October 19, 2017

John McWhorter goes on an epic tirade against Ta-Nehisi Coates (and the white people who make a show of embracing him).

This is really something:

100 comments:

Michael K said...

We went on a walking tour last spring of very nice homes near the U of Arizona campus in Tucson. It was amusing to see the number of homes of white faculty members with "Black Lives Matter" signs out in front.

That sort of virtue signaling is what he is talking about.

ndspinelli said...

Loury does more ranting than McWhorter.

MadisonMan said...

Glenn Loury uses the perfect word for White Liberals who genuflect at Coates: Unctuous.

tcrosse said...

Back in the '70s All in the Family's black characters made fun of the Meathead as a fatuous White Liberal, always signalling his Virtue. Plus ├ža change, if you'll excuse my cedilla.

JAORE said...

Me, me, me.... I'm WOKE.... I'm aware of my privilege... I'm down with the struggle...Coates is the MAN, fo snizzle, my brother.

Bay Area Guy said...

McWhorter is and has always been a honest scholar, with high standards (I think his field is linguistics). Linguistically speaking, he just bitch-slapped Tennessee Coats as an intellectual poseur.

grimson said...

I haven't read Coates, but I did see "Get Out," and thought it was good. It was billed as a horror movie (and the last 15 minutes or so are), but it is mostly an effective satire. It was written and directed by Jordan Peele, of Key and Peele.

Steve said...

Guys? I just want to let you know that I didn't vote for Obama.

Lyle said...

Huzzah for Glenn and John! This is what intellect plus character/morality looks like. Humanism!

BDNYC said...

That sort of pandering that you often see from white liberals is really something else. I like the point about increased race-consciousness, no matter how well-intentioned, leading to a more fertile recruitment environment for the likes of Richard Spencer.

Bay Area Guy said...

And, McWhorter also smacked down these "unctuous" white liberal academicians who tolerate, promote and enable bad scholarship by the brothers, because of fear of being called racist.

It's the soft bigotry of low expectations writ large -- and it hurts blacks, not helps them. (which is why I oppose it).

Bay Area Guy said...

Also, a shout out to Loury. He may be wrong on a few things, but so what? He's smart, articulate, inquisitive and I like him.

tcrosse said...

I want everyone to know that my Imaginary Friend is Black.

John Christopher said...

There's some history between McWhorter and Coates. There's an old episode of bloggingheads where McWhorter asks Coates about an insult and Coates backs down.

CJinPA said...

When it comes to essays about Ta-Nehisi Coates, you can almost guess the race of the writer from the tone of the piece. If the words ring with a sort of rapturous adulation, as though the writer feels blessed to be allowed to absorb Coates’s wisdom and especially his chastisement, the author tends to be white.

-- Black Critics Shake Their Heads at Ta-Nehisi Coates
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/451593/ta-nehisi-coates-black-critics-john-mcwhorter

Coates is a horrible writer. Laughably bad. He's what white people think James Baldwin writes like, if they never read James Baldwin.




Ignorance is Bliss said...

FYI, the first Althouse post with a Ta-Nehisi Coates tag was also about something McWhorter said.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Bay Area Guy said...

Also, a shout out to Loury. He may be wrong on a few things, but so what? He's smart, articulate, inquisitive...

Don't forget clean.

mockturtle said...

Many years ago at the Seattle Symphony, the black concert pianist Andre Watts stumbled through a performance of Beethoven's Emperor Concerto. Of course, nearly everyone [mostly white folks] gave him a standing ovation. I'm ashamed to say I did, as well, knowing full well that the message we were sending all too clearly was: "He plays pretty well for a black guy".

Bay Area Guy said...

@Mock,

"He plays pretty well for a black guy"

The soft bigotry of low musical expectations!

My kids are often listening to some bullshit rap music, and I often yell, turn that crap off and go get some Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke or Nat King Cole, you philistines!

robother said...

McWhorter is at pains to say that Coates has done nothing wrong. So, the only racism he complains of is that of Good Whites who fetishize the mediocre Coates as genius. But what about Coates' recent barely veiled references to a violent solution to the race question? He simply seems threatened by the potential devaluation of his own academic credentials. "Don't Cry for Me, Academia."

MikeR said...

As always, Glenn and John are the best. Very very bright people, very articulate. McWhorter fortunately didn't get on the subject of Donald Trump, but even when he does Loury is there to bring him closer to reality.

Lance said...

"To tell your child in the twenty-first century that there's no hope, that the hounds will always be at their heels and the wind will always be in their face? This is practically child abuse."

27:44

Lance said...

McWhorter is at pains to say that Coates has done nothing wrong.

He's not saying that Coates is right, just that too many are accepting his arguments uncritically.

He later agrees with Loury that Thomas Chatterton Williams made an interesting comparison of Coates with Richard Spencer.

rhhardin said...

Blacks can't do moral reasoning. They can only calculate self-interest. Everybody knows that.

Bay Area Guy said...

Is it racist to state that White academic liberals are a menace to society?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

knowing full well that the message we were sending all too clearly was: "He plays pretty well for a black guy"

Which is pretty silly since there are lots of great black piano players.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY3rBjTY8mc

pacwest said...

Bigotry. It's not just for breakfast anymore.

This is what happens when you try to make racism into a means to gain power. Sharpton and the race hustlers (cough, Obama) have made bigotry an institution that will live well beyond its due date. I gotta believe MLK is rolling over in his grave.

robother said...

"He's not saying that Coates is right, just that too many are accepting his arguments uncritically."

Listening to the whole thing, I agree i was too hard on McWhorter. Particularly at the very end he points out that Coates hates literally all white people. Still, Loury is the one whose quote about hopelessness as child abuse is so telling, and his reasoning about the how African Americans are imprisoned by their own disfunctional culture seems to have a rigor and clarity that McWhorter is reluctant to embrace.

Virgil Hilts said...

I love both these guys.
Coates is the academic with no clothes. I don't think he's evil, but black america and the rest of america would both be somewhat better off if he had just stayed a criminal.


Howard said...

Moral reasoning has been proven to be calculated self-interest by natural selection. One expects circular logic from a circuitophile.

Howard said...

Just because white liberals are low expectation racists doens't let you people claim the high ground, it just puts you on their same circle of hell.

n.n said...

Judge people by the "content of their character" (i.e. diversity), not the "color of their skin" (e.g. color diversity a.k.a. racism).

Liberals keep Choosing wicked solutions to hard problems, which is a first-order forcing of progressive corruption and dysfunction.

Lance said...

Still, Loury is the one whose quote about hopelessness as child abuse is so telling, and his reasoning about the how African Americans are imprisoned by their own disfunctional culture seems to have a rigor and clarity that McWhorter is reluctant to embrace.

I agree. But I would generalize Loury's point to include anyone that refuses to embrace bourgeois values, e.g. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy.

n.n said...

Two moral articles of faith or axioms: individual dignity and intrinsic value.

Moral, natural, and personal imperatives. Go forth and reconcile. Pro-Choice is avoidance, at best, opportunistic, at worst, that normalizes wicked solutions to hard problems.

richlb said...

Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations - here in Baltimore there is a huge scandal just blowing up now about the Public Schools passing failing students. Grades get changed by administrators. Emails go out informing teachers of their "duty" to give all students at least a 60% grade no matter what. Kids graduate without ever stepping foot inside a classroom. It's a disaster, mainly so the administration can tout the increase percentage of students who obtain a diploma.

pacwest said...

"Just because white liberals are low expectation racists doens't let you people claim the high ground, it just puts you on their same circle of hell."

Race bait much Howard?

Rick Turley said...

JAORE said...

Me, me, me.... I'm WOKE.... I'm aware of my privilege... I'm down with the struggle...Coates is the MAN, fo snizzle, my brother.

Um, I think the word you were looking for was "shizzle." Unless you really did mean the other word. But I don't think you did.

buwaya said...

Coates is not unique at all, he follows in the footsteps of a vast number of ethnic nationalist propagandists (and I mean propaganda in a neutral sense).

I met the type early, being educated in the third-world. In my day the sine qua non of leftist-nationalist academic propaganda was Renato Constantino, a vastly better educated and rigorous ethno-nationalist than Coates. Debate with Constantino-ites actually was an intellectual challenge. Later I found that every country had its own similar school of thought and politics.

Anything he says, all his logic, all his selective history of bloody shirts, and even all his emotional appeals and his (no doubt genuine) emotional responses are typical. Its been done and done and done, it is quite a tradition.

Nobody (but me, here, probably) is trying to connect him to Constantino, Gabriele D'Annunzio or Sabino Arana, but they are all truly birds of a feather.

The tragic thing about Coates and his like is that the natural end-state for that ethno-nationalism is to achieve a nation. For these people, that is a hopeless dream.

buwaya said...

Coates talents are not in this league, but Theodor Herzl and his followers, for instance, were exactly the same sorts of fellows.

Granted, Herzl and co. did eventually achieve the seemingly impossible. But in their case they had a discrete plan and program.

Larvell said...

"Coates talents are not in this league, but Theodor Herzl and his followers, for instance, were exactly the same sorts of fellows."

With the small exception that they were, you know, being routinely subjected to pogroms and the odd Holocaust.

tcrosse said...

So Ta-Nehisi is not pronounced Tennessee. I stand corrected.

buwaya said...

"With the small exception that they were, you know, being routinely subjected to pogroms and the odd Holocaust."

Most of these people were not. The Czechs for instance. Their nationalists felt themselves under the thumb of their Austro-German rulers, but were not actually mistreated. These guys -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_National_Revival

Birches said...

This was beautiful. The spell is being broken.

traditionalguy said...

My hat's off to Buwaya. He gets it. Black Supremacy is only mildly interesting, because it needs to create a Black Nation which we know will never happen without white surrender,or a Police stand down order that is the prize coveted today.

They can get a start in Metro ghetto areas of big cities, but it ends there. Maybe the NATIONAL Football League can be the next staging area. But the NFL of all environments is the one surrounded by whites that will fight back. MLK got such a surrender in the 1960s only by coming in Christian non-violence.

Rabel said...

"the white people who make a show of embracing him"

White guilt leads to virtue signalling leads to President Obama.

It's not an emotion I suffer from as so many do, but I have to wonder what they feel so guilty about.

exiledonmainstreet said...

buwaya said...
Coates talents are not in this league, but Theodor Herzl and his followers, for instance, were exactly the same sorts of fellows."


I don't think so. Herzl was an assimilated Jewish journalist who covered the Dreyfus trial and was present when Dreyfus was sentenced to hard labor at Devil’s Island, despite the fact that the evidence against him was clearly spurious. That a large segment of French society could turn viciously on a Jew as assimilated as Dreyfus shook Herzl to his core. He knew if it could happen to Dreyfus it could happen to him – or anyone.

Try to imagine conservative Americans turning on a black Army major because of his race and not because of any substantial proof of treason and you would have a Dreyfus trial scenario. However, it is impossible to imagine that scenario occurring in 21st century America. Of course Coates thinks it could happen. That’s because Coates is a professional grievance monger – which Herzl was not. The anti-Semitism of Europeans was very real and in some countries (like Russia) was sanctioned by the authorities ; the imagined “institutional racism” of America exists only in Coates’ head and in the heads of academics, media people and leftists who have a vested interest in playing the race card.

buwaya said...

"That a large segment of French society could turn viciously on a Jew as assimilated as Dreyfus shook Herzl to his core. "

One can be "shaken to the core" by a great number of things, and injustice is to a great degree in the eye of the beholder. It does not matter, at all, for there to be an actual injustice to kick it off. The perception suffices, even if it has to be manufactured.

There are any number of Herzl-analogues around the world which did just as much grievance-mongering and injustice-perceiving as Coates.

Joanne Jacobs said...

If white supremacists wanted to make sure that young black men don't gain political power, own their own businesses or control their own lives, wouldn't they want them to heed Coates' message of hopelessness? According to Coates, there's no point studying, working or exploring your interests and talents, no point in adopting middle-class values. I don't believe that's what he really tells his son.

Immigration has made blacks a smaller minority with diminishing political clout. The big political struggle of the future is: How will the Latino vote split? Can Republicans who aren't Trump appeal to blue-collar, culturally conservative Latinos?

jwl said...

Kyle Smith - National Review - Sept 2017:

When it comes to essays about Ta-Nehisi Coates, you can almost guess the race of the writer from the tone of the piece. If the words ring with a sort of rapturous adulation, as though the writer feels blessed to be allowed to absorb Coates’s wisdom and especially his chastisement, the author tends to be white.

Several prominent black writers, however, have written pieces that are much more equivocal, suggesting Coates’s central claims are off the mark.

The latest example is a deeply felt essay by Jason D. Hill (he and all of the writers I quote below are black), a Jamaican-born professor of philosophy at DePaul University who praises the power and poetry of Coates’s words but notes in an open letter to him, “My concern is that you and your book function as deputized stand-ins for the black male and the black experience in America, respectively. And I believe that as stand-ins, both fail.”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/451593/ta-nehisi-coates-black-critics-john-mcwhorter

buwaya said...

"Black Supremacy is only mildly interesting"

To the contrary, I find it quite fascinating.
It has a tinge of hopeless tragedy in it.
It is something akin to the 19th century Ghost Dance.

Todd said...

buwaya, I don't think Coates actually wants his (their) own country. Having your own country even if you are in charge is too much like actual work and responsibility for Coates. Far, far easier to do the lecture circuit, hoity toity parties, and collect speaking fees.

exiledonmainstreet said...

In other words, Herzl was content to think that Jews had been accepted by European society or would be, if they gave up their weird clothes and sidelocks and kosher laws and made an effort to fit into the mainstream. The Dreyfus trial and other developments - like pogroms in Russia, for instance – made him realize that was not so. Coates’ father was a Black Panther. He was raised to see racism everywhere.

Coates reminds me more of Rousseau, who was the darling of the French elites and mooched off of them even as he insulted them.

buwaya said...

"buwaya, I don't think Coates actually wants his (their) own country."

I think he (they) really do, or a large number of them. The longing is obvious. The reality is cruel. The accommodations are various. Many become corrupted, and use their frustrated ideals as a justification for corruption.

Jupiter said...

"McWhorter is and has always been a honest scholar, with high standards"

McWhorter wrote an article for National Review in which he attempted to make the case that no constructive purpose would or could be served by honest discussion of the average intelligence of blacks relative to other races. Since this is not a point capable of proof, he beat around the bush for a page or two and then essentially said that anyone who disagrees needs to make the case for some constructive purpose, and he and his friends in academia will destroy the careers of anyone who attempts it. So, "honest"? I expect so. "High standards"? Pretty high, for a thug.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Say anything you want about the guy as long as you spell his name right.
F'n Althouse.

buwaya said...

"Herzl was content to think that Jews had been accepted by European society "

And a lot of other European Jews kept right on thinking that they had been accepted by European society. These are not rational decisions based on solid evidence. Herzl had a personal perception based on his emotional reaction. It was quite accurate, as it proved, but was not inevitably correct. Unforseeable events drove that result, events that could well have gone otherwise.

I am (re) reading "100 Hours to Suez" by Robert Henriques, an extremely assimilated British Jew, ex-British Commando, very well connected (he was a descendant of Marcus Samuel, founder of what became Royal Dutch Shell, now Shell Petroleum). This is an account, effectively, of his conversion to Zionism, from indifference, as a consequence of the 1956 Suez crisis - the book is on the face of it an informal account of the Israeli part of that war. The gist is that this was an emotional response, not a rational one.

jwl said...

buwaya

Coates is deeply neurotic, nothing fascinating about that.

Nonapod said...

I don't think Coates actually wants his (their) own country

Maybe so, I wouldn't pretend to know what is actually going on in his head. But it seems likely that he may not have bothered to think far ahead. People gravitate towards paths of least resistance. Just as you say, there's a lot of fame and wealth in being a simple grievance monger with a decent vocabulary whose been educated acclimated into the right circles. There's no need for him to actually question too deeply what ultimate end point of all his arguments might actually look like. He's only required to make certain people feel good about themselves to maintain his lifestyle.

So my guess is it's not that he's even aware (that he doesn't really want a separate nation) because he doesn't need to be aware.

Birches said...

I really like the discussion about how there are problems in society that can constrain us, but we should not let it define us. That advice is colorblind and good advice for all.

traditionalguy said...

Thanks, Buwaya. I just ordered 100 Hours to Suez on Amazon Kindle. But Althouse just gets her cut off $2.99.

IMO that 1956 event was a brilliant turning point of world history. Glad to learn more about what really happened.

Leigh said...

McWhorter insisted that Coates really believes what he says ... that he's not a "huckster" writing "college dorm lounge performance art" for money. On that score, I disagree. Watch Coates on Morning Joe, as Scarborough and the rest of the panel "genuflect" exactly as McWhorter describes. It's insulting and deeply racist.

If Coates wasn't in this for the glory and the money (versus advancing blacks), he'd be just as offended as McWhorter. He'd insist his writing be subject to scrutiny rather than automatic and fatuous adulation; he'd be open to criticism so he could improve. But he's not. He's content to put out minimal effort in exchange for "you don't sweat much for a fat girl" praise. He's content with his message of hopelessness and hatred of whites. Loury is right: this is child abuse, indeed. But Coates abuses more than children; he insists African Americans, as an entire group, have no agency or ability. Festering resentments produce nothing but cesspools or, to use Loury's words, "wards of the state."

Coates is a traitor.

mockturtle said...

Buwaya, I'll put that book on my future reading list [I'm only just today getting around to starting The Peloponnesian War which you recently recommended]. My late husband served with the British Army in Egypt in the 1950's guarding the Suez. [Yes, he was a good deal older than I].

rcocean said...

I'm shocked we're still talking about TNC. He was one of the dumbest ever on BHTV. He was the most ignorant and ham-fisted featured writer in the Atlantic Mag. Even if I agreed with what he was saying, his verbose, mediocre writing style makes it impossible for me to care.

Sebastian said...

Loury rants more. One of my favorites. Sounds suspiciously like an honest man.

William said...

If there's such a thing as white privilege, can there not also be such a thing as black resentment. I don't know exactly how much resentment blacks are entitled to feel, but some of them could tone it down a bit........NFL players would never, ever criticize a fellow player for torturing puppies, slapping their wives, or driving away from two dead bodies, but they're quite prepared to take a knee to protest the unforgivable sins of America...... My guess is that NFL players were born with far more privileges than most people. Their resentment is kind of an undeserved privilege.

Marty Keller said...

Here we are, at the toxic intersection of postmodernism, cynically organized utopian mendacity, and mass brain re-wiring via the shift from reading to screen watching. Thus the incidence of shallow "reasoning" that passes for political and cultural analysis seems to overwhelm by sheer volume (in both senses) the essential breakthrough that modernity promised for mankind--liberation from the tyranny of the tribe. This is the result of, among other subversions, the insidious cultural Marxism invented by the Horkheimer, Adorno, and the other anti-humanist cretins of the Frankfurt School, gleefully imported into the USA by Columbia and spread via the long march throughout the American academy, all the way down to such inconsequential places as Evergreen.

Only in such a through-the-looking-glass world could someone like Mr. Coates receive such a spellbound audience of equally clueless pomos, comforting themselves with the fiction that they are making a better world for themselves and The Oppressed--blissfully unaware of who is playing the music they are dancing to.

Sad.

Bill said...

The ultimate is when A.O. Scott wrote that Coates' writing was "essential, like water or air."

R.J. Chatt said...

I thought the discussion was great. A while back I shared the same opinions about Coates as these scholars and I was accused of being a bigot. IMO if we would see more intelligent and educated Blacks sharing these viewpoints, that would go a long way to dispelling the racism which Coates is describing. That is not going to happen because we are only allowed to see Blacks as victims, as if that is necessary and only by being seen as victims will Blacks get the help they need. In the media we are fed a steady diet of Maxine Waters and the like; the achievements of US Blacks was only acknowledged after Trump made the horrible mistake of saying that Blacks aren't doing well and he wants to help. Have to make him wrong no matter what. The response was, "No thanks, we're doing just fine."

But then I read this comment: "There are any number of Herzl-analogues around the world which did just as much grievance-mongering and injustice-perceiving as Coates." (buwaya)

Seriously, what does that statement even mean, besides displaying an obvious lack of knowledge about Jewish history, Zionism and Zionist leaders? (And what does this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_National_Revival have to do with anything?) The Jewish people are joined by a common history and a shared spiritual belief system which stretches back four thousand years. African Americans share a racial background and their history in the US. What else unites them? Actually nothing. They are united by their citizenship and their aspirations of the American dream. Those principles and ideals which unite Blacks with all citizens, Coates strives to deny, despite his own massive success. He's not at all constructive, not helpful to others.

Is there some history of discrimination, pogroms and expulsions of African citizens stretching back centuries in European or American history? No. Is there any large segment in the US today calling for the expulsion of blacks or seriously suggesting that African Americans can not be considered American citizens? No. Does anyone seriously think that there are no countries where Blacks are not self governing or that American Blacks would have an equal or higher standard of living in those countries where Blacks are the majority? No.

cubanbob said...

buwaya said...
Coates talents are not in this league, but Theodor Herzl and his followers, for instance, were exactly the same sorts of fellows.

Granted, Herzl and co. did eventually achieve the seemingly impossible. But in their case they had a discrete plan and program."

Many of the founders of Israel were Communists. They had discovered that although Communism was universal, it was for everyone except you.

MountainJohn said...

And, McWhorter also smacked down these "unctuous" white liberal academicians who tolerate, promote and enable bad scholarship by the brothers, because of fear of being called racist.

It's the soft bigotry of low expectations writ large -- and it hurts blacks, not helps them. (which is why I oppose it).


This.

But it is also an attempt to celebrate mediocrity. Every time I see a white "music" critic glorify some rap artist, all I can think of is Ellsworth Toohey.

Eric said...

Dorm lounge performance art. There's a lot of this going around.

buwaya said...

Chatt,

What I mean is that the particulars of the nationalist case dont matter. The degree of reality of danger and oppression don't matter. The same things are said and done by the propagandizers and they will use whatever material is at hand, whether the propagandizers are Jews or Czechs or Basques or Catalans or Cubans or Sinhalese or US Blacks. Some may have more real cause for complaint or apprehension than others, but all of them have some cause.

The oppressors have done them wrong, they are being cheated, they will never achieve a modus vivendi, they are unique and fundamentally different (often superior) to the oppressing ethnicity, or are in danger of physical or cultural erasure, etc. And there is always some history of injustice, they being sinned against in some way that cannot ever be palliated. And since no solutions are available they need to separate, by whatever means apply to the case.

And some of all that above may even be true.

Coates is a type, and his material is also of a type.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Coates' piece on reparations was one of his best - well argued, well structured. As should be obvious, you don't have to agree with an argument in order to find it well made.

But it too suffers from his view that blacks have no moral agency, no free will and that everything (yes, everything) wrong in black America is caused by and solely caused by white actions - past and present. That's a cartoon view of people, of America, and life.

As for his other writings: yeah, he's no Baldwin. Even the "bad" Baldwin was better than Coates.





The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

"Just because white liberals are low expectation racists doens't let you people claim the high ground, it just puts you on their same circle of hell"

Hmmm, which Party's very existence is dependent on keeping Black folks in a state of dependency?

The Democrat's vicious exploitation of the misery of African-Americans is truly depraved. God help white progressives and their Toms when the mass of African-Americans can no longer ignore that reality. I give it a generation, but no longer than that.

Michael said...

Coates wants reparations in an amount that equates to $2.5M for every black man, woman and child. Not going to happen.

The black student organization at Cornell has called for more American born blacks to be represented, blacks whose families have been here for at least two generations. They clearly feel the pain of the achievement of the foreign born students whose skin color, unlike their own, has not been an obstacle to performance at the university. This is at the heart of Coates' anger and the fury of the BLM: the knowledge that they have fucked up.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I respect McWhorter but Coates deserves a lot of credit for bringing to light the legacy of redlining. Just imagine how your community could have advanced in any way if for generations it was made to be excluded from moving into any decent neighborhoods no matter how much it did right according to the "American way."

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

What's wrong with Black Lives Matter? Why, the name of course.

Everyone knows that conservatives believe black lives don't matter.

Well, conservatives don't think that anyone's life matters. Unless that life is incubating in a woman's body.

Lucien said...

Buwaya, for the record you are one of my favorite posters. A slight correction on one of your posts: Marcus Samuel's company was Shell Transport & Trading which joined with Royal Dutch Petroleum to become Royal Dutch Shell which is one of the biggest (publicly traded) oil companies in the world today. I'm not sure what Shell Petroleum is, but would guess RDS must have some company with that name somewhere in their vast web of subsidiaries.

As for Coates, I've sometimes wondered what Megan McArdle thinks of him. They used to work together at the Atlantic and it was clear from her blog posts that she wanted to connect with him at some friendly level, but based on his writing he must have despised her given she's (very) white.

Lucien said...

TTR makes me laugh.

Josephbleau said...

McWhorter has the most wonderful "Great Courses" tapes on the science of Linguistics. He is a true master, I would recommend you all buy it. Thanks to Althouse for the vid.

EMyrt said...

buwaya,

Extra credit for the comparison to D'Annunzio, very insightful.

If you don't already, you might enjoy the guys at Salo Forum.

rcocean said...

"Coates' piece on reparations was one of his best - well argued, well structured. As should be obvious, you don't have to agree with an argument in order to find it well made."

No, it was idiotic like almost everything he's written.

But then some people think "To Kill a Mockingbird" is the greatest novel ever written. Some people are easily impressed.

Jeff said...

My kids are often listening to some bullshit rap music, and I often yell, turn that crap off and go get some Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke or Nat King Cole, you philistines!

I did something like that. My son was in middle school and started listening to rap. I thought about telling him that rap was condescending crap being pushed to make people who couldn't play an instrument or sing think they could be stars, but I didn't. I just bought him Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life CD and let Stevie's creativity and talent make the argument for me.

It worked. Like me, my son's now a big fan of Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Wilson Pickett and, of course, the incomparable Al Green. You listen to those guys and then to black music today and it makes you want to cry.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"... things, and injustice is to a great degree in the eye of the beholder."

How long.

Guildofcannonballs said...

One hundred years from this day will the people still feel this way
Still say the things that they're saying right now
Everyone said I'd hurt you, they said that I'd desert you
If I go away, you know I'm gonna get back some how
Nobody knows what kind of trouble we're in
Nobody seems to think it'll all might happen again

One hundred years from this time would anybody change their minds
And find out one thing or two about life
But people are always talking
You know they're always talking
Everybody's so wrong that I know it's gonna work out right
Nobody knows what kind of trouble we're in
Nobody seems to think it all might happen again

-- www.gramparsons.com/music/sweetheart-of-the-rodeo/one-hundred-years-from-now.html

Jupiter said...

buwaya said...

"What I mean is that the particulars of the nationalist case dont matter. The degree of reality of danger and oppression don't matter. The same things are said and done by the propagandizers and they will use whatever material is at hand, whether the propagandizers are Jews or Czechs or Basques or Catalans or Cubans or Sinhalese or US Blacks. Some may have more real cause for complaint or apprehension than others, but all of them have some cause."

Which is to say, just because they're out to get you, doesn't mean you aren't paranoid.

Guildofcannonballs said...

You start watching "Justified" boom that fuck from The Usual Suspects who flicked the smoke in the Baldwin eye, yeah that guy, he pulls first.

Boom.

He pulled first. Justified.

Justice in his eye, and millions for the governmentself-regulating apertutres to require millions more: employees apertutres enlighten that is.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I wonder if dicks were sucked or that perfect casting wasn't also a rape-endorsement on my behalf somehow? Word on the street is this is everywhere and I been there so ergo.

Chris N said...

I see Coates as thoughtful and a decent writer, but emotionally stunted in a way. Maybe it’s the Black Panther, many children having father, or growing up in rough circumstances. He’s probably still looking for that father

He took in all the Old Heads pain, suffering, dashed hopes and bitterness and took their lore as truth (spreadsheets for reparations). All the liberation theology and radical cul-de-sacs of European thought and much of the Africanology found when kids look for who they are and where they belong.

The problem is the ideas have logical flaws. They are incomplete and offer balm for bitterness, envy and resentment and just so much wrong understanding and untruth of so much of the world. Ideologies are known for this

I suspect in pursuit of collectivist principles, and creative expression in comic art, he isolates himself and creates and stays there, exploring inward but linking up with fellow travelers and those who buy what he’s selling to pay the bills, but trying to keep his deeper ambitions separate to some extent.

I’m guessing he may have come to loathe the groveling of his admirers, and the conflicts he’s not overcome within his expression and their limits.

How’s that for armchair psychology?

Lem said...

I have a better impression of Trump after this incident.

Saint Croix said...

McWhorter wrote an article for National Review in which he attempted to make the case that no constructive purpose would or could be served by honest discussion of the average intelligence of blacks relative to other races.

Jefferson and Goebbels had very high IQs, but one was a slave-owner and the other was a Nazi. Having higher aptitude doesn't mean that your work, society, culture will be better. Highly intelligent people can be absolute shits. Read the Carhart opinions again.

My brother and I have very similar IQs. He says or believes so many stupid things it drives me up the wall. And vice versa, I'm sure.

Aptitude tests for intelligence don't measure work ethic, or humility, or emotional intelligence, or humor, or any number of factors that contribute to success in the world. Hell, success in the world doesn't necessarily correlate with talent or who should be succeeding.

And any racist has to first explain how he proposes his racial divisions in a world where any man and woman can reproduce with any other man or woman, across all cultures and societies and colors and pigments. How many races are there? The question that cannot be answered. The damn census keeps finding more and more races on the census because, oops, the category is infinite. Sex and reproduction trump this mythical concept "race," a concept that racists cannot define.

Forget IQs. What's the constructive purpose for dividing humanity into races? How does race help us in the 21st century in the USA? I'm not seeing any benefits at all from the concept. The racists and the racialists and the people who think race is important should first defend the concept and the benefits to humanity for this division.

I understand why we divide the world into men and women--baby-making. But why do we divide the world into black, white, brown, yellow, red, and whatever other racial group the idiots come up with next? Why do we do this when our laws and our culture insist that this division is suspicious?

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Jefferson and Goebbels had very high IQs, but one was a slave-owner and the other was a Nazi."

I know it's fashionable to shit on Jefferson because we are so much more enlightened today, but I wouldn't lump the author of the Declaration of Independence in with Goebbels. Just saying.

Jon Burack said...

buwaya, I read all of your attempts at explanation, but still have no idea why you diverted this discussion to the Jews and Zionism. The parallels, such as they are, are not relevant to Coates' actual arguments, and the historical differences between the two cases are otherwise enormous. I just don't get it.

As for Loury and McWhorter, a terrific discussion. It is a tragedy of our day that they are unknowns to most of the media-saturated world, but people like Sharpton, Waters, NFL football players and ESPN hosts, Whoopi Goldberg and this congressional clown in a cowboy hate from Florida get to be paraded as spokespeople for Black America - with Coates thrown in for the white liberal elite's benefit.

Anonymous said...

They don't call him Genius T. Coates for nothin'.

Rick said...

It's sad but unsurprising intelligent people like this are marginalized in favor of those who espouse race hatred to further Democrats' electoral strategy.

Gahrie said...

How does race help us in the 21st century in the USA? I'm not seeing any benefits at all from the concept

Doctors do.

Saint Croix said...

I wouldn't lump the author of the Declaration of Independence in with Goebbels. Just saying.

Jefferson's original Declaration is amazing in that its so hostile to slavery. I think his original draft is far superior to what the final edited-by-committee version was like. I really think he was swept away by the holy spirit.

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal...

he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, & murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

Jefferson was not just a brilliant guy, he was a passionate and amazing advocate for what is right, good, and just. So in that sense, absolutely, nothing like Goebbels. Also, Jefferson wasn't an architect of slavery or even a defender of it. He was weak on the subject. He didn't follow his moral instincts. He went along with the evil in his day. He participated in the atrocities and did little to stop them.

My point was not to equivocate Goebbels and Jefferson as two peas in a pod. Or Breyer, for that matter. My point is that high IQ people can be found all across the political spectrum. They can have wildly divergent ideas, beliefs, and political opinions and, yes, be so damn wrong you want to smack them in the eye. If you went through the history of the world, counting up atrocities and evil, you would probably find that dumb people do that sort of thing on a case-by-case basis. Billy the Kid was a dummy. But if we're talking about giant numbers of atrocities, of evil that takes organization and planning and structure and a lot of thought, it's smart people who did all that shit. The people who organized Nazi Germany were not low IQ people. The people who instituted slavery in the US were not low IQ people. The people who wrote Roe v. Wade and Carhart are not low IQ people.

It's dumb for Jupiter to posit IQ averages as some sort of helpful guide in judging extremely large classes of people. I.Q is just a measure of aptitude. It's how much intellectual power a person has. It doesn't say a whole hell of a lot about what a person will do with that power. A person with a low IQ may know--and probably does know--a hell of a lot more about growing a potato or fixing a toilet than I do. I know nothing about such things, because I haven't put the time or effort into learning about them. So that low IQ person is way smarter in those areas than I am.

You rely too much on the brain. The brain is the most overrated organ. - Woody Allen

Gahrie said...

I.Q is just a measure of aptitude. It's how much intellectual power a person has. It doesn't say a whole hell of a lot about what a person will do with that power.

Actually it does. Despite fifty years of people trying to destroy IQ as a useful statistic, it still is.

There are a lot of unpleasant demographic realities that everyone knows to be true, but most are unwilling to discuss.

Steven Wilson said...

Intelligence is a tool not a virtue.

Steven Wilson said...

I'll try again.
I'm really not a robot. Would a robot say:

Intelligence is a tool, not a virtue.