Hence, for me, the search for individual racists, and narrow individual acts of racism, is about as useful as the search for a pack of low-fat Oreos.
I guess it helps. Kinda.
We should be proud that in the 21st century we have a black president, the clearest evidence that white supremacy, and white racism, as a system of consumption, has been vanquished. But we should be humbled by the clear evidence that we don’t really understand what we defeated, how we did it, or how it’s legacy haunts us today.
I once thought the curse of not grappling with a system that sent 600,000 men to their deaths would be racial violence. Now, I think that curse might be the habit of sweeping things under the rug. In the case of people, it’s fine.
The old die and the young forget. But I’m not so worried that we don’t get the deeper meanings behind Selma. I’m worried that intellectual laziness is addictive.
We can get away with not understanding slavery; the 99 cent hamburger, not so much. People forgive. They have to. Planets are different. ~Ta-Nehisi Coates
In case you were wondering Ta-Nehisi Coates’s first name is pronounced Tah-Nuh-Hah-See. It’s an Egyptian name for ancient Nubia according to languagehat.com
Coates is a contributing editor for The Atlantic and a blogger on its website at ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.com. In my opinion Coates is definitely a voice worth listening to that a conference like the State of the Black Union would exclude. Here are his thoughts on the Tavis Smiley extravaganza.
In this post Coates brings the reader the big picture connecting the dots from racism to weight loss to the American diet to slavery.
That fact is the system that oppresses Black people oppresses us all because it’s all connected and because this system is just that big. The day I figured that out I was pretty depressed I can’t front, but it’s an understanding that is so necessary, especially if we are to work to change it.
Check out the entire post this quote is taken from “The Big Machine” and let Ta-Nehisi Coates make it plain for you.
I confess I didn’t get the vanquished part though. What do you think? have you ever connected these thoughts before? Do you think there is a connection?