Hurricane "Coates"

Hurricane "Coates"
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After the 24/ media attention directed at Hurricanes “Harvey” in Houston, Texas and “Irma” currently in Florida, the media many now have to address Hurricane “Coates”. It appears to be a category “5” storm created by Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent article in October 2017 issue of The Atlantic Magazine

Captioned “The First White President”, it is incontrovertibly clear that America can no longer avoid or postpone a much-needed nationwide discussion about the “Inconvenient Truth” about the consequential impact of the legacy of slavery and its companion doctrine of white supremacy upon subsequent generations of Americans today.

Yes, our government and country must address 20+trillion dollars of national debt, the nuclear threat from North Korea, adverse human and structural consequences of hurricanes, Isis in Afghanistan, a consumer expensive and failing healthcare system, the immigration status of “DACAs, and a determination of whether or not a “Trump-Russian” collusion was responsible for his election as POTUS.

But the resolution of some or all of these problems recited above will not address the remaining unsolved issue of “race in America today.

Not since James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s ,The Structure of Racism on Color Blind ‘Post Racial’ America, and George Lipchitz’s The Possessive Investment in Whiteness has the issue of race been laid bare, so starkly, and so, powerfully as in Coates’s Atlantic Magazine article.

While, on its face the article is about Donald Trump and his presidency’s impact on race in our nation today it is much more incisive and compelling than only this: It is an historical and current analysis of “Race, circa 2017” in the United States of America.

Coates observes that one of THE corollaries of white supremacy TODAY is to ensure “that which all others achieve with maximum effort, a white man achieves with only a minimal qualification”.

He reminds us that “essential to the construct of the white race today is the idea of not being a nigger”, observing that “whiteness” is not just systemic. It is “the very core of power” in America.

Speaking of Pres. Trump, Coates writes that the scope of Trump’s commitment to whiteness is matched “only by the depth of popular disbelief in the power of whiteness.”

Authors Lipsitz and Bonila-Silva also noted earlier in their works that “Whiteness is everywhere in U.S. culture, but it is very hard to see.

"[W]hite power secures its dominance by seeming not to be anything in particular. As the unmarked category against which difference is constructed, whiteness never has to speak its name, never has to acknowledge its role as an organizing principle in social and cultural relations” (George Lipsitz. The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics).

Coates writes that:

The left would much rather have a discussion about class struggles, which might entice the white working masses, instead of about the racist struggles that those same masses have historically been the agents and beneficiaries of. Moreover, to accept that whiteness brought us Donald Trump is to accept whiteness as an existential danger to the country and the world”

Systemic bigotry is still central to our politics; that the country is susceptible to such bigotry; that the salt-of-the-earth Americans whom we lionize in our culture and politics are not so different from those same Americans who grin back at us in lynching photos

As we suggested above, FINALLY addressing the nationwide impact of Hurricane “Coates” may be a greater challenge than the consequences of either, or both, hurricanes, “Harvey” and “Irma”

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