Daily Archives: February 3, 2016


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In his recent article for Jacobin, Cedric Johnson tosses off an eloquent description/demolition of the historical roots and political insufficiency of white liberal self-flagellation: “Unfortunately, the arrival [with James Baldwin] of the black intellectual as gadfly and conscience of the nation in the television era bore a new set of problems. Too many well-meaning whites mistook their guilt and pleasure of self-flagellation for genuine unity with blacks and authentic antiracist political commitment — in other words, solidarity. That problem of replacing politics with public therapy endures to this day, and it flourishes in a context where social media linkages surrogate other historical forms of social interchange and collective action. Antiracist liberalism thrives in a context where the performance of self-loathing, outrage, and concern are easily traded public currency, instead of the more socially costly politics of public sacrifice and the redistribution of societal resources. Like Baldwin, I think Coates fulfills a similar […]

The white confessional gesture isn’t solidarity – and it isn’t ...