Ta-Nehisi Coates, Tolstoy, and the Zulus

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Tolstoy, and the Zulus

I admit that I’m a little late to this particular book (published in 2015), though I’ve been reading Coates for several years. I’ve admired the blog he used to run (it seems he took it down, no?), and I used to rather enjoy his thoughts on video-gaming (does he still write those?). My title references Saul Bellow’s notorious remark criticizing multiculturalism: “Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans? I’d be glad to read him.” Coates…

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Empty Pedestals

Empty Pedestals

Sometimes, history moves fast. At times, it moves fast enough that you can put a date to the moment when people stopped believing one thing and started believing another. That appears to be the case with the Confederate statues in the United States. People have dithered for years about what to do with the architectural remnants of our racist past. And then suddenly, over a weekend, it becomes clear that those statues need to be torn down, posthaste. Yesterday’s opinion…

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No more silence

No more silence

As I imagine a few of you have noticed, I’ve ended my embargo on discussing politics on social media. Why? After Trump’s election, I stopped posting directly about politics on social media. I had misgivings about the efficacy of haranguing each other about politics on Facebook. Like-thinking people shared the same memes over and over; there was a strong tendency to block people who had different opinions. Conversations, if they could be dignified with that word, were not very productive….

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