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Why Are Star Black Intellectuals Getting Dumber?
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As I may have mentioned once or twice, Ta-Nehisi Coates, America’s foremost public intellectual, is not super-smart. He’s not dumb, he’s just moderately above average. Millions of white people you’ve never heard of are smarter than him.

But lately we are alway being told to pay attention to the insights of The New Sub-Coates, Ibram X. Kendi:

National Book Award Winner



For example, here’s a big article in the Washington Post about how important is his Thought. This is the first paragraph:

The Anti-Racist Revelations of Ibram X. Kendi

Meet the historian who’s asking America to rethink the very nature of bigotry — and how to fight it.

By David Montgomery
OCTOBER 14, 2019

Ibram H. Rogers, 17, hadn’t even told his parents that he was entering a Martin Luther King Jr. Day oratorical contest. They found out after he won one of the early rounds and they got a videotape of his performance. “We’ll never forget that Saturday morning we put the tape in and watched him,” Larry Rogers, Ibram’s father, told me recently. “We were really surprised.” Ibram was a bright but underachieving senior at his Northern Virginia high school. His GPA was below 3.0; his SAT scores were just above 1000. He thought he wasn’t smart enough for college, even though he had been admitted to historically black Florida A&M University.


There have been multiple times I’ve gotten geared up to tee-off on an article in a prestigious publication, only to notice that it’s by Ibram X. Kendi, so critiquing it would be like picking on a high school essay.

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  1. BenKenobi says:

    Regression to keeping-it-real?

    • LOL: Jon
    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  2. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

  3. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

  4. MEH 0910 says:

    You guys need to read professor IBM X Kendi

    He points out that Blacks don’t do as well because of racism There are only two explanations for lack of Black achievement

    1. Racism 2. Something wrong with the Blacks

    Only a nazi would posit the latter

    Tiny Duck
    April 1, 2018 at 1:34 am GMT

    • LOL: jim jones
  5. snorlax says:

    It’s a microcosm of the phenomenon, many decades if not centuries running, of star intellectuals as a whole getting dumber.

    • Replies: @Moral Stone
    , @CJ
  6. anon[365] • Disclaimer says:

    Everyone at the universities are getting dumber, so dumber black intellectuals are required to talk down to the dumb students and professors.
    The logic here is simple. Dogmatic belief (the equality racket) is based on stupid lies. In order to ignore stupid lies, everyone has to be more stupid.

    • Replies: @Ano
  7. Blacks seem to give/get a lot of prestige to/for speaking rhetorically powerfully, even if nonsensical.

    It’s because it’s hucksterism. People can say things in a speech that, if accompanied by the appropriate vocal tricks, can sound amazing to a receptive audience but if you read it plain on paper and ruminate over it, comes off as silly, dumb, or illogical. Carnies and their ilk have a long, twisted pattern of b.s. to separate you from your money.

    It’s why many of us found Obama’s empty speechifying madding; it wasn’t that his speeches were bad (he was a good speaker), its that his followers found them utterly “deep” but were the common banal political statements that, when examined, meant nothing; his cult followers, however, never examined them.

    It;s not for nothing that the Catholic/Orthodox Churches separated oratory from theology. Preaching is not deep thinking, rhetoric is not dialectic. Both have their places, but this guy is a joke.

  8. The older generation of actually-smart black intellectuals like Cornell West tend to stray ‘off the plantation’, to coin a phrase. Unintelligent people can be much more reliable.

  9. ivvenalis says:

    There’s a feedback loop. As American society has gotten actually less and less racist, truly talented blacks find things to do that are more lucrative, interesting, and just generally rewarding than being an “activist” “writer”. The quality of designated activists goes down and they actually start repelling any on-the-ball blacks (TNC seems fine, but would you leave your daughter — or for that matter your son — alone in a room with Ibram X. Kendi?)

    Aside from the personalities involved, there’s just not much depth to racial criticism. I recently met a middle aged black academic who I assumed was a “race guy” but when he talked about his work he said that after his first postdoc he just couldn’t stay interested in yet another Effects of Race on X (I actually checked his publications later — he was telling the truth). Not some genius, just a smart guy who didn’t want to get stuck in a rut intellectually as he entered his 30s.

    There’s also the End of the Commons. Lots of rich organizations are interested in having a Smart Black Guy, and they’ll handily outbid the Literary Establishment.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
  10. @MEH 0910

    A Twitter account only reposting Tiny Duck posts would be a hit.

    • Replies: @Rob Lee
  11. @Simon in London

    actually-smart black intellectuals like Cornell West

    Cornell West is a joke. The man speaks like Stepin Fetchit or some early racial parody of black huckster smart men. He’s not intelligent, he just knows his grift.

    I think it isn’t black intellectuals are dumber, its just that, thanks to the internet, we have a lot more audio and video and written evidence of them, and it displays how stupid they are. Much like Jewish intellectuals, there’s a lot more of their stupid out there for us to observe. E.g. Laurence Tribe has been exposed by the internet as an intellectual fraud/joke on many occasions these days.

  12. A ~1000 SAT from 1999 rougly translates to an IQ of 110 or 115. That’s two standard deviations higher than Mr. Kendi’s friends & classmates, or roughly the difference between an average European and a National Merit finalist. Only about 3% of black Americans are as smart or smarter than Ibram.

    It’s not that he’s particularly dumb; he’s just dumb compared to Tom Sowell. A 115ish IQ with self confidence & social skills makes for a quality celebrity who can pass as highly intelligent to normies, which is the role Kendi and other black public intellectuals like Coates, West, Obama or King were groomed to play.

    • Replies: @Warner
    , @Triumph104
    , @Anon
  13. @Anonymous

    Every day, people are forced to choose between going to school or work, or staying home because they can’t afford the menstrual products they need.

    Julián could just set up a GoFundMe page to get the menstrual products he needs.

    What is a “menstrual product”, anyway? Sounds messy.

    Someone fetch a towel…

  14. Part of the problem has to be that here in Current Year, any neutral Martian observer would understand at once that there just isn’t nearly as much racism as there used to be, and insofar as racism exists in America at all, it is anti-White racism, not anti-Black racism.

    So if you’re a black intellectual and you want to totally avoid any complex intelligent discussion about the rather more complicated (viz., not just about old-timey racism) problems faced by contemporary blacks, and instead you just want to stick to your bread-and-butter “racism!” complaint, you have to say increasingly stupid things, and point to increasingly ludicrous non-evidence, to make your patently stupid claim.

    For instance, the issue of mass incarceration is a very real problem which has very real, very complicated, and highly non-obvious causes. To discuss the problem intelligently, and to suggest intelligent solutions, you would have to just entirely throw overboard your racism shuck and jive. And that wouldn’t sell books. So you have to say stupid things instead.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  15. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Simon in London

    I remember a buyer’s remorse column about Cornell West in the Village Voice after he got his first Ivy League professorship, lamenting that he wasn’t as smart as lefties hoped.

  16. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    He’s either innumerate or ignorant.

    In The West Wing, the Great Hispanic Hope is a Texas Congressman played by Jimmy Smits; is Castro the best Dems could do in RL?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Jack D
  17. anon[344] • Disclaimer says:

    You might be amused to find out what your old friend Ta-Nehisi Coates is up to these days: he’s been writing a Captain America comic book for the last several months; the entire series revolves around his paranoid racism of whites, and he thinks he’s being sly about it. A good writer he is not.


    Coats vicariously lives out his fantasies of racial revenge through America’s favorite white male superhero, Steve Rogers – popularly known by his superhero identity as Captain America. Coates hijacks the stereotypical white patriot Steve Rogers and morphs him and fellow travelers into oppressed POC fighting back against racist whites, often either masked gunmen or hillbillies. Hijinks ensues. Hydra, a veiled reference to Donald Trump voters and neo-Nazis, has taken over the country. Steve Rogers and his POC friends fight back against whitey and his many, many, maaannny oppressive Confederate flags — of which Coates incongruously stuffs into countless scenes.

    Let’s examine a short list of what your kids are being forced to read these days*:

    Issue #14

    This issue revolves around Captain America and a sexy POC woman assaulting white working-class icky-types in an Iowa bar – one that just so happens to bizarrely feature a Confederate flag … in Iowa. Yes, you read that correctly. Your eyes are fine. Oh, and if you look closely at one of the panels, there are TWO different Confederate flags in this scene, back-to-back – the national flag and the battle flag. Iowa. Sly. Right.

    This kind of historical and cultural unlikeliness isn’t new for Coates. He once wrote an X-Men comic book were he portrayed a heavily gentrified modern Harlem as overwhelmingly poor and black and policed by racist robot cops; Storm, played by Halle Berry in the movie, may have also been some kind of black nationalist, IIRC. And there were copious references to mayonnaise as some kind of white food or racial insult — weird. I certainly don’t recall the first part at least. Brainfog, maybe?

    Just before the violence starts, the female POC character claims “times are changing.” Then another description states that there “used to be an order of things” (POC being in their place). It’s an underhanded reference justifying the female POC character’s later violence against her white detractors. Specifically, it’s a version of the left’s “always punch Nazis” rhetoric. It’s a justification for violence. Sly. Then the action really starts. Captain America and his friend attack – literally – the white men in the bar (at least one of them is blond, of course) and then later insult them as incels while crowing about generic girl power. Rogers then claims he knew guys like this in the war, haters who didn’t care about death camps and who wouldn’t stand up for the Jews**.

    Lol, exactly those kinds of guys whom he assaulted in that bar fought in and won that war. My head hurts. And the mysterious bad guys they’re hunting down in this story? Yeah, they’re Confederate flag-wielding masked gunmen, too. Confederate flags everywhere. And white guy mass shooters, too.

    Other dialogue gems from this masterpiece …

    Steve Rogers, Captain America:

    “Losers who dream of shooting up a school.”

    As opposed to Coates daydreaming about beating up his old high school tormentors.

    “Deaf Injun chick … who fights like a girl.”

    After she beats up a bunch of white guys. You go girl, slay. Could totally happen in real life.

    Steve Rogers, Captain America:

    “…because the head cheerleader never went behind the bleachers with them.”

    Sure buddy. Guys in comic books like yourself got all the girls in high school.

    Steve Rogers, Captain America:

    “Man-babies who never made it to state.”

    You’re the one writing comic books for a living.

    *Well, not quite. Comic book sales are in the toilet. It’s almost as if the predominantly white male consumer doesn’t want to buy this stuff or something. Women aren’t interested either, despite the industry’s best efforts. They like Japanese manga, though. I guess that’s something. Also, Disney is now outsourcing Star Wars to the Japanese because they can’t rely on their own NYC-based operation to not screw it up with bad art and unpopular story lines.

    **The Captain America character specifically says, “Jackasses who didn’t care one hoot about the death camps or massacres or Jews. They just want somebody to beat on.” Hey. Guy. That wasn’t common knowledge at the time. Even years after for most people. Writing. You’re not good at it.


    From Polygon (a leftist videogame publication):

    “… you’ve got Steve Rogers defending undocumented migrant workers along the United States’ southern border* by beating the crap out of a Confederate flag-wearing local militia — all as part of an attempt to rehabilitate his image after the whole Hydra thing.”

    The Hydra thing was when the previous writer got mad because Donald Trump won the election, and he took it out on white male Captain America by claiming he was ALWAYS a secret Nazi. It didn’t go over well with customers. It’s also kinda funny how literally every bad guy in this guy’s warped reality has a Confederate flag on them – at the Mexican border, in Iowa, the Rust Belt, probably more if I looked. Really, they’re not that common.

    *This seems to be a common trope nowadays for some reason. In the latest Jack Reacher movie, the screenwriter added a scene that wasn’t in the book, IIRC: white male Tom Cruise defends illegal aliens from racist white hick cops. The deepstate really must not want any white male heroes standing up for their own people.


    This is an upcoming title. Let’s see if we can guess what it’s about from the description.

    “’THE LEGEND OF STEVE’ CONTINUES! Steve Rogers’ mission to clear his reputation and to re-establish the good name of Captain America continues, as he and Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman, tackle a familiar old foe who is contaminating the water supply of a large rust-belt city!”

    Yup, I’m sure you guessed it. This is a reference to Flint, Michigan’s water troubles. Specifically, it’s very likely an allusion to the old conspiracy theory of the government spreading HIV around through contaminated vending machines. Sly. The “familiar old foe” is a group of racists who wear Confederate flag masks and are described as Jew-hating / woman-hating incels. And I’m not exaggerating. The villains are gunmen who wear Confederate flag masks. Literally. They’re also an allusion to white male mass shooters, even though most mass shooters are not white. Normal people might ask what role this Rust Belt city had in letting its water supply deteriorate, but Coats and cadre just use it as an excuse to blame whitey.

  18. @Dave Pinsen

    At least Cornel West is funny. Kendi’s shtick is much like Coates’s in that he weaves ‘personal narrative’ (stories he made up about encounters with white racists) with cherry-picked sciencey stats to show that not being racist isn’t enough, no–not by a long shot. White people must be weaponized as black people have been, to hunt down and destroy anyone who disagrees with the Narrative as defined by the Ruling Class. Divide et Impera.

    Simply look and see who the Establishment celebrates, and you’ll know who’s carrying the most water for them.

  19. Anon[626] • Disclaimer says:

    I stumbled upon this guy before he had any sort of public profile, when he was at some podunk college in Florida. The stuff he wrote then didn’t go through a copyedit, and boy was it subliterate.

  20. Johnny789 says:

    C’mon, dude is rocking the Black man’s mullet. All business on top, a party in the back.

  21. Ano says:

    Isn’t it the case the dumber you are as an African-American ‘intellectual’, so long as you don’t stray off the Democrat plantation and just parrot what (((white))) liberals tell/want you say, the more money you make as their pet?

    I remember Steve Sailer speculating that’s why establishment liberals shower Ta-Genius Coates with prai$e: his ‘mind’ is no threat to their hegemony- in fact just the opposite.

  22. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    I used to work in an office on third shift, all male after 6 pm or so until 8 am. The cleaning crew came in around 1 AM and closed the men’s room for mopping, so they taped a sign that said “temporarily men only” over the women’s room door sign. The women’s room had obviously no urinals, but it had different and better sinks and mirrors, a small couch, and some cabinets. Being curious I found out that the lower door had rolls of TP and air freshener, the top was all tampons, pads and baby diapers. Were we the only company that gave them away free? I have no idea, suspect not.

    I was in a hotel once and went into the men’s room, past the urinals, and went in to take a number two and about halfway done about had a heart attack when I saw the side of the divider with the toilet paper holder and the seat paper dispenser had a receptacle with the outline of a tampax with the female symbol in it on the door. Oh shit, I made a mistake and went in the women’s room by mistake? I finished up to get out of there before women came in and I had some ‘splaining to do….but when I rushed out saw the familiar pissers against the wall. What the hell??

    I asked the night auditor about this. She laughed her ass off and said that this happens once in a while, some guy in there sees that and freaks. Well, that’s just corporate policy now, what with all that transgender stuff.

    • Replies: @Charon
    , @El Dato
    , @Old Prude
  23. Kronos says:

    Steve, if you were the producer for CNN (I’m asking for a friend) where would you go to search for black talent?

    I bought this book a while back but never read it (yet.) Hopefully, these people didn’t need to “black flight” out of black crime-infested neighborhoods. They still might be there.

  24. syonredux says:

    Kendi was born as Ibram H. Rogers in 1982 in Jamaica, Queens. He received his undergraduate degree in Journalism and African American Studies from Florida A&M in 2004, and earned his doctorate in African American Studies in 2010 from Temple University.[5]


  25. @Dave Pinsen

    I didn’t mean he was necessarily Ivy League Professor smart, but he is generic-academic smart. Coates is barely generic-undergraduate smart.

  26. @anon

    Thanks. To see in detail just how low the quality of this Ta-Nehishi Coates stuff is is – still – a surprise.

    • Agree: HammerJack
  27. FWIW, White intellectuals are dumbing down too.

  28. El Dato says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    So you are saying “presentable racism” is a non-renewable resource that has been strip-mined with no regard for upcoming NYT writers?

    “Writers are suffering! Writers are dying!!”

  29. Charon says:

    A lot of women I see are in dire need of not only improved beauty products but more effective diet pills and exercise regimens. Many could profit from dental work, elocution lessons, civility and comportment training, tattoo removal, and all manner of education as well as sartorial assistance.

    Why should lack of funds (or lack of interest) continue to be a barrier between these women and these sorely needed goods and services? Studies show that a good weave can snag a good job, or a good man –I forget which.

    If elected, I promise to continue pandering to women, minorities, LGBTQCZ and any other sizable voting bloc which appreciates such pandering.

    • LOL: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Lot
  30. I have a theory that blackety-black intellectual shenanigans and dindu crime could be substantially reduced if we could simply find a way to stop them all from giving their kids these ridiculous names. How can you not foresee the 12-15 year armed robbery and aggravated assault sentences coming when you name your son Jaquan or Jacquarius? Or your precious Latrina popping out 4 fatherless children? What kind of chance at real scholarship did you give your 90+ IQ son when you saddled him with a Muslim name, a fakey African name, and an “X” smack dab in the middle? Just go back to Christian-name + President-name (James Jefferson); the world will be a safer place for us all.

  31. El Dato says:

    “’THE LEGEND OF STEVE’ CONTINUES! Steve Rogers’ mission to clear his reputation and to re-establish the good name of Captain America continues, as he and Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman, tackle a familiar old foe who is contaminating the water supply of a large rust-belt city!”

    Captain Cadmium, I suppose?

    So … it’s like Indiana Jones vs The Everywhere Nazis, only taking itself seriously and carrying “messages”. Which means it becomes a Nazi Comic with role reversal.

    Superhero comics just live by self-deprecation, who wants to read stuff issued by humorless outer party hacks, even if it has been drawn using some software that runs only on Apple gear?

  32. @Anonymous

    A true bleeding- something, liberal.

  33. @R.G. Camara

    But Tribe teaches at Harvard!

    • Replies: @william munny
  34. Why Are Star Black Intellectuals Getting Dumber?

    Our Ruling Class have an insatiable appetite for black “intellectuals”, at least those with a progressive bent. Apparently, you don’t have to go too far down the depth chart to run out of IQ points.

  35. @Laurence Whelk

    Read the Freakonomics chapter “A Roseqeesha By Any Other Name Would Smell Just As Sweet

  36. Lot says:

    “ civility and comportment training, tattoo removal”

    Sounds better than 90% of federal spending.

  37. Altai says:

    A better question. Have ‘public intellectuals’ of any race in the last 40 years gotten smarter?

  38. El Dato says:

    I don’t think transgenders M-to-F get periods, and F-to-M transgenders probably won’t be going to the gents.

    I may be wrong, my life choices have so far precluded me from finding out.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  39. This is the same dude that wants an unelected body of Racial Judges who can overturn “racist” policies and prevent the election of “racist” politicians, correct?

    He basically wants us to be Iran, but of the Church of the Great Awokening instead of Islam – does that sum it up?

  40. All pundits are getting dumber and it’s starting to bother me. Dysgenics doesn’t happen that fast does it? Even Jewish activists are more ham-handed then in decades past.

    I hope we have enough brains left to get the AI revolution going!

    Or maybe it’s just the smarter people can’t bear to repeat PC nonsense and so we never see them?

    • Replies: @Justvisiting
  41. Kendi and Coates are indeed brilliant–when compared with other Negroes. I cannot think of 1 African who has contributed anything original in terms of science or scholarship. The “great” Thomas Sowell’s entire career was ridiculously derivative; his books only mattered because he was telling the truth about black inferiority as a fellow black.

  42. Warner says:
    @always the critic

    I am doubting your conclusion. 1000 SAT is mediocre at best. It doesn’t get you into almost any good school. You might be a risk for some state schools.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  43. JimDandy says:

    Steve, with all due respect, I think you’re being diplomatic. A less-refined person than me would straight-up call Coates retarded. Not someone like me, who considers Thomas Sowell a great intellect. But, Coates is dumb, man. DUMB.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @JimDandy
  44. @Laurence Whelk

    LOL. “Latrina” is Latin for toilet–perfect!

  45. Hans says:

    And leave behind all the men who have periods?

  46. @R.G. Camara

    “It’s why many of us found Obama’s empty speechifying madding; it wasn’t that his speeches were bad (he was a good speaker), its that his followers found them utterly “deep” but were the common banal political statements that, when examined, meant nothing; his cult followers, however, never examined them.”

    Exactly, the entire content of BHO’s speeches can be distilled into three categories; tautology (“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”), banal/trite (“The future rewards those who press on”), spectacular nonsense (“We are the change we seek.”)

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  47. @Warner

    Average IQ for a college student the world over is about an SD higher than the general population. A 110 IQ/1000+ recentered SAT would be just about average for Public U and higher than average for an AfAm studies major at such a school.


    Conflict of Visions is one of the great books of the last half of the 20C, and Sowell is the most rhetorically gifted political author in recent memory.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  48. “Exactly, the entire content of BHO’s speeches can be distilled into three categories; tautology (“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”), banal/trite (“The future rewards those who press on”), spectacular nonsense (“We are the change we seek.”)”

    I forgot, a fourth category, ethnic slurs (“They [rural whites] who didn’t vote for him] get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them..”

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
  49. @always the critic

    HBCUs are a great choice for above average blacks who plan on attending graduate or professional school. Kendi’s wife, Sadiqa, is a pediatric emergency room physician. She attended Spelman and Yale University School of Medicine.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Anonymousse
  50. @Redneck farmer

    I know a guy who went to Harvard Law and was completely unimpressed with his professors and fellow students. As he put it, “Is this it? This is supposed to be the best of the best?”

  51. @Altai

    Well in general, “public intellectuals” used to just be mostly fodder for high- and middle-brow chat shows, long articles in the Sunday papers, and tedious protracted duels in the Letters section of the NYRB. (“Israel Edelstein replies….” Ooh, this’ll be good!). They don’t really say anything useful, never have. It was a kind of highbrow entertainment and a virtue signifier, like thinking that watching The McNeil-Lehrer Report makes you smarter than watching Roger Grimsby.

    Quick spot quiz: can anybody actually name a memorable scene or character from “The Naked and the Dead”? Can anybody remember an interesting, original, useful idea that Norman Mailer or Susan Sontag actually /had/?

    Black “public intellectuals” are sort of a niche market: they can a) bang on about racism, b) comfort the Jews that they aren’t hogging every /single/ microphone and cornering the /entire/ racket — the fact that there are a few negroes sprinkled in makes it look like it isn’t just yet another racket for the Jews, and c) it gives the impression that somewhere out there, there are at least a few negroes who are actually smart. Just look at those Genius Glasses!

    It’s like all those black analysts on ESPN in suits and ties, talking gravely at great length about… a group of trained negroes leaping around, throwing a rubber ball through a hoop. Big sigh of relief: we finally found something they can be good at…

  52. Old Prude says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Cornell West uses big words for the same reason fourteen year old girls use tissue paper.

    • LOL: R.G. Camara
  53. Dr. X says:

    Black intellectuals…?

    Where they be at?

  54. Jake says:

    How much dumber are they getting? Were the assumed black intellectual giants of the 1960s really smart?

    I took a graduate level course in Black American Writing (so it was the alleged deep thinking philosophy as well as novels and poems). It seemed to be very much like what we see today, with a handful of exceptions. There were endless cliches about blacks cheated horribly by Whitey, and how the ‘white trash’ was the worst abuser in world history, yada yada.

    Just like today, alleged superior black writing, black speechifying, of the past has 2 audiences: blacks who are to be rallied to see their race as superior to the ‘white trash’ and therefore deserving of being placed in that spot, and Elite whites who want blacks to be an excuse for them to shit on the mass of whites.

    Black thinking can go beyond that only when the black person has transcended his race. And that is as rare as a Jew transcending Jewishness and its permanent hated of Whitey for Christendom.

  55. @snorlax

    My guess would be that anyone very intelligent with the kind of critical faculties required to be a great intellectual would immediately run afoul of our heresy laws. So we’re left with mostly idiots.

    • Agree: sayless, lavoisier
  56. Art Deco says:

    Because ‘star’ intellectuals are those to whom someone handed a megaphone. The closest thing to a ‘star’ black intellectual a generation ago was someone who had a syndicated column (as Thomas Sowell did and Walter Williams did), someone who published occasional pieces for the magazine press (as Glenn Loury did) or someone the media thought to report on (William Julius Wilson, whom the Association of Black Sociologists had it in for). (Andrew Brimmer was a man of considerable consequence, but he was not a ‘star’ intellectual). So, the question you have to ask is why gatekeepers like the editor of The Atlantic favor lunkheads over TNC over people with scholarly publications and promote pseudo-academics like Michael Eric Dyson when they could hire real academics of variable levels of accomplishment (as they do sometimes, but not invariably)? It’s something going on among gentry white liberals.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  57. Art Deco says:

    He’s not dumb. His problem is one identified a generation ago by Sowell when he noted that the Anointed confounded intelligence with expertise and then confounded articulateness with intelligence. Coates is a man who produces verbiage on deadline. The trouble is, the substance of his verbiage is rubbish but appealing to middlebrow gentry liberals who’ve got issues. Middlebrow gentry liberals are an other-directed subculture where your attitudes define in-groups and out-groups.

    Coates problem is that he’s quite well paid to be someone’s decorative piece. Kind of a demoralizing way of making a living.

    • Replies: @Pheasant
    , @Jack D
    , @Mr. Anon
  58. @Meretricious

    I’m not qualified to judge the subject matter, but this guy seems legitimately smart.

    He’s the Charles Barkley endowed chair of physics at Auburn. Yes, THAT Charles Barkley.

    Clarence Thomas is also a legitimately smart Supreme Court justice.

    So they’re out there, but I don’t think you’re going to hear a lot from them. The black talented One-Hundredth seem pretty private, like the TOOS black wealthy.

  59. Jake says:
    @R.G. Camara

    “It;s not for nothing that the Catholic/Orthodox Churches separated oratory from theology. Preaching is not deep thinking, rhetoric is not dialectic. Both have their places, but this guy is a joke.”

    True. And the Protestant Reformation placed them together inextricably. The Vatican II/Novus Ordo Catholic Church largely followed suit. The results were easily predictable.

  60. Art Deco says:

    Kendi and Coates are indeed brilliant–when compared with other Negroes. I cannot think of 1 African who has contributed anything original in terms of science or scholarship. The “great” Thomas Sowell’s entire career was ridiculously derivative; his books only mattered because he was telling the truth about black inferiority as a fellow black.

    You can’t think of one because you don’t know anything. (And you’ve got serious reading comprehension issues if you fancy that’s Sowell’s thesis). That aside, Sowell at his most scholarly is an intellectual historian, and his work at its best diagnosing the pathologies in public discourse. Nobody does it better.

    • Replies: @Pheasant
  61. Art Deco says:

    No, they can be a serviceable choice if you want that matrix. HBCUs vary, but commonly have quite lax admissions in order to generate the revenue stream to meet their fixed costs. It’s not doing much of their student body any good, because they cannot finish. Ideally, about 40% of these institutions would close and the competent students among their clientele would redeploy to the remaining institutions. If state governments were responsible and the properties of the student loan market incorporated serious underwriting, a great many of these schools would go under, and properly so.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Triumph104
    , @Ed
    , @JMcG
  62. @anon

    I would think comic books would be a great medium for social commentary. That and future fiction.

  63. Pheasant says:
    @Art Deco

    I thought he was an economist?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  64. Pheasant says:
    @Art Deco

    Watch an unedited performance of his in a live debate. His jaw is slack you can tell he does not know what to say, that his ideas are only half formed. He has vacant eyes and actually looks dumb. I have seen unedited prose of his and it is abysmal. He did not even know who St Augustine was despite writing a whole piece on when violence is justified. Goldberg was his handler and when he outlived his usefulness he went on to writing comic books.

    And he is so much of a snowflake that he banished the comments section on his Atlantic magazine articles and shut down his twitter when Cornel West threw a little shade his way by pointing out that he was the liberals house pet (could have substituted a word beggining with the letter n).

    Face it Coates is dumb.

    • Replies: @sayless
  65. nier says:

    Ta-Nehisi Coates has no relation to Egypt, so why does he have an Egyptian name? Does he believe He Wuz Kangz n shiet?

  66. @always the critic

    Agree on Sowell. He deserves all the praise he gets.

  67. Just another babbling black hack hired by Jews to denigrate whites, the most tolerant group of people on this planet.
    The Jews are really going to have to up their game for China.
    This crap only seems to work on Europeans.
    I predict that after they destroy America (Trump is really only able to prevent a complete and utter looting) they run off to Russia or Ukraine.
    Maybe that is why Chabad is constantly [email protected] Putin?
    IN 50 years Alphabet Coates will be a footnote for Cultural Studies types or Historians as they puzzle over his incredible mediocrity for 5 seconds before moving on.

  68. El Dato says:
    @El Dato

    Oh, I stand corrected

    Menstrual cycles are for everyone? ‘Always’ removes female symbol from sanitary pads following trans activists’ complaints

    “Little did he know that World War SanityPad was just beginning!”

    • Replies: @TWS
  69. His GPA was below 3.0; his SAT scores were just above 1000.

    I blame software spellcheck and grammar check for people like this sneaking into the elites. Thirty years ago, one paragraph of a person’s handwritten prose would be dispositive. Now, people can be practically illiterate but, using software, still generate grammatically correct sentences with no spelling mistakes. The sentences may not make any sense, but they look competent, and what’s more, they’re printed out in the same clear, standard font in which the words of Sir Roger Scruton are rendered. So you have to take a closer look than before, and if you’re the kind of person who wants to be fooled, it’s easier to let yourself be fooled when the writing looks good.

    I am sure that anyone who teaches undergraduates knows exactly what I’m talking about.

  70. When “intellectualism” became mere credentialism, especially now that all the “major” awards are completely converged and wholly concerned with reparations for writers of color.

  71. @The Alarmist

    Tell that to Stephen Pinker, Jonathan Haidt, Charles Murray, Heather MacDonald, Steve Sailer, etc

  72. Old Prude says:
    @william munny

    People often have the same reaction when they meet West Point graduates.

  73. Truth says:

    I’m guessing you good chaps consider Sean Hannity a genus?

    • Replies: @snorlax
    , @William Badwhite
  74. JAhd says:

    Say what you will… Kendi and Coates are our ONLY chance to see the N-word dropped on twitter and live TV.

  75. This reminds me of a recent article in the NYT on recent memoirs by People Of Color, which talks about the grand literary tradition thereof stretching back to St. Augustine:

    Years later, a bishop and newly respectable, Aurelius Augustinus — St. Augustine — began to plumb his past in his “Confessions.” He described, in warty detail, impressive youthful indiscretions (there are more interesting vices, he was to discover, than stealing pears) and a reluctant path to transcendence.

    That spirit of self-scrutiny [in Confessions] lingers on in autobiographical writing. But the form evolves with the fashions, and with our anxieties: about disclosure, authenticity, performance. Today memoirs might be more therapeutic in aim, or explicitly political. Some swagger; more than a few dissemble. There are subgenres with conventions and rich histories of their own (slave narratives, for example). Lately a new form has begun to cohere, or an old one to return. Call it the epistolary memoir: a life told in the form of a letter, inaugurated, perhaps, by Ta-Nehisi Coates’s National Book Award-winning “Between the World and Me” (itself inspired by James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time”).

    Of course, long-time iSteve readers no doubt remember that Ta-Nehisi Coates hadn’t actually, you know, heard of Augustine in his mid 30s or so.

  76. TWS says:

    Steve, I am disappointed in your obvious cowardice. You are running from the black man’s unassailable logic just as all white women run to the black man’s powerful Johnson. You cannot refute Professor X.X. Xavier’s argument so you run with your tail between your legs, just as white women are enjoying something large, elemental, black and hard as ebony between their legs.

    This is how you troll. Get with it Duck.

  77. Jack D says:

    it’s by Ibram X. Kendi, so critiquing it would be like picking on a high school essay.

    I realize that fisking Ibram is like shooting fish in a barrel, but I think he’s fair game. He wants to play ball with the big boys so he should be ready to take the hits. He’s already being coddled enough by the Left. Really you wouldn’t be picking on Kendi but on the prestige publications that have given him their implicit stamp of approval.

    If Ibram was writing in his HS newspaper, then fair enough but they are putting him in The Atlantic and such. Emerson and Longfellow are rolling in their graves. As Abolitionists, maybe they’d even sympathize with Kendi but they had standards and no tolerance for mediocrity whatever color it was.

    • Agree: sayless
  78. Old Prude says:

    West Point circa 1981 still had urinals in the girls bathrooms. There was laughable confusion.

    • Replies: @snorlax
  79. Jack D says:
    @Art Deco

    Arguably, black students do better in those places because there is less mismatch between their skills and the level of their classmates. Also you can’t use racism as an excuse for why you didn’t do well on the test since everyone else taking it (and probably the professor too) is black also.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  80. Jack D says:
    @Art Deco

    He cries all the way to the bank.

  81. Jack D says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    The aim of Liberalism is to cure all of the ills of the world. In order to achieve Utopia, no problem is too small to escape their attention. Just lifting the sales tax on tampons is not enough. We need a government commission on menstrual products. We need to study this problem and then form an agency and hire permanent staff (mainly black females) to administer it forever. And tomorrow we must do the same for the problem of improperly fitting bras. Do you know how many poor women cannot afford proper undergarments?

  82. Anonymous[156] • Disclaimer says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Cornel West has verbal intelligence, is from a middle-class Sacramento family with both parents IIRC. I doubt he’d be famous in a social science discipline but he could probably have made it on the Bible-code deciphering circuit (bougie blacks are really interested in this for some reason). I’m not sure exactly when he adopted the jive-turkey pimp-walk shtick although I’ve seen him switch out of it at moments or at least fail to remember his persona. cf. the Gavin McInnes bit that “Every black person can summon the gangsta instantaneously as needed.” That makes him no worse than any other celebrity or CEO in my view. He has bad teeth which is considered authentic by varying audiences for various reasons.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  83. @william munny

    They take just one semester of torts!

  84. Art Deco says:
    @Jack D

    They don’t do better. The completion rates of students at those institutions are lower than they are for black students at the general run of institutions.

    • Replies: @Triumph104
  85. @Anonymous

    When the Dems finally come to their senses and kick Mrs. Clinton’s giant ass to the curb, she’ll have a great future heading a charity that provides free menstrual products to poor women.

    (Failing that, she can spearhead a foundation dedicated to the fight against feminine itch.)

  86. Arclight says:

    To be a black intellectual in America only requires that you clean up halfway decent and repeat the progressive anti-racist catechism fluently. No original thought required, and the cultural climate means you are supposed to sit respectfully and listen when being told obvious BS.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  87. @R.G. Camara

    Obama was hilarious because I’m pretty sure he knew he was a carnival barker. I always pictured him giving a wink and a nod to that thing he’s married to, before entering the stage, “hey, watch this…gonna throw out some “folks…let’s talk about some folks…and all that…and don’t tell me ’bout Selma ! “

    It ain’t called shuckin’ and jivin’ for nothin’.

  88. Anon[159] • Disclaimer says:

    his SAT scores were just above 1000

    That’s the kid who, at a run of the mill prep school, has to study his ass off to get B- / C+ grades and needs to outright cheat in math classes.

    Smart or dumb, I still don’t see the requirement to listen to any Black nor sociopolitically Jewish person. They aren’t us. They perceive that they need to live among us in order to gain more resources than they could when living only among themselves. They will say and often do anything to keep us weak so as to be able to siphon off ever more resources and protect themselves during that process. Their thoughts and words are irreparably tainted, no matter who it is. And, again, they aren’t us. Their words, no matter what they are, could not matter less.

  89. @william munny

    I’ve met a boatload of Top 10 law school graduates, and many of them are nothing special. Many of them would be panicked if they ran their own shop, as they are much better at being cogs in a large machine, such as a large law firm or a prosecutor’s office. Which is ironic, since small shop lawyers tend to do the best stuff and best work (because they have to).

    The few Top 10 Law grads who are special tend to distinguish themselves outside of the direct law practice. Jim Cramer, for example, was a Harvard law kid who quickly got bored and started doing stock picking on the side. Mitt Romney has a Harvard law degree but never practiced a day of law. Obama didn’t even bother writing an article for the law review for which he was president—a huge failing—never bothered doing anything in the law but lecture.

  90. Anon[327] • Disclaimer says:
    @always the critic

    A 115ish IQ with self confidence & social skills makes for a quality celebrity who can pass as highly intelligent to normies,

    One problem for them is that this IQ is still an entire standard deviation away from gifted, and to the gifted it is as far apart as a normie white person is away from an 85 IQ functional illiterate / borderline retard.

    Therefore, the speech of these 115 IQ woke celebrity creations of the NYT does not have the deep and wide social reach that they might be hoping for. What comes from the mouths and pens of this IQ group is always going to hit an intellectual wall buried within even the “centrist” portion of the higher IQ socioeconomic strata of White gentile America.

    But breaching that wall likely isn’t the point, if it could theoretically be done. Which it likely cannot due to the fact that the expressed logic of personalities like Coates relies on the same moral and factual omissions. In an environment of full disclosure and open argumentation, their positions are always decisively defeated because they are falsifiable arguments born out of a desire for increased resources rather than morality. Hence the necessity for maintaining their closed conversations.

    The point is likely to create significant enough social noise and antagonism among most of the population. Out of that noise, more resources, more power, and better political positioning for the short term future are gained.

    The effort succeeds here, and middling intelligence loquacious POC are perfect frontmen to deliver those civically, morally, and factually flawed arguments, with conviction, to the broader populace. Smarter individuals might not be able to sell it as well.

  91. @Stephen Paul Foster

    His famous Jeremiah-Wright-Damage-Control speech during the 2008 campaign was nothing but a typical politician-in-damage-control speech: acknowledge the issue, give some weak vaguely worded non-apology, then try to quickly change the subject. I kept waiting for honest lefties to rip into him for such a cliched job, but hey, that’s pretty much when I learned there are zero honest lefties working in corporate media.

    • Replies: @Prester John
  92. Ragno says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Preach on, brother! Preach, sah!!

    Uh….that is to say: point well taken.

  93. @Art Deco

    Don’t try to correct me by changing the goalpost. I mentioned a specific group of people, “above average blacks who plan on attending graduate or professional school”. Yes, I know mostly below average attend HBCUs and end up drowning in debt, whether they earn a degree or not and most do not. That doesn’t invalidate what I said. HBCUs produce a disproportionate number of blacks who go on to earn doctorates.

    A few years ago a black student named Nayla Kidd disappeared from Columbia University. Her mother had to hire a detective and contact the media in order to find her daughter. Nayla was a star student in high school but only earned Bs and Cs in college as a computer engineering major. She ultimately dropped out of Columbia with plans to model, make and produce music, and write. None of that would have happened if she had followed a route similar to her mother. Her mother, a professor at the University of Louisville, attended Spelman, then earned a PhD in toxicology from MIT and a master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins.

    Thomas Sowell spent most of his career trying to save bright black kids from becoming like Nayla.

  94. Meet the historian who’s asking America to rethink the very nature of bigotry — and how to fight it.

    I’ll pass.

    What a clown; costume, stage name and schtick – it’s a shame Ringing Brothers shut down.

    The fake name alone is enough to disqualify him from serious consideration. Imagine a white academic rebranding himself as Jesus K.K. Krackerface.

    As Bugs said, “What a maroon!”

  95. Ed says:
    @Art Deco

    Obama was actually viewed negatively by HBCU administrators. His crime? introducing some basic underwriting standards for PLUS loans and his focus on indebtedness at for-profit schools. The thing is when the bureaucrats looked at default rates at for-profit schools, they noticed that some non-profit schools were even worse. A disproportionate number of them HBCUs. The PLUS Loan changes forced students to withdraw at HBCUs. I believe the Obama admin eventually reversed the changes.

    A SMALL CHANGE IN THE way the Department of Education approves parents for PLUS loans resulted in thousands of previously approved recipients being rejected the following applicable year, unable to help pay for their children’s higher education.

    In a report released Wednesday by the New America Foundation, policy analyst Rachel Fishman breaks down the effect the October 2011 change had on different Parent PLUS loan recipients, as well as on colleges and universities. Overall, Fishman found the department approved more than 200,000 fewer recipients in 2013 than it did in 2011.

  96. @R.G. Camara

    Much like Jewish intellectuals, there’s a lot more of their stupid out there for us to observe.

    Unlike, say, Kurt Eichenwald, who is clearly a towering intellect, a highly-skilled journalist… and a perfectly sane individual.

    “I have concerns about you, Kurt”

    And who could forget the tentacle porn episode?

    JPod is another real “yiddishe kop.”

    On the other side of the Atlantic — Bernard-Henri Lévy is a reasonably bright guy, but relative to the corporate media’s sycophantic portrayals of him? Please.

  97. SMK says: • Website
    @MEH 0910

    Yes, fundamentally, it’s that simple, and only a liar or psychotic would claim the former: that all inequalities between the races (save sports) and the failings and problems of blacks are the fault of whites and “racism” and the “legacy of slavery and Jim Crow” rather than low average intelljigence and, in respect to violence and criminality, high levels of testosterone combined with low average intelligence.

  98. Art Deco says:

    To be a black intellectual in America only requires

    If you want to be hired by a college or university in this country, you need to write a dissertation. Hiring committees give breaks to black applicants, but the breaks have their limits. About 2,000 research doctorates are awarded to black students each year. Those are your black intellectuals.

    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
    , @Arclight
  99. From a fawning Guardian profile:

    ‘He is particularly strong on his critique of “uplift suasian” – the tendency of black people to blame themselves for racial inequity, to “strap the entire Black race on the Black body’s back, shove the burdened Black body into White spaces, order the burdened Black body to always act in an upstanding manner to persuade away White racism”.’

    Tennessee Coats should have TM’d “Black Bodies”.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @SunBakedSuburb
  100. Mr. Anon says:
    @Simon in London

    Cornel West is “actually-smart”? He’s a buffoon. A word-salad spinner. You must have meant someone else, like John McWhorter.

    • Replies: @Simon in London
  101. @Art Deco

    Two researchers’ new study of degree attainment at Historically Black Colleges and Universities versus predominantly white institutions, also known, in the study, as PWIs, found that the chances of graduating in six years for black students are significantly higher at the black colleges, when controlling for key variables.

    The study, called “Degree Attainment for Black Students at HBCUs and PWIs: A Propensity Score Matching Approach,” found that black students who attend HBCUs are between 6 percent and 16 percent more likely to graduate within six years than those who attend predominantly white institutions.

    Ray Franke, an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, one of the researchers, says HBCUs and PWIs are often pitted against each other. In this debate, Franke says, historically black colleges have gotten the short end of the stick, even from researchers who may mean well. In the new study, Franke notes how a recent report from the Education Trust, a nonprofit that studies disparities for students of color or living in poverty, said that the six-year degree-completion rate for black students at HBCUs is 32 percent, compared with the average rate for black students at all kinds of institutions, 45 percent.

    Those figures, he says, don’t adequately take into account systemic differences between students, like socioeconomic status, academic preparation, or institutional disparities in revenues and wealth. He says data that don’t use the correct models may automatically handicap black colleges.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  102. Alfa158 says:

    Black intellectuals are getting dumber because they are overwhelmingly leftists, and leftist intellectuals regardless of race are getting dumber, as is evidenced by the Sailerbait from the mainstream propaganda organs that Steve regularly quotes.
    There aren’t going to be many more John Kenneth Galbraith leftist geniuses. Their ideas on economics, race, sex, crime, etc. have been put into practice for over half a century and have demonstrated themselves to be mostly false. To continue to to be a leftist and hang on to counter-factual thoughts means either being actually stupid, or lobotomizing yourself into stupidity through Crimestop in order to be able to continue to hang on to your dreams.
    The problem with non-White intellectuals is further exacerbated by the fact that no one is allowed to notice how dim you are and you get wafted upward into the universities and media.

  103. Mr. Anon says:
    @Art Deco

    He’s not dumb. His problem is one identified a generation ago by Sowell when he noted that the Anointed confounded intelligence with expertise and then confounded articulateness with intelligence.

    Huh. Sounds like somebody around here we know. Art…….something. Or maybe he’s just as dumb as Coates is.

  104. JMcG says:
    @Art Deco

    Cheyney “University” outside of Philadelphia has around 700 students. The 6 year graduation rate is under 10%. A young lady, interviewed in the newspaper a few years ago after transferring from another state school to Cheyney, marveled at how she had become an A student after having struggled to get C’s previously.The students are locally famous for stealing from liquor and convenience stores.

    • LOL: Clyde
    • Replies: @Art Deco
  105. JimDandy says:

    I agree with everything you’re saying. Aside from the part where you say he’s not dumb.

  106. Thirdtwin says:

    When one of these alleged black geniuses ever writes in depth on something which has nothing to do with race, racism or their Special Blackness, please let me know.

    • Replies: @Simply Simon
  107. @The Alarmist

    “White intellectuals are dumbing down too.”

    Ideology reigns supreme in academia and culture. Thoughtful inquiry and creativity are now obsolete.

  108. Art Deco says:

    “When controlling for key variables”. They’re getting better results from marginal students. The trouble is, they’re corralling a great many students who simply aren’t college material (and with whom they’re not succeeding).

  109. vinny says:

    Everyone is dumb now: look at the New York Times, Bedbug Stephens and Bari Weiss are morons. At the Atlantic, Jeffery Goldberg is a complete fool.

  110. @Laurence Whelk


    Are we in the Age of Jacquarius?

  111. @Laurence Whelk

    I have a theory that blackety-black intellectual shenanigans and dindu crime could be substantially reduced if we could simply find a way to stop them all from giving their kids these ridiculous names.

    No it wouldn’t. The mother who names her daughter Latrina does so because she is illiterate and does not know what the word latrine means. If children with names that seem ridiculous to mainstream culture end up in a life of crime, it is because they come from families where the adults are unable to raise them to become responsible adults, often because the parents are themselves illiterate, stupid, and feckless.

    Hence they may well think, based on the sound, that the name DON (as in Donald or Dontavious) is the same name as DAWN, which has a quite different meaning, and is also the name of a dish detergent as well as Homer’s “rosy-fingered Dawn”, and may think that Dontavious sounds like the name of a Roman emperor.

    On the other hand, the churchgoing parents who have stable jobs that require qualifications, are much less likely to name their children after New Testament figures like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Joseph, Mary, Martha, Anna, Phoebe, Julia, and Elizabeth and are more likely to be able to teach their children to read, which in the future will get them jobs working inside banks, rather than robbing them.

    Also in many cases, names that sound absurd to the educated mind may sound noble to the namer.

    How many people, for example, know that the name Baldwin (which might remind some people of baldness) originally meant Bold-friend, or that Ethelred meant Noble-counsel, and yet if someone today named their child Bold Friend Smith or Noble Counsel Jones, we would probably think it absurd, even though there was once a Supreme Court justice named Learned Hand.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Alden
    , @utu
  112. El Dato says:
    @Laurence Whelk

    “strap the entire Black race on the Black body’s back, shove the burdened Black body into”

    I was fully expecting to read something involving ovens.

    order the burdened Black body to always act in an upstanding manner to persuade away White racism

    If “White racism” can be “persuaded away” by actually not behaving like a violent jackass, it’s not racism, but well-deserved distrust.

  113. El Dato says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Skywalker is a good name!

    On the other hand, the churchgoing parents who have stable jobs that require qualifications, are much less likely to name their children after New Testament figures like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Joseph, Mary, Martha, Anna, Phoebe, Julia, and Elizabeth…

    Wouldn’t they be more likely to do so?

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  114. CJ says:

    Yes, it’s analogous to popular music. Both black and white pop music have gotten worse.

  115. Alden says:
    @Laurence Whelk

    Boy girl twins are often named Latrine and Latrina. Cute

  116. @Laurence Whelk

    Your excerpt from The Guardian is hilarious and depressing.

    “the tendency of black people to blame themselves for racial inequality”

    This does not comport with reality. Academia and culture have been engineered to make sure the precious Black Bodies are not held responsible for any their dysfunction and destruction. The engineers of these schemes, white progressives, truly believe that Black Bodies lack moral agency, and need pale saviors to guide them through systematic racism.

    The New York Times. The Los Angeles Times. The Guardian. All newspapers I used to read with regularity. Sad.

  117. Alden says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Black church goers are no different from the rest. Black preachers swarm around local jails trying to get their congregation members out.

    Really, as everyone involved in criminal defense knows.

  118. Ian Smith says:

    Were black ‘intellectuals’ ever anything to write home about? Is someone like DuBois anywhere near the caliber of someone like, say, Edmund Wilson?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @jpp
  119. J1234 says:

    Radicalization is about (among many other things) making very complicated things very simple. As the core of the left becomes more radicalized, the main points they make or focus on become more simplistic. It isn’t just black stars becoming dumber, it’s the left becoming dumber.

    Having said that, I’ve always had the impression that there’s been a long tradition of dumbing down the message in black culture by the black leaders who present the message. Because of a long held minority status, black thought has always had a sort of mandatory inclusiveness to appeal to as broad a black audience as possible (to counter a white majority.) Unfortunately, this means accommodating an indisputable regression to the mean of black intelligence, which may be why the great majority of black preachers (sometimes bright people) default to an emotional appeal rather than thought provoking sermons. So is the inclusiveness concept of black thought being expanded from “dumbing down the message” to “dumbing down the messenger?” I couldn’t say for sure, but it’s possible.

    It could also be that early black thought was intended more for (liberal) white audiences than it is now.

  120. Hank Yobo says:
    @Art Deco

    If you want to be hired by a college or university in this country, you need to write a dissertation. Hiring committees give breaks to black applicants, but the breaks have their limits.

    MLK “wrote” a dissertation. Apparently, his thesis committee cut him some slack on the requirements.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  121. Art Deco says:

    He’s been a teacher of economics and produced synthetic works on economic history. However, his most scholarly work was in the history of economic thought. He’s not a conventional economist in the manner of, say, Glenn Loury.

  122. Art Deco says:
    @Hank Yobo

    Ergo every black man who hands in a dissertation is a plagiarist. Got it.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    , @Hank Yobo
  123. Art Deco says:

    Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Missouri have five black colleges between them. All are good candidates for the chopping block: academically weak with miniature enrollments. Same deal with the black colleges in West Virginia and Kentucky. Delaware, Maryland, DC, and Virginia have eight black colleges between them when the number of diplomas they award suggests the competent student body is of such a size that the physical plant of four of those institutions would suffice.

  124. Art Deco says:
    @Ian Smith

    Hmmm. Dubois earned a research degree at Harvard at a time (1895) when these were quite rare, studied in Germany, was employed as a college teacher for decades. And was a prolific author of works in sociology. The other was employed by the magazine press in New York, producing and editing works of literary criticism.

    • Replies: @Ian Smith
  125. LOL. What’s happening is that the low-IQ minorities are replacing whites. When Berkeley is all NAM, according to the Obamas of the world, it’ll be even better than when it was all white. Meanwhile NAMs really do believe that they can do better civilizationally w/o whites. What we have here is a comedy

  126. SFG says:

    This is a bit unfair to McWhorter and Sowell.

  127. @Mr. Anon

    He seems as smart as most of the academics I know. He spins words at least as well as they do. Of course I’m not in a hard-Science department: as Barbie teaches us, Maths Is Hard.

    Coates doesn’t seem much smarter than my average Undergrad.

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    , @Prester John
  128. @R.G. Camara

    I’ve never seen a black so-called intellectual who struck me as at all noteworthy. It galls me just as much to see neocons gush about Thomas Sowell as it does to watch liberals praise Tanya He-She. Sowell has never said anything original or even vaguely interesting. It’s just the same old muh-constitutional shtick that would bore everybody to tears if written by a white man. But Sowell is black, and therefore instant profundity attaches to his every utterance.

  129. JimDandy says:
    @Simon in London

    Sadly, they can both look down their noses at Michael Eric Dyson, who is even dumber than Coates.

  130. @Anonymous

    West’s “verbal intelligence” is merely repeating big words for which he (and, more importantly, his acolytes) doesn’t bother to look up the meaning. As another commentator here pointed out, its a smokescreen to hide his lack of intellectual might. You often see this when low-IQ suspects are picked up by the police, they often use extremely complex vocabulary that sounds unnatural to them and to others—all because they are trying to hide their fear, stupidity, and possible guilt.

    Black comedian Mark Curry (“Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” for all you 90’s guys) had a bit in his act making fun of this tendency whenever blacks are around the police.

    West is a just a very good grifter as blacks go; decades as a public intellectual at Harvard and Princeton aren’t for the truly dumb.

  131. @Art Deco

    lol. Your denial is showing, little one….

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  132. Anonymous[358] • Disclaimer says:

    Same thing with Conzo ‘intellectuals’. Down pathetic, most of them.

  133. jpp says:
    @Ian Smith

    I concur. I have variously spent a Saturday afternoon here, a Sunday evening there burrowing myself in with copies of DuBois, Baldwin, Malcolm X, etc. hoping to get some kick of intellectual firepower out of the experience, hoping to extract some kernel of greatness which reveals the potential of America’s downtrodden caste. I really have. And each time, these endeavors leave me affectless and disappointed, wondering why these figures get lionized as Black classics.

    Separately, has anyone bothered to watch any of Kendi’s videos on Youtube? It is something to witness the deference his hosts afford him, the gratuitous compliments they lavish upon him (“Wow your idea is so profound, Dr. Kendi”). I wish just one MC at one colloquium series would expose the emperor for having no clothes, and would take Kendi to task for his vacuity.

    • Replies: @Ian Smith
  134. @El Dato

    Sorry, copy editing error on my part.

  135. snorlax says:

    I’m guessing you good chaps consider Sean Hannity a genus?

    He’s certainly a clade. Further study is needed.

    • Replies: @Truth
    , @Harry Baldwin
  136. utu says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Baldwin (name) Baldwin or Balduin is an Old German and Anglo-Saxon surname. It may either derive from Bealdwine, or the Old German equivalent Baldavin, meaning “brave, bold friend”.”

  137. snorlax says:
    @Old Prude

    West Point circa 1981 still had urinals in the girls bathrooms.

    Ahead of its time!

  138. Forbes says:

    You’ve come a long way, baby. The excuse for missing school or work used to be a lack of shoes, or a winter coat. Now it’s a tampon… On Amazon, tampons are 25 cents each.

    Obviously, a national political issue of urgent proportions!

  139. Hank Yobo says:
    @Art Deco

    No, you don’t get it. There can be a lot of political machinations behind acceptance of a dissertation as someone acquainted with this sausage-making process should know. Something about a rabbit and a lion.

  140. jpp says:

    Oh, and I would recommend Kelefa Sanneh’s New Yorker article on Ibram for some humorous relief. It’s one of the only mainstream pieces which dares to take Kendi down a peg. Curiously, the article insinuates that, before Ibram Rogers changed is name to Ibram Kendi, in reference to an east African culture of which he likely shares minimal if any meaningful ancestral heritage, he wrote for his school newspaper columns which charged that whites are aliens who deliberately spread AIDS to exterminate blacks. I haven’t been able to dredge up the original sources myself though.

  141. sayless says:

    Agree, Tennessee Coates is dumb, and The Atlantic disgraced itself by using him in the way that it did.

    I think Jeffrey Goldberg couldn’t stand the public appearances with him anymore.

    To any black people reading this: For God’s sake find somebody with a 140 IQ and set them loose.

    They’re out there.

    This T.C. crap is excruciating for everyone.

    • Replies: @SFG
  142. TWS says:
    @El Dato

    This reminds me of the witch hysteria. Once you could be excommunicated for believing witches could fly. Later you could be excommunicated for not believing witches could fly. Not sure if it’s apocryphal, I can’t be bothered about this silliness to check.

  143. Mockingbird Central covers actual smart black intellectuals very differently. Ajamu Baraka, the man who picked up the baton from Malcolm X, gets attacked like he’s Martin King with a shotgun taped to Bezos’ gulping pencilneck.

    The problem with Baraka is he’s not just smart but he knows what to do with his right to solidarity. He organizes rings around Democrat Party apparatchiks, at home, and, more importantly, abroad. Smart pure intellectuals like Adolph Reed the Post just stuffs down the memory hole. CIA’s WaPo house organ needs dumb blacks who don’t know enough to read the CERD.

  144. Ian Smith says:
    @Art Deco

    Wilson wrote about Symbolist literature, the Civil War, the genealogy of Marxism, and learned Hebrew at an advanced age to read and write on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Did DuBois write anything other than White Man racism?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  145. Dtbb says:

    Any thoughts on how Trump dumbs down his speeches or tweets? It is about my only objection to him. Is it just a tactic?

  146. haha says:

    Smart or dumb by what criteria? To be smart in gender studies or black studies or so many of the fake disciplines counts for nothing. Smartness in the STEM disciplines is rare, very rare, in certain races and communities.

  147. haha says:

    Naming kids Latrine and Latrina?! Surely that was a joke! If not, well then ….

  148. Truth says:

    Quite pithy.

    I seriously doubt Hannity would catch that cell-phone screen typing error. Tennessee might. I rate your intellect up with his now.

    • Replies: @snorlax
  149. Kronos says:

    I’m just looking for an excuse to post this photo. (It’s Henry Louis Gates Jr. riding his “big boy” tricycle in Martha’s Vineyard.” I could lend him a clothespin and a joker from a card deck and he’ll be rolling.

    But I still believe EducationRealist explained it best.

    The GPA Demographic Footprint

    In November of 1996, the UC system was told by the people of California that it was not allowed to consider race in admissions anymore. The UC system, like all universities in this country, wasn’t about to listen to the rabble. So, as Saul Geiser writes, the system went looking for a reason to reduce the weight given test scores.

    Such differences in the demographic footprint of HSGPA and standardized tests are of obvious importance for expanding access and equity in college admissions, especially at those institutions where affirmative action has been curtailed or ended. … at those institutions where affirmative action has been challenged or eliminated, admissions officers have been forced to reevaluate the role of standardized tests as selection criteria.

    The result has been a de-emphasis of standardized tests as admissions criteria at some institutions. …
    UC introduced “comprehensive review,” an admissions policy that more systematically took into account the impact of socioeconomic factors, such as parents’ education and family income, on students’ test scores and related indicators of academic achievement. [note: this is the process described in the NY Times article]. UC also revised its Eligibility Index, a numerical scale which sets minimum HSGPA and test-score requirements for admission to the UC system; the revised index gave roughly three-quarters of the weight to HSGPA and the remainder to standardized tests. … Under this policy [of Eligibility in the Local Context], which also took effect in 2001, students’ class rank within high school was determined solely on the basis of their HSGPA in college preparatory coursework, so that the effect of this policy, too, was to diminish the role of standardized tests in UC admissions.

    So de-emphasize those evil, racist tests that traditionally represent, in the typical progressive’s mind, a means of reinforcing the institutionalized hegemony of the white man’s values. Grades, in contrast, reflected the school’s values, the school’s priorities. So majority URM schools, both charters and inner city, can put whatever grades they like on classes that can be called whatever they want. UC officials made the change, along with Eligibility in the Local Context, so that majority URM schools could lie about their students’ academic abilities properly reflect the students’ diligence and abilities in subjects simply not valued by the institutional racists at the College Board.

    Essentially, the emphasis from standardized tests to GPA and using geographical location as a proxy to race allowed the current crop of sub-par black intellectuals into elite institutions. So the middle class blacks that resided in white zip-codes were mainly bypassed for rich/influential and ghetto-ish blacks. So the Dave Chappelles and Kanye Wests that were raised in white middle class areas are systematically (and maybe increasingly) disadvantaged since 1994.

    (BTW Chappelle’s father is a statistics professor and West’s mother is a English professor.)

    • Replies: @Kronos
    , @Kronos
  150. Kronos says:

    1994 being the year when the powers-that-be radically transformed the SAT.

    (Did the 1992 LA Riots and 1994 OJ Simpson “near-riot” likely influence dramatic changes in the SAT?)

    • Replies: @Prester John
  151. Art Deco says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Sowell has never said anything original or even vaguely interesting.

    IOW, you’ve never bothered to read his work, ergo it is uninteresting.

    • Replies: @Kronos
  152. Art Deco says:
    @R.G. Camara

    What am I denying? A man snookered his dissertation committee in 1953. His comment makes no sense unless you fancy a single case discredits ever other case. I gather you fancy yourself quite perspicacious. That is an illusion.

  153. Kronos says:
    @Art Deco

    Sowell’s book “Basic Economics” was a good book. He’s written some very good stuff over the years.

  154. @Thirdtwin

    Could you be referring to Leonard Pitts?

  155. Art Deco says:
    @Ian Smith

    Wilson never produced a scholarly work of history or social theory. His book on the Dead Sea Scrolls was a popular work on the discovery of the scrolls.

    • Replies: @Ian Smith
  156. SFG says:

    A while ago Steve found a bunch of black guys who would fit the bill, but they were math professors sitting on the boards of companies and so on–i.e., they were +3SD guys who utilized their advantages to get jobs that would go to +4SD guys. Pretty harmless IMHO.

  157. Tony says:

    Has there ever been a bigger douchbag running for president than this guy?

  158. @MEH 0910

    This, the latest offering courtesy of Tiny the Troll, is strictly sub-par work even for the mini-mallard’s standards.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  159. @RichardTaylor

    Smart people have learned to keep their mouths shut, keep a low profile and enjoy their lives in peace.

    _That_ is wisdom.

    • Replies: @RichardTaylor
  160. @Simon in London

    “Maths Is Hard.”

    Was one of Barbie’s students Junior George Bush?

  161. Ian Smith says:
    @Art Deco

    You’re missing the point. I’m not claiming that Wilson was Aristotle or anything.
    Let me ask you, Art Deco. How many black intellectuals, aside from Thomas Sowell, write about anything other than blackness and white racism?
    Wilson was indeed a middling figure. I pointed to him as someone who, whatever his shortcomings, had a variety of topics he could write about. That is more than I can say about any black writer I can think of. I challenge you to change my mind.

    • Replies: @Al Bundy
  162. @R.G. Camara

    Frankly I have no recollection of ANYTHING Obama said that was memorable.

    Wait—does “you didn’t build that” count?

    • Replies: @Kronos
  163. Ian Smith says:

    I had heard someone say that Ellison’s Invisible Man was the great black American novel. I got halfway through it before giving up. It read like a gothic minstrel show!
    The scene where the woman attacks her husband for molesting her daughter and he responds: “It was a dream sin! Don’t be committin’ a blood sin over no dream sin!” was around when I gave up on it.

  164. Anon[213] • Disclaimer says:

    Cornel West left Harvard for Princeton in a huff after actually-smart Larry Summers told him to lay off the rap albums and student grade inflation and publish some serious research. Summers was the first to call emperor’s-new-clothes on these clowns. K. Anthony Appiah had already decamped, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. almost left, before Summers got preoccupied in the shitstorm following another of his speak-truth-to-morons “gaffes.”

    By the way, after many, many hours of listening to John McWhorter on Glenn Loury’s podcast, I’ve concluded that Loury is actually really smart, but McWhorter is at best cocktail-party-smart. And one time when he was feeling confessional McWhorter ‘fessed up that he was an affirmative action hire at his current school, Columbia, over better white candidates. McWhorter has taken the lazy route of specializing in African American English Vernacular, the standard field for dumb black humanities academics before hip hop studies took over.

    • Replies: @Alvin
  165. @Warner

    I’m reasonably sure that 1000 is (roughly) the median on the new SAT; it was (roughly) the bottom 5th percentile on the old version. (Source: High Precision SAT Percentile tables).

    The SAT’s “College and Career Readiness Benchmarks” considers that in the Current Year, a kiddie needs a score of 1010 to have > 75% chance of getting a C average in first-semester, credit-bearing, first-year undergraduate courses.

    So no, SAT 1000 is not consistent with an IQ of 110-115, even under the new system.

    And in 1999, the average score was 1016; so 1000 was below that. In 2019 a score of 1000 was 48th percentile for a “nationally representative sample” (i.e., all students). Below the median.

    For the new version, it’s consistent with an IQ that’s a tad below the median of SAT takers (which will be higher than the entire-population median).

    A better proxy would be the median IQ of high-school ‘graduates’ – and that’s nowhere near 110.

    27% of US adults (30% of White US adults) have a college degree, and 27% of the right tail of a N(100,15) distribution is 109.2 – so that’s (broadly) the IQ cutoff for those with a college degree, which will predominantly be SAT scores above the median.

    So the question then becomes… is the median SAT-sitter above or below the bottom college graduate?

    It’s reasonably straightforward to calculate the implied acceptance-level SAT under either scenario (for a range of possible washout rates)… but I can’t be fucked.

    It does seems like under the current system, you can get into first year undergrad (somewhere probably pretty shit) with a 1010 SAT and have a half-decent chance of completing for-credit first year courses.

    And of course it’s almost impossible to fail a US undergraduate course, except in STEM (and STEM absolutely dominates by the right tail of the SAT – an IQ – distribution).

  166. Al Bundy says:
    @Ian Smith

    John McWhorter is a serious linguist and a level-headed political commentator.

    • Replies: @Ian Smith
  167. Kronos says:
    @Prester John

    “Hope and Change” was the new “I Feel Your Pain.”

  168. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Can anybody remember an interesting, original, useful idea that Norman Mailer or Susan Sontag actually /had/?

    In 1982, during a speech at New York’s Town Hall, Sontag had a moment of clarity: ”Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Reader’s Digest between 1950 and 1970, and someone in the same period who read only The Nation or The New Statesman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of Communism? The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?”

    • Replies: @black sea
  169. Ian Smith says:
    @Al Bundy

    ‘April 2015, McWhorter appeared on NPR and claimed that the use of the word “thug” was becoming code for “the N-word” or “black people ruining things” when used by whites in reference to criminal activity.[17][18] He added that use by President Obama and former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (for which she later apologized) could not be interpreted in the same way, given that the black community’s use of “thug” may positively connote admiration for black self-direction and survival. McWhorter clarified his views in an article in the Washington Post.[18]’

    I looked him up on Wikipedia and found the above. One of his books his subtitled ‘Why Hip Hop can’t save Black America.


    • Replies: @Anonymousse
  170. @BenKenobi


    Are Black Police Superintendents getting dumber?

    “Chicago’s top cop Eddie Johnson had been drinking before falling asleep in his car early Thursday, mayor says “

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  171. Sleep says:

    Please, please, PLEASE let this come up at the next Democratic debate!! I want to see a dozen blushing men talking about tampons and menstrual cups in front of a million watching women. It will be the best moment in the history of television.

  172. Non-star black intellectual Adolph Reed, who is way too smart for his own good, here incisively explains the process of selecting dumb black asskissers to perform the opinions you’re allowed to have. [It works the same way for white asskissers too.]

  173. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Actually, I do remember a line from Mailer’s book “Tough Guys Don’t Dance. “:

    If I can remember properly

    “You bet!” she said, with the sassy, untrammeled mouth of a sixteen year old in cutoffs in a Doctor Pepper gas station.

    • Replies: @Ian Smith
  174. Kronos says:

    Talk about a bleeding-heart liberal…

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  175. “Why Are Star Black Intellectuals Getting Dumber?”

    Regression to the mean?

    • Agree: eah
  176. Alvin says:

    That is a really unfair characterization of McWhorter. Yes, he knows a thing or two about Ebonics, but that’s only a small subset of his knowledge and expertise. He is conversationally fluent in at least a half dozen languages – and can read/write in even more – and knows the history of the languages. Try listening to his weekly podcast Lexicon Valley and I’m sure it will change your opinion about him. And I agree that Loury is very smart.

  177. Kronos says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Hey, sometimes you gotta fake it until you make it. But I’ve watched Cornell West in person during a university visit (plenty of people do things for extra credit they’re not proud of…) He had some serious skill answering questions from students that I assure you were not plants from the school.

    He did spend a lot of time whining about Lawrence Summers, like 15min. The vast majority of the student body didn’t know about Summers or his feud with West.

    Also, this is hilarious!

  178. @Intelligent Dasein

    Sowell has never said anything original or even vaguely interesting.

    You must be one of those “unconstrained” types who felt insulted by A Conflict of Visions and The Vision of the Anointed.

    He’s one of the few who have figured out, implicitly at least, that the National Socialists were a centrist phenomenon, what he called a “hybrid”. (Seymour Martin Lipset was another.) Much about them makes sense through that filter where it does not otherwise.

    Sure, he can be wrong about some things, like Babe Ruth being the greatest ballplayer. (No way, Tom. Not in right field or at first base.)

    An important point he made, unfortunately only in passing, explains the inability of the right in this country (or elsewhere, for that matter) to coalesce. The only real definition of “the right” is whatever has the nerve to oppose or even question the Left. I wish he had expounded on this, but the rest of us certainly take it up.

  179. Ian Smith says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Sowell is OK when he sticks to economics. I used to post articles of his online when I was a basic b*tch libertarian. His defense of Bush and the Iraq war put a big dent in my opinion of him. Indeed, any reluctance to engage in endless foreign wars he greets with “Hitler!” “Munich” cliches.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Alvin
  180. anon[423] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ian Smith

    Indeed, any reluctance to engage in endless foreign wars he greets with “Hitler!” “Munich” cliches.

    Not unusual for his age group.

  181. MEH 0910 says:
    @Prester John

    The Tiny Duck quote is from last year’s April Fools’ Day (GMT).

    • Replies: @Prester John
  182. @MEH 0910

    False dichotomy. It could be, for instance, that there is something wrong with “doing better.”

  183. black sea says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    “Can it be that our enemies were right?”

    I wonder if she intended the irony of damning those armies of anodyne Reader’s Digest subscribers as “our enemies.”

  184. @Triumph104

    Sadiqa, is a pediatric emergency room physician

    Terrifying thought for any parent…

  185. Alvin says:
    @Ian Smith

    Same here. I used to be a biotch conservative and Sowell fan until around 2007. It’s always 1939 to him and the anti-war folks are all “Neville Chamberlain.” He owes his career and fame to the neocons, and Sowell never disappointed by always toeing the Israel line. Even his writings on economics are paraphrases of what Friedman and Becker were saying decades earlier.

  186. @Ian Smith

    McWhorter appeared on NPR and claimed that the use of the word “thug” was becoming code for “the N-word” or “black people ruining things” when used by whites in reference to criminal activity

    He’s right about this. Any polite and novel term for something intrinsically unpleasant will become saddled with unpleasant connotations until it too becomes considered offensive and a newer word is needed.

    With subsaharan africans this has been going on so long and so energetically that we’ve run out of obvious cognates and even the same hateful old words begin to repeat as the new wokeness. See “colored person” verses “person of color”.

    • Replies: @James Forrrestal
  187. @Justvisiting

    Smart people have learned to keep their mouths shut, keep a low profile and enjoy their lives in peace.

    You may be right about that, but it doesn’t bode well for society overall.

  188. @black sea

    She certainly had no irony in mind. To (((Susan Sontag))) — whose only long-lasting memorable line, in the fullness of time, will be “White people are the cancer of the human race” — it is patently obvious that “our” enemies are not the mass-murdering totalitarian Communists, but rather the dumb white goyim who read Reader’s Digest.

    It’s also obvious that to her and her species, Communism was quite clearly thought of as, first and foremost, a projection of Jewish power: first, during the Bolshevik Red Terror, as an actual Jewish megacidal bloodbath; then later in America and the West, 1950s – present, as a sort of apologetics, a, shall we say, “consummation devoutly to be wished”. What is the cult of diversity, and forced mass immigration, if not merely the latest convenient iteration of the same murderous constant, the same blood-soaked imperative?

  189. @Intelligent Dasein

    Sowell’s books in many cases were pretty good, his syndicated columns much more of a mixed bag. He is actually a rare libertarian/conservative who is skeptical of illegal immigration being an unalloyed good, although he didn’t write about it in any of his books that I have read/skimmed. Foreign policy was his Achilles heel, he mostly just spouted neoconservative talking points, but like immigration he never really wrote about it in any of his books that I am aware of.

    I know they are those who accuse him of just recycling Hayek, Friedman, or Stigler’s talking points on economics. I think however his style of writing could more appealing to people who didn’t have an academic interest in economics, because he would use concrete, real world examples to explain basic economic principles, which is something most economists don’t do.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  190. snorlax says:

    Am I really in a two way tie for the world’s foremost public intellectual? Didn’t hear it from me, folks!

  191. @Unladen Swallow

    Sowell’s big book is Knowledge and Decisions. I was reading it at the doctor’s office in 1996 when I was diagnosed with cancer, but was impressed enough with it to finish it despite distractions.

  192. @Reg Cæsar

    Ever heard the expression “on the rag” before? My poor old Depression era hardscrabble childhood huwhite mom explained to me the etymology of that expression and etymology wasn’t even in her vocabulary registry. The rags were later hand washed in scalding water with homemade lye soap when meat fat was available for home soap making or hand grated flakes from “store bought” Octagon bar soap. She and her three sisters had to bath in the same tub of bathwater heated in a kettle on a wood fired kitchen cook stove.

    To listen to these freaks in the current year yammer about re-cycle, re-use, re-purpose makes me want to puke.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  193. Brutusale says:
    @william munny

    Two guys wrote about this 20 years ago. I read the book when it came out, and if memory serves, the one attending Harvard Law spent most of his time card counting at the Foxwoods casino and the guy at Stanford Law was smoking a lot of weed and mountain biking.

  194. @Stephen Paul Foster

    Also the straw man. Obama loved the straw man.

    “There are some who say we should let the elderly die of exposure and that we should execute all homosexuals, but I say…NOT ON MY WATCH!”

  195. Arclight says:
    @Art Deco

    I should have clarified by adding “public” before “black intellectual.” TNC, Melissa Harris Perry, Eric Dyson, Mark Lamont Hill, Edie Glaude – they all get held up as important voices but at the end of the day they have absolutely no original ideas and are clearly people that are somewhat brighter than the average person but no one we would ever have heard of except for their skin color.

    On the other hand, you have someone like John McWhorter (or Glenn Loury) who legitimately is often the smartest guy in the room, who gets nowhere near the same level of attention because he is skeptical of the anti-racism cult and openly disdainful of the sainted TNC. One area where black Americans have my full and unabashed sympathy is the crushing pressure they are under by other blacks and white liberals to be utterly conformist in their political and cultural preferences. No other group is subjected to anything like it.

    • Replies: @OilcanFloyd
  196. @Anonymousse

    He’s right about this. Any polite and novel term for something intrinsically unpleasant will become saddled with unpleasant connotations until it too becomes considered offensive and a newer word is needed.

    It’s almost as if the connotations derive, not from the term itself, but from the reality to which it refers.

    Or something.

  197. @Truth

    Welcome back Truth.

    Your…side…of these things has been getting covered by Tiny Duck and Nick Diaz (aka Mexican Corvinus) recently. We need someone who can be wrong with levity, nicknames, and some rhymes.

  198. Whoever thought professional intellectuals were the smartest members of the public? “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?” is a challenge not likely to disappear over time. A lot of talking heads on TV are embarrassingly dumb (as everyone has noticed.)

    The average suburban professional is asked to take advice from media opinionators who are probably ten to twenty IQ points behind him, only partly compensated by having briefed themselves on the topics they discuss.

    • Replies: @anon
  199. This guy’s pretty sharp. But he’s basically critiquing the whole “woke capitalism” phenomenon from a classical Marxist standpoint — pointing out that identity politics serves as the “left wing of neoliberalism” — so you’re not gonna see him on your teevee any time soon:

    I suspect his position on the current regime in Israel may be less-than-optimal as well…

  200. @El Dato

    Loved that strip. I read somewhere that Calvin and Hobbes were named after John and Thomas, respectively. At the height of the strip’s popularity the creator, Bill Watterson, like fellow cartoonist
    Gary Larsen (he of the surreal and often hysterically comical “Far Side”), closed down the shop, with Watterson taking up painting.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  201. @MEH 0910

    Thanks for the clarification.

  202. Rob Lee says:
    @R.G. Camara

    “Tiny Duck Quacks”?

    It could be a regular feature…

  203. @MikeatMikedotMike

    Are Black Police Superintendents getting dumber?

    I hope black lawyers are not, for this guy’s sake:

  204. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Can anybody remember an interesting, original, useful idea that Norman Mailer or Susan Sontag actually /had/?

    Whenever I see the “marriage equality” map of the world, I feel her statement that the white race is the cancer of history merits a second hearing.

  205. @Arclight

    One area where black Americans have my full and unabashed sympathy is the crushing pressure they are under by other blacks and white liberals to be utterly conformist in their political and cultural preferences. No other group is subjected to anything like it.

    I don’t have sympathy, because most seem to completely swallow the bs aimed at them, and demand that non-blacks agree with them or stay quiet.

    I’d say that whites are subjected to worse. Try being white and complaining about affirmative action and actual present-day, government-mandated racism or didcrimination. What happens to whites who oppose immigration? Black dissidents seem to be few in number, and almost none completely reject the establishment line. Does anything really happen to the few renegade blacks who make sense?

    The funny thing about blacks is that they have already been displaced by immigrants, and have been massively harmed as a group, but still vote +90% for their own destruction. Whites don’t come close to that type of brainwashing or stupidity with the whole weight of the Establishment against them.

  206. anon[179] • Disclaimer says:
    @jack daniels

    Whoever thought professional intellectuals were the smartest members of the public?

    Their press agents, of course. Just a part of the Bernays sauce poured on our heads every day.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  207. Maybe it helps to be a mediocre mind when it comes to sticking to the script that’s been provided by the ruling class (let’s not kid ourselves here, it is the white and fellow white ruling class which picks the individuals who become the “must read” black public intellectuals).

    A man of genuine intellect and curiosity regardless of color would probably find it much more difficult to follow the script to the predetermined conclusion, which is a state of eternal recrimination against prole whites which is just intense enough to keep blacks engaged but not so intense that it either: a) causes a backlash; or, b) leads to a political program that would actually negatively impact the economic and political power of the ruling class.

    A good metaphor might be a lean/rich formula for making chocolate milk – you want it chocolate laden enough to affect the taste but not so rich with chocolate that it becomes a cloying but not refreshing desert. Tennessee Coates is the chocolate mean – radical enough to excite blacks and thrill SWPLs, not so radical, intelligent, or resourceful enough to cobble together a program which could be implemented and which would diminish the position of the ruling class.

  208. AceDeuce says:

    Don’t kid yourself. They were dumb before, too.

  209. Myron Magnet praises Clarence Thomas for standing athwart “jurisprudence” and yelling “Stop!” It’s less clear if he’s had much effect. Perhaps two additional Catholic Republicans on the Court might.

  210. @anon

    Just a part of the Bernays sauce poured on our heads every day

    I’m aFreud you’re right.

  211. Anonymous[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jim bob Lassiter

    I overheard a couple of women once sitting across from me once in a truck stop. I guess they were women truck drivers for the same LTL company. The acoustics of the booths meant I could hear them perfectly.

    They got on the subject and the apparent older of the two said that when she was growing up poor women used old rags and washed them, women of minor means used old rags and burned them and ‘rich bitches’ bought Kotex at the store.

    • Replies: @dcite
  212. dcite says:

    Condoms are not taxed–at least I don’t think so. How about Viagra? You don’t need to be an SJW to see these “female” products should not be taxed because they are in the medical necessity area. The taxers counted on the embarrassment factor probably. But with the Federal Reserve stealing tax-payers’ money for 100 years, the taxers are experts in theft. Tax payers are cowed. Necessary medical products are not taxed normally. Why would these products be? A woman buys this stuff for 40 years or so. The taxes paid would be considerable. If she put those taxes in a piggy bank, it would be better than a 401K.

  213. Jim Given says:

    As a fairly well-read physicist, I had never heard of Neil de Grasse Tyson. So I looked him up on Wikipedia. I don’t think he is a researcher, but rather a “communicator, ” and popularizer. Ditto, the black astrophysicist Hakeem Oluseyi, a regular on, “How The Universe Works.” He is a researcher, but seems to have done his work on thin metal film deposition. He did a thesis on astrophysics, but again, he does not seem to be involved in research in the field he represents.

    I think that there is a strong initiative to make it clear that a large fraction of physicists and astronomers are either women or are black, but that either there simply are no real candidates to fill the second part of this quota, or that these people have no interest in being used as tokens in Identity Politics games.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  214. @Jim Given

    There’s nothing wrong with being a popularizer if you are good at it.

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