It was bad enough that The Cabbage was caught on video opining that Bernie Sanders “doesn’t get the working class.” As I wrote on my Facebook page, “Next we’ll hear Donald Trump complain that JoaquÃn Castro doesn’t get Latinos. Or Richard Dawkins will lecture us that the Pope doesn’t get Catholicism.”
But today Brooks has outdone himself. His column lectures Ta-Nehisi Coates on racism. Someday, when somebody builds the Museum of Clueless White Privilege, this column should be the first exhibit.
Responding to Coates’s new book Between the World and Me about the experience of being a black man in America, Brooks actually whitesplains to Coates that racism in America just isn’t as bad as he thinks it is. At one point he assumes that Coates doesn’t always mean what he wrote literally and accuses Coates (whose main strength as a columnist, IMO, is his masterful and well-researched presentation of American history) of distorting American history. It’s embarrassing. Someone at the New York Times would have done Brooks a favor by killing this column before anyone else saw it.
A big part of Coates’s problem, Brooks thinks, is that he doesn’t appreciate the American dream.
In your anger at the tone of innocence some people adopt to describe the American dream, you reject the dream itself as flimflam. But a dream sullied is not a lie. The American dream of equal opportunity, social mobility and ever more perfect democracy cherishes the future more than the past. It abandons old wrongs and transcends old sins for the sake of a better tomorrow.
Oh, let’s not be patronizing or anything, Mr. Brooks.
This dream is a secular faith that has unified people across every known divide. It has unleashed ennobling energies and mobilized heroic social reform movements. By dissolving the dream under the acid of an excessive realism, you trap generations in the past and destroy the guiding star that points to a better future.
I like the “acid of excessive realism.” Does that mean “what people experience in the real world,” by any chance?
Maybe you will find my reactions irksome. Maybe the right white response is just silence for a change.
In any case, youâ€™ve filled my ears unforgettably.
But not head head, apparently. But cabbages aren’t known for their mental acuity.