Idylls of the Liberal: The American Dreams of Mark Lilla and Ta-Nehisi Coates

Haider, Asad

Publisher:  Viewpoint Magazine
Date Written:  11/09/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21284

Social change is not made by noble heroes, even if they find themselves in the right place at the right time to take the credit. It is made by the commoners -- by those who remain nameless and faceless in the legends, and in the political ideologies of Lilla and Coates.



This is because Coates appears to lack any interest in seeing that struggle succeed. His demand is for moral repentance, not liberation. But instead of asking whites to feel guilty, we should demand the abolition of whiteness, a project in which they have a responsibility to actively participate. As long as Coates is unwilling to embrace the multiracial mass movement that can abolish whiteness, he and Lilla will forever be left to fight over the throne of a kingdom that remains unchanged. As usual, it is up to the nameless and faceless commoners to make history, rather than to appeal to the conscience of the king.
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