Friday, April 20, 2012

Baldwin vs Buckley, 1965

Another time capsule.

Ta-Nehisi Coates posts a great video of James Baldwin and William F. Buckley debating at Cambridge.

Coates' post thoughtfully illustrates how conservatives like WFB, see racism primarily through the prism of maintaining a rhetorical advantage—not that real people's lives are diminished or destroyed by discrimination and hatred.

When I was a kid, I often watched Buckley's show to see how he turned conceptual defeats into rhetorical victories—the head cocked back, the eyebrows arched with malice—he was a great villain to watch, but a villain nevertheless.

Baldwin is brilliant.

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