Category Archives: Ta-Nehisi Coates

America’s Radical ‘Foremost Intellectual’

Readers of this website may not realize it, but America’s foremost public intellectual, especially on matters of race, is a fellow named Ta-Nehisi Coates, who for the mainstream media and liberal elites is the go-to guy. If you’ve never heard of him, don’t worry, you don’t matter.

Coates is a canny writer and blogger at the Atlantic magazine and the author of two widely praised books. Like President Obama’s books, one is a coming-of-age memoir, the other an “I’ve made it memoir — but still got a lot to complain about.”



In wake of Baltimore unrest, Ta-Nehisi Coates complains about Jim Crow and lack of reparations

The inaugural JHU Forum on Race in America featuring acclaimed writer and Baltimore native Ta-Nehisi Coates was planned months ago, organizers said, to launch a conversation at Johns Hopkins University about race and racism in our community and in our country.

Just days before the event, Baltimore erupted into riots following the funeral of Freddie Gray, the unrest beginning in the same neighborhood where Coates grew up. His mother, Coates wrote in The Atlantic earlier this week, was raised in the same West Baltimore housing project in which Gray was taken into police custody…

…The focus for Coates, one of the country’s leading public intellectuals on the topic of race, was not the broken mechanisms of the present. Rather, he repeatedly steered the conversation back to the past.

Coates declined to engage deeply in debates about the modern-day war on drugs, police corruption, or why race relations are so strained in Baltimore despite its majority-black leadership. Instead he encouraged attendees to look holistically at the centuries of “plunder” that have shaped America, from the days of slavery through the Jim Crow era and the discriminatory federal housing policies of this century.

“Plunder is not incidental to who we are. Plunder is not incidental to what America is,” Coates said, adding later: “You’re living in a country that could not exist without oceans of white supremacy.”

It would be a mistake, the writer cautioned, to “begin the conversation with the quote-unquote riot”…


In One Tweet, Ta-Nehisi Coates Reveals the Power of Being Born Black

In one tweet, Ta-Nehisi Coates did what he so often does best: elevate the conversation about race in a way that even the most ignorant Americans should be able to understand…

More details at the link. ‘Ice people’ are white, as opposed to brown ‘sun people.’


From NYT’s newsletter ‘What we’re reading’: Regarding reparations

A photo of an abandoned building in Chicago from Coates’ article , which is somehow related to slavery in the 19th century in the southern US.

There was no more important and prescient piece this year than “The Case for Reparations,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It dropped a couple of months before the world heard of Michael Brown or Eric Garner.

But it in many ways prefigured the explosion of anger that followed these killings.

In it Coates, who is fast becoming our most indispensable public intellectual, makes a cogent and in many ways unassailable argument that the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow and deeply racist policy in housing, policing, education and beyond make reparations necessary.

“Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole,” he writes.

Source: ‘What We’re Reading’ Newsletter, New York Times, Dec 23, 2014.


‘Are you really this dumb?’ Ta-Nehisi Coates blames dissing of de Blasio on racism

The Atlantic’s Coates is under the impression that he’s a smart, insightful guy. He’s sorely mistaken. See, according to him, much-maligned NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio isn’t being judged on his merits (or lack thereof), but rather on his son’s racial identity:

More at Twitchy.