstruction (1935): “If there was one thing that South Carolina feared more than bad Negro government, it was good Negro government.” Du Bois’s insight is key here; he recognizes that it was the success of Reconstruction in creating arguably the world’s first social democracy that posed the greatest threat to white supremacy. History has a long life: the ways in which formerly enslaved people not only helped overthrow the Confederacy but immediately went to work building a new society—armed, organized, and fighting back—is the story that haunts and illuminates Obama’s presidency.

Coates is certainly attentive to the forces arrayed against the Obama administration, and to the extraordinary hope black people had invested in him, but he is no apologist for Obama. He writes:

Obama was elected amid widespread panic and, in his eight years, emerged as a caretaker and measured architect. He established the framework of a national healthcare system from a conservative model. He prevented an economic collapse and neglected to prosecute those largely responsible for that collapse. He ended state-sanctioned torture but continued the generational war in the Middle East. . . . He was deliberate to a fault, saw himself as the keeper of his country’s sacred legacy, and if he was bothered by his country’s sins, he ultimately believed it to be a force for good in the world. In short, Obama, his family, and his administration were a walking advertisement for the ease with which black people could be fully integrated into the unthreatening mainstream of American culture, politics, and myth. And that was always the problem.

Coates chose the word “caretaker” very carefully. “Good Negro government” here might be described more precisely as “good Negro in government,” especially since the Obama years were a far cry from Reconstruction, when black legislators were empowered to rewrite state constitutions and were ubiquitous at virtually every level of local government. Coates also describes what he calls a “theory of personal Good Negro Government,” or the theory that if black people comport themselves respectably, dress and speak well, they can gain citizenship and acceptance. Historian Kevin K. Gaines, in his classic text Uplifting the Race: Black Leadership, Politics, and Culture in the Twentieth Century (1996), called this “uplift ideology.” But as Coates correctly argues, this theory “denies the existence of racism and white supremacy as meaningful forces in American life. In its more nuanced and reputable form, the theory pitches itself as an equal complement to anti-racism. But is that Good Negro Government—personal and political—often augments the very white supremacy it seeks to combat.” The takeaway is that what passes as “Good Negro Government,” the maintenance of the neoliberal order in black face, will not free us. On the contrary, it reinforces hegemony of the ruling racial regime, patriarchy, class domination, and U.S. empire. So Obama did good for a segment of the ruling class, but the ruling bloc is also composed of white people outside of elite circles whose deeply entrenched racism obscured their class anxieties and saw in Obama a symbolic threat to their status.

“For now,” Coates writes, “the country holds to the common theory that emancipation and civil rights were redemptive, a fraught and still-incomplete resolution of the accidental hypocrisy of a nation founded by slaveholders extolling a gospel of freedom. This common theory dominates much of American discourse, from left to right. Conveniently, it holds the possibility of ultimate resolution, for if right-thinking individuals can dedicate themselves to finishing the work of ensuring freedom for all, then perhaps the ghosts of history can be escaped.” This theory is an illusion, one liberals continue to hold on to: the belief that we are on the right track, we just need time and patience and a reminder of the ideals upon which the nation was founded. But this is the same democracy that sanctions the violence of the state, the Second Amendment, the castle doctrine, stand your ground laws, militias, vigilantes, and lynching as a form of popular justice (and entertainment). In other words, Coates rejects the American myth of democracy’s promise and the notion that liberalism is incompatible with slavery and white supremacy. It is a perspective found in Cedric Robinson’s writings on democracy, powerfully elaborated by Lisa Lowe’s Intimacies of Four Continents (2015), and one Coates culled from reading Edmund Morgan’s classic American Slavery, American Freedom (1975), as well as the work of Barbara J. Fields and David Roediger. For these thinkers, the liberalism that grounds U.S. democracy was founded on a definition of liberty that places property before human freedom and human needs: it permits (if not promotes) various forms of unfree labor, dispossession, and subordination based on “race” and “gender.”

This is where West and Coates part ways. It is not so much their understanding of history, though. West understands that U.S. “democracy” was built on slavery, capitalism, and settler colonialism. But he also recognizes its fragility or malleability in the face of a radical democratic tradition.

This radical democratic tradition cannot be traced to the founding fathers or the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. Instead, it is manifest in the struggles of the dispossessed to overturn the Eurocentric, elitist, patriarchal, and dehumanizing structures of racial capitalism and its liberal underpinnings. It is manifest in the struggle to restore the “commons” to the commonwealth, which has been at the heart of radical abolitionism—or what Du Bois called the Abolition Democracy. West knows that social movements, or what he calls “our fightback,” have and will alter history. West believes that we can win. While I wouldn’t call Coates’s vision fatalistic, it is deeply pessimistic because his focus is on structures of race and class oppression, and the policies and ideologies that shore up these structures. He is concerned that we survive.

Our movements have had to do both—find ways to survive and dare to win. Political mobilization and a vision of a liberated future matter, but so does a sober assessment of the forces arrayed against us (and by “us,” I mean all oppressed people everywhere). Sometimes we confront power directly; other times, we struggle to build power where we are—through collectives, mutual aid, community economic development, and the like. All of this is happening now, in Jackson, Mississippi, America’s most radical city, where a genuinely revolutionary movement is building our first cooperative commonwealth dedicated to the principles of democracy, human rights, workers’ power, environmental sustainability, and socialism.

The movement in Jackson embodies the best of West’s prophetic vision and Coates’s concern with building power amidst white supremacy. Although the struggle to make Mississippi a safe, livable, and sustainable place for black people has deep roots in Reconstruction, the promise of Jackson didn’t come on the radar of most progressives until 2013, when the late Chokwe Lumumba, a radical lawyer and leader in the New Afrikan People’s Organization (NAPO) and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), was elected mayor. Lumumba had come to Mississippi from Detroit in 1971 with the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika, a movement for black self-determination that envisioned the South as the site for establishing an independent black nation. The PGRNA initially demanded that the U.S. government hand over the territory to black people and recognize the PGRNA as a government in exile. In addition to the transfer of land, the PGRNA called for reparations from the U.S. government in the amount of $400 billion in order to sustain the new nation during its first few years. Although the demand for reparations never disappeared, the group eventually purchased land, set up cooperative farms, built institutions, and, despite relentless state repression, took root in the city of Jackson.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the MXGM developed the “Jackson Plan,” which included establishing a “solidarity economy,” akin to the Mondragon Corporation in Spain’s Basque region, through worker cooperatives; eco-friendly community gardens; building inexpensive, energy-efficient housing; and developing community and conservation land trusts to make land available to the community and house the homeless—an effort to restore the “commons.” But the plan also included a political strategy of creating People’s Assemblies, open meetings to discuss community needs, ensure full democratic participation, and mobilize working people to win political power. The People’s Assemblies were not only responsible for Chokwe Lumumba’s victory and the recent mayoral election of his son, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, but for creating a structure for participatory budgeting.

The city’s latest initiatives focus on addressing the needs of Jackson’s poor and working-class communities through cooperative economic strategies. In other words, concern with survival and the creation of new democratic institutions can consolidate power and move the city toward a sustainable future. Rather than see Jackson’s immense poverty and revenue shortfalls as barriers to building a radical movement, the People’s Assemblies and veteran organizers realized that the city’s ongoing crisis demanded a radical response.

The struggle for Jackson is certainly no cakewalk. State government is trying to strip the predominantly black city council of local control, has already reallocated revenues from the city’s 1 percent sales tax to other state initiatives, and has introduced legislation that would strip Jackson’s control of the airport and related commerce.

So I propose that we turn away from the latest celebrity death match, turn our attention to Jackson, Mississippi. Read Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi (2017), edited by Kali Akuno and Ajamu Nangwaya, And revisit the work of West and Coates and others wrestling with the critical issues of our times. I stand with West and his unwavering commitment to the power of collective resistance, his optimism of the will. And I stand with Coates and his insistence on a particular kind of pessimism of the intellect that questions everything, stays curious, and is not afraid of self-reflection, uncomfortable questions, or where the evidence takes him.

And above all, I stand with the people of Jackson, who have built the country’s most radical movement, mobilized new forms of political participation, and elected a people’s government committed to building a socialist commonwealth. Free the Land!

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Mon Sep-21-20 02:49 PM

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219. "reading this again now hits different..."
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Castro
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Mon Sep-21-20 03:07 PM

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220. "Why? Cornel is still Cornel, and Coates wasn't interested in a"
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pissing contest then or now.

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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Damali
Member since Sep 12th 2002
34687 posts
Mon Sep-21-20 03:46 PM

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221. "oh no doubt. I wasn't referring to him criticizing Coates"
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that's still some bs, imo

but the things he was saying..i'm realizing that I didn't really understand it then.

i'd always ignored and eye rolled certain criticisms of Obama...but man, in this last year, i'm so much more aware...its been hard...that's all imma say

d

  

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NorthWeezy
Member since Dec 04th 2005
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Tue Sep-22-20 06:03 AM

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222. "What happened to Sarah Bellum? n/m"
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...

......................................
http://gravalicious.tumblr.com/archive

  

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