It’s rare that a magazine article really introduces you to a whole brand new idea. This piece is ostensibly a profile of Bill Cosby, but it’s much more profoundly an introduction to the notion of a “black conservative” political tradition. Not a tradition of African-Americans being aligned with the (white-dominated) mainstream American conservative movement, but a separate black conservative tradition within the African-American community that serves as a counterpoint to the liberal integrationist tradition. Once I started to see this, it really changed around how I think about the meaning of political ideology.
A pretty great essay by William Deresiewicz on careerism, college, classism, testing, and the general ethics of being a decent human being that doesn’t slip into the budding clichés of the “Us versus the 1%.”