Because David Brooks is a columnist of the paper of record, NYT, I think that their endorsement of him because of the content of what he writes is an endorsement of the quality of his output. In other words--I think they truly believe he produces quality content, despite the degree to which he serves as fodder for the Left, who mostly deride his privileged viewpoint and decry his generalizations about things according to his own limited and privileged perspective.
And, although I know scholars like Driftglass or Charles Pierce might do far better, I think I have to address the stupidity that is Brooks thinking about Ta-Nehisi Coates. While white, like he could be anything but? I have but one statement to really address:
This dream is a secular faith that has unified people across every known divide. It has unleashed ennobling energies and mobilized heroic social reform movements. By dissolving the dream under the acid of an excessive realism, you trap generations in the past and destroy the guiding star that points to a better future.What constitutes "excessive realism"? Because, for black Americans, the US is comparable to Rwanda.
It would make sense for awake people to want to review that problem with as much realism as they needed. Because while David Brooks might be looking at Ta-Nehisi Coates' life to try and understand why this pessimism exists, maybe he needs to look at the story of Sandra Bland. The whole future was ahead of her. But then something happened to derail that.
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it explode? Is it "excessive realism" that traps people? Or is it the grind of history being too real? Is it what happens to black girls when the rainbow is definitely not enough? Is it history? Is it something we all need to look at?
I think Brooks needs to get that his privilege isn't just a geas on how we talk about it--it's how we do something about it. Because if we don't-- The acid isn't realism--the acid is racism. The anger of awake people about what is eroding their future isn't a dissolution of a dream--but an awareness of what destroys all dreams on contact. We can not sleep on it, any of us. We need to read what is current, and act.