When James Baldwin Met Bill Buckley

More

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.



Jump to comments
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.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.


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

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In