“Racism, like all forms of bigotry, is what it claims to oppose--victimology. The bigot is never to blame. Always is he besieged--by gays and their radical agenda, by women and their miniskirts, by fleet-footed blacks. It is an ideology of "not my fault." It is not Ron Paul's fault that people with an NAACP view of the world would twist his words. It is not Ron Paul's fault that his newsletter trafficked in racism. It is not Ron Paul's fault that he allowed people to author that racism in his name. It is anonymous political aids and writers, who now cowardly refuse to own their words. There's always someone else to blame--as long as it isn't Ron Paul, if only because it never was Ron Paul.”—Who else but Ta’Nehisi Coates?
“In modern America we believe racism to be the property of the uniquely villainous and morally deformed, the ideology of trolls, gorgons and orcs. We believe this even when we are actually being racist.”— - The Good, Racist People, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
“Racism tends to attract attention when it's flagrant and filled with invective. But like all bigotry, the most potent component of racism is frame-flipping--positioning the bigot as the actual victim. So the gay do not simply want to marry, they want to convert our children into sin. The Jews do not merely want to be left in peace, they actually are plotting world take-over. And the blacks are not actually victims of American power, but beneficiaries of the war against hard-working whites. This is a respectable, more sensible, bigotry, one that does not seek to name-call, preferring instead change the subject and straw man. Thus segregation wasn't necessary to keep the niggers in line, it was necessary to protect the honor of white women. ”—Ta-Nehisi Coates (About the Persecution Complex)
“The thing is, a black man can’t be president in America, given the racial aversion and history that’s still out there,” Cornell Belcher, a pollster for Obama, told the journalist Gwen Ifill after the 2008 election. “However, an extraordinary, gifted, and talented young man who happens to be black can be president.” Belcher’s formulation grants the power of anti-black racism, and proposes to defeat it by not acknowledging it. His is the perfect statement of the Obama era, a time marked by a revolution that must never announce itself, by a democracy that must never acknowledge the weight of race, even while being shaped by it. Barack Obama governs a nation enlightened enough to send an African American to the White House, but not enlightened enough to accept a black man as its president.”—from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s article ‘Fear of a Black President’, which is one of the most insightful discussions of America and race in the ‘Obama age’ I have ever read.
“David Brooks and Joe Scarborough [are] manly-men who can't find San Francisco on a map and are so macho that they chew coffee beans whole, leaving the French press for you wimpy-ass, Terry Gross-listening, Steve Urkel-looking motherfuckers... Silver's work is humiliating to people who are little more than gossipmongers. The response is to accuse them of listening to public radio and living in Seattle.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates, Toward a Fraudulent Populism
Ta-Nehisi Coates' article in September's Atlantic issue
should be held up as a prime example of how to write. Kudos to him for his exceptional ability, and kudos, as always (you all know how I feel about this magazine), to The Atlantic for being one of the only editorial magazines out there with the guts and integrity to continually publish excellence and grant writers the editorial space to truly express themselves.