Thomas Chatterton Williams – The New York Times:
I have spent the past six months poring over the literature of European and American white nationalism, in the process interviewing noxious identitarians like the alt-right founder Richard Spencer. The most shocking aspect of Mr. Coates’s wording here is the extent to which it mirrors ideas of race — specifically the specialness of whiteness — that white supremacist thinkers cherish.
Excellent rebuttal to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ essays, which are collected in his We Were Eight Years In Power: An American Tragedy. Any regular reader of my ramblings knows I disagree, but Williams’ prose is worthy of contemplation. These thoughts beg response if you’ve found yourself galvanized by Coates.
Williams’ oversight comes when he points out that Coates’ arguments are identical to white supremacists’ notion of white “specialness,” essentially making him but one more racist among many of paler skin. The critical difference is that Coates holds up this specialness, or “whiteness” in his expression, as a central vice, while the white supremacist holds it as a virtue.
This would be a critical error, methinks. Worth a read and a think, regardless.
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