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On Pride and Other Obvious Particulars: #ADOS and the Mainstream’s Next Phase of Reputation Tearing

1.) That conversation actually seems like quite an important one to have, given the marked disparity in outcomes in America among those two groups. And to the extent that anti-black U.S. public policy has played a pronounced, multi-generational role in shaping ADOS outcomes—whereas the other group, whose family members’ arrivals in this country post-date the origins of American black castehood, and who thus necessarily stand outside of that particular history and its radiating disadvantage—then the implications for due justice and specific repair should be obvious enough.

2.) ADOS really do a perfectly fine job themselves in emphasizing their political movement’s non-affiliation with N’COBRA, whose sclerotic campaign for reparations over the past several decades has been met with about as much enthusiasm as a ladle of grey slop tossed down on one’s dinner plate. Contrast this to #ADOS, which, in relation to N’COBRA and in a mere fraction of the time, has been able to take the issue of reparations for American Descendants of Slavery into the HOV lane of movement politics and has since basically not looked back.

3.) I guess one person’s ‘controversy’ is simply another person’s awareness. Because that’s all that #ADOS—from the absolute, very beginning of the political project, long before it even referred to itself as #ADOS—has ever attempted to create. What they are doing is, moreover, an extremely admirable and courageous thing to undertake in a moment where the impetus in left politics is to essentially collapse all distinctions that exist between dark-skinned people and to studiously avoid addressing some uncomfortable realities about who within that coalition has in fact benefitted from structural ADOS lockout. It’s courageous because confronting those truths as that which necessarily make reparative justice in America the exclusive province of ADOS is—as we are seeing—such an obviously solitary endeavor. The liberal establishment, particularly its media apparatus, is notoriously committed to doing the custodial work of maintaining the status quo and defending by whatever means those political candidates who signal to the relevant interests that their presidency will function reassuringly as a total non-interruption of business as usual, the organizing principle of which has always demanded ADOS at the very bottom. The more urgent connection to be made, seems to me to be, to individuals who see advocating for the type of justice that ADOS is owed as something that is controversial and who then go to these media outlets and label it as an ‘issue.’ Because Carr is right—we have indeed seen this show before. And the more relevant question, for those of us on this side of things, is: for whom are people like Carr working?

4.) Lastly, what should be glaringly obvious to anyone who is paying even minimal attention to the #ADOS movement—and not just jumping in to opine for plaudits from a cohort of similarly ill-informed or willfully deceptive people—is that it is not about asserting ‘pride of privilege in oppression,’ but rather pride in being the group who built the richest nation in the world. And it’s just so hard not to hear, in the calumny that is so often directed at #ADOS, overtones of indignation at the indisputable and rightful claim that animates their movement toward freedom: that the justice for that is theirs.

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