Saturday, September 9, 2017

The First White President

Ta-Nehisi Coates is on fire here. Epic in scope, eloquence, and truth.

But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies.
The First White President

I only wish I could use the word "eldritch" with such potency.

There is a scene in 12 Angry Men where one of the jurors goes off on a racist rant. The other men freeze him out: they turn away, cross their arms, frown, and refuse to speak to him. That was a model of racial awareness for its day, but the problem is it remained the model.

We passive beneficiaries of white maleness can no longer follow that model. We have to stand up and engage; we have to confront; we have to actively combat. The men in that room should have spoken back. They should have argued, condemned, shouted, and then had the racist thrown off the jury.

We can't tolerate Uncle Bob saying racist things at the Thanksgiving table anymore. We have to speak up: "You're wrong, you're racist, and you have to leave now. And you can't come back until you understand the most important thing of all: you are wrong."