I’ve Wondered What Black Men Really Thought About Being Targets Of White Supremacy…Ta-Nehisi Coates Shares
‘White supremacy is an infliction against the African-American “body.”
…’children are raised in the ghettoes white supremacy built, an omnipresent fear of violence is no less a physical experience than a punch to the gut.
TR: What did you want African Americans to know that we didn’t know?
TC: That our condition is not a mistake. That we don’t need to run around pretending, as though there’s some great mystery going on—it’s not. If an alien came to planet Earth and looked at the socioeconomic statistics for African Americans and then measured that against the history and the policies of this country, there would really be no surprises about who we are and where we are. And I think that’s important, because there are things that are not within our control in this country.
But there are some things that always get out of control, and one of those things is the level of stress that we put on ourselves. The feelings that we have about our position. The doubt—I don’t want to call it self-loathing—but the effect it has that we have somehow done something to ourselves, injured ourselves. And I just want to relieve that stress. There’s no need to walk around feeling—to be fooled into thinking—that somehow you’re insufficient as a human being. And that’s the condition that we find ourselves [in].
On the contrary, I have always said that, to be perfectly blunt, there’s nothing wrong with black people that the complete and total elimination of white supremacy would not fix. And that’s what I believe, and I want black folk who read that piece to know, “You’re OK.” You know? That the conditions within the community are not OK, but as a human being, you’re OK.