But now here's Clare Sestanovicha, at The Atlantic, with "Black Culture and Progressivism/What started as a discussion of Paul Ryan's comments by has [sic] turned into a revealing debate on the nature of liberal politics in the United States." It might be readable, assuming you're looking for an entry point. Excerpt:
Chait and Coates continue to parse the original subject they sat down to write about, the question of whether it is fair to identify—and, in turn, vilify—a “black culture,” or even a “culture of poverty.”...ADDED: I'm just adding this to make it obvious that the previous 3 paragraphs are indented, i.e., that they are a quote and the writing is Sestanovicha's.
Coates aligns his own vision with Malcolm X’s assessment : “You don’t stick a knife in a man’s back nine inches, and then pull it out six inches, and say you’re making progress.” This view offends both Chait’s optimism and pragmatism. It “defines out of existence the very possibility of steady progress.” He is looking for something in between this view, whose inflexibility leaves no room for conversation, and that “cheerful rubric of American progress,” whose naïve revisionism is anathema to any good modern historian.
This search seems reasonable: After all, who wouldn’t want to find a loophole in the kind of hopelessness that Malcolm X’s vision evokes? Coates himself says he understands this instinct. He admits that “he had always considered a vaguely defined ‘hope’ to be a prerequisite for writing.”