When James Baldwin Met Bill Buckley

I tweeted about this a few days ago, but here's a great video of James Baldwin debating William F. Buckley. I know a lot of conservative intellectuals hearken back to his day as a time when conservatism was untainted by the worst populist instincts. But while Baldwin is fairly serious, Buckley just seems to throwing out a series of one-liners. ("The problem in Mississippi isn't that too few Negroes can vote, it's that too many whites can" or some such.) What's more revealing to me is that his case against doing something about segregation, is basically the same case conservatives make today against doing anything that might alleviate black suffering -- black people through their lack of initiative and penchant for having kids out of wedlock are doing it to themselves.



Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Playing An Actual Keyboard Cat

A music video transforms food, pets, and objects into extraordinary instruments.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

Video

The Man Who Built a Forest Larger Than Central Park

Since 1979, he has planted more than 1,300 acres of trees.

More in National

From This Author

Just In