Crossroads of Civilization
Mar 11th, 2013 by H. M. Stuart
Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Good, Racist People
H. M. Stuart
Tags: deli, Forest Whitaker, good people, New York, racism, shoplifting, Ta-Nehisi Coates
Posted in Community, Culture, Lifestyle, Nation, Public
H.M.: I’ll bite (and no doubt live to regret it)–what’s missing?
My good Jack,
There is no need for you to bite. Either you yourself immediately perceive a salient element glaringly not in evidence or you do not.
How about the fact that none of the articles have a photo of (or otherwise identify) the employee who allegedly profiled Whitaker?
Hint: IF he were white, it’s a pretty sure bet he’d be famous now….Paki/Indian (whatever)…not such a big story, so they conveniently leave the identity of the alleged profiler unknown so guilt-ridden liberal whites can assume the worst and feel shame.
It’s an effective media ploy, but it’s been so overused that it’s too transparent now. No wonder less than a quarter of Americans trust their media. EVERY American media outlet routinely does this. FNC, the NY Post, etc. ran this story prominently and they adhered to the same script the rest of your media did.
JMK: On behalf of guilt-ridden liberal whites everywhere, I can honestly say I don’t feel one bit of shame–hey, I’m not the guy who frisked Forest Whitaker. But neither am I sure what H.M. is getting at, and he’s not willing to offer hints; so maybe you’re on target with your suggestion, or maybe it’s because there’s no statement included from the employee explaining what led him to suspect and frisk Mr. Whitaker. Or maybe it’s the author’s statement that Whitaker hadn’t shoplifted, but to the contrary, had been robbed–of his dignity, maybe? I’m not sure what the author meant by that. Certainly more detail could be added to the piece; but it’s not a news report, it’s an opinion column by an opinion columnist (and one whose work I generally like).
TNC’s facts pretty much match the ones given in TMZ’s account of the incident (and now I feel I need a virtual bath, after reading the comment thread at TMZ). The only fact not in TNC’s opinion piece (and maybe not in his source, whichever news account he was using) that I was readily able to find from Google was the fact that the employee in question has since been fired. (Any other details about the employee that anyone may have wanted to know don’t seem to have made the news to begin with.)
Maybe he was falsely accused by a Samoyed. They’re the worst!
Chows scare me.
And don’t even get me started on Pekingese. Fuzzy little tan bastards stealing jobs from our red-blooded Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and American Bull Terriers…
Yeah, I ever get one of those fuzzy little dogs it better get used to being duct taped to a pole and used to wash the windows.
What is missing from this picture is any racism, any hint of it at all. Ta-Nehisi Coates simply manufactures the lie out of whole cloth, because it pleases him to do so.
Even Forest Whitaker himself at the time of the incident made no such claim of racism. He was and claimed to be nothing more than a person falsely accused of shoplifting who understandably felt himself humiliated when falsely stopped and peremptorily frisked. He understandably demanded an apology and received one.
Our good JMK was the only one to come close to questioning this glaringly obvious absence of racism in Coates’ account; everyone else simply accepted Coates’ lie even in the face of there being no hint of evidence anywhere to support it.
All bigotry depends critically on troops ready and willing to support its cause, even passively, but it seldom has to look far to find them. El sueño de la razon produce monstruos.
H.M.: Oh. Okay then, thanks for the clarification. I guess you and Ta-Nehisi Coates will have to agree to disagree, or else just to call each other liars.
Jack, Jack, Jack…JACK!
I don’t take you for a typical guilt-ridden white liberal, I just think you’re completely disengaged from this isue, so you really don’t see the pernicious effects of liberal paternalism on blacks and the concomitant anti-white bigotry it infuses in blacks as any kind of “big deal.”
Well, it IS a big deal….a VERY big deal.
If you were patted down by a black employee in such a store, you’re conditioned (as most whites are) to sluff it off. In fact, it’s hardly likely that any other whites would see that as an egregious affront to your person and probably evince surprise you’d “make a big deal of it.” They’d probably say something like, “Well, he probably really thought you were stealing,” which would only serve to demonstrate that most white liberals would be impressed that any black exhibited any kind of work ethic at all.
You know what you would NOT DO? You would NOT take any umbrage at all from such an incident.
Controversial talk show host, Bob Grant, noted this many eons ago when he remarked, “Any time a white caller says ANYTHING about blacks, he, or she feels it necessary to apologize profusely in advance for any hint of offense – “I’m not saying all blacks,” or “This isn’t true of most blacks but this criminal class…” – while black callers NEVER feel it necessary to spare the feelings of whites.” Grant may have been a provocateur, but he was 100% right about that. What he didn’t seem to realize was that both blacks and whites have been conditioned that way!
Now, to be fair, and to his credit (as HMS noted) Forest Whitaker DID NOT take anything close to the level of offense that Coates did. I’m not sure that would’ve been the case IF that employee had been white, like the owner of that deli, who became a convenient target for the permissibly albeit virulently “racist” T-N Coates.
Moreover, IF that employee were white (he’s very obviously NOT white) the frothing bigot Coates (and I’ve read enough of his pablum to know that he is a quintessential “negro anti-white bigot”) heaps the blame on the owner…and that is clearly because he could not do so to the non-white employee. LG-S’s comment that, “Any other details about the employee that anyone may have wanted to know don’t seem to have made the news to begin with,” which exhibited no curiosity whatsoever as to why such pertinent information was left out of the articles. After all, we immediately knew what Adam Lanza and James Holmes looked like…and what Jeffrey Hillman (the black “homeless scammer” who white NYPD Officer Lawrence DePrimo gave shoes to, despite his having an apartment and a significant disability pension – http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/barefoot-homeless-man-not-actually-homeless-175054937.html) looked like. Why NOT this “racist” and “profiling” Deli clerk? It can ONLY be because he doesn’t fit the meme….doesn’t fit “the story.”
Noted racialist (he calls himself a “race realist”….I’ll buy that) Steven Sailer quoted an email from a reader who claims:
“Coates never mentions the name of the place. I had to find that out somewhere else.
“It’s the Milano Market. Too pricey for me. Everyone who works there is either Hispanic, or Muslim – or perhaps, African. But that’s true of ALL the small markets in all of Manhattan, not just the UWS. There are no white deli help, cashiers, stockers, etc.
If he was stopped, it was not by a white person.”
That seems to ring true, as EVERY photo of the shop showed cashiers and other help that were notable only for being devoid of anything resembling whiteness.
Ed Driscoll of PJ Media said THIS about Coates’ last line (“The other day I walked past this particular deli. I believe its owners to be good people. I felt ashamed at withholding business for something far beyond the merchant’s reach. I mentioned this to my wife. My wife is not like me. When she was 6, a little white boy called her cousin a nigger, and it has been war ever since. “What if they did that to your son?” she asked…And right then I knew that I was tired of good people, that I had had all the good people I could take.”), a line that conveniently sought to transform his own virulent anti-white bigotry into a virtue, “Wow, that’s some admission — how does Coates’ wife wage a one-person “war” for presumably a quarter century or so? And just imagine the reaction if the colors and/or political parties were reversed. (Yes indeed…imagine that! Such a white woman would certainly be excoriated for “generalizing about all “people of color” from one bad experience and she’d be labeled a “racist.”)
Driscoll goes on, “Which brings us to the title of Coates’ article: “The Good, Racist People.” About which, Althouse herself wrote, “My question is: How did some people get to be considered the ‘good’ people in the first place? It’s that question that fires my antagonism to liberals. They think they are good.”
“The disparity between how liberals view themselves and how they function in reality was explored by Ace in a lengthy 2007 post titled “The Toxic Self-Delusions of the Liberal Psychology”; in the middle of which, he wrote: “To bring this ’round to current politics: Liberals, of course, also have a great deal of distance between their own capacities for unfairness, nastiness, dishonesty, and hypocrisy than they believe they do. Again, their sense of self depends heavily on the proposition that they are superior, if not superlative, in their fairness, civility, honesty, and integrity; they have great difficulties admitting deficiencies (beyond a fairly trivial sort) in any of these virtues. (http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/03/11/the-good-racist-people-of-manhattan/?singlepage=true)
Dennis Prager wrote about how perceived victimization breeds evil; “A lifelong study of good and evil has led to me conclude that the greatest single cause of evil is people perceiving of themselves or their group as victims. Nazism arose from Germans’ sense of victimhood — as a result of the Versailles Treaty, of the “stab in the back” that led to Germany’s loss in World War I and of a world Jewish conspiracy. Communism was predicated on workers regarding themselves as victims of the bourgeoisie. Much of Islamic evil today emanates from a belief that the Muslim world has been victimized by Christians and Jews. Many prisoners, including those imprisoned for horrible crimes, regard themselves as victims of society or of their upbringing. The list of those attributing their evil acts to their being victims is as long as the list of evildoers.”
Interestingly enough, Prager left out one of the German’s primary rationales for their subsequent resentments, especially against the hated French – the French using Senegalese troops to occupy the Rhineland to “further humiliate Germany”….the most technologically advanced nation on earth and the nation with the most highly educated populace in the world at that time. Just another bit of history that has been all but “black-washed” from our history books.
Today, in America, the “achievement gap” between blacks and whites has only expanded despite our best and most overt paternalistic efforts. Blacks have been culturally and spiritually debased….mostly by well-meaning whites. Few of that group value education, schools coddle them with lowered expectations and at every turn they are taught that they have very real grievances (that their every flaw and failing is white people’s faults) and thus have every right to despise whites. You, Jack, have exhibited exactly that in dismissing HMS’ rightful observation that the only “racism” that T-N Coates saw was that which he wanted to see and had to invent to come close to seeing.
IF racial bigotry is anything close to a “big deal,” then the anti-white bigotry espoused by so many blacks and encouraged by so many whites, is every bit as big a deal as pernicious anti-black bigotry by whites.
JMK: Thanks for your detailed response, explanation, and gentle, well-intentioned scolding. I’m not dismissing racism, whether “white on black” or “black on white”; I’m dismissing having a discussion about it here on this blog, in part because I’ve long since given up arguing on that particular subject and in part because I can’t take seriously statements like “most white liberals would be impressed that any black exhibited any kind of work ethic at all.”
Allow me to say this much, though, since you’ve gone to a lot of trouble to draw me into the conversation: perhaps Mr. Coates was neither lying (as H.M. has it) or inventing his grievance (as you put it)–perhaps Mr. Coates, for reasons I’m sure he’d be happy to explain if you asked him, honestly sees things differently than you and I and even H.M. That doesn’t make Coates right, of course, nor am I suggesting that all perspectives are created equal; I’m just saying that Coates may not be as pernicious a figure as you seem to think (again–I happen to like him, but hey, I’m a liberal).
As for “white liberal guilt”: according to you, we white liberals (meaning, me and my fellow travelers on the Left) do in fact have a lot to feel guilty about–paternalism, culturally and spiritually debasing black Americans, the soft bigotry of low expectations, etc. You’re just displeased that we feel guilty about the wrong things: systemic racism, blaming the victim, perpetuation of stereotypes, etc.
OK, first off, I see nothing wrong with discussing this or any other topic here….or anywhere else?
WHY would I?
I have never looked on those who disagree as “evil” or “insipid,” but I have noted that few others (ESPECIALLY among those on the Left) seem to abide by that, or any similar ethos. In short, few are so judgmental as the “don’t judge me” crowd.
As to, “Mr. Coates, for reasons I’m sure he’d be happy to explain if you asked him, honestly sees things differently than you and I and even H.M. That doesn’t make Coates right, of course, nor am I suggesting that all perspectives are created equal…”
YES, without question Mr Coates “sees things differently.” He’s been conditioned to see white bigotry EVERYWHERE, just as YOU have been conditioned NOT to see anti-white bigotry ANYWHERE.
What’s interesting, at least to me, is that you don’t find that at all curious even when it’s clearly shown to you, just as LG-S (Lynn) evinced no curiosity as to why our generally race-obsessed media would suddenly fall down on the job, so to speak, and forget to note the race of the alleged profiler. AGAIN…they DID NOT miss that salient fact, it merely did not fit the rest of their story. T-N Coates, as a member of that media very well knows the race of the alleged profiling clerk…that is NOT an opinion of mine, it is FACT. He chose NOT to assail the clerk (because he couldn’t) so he assailed the owner who’d already fired the clerk, groveled appropriately and apologized profusely to Mr Whitaker AND sought to donate to Mr Whitaker’s favorite charity.
WHY did Mr Coates do that?
Because the store owner is white and the clerk….something other.
The reason that someone as odious as T-N Coates is not seen as the virulent bigot that he is, is because the rest of the media (ESPECIALLY its predominantly liberal white faction) largely feels the very same way….so long as “the right whites” are blamed, of course. The TRUTH here is that T-N Coates is David Duke in black face. The only very slight difference is that Duke is more honest and in the face of withering revulsion over his own racist views….which kind of makes him a more courageous kind of racial bigot.
As to, “You’re just displeased that we feel guilty about the wrong things: systemic racism, blaming the victim, perpetuation of stereotypes, etc…” NO, I’m “displeased” that you feel ANY sort of guilt at all.
I do NOT and I never have.
Blacks are no more “long suffering,” any MORE “noble” or any LESS “venal” than any other group…they are human, that is all. “We” (whites) DON’T have to “do something” in order to make things OK for blacks. In fact, leaving them hell alone would probably be for the best. Enough deliberate and well-intentioned harm has already been done. Treating them as adults and NOT as “company come over for a visit” might be a good place to start, but instead we have a craven, weak-kneed white media-culture that falls all over itself validating the most absurd charges of “institutionalized white racism” even (perhaps especially) when they are laughingly espoused by virulent anti-white bigots.”
There is no question that the store clerk in question is non-white and that T-N Coates, like the rest of the media, knew that, so he found a backdoor way to “blame whitey” by castigating the owner. The same dolts blame whitey when black cops beat black perps – “those black cops most have learned that from white officers.”
Like Lynn, I spent a good deal of time trying to ferret out the race of the store clerk, so I am confident that no one (at this late hour) will come forward with a white clerk they “forgot to mention,” as that would evidence something even more egregious – a fundamental incompetence on the part of the media, something far worse than its obvious dishonesty.
JMK: (1)I never suggested there was anything wrong with you or anyone else discussing “this topic” or any other topic, either here or anywhere else. I simply said I had no intention of doing so–and I don’t.
(2) “without question Mr Coates “sees things differently.” He’s been conditioned to see white bigotry EVERYWHERE, just as YOU have been conditioned NOT to see anti-white bigotry ANYWHERE.” So, my good JMK (sorry), what have you been conditioned to see or not to see? (By the way, you should have been there the day I walked out of a seminary class after the instructor, a woman of color, kept referring to “the little white boys who run the government”. After the third time she said that, I suggested it was unnecessary and insulting; she dismissed my objection, and I chose to walk out rather than put up with it. I was dismissed from the program shortly thereafter. So please, with all due respect, don’t tell me what I’ve been conditioned not to see. I’m beginning to get the least bit tired of being confused with the stereotypical “white liberal” of people’s imaginations.)
Jack- No liberal loves his country, owns guns, cares about the debt or donates to charities. All liberals want higher taxes, hate rich people and want the govt to control everything. At least on the internet. In real life, it is much different.
This might help you to understand.
P.S. My response was not a scolding. I think well intentioned or not, you’ve overlooked a very basic reality – there is neither anything different, nor at all more justifiable about anti-white bigotry. It is as widespread, pernicious and dangerous as anti-black or anti-Jewish bigotry.
Steve2: Thanks for the helpful clarification about liberals. Is it safe then also to assume that all conservatives are racists who hate poor people and cling bitterly to their guns and religion? Because one good stereotype deserves another, I say.
You know what no one here has done???
Not a soul has defended T-N Coates, neither directly, nor even indirectly.
To me that’s a good sign. Not long ago, there would’ve been reflexively indignant responses over merely holding the likes of T-N Coates to the same standards of truth and accuracy we hold whites to.
That at least APPEARS as though more and more people are coming around on this….and that’s a very good thing indeed.
Nope. I have never advocated that. Most of the folks I work with are conservatives. They are good, decent hard working people.
Steve2: Alright, I withdraw the stereotypes. You’re a better,and fairer, man than I am.
“No liberal loves his country, owns guns, cares about the debt or donates to charities. All liberals want higher taxes, hate rich people and want the govt to control everything. At least on the internet. In real life, it is much different.” (Steve)
Steve, I’ve never assailed “liberals,” not here or anywhere else. I have and continue to assault the highly corrupt and dishonest “Liberal”/”progressive”/Leftist American media, which does NOT at all accurately represent the views of either Democrats (which I am one) or Republicans in this country. In that sense I’m defending fellow Democrats from being slimed by association with such a scurrilous entity that dares to pretend to speak for them!
Gaddafi called himself a “socialist,” when asked what he meant by “socialist,” he replied, “along the lines of Reagan and Thatcher”…me too – I am of that sort. Gaddafi was a brilliant man, who seriously defended his people against what he (possibly correctly) perceived to be “Western corruption.”
I am of the West, but not of America, which is to say, my loyalties lie elsewhere, BUT I “love” the ideal of America – the nation of independent hyper-individualistic sovereigns that Jefferson espoused, regardless of how unworkable or impractical that may be right now. It is my view that America owes it to itself, its traditions, its honor, AND to the rest of the world to be true to those ideals no matter what the cost and to…“go down with the ship,” so to speak, rather than abandon such principles as “unworkable in the modern age.”
You ARE right that only “liberals” (mostly in the media and academia, though some in politics as well) openly espouse tax hikes on perhaps the most over-taxed people on earth. Most Democrats polled strongly oppose this.
They are also the only ones who openly espouse gun control, as recently demonstrated in a surprisingly candid exchange recorded by one Jason Mattera;
“I was wondering, is it time we have a serious conversation not just about assault rifles, but about handguns as well?,” Jason Mattera asked Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).
“Well, that’s why if we have universal background checks, that will effect every single kind of weapon,” she replied. “The Brady Campaign thinks that of all the things that have been suggested, this may actually be the thing that does the most to prevent gun violence.”
“The congressional leader went on to say that there is a “moment of opportunity” and that political leaders are “going to push as hard as we can and as far as we can.” When Mattera then noted that most gun deaths are the result of handguns and questioned why addressing those type of firearms isn’t currently on the table, Schakowsky was candid, later adding that she’s personally opposed to handguns.
“We’re not going to be able to win that — not now,” she said. “But background checks I think are going to, you know, address any kind of weapon.”
Mattera, again, pushed handguns as a point of conversation, noting that a full-throttle ban could never be secured, considering the Second Amendment’s current wording.
“I don’t know. I don’t know that we can’t,” Schakowsky said, going on to note that some municipalities in her district have banned handguns, seemingly driving home the point that there is support among select cohorts for more restrictive measures in this arena. “I don’t think it’s precluded.”
I correctly consider myself “somewhat of a socialist” and I support not only abortion on demand up through the 20th week, but mandated birth control and abortion when necessary for ALL on public assistance, I also support capital punishment, stem cell research, a relatively unrestricted access to personal weaponry (though I’d consider bans on the mentally ill and those with felony records, although I can see the case for such measures being “unduly discriminatory,” as well and I oppose any and all race/gender-based preferences, which are all pretty much in-line with the views of the overwhelming majority of American Democrats…including, I believe, yourself.
Like you, I love the basic ideals of this country, I believe in the guaranteed Constitutional RIGHT for all citizens to own guns (or virtually ANY weapon one can carry), I am deeply concerned over the ponderous debt brought on solely by our excessive spending vehemently and reflexively oppose higher taxes, do not hate “rich people” (I, like you, reject the very premise that “very high income earners” are “rich”) and support less government in most areas of our lives. With so much in common, I prefer to seek out common ground, rather than focus on a few very minor differences.
Even Paul Krugman (who once defended the Command Economy, as shamefully, did I) has come around, noting “We all know that market-based economies work best.” I confess that it scares me when dolts like PK come around, it’s worrisome. Makes me tend to think I may have overlooked something somewhere.
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