Monday, January 25, 2016

Coates on Anti-Racism

To me, as a white person who seeks (some days, at least) to be a courageous partner with people of color, Ta-Nehisi Coates continues to be a most unsettling and important voice.  Something like the voice of the King Tradition in the 21st century.  He's bold, consistent and prophetic.  And I do what I can to take act accordingly.  

I'm struck, reading this, that the whole Trump Thing may well be a great distraction for us liberals. The real issues of 2016 lie elsewhere.  And Ta-Nehisi Coates shows us where.

From Ta-Nehisi Coates in this week's Atlantic
"So 'divisive' was Abraham Lincoln’s embrace of abolition that it got him shot in the head. So 'divisive' was Lyndon Johnson’s embrace of civil rights that it fractured the Democratic Party. So 'divisive' was Ulysses S. Grant’s defense of black civil rights and war upon the Klan, that American historians spent the better part of a century destroying his reputation. So 'divisive' was Martin Luther King Jr. that his own government bugged him, harassed him, and demonized him until he was dead. And now, in our time, politicians tout their proximity to that same King, and dismiss the completion of his work--the full pursuit of equality--as 'divisive.' The point is not that reparations is not divisive.  The point is that anti-racism is always divisive. A left radicalism that makes Clintonism its standard for anti-racism--fully knowing it could never do such a thing in the realm of labor, for instance--has embraced evasion."