October 6, 2017

Thomas Chatterton Williams explains "How Ta-Nehisi Coates Gives Whiteness Power."

A NYT op-ed.
In the study of German history, there is the notion of sonderweg, literally the “special path,” down which the German people are fated to wander....

A similar unifying theory has been taking hold in America. Its roots lie in the national triple sin of slavery, land theft and genocide. In this view, the conditions at the core of the country’s founding don’t just reverberate through the ages — they determine the present. No matter what we might hope, that original sin — white supremacy — explains everything, an all-American sonderweg.

No one today has done more to push this theory in the mainstream than the 42-year-old author Ta-Nehisi Coates....

I have spent the past six months poring over the literature of European and American white nationalism, in the process interviewing noxious identitarians like the alt-right founder Richard Spencer. The most shocking aspect of Mr. Coates’s wording here is the extent to which it mirrors ideas of race — specifically the specialness of whiteness — that white supremacist thinkers cherish.....
Thomas Chatterton Williams comes very close to calling Ta-Nehisi Coates a white supremacist.

169 comments:

Bay Area Guy said...

I saw Tennessee Coates on a cable show the other day. Not very impressive.

rehajm said...

Todays theme is cannibalism.

Gahrie said...

If you spend thirty years telling everyone that a person's race is the most important thing about them, and that Black people should be proud of being Black, and that everything wrong with Black people is the fault of White people, and you discriminate against White people in favor of Black people...why would you be surprised if White people started thinking that being White was the most important thing about themselves, that they should be proud of being White, and that everything that is wrong is the fault of Black people?

I was raised to be color blind. I have fought racism all of my life. However I'm starting to feel like I'm the idiot.

When you can't say that "all lives matter" without being called a racist...why not just be a racist?

Achilles said...

They aren't against supremacy. They aren't against oppression.

For them it is just about who.

Democrats/Progressive politics are merely a return to tribalist spoils systems and the powerful coupled with those who worship power.

Sebastian said...

"I was raised to be color blind." In other words, raised to be racist. You do know that, don't you? Sad!

Hagar said...

Off ropic, but if The NYT describes Boris Johnson as "that little blonde pirate," is it deliberately questioning his sexuality?

Nonapod said...

The grim truth is that the underpinnings of identity politics rely on the assumption of a complete lack of agency among non-white people. If everything bad that happens is the fault of the white devils and they are the only ones who can fix everything that's wrong (with reparations, welfare, and looking after non-whites as parents would a child), then you're essentially conferring absolute power upon one race while diminishing all others. If that's not supremacism I'm not sure what is.

rhhardin said...

I'd suspect separatist, not white supremicist.

The latter lumps too much together anyway, meaning every deploring is nonsense.

Review Derbyshire's breakout of what various things called white supremicist ought to be called, things that have nothing to do with each other. Actual white supremicists would be a weird belief, in fact.

http://www.johnderbyshire.com/Opinions/RadioDerb/2016-12-02.html

Item 05.

Achilles said...

Gahrie said...

I was raised to be color blind. I have fought racism all of my life. However I'm starting to feel like I'm the idiot.

When you can't say that "all lives matter" without being called a racist...why not just be a racist?



Don't let them win. The US is the outlyer in the world because we at one point were above triblism.

As a people we must reject the hate of the democrat party.

tcrosse said...

I saw Tennessee Coates on a cable show the other day. Not very impressive.

I was wondering how Ta-Nehisi was pronounced. Thanks.

rhhardin said...

Scott Adams defines racism as the belief that the rules ought to be different for different races.

The ancient definition is the belief that the races are different, a definition that would bring in a lot of geneticists today.

My idea is focus on wishing well or ill instead.

rcocean said...

How TNC got his MacArthur Genius Award:

Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven't got: a MacArthur Genius Award.

Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universitartus Committiartum E Pluribus Unum, I hereby confer upon you...

rcocean said...

You're a racist, I'm racist, my dog's a racist, everyone's a racist - even people in coma's.

If you take it seriously, you're not only a racist, you're a fool.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Can anyone at all tell me why the third syllable of "Ta-Nehisi" gets a short "a" sound rather than the short "i" sound the spelling suggests? "Hi" is pronounced to rhyme with "Ta." "Tannahassee," like "Tallahassee" with one letter substitution.

I think, myself, that it's a trick to separate those "in the know" from those who aren't.

Bay Area Guy said...

I saw Tennessee Coates on a cable show the other day. Not very impressive.

I was wondering how Ta-Nehisi was pronounced. Thanks.

__________________________________________________

I'm not sure if that's how he pronounces it, that's how I pronounce it:)

I figure if it's good enough for famed playwrite, Tennessee Williams, it's good enough for him.

Earnest Prole said...

Anyone who has heard a genuine white racist roll through his loathsome theories will recognize Ta-Nehisi Coates' work as its perfect black-to-white reverse image.

Gahrie said...

Don't let them win.

Oh I won't change..I'm 52 and set in my ways. But I have a hard time responding to young White people when they ask me why they shouldn't treat their race the same way everyone else treats their own race?

traditionalguy said...

The issue is an easy enemy mis-identification. The white people raised in the USA since 1970 and most of the old timers are not racist enemies of the rest of the world.

The British, Spanish,Portuguese, Dutch and French were once their enemies. But they want the USA to take the fall for it. Sorry guys, we refuse.The intentional mis-teaching of History on slavery is an enemy trick. And we refuse it.

tcrosse said...

I figure if it's good enough for famed playwrite, Tennessee Williams, it's good enough for him.

The first thing I thought of was Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Luke Lea said...

Based on the briefest of glimpses, I knew Ta-Nehisi Coates' worldview was toxic. I can hardly believe he is considered a serious intellectual. It says something about today's cultural elites.

tim in vermont said...

I always thought that it was funny when Crack MC would talk about "white supremacy " instead of "white supremacism," it was like a Freudian slip.

mezzrow said...

"Hi" is pronounced to rhyme with "Ta." "Tannahassee," like "Tallahassee" with one letter substitution.

The late Robert Urich played Dan Tanna on TV's Vega$ and matriculated at Florida State University, located in Tallahassee.

Just sharing an Asperger's moment. Proceed.

Gospace said...

White identity doesn't exist in the world anywhere except the United States. And it only exists because within my living memory LIBERALS and black organizations (NAACP, BLM, to name just 2), not conservatives, not the KKK, not People like Robert Spencer, have been pushing for Americans to identify with their skin color, not as Americans. In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, there are Scots, Irish, English, Welsh, Cornish, and a few other white tribes. And as in all of the world outside Africa, blacks are lumped together as blacks.

Black identity doesn't exist in Africa. And the Central African Republic is listed on diversity charts as very diverse, and it's almost 100% black. According to the CIA Factbook: Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%. Betcha you can't tell the difference between one and the other- but they can. Same in the the UK- they know the difference at a glance between the different white tribes; we Americans don't. Black or white Americans- we don't. For lack of tribal identity in the United States, due to incredible mixing of the "white tribes", liberals are forced to group all persons of European descent as "white", an identity that doesn't exist in Europe or any of its'subdivisions. For example, until last month, how many Americans knew there was a difference between Catalonians and Spaniards? Apparently enough of a difference to bring them to the edge of civil war.

Pinandpuller said...

I met a black girl yesterday named Kurrenci and all I saw was green.

I'm not kidding about her name.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Thomas Chatterton Williams comes very close to calling Ta-Nehisi Coates a white supremacist.

Why should he not? Everything's white supremacy these days, or hadn't you heard? Fuckin' Althouse.

Anyway it's a trivial bit of algebra to get there if you want to:
Free speech is white supremacy. The idea and practice of persuading others using free speech is both an expression of white supremacy and a tool to maintain white supremacy (doubly so if the speech/persuasion relies at all on an appeal to logic, etc). As a "leading public intellectual" Coates' whole function is to advance arguments of one sort or another using free speech & attempting persuasion in part by appeals to logic and reason.
Ta-Nehsi Coates is a white supremacist and helps to advance a white supremacist agenda.
Elementary.

David said...

If you see everything an issue of race, everything will be an issue of race. If your worldview deals in collectives, collectives will become the world. Racism is a denial of individuality but it is not the only form of that denial. Analyzing society as groups of oppressors and victims will eventually cause us to identify ourselves as oppressors and victims, and when race forms the categories, the status of oppressor and victim becomes immutable.

Modern politics, informed by the modern pseudo science of sociology, has become an insidious machine that devalues the individual and mocks agency and free will. Thus the multiple categories of heresy on right and left. It is not easy to see the way out, since we are categorized and collectivized on so many levels by so many powerful voices. But if we value individuality and the freedom and creativity that comes with it, we should fight this categorization on every level.

Rick said...

This is going to be great. We need something better than popcorn, wings or nachos?

Michael said...

Coates has found the there is an inexhaustible appetite among some white people for blacks who'll tell them how awful other white people are.

Lord, I thank you that I am not like other whites.

Rick said...

Nonapod said...
If everything bad that happens is the fault of the white devils and they are the only ones who can fix everything that's wrong (with reparations, welfare, and looking after non-whites as parents would a child), then you're essentially conferring absolute power upon one race while diminishing all others. If that's not supremacism I'm not sure what is.


This is only true if they believe their own assertions. If you hypothesize they do not but assert it because it creates the most pressure for reparations, welfare, race preferences, etc there is no contradiction between their beliefs and their actions.

Michael said...

Coates is a race hustler who has stooped to involve his child in his hustle. He is pretty vile. BTW the reparations scam is worth considering. I think the latest number tossed around that would satisfy Coates is about $2.5M for every black woman, man and child. I would be inclined to give it to them if they would shut up.
Williams' article is quite good and he most definitely calls Coates a racist.

David said...

"If you can collect a Mack truck worth of money from the white people who clearly have too much and are starting to realize it... you become a paid hack."

I don't see many in today's society (white of black) who act as if they have "too much." They are willing to pay tolls on the road to more, and if elevating the wealth and status of Coates is one of those tolls, it is an easy one to fork over. This reflects their evaluation of Coates as a gatekeeper. They may be wrong of course, or at least unwilling to err on the side of caution. In the past you did not see the purported oppressors greasing the palms of W.E.B. Dubois or James Baldwin.

buwaya said...

"White identity doesn't exist in the world anywhere except the United States"

This is not true. Race became quite important in the colonial empires. Not in the US sense, always, other than in the British Empire more or less, but there certainly was a powerful sense of identity among Europeans abroad.

Its an extensive and complex subject and very varied in details.

There are analogs to TNC's ethnic resentment among many non-white colonial populations, most especially among the native elites who felt the sting of exclusion most. They have mostly gotten over it, mainly because there was no local white master-class to blame things on anymore, so they adjusted to blaming each other, or themselves, as before.

The Godfather said...

Think about this statement from the op-ed: "The most shocking [MOST SHOCKING] aspect of Mr. Coates’s wording here is the extent to which it mirrors ideas of race — specifically the specialness of whiteness — that white supremacist thinkers cherish....." No, what Coates says is shocking because it, in and of itself, without reference to what anybody else says, is racist. Once you recognize that he's spouting racism, then you shouldn't be surprised that what he says is similar to what other racists say.

Truthavenger said...

If you believe that blacks are helpless, and that whites hold absolute power over them, then yeah I guess you believe in the supremacy of the white race.

Char Char Binks said...

I heard Coates on NPR the other day flogging his book "We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy". The fool kept kept pronouncing words like "couldn't" as "koo'-an'" like a teen girl mall rat, or maybe a teen hood rat. It's worse than Bruce Springsteen dropping his gees to show he's one of the common folks. Why doesn't he just start speaking in clicks?

The title of his book is ludicrous -- how were THEY in power? Who elected that shitbag? I assume the title refers to the Obama administration, which was indeed an American tragedy, and how the presidency from then on was supposed to be reserved for Blacks, but isn't a president supposed to PRESIDE as chief executive of the federal government, a SERVANT of the people, and not as a man who has POWER over a free people? Tennessee Coates should spend twelve years as a slave, just to gain some perspective.

Bob Ellison said...

Today on NPR, I heard a story about a nice guy with a group trying to help black Philadelphia men learn how to network in business. Specifically black men. NPR, government radio message: no white men need apply.

That seems nice. How is it not racist and sexist?

This story gets old. I'm tired of hearing and telling the "what if the coin was flipped" response. It's just old and tired. Nobody wants to hear it or tell it anymore. We all know the answer.

Achilles said...

Luke Lea said...
Based on the briefest of glimpses, I knew Ta-Nehisi Coates' worldview was toxic. I can hardly believe he is considered a serious intellectual. It says something about today's cultural elites.

He is not a serious intellectual. He is a tool paid by globalist elites to divide the citizens of the United States into warring tribes.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

You spend all your time in a defensive crouch you're subservient to your fear, at the very least.

n.n said...

Class diversity. Specifically, color diversity. Or, in the politically convenient form, simply "diversity." One step forward. Two steps back. Progress.

Quayle said...

..."triple sin of slavery, land theft and genocide."

See, here's what I don't understand about the assertion that the USA is so bad. It appears to completely ignore world history.

Specifically, was the above trifecta invented by the USA? Was it even invented by what Coates would call "whites"?

Or was it the USA that was one of the leading countries, if not THE leading country, to get rid of those things after...oh.....seven thousand years of their presence globally.

Geoff Matthews said...

When everything is racist, then nothing is.

BTW, the comments have lead me to believe that I've been mispronouncing his name all along. For some reasons, I've been reading his name as 'Ta-Nee-Sha'. Now I'm reading it as 'Ta-Na-Hee-See'. I think the latter has to be closer to how it should be pronounced, but I'm too indifferent to care.

Jupiter said...

"Both sides mystify racial identity, interpreting it as something fixed, determinative and almost supernatural."

Almost like it's coded in our deoxyribonucleic acid!

David said...

"Or was it the USA that was one of the leading countries, if not THE leading country, to get rid of those things after...oh.....seven thousand years of their presence globally."

Certainly not THE leading country. That goes to the British, at least in terms of modern American-European countries. The Haitians also did a pretty good job, though in a different way, but their achievement was undermined by the way their society developed. (Hat tip to the French for helping to keep them unfree and impoverished though not slaves.)

Nevertheless the American elimination of slavery was crucial because we were founded on the proposition that all men are created equal. We are still working on how to do that as a practical rather than theoretical matter.

Achilles said...

Students at University of Wisconsin-Madison are trying to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln. They have previously covered it in a black tarp in protest.

Not joking.

The left has become a menace.

Just wait until we all get to see Paddock's "I did it for Allah" video.

Kirk Parker said...

Gospace,

When I worked with an NGO in a third world country, I was once talking to a British colleague, who was stationed in a different part of the country, about a fellow-countryman of his who lived near me. "Ahhh! [the light bulb finally went on for him.] You mean that Welshman!"

28-year-old me was amazed. Today I wouldn't be.

Kevin said...

In Coates' family, he said that the important overarching focus was on rearing children with values based on family, respect for elders and being a contribution to your community.

Sounds like today’s definition of a white supremacist to me.

Kirk Parker said...

Achilles,

"The left has become a menace. "

WTF? They've been a menace since 1789 if not before. Just how old are you???

Ralph L said...

Seems to me our major problems and differences are cultural, not racial. This explains why the Left has pushed multi-culturalism so vigorously. Divide and conquer.

Has anyone objected to allowing Arab and Asian Christians into the US?

Gahrie said...

Students at University of Wisconsin-Madison are trying to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln

Somebody finally read his speeches from the Lincoln-Douglas debates to them.

Jupiter said...

I always pronounced it tah nah-hee-see. I think it is supposed to have something to do with Egypt.

Anyway, Tah-Baby is a serious intellectual like Maya Angelou is a serious poet. Affirmative action, nothing more. To his credit, I think Tah knows this. He doesn't feel any need to actually do any serious thinking, he just keeps pushing that stolen grocery-cart full of resentments around with his hand out. He wrote a whole book about how scared he was, growing up, of the violent black thugs who terrorized his neighborhood. Somehow, he saw this as an indictment of white people. He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but no one expects him to be.

Original Mike said...

I've suddenly realized that I shouldn't have started reading Althouse (oh, those many years ago). If I hadn't, I wouldn't know all this bullshit even existed.

buwaya said...

Something struck me at the end of the editorial.
Williams is "physically sickened" speaking with Richard Spencer.

Spencer sounds like he was being very friendly, as he usually is.
And he is a complex devil, as devils go, well read and very willing to engage in argument.
A joy to engage I would think. And he gave Williams a startling insight, the core of his editorial. That this would "sicken" someone - well, it seems a bit uncharitable.

But its not, it is the psychology of a brittle mind. They haven't been tempered in the fire of difference, they assume they are educated because they have memorized dogma.

There is something very wrong with people like Williams, they have been trained into narrow minds and narrow reactions. These are extremely parochial people in spite of their sojourns in Paris, as they have no breadth of acquaintance or experience.

buwaya said...

"If I hadn't, I wouldn't know all this bullshit even existed."

It is important to know this bullshit exists. Know your world.

Kevin said...

You need to keep reading about that family background, especially the multiple women/mothers. TNC lost me when he boasted of throwing a garbage can at the teacher.

It’s like blackness being defined as having a single drop of black blood. If there is anything remotely resembling family values in your background, you’re a white supremacist.

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, you can either be racialist or humanist. They are two mutually exclusive ways of viewing the world. Coates does appear to be a convinced racialist.

Original Mike said...

"Know your world."

But it turns my stomach. ("Students at University of Wisconsin-Madison are trying to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln.")

YoungHegelian said...

No matter what we might hope, that original sin — white supremacy — explains everything, an all-American sonderweg.

Okay, let me trot this out again, because it helps to understand these post-Marxist bozos:

For Hegel, the motive force of History is Geist, Spirit.

Marx replaces Geist with Class Consciousness as the motive force.

The Post-Marxists replace Class Consciousness with White Racial Consciousness.

So, we've got Geist = Class Consciousness = White Racial Consciousness. Or, removing the middle term Geist = White Racial Consciousness.

For these PoMos, racial consciousness is the engine of history. Much like it was for the Nazis, by the way.

kevino said...

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a truly disgusting individual. He is a professional racist: he earns a good living convincing people that the problems of racism are so deeply rooted they will never go away. We should try, of course, by paying reparations, but it's a hopeless cause because white people are so evil.

There are several problems with his position:
1. Black people who follow Coates surrender agency. His position is that black people are helpless until white people fix the problem.
2. There really is no place to go from here. No matter what is done, it's not enough because "slavery" and "Jim Crow".
3. Black people are never responsible because "slavery" and "Jim Crow".

He's a piece of work.

J. Farmer said...

@MaxedOutMama:

Well, you can either be racialist or humanist. They are two mutually exclusive ways of viewing the world. Coates does appear to be a convinced racialist.

I am not sure those terms are so mutually exclusive. I, for one, consider myself both a racialist and a humanist. Every human being deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and should be treated equally before the law. However, racialism is not really about individual people but about groups. There are obviously different averages in intelligence, behavior, and disposition among so called racial groups. What the precise origin of these differences is, I do not know.

buwaya said...

"But it turns my stomach."

There are outs for people whom the world upsets - though these guys generally have better reasons for it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trappists

Ron Winkleheimer said...

There is something very wrong with people like Williams, they have been trained into narrow minds and narrow reactions.

I'm reminded of the college professor who fretted, in print, that he was worried that the plumber he had called to fix his sink might realize that he was Jewish. What would be his reaction? Apparently plumbers are known for assaulting their customers due to their ethnicity. Who knew?

Unknown said...

Gentrification has another name: urban renewal. A characteristic of gentrifying neighborhoods is that races mix more, young people move in, buildings are renovated, and shops open bringing jobs. Gentrification isn't always about whites, it can be asians or gays or hippies or middle easterners. And if whites do NOT move in and a neighborhood continues to decay, then this is also bad. Catch-22
Another disturbing thing about his views is that racial characteristics and ethnic culture are assumed fixed, unchangable. This means blacks can never escape gansta culture, that blacks who get ahead and move to the suburbs are traitors, that we must be fixated on race forever even as more and more interracial marriages happen.
My town has lots of ethnic immigrants who have thick accents. The roofers and maids are Polish, the yard crews and construction crews either Hispanic or white, the engineers Indian, white, Persian, my local dry clean is Korean. People are finding ways to get ahead in spite of lack of education, lack of wealth, and a thick accent. By Coates world-view this is impossible.
It is certainly true that being born into a prosperous family of any race will be helpful to you but this is not due to theft. Everywhere in the world, if you trace back land ownership of wealth there was no doubt some theft somewhere. However, there was also usually incredibly hard work that built lives for people. If you gave Coates and every black a million dollars it wouldn't make him/them happy. Oh yeah, Coates already got a million and he isn't happy!

YoungHegelian said...

The word Sonderweg is a loaded term, referring as it does to a 19th C German high cultural movement that continued into the 20th. Yes, it played a part in Nazi ideology. Yes, it played a part in Heidegger's thought. But that's because it permeated all aspects of German high culture.

Americans have never had a Sonderweg ideology. Americans have had, like the Jews before them, a society of "covenant". We were to be a city on the hill, a shining beacon to the world. But, like all covenants, it required we citizens to keep our side of bargain. That we owed moral duty to our fellow citizens, to the nation, & to God if we were going to maintain that covenant.

However pompous we have been in the past, that is not now nor has it ever been a Sonderweg.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Coates son was once pushed out of the way on an escalator by a rude white woman.

So, Total. Moral. Authority.

Jupiter said...

Original Mike said...

"But it turns my stomach. ("Students at University of Wisconsin-Madison are trying to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln.")"

Well, as a matter of fact, Abraham Lincoln's beliefs about race would get him fired if he worked at any modern university or large corporation. So why shouldn't they tear his statue down? He was a racist. I think it might even be accurate to say he was a white supremacist.

"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]—that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

Debate with Stephen Douglas

kevino said...

See also: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n23/thomas-chatterton-williams/loaded-dice
"Loaded Dice" by Thomas Williams, a review of Coates' "Between the World and Me"

The review was published in the London Review of Books because publishers in the United States (esp. New York), would not print it. It is critical of Coates "thinking" in a way that the MSM will not support.

Jupiter said...

Of course, Obama and Clinton were out homophobes in 2008, and I guess we have forgiven them.

Bill said...

Eventually, people who are accused of racism will reply, "So?"

Original Mike said...

"There are outs for people whom the world upsets - though these guys generally have better reasons for it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trappists"


Only if I can be assigned to the brewery.

Fernandinande said...

Since Sowell retired, are there any black authors who aren't ridiculous?

Bill said...

Knowing how to pronounce Ta-Nehisi is one of the great class signifiers of the age.

Comanche Voter said...

I would not take anything that Ta Nehisi Coates, either intentionally or inadvertently wanted to give me. Toxic nonsense is his specialite de maison.

buwaya said...

"Ta-Nehisi Coates is a truly disgusting individual. He is a professional racist: he earns a good living convincing people that the problems of racism are so deeply rooted they will never go away."

Looking at it from a colonial point of view, he isn't that strange. He is very much like a host of third world nationalists over the last @150 years. And it isn't even third-world types, there was a huge fashion in these ideas in Europe - Look up Sabino Arana, also all kinds of irredentists, the Italians 1860-1930's really could be insane, as could the Irish. A lot of these movements were, outright fascist or strongly flavored with it, or what we would call fascism these days. The connection with the likes of Richard Spencer is much broader than Williams thinks.

The idea was to create a national consciousness by defining unifying characteristics, and defining a common enemy, usually the imperial/colonial power and its people. Playing up injustices both current and historical was normal. Irrationality, fanaticism, and the participation of many unhinged individuals was typical. At the end of this they would have an independent nation-state. And then they would, mostly, grow out of their extremism as their bogeymen were gone. North Korea is one of a few exceptions where the crazy persisted.

Coates, like many black activists, is stuck in the crazy nationalism stage as there is no feasible way to make an independent nation state for those he wants as his people. It is a formula for a nationalist movement, but there is no possibility of a nationalist outcome. And less everyday actually, as US demographics turn worse for black people.

Tommy Duncan said...

Racism as currently defined in America is:

(a) A cultural crutch.
(b) An multi-purpose excuse for all forms of failure.
(c) An expression of introspection-free frustration by identity groups.
(d) A term describing all those who disagree with progressives.
(e) An invented construct serving as a means to the goals of socialism.
(f) All of the above.

Michael said...

Yes, Jason Riley.

Unknown said...

Nonapod said: "The grim truth is that the underpinnings of identity politics rely on the assumption of a complete lack of agency among non-white people." This is so true. I started an online software business. No one knew what color I was. I see many many hispanics around here with their own landscaping, driveway, concrete, or painting companies. They did not wait for permission nor did they have a dime when they started.
The assumptions by Coates that all white people get some some of benefits from past theft and slavery ignores the fact that probably half the white population (maybe 3/4) immigrated, penniless, from Europe AFTER the civil war. Many whites then lost everything in the Great Depression. There are still millions of whites living in poverty today. Where is their "privilege"?

Bob Ellison said...

It would help if we didn't try too hard to interpret proto-Nazi German idiom as modern American English language.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

And less everyday actually, as US demographics turn worse for black people.

Exactly. It wasn't white people who pushed blacks out of Compton. Identity politics is a losing game for blacks.

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/06/hispanic_population_booms_in_k.html

I remember my wife and I went to New Orleans about 6 months after Katrina. We had been visiting there for years and I had never noticed a particularly large Hispanic component. But suddenly there were lunch trucks serving Mexican food and Hispanic clean-up and construction crews everywhere. I knew that those people were there to stay and more would come.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Unknown: Yes, I know. Whites moving out = "white flight." Whites moving in = "gentrification." Whites staying wherever the hell they now are = "abandoning the cities," as though they'd previously been invested in them. Frankly, the non-whites are welcome to the cities at this point. I mean, I live in a city of sorts (Salem, OR), but, face it, my part is a suburb in all but name. I mean, we're on a wooded, half-acre lot.

I was listening to NPR this morning, and on Rose Aguilar's show on KALW, there was a guy named Juan Gonzalez who's just completed a book on Bill DeBlasio, and how he's trying to turn NYC back into one city rather than two. Some of the details were interesting. Like how rents in NYC are way too high. Now, NYC has the strictest rent control in the whole country. It makes Oakland's look tame. (And Oakland's is no joke -- the same day we moved out of the cottage we had rented for ten years, through the rats and the termites and the busted washer and the open sewer down the driveway and assorted other ills, he re-rented it to another grad student couple for nearly twice what he'd charged us, because, vacancy.) But it's not enough for DeBlasio, because some people pay half their income in rent. Has it occurred to any of them that it isn't absolutely necessary to live in Manhattan?

Sorry, just venting. But sometimes there's stuff to vent about.

Lyle said...

Coates is just not that intelligent or educated. I used to read his Atlantic blog all the time. A certain type of white progressive, those desperate for a black friend with some street cred, think he's the shit. You rarely see him debate in public, because his intelligence and ignorance would come to the fore too quick.

Unknown said...

Ron said: "Coates son was once pushed out of the way on an escalator by a rude white woman." I myself have been pushed out of the way by a white woman, and I am white--do I pay myself reparations? Such anecdotes are meaningless. I am sure Coates son was assaulted more than once by young black men--does that erase the woman on the escalator crime? It is nonsense tallying up wrongs like that. Indicting a race because of a woman on an escalator--and maybe she was desperate to get to a bathroom or was being pursued or was late for an interview. Who knows?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Unknown,

Your latest comment is also on point. My parents were the children of immigrants to rural Wisconsin in the early 20th c. They wouldn't have discriminated against black people had they had the chance, but, more to the point, they didn't have the chance. At all. The same goes for my husband's parents and siblings. But they are swept up in the Great White Flood with all the rest of us irredeemable deplorables.

gg6 said...

Coates says: "... No matter what we might hope, that original sin — white supremacy — explains everything, an all-American sonderweg...."
Sure it "explains everything" if you simply ignore the US Civil war where 1.5 million Americans died to set things right - 1 in 4 never returning home. Not to mention all the other American lives given up for others in foreign wars.
Coates is a moronic phony. Am I allowed to say 'total asshole'?

buwaya said...

Its not just neighborhoods. The problem with black separatism, black essentialism, or black nationalism, is there is no way to acquire a nation-state. There is no way, no where, to be independent, to establish a place free of the oppressors (or ethnic rivals). The US has no black-majority states at all, and certainly none that would make a functional independent nation.

Nor is there a black majority in a discrete region that could be split off and remain viable.

Now, its possible that a Zionist-style movement to populate some viable region into a black-majority may achieve this, but the obstacles are huge. Its a pity, because that would have been a natural out for this problem.

The Vault Dweller said...

There is a lot more in common with race/ethnic identity types on the left and white nationalists than either group likes to acknowledge. Though I think Richard Spencer views himself as merely a promoter of white identity politics the way there are Latino/Black Identity politics.

I have heard of the term Uncle Tom before. Also analogs like Uncle Chen, and Uncle Jose, however I couldn't think of a white equivalent. Then I realized the closest thing there was, was the term "Race Traitor" used by white nationalists and neo-nazis. Now I'm not saying they are all the equivalent but it is an interesting juxtaposition.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Unknown,

TNC can have that anecdote; I can have mine. On a crowded bus in Marin County, where the driver repeatedly says, "Por favor, mueven se para atras," I tried to board and was blocked by a young black woman. "You're supposed to say EXCUSE ME," she said. Well, okay then.

Then there were the small groups of young black women who forced me into the street because they occupied all of the sidewalk, and laughed at me while they were at it. It takes nothing more than elementary politesse to escape this, but that was not in the offing.

Oso Negro said...

Ta-Nehisi Coates may as well give the fuck up and go back to Africa. He can neither compete against, not feel good about himself in the face of my awesome whiteness. I never worry about my race. I am utterly immune to racial slurs. I can walk in a crowd of white people and never long to see a dark face. I lack compassion for entire continents.

Francisco D said...

Michael,

The race hustle (i.e., White Guilt Game) has been going on since my childhood. I was born in 1953.

It worked when Democratic National Committee member Bull Conner was turning dogs and firehoses on "Negroes" asking for equal rights. IMHO, it was a righteous cause.

Now, AAs have extra-legal rights (i.e.. Affirmative Action). It doesn't work anymore.

My White Guilt Card is maxed out.

William said...

Some here are more knowledgeable about this, but I think the movers and shakers of 19th and early 20th century Germany were more inclined to nurse their grievances than to exult in their superiority. It's not a good thing to endlessly rehearse your anger and contemplate the injustices that have been done you......Lots of people have had it worse than American blacks. It's grandiose to claim that they are the most oppressed people ever.

Jupiter said...

buwaya said...
"Its not just neighborhoods. The problem with black separatism, black essentialism, or black nationalism, is there is no way to acquire a nation-state. There is no way, no where, to be independent, to establish a place free of the oppressors (or ethnic rivals). The US has no black-majority states at all, and certainly none that would make a functional independent nation."

buwaya, as I am sure you are well aware, there are many American cities where blacks are the majority, and hold a monopoly on elective office. And they are, without exception, sinks of violent crime and economic basket cases, utterly reliant on the white communities around them for handouts.

Birches said...

I'm so glad people are realizing that blaming white supremacy for all of your problems is kind of like burying your talent in the sand.

Ray said...

Things are not going in a good direction. You need to look at U.K. Newspapers to figure out the race if the criminal is black. Knockout game. There is a book / web site that has a list of black on white violence...

http://whitegirlbleedalot.com
White girls bleed a lot

And he has a newer book:
'Don't Make the Black Kids Angry': The hoax of black victimization and those who enable it. Paperback – February 23, 2015

Josephbleau said...

"triple sin of slavery, land theft and genocide."

This train of thought always bothers me. The legal process of Native Americans had specific codes for transfer of land title, trading and conquest, just ask the Mohawks and Osage. Native Americans were taking land by force all over the place. Slavery was historical in all warring people, the vanquished were enslaved everywhere, except upon the rise of European culture. The Japanese made US pows slaves but Japan was not enslaved by the US Govt. Genocide is a nebulous term. It seems to mean the eradication of an identifiable group, Jews, Hutus, Armenians. Was Spanish conquest of Latin America a genocide or a land theft?

Michael K said...

"Nor is there a black majority in a discrete region that could be split off and remain viable. "

Well there is Detroit, and Baltimore, and Chicago. That would require that blacks adopt Bourgeoise values and that would never work.

I remember when blacks had those values. Then Lyndon Johnson decided they needed free stuff.

wild chicken said...

Well, why not. Maybe racism is some kind of adaptive response.

buwaya said...

"there are many American cities where blacks are the majority,"

This is no substitute for a nation-state. An urban enclave of that sort is just a human holding-pen. Its worse than an old Jewish Ghetto, as those were at least economically viable.

A city-state requires control of its own infrastructure, as Hong Kong and Singapore have. Heck, as even Andorra does.

No, the nationalist urge requires a viable nation, with a hinterland and control of essential infrastructure, water, electricity, highways/railroads; and the institutions of state, the courts, security forces, etc.

buwaya said...

"Well there is Detroit, and Baltimore, and Chicago."

Won't do, not viable as independent entities.

Jupiter said...

Josephbleau said...
"Was Spanish conquest of Latin America a genocide or a land theft?"

Funny you should ask. Neither one. Unlike the Northern Europeans who wanted the Indians' land so they could cultivate it themselves, the Spanish were a bunch of lazy bastards who were content to run things while the Indians did all the hard work. Possibly a result of the Muslim influence? Anyway, the Indians of "Latin America" fared quite a bit better than those of North America, at least in reproductive terms.

buwaya said...

"Was Spanish conquest of Latin America a genocide or a land theft?"

It was for the most part the replacement of the old upper class with a new upper class.
It was an old-school conquest. The landowners (or owners of the right to land-rents) were mostly replaced (many were assimilated), the peasants stayed the same. Think England after 1066.

In places it was occupation of essentially empty lands, as in the best parts of Argentina.
In places it was the above, plus the introduction of black slaves where there weren't enough natives to meet the need for a peasantry, as in Venezuela and Cuba.

Ray said...

Gut Feeling, but the Black Racism Gig is going to stop working soon. It's one thing to claim Whites have all the power, but what happens when Whites are no longer the majority? Or when inter-marriage makes the term White, a meaningless term.

Factors that are changing Race perception in the US:

1. There are now more Hispanics in the US than Blacks.
2. Increase in mixed race marriages between Whites and everyone else.
3. Increase in # of Asians.
4. % of Black US born Population is decreasing as a % of US population. Increase % of overseas born Blacks. Huge amount of abortions in the Black community.
5. What do people from the Middle East count as?
6. MSM power is decreasing
7. Whites will soon no longer be the majority in the US based on birth rate.

buwaya said...

Not my longing, just applying the logic of decolonization.

n.n said...

So, of the two solutions: [class] diversity and separation, that are most common, here and around the world, which is the lesser evil? Is it the former's judgement of individuals by the "color of their skin" (e.g. institutional and individual racism, sexism) or the latter's isolation?

Clayton Hennesey said...

Speaking of Richard Spencer, the current Buzzfeed piece rocketing around the Web using Milo Yiannopoulos singing karaoke in a Dallas bar with Spencer supposedly in the audience as foils to attack the Trump administration by attacking Bannon and Breitbart is breathtaking to behold.

Where have you gone, Joe McCarthy, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

buwaya said...

"So, of the two solutions: [class] diversity and separation, that are most common, here and around the world, which is the lesser evil?"

Neither are evil. Both have happened. Both have had reasonably stable outcomes at different times and in different places.

There have been polities that were patchworks of ethnic enclaves. Cities divided into quarters (Jerusalem was a good example, but there are plenty of others), villages of Turkomen beside villages of Kurds beside villages of Circassians. India is a mess of distinct, self-segregating caste, religious and ethnic strata.

Ralph L said...

the peasants stayed the same.
Except for the millions that died of small pox.

Gospace said...

Ray said...
Factors that are changing Race perception in the US:

1. There are now more Hispanics in the US than Blacks.


A very large percentage of Hispanics could identify as white overnight- and no one would know the difference. Because a very large number of the made up racial category of Hispanics are white. Depending on what point the government and keepers of statistics care to make, they can and are counted as either.

Might I remind you of George Zimmerman, the much ballyhooed "White Hispanic"?

Gospace said...

buwaya said...
Its not just neighborhoods. The problem with black separatism, black essentialism, or black nationalism, is there is no way to acquire a nation-state. There is no way, no where, to be independent, to establish a place free of the oppressors (or ethnic rivals). The US has no black-majority states at all, and certainly none that would make a functional independent nation.


Well, there is the Back to Africa movement... Where all the sub-Saharan states are glorious enclaves of self governing blacks showing the world how they get along harmoniously with not just each other, but with nature and the environment. While at the same time building and maintaining world class infrastructure that's the envy of Europe, Asia, and the Americas...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

buwaya,

But there are people who do think of cities, of "urban America," as entities of themselves. Juan Gonzalez, who I mentioned earlier in this thread, is one. It makes sense, too, when you look at the electoral map and it's a sea of red peppered with little dots of blue. The thing is that for the blue folk, "urban America" is just America, and for the red folk, the cities are just little holes in the real rest of the polity.

Gospace, the only reason people thought George Zimmerman was white was his name. Had he been named after his Peruvian mother rather than his white father, there would have been no "confusion." You could almost say the same of Obama, though I don't think the notion of a "white black" would hold up very long. Nonetheless, Zimmerman is exactly as Peruvian as Obama is Kenyan -- fifty percent.

n.n said...

[class] diversity and separation...

Neither are evil. Both have happened. Both have had reasonably stable outcomes at different times and in different places.


The first denies individual dignity and the latter denies inclusion. While the latter is characterized as a unique evil in contemporary thought, the former is characterized as virtuous.

Fernandinande said...

"Gives Whiteness Power"

Bad juju, bwana!

n.n said...

the only reason people thought George Zimmerman was white

That's one reason, but the real reason was he was classified as white, to the extent plausible, in order to extend leverage in a black-Hispanic conflict. Whether it is human or rainbow colors, white is the keystone that holds these diversity rackets together.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Gospace, I should add that "Hispanics" aren't a racial category in the US; they're an "ethnic" category. One that apparently encompasses everyone south of our southern border, except Brazilians (a very big "except"), plus actual Spaniards.

As for "Back to Africa," after how Liberia has ended up, I'm not sure we are due for a repeat just yet.

Sam L. said...

They keep telling us how powerful we are, and we might just decide to do something with it. Not to mention, the Dems push ethnic pride, and we just might dig out our white pride and flaunt it. On their own heads be it...

Chris N said...

I listened to a preacher once called Tennessee Goates. He cast one milky, critical eye over all the land. He was a king of a kind to his kin, and fellow travelers.

William said...

I know a fair number of black people who are on the same page as the surrounding community.. If you watch television, you will note that the new black stereotype is nerd. Not every black person in America has been driven half crazy by the ravages of white racism and the legacy of slavery. Many have carved out a comfortable niche for themselves and would prefer to let it be. This group does not include middle class college students who have a wild hair up their ass.

Gospace said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...
Gospace, I should add that "Hispanics" aren't a racial category in the US; they're an "ethnic" category. One that apparently encompasses everyone south of our southern border, except Brazilians (a very big "except"), plus actual Spaniards.


And the difference between "ethnic" and "racial" is what? For all practical purposes- nothing. They're both code words used by liberals to divide rather then unite. Out motto is "E Pluribus Unum", From Many, One, not "Let's Stay Divided in Our Own Enclaves".

As for black-white, I have one ancestral relative who had children with slaves (multiple) in the 1850s. Following his family lines from these children for a few generations, some of his descendants in the 1940 census were white, some Negro, some mulatto. And one became a Tuskegee Airman. One alive today is a respected medical doctor. Looking at his picture on the staff website, he probably identifies as black. (It's really amazing the information that can be googled.) I suspect a lot of whites with my mother's surname would be very much surprised if they had a detailed DNA ancestry test done... Racial and ethnic categories can be much more fluid then people think.

Alex said...

Tennessee Coates is Ritmo's #1 hero, I can't wait until he shows up with his breathless worshiping.

Alex said...

Coates, like many black activists, is stuck in the crazy nationalism stage...

Wow, I never really grok-ed it until this sentence. No wonder the pure, unadulterated RAGE. Black radicals want a nation-state so bad, but it will never happen.

tcrosse said...

Tennessee Coates is Ritmo's #1 hero, I can't wait until he shows up with his breathless worshiping

Ol' Man Ritmo, He Jes' Keep Trollin' Along.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Gospace,

And the difference between "ethnic" and "racial" is what?

I think it's mainly that "Hispanics" can be of many races. You have your Zimmermans, and also your black Dominican baseball players. So "Spanish-speaking" becomes the proxy for "those people." Where this leaves the Haitians I don't know. Probably in the same dump with the Brazilians and the Portuguese. Because they don't speak Spanish.

narciso said...

I only became aerate of coated, when he was the designated sieve for the administration line. At the Atlantic in the Zimmerman case. Just like Charles blow Liz alvarez T the times, trymaine lee at the buffington, France's Robles at the herald.

narciso said...

Its bit a coincidence that the Dallas police shooter had coated as some of his favorite material.

wildswan said...

There are two significant attitudes toward the term "race". The first, the color-blind, is the one I grew up with in which "race" is a rather shifty elusive cultural category with no biological or genetic basis. This attitude is enshrined in the UN Declarations on Race: "Available scientific knowledge provides no basis for believing that the groups of mankind differ in their innate capacity for intellectual and emotional development." and "National, religious, geographic, linguistic and cultural groups do not necessarily coincide with racial groups: and the cultural traits of such groups have no demonstrated genetic connection with racial traits." And in the year 2000 when the Human Genome Project finished its work it was argued one of the results was the proof that genetic groups do not coincide with racial groups hence there is no scientific, genetic basis for conclusions about intelligence or behavior as an essential characteristic of a "real" scientifically defined genetic group. Race was thus cast out.

But almost immediately afterwards the second attitude, the social justice attitude, which is opposed to the colorblind attitude, formed. "Race" returned into the culture as an authentic term defining authentic groups with authentic, biologically based behavioral characteristics. This was happening by 2006. Astonishingly, this return had African-Americans as its standard bearers and media warriors. Their excuse was that if "race" was retained as a category having the same, old meanings given its by white supremacists of the Thirties and the Nazis, then "race" could a weapon used to achieve social justice. Ta-Nehesi Coates is a very clear example of how this is expected to work. At the end of the day, for him, in the US, "whites" are a "race", "blacks" are a "race" and ... whites are no damn good and owe blacks reparations.

So now the US, if you are over fifty, you have spent your life trying to cast out race, but if you are under thirty or woke, you are trying to bring it back in. Both attitudes are jostling about. And I object to "social justice racism" for this reason: I do not believe that bringing back the old concept of race and trying to call it an actual biological category but one that will only be used for social justice is a maneuver that will work. What if Richard Spencer takes up this view of race, applying it, however, to "whites", e.g., what if Richard Spencer calls for "safe spaces" for whites? That is segregation. But what is a person like me supposed to say to him or his followers? What is wrong with what they would be doing in terms of what Ta Nehisi Coates believes? As far as I can see, one would call me "n----- lover" and the other would call me "white racist."

But I'm sticking with Martin Luther King - judging people based on their character. And call me what you will - I believe, in the end, by the dawn's early light, they will call everyone like me an American. I think that's what the word means. "You may say that I'm a dreamer/ But I'm not the only one."

YoungHegelian said...

A Nation carved out of the United States has been a thing among some black radicals since at least the mid sixties. I think that the Nation of Islam seeks an American homeland for blacks, & I'm damn sure the New Black Panther Party does.

It is, as pointed out above, quite the pipe dream. I can't imagine any group of Americans willing to displace themselves for this scheme, but to think that New Afrika would be in the Southeast United States! Talk about trying to budge a group of people who are not only ornery as hell, they're also armed to the teeth!

CR said...

Maybe the anti-white and the pro-white are more alike than different.

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ralph L said...

narciso said...
Its bit a coincidence that the Dallas police shooter had coated as some of his favorite material.

If you're implying he's an Oreo, I think you're wrong.
He's the same angry man all the way through.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Nahesi-Coates believe that whites are not a real people. They are not authentic the way that Black and brown people are authentic. Whiteness is a construct used only to oppress others.

Roughcoat said...

The Irish may indeed be insane but the 800-year struggle by Irish nationalists to make Ireland "a nation once again" was not an irredentist movement. It was an independence movement. A distinction with a difference: a very big difference.

chickelit said...

Coates never evolved past his Black Panther father's philosophy. He probably even thinks that he's honoring and explaining his father's bigotry. It's not rocket science, folks. It's an old familial story.

chuck said...

> One that apparently encompasses everyone south of our southern border

There are a number of South Americans who would be insulted to be called Hispanic. Their forbears came from Germany and other civilized countries.

narciso said...

It was a typo, a little like Tupac, who had some family ties and Cornell west, who is sympathetic with this militia that became the bla.

Ray said...

Just a feeling, and I may be wrong...

Given:
- Trump is being called a White Supremacist, Racist, etc.
- This probably upsets him a bit.
- Trump does not fear being called a racist.
- Trump is not a Racist. He dated a black lady, his daughter converted to Judaism, he is very nice to staff no matter their color, etc.
- Trump loves to destroy overton windows
- There are a lot of overton windows about Race in the US. Discussion you just don't do, for fear of being called a Racist.
- Trump hits back
- The Left is over playing the your a racist / White Supremacist card
- Betsy Devos in Education is focused on improving education for all students, especially in the inner city.

Therefore:

- Trump is going to shatter some Overton windows on Race. I am not sure what they are, but it's going to be messy. It will cause more cases of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). The end result will be positive for the US discussion of race.

My guess is right now Trump is staying focused on his top priorities, so is ignoring the race issue for the moment.

buwaya said...

Well, I was unclear, I was mainly thinking of the Italians as irredentists, lots of others were nationalists, or even what later would be called anti-colonialists. The Irish of course fell into the latter category, other than the post-60s Provos who certainly could be called irredentists.

Lumping the lot of the ethno-activists into one, because the whole thing, the emotional resonance and rhetoric is very similar no matter if they are 1940s Burmese or 1980s Serbs, or black Americans.

n.n said...

Color diversity denies individual dignity. It is a parasitic form of bigotry that is a first-order forcing of progressive prejudice. It is a leading cause of human and civil rights violations in liberal societies. Well, that, and other manifestations of the Pro-Choice doctrine.

Color blindness denies individual differences. It is a head-in-the-sand approach to recognizing reality and acknowledging humanity.

I'm sticking with Martin Luther King - judging people based on their character

The third way. Character matters. Principles matter.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

chuck,

There are a number of South Americans who would be insulted to be called Hispanic. Their forbears came from Germany and other civilized countries.

Hmmm. If I were, say, an Argentine descendant of Nazis, I wouldn't be so quick to talk of "civilized countries."

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

narciso,

It's Cornel West, not Cornell. I am no fan of the gentleman myself, but his name is misspelled as often as Juilliard. (I have three names all of which are often misspelled, myself, so I empathize.)

Bay Area Guy said...

@Francisco D,

"My White Guilt Card is maxed out."

Heh - mine too, Baby! That shit is done.

But, as a denizen of Oakland, there's lotta individual black folks I work with, know and love. If you got them under oath, they'd say they're sick of white liberals,too!

tim in vermont said...

The Spanish valued conquered gold over worked for gold. Values they learned from the Muslims they had recently kicked out of Spain. Or so I read in a history of 16th century North America, the name of which I can't recall.

tim in vermont said...

The Spanish were hot off of big victories and well steeped in the life of conquest when they arrived.

The smallpox thing was inevitable, like the plague, once people started moving. There can be no blame for that.

narciso said...

Blame automistake, anyways communist interest in African American affairs wasnt about altruism, it was recruiting a likely lumpen ethnic cohort like lenin did with the Ukrainians azerus et Al,

The Godfather said...

When I was in college and law school in the '60's, in the middle of the "civil rights revolution", the enlightened liberal position was that race isn't a meaningful category, it's a "myth", and that humans of whatever skin color, eye shape, etc., are more alike than different. The opponents of civil rights for Negroes (which was then the polite word to call them) argued that racial differences are substantial and important, and so the races should be segregated. People of good will toward Negroes often embraced the former position because they knew that saying that the races were "different" would as a practical matter mean that Negroes were "inferior" and this would perpetuate discrimination against them.

Coates is evidence that at least some Blacks in America are confident that stressing racial differences will not lead the White majority to oppress -- or increase the oppression -- of the Black minority. If we Whites were the rotten oppressors he claims, and if we had no meaningful connection to Black people, why wouldn't we repeal the civil rights laws, reinstitute Jim Crow, and put these strangers in their place? Why would we tolerate someone like Coates?

Is it possible that Coates is missing something?

HT said...

But the style of no-compromise sacrifices things that are too important for readers to surrender without a second thought. It flattens out history into a single fixed truth, so that an event in 2016 is the same as an event in 1805, the most recent election erases the one before, the Obama years turn into an illusion. It brushes aside policy proposals as distractions, and politics itself as an immoral bargain. It weakens the liberal value of individual thought, and therefore individual responsibility, by subordinating thoughts and individuals to structures and groups. It begins with the essential point that race is an idea, and ends up just about making race an essence.

George Packer, in response to his criticism

Bob Loblaw said...

Don't let them win. The US is the outlyer in the world because we at one point were above triblism.

They've already won - we've already descended into tribalism. Really the only question is how long it takes white people in the US to adapt to the new rules. I figure we're about halfway there.

Michael K said...


Coates never evolved past his Black Panther father's philosophy. He probably even thinks that he's honoring and explaining his father's bigotry. It's not rocket science, folks. It's an old familial story.


I had a medical student whose parents were black panthers in Oakland.

He had been kicked out of a patient's room in the university hospital for inappropriate speech.

I wondered if he was schizophrenic.

I finally figured out that he did not know how to talk to white people.

I sat down with him and gave him a script on talking to white people. How to ask about their health and how to establish some sort of empathy in his role as doctor.

By using that script, he was able to function and gradually got to the point he could take a medical history and make recommendations for treating illness.

He had never been able to talk to white people growing up around his parents.

Roughcoat said...

Irredentism isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it's justified. Sometimes it's a good thing, as is nationalism. I see the Troubles of Northern Ireland in our time not as irrdentism but as an extension of the struggle for independence. As Gerry Adams once said, "We want what's ours." I was in the room when he spoke these words and afterward when he explained them. I'm not favorably inclined toward either Adams or Sinn Fein and the IRA but I understand his point and agree with him that Ireland should be "united, free, and peaceful." As it happens, the Troubles are over and people in the South don't much care anymore about the North. The armed struggle has ended and nationalists such as Gerry Adams are pursuing a political path to unification under Irish sovereignty, confident in doing so that achieving this objective is just a matter of time.

If anyone's an irredentist, it's yours truly. I dream of somehow reclaiming the prime real estate in Ireland owned by my great grandfather when the family was forced to immigrate to America . . . "because of the English."

Irish Alzheimers: You forget everything except the grudges.

narciso said...

And now the Irish unionists are holding the may cabinet together, the provosts turned to gangsterism, its in their wheelhouse, was that not the fate of the huk after lamdsdale helped magsaysay defeat them.

exiledonmainstreet said...

rough oat, I am a Catholic but I never understand how you force over a million Prods into the Republic if they don't want to go.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Rough coat! Rough Oat is what they eat in Scotland.

Ray said...

I disagree. Trump is doing incredible work to discredit / mock / trigger the institutions pushing tribalism in the US. Democrats have seemingly reached the limits of identity politics, and their lack of electoral success shows that.

>They've already won - we've already descended into tribalism.

chickelit said...

Democrats have seemingly reached the limits of identity politics, and their lack of electoral success shows that.

What big, stupid, and expensive mistake it was for Democrats to write off "white people" and to rely on brown and black voters to sweep them into permanent power. But, they did that. Explicitly.

They are still trying...and losing.

Bay Area Guy said...

Tennessee Coates really wants reparations for the American sin of slavery. He is right about the sin (but tends to gloss over the heroic Americans who died in the Civil War to free the slaves).

Let's say there's about 40 Million blacks in the USA. At $1 Mill each, that'd be $40 Trillion dollars.

Thatsa lotta shekels - our entire GNP for the year is $19 Trillion.

Maybe we should scale the reparations back to $1,000 to each of the 40 Million blacks. That'd be only $40 Billion, a much more reasonable figure, probably about half the cost of California's Bullet Train from Barstow to Bakersfield.

I'd be up for that.

sodal ye said...

Blogger Bay Area Guy said...
Tennessee Coates really wants reparations for the American sin of slavery. He is right about the sin (but tends to gloss over the heroic Americans who died in the Civil War to free the slaves).

Let's say there's about 40 Million blacks in the USA. At $1 Mill each, that'd be $40 Trillion dollars.

Thatsa lotta shekels - our entire GNP for the year is $19 Trillion.

Maybe we should scale the reparations back to $1,000 to each of the 40 Million blacks. That'd be only $40 Billion, a much more reasonable figure, probably about half the cost of California's Bullet Train from Barstow to Bakersfield.

I'd be up for that.
...
This is all bullshit, so tired of it. Time for war.

Gospace said...

Bob Loblaw said...
Don't let them win. The US is the outlyer in the world because we at one point were above triblism.

They've already won - we've already descended into tribalism. Really the only question is how long it takes white people in the US to adapt to the new rules. I figure we're about halfway there.


I think it's entirely possible to rise above tribalism again, since we're not yet fully descended into it.

First- fire all government employees with job titles that have the words "equal opportunity" or Diversity", and eliminate all offices with those words in the title and all jobs within those offices, whether or not the jobs have the titles.

Two, recognize, in law, that "Equal rights" and "Equal opportunity" don't mean "Equal outcomes".

Once those steps are accomplished, the rest come naturally.

Blue@9 said...

As some people noted after Trump's election, how the fuck can you push identity politics so hard and then get angry because white people start thinking that white people are an identity group? What the fuck did they think was going to happen? "Blacks, you can only vote for us, Latinos, you can only vote for us, "people of color," you can only vote for us, and white people, fuck you white people. Oh, you white people are now going to vote against us? RACISTS!"

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jaydub said...

Interesting comments on how to pronounce Ta-Nehisi. I have always just pronounced it as "douchebag" so I guess I was pretty far off target. Thanks to all for the education.

tim in vermont said...

It's always been a point of pride that he personally banned me from the Atlantic. For questioning the term dog-whistle, can't have his disciples exposed to questions!

tim in vermont said...

To be frank, I would rather live under a racial spoils system run by log-rolling groups of various minorities than the white left and their fellow travelers like TNC.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Ron said: "Coates son was once pushed out of the way on an escalator by a rude white woman." I myself have been pushed out of the way by a white woman, and I am white--do I pay myself reparations?

Of course you do!

Coates' shtick is to take perfectly innocent human interactions and frame them as racist because he is black. Anything and everything that happens to him is because he is black. Even his endless moaning about his father worrying about keeping him from being put in jail and the fierce discipline he used to keep that from happening. I too grew up in a situation not to different from Coates. Lower/working class in an area with lots of thugs and drugs. My father kept a sharp eye on who I hanged out with because he knew that it would be very easy for me to fall in with the wrong crowd and end up in trouble with the law. The situation has nothing to do with race. Its and issue facing pretty much all people in that situation.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The difference between me and Coates is that when someone I knew in the neighborhood was arrested and cuffed and put in the back of a police car, and then proceeded to kick out the rear window (while being shirtless of course, just like on cops,) I didn't blame it on systematic racism. I was just glad that guy was going to be off the street for awhile.

Ann Althouse said...

I was once punched in the back by a white woman because I had stopped and was standing on the sidewalk in a place she felt entitled to walk.

Fernandinande said...

Michael K pontificated...
I sat down with him and gave him a script on talking to white people.


LOL. What a load.

Michael K said...

Blogger Fernandinande said...
Michael K pontificated...
I sat down with him and gave him a script on talking to white people.

LOL. What a load.


I hope somebody keeps you away from high buildings around crowds.

Ray said...

Why has the NYT published this now?

The NYT opinion section is very political, and there is a purpose behind this.

My guess is this is a reaction to BLM jumping the shark when they protested the ACLU. And chanted liberalism is white supremacy.

n.n said...

It's not just the color supremacists and separatists, and not even especially that class. It's the color diversitists and their principled denial of individual... human dignity for political and social progress.

Angel-Dyne said...

Here we go, another round of "Let's Pretend" from the NYT. Let's pretend that Coates is a Serious Intellectual, not a flatulent third-rater being lionized by ludicrous whites for various reasons. Let's pretend that the irrational atavistic forces of "white supremacy" or "white nationalism" are now stalking the land, allowing us to further pretend that Richard Spencer isn't a hustling clown preying on marginal dimwits, but "the alt-right founder". You know, the "alt-right", of which all those threats-to-our-democracy deplorables are members. Etc., etc., etc.

I always imagine the flashlight under the writer's face when I read this stuff. The call is coming from the upstairs telephone, NYT readers!

Unknown said...

I read the linked essay by Thomas Chatterton Williams which reviews Coates book. Excellent. What he misses unfortunately is the history of blacks in America. Before the 1960s, more blacks than whites were actually married as a %, attendance at church was high, crime was low. Black culture did not revolve around gangstas and rap music. While blacks were poor, black neighborhoods were often well-kept and dignified. The introduction of welfare and the drug war broke up the family. This shows that black culture is neither fixed nor hopeless. I reject the claim that blacks lack agency. Much of the hopelessness of blacks is due to the stories they tell each other rather than reality. They believe that they are in danger in the suburbs but in reality the safest thing they could do would be to move as far from the ghetto as they can. My neighbor was black, successful, and never had a single moment of trouble in our suburb or anywhere he went. It is a powerful myth about whites being devils and dangerous. Gangs are far more dangerous. Whatever the truth about blacks being discriminated against, that discrimination is nowhere near as bad as giving up and joining a gang or getting pregnant at 15. That is what is missing from the conversation.

Caligula said...

"Slavery was historical in all warring people, the vanquished were enslaved everywhere."

Except among those peoples who were not organized enough to keep slaves. In these pre-slavery societies, the rule following conquest was to kill all the males (including male children), force women of childbearing age into "marriage," and forceably acculturate the rest.

Fertile women have been seen as an essential resource practically everywhere, and their use as an exploitable resource pre-dates slavery. Whereas enslaved men not only have no value if they can't be kept from running off but can have negative value as a potential threat.

Slavery can be seen as the kinder and gentler way over what came before societies were sufficiently organized to be able to profit from slavery.

Nonetheless, the form slavery took in America was particularly brutal, as in many other times and places there was at least the possibility that one, or at least one's children, might someday become free.