07 September, 2014
there is no such thing as legitimate accomplishment | Fredrik deBoer
there is no such thing as legitimate accomplishment | Fredrik deBoer: The fact that Coates has been the recipient of great advantages compared to many people in the world doesn’t change the fact that he has also been faced, his whole life, with the disadvantage of living in a structurally racist society, or the relative disadvantage of his own economic circumstances compared to some others. The point is that “privileged” is not a binary category, and in fact essentially all people are some combination of advantaged and disadvantaged. And a lot of these things manifest themselves in ways that we can’t understand from the outside, unearned, material advantages or disadvantages that do not represent themselves as neatly as race, gender, sexual orientation, or similar. Indeed, in the context of an American progressivism that has gotten caught up in simplistic black-and-white moralism, one of the aspects of Coates’s writing I like best is the way in which he troubles such simplicity.