Recently in Society Category

Earning The Temporary Hatred Of Your Children - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"This is hard for a lot of people to hear, but in my family, in my neighborhood, and in my community this is what part of what parenting meant. If you weren't feeling the edge of the sword on your ass, then you were responding to the possibility of it. One thing I learned, while touring for my book, was that a lot of people consider this to be child abuse. It really was news to me and ultimately unthinkable. Almost everyone I'd ever known had come up the same way. My book editor would joke, while reading, the manuscript about his grandmother coming up from the South and making him go search for a switch. In Harlem."

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

Truth be known, I'm trying to avoid it as much as possible. But push come to shove, I'm going to shove. Better me than the police who will not temper their assault nor will give or repeat verbal warnings prior.

This morning I saw some college undergrads analyze the healthcare bill more incisively than any legislator, policy wonk, or pundit. That is both a source of pride in the students I'm privileged to teach and terror in that none of our leaders in Washington seem to get what the hell is going on.

This is a black eye most of all on my President Barack Obama who, as a generally supportive but frustrated professor said, "should have brought doctors and economists together to craft a real solution" to be debated in Congress. I once thought his standards too high, but mine were too low. And it is clearly reflected in the bill.

I'm still optimistic because our system seems to be self correcting over the long haul. I pray we correct soon. Until then I'll at least enjoy the GOP get pummelled by fact checks.

The Limits Of Compassion

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The Limits Of Compassion - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"I am aware of all the socio-economic forces at work they make black communities more subject to violence. I'm in all for trying to ameliorate those forces. In the meantime, I'm all for doing whatever it takes to protect the rest of us--particularly young black kids--from hooliganism. "

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

That's pretty much the black position. Both-and vs. either-or. But I don't think there is a limit to compassion, it's a sense of justice. These cats need to be punished for doing something wrong and unnecessary.

Connecting The Dots - Ta-Nehisi Coates

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Connecting The Dots - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"There's a lot at work here: 1.) Race-baiters have, for the past few decades, repeatedly outfoxed anti-racists. Beck and Cornyn know how to walk up to the line. Carter is from a generation of liberals who never understood why people didn't agree them about Willie Horton. Thus Carter doesn't insinuate, he doesn't calibrate, he just speaks, political effects be damned. 2.) The dominant school of journalism holds that it's safer to talk about the effect of talking about race on Obama, rather than actually talking about its effects, period. That's true for most things though--reporters are generally more interested in gamesmanship, than issues. 3.) A lot of reporters take Beck and Cornyn's race-baiting is taken as a given. I'll be shocked if anyone asks Cornyn about this. I don't think they much care."

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coats.)

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It's Kanye's Fault - Ta-Nehisi Coates

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It's Kanye's Fault - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"This is history through the veil, again. It's virtually impossible to be a black person and believe that Americans were somehow more humble in the past. Our very exists springs from an act of immodesty."

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

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How To Represent - Ta-Nehisi Coates

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How To Represent - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"But the portion that always amazed were the black kids (a significant number of them biracial) who hailed from these nice suburbs (River Forest, Walnut Creek etc.), excelled in school, but came to Howard, almost out of a kind of fatigue. The fatigue is exactly what Andrew describes here--the pressure to be a representative, to explain your groups 'position,' the stifling inability to, say, be an asshole and not have it say something about your folks. "

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

Experienced that for a long time in school.

Race Is A Factor But... - Ta-Nehisi Coates

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Race Is A Factor But... - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"There's a tendency to lump anti-black racism in with all the serious problems presented when you try to make a democracy work. There is always a danger of becoming single-minded, of bringing to bear a myopic analysis which sees one thing in everything. Moreover, watermelon jokes are a long way from red-lining, and in seeing how far we've come, the temptation is to dismiss how far we have to go.But from a black perspective, it's a temptation you can ill-afford. Racism cost us dollars a half-century ago. Today it costs us quarters--but it still costs."

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

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"One of the great tragedies of the past half century or so, is how patriotism has been coopted by people who claim the Confederate flag, while black leaders, from King to Obama, are dismissed as communists/socialists and now Hitlerite. These are people whose heroes routinely flouted the federal government and assaulted black troops carrying the Union flag."

Ta-Nehisi Coates


What We Have Seen and Heard, Part 1

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Very soon a Black Catholic Bishop named Steib will be coming to speak to my parish about a pastoral letter on evangelization he co-authored titled "What We Have Seen and Heard." Because my parish is considered to be one of the 800 or so in the country that are predominantly African American, we are reading the letter in preparation for his talk, discussing it and it's implications amongst ourselves. It has been very fruitful so far and I have been reflecting on it daily. The letter is pretty long so this will be a serial post. Let's begin.

Part 1 of the letter is titled "The Gifts We Share" and talks about our call as black people to share our gifts. It enumerates them all. The first is our culture.

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Roger Keith Coleman - Ta-Nehisi Coates

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Roger Keith Coleman - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"I came up in an era where young boys thought nothing of killing each other over cheap Starter jackets. I don't have any illusions about the criminal mind. I don't believe in the essential goodness of man--which is exactly why I oppose the death penalty."

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)


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