News and Notes, November 30, 2012

And as the days grow shorter …

  • Kevin Levin was all over the Trace Adkins Confederate flag earpiece controversy (although he was cloyingly coy about it). Now comes word that Adkins was simply celebrating his Southern heritage and welcomes an “honest conversation about the country’s history.” Like this one?  Given what Adkins has said in the past, we know what he means by “honest.”
  • If Ta-Nehisi Coates has anything to say about it, Tony Kushner won’t be participating in that conversation. Sounds familiar, no? No word yet on whether there will be a “Saving Tony Kushner” movie.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

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18 thoughts on “News and Notes, November 30, 2012

  1. Bummer was introduced to Coates’ column by my son from Los Angeles. Every time Bummer starts to become comfortable in his skin, I get rocked by Coates logic and perspective. The student in this “old guy” finds his head stuck in another current take on reconstruction, segregation or white supremacy. Occasionally, resentment gets the best of him and a bout of introspection developes. My son relates that “it’s all good”, maybe some day Bummer will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that “it’s all good”….or not.

    Bummer

  2. Living in the south, what I’m seeing nowadays is the CBF has become more a geographical symbol and most don’t really look at it as anything else. I go a lot of places and hang out with a lot of people , I vary seldom hear the Civil War, the Confederacy, Slavery ect even brought up.

    • I’m sure different people look at the CBF in different ways. It’s interesting to see it used as a symbol of southern heritage given the implications. The South is so much more than the Confederacy, and it’s a shame when the Confederacy defines the South.

      • I don’t think the younger generation looks at it’s past implications,they just seem to use it as a geographical symbol of the south. I have asked a few younger people that have a CBF on their vehicle as to why? They simply replied “I’m from the south”. During my high school years the CBF was more a symbol of southern rock. I don’t think the average rant and file person always puts a lot of thought into things. Of course I always stand to be corrected, I’m just going by candied observations.

  3. Ta-Nehisi Coates response is really quite silly. He points to Andrew Johnson and says “Look HE was for a generous peace!”. This completely ignores that Johnson was marginalized by the Radical Republican Congress after 1866 then impeached and almost thrown out of Office. Kusher isn’t just discussing Andrew Johnson – he’s talking about the whole Northern Attitude from 1865-1868 and afterwards.

  4. Our host wrote:
    “If Ta-Nehisi Coates has anything to say about it, Tony Kushner won’t be participating in that conversation.”

    Coates, in fact, has included Kushner in the conversation.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/12/lincoln-writer-tony-kushner-responds-to-lost-cause-criticism/265820/

    I find, FWIW, that this is quite consistent with Coates’s past blogging. I find that he consistently seeks out other opinions and voices, and that he sincerely wishes to understand why people say what they say. YMMV.

    Best
    Jim Bales

    • Not quite, because Kushner’s response is rather weak. If you think that he had soldier burial sites on his mind when he spoke, you’re welcome to do so. To me, this was a desperate attempt by Kushner to find grounding for something he now knows sounds wrongheaded, and he’s hoping this explanation will get him off the hook.

      But it’s nice to see that he’s read Carrie Janney’s work.

      • I hope I’m not coming across as defending Kushner’s comments on NPR, or his response to Coates (which I, too, find weak and defensive)!

        I think Coates would be happy for Kushner to take part in an “honest conversation about the country’s history”, but Coates will not hesitate to point out places where he sees the conversation to be less than honest!

        And, tactically, if by calling out Kushner, Coates has given Kushner incentive to be a bit more careful about what he says public in the future, then Coates has (IMHO) done well.

        Best
        Jim

        • We’ll see. Kushner’s done himself no favors, despite the fawning I see in some of the comments on Coates’s blog. Those seem related to style, not substance, and display an eagerness to say that Kushner’s okay after all.

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