Ta-Nehisi Coates’ response to Richard Cohen’s “Racism vs. reality” column in The Washington Post (July 15, 2013) is so spot on that I had to post something about it. “The Banality of Richard Cohen and Racist Profiling” is a must read for anyone who’s tired of those White “liberals” who remain okay with racism for the sake of perceived safety. Below was my two cents on both Coates’ piece and the sidetracking some whom commented on Coates’ piece tried to do by equating racial profiling with affirmative action:
“Richard Cohen is no different than the racist and race-baiting journalists of not too long ago. You know, the ones who’d put ‘Negro Rapes A White Girl’ on the front page of the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post or New York Times, back in the days when Whites would riot and destroy Black neighborhoods upon seeing such headlines. All to sell newspapers, not to actually start a real and serious dialogue on race, racism and remedies.
And this is precisely what makes Cohen and his ill-conceived logic so dangerous. His is a piece that’s meant to make White ‘liberals’ feel okay about the denial of humanity and rights to Blacks. Especially since White ‘liberals’ must also feel that they’re protected and safe from the Black male boogieman criminal.
Don’t get caught up in a debate about affirmative action as some sort of intellectual counterbalance. It’s a false equivalency, plain and simple. More to the point, it’s a distraction from the real point. Like TNC, the late Derrick Bell wrote about this at length. The idea that we as African Americans, male and female, must embody all of the evils and stereotypes of this nation in order for Whites to feel safe. It’s so insulting, so soul-destroying, so infuriating, this immutable racism of Cohen and the millions of folk who think like him.”