Coates: Donald Trump and his Supporters Are White Supremacists

A lot of people will object to the title of this post. I will be told to take the post down. I will be told to modify the title or to change what I say in the post.

Nope.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is correct, and his presentation is brilliant. Watch the following interview (in two parts) and read his book We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy.

Chris Hayes is correct to point out that the historical source of Coates title is critically important and deeply disturbing (this is something we’ve talked about here in the recent past). He is incorrect, as Coates points out near the end of the second segment, that there will be a future in which we debate the relative merits of the Trump vs the Obama presidency. I have no idea what possessed him to day that (I see Hayes slip into the false balance mode now and then when he’s tired, maybe that’s what he did there for just a moment).

On the book:

“We were eight years in power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.”

But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period—and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective—the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.

We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates’s iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates’s own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.

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17 thoughts on “Coates: Donald Trump and his Supporters Are White Supremacists

  1. After listening day after day to what gets phoned in from various news outlets and other flocks of parrots, I’m always a little shocked by how incisive and insightful Coates is– in itself a comment on how pedestrian media tends to be…

  2. I listened to this over the weekend while I was puttering around the house. Good discussion, and it simply supports what anyone with an open mind saw from the day President Obama was elected to the day he left office: people who were too lazy to provide intelligent comments on his actions resorted to very thinly veiled complaints about the non-white man using the front door to the White House. Whether it was the constant racist messages from the tea-baggers (the only reason they exist is to spout their racist crap) to the stated refusal of the right to soil their hands by working with him.

  3. Completely agree, and Coates’s interview with Hayes was magnificent. These two guys in conversation was a perfect half hour of intelligence and integrity.

    Maybe most impressive was that Coates had the courage to strongly admit that right now, Climate Change is the No. 1 problem anyone has. Clearly, the oppression of people of color, either overtly or implicitly, is the USA’s most egregious sin, but ruining our ability to live on this planet is humankind’s worst blunder.

    I was already a big admirer of Coates, but with that interview, he became a hero of mine.

    Coates for President. Or anything important.

  4. Climate change is the number one problem? Elect HRC so she can sell uranium to North Korea. And here come the disingenuous personal insults and attacks……

  5. Of course wtf, since she never sold uranium to anyone your intended bit of misdirection is as stupid as you are. That’s neither disingenuous nor an insult and attack, it’s a fact.

  6. Coates is a black racist. However, it doesn’t really matter what Coates thinks. He is a token for white liberals whose purpose is to attack other whites the liberals do not like.

  7. Re #6:
    We white liberals are perfectly capable of attacking (in right-speak that means disagreeing with) other whites. Where did you get any other idea? Or is this another example of you extrapolating one person’s actions or attitude to all the people in a large group? Your recent previous example turned out to be based on false information..

  8. They find great value in having attacks on Republicans as racist coming from blacks, particularly ones who are clean and articulate.

  9. @ MikeN

    Please, either try to write with simpler grammar for those of us who are ESL, or stop digging. I am not sure I’m parsing the meaning of #9 correctly. Or I’m afraid I did it correctly.

    I got bad vibes from your “ones who are clean and articulate”. I guess you mean Black people who happen to be educated and well-groomed also make great speakers when accusing Republicans of being racists.
    Well, yes. Same for everybody. Why is it an issue here?

    I cannot parse #9 any other way than “Coates is a Black dude being taken seriously and fronted by liberals only because he is clean and articulate”.
    IOW, an illiterate Black bum with crooked teeth speaks in Carribean patois about the hardships in his life, he can be ignored; replace him with a snappily dressed Black lawyer who graduated from Harvard, he can be ignored as well.

    tl;dr: If you can not see the racist subtext – and the circular reasoning – in your “clean and articulate”, I cannot help you.

  10. A quick run by from a lurker:

    As a writing teacher, I want to introduce students to Darwinian concepts–homology, phylogeny, etc.–because it’s important to take a stand in these so-called culture wars.

    My justification for doing so in an English class is this: We are never going to get anywhere on the issue of race in this country until we incorporate the fact of evolution into our collective view.

    The moral/religious arguments against racism are tired and have never impressed me because racists just appeal to “their” version of religion or “their” morality.

    The bottom line is that racist views represent the persistence of the Great Chain of Being (the Ladder of Life) that comes down through Christianity and goes all the way back to Aristotle. This is the view that there is a hierarchy in nature, that things are “created” for reasons, that there is a place for every thing, and everything is in its place–including whites at the top of the list and non-whites down below.

    Darwin’s idea kicks this view right over on its ass and says we’re all family. Ranking by race–like ranking by “superior” species–is a myth.

    Agree?

  11. “If you can not see the racist subtext – and the circular reasoning – in your “clean and articulate”, I cannot help you”

    Yup. That post is dripping in racism the way the hotcake special at a cheap diner drips in syrup.

    You can almost imagine the response to your comment beginning “I’m not a racist, but…”

  12. So two groups of Anglo-Saxons decided to have a war decades after the successful break off of colonial ties between the two groups. Due to the primitive nature of communications at the time, the soldiers and sailors continued fighting for some time after a peace treaty was signed. The former colonials celebrate the war whenever they can with an anthem cribbed from a British drinking song. Our local Methodist church plays a slightly off pitch carillon recording of it every day at noon. Followed by an unidentifiable song that probably has meaning to Methodists.. I wonder what Jesus thinks about the whole “bombs bursting in air” part of the song?

    Donald Trump wants to be the high priest of the flag totem religion. A master of symbol manipulation, he is apparently doing whatever he can to take attention away from his linkage to Russian mobsters, oligarchs, and and other tyrants.

    I hope that Mueller hurries up and squeezes the orange Julius out of the white house before the end of September. October would be okay September would be better.

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