May 11, 2016

"But the world is real. And you can’t really be a black writer in this country, take certain positions, and not think about your personal safety."

"That’s just the history. And you can’t really be a human being and not want some place to retreat into yourself, some place to collapse, some place to be at peace. That’s just neurology. One shouldn’t get in the habit of crying about having a best-selling book. But you can’t really sell enough books to become superhuman, to salve that longing for home. I want you to know that I have been struggling, these past few months, to write about politics. I feel people, all around me, uninterested in questions and enthralled with prophecy... If the world wants a 'Writer Moves to Brooklyn Brownstone' story, it’s going to have one, no matter your thoughts.... Within a day of seeing these articles, my wife and I knew that we could never live in Prospect-Lefferts Garden, that we could never go back home. If anything happened to either of us, if anything happened to our son, we’d never forgive ourselves..."

Writes Ta-Nehisi Coates, saying he's backing out of moving into the $2.1 million brownstone he bought because The New York Post put up an article revealing the address and showing 5 photographs of it.

152 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

Should have moved to the east side to a deluxe apartment in the sky.

john mosby said...

Real estate records are public. It's not that hard to find out where anyone lives, as the Post proved. It's just that the Post printed it.

What makes him think some nutjob won't find his next address?

I think he's just shocked by the revelation of the double standard: it's okay for journalists to find out where you live and mercilessly doorstep you....unless you're a journalist!

JSM

Todd said...

Ta-Nehisi Coates is the proof that this country is not a racist as he thinks it is.

khesanh0802 said...

A profile in courage.

richlb said...

He should try drawing a cartoon of Muhammed to see who the real racists are.

Purvi Rajani said...

Like Spike Lee did to George Zimmerman?

Danno said...

Coates is more worried that he has been outed as an elite with ownership in a very pricey neighborhood.

Jack Wayne said...

I wonder if Coates is one of those who thinks its OK to publish the names and addresses of gun owners?

YoungHegelian said...

My guess: Coates had some deal in the works that he thought would make him able to afford the house, & it fell through. So, now, he's finding some sort of moral outrage argument to get out of the deal because Coates always works on moral outrage.

Yeah, I know: $2.1M doesn't go as far in Brooklyn as it used to. To most of the rest of the country, that's an outrageous price. For Brooklyn, it's simply "high-end". But, look at those photos! That's an historic property. To have any workman make even the simplest changes or fixes to that house is going to cost thousands of dollars!

buwaya puti said...

Danno has it.
It's the hypocrisy.

Big Mike said...

Coates has advocated violence; now he fears living where everyone knows where he and his family reside.

Tell me, Althouse, are any of you lefties capable of reasoning from A to B to C?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Ahh. The price of fame.

Mike Sylwester said...

Purvi Rajani at 10:04

Like Spike Lee did to George Zimmerman?

Let's always remember to mention Roseanne Barr in this context.

Ann Althouse said...

It's a brownstone in what has been a relatively high-crime neighborhood. You don't want people knowing that you — a rich person — are living at a particular address there. You feel like a target. He doesn't come out and say that, but I can see not feeling safe in that kind of building, your home accessible from the ground floor, and needing to walk up to it on a narrow, tree-obscured street.

There's a reason people buy condos up off the ground floor. I can see someone who's recognizable and rich and needing to care for a child going for something more out of view and anonymous. But it is sad, because he wanted to live in what felt to him like a real neighborhood. He'd lived there before, and it's gentrifying, so it has amenities of a sort that might have worked for him as a wealthy man and a writer who wants to feel connected to the real world.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm sorry that he feels threatened. And to the extent that the feeling is justified, that threat is a bad thing. No matter how badly misguided he is about a wide range of subjects. The answer to bad speech is better speech, which in his case is just about any other speech.

Bob Ellison said...

He wants to seem a poor person, a black man, and he can't get that done.

ALP said...

From the article: "We thought there might be some interest and we took some steps to dissuade that interest."

That is the jaw dropper for me - that anyone as intimately familiar with the digital world as this author can believe they can corral and control the flow of information - info that is public record no less.

khesanh0802 said...

What a great place if you're into city living. I thought from Coates' comment that the Post had "outed" him. Not the case. They did a straight real estate piece on a gorgeous home.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

It's a brownstone in what has been a relatively high-crime neighborhood. You don't want people knowing that you — a rich person — are living at a particular address there.

So it isn't a matter of being afraid of some cracker who doesn't like what he wrote. Just good old-fashioned fear of street crime in a currently sketchy neighborhood.

I've got news for him, the criminals in the neighborhood already know that anyone living in that brownstone is rich. They know the neighborhood is being gentrified and that people buying real estate their have money.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Ellison said...

"I didn’t make much money back then. I spent much of my creative energies, in that first year, freelancing for The Washington Monthly at 10 cents a word. If I earned $5,000 that year, I would be surprised."

Hey, asshole, nobody even in the middle of Kansas dreams of living on $5k/year. This is weird stuff.

Bob Ellison said...

Crap, I can write for ten cents per word. Look at me! I'm a touch-typist! I type at about 100w/minute. Hmm. That's about $6/hour. Could be a living. That's about $12k/year, if you keep at it.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I read the article, he is trying to imply that he fears crackers will come to harm him because of what he wrote.

In fact, no cracker has actually read anything that he wrote or would care to.

I think the line about fans showing up is more telling. He wants a place with a doorman so he and his family can have some privacy.

But, being who he is, it has to be about his oppression. The oppression of a best-selling author who can afford a $2.1 million dollar house. Which would probably need extensive repairs and upgrades.

But you know, white devils, and spaceships and stuff.

Curious George said...

"Phil 3:14 said...
Should have moved to the east side to a deluxe apartment in the sky."

That would have DYN O MITE!

AJ Lynch said...

Can't wait to see him write a story about what a great country this is!

The Gold Digger said...

Could he carry a gun for protection, maybe?

Skeptical Voter said...

Yo Coates! Buy in a sketchy, but gentrifying neighborhood, and you get the neighbors. Until it gets all gentrified crime will be high.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Althouse: "It's a brownstone in what has been a relatively high-crime neighborhood. You don't want people knowing that you — a rich person — are living at a particular address there. You feel like a target. He doesn't come out and say that, but I can see not feeling safe in that kind of building, your home accessible from the ground floor, and needing to walk up to it on a narrow, tree-obscured street."

****

Althouse, if you can "see" not feeling safe in that kind of building, then don't you think it's strange that a supposedly incandescently brilliant writer couldn't "see" that---when he was standing in that neighborhood looking at it?




exhelodrvr1 said...

Who's more at risk - him, or a conservative black writer?

coupe said...

No no, J.J. (dynomite) was in Chicago tenement slums, Jefferson was in the sky of New York...

Henry said...

The article is only vaguely about safety. It's mostly about nostalgia.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Also, I didn't think that article was well written.

I found this part particularly jarring:

On Friday evenings you could find us out on his stoop with Jack and Coke in hand (which we drank that back then), watching the world go by.

I didn’t make much money back then.


The use of the phrase "back then" twice and in such close proximity is jarring to the ear.

Also, "which we drank that back then." Seriously?

The phrase would scan better without the which. Or perhaps change the whole thing to "that's what we drank back in the day" which sounds more light hearted and adds to the impression of a more carefree halcyon time.

Does the Atlantic no longer employ editors?

Melissa said...

I'm sad for him and his family, *and* I am sure they will find another great place to live. Ta-Nahesi Coates is one of my favorite writers because of the way he synthesizes so many different influences and perspectives and frames them in a way that is, at least to me, very fresh. I used to read his blog voraciously when he posted a lot. I especially enjoyed it when he wrote about Jane Austen, another of my favorite writers. If you are curious, google "Jane Awesome," which was the title of one of his posts about her. He also got into George Elliot and "Middlemarch."

I can relate to his anxiety in this way. My husband is a rabbi and we live in a part of the country where there has been in the not too distant past an active white supremacist movement, and violence towards the synagogue. When we were moving here, I made him take a sticker off the car that identified his rabbinical school. And I'll admit I was anxious about people knowing where we lived. We had a mail slot instead of a mailbox and I worried about how easy it would be to stick something dangerous in through there. That never happened but he did get some weird and disturbing mail.

Of course the overall experience in our case was that the community overall is wonderful and loving and welcoming and nothing bad has ever happened to us, but that initial fear was real, and it was in part because we were moving to a place where, because of my husband's job, people would know who we were.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@Henry

Nailed it.

RichardJohnson said...

Ron Winkelheimer
So it isn't a matter of being afraid of some cracker who doesn't like what he wrote. Just good old-fashioned fear of street crime in a currently sketchy neighborhood.

Spot-on. In his memoir, Mr. Coates writes about being beaten by his black peers in Baltimore of his childhood.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

And you can’t really be a black writer in this country, take certain positions, and not think about your personal safety."" Poseur. Liar. Langston Hughes was an outspoken critic of Jim Crow and segregation when there was actual segregation, and a communist when there was actual repercussions to being communist. I don't recall him ever fearing for his safety because of anything he ever wrote or said. Same with Hurston, Ellison, Baldwin( also an outspoken homosexual), Wright and any number of other black writers critical of American society. Coates couldn't carry their coats, but he is a symptom of the ceaseless assault against dignity and individual liberty carried on by the progressive democrat party. His opinion is trash and his writing sucks.

Eleanor said...

You don't buy a home like that unless you intend for people to be impressed with where you live. There's more to this story, but I really don't care what it is. I just clicked to see the house, which is beautiful.

Fernandinande said...

black writer in this country

Black-black-blackity-black.

Poor little rich guy.

William said...

For two million he could buy a two-bedroom apartment in the Trump Tower. It wouldn't have park views, but it should fit his needs otherwise. That'll probably be his next move. The security there is first rate.

the wolf said...

99% of the country has never heard of this narcissist. 99% of the rest couldn't care less where he lives.

Todd said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Does the Atlantic no longer employ editors?

5/11/16, 10:45 AM


He is a world famous writer. He writes what he does, the way he does for a reason. How dare you project your cis-normative, Anglo-European moors onto him! You are just too much of a rube to appreciate the brilliance demonstrated within that tome. Back to re-education camp for you!

Rick said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...
Does the Atlantic no longer employ editors? [in reference to (which we drank that back then)]


It's likely the problem was the editing. The original piece was probably "we drank that back then", and an editor added "which" but failed to delete "that".

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Looked at the article on the house. Absolutely gorgeous. And I reiterate, the local crooks already know that whoever bought that house has money. They saw those kitchen appliances going in, They know what kind of money renovated houses go for.

buwaya puti said...

Melissa,
Have you atoned for your sin of thinking so poorly of the people of your town, not knowing them at all?
Have you made the case to your own community that they should cool it with the anti-rural white propaganda that is so universal?
IMHO there is a mighty piece of atonement due to these people.
Speaking as an Asian/Hispanic who has had the good luck to cross all these cultural lines.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@Rick

You are probably correct. So shame on that editor.

Larvell said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that, if it's a "high-crime neighborhood," it's not because there are a bunch of white people who can't restrain their innate impulse to lynch uppity black men who "take certain positions." And yet, as is his wont, that is precisely what Coates is suggesting is the problem, although I bet he can't give a single example of a black writer who has been physically assaulted for "taking certain positions" on race issues. (There have been plenty of white writers who have been harmed recently for taking certain positions on other issues, but I kind of suspect that Coates thinks they had it coming). He really does seem to be a despicable person, enriching himself by fanning the racial fires.

gerry said...

He sure didn't seem to want to keep his residence a secret!


Lincoln Road is known for their properties with deep sidewalks and beautiful gardens. It is also conveniently located near subway access to Manhattan. Brooklyn's largest and most beautiful park which is the Prospect Park is also only two blocks away.
Yeah "deep sidewalks" and "beautiful gardens" are the hallmarks of a "relatively high-crime neighborhood" where I live, too.

I wonder if all the magazines showing pictures of his house did so on the same day, or did Coates have to meet photographers multiple times?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

But we are still looking at two uses of the phrase "back then" in two adjacent sentences.

That is just wrong.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Black Property Matters.

Brando said...

He must have been equally upset about activists publicizing George Zimmerman's address.

Brando said...

But hats off to the guy for finding yet another way to inject race into this. He really is a marvel at that.

"Today the people at McDonalds screwed up my order. It is especially hard, as a black patron, to deal with getting the wrong sandwich."

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The sellers, Katrina and Arthur Motch, paid $990,000 for the house in 2010

All the articles state he paid full price, $2.1 million.

I think he just decided that he over paid and is looking for a way out of his contract.

Franklin said...

Wow, I can't imagine the torment Ta Nahesi Coates goes through each day. It must be so hard for him to be so rich and universally acclaimed in the circles he runs in.



Alex said...

BTW - years ago he made sure that any comments that were not slobbering got deleted and user banned. If you go to any of his articles(assuming the comments section is still turned on), 100% of comments are fawning pro-black lives matter racist drivel. Every single fucking article.

This guy is just the latest incarnation of Al Sharpton. Stoking the racial wars, one article at a time.

Qwinn said...

When first reading this, mainly due to the neurology reference, I thought it was written by Ben Carson. In that context, absolutely I could see Carson being afraid due to his published views. Then I found out it was Coates, and I just laughed.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Seriously, this is a guy who wrote a widely acclaimed book about how Whitey's out to get him. All he's doing now is saying he wasn't kidding.

Franklin said...

I think he just decided that he over paid and is looking for a way out of his contract.

Could be. PLG is supposedly gentrifying, but I wouldn't live there, and I certainly wouldn't pay $2.1mm no matter how classic the architecture is. Plus, 207 Lincoln is just down the street from the NYCHA Fenimore Lefferts houses; having mulit-million dollar townhouses next to the projects isn't unusual in NYC, but all of that combined probably makes it a stupid price.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Trulia lists homes costing in the $2 million plus range down to around $275k. The crime rating is "highest" and the schools are listed as average for elementary and middle school, below average for high school.

Oh, and 270 Hawthorne is for sale at $1,795,000 and is a two family home.

The 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom rental unit garners approx. $3,000/mo. Central heating/air, laundry room in basement for Owner's triplex and ample storage space. One of two newly constructed townhouses that are truly not to be missed.

http://www.trulia.com/property/3232988948-270-Hawthorne-St-Brooklyn-NY-11225

Of course it isn't historic, but old houses need lots more maintenance.

Basil said...

Question of the day, "Did George Jefferson earn his success or was he just lucky?" After all, living next to Archie Bunker was a pretty big stroke of luck, seeing as how he had a TV show and all.

The Professor seems to have become a ping pong lefty - one minute extolling the virtues of Trump and Rush and the next, back to the same old same old, like this.

Alex said...

Basil - at her heart Ann is a bleeding heart liberal. However she has eyes and notices what liberals are doing to this country and has a nagging sense that something is wrong.

mccullough said...

Annals of the 1%

Michael K said...

"a writer who wants to feel connected to the real world."

He has already disconnected with his fictional book.

I wonder where Jason Riley lives ?

dbp said...

Althouse makes some valid points about safety--they would apply to any wealthy person moving into a gentrifying neighborhood. Naturally, Coates sees it as a problem which stems from being a black writer with unpopular, though not around there, opinions.

I don't know how he gets so much writing done, pinned to a cross all the time as he is.

Alex said...

dbp - don't you know it's absolute HELL being a black men 24/7 in this country?

Bill Peschel said...

MichaelFitzgerald: The only trouble Richard Wright had were with his fellow travellers who thought he was too white and bourgeoise for them. From Wikipedia:

"Wright was threatened at knife point by fellow-traveler coworkers, denounced as a Trotskyite in the street by strikers and physically assaulted by former comrades when he tried to join them during the 1936 May Day march."

He still stayed in the party until 1942.

Todd said...

Franklin said...

Wow, I can't imagine the torment Ta Nahesi Coates goes through each day. It must be so hard for him to be so rich and universally acclaimed in the circles he runs in.

5/11/16, 11:09 AM


I know you are being cute (nice work by the way) and all but I think you are actually much closer to the truth than you realize.

This country has an over-abundance of "revolutionaries" that all want to be part of a great change. Doesn't every humanities or journalism major want to "change the world"? They have been raised on how great the civil rights struggles were and how those efforts did help change the country. But what is left for them today? Where are they to go to make their mark?

The result of this is higher and higher indignation over smaller and smaller things. They have to get even more worked up in order to try and obtain the sense that they are righting some great wrong but all of the important wrongs have already been addressed. To the outsider it looks like they are throwing a hissy fit over "nothing" because they are. In their minds though, they are fighting the good fight for a noble cause.

Don't get me wrong, there are indeed still noble fights to be had and causes to work on but the problem is they are not here. Here where you have actual rights and due process, and protections from other groups and the government. The real struggles yet to be won are those in far off lands where one might actually place ones self in actual danger. It is much preferable to "raise awareness" and hold sit-ins and form human chains where you never have to be worried about getting run over by a tank or out-and-out shot or jailed for years for your cause.

The modern way is so much more "civilized" and still allows for the proper virtual signaling without actually putting one's self in harms way.

rhhardin said...

I haven't read it carefully but I'd gather he wants protection from blacks.

Roughcoat said...

Melissa @10:46 a.m.:

Re nothing bad has ever happened to us, but that initial fear was real

I will acknowledge that you were really afraid, but your fear was illusory because, as you said, "nothing bad ever happened to us." In other words, you were never in any real danger. America is the safest country in the world for Jews ... safer even than Israel, actually.

rehajm said...

On the deed of a five-bedroom townhouse at 207 Lincoln Road in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens that Coates and his wife Kenyatta Matthews bought for $2.1 million last month, the pair are named as agents for the holding company “Ellen and William Craft Excursions LLC.”

Who are Ellen and William Craft? They were a 19th-century couple born into slavery in Georgia who became famous for their daring escape to Philadelphia — which involved cross-dressing, racial passing and a whole lot of courage, according to their 1860 book, "Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom."


I realize Coates says he was outed by an indiscreet real estate agent but for all you future brownstone owners: if you're protecting your privacy by setting up an LLC for fuck's sake name it something generic and banal.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Could be. PLG is supposedly gentrifying, but I wouldn't live there, and I certainly wouldn't pay $2.1mm no matter how classic the architecture is.

Yeah, I have had some friends that lived in gentrifying neighborhoods, which meant ignoring the passed out drunks, excuse me, homeless people in the alley behind your house and getting hit up for change every time you walked around the neighborhood. They were never crazy enough to move into a neighborhood where there was a lot of actual muggings though. And of course, the property was cheap.

Brando said...

"Question of the day, "Did George Jefferson earn his success or was he just lucky?" After all, living next to Archie Bunker was a pretty big stroke of luck, seeing as how he had a TV show and all."

Still one of my favorite exchanges between Archie and Meathead was when Archie said that black people like the Jeffersons are always trying to elevate themselves by hanging out with white people and Meathead said "and hanging out with you will just lift them right into high society."

campy said...

"if you're protecting your privacy by setting up an LLC for fuck's sake name it something generic and banal."

TNC reserves generic and banal for his real writing.

Roughcoat said...

I grew up in a mixed-race Chicagoland neighborhood and I'm here to tell you that instances of dire peril provided courtesy of local black youths were more than just occasional occurrences. If the same threat is what put Coates off about living in his upscale Brooklyn Brownstone, then I can't say as I blame him for wanting out of his contract.

Tank said...

He and his family may or may not have been justified in worrying about their safety, but it's not likely that was related to any positions he took.

rhhardin said...

I suggest writing himself into an action thriller. This one, for instance:

Abby and Neil Randall have it all: perfect marriage, perfect home, perfect child. But when their daughter, Sophie, is kidnapped by ruthless sociopath Tom Ryan, their existence is turned upside down. Forced to comply with his twisted wishes, the couple are soon faced with the ultimate choice: kill an innocent man or neer see their dauther alive again, in this taut, unrelenting thriller.

I haven't seen it but I'm sure there's stuff exploding and car chases.

bagoh20 said...

Everyone knows the home is rich already, and that will be the case no matter where he goes if he pays $2 million. He can't hide his location nor his wealth. That's the problem with making money by being famous. What he should have said is that he has a good burglar alarm, and is always armed in his home and prepared to defend it. That works everywhere.

Sigivald said...

Does Coates seriously want me to believe he fears for his life or his family's safety if "people" know where he lives?

He's not important enough to be a target, even if people "important enough to be a target" really were in any serious danger from Unnamed Persons, which as far as I can tell none of them are.

bagoh20 said...

Oh yea, and get a dog. A big one.

poker1one said...

Althouse feels for Tennessee Coates. For the everyday working stiff, who cannot leave due to a lack of resources, a sketchy neighborhood, not so much. Way to go, perfesser. And certainly, Tennessee certainly (did you see what I did there?) doesn't care about the working stiff who is left to deal with the consequences of the nonsense Coates regularly dispenses.

As an ex-real estate guy I'd say Tennessee overpaid, will be held to his contract, and take a loss on the sale. Brilliant.

Brando said...

"I suggest writing himself into an action thriller."

I like the idea of a guy who is wronged by a terrible crime to his family, and he goes vigilante when the cops prove unable to get him justice. We root for him as he tracks the perps, captures and tortures them, and begins dispatching them...only to reveal that he got the wrong guys because he isn't a trained investigator and instead has been torturing and killing innocent people. As he realizes his error, he decides to try and make it up to their next of kin. And he does so by coaching their kids in a big basketball game in a montage of hilarious hijinks.

I like the idea of movies that don't go in the direction you're expecting.

Dan Hossley said...

He needs to figure out how to get that chip off his shoulder. He'd be a lot happier, but maybe not as successful.

Todd said...

Brando said...

I like the idea of movies that don't go in the direction you're expecting.

5/11/16, 12:04 PM


Then how about this alternate ending? He gets caught and while on trial claims trans-gender status and so is sentenced to serve his time (15 to live) in a woman's prison...

Fabi said...

That's a fine home! The border inlay of those hardwood floors is exquisite. About the only thing I know about NYC real estate is that I see the occasional article for the most expensive condos in the city -- north of a hundred million bucks -- so that's seems like a value buy. Neighborhood notwithstanding.

Juvenal said...

Remember when NY newspapers published the addresses of all registered gun owners and Coates was outraged? Good times.

Terry said...

Coates believes that all white people are like liberals. They spend day and night thinking about race.
White people who are not liberals rarely think about race. That makes Mr. Coates very, very, angry.
Sorry, Mr. Coates. You can go fuck yourself.

Brando said...

"Then how about this alternate ending? He gets caught and while on trial claims trans-gender status and so is sentenced to serve his time (15 to live) in a woman's prison..."

Ah, a role for Tyler Perry!

Sam L. said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Bummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmer.

Brando said...

"Coates believes that all white people are like liberals. They spend day and night thinking about race. White people who are not liberals rarely think about race."

They keep saying "race matters" but it only really matters to them because they can't get the idea of people being individuals. Deep down, racialists are insecure people who must see themselves as part of a tribe to find any identity to be proud of.

The thing is, if you're proud of something you had nothing to do with--such as the race you're born into--then you're an idiot who doesn't understand the purpose of pride. Coates probably figures if he wasn't all about race all the time, he wouldn't have much of value to talk about, if anything.

Franklin said...

Neighborhood notwithstanding.

In NYC the neighborhood matters a lot. Much more than the architectural details. A cheap, Chinese-drywall mcmansion in the West Village of the same size as 207 Lincoln would be $15mm.

JAORE said...

It's a brownstone in what has been a relatively high-crime neighborhood. You don't want people knowing that you — a rich person — are living at a particular address there. You feel like a target.

I agree, it's a multi-million dollar property in a high crime area. Near the projects even. So the basis for the fear is real. But he just can't bring himself to write (perhaps even realize!) that. So, as surely as the sun sets in the west, he identifies his fear as likely retaliation by swarms of bigots after him for his writing. Come on man. Speak truth to power. You are afraid of (likely) black criminals...

Sound bigoted? You are Mr Coates, you are.

Ann Althouse said...

"What a great place if you're into city living. I thought from Coates' comment that the Post had "outed" him. Not the case. They did a straight real estate piece on a gorgeous home."

No. "The NYT article says: "Mr. Coates and his wife used a limited-liability corporation to shield their identities during the transaction — a legal maneuver frequently used by celebrities seeking privacy — but word of the sale leaked to The New York Post, which published an article about the purchase with pictures of the house last week. Real estate and other news organizations soon followed suit."

Titus said...

That condo for 2 million is definitely not in a a great area. If it was in a decent hood it would be 5 million.

El Camino Real said...

1st World Problems.

Terry said...

Coates is a Black nationalist. He believes that whites and blacks are natural enemies. He has written that he believes that Blackness is authentic. Whiteness, he believes, is not 'authentic.' It is a social construct invented by non-Blacks to oppress Black people.

Brando said...

"I agree, it's a multi-million dollar property in a high crime area. Near the projects even. So the basis for the fear is real. But he just can't bring himself to write (perhaps even realize!) that. So, as surely as the sun sets in the west, he identifies his fear as likely retaliation by swarms of bigots after him for his writing. Come on man. Speak truth to power. You are afraid of (likely) black criminals..."

It is pretty stupid that a guy who grew up in a crime-infested part of Baltimore would still think his greatest threat living in NYC would be "white bigots" coming after him. Unless he means black people coming after him for making them look bad?

Freeman Hunt said...

If I were famous, I definitely wouldn't want people to know where I lived.

Roughcoat said...

He is an odious person, Coates is.

hombre said...

Coates is not at risk from the people he claims to despise. We think he is a joke. It is the envy of the people he claims to loves that threatens him. He has joined a different tribe with the purchase of this brownstone.

Owen said...

If he's nervous about the neighborhood he sure didn't do his homework, but hey, $2MM is only the single biggest investment he's probably ever made, so why worry?
As for crime: he could carry a gun. Martin Luther King Jr. apparently did.
Overall, I have trouble feeling sorry for him, but I think he's more than able to feel sorry enough for himself, so no harm done.

Franklin said...

I think some of these Black racists are going to start moderating their comments over the next 6 months (and hopefully beyond). They seem to think they have some kind of high ground that negates the insult their comment does to whichever race they're attacking, but they're going to realize that they not only don't have the high ground, but there are a lot, lot more white people that are damn tired of being insulted while simultaneously being called racist.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't like the pretension that problems were most likely to come from bigots. Obviously problems were most likely to come from regular criminals knowing that a rich guy lived at that address.

Susan said...

It's cute how he thinks the criminals in that neighborhood can read.

Brando said...

"Coates is not at risk from the people he claims to despise. We think he is a joke."

I think Coates might be embarrassed to discover just how few people know who he is at all. If he's ever a crime victim, it will likely be some random thug on the street, not some critic of his writings.

campy said...

"... but [Black racists are] going to realize that they not only don't have the high ground,..."

I can't imagine why you think that's even a remote possibility.

Szoszolo said...

What a drama queen.

Sebastian said...

I guess he didn't realize some brothers would try to get their reparations from him.

Of course, he could move to my majority-white neighborhood, and no one would bother him in the slightest. Of course, no one would fawn over him either, so I understand that we are not a desirable destination.

"Melissa, Have you atoned for your sin of thinking so poorly of the people of your town" Nah, being Prog means never having to say you're sorry. Looking down on the right people is a point of honor.

Freeman Hunt said...

And a comment came in right before mine, as if by divine fate, to prove me wrong.

n.n said...

Projections from a white African-American. It would appear that the traditional culture terrorists are being recycled for alternative classes.

mikee said...

Bob Ellison: your math is off a few decimal points.
100w/minute x $0.10/word = $10.00/minute, or $600/hour.
40 hours a week, 50 weeks per year, makes your annual salary $1,200,000, not $12k.
Where do I go to start my writing career?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...You don't want people knowing that you — a rich person — are living at a particular address there. You feel like a target.

Yeah, that must be terrible, being made a target and feeling unsafe in your own home...I wonder how Darren Wilson feels about that, or George ZImmerman, or...just kidding, they're bad people so making their home addresses public is ok. Coates is a good person so making his address public is bad. It would be bad for someone to shove a microphone in his face when he's leaving in the morning, or for someone to "get in his face" and argue some political point. It'd be downright rude, and the Left hates that kind of rudeness.

Hey does anyone remember all the fun the Left had during Occupy Wall street protesting and picketing outside CEOs' houses (and yelling at CEO's kids, etc)? Rupert Murdoch, Jeff Immelt, those guys? It was heroic, really, and any expressed safety concerns were quickly brushed aside ("they're rich, they can afford security").


Are we sure the Coates quotes are authentic? He talks about his son and his safety but he doesn't reference his "black body." Suspicious.

Hey since he's so very rich now does that reduce the amount I have to pay to him and to his son, for historic reparations? Is that means-tested? I never got a number out of him.

buwaya said...

In San Francisco terms this would be a typical Victorian "painted lady" in layout, and many of these have interior woodwork that match or exceed this.
He could move in here for only @$4-5M for the equivalent.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Mr. Coates and his wife used a limited-liability corporation to shield their identities during the transaction

What?! Shock; outrage! Panama Papers!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

(I thought he moved to France, to Paris. Maybe he's back now.)

Michael said...

What a drama queen, what a fool. I am so so sorry that he missed the real dangers of the real civil rights movement and that he has to invent this dangerous racist world to live in.

Quite sad.

Fernandinande said...

Basil said...
Question of the day, "Did George Jefferson earn his success or was he just lucky?"


"That's a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they've been lucky. That God may have blessed them; it wasn’t nothing you did. So don’t have an attitude." -- Obama

Rick said...

Freeman Hunt said...
And a comment came in right before mine, as if by divine fate, to prove me wrong.


I don't see any reference to violence in that comment.

n.n said...

God helps those who help themselves. Your consciousness that is capable of independent causative action is real. It's a test. The rules are well defined.

Quaestor said...

Althouse wrote: He'd lived there before, and it's gentrifying, so it has amenities of a sort that might have worked for him as a wealthy man and a writer who wants to feel connected to the real world.

Nice apologia, except it does not apply to Coates. Whatever Coates does it's not writing. It's not even typing.

Quaestor said...

"That's a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they've been lucky. That God may have blessed them; it wasn’t nothing you did. So don’t have an attitude." -- Obama

Projection.

Franklin said...

And a comment came in right before mine, as if by divine fate, to prove me wrong.

If you're referring to my comment, you are reading it wrong.

jr565 said...

I think Coates deserves to pay us reparations for listening to his drivel which made him a rich man. But oh yes, America is this oppressive place Mr 2 million dollar brownstone.
If any one deserves a punch in the face it's that a hole.

Earnest Prole said...

cry me a fucking river

jr565 said...

High crime area? Who is committing that crime? Surely not black people. Do you think those that would commit the crime would be reading articles about brownstones?
If he's targeted to because he looks like a soft black man with money. And the other brothers probably don't like when rich people come into the neighborhood Jacking up the rents. He might get some slack because he's black. Or at least more slack than a white person. But considering the black on black crime rate, I don't think it would matter that much.
White people are not going to be traveling to his house to lynch him though, I can assure you.

Char Char Binks said...

Coates is keeping it authentic, but not TOO authentic.

@Melissa

buwaya puti done Asian/Hispanic-ed your Jew card! Read'em and weep!

tola'at sfarim said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...

No. "The NYT article says: "Mr. Coates and his wife used a limited-liability corporation to shield their identities during the transaction ...... but word of the sale leaked to The New York Post, which published an article about the purchase with pictures of the house last week."

Except he named himself and his wife as agents for the llc. Seems like he wanted to be known and picked a historical name for the llc just for that purpose
https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20160506/prospect-lefferts-gardens/at-ta-nehisi-coates-house-deed-that-tells-story-of-liberated-slaves

James Graham said...

Am I the only one who recalls this son-of-a-black-panther, just before he hit it big with his book, saying he was gonna move to Paris.

C'mon Coates just do it.

David said...

Sad. He's talented but he's not James Baldwin and this isn't even the era for James Baldwin. Baldwin made his own era but Coates is trying to attach himself to something or other and he's not original enough to be brilliant just talent going to waste.

David said...

Freeman Hunt said...
If I were famous, I definitely wouldn't want people to know where I lived


Your 15 minutes will come Freeman, even though you don't seek them. Fate and Divine Fate I hope.

Brando said...

"Am I the only one who recalls this son-of-a-black-panther, just before he hit it big with his book, saying he was gonna move to Paris."

He did, but apparently he's back.

David said...

He thinks he has problems. Where will Obama live?

DougWeber said...

That is not a high crime area these days for sure. Two blocks from Prospect Park. Tree lined street of brownstones. Google maps shows nice reasonable cars parked on the street. NYC crime stats show area a M1.1024 crimes per 1000 residents(71st precint 103 crimes in pop of 98429. May not be Park Slope but it is close and probably gentrifying fast. decent subway access and bus lines.

Leora said...

Just curious but I can't think of any violence against a commentator/writer in the US in the last couple of decades except for Muslim controversies. I may be missing something - anyone got a list? The last one that occurs to me is Curtis Sliwa being shot but that was in the early 90's and it was for testifying not just talking.

buwaya said...

"buwaya puti done Asian/Hispanic-ed your Jew card! "

I don't know that the Asian card trumps many others. Its pretty low on the deck, not much better than the white cards.
The Hispanic card works better, but its not the same as the Latino card and also ranks lower.
I don't know where the Jewish card sits these days, in the deck. Lower than it used to anyway. In the UC system apparently they now rank at the bottom.
Also, people with two or more cards - is the rule that they add up, or do you have to use only the "best" card in your deck?
Somebody also needs to officially rank the deck of "cards".

MayBee said...

What does one do with a $2.1 million house you won't live in?

Roughcoat said...

buwaya:

You know what card doesn't work at all anymore? The Irish card. Boo-hoo, my great grandparents were oppressed by the English, boo-hoo they were starved out of Ireland during the famine, boo-hoo they arrived here penniless, boo-hoo the Prots look down on them as being lower than blacks and Jews. Boo-hoo, boo-hoo, boo-hoo. Guess what, it doesn't work at all. Sucks to be an Irish American, sure.

Roughcoat said...

You what other card doesn't work? The German card. Yeah I'm half German, half Irish, just like Tom Hagan in "The Godfather." Boo-hoo my grandfather told me how he and grossma were harassed and discriminated against during the First World War because they were Dutchies. Boo-hoo. Unfair, I say! Sehr gross unfair! The German card is even lower than the Irish card. It barely exists. What's a would-be victim to do?

James Graham said...

"Am I the only one who recalls this son-of-a-black-panther, just before he hit it big with his book, saying he was gonna move to Paris."

He did, but apparently he's back.

Tant pis!

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

... freelancing for The Washington Monthly at 10 cents a word.

Suspicion confirmed. Explains the rampant verbosity of writing today.

campy said...

"Just curious but I can't think of any violence against a commentator/writer in the US in the last couple of decades except for Muslim controversies. I may be missing something - anyone got a list?"

That's only because of the extraordinary precautions lefty writers are forced to take. Otherwise teh wingnutz would be shooting at them daily.

/s

Dude1394 said...

I am so white priviledged!

Terry said...


Blogger MayBee said...
What does one do with a $2.1 million house you won't live in?

Sell it, after making a very public announcement that it is too dangerous for you to live in.

Bob Ellison said...

mikee, you're correct. I wrote that quickly and wondered about it. Usta be about five bucks an hour for good typing.

Michael said...

Coates did indeed live in Paris, good ole European Paris where black men have been treated with dignity from before the Ark. He might have been there scaring his son about how evil white Americans made it unsafe for little black boys to live. About the time a lot of people were blown to smithereens there in safe European Paris, France. He might have heard the gunfire. He certainly heard the sirens.

Safe there in Paris.

rcocean said...

"the Prots look down on them as being lower than blacks and Jews."

No, that's not true at all.

James Pawlak said...

His greatest risk is that he believes his own lies--Unlike that fellow Obama who knows he is lying as part of his effort to weaken, if not destroy, the USA.

Roughcoat said...

"the Prots look down on them as being lower than blacks and Jews."

No, that's not true at all.


It was true in the 19th century when my great-grandmother and great-grandfather came to America. I meant to type "looked," past tense.

Fabi said...

@Franklin -- my "neighborhood" riff was tongue-in-cheek.

Michael said...

Hey Ta, you are the second most over-rated "public intellectual" in this country next to Neil deGrasse Tyson. Nobody cares about you. You would be perfectly safe in Brooklyn or wherever. No one would think you worth annoying.

Chris N said...

Unsolicited advice: You're already exploiting 'black culture', white guilt, and your own experience (writers!).

From where I stand, you probably don't see just how much ideology exploits all the above too, even if it's a core part of your identity.

Why not aim higher?

Truthfully, I'm not expecting more than Amiri Baraka (one could do worse), bell hooks, Howard Zinn and Ken Burns; for it's been a time of Ayers and Obama, and ghostwriting, and you've made some dough, apparently.

Maybe a historical novel? Maybe just the truth wherever it leads? I might go with you.

Write, or don't. I don't give a shit.





Jonathan Graehl said...

Something about this man's prose style rubs me the wrong way. Whatever the particulars of his having cold feet about living in some neighborhood where people know he is (??? don't buy, then. or have a company you control buy. or ...), does he have to sound like such a long-suffering martyr about it?

As far as his success, I think "black bodies" is obnoxious but I'm sure it works in some poetic droning sort of way, or he wouldn't have millions. People surely don't just buy books they think are fashionable without intending to ever read them, do they?

Jonathan Graehl said...

I appreciate that he may legitimately be the sensitive safe-spaced soul he writes as. Godspeed.

Fred Drinkwater said...

"That's a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they've been lucky. That God may have blessed them; it wasn’t nothing you did. So don’t have an attitude." -- Obama

Quaestor comments: Projection.

My 10 year old son, about luck in golf: "The more you practice, the more luck you have."