Steve Sailer writes:
I have found that, in the African-American oral tradition, if the words are enunciated eloquently enough, no one examines the meaning for definitive truth.
—Biracial novelist Mat Johnson, Loving Day, 2015
America’s foremost public intellectual, Ta-Nehisi Coates, has published a new best-selling minibook, Between the World and Me, that’s interesting for what it reveals about a forbidden subject: the psychological damage done by pervasive black violence to soft, sensitive, bookish souls such as Coates. The Atlantic writer’s black radical parents forced the frightened child to grow up in Baltimore’s black community, where he lived in constant terror of the other boys. Any white person who wrote as intensely about how blacks scared him would be career-crucified out of his job, so it’s striking to read Coates recounting at length how horrible it is to live around poor blacks if you are a timid, retiring sort.
Coates’ lack of physical courage is a common and perfectly reasonable trait, although writers typically cover it up. For example, Hunter S. Thompson transmuted his recurrent paranoia about impending carnage (which beset him even in venues as family-friendly as the Circus-Circus casino) into hallucinatory comedy in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Coates, however, is humorless. Worse, his fans have encouraged him to believe he is the second coming of James Baldwin, egging him on to indulge in a prophetic-hysteric-postmodern style that is easier to parody (e.g., just repeat endlessly the phrase “black bodies” and the distractingly stupid formulation “people who believe they are white”) than it is to endure over even the course of Coates’ very short second autobiography. (As with the president, both of Coates’ books are memoirs.)
“Coates has thus elaborated a theory of history in which everything bad ever done by blacks is the fault of American whites (whom he describes—metaphorically, I hope—as ‘cannibals’).”
White writers have seldom had the courage to confess their fear of black violence so fully, at least not since 1963, when Norman Podhoretz responded to the hullabaloo over James Baldwin with an essay about growing up in Brooklyn in the 1930s and 1940s:
And so for a long time I was puzzled to think that…Negroes were supposed to be persecuted when it was the Negroes who were doing the only persecuting I knew about—and doing it, moreover, to me…. A city boy’s world is contained within three or four square blocks, and in my world it was the whites, the Italians and Jews, who feared the Negroes, not the other way around. The Negroes were tougher than we were, more ruthless, and on the whole they were better athletes…. Yet my sister’s opinions, like print, were sacred, and when she told me about exploitation and economic forces I believed her. I believed her, but I was still afraid of Negroes.
In the 52 years since Podhoretz’s “My Negro Problem—And Ours,” overwhelming evidence has piled up validating the prescience of his boyhood traumas at the hands of black juvenile delinquents. But it’s precisely because the scale of black violence over the past half century is so blatantly obvious that white intellectuals have been largely self-silenced on the topic—even as the most cunning minds among today’s liberal whites plot to reverse the mistake their grandparents made in fearfully ceding much of the best urban turf to black criminality.
The central real estate question of this century has become: How can big cities drop their hot potato of poor urban blacks in the laps of naive suburbs and small towns? That helps explain the unhinged reaction among elites to Donald Trump publicly pointing out that Mexico isn’t sending us its highest-quality citizens to be our illegal aliens. The unspoken plan is to continue to use the more docile Hispanics newcomers to shove the more dangerous African-American citizens out of desirable cities; thus, only a class traitor like Trump would dare allude to the unfortunate side effects suffered by the rest of the country.
Despite all the violence Coates has suffered at the hands of other blacks, his racial loyalty remains admirably adamantine. Thus, his ploy, as psychologically transparent as it is popular with liberal whites, is to blame his lifelong petrified unhappiness on the white suburbanites he envied for being able to live far from black thugs.
Unfortunately for Coates’ persuasiveness, white people, unlike blacks, have never actually done anything terribly bad to him. The worst memory he can dredge up is the time an Upper West Side white woman pushed his 4-year-old son to get the dawdling kid to stop clogging an escalator exit. She even had the racist nerve to say, “Come on!”
Coates reacted as unreasonably as a guest star on Seinfeld would. Ever since this Escalator Incident, he’s been dwelling on how, while it might have looked like yet another example of blacks behaving badly, it was, when you stop to think about slavery and Crow (not to mention redlining), really all the fault of whites.
The central event in Between the World and Me is the fatal shooting in 2000 of an acquaintance from Howard U. by an undercover deputy from Prince George County, the country’s most affluent black-majority county. Coates refers to this tragedy repeatedly as proof of America’s demonic drive to destroy black bodies. (The dead man’s family, I found, was eventually awarded $3.7 million in their wrongful-death suit, much like the $3 million awarded to the parents of a teen gunned down by an undercover Obama Administration agent in a shooting that I investigated in 2010. You have never heard of my local police blotter item, though, because the victim was white.)
Since I’m a horrible person, my immediate response to Coates’ tale was…okay…black-run county, affirmative-action hiring, and poor police decision-making…you know, I bet the shooter cop was black.
And sure enough, the Carlton Jones who shot Prince Jones turned out to be black. Coates eventually gets around to briefly admitting that awkward fact, but only after seven pages of purple prose about people who believe they are whites destroying black bodies.
COMMENTS ON TAKIMAG:
* I’m still really creeped out by the obsession with “bodies” in Coates’ rhetoric, and I’ve seen it elsewhere as well. The phrase “black bodies” appears over and over again.
Questions I don’t expect to ever have answered: Why wouldn’t they refer to “black people” or “black human beings”? Why “black bodies?” Do they reject the concept of a soul? How about at least a personality? Is what animates the body somehow useless? Does the phrase “white bodies” ever appear?
It’s just a very strange way of referring to people and persons. It’s dehumanizing. Is that the point, then? Like, evil whites have dehumanized blacks, so they’re just “bodies” to us?
* I think he alludes to the liberal shtick that “race is only skin deep”. There isn’t anything differentiating whites and blacks other than their bodies. “Black people” would also imply a black mind, one that decides to commit crime and whatnot. The “black body” is seen as an external element upon which whites project their prejudice, making it commit crime and whatnot…
In other words, a black is seen as such and such only because he has a “black body”.
* It’s that “soft racism of low expectations” thing. Libs think anyone not in the R1b-L11 haplogroup are passive carbon units who are simply extras, victims, the chorus, or oompa loompas on the world’s stage. They’re just drones waiting to be activated and reprogrammed by the glorious rainbow. Until then, they have no control of their destinies, but are controlled by invisible beams of whiteness.
* “Black body” is a term used in physics. It has a certain poetic resonance, therefore in spite of their knowing nothing about its original meaning, it is a candidate for appropriation by rap artists such as Te Nehisi Coates.
You won’t go far wrong in believing that everything a black person says is for verbal effect only, just nonsensical glitter and sparkle. Don’t expect anything a black man says to hold coherent meaning or correspond to any state or condition in the world. They share this gift for flamboyant, verbal dexterity with their enablers and handlers, Eskimo trial lawyers.
* The “bodies” thing is meant to push the “slavery” button. Low-grade agitprop. They don’t even do propaganda well. Must be whitey’s fault.
* I watched over the decades as the inner city of Milwaukee was destroyed by blacks spreading like locusts and destroying everything in their wake. Now much of the inner city looks like a wasteland. Of course hundreds of millions of millions if not billions of Federal money have been dumped in new construction in these neighborhoods. They still remain hell holes of violence and crime. White people were terrorized out of these stable neighborhoods. Law abiding blacks also met a similar fate.
* I read that article by Podhoretz long ago and remember that his solution to the problem was to use blacks to breed whites out of existence. You see, for Podhoretz and his clan, the problem wasn’t blacks, it was whites since you could simply move out of a black neighborhood:
“I share this hope, but I cannot see how it will ever be realized unless color does in fact disappear: and that means not integration, it means assimilation, it means—let the brutal word come out—miscegenation.”
Whenever a politician endorsed immigration restrictions he brought up “The Holocaust” claiming that any attempt to curtail open immigration would lead to the annihilation of his tribe, his race. The consensus amongst the race of Podhoretz was that “Intolerance” led to “The Holocaust” because Europeans, especially Germans regarded his tribe an “alien, nearly monolithic and subversive force whose main goal is to destroy Western Civilization”. Anyone like Joe Sobran who wanted to preserve Western civilization was of course an intolerant Nazi conspiracy theorist.
Podhoretz had one central fear about the physical safety of his race and articulated a final solution. It was nothing less than the destruction of Christianity and the elimination of whites. The promotion of blacks by organizing them as a force of miscegenation, the desire to flood white countries with third-world immigration and a burning hatred of Christ can’t be denied.