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Truth is Powerful

Opinion

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Alberto Miranda Over the past year or so, I’ve been returning again and again to one persistent question: Does the conversation around social justice, especially in the media and academia, actually serve the less fortunate and the oppressed?

These interrogations have been guided by a number of thinkers and writers, but I am particularly indebted to the writing of the philosopher Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò. In May 2020, Táíwò published an influential article in the Boston Review in which he outlined the way the once radical spirit of identity politics had been co-opted and redefined by elites who now use a similar language to further their own aims — a development he defines as “elite capture.” In his new book, “Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (and Everything Else),” Táíwò, who is an assistant professor of philosophy at Georgetown, explores in greater detail how “the advantaged few steer resources and institutions that could serve the many toward their own narrower interests and aims.”

In an earlier newsletter , I gave an example of how elite capture works in the realm of racial justice:

Take, say, an upwardly mobile and educated Korean American banker whose parents immigrated to the United […]

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