“Has the American dream been achieved at the expense of the American Negro?” The debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, Jr

A riveting exchange between two intellectual giants on the most pressing social issue of that or perhaps any time in American history.

The debate on the question occurred at the Cambridge Union, Cambridge University, England in 1965.

I am requesting that you reserve comments until you've seen and heard the entire video.

It's an hour long, so I don't expect or anticipate immediate response or reaction:

Views: 181

Comment by Ron Powell on July 16, 2017 at 1:01pm

@MVN; Contemporary TV lacks precisely that which the current producers want viewers to believe they are providing:: depth and dimension.

Comment by Ron Powell on July 16, 2017 at 1:17pm

@TM; Nobody  is suggesting that you are saying anything of the kind...

You might do well to look at the pronouncements of J. Edgar Hoover re the Civil Rights Movement and Communism.

Comment by koshersalaami on July 16, 2017 at 3:34pm

MV, Thanks

Ron and I have a lot of practice

We and two others wrote a self-published book on the subject

Ron,

if we leave finances out of "expense," this is a good question. It might depend where. From where I sat, the American dream wasn't internally competitive; in fact, what made it a national dream was that it wasn't. Chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage, But if you'd asked my neighbors when I was a child if Black families should have equivalent cars in equivalent garages, I think most would have said No, proving Baldwin's point. I don't think Buckley would have acknowledged this. 

Comment by Ron Powell on July 16, 2017 at 3:54pm

@Kosh; "Chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage, But if you'd asked my neighbors when I was a child if Black families should have equivalent cars in equivalent garages, I think most would have said No, proving Baldwin's point. I don't think Buckley would have acknowledged this."

Baldwin's point is, and has been, my point as well.

How could Buckley acknowledge this and have any hope  of mounting a valid counter argument?

Too many white people continue to bekieve that black people don't merit equal access to the indicia of political, economic, and social equality.

As the chairman of the department I taught in while an Assistant Professor at the University of Hartford said as he denied me the full increase that I had earned for the coming year:

"Black people can live on less than white people, so you don't need as much..."

Comment by MV Neland on July 16, 2017 at 5:37pm

As intelligent as Buckley was, for me, his eloquent arguments never reached their intended conclusions.  He seemed to often rely upon a final leap of faith in the obscure rightness of what he left unstated...which was usually blindness to white privilege and the double standard. We'd watch FL to learn the arguments and better craft our own. But, the fact that he believed well explained reason would prove him right is so distant now compared to todays unquestioned, untested conservative ideology that requires no facts, no observations, no measures sprung from intellectual laziness and rancor.

Comment by MV Neland on July 16, 2017 at 5:38pm

@koshersalaami and Ron - what's your book?

Comment by koshersalaami on July 16, 2017 at 8:11pm
Comment by MV Neland on July 16, 2017 at 8:44pm

Added to my wishlist, Kosher. Once i sell a few copies of my own (which is being revised), i'll have cash to buy yours! I'm mostly on a work trade/barter economy at the moment.

Comment by koshersalaami on July 16, 2017 at 11:05pm

I'm not hawking it, I'm just answering a question. This started out a few years ago as a conversation on Ron's blog. We were talking to a guy who grew up kind of poor among Blacks and thought his situation was identical to theirs. As such, he tended not to see racism where we saw it. Four of us got involved in this conversation with him: Ron, L in the Southeast, Myriad, and I. When all was said and done, Ron suggested we all collaborate on a book, basically taking a fictitious blogger representing this guy and organizing the conversation into topics by chapter. 

What's your book about?

 

Comment by Ron Powell on July 17, 2017 at 12:27am

@MVN:    ......and where & how might it be purchased?

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