Táíwò is against the politics of "deference," which means the automatic deference to the less privileged in the room. He points out that this is well intentioned, but that the unprivileged people are not in the room at all, so it ends up being a deference to the elites of colonialized groups. In practice, I am unlikely to stop deferring to people. If we are talking about abortion rights, I will defer to women in the room.
("The room" is his own wording here.) I remember an earnest discussion of privilege and the like years ago at an MLA convention session. I noticed that the people on the panel and audience members involved in the very intense debate could not see the African American woman hotel worker who had come in to refill the water pitchers. It was as if she were invisible, like the people mowing the lawn or doing maintenance work are to students on a college campus. Socially invisible, like Ralph Ellison's protagonist.
Now, in the part I am listening to now, he talks about Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Freire's notion of the "banking" model of pedagogy. I already know about this, so I am not learning anything new here. That is, I don't have a profound understanding of this, but this exposition does not go beyond what I know.
I cannot say I am disagreeing with Táíwò, but the book is a bit repetitive and not so well organized. Maybe this is function of listening to it rather than reading it. I don't yet have a notion of what the "constructive" politics he advocates for involves, beyond looking past the "deference" politics that he is not very enamored of.
He does that thing "the political scientist Blank," "the philosopher Blank," identifying each person by their academic expertise. Although I normally find this distracting, it is actually good for an audio book, when I do not know the people he is citing. Maybe I am wrong to look down on this practice, then? With a printed book, I can look at the footnotes, or make note of the name visually.
Isn't he sort of a new PhD? Maybe this is just student-ish work.
I don't know. I've become a Twitter addict due to the war and a lot of the time I see people about 30 drawing a conclusion with some thought that isn't a bad one, just a little basic. They say: could this be? I say sure, but it could be taken further. They're like, wow, thanks!
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