• anotherintellectual

    While I do not usually come out on this side of the argument I would say that discounting Coates’ description of Harris-Perry does not automatically mean he is speaking from a position of privilege or does not recognize truths particular to a community. I am a black woman and think the statement was way off. Harris-Perry is opening up dialogue on MSNBC that is wonderful and has historically been marginalized especially on mainstream media and for that I applaud her. But our foremost public intellectual? No. I have no idea what position Byers is coming from with his comment, but I do know that I agree with him. There are intellectuals in this country, who also occupy marginal positions in our identity hierarchies, that are worthy of such a title. Perhaps we should take a moment to look at the veracity of the statement, rather than the position that it comes from.

    • John H

      There’s a difference between disagreeing that Harris-Perry is the foremost public intellectual and considering such an opinion so unjustifiably absurd that it’s valid to question someone’s intelligence if one thinks she is. The second one is MUCH more likely to be driven by racism than the first. Byers was basically saying that there is no possible perspective from which one could legitimately view Harris-Perry to be among the top public intellectuals – he’s universalizing his own perspective and dismissing any from which such a view could be valid as intrinsically, necessarily illegitimate. That’s a privilege-blind dick move, probably based on a combination of racism and sexism.

  • Expatmom

    I love MHP. My husband watched her show with me & was very impressed. And he’s a grumpy ole white guy!!!

  • Honey Badger

    I find it hard to believe anyone beside Coates thinks Melissa Harris-Penny is the top intellectual in America.

    • JillGuccini

      I do. I know many other people that do. Is your mind blown?

    • BBWeekly

      There are people out there who consider someone like Rachel Maddow to be intelligent. To each his or her own. In today’s day and age, with our extreme differences and polarity bordering on the conflict that existed in the 1850s, you are unlikely to find more than ten percent of educated people agreeing that any one person is our foremost intellectual.

  • http://townhousekid.wordpress.com/ KJStJ

    I thoroughly enjoy Melissa Harris Perry’s show — finally, something that has fun, real discussions, and barely any raised voices. I’ve been kinda lost on Sundays after Tim Russert passed, but I’ve found my breakfast buddy on MSNBC.

  • Spectricide

    Had he said “one of” America’s…… this would’d never have been talked about. Assumptions and absolutes always loose.

    • John H

      But if she’s “one of” the top intellectuals, then one could presumably make a case that she is THE top public intellectual, depending on the criteria one considers most important for determining the “top” person. Byers implicitly dismisses that point as well – in his view, Harris-Perry is so far down the list that anyone who thinks she might be near the top is self-evidently an idiot.

      • Spectricide

        But that was not the case he was making. Byers is not a MHP hater. And in context he said America’s so how do you quantify that? If you go by ratings/ audience than she is not # one. That’s all this was ever about IMO. I loves me some #MHP

  • emilyrose_tcb

    I do not understand the logic behind this argument, in general. Dylan Byers finds the assertion that Melissa Harris-Perry undermines the credibility of another intellectual, because he so thoroughly disagrees with the statement as a whole. Because Dylan Byers’ opinion of Coates’ intellectual credibility has changed slightly, he is automatically and irrefutably ignorant, blinded by his own privilege, and [as implied] sexist and racist?
    If you are standing against Byers’ blanket statement about Coates’ ‘intellectual cred’ – which is a valid argument – it doesn’t make any sense to proceed by hurling duvets, quilts, and comforters on Byers in retaliation.

  • http://www.friv2friv3friv4.com/ friv 2 friv 3 friv 4

    But if she’s “one of” the top intellectuals, then one could presumably
    make a case that she is THE top public intellectual, depending on the
    criteria one considers most important for determining the “top” person.

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