astoundingly, as i was doing these blog entries and making public challenges to the editorial board of the nytimes, they were busy putting up this outstanding column by the outstanding ta-nehisi coates. know what? my hat is off, chris, though dang you made me look kinda silly. a problem remains, however: could someone like me make that argument? i'd like to get the point where that too is possible. of course i think i have a pretty elaborate machinery starting with frege etc for this. but it is also a version of coates's argument, or coates' argument would be entailed by it. also i straight-up extend it to: calm down about anyone using these words. that is not where the problem is in our culture.