Deliberation And Debate Should Not Be Confused With Beef And Hate
At least that is not what I think is going on in the feud between Cornel West and Ta-Nehesi Coates
First off I implore Black women or women of color to join this conversation. I would love to hear your perspectives as it is integral to shaping ours. Peace.
I found michaelharriot’s rousing analysis of the discord in The Root enlightening enough that I had to chime in.
From An Ex Neo-liberal: Why Ta-Nehisi Coates Keeps Talking About White Supremacy
I love Dr. Cornel West. Part of the reason I am a fan of Dr. West is because, before my non-fame and lack of fortune at…
My apologies but once again I am late to this party. I am a new fan to Mr. Harriot’s thought pieces and this was an appreciatively rousing read.
It brought me to pause when Michael wrote…
This is not to say that West’s characterization of Coates’ work has no merit. However one feels about former President Barack Obama, West’s contention that it is impossible to separate America’s unique brand of capitalism from white supremacy, thereby making the captain of the vessel — Obama, in this case — complicit in white supremacy, is worthy of examination. West also rightly points out that class, patriarchy and economics are all inextricably interwoven into the ball of yarn that is white supremacy.
If scholars find it a necessary extrapolation to upbraid President Obama for his complicity in white supremacy, then so be it, just know that this notion would be true of almost everyone pursuing liberty, justice, and economic empowerment in what amounts to be nothing more than corruptly debased sociopolitical environs that were already seeded with racism.
Furthermore, I am sure he loves his mother, as presumably one should, who happens to be a white woman, so this requirement of President Obama to use his platform to tribally excoriate whites into subjugation would seem innately incompatible and ultimately a fruitless exercise in exacerbating societal ills — solving nothing in return. It would prove to be counterintuitive and counterproductive to have flip the script.
Now while this existential qualia of nationalism seems to be working for President Trump, it’s inclusive nature and reconnaissance requires substantial violence in all forms to sustain it.
But this particular brand of divisiveness within our community that white supremacists salivate in wanting to take credit for and provoke leads to what I see as an unnecessary extension of dehumanization. Obama has been persistent in expressively seeking to dismantle the hallmark obstructions of the dominant white framing of class, patriarchy, and economics so that we could see humanity more clearly. Instead now there is some ill advised cannibalistic effort to legitimate unfettered capitalism to either defeat or better compete with white supremacy. West’s ideology does not square well here.
Please believe that Ta-Nehesi Coates speaks also to a generation that has been taught a glossed over, fallacious framing of history in schools in order to better indoctrinate and inveigle them under existing status quo mandates. I find his writings to be crucial for their understanding of the threat of their existence from the Obama era into the Trump era.