The big Ta-Nehisi Coates case for reparations has finally hit the web. There is a soft case in favor of reparations. By soft case, that is a general nod in favor the argument of reparations with lots of qualification. We have tried for at least two generations to relieve a certain segment of the white population of their unfounded guilt over slavery and discrimination. The only way to do that is to settle up with the blacks. We hammer out an agreement, write the checks and close the books on the issue for good.
The Coates story has been anticipated for a while, since he is the latest novelty on the progressive circuit. Right out of the shoot we get a Biblical quote and a snippet from John Locke. Then the whole thing falls apart. Instead of making the case for why reparations will solve the problem, he spends thousands and thousands of words bitching and moaning about whitey and how rotten it is to be black in America. Anyone over the age of ten has heard it all before and has no interest in hearing it again.
It’s not just laziness, it is cowardice. Look, reparations in the abstract are easy. It is when you get to nut-cutting that things get tough. How much does each black person get? How do we determined who is eligible? Who pays? How do we figure that out? More important, how do we then de-construct the previous efforts at reparations like affirmative action? That’s tough and it takes skill to make the case. It also takes a degree of honesty not popular in the comfy lefty confines.
Coates, of course, is really just a grifter. He’s not well read or educated, but he knows how to game white liberal elites into giving him stuff. He reads enough to drop references and book titles with some skill. That pleases liberal whites. He does the authentic black guy bit by living in Harlem. He’s checking off all the boxed for his benefactors. This article is aimed at them. It allows them to weep and wallow in their self-inflicted misery. They get to feel good over feeling bad about their privilege.
Maybe he lacks the wherewithal to make a sensible argument in favor of reparations, so maybe that’s part of it. He’s another victim of affirmative action. Even so, he could make the old black demand for free stuff. He can’t even do that as the free stuff would have to come from his Jewish benefactors. That would risk his place on the gravy train, so he just goes with emotive pap. That’s what makes him a character.