Between Ta-Nehisi Coates and Me

The next time you hear people like Coates talk about “white supremacy” and completely ignore brute facts and statistics, then just simply ask them, “What have you been smoking lately”?


…by Jonas E. Alexis

If one follows the ideological worldviews that make up our modern culture to their “logical” conclusions, then Ta-Nehisi Coates should be considered a racist or racialist. You can easily deduce that conclusion from virtually every chapter of his memoir, Between the World and Me. John McWhorter of Columbia University has declared that much of what Coates writes about is nothing but “bigotry,” and Coates wouldn’t be able to wiggle out of some of his own writings, says McWhorter, if he happened to be “white.”

E. Michael Jones has recently pointed out that Coates got hired by the Atlantic, which is a Jewish organ, for expanding and expounding racial/racist ideologies, which the oligarchs love to unleash upon Americans and unsuspecting observers.

“The racial narrative is an integral part of the Jewish system of political control in this country. By joining the staff of The Atlantic, Coates became their agent in enforcing a system of control known as the Black/Jewish Alliance…”[1]

Coates was, as Jones put it, “their race man.”[2] In 1980, the Atlantic was overtaken by “the Jewish elite” which, according to Jones, “succeeded their WASP counterparts as America’s ruling class, when Mortimer Zuckerman, property magnate and founder of Boston Properties, acquired the magazine.”[3]

But Coates didn’t arbitrarily formulate his racist ideology overnight. In fact, Coates’ essay, “The Case for Reparation,” was built upon the work of Beryl Satter, a Jewish professor of history at Rutgers University who has written Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America.

Coates admits that Satter’s Family Properties is “the best book I’ve ever read on the relationship between blacks and Jews.”[4] The obvious conclusion from Coates’ statement here is that there is a huge gap in his education, particularly when it comes to the history of slavery in America.[5]

The simple fact is that Satter never addresses the central issues in her book, namely, that Jewish radicals have for centuries tried to seduce blacks into their subversive movements. As Jones pointed out, this goes all the way back to Frederick Douglass and her girlfriend Ottilie Assing, who as a Jewish revolutionary from Germany.[6]

Assing’s job in particular was to challenge Douglass to give up his belief in God. After his association with Assing, who introduced him to the skeptical writings of Enlightenment writers, Douglass was just one step away from being a true revolutionary.

Assing wrote to the German atheist Ludwig Feuerbach, “Personal sympathy and concordance in many central issues Douglass and me together, but, there was one obstacle to a loving and lasting relationship—namely, the personal Christian God.”[7]

Biographer Maria Diedrich adds that Douglass and Assing “felt deeply about each other; they agreed on political and social issues; they shared their fascination with books, their abolitionist commitment, their belief in education and progress. The bone of contention between them was Christianity.”[8]

Douglass came very close to abandoning the Christian God altogether and embracing Jewish revolutionary ideologies; there was no way that Douglass could have stayed with her for twenty-six years without embracing some part of Assing’s revolutionary ideology. Assing—born to a Jewish father, who converted to Christianity, and a revolutionary mother, who was active among those who supported the Revolution of 1848—came to New York from Germany in 1852. Within a short period of time, she began to immerse herself in literature that excited her intellectual appetite for political and revolutionary actions.

As Diedrich puts it, “[Harriet] Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, first published in 1851, was loud enough for the clamor to be heard even in Germany, and Assing was eager to read it. Like all educated Germans of her day, she had read Heinrich von Kleist’s Engagement in Santo Domingo (1811) and she shared the enthusiasm of German radicals for the Haitian revolution and its hero, Toussaint L’Ouverture.”[9]

Diedrich goes on to say, “It is possible that the glorification of Toussaint L’Ouverture among German radicals roused the hope in her that another great black liberator would rise in the United States.”[10] For Assing, this great black liberator was none other than Frederick Douglass.

Assing was the intellectual liberator, and Douglass the eager student who wanted to know more about liberation—or subversive movements. Previously, Douglass had shown his sexual propensity for women, but now it was time for him to learn revolutionary ideas under a revolutionary woman.

So when Assing first read Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity, she felt that she had finally found a way to convert Douglass to atheism once and for all. “The Essence of Christianity became an intellectual challenge Assing and Douglass tried to meet through long evenings of reading, questioning, and debate.”[11]

“Feuerbach’s text did not ask Douglass to bend his knees and close his eyes in prayer,” declares Diedrich. “It challenged him to continue what he was already doing: stand upright, look unblinkingly at the world, and do what needed to be done. The Essence of Christianity was important for providing sound philosophical foundations for a free spirit.”[12]

Assing testified to the effect Feuerbach’s ideas had upon Douglass’s mind: “They struck him like a ray of light, and accomplished a complete revolution of his opinions.”[13]


Beryl Satter

Douglass was hardly the only person who was drawn to the revolutionary spirit. Lorraine Hansberry, known for A Raisin in the Sun, was another individual who got bugged by that spirit. Like Douglas before her, Hansberry married a revolutionary by the name of Robert Nemiroff. Soon enough, Hansberry began to portray the revolutionary spirit and attitude in her work, including A Raisin in the Sun. She wrote:

“God hasn’t got a thing to do with it…God is just one idea I don’t accept…I get tired of Him getting credit for all the things the human race achieves through its own stubborn effort. There simply is no God—there is only man and it is he who makes miracles.”[14]

If man is the measure of all things and if he decides who makes miracles, then racism, genocide, “survival of the fittest,” and other evils which are incompatible with Hansberry’s heritage can find their rationalization in a society where man is the final authority. If man is in charge and there is no ultimate transcendent moral virtue, who is Hansberry to say that racism is wrong? On what grounds is she saying that someone else’s view is wrong? Without an ultimate transcendence, Hansberry’s argument is philosophically dead and logically indefensible.

Hansberry, by indirection, gave thanks to the real person who helped bring her revolutionary work into being. In The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, she wrote,

“I have learned a lot after five years of life with you, Sidney. When I met you I thought Kant was a stilted way of saying cannot; I thought Puccini was a kind of spaghetti…Thanks to you, I now know something that I wouldn’t have learned if it hadn’t been for you.”[15]

As the end of her life drew near, Hansberry found herself between two poles: “Do I remain a revolutionary? Intellectually—without a doubt. But am I prepared to give my body to the struggle or even my comforts? This is what I puzzle about.”[16]

Hansberry could not put it any plainer. She was a revolutionary in the sense that her intellectual heritage was Jewish, but she found herself in a dilemma because being Jewish means she had to reject ultimate purpose or Logos. As E. Michael Jones puts it, by being revolutionaries, writers such as Hansberry lost their faith in God and replaced it with “moral corruption.”[17]

Lorraine Hansberry

If it is not moral corruption, then intellectual dishonesty takes over. Which brings us back to Ta-Nehisi Coates. Did Beryl Satter tell Coates the truth about the true history of slavery in the United States? Did she write that the slavery movement was an essentially Jewish enterprise?[18] Did she write that the Poles and Lithuanians who came to America in the 1920s and 30s did not consider themselves as “white”?[19] Did she write that even James Baldwin declared that “When we were growing up in Harlem our demoralizing series of landlords were Jewish, and we hated them”?[20] Why were they hated?

Jewish historian Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht tells us that

“The landlords were hated because they did not paint or repair or heat, they just collected exorbitant rents…Baldwin lists the other Jews that blacks hated: the grocer, to whom they were in debt; the butcher, who sold them bad meat at high prices; and most of all, the pawnbroker.

“‘It is bitter,’ he wrote, ‘to watch the Jewish storekeeper locking up his store for the night, and going home. Going, with your money in his pocket, to a clean neighborhood, miles from you, which you will not be allowed to enter.’”[21]

We are also told that “The overwhelming presence of the Jew as landlord, storekeeper, and boss made black anti-Semitism inevitable. Stokely Carmichael wrote, ‘Exploitation by Jewish landlords and merchants…first created black resentment toward Jews—not Judaism.’”[22]

Like the Jews in Poland, Jews in New York resorted to old tricks: “In 1960 sociologist David Caplovits did a study on ‘The Merchant and the Low-Income Consumer.’ He said that ‘many, if not all, of the merchants happen to be Jews and many of the customers are Negroes.’ Caplovitz found that the merchants used all the traditional tricks to prey upon the poor: installment plans, overpricing, and bait-and-switch tactics.”[23]

For that reason, “Black anti-Semitism was a response not only to the ghetto businessman but to Jewish racism. Many blacks have written that they expected more from Jews; they felt that a people so discriminated against should not discriminate.”[24]

Irving Louis Horowitz, a noted sociologist and professor, recounted that his parents used to cheat the black Christians, counting it “a special occasion on which my father wreaked his own revenge on Christendom.”[25]

“The scam went like this: the unsuspecting customer would bring in all light bulbs for testing. Each bulb would be placed against the side of the bulb tester rather than against the filament that would light up the bulb. The trick was easily learned and passed on to my mother, my sister, and me. I became a master at this special bulb test.

“When the same bulbs were retested after the customer left, they almost always were found to be perfect, or least good enough for resale. My father placed them into inventory and sold them as new. The special bulbs were resold countless times each season. Hence, it was no accident that the volume of December bulb sales probably surpassed that of any other month. December profits also showed remarkably uncharacteristic good health.”[26]

These important issues are all omitted in Satter’s Family Properties. Coates, of course, began to see that his real oppressors are whites. Coates should do himself a favor by picking up a copy of Harold Cruse’s The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, in which he argued that Jewish radicals have always tried to use blacks for revolutionary purposes, most specifically to fight against what they viewed as anti-Semitism.

Other historians like David Levering Lewis saw the Black-Jewish alliance as a weapon “to fight anti-Semitism by remote control” (although Lewis seemed to have backed off from that position by 1993).[27] In other words, the blacks were being used as pawns in the service of a larger Jewish revolutionary ideology. In the words of Jewish author Gelya Frank, Jews used both the Civil Rights Movement and the NAACP as “remote control.”[28]

The late Israeli academic Israel Shahak likewise noted,

“The apparent enthusiasm displayed by American rabbis or by the Jewish organizations in the U.S.A. during the 1950s and the 1960s in support of the Blacks in the South, was motivated only by considerations of Jewish self-interest, just as was the communist support for the same Blacks…

“Stalin and his supporters never tired of condemning the discrimination against the American or the South African Blacks, especially in the midst of the worst crimes committed within the USSR…Its purpose in both cases was to try to capture the Black community politically, in the Jewish case to an unthinking support of Israeli policies in the Middle East.”[29]

Jewish scholar Murray Friedman expresses the same opinion. Is Coates willing to examine this body of evidence? Is he prepared to go wherever the evidence leads? Or is he going to walk away and refuse to examine things the way they really are?

Coates and Wall Street

Since Coates is arguing from an essentially ideological premise, he simply cannot identify (or refuse to identify) the central issues. In that sense, he is morally and intellectually blind. He writes that “white America’s progress, or rather the progress of those Americans who believe that they are white, was built on looting and violence.”[30]

The obvious contradiction is that Coates has recently had a heated debate with Cornel West, who chastised Coates for not criticizing Obama in his recent book We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy. For West, it is hypocritical to give Obama a free pass precisely because he was in cahoots with Wall Street and the real gangsters who crashed the economy in 2008.

In fact, Obama bailed Wall Street and the big banks out. And how much money was that? It has been calculated to be around 14 to 16 trillion dollars![31] Journalist Nomi Prins has documented that the bailout “was never about the little guy.” It was exclusively done for the oligarchs, the usurers, the gangsters on Wall Street, and the banksters.[32] Prins—who used to work as a managing director for big companies like Goldman-Sachs, Bear Stearns, the Lehman Brothers, and the Chase Manhattan Bank—writes courageously and unflinchingly:

“If the thought of the government spending trillions of dollars on Wall Street’s screw-ups pisses you off, you’re not crazy.”[33]

Obviously Coates wasn’t pissed off about the bailout. He should have chewed up on Prins’ poignant statement for a while. He was so busy fighting America’s “real problem” (“white supremacy”) that he didn’t have time to look at the fundamental issues. But the central question should be this: what could the government or society do with 14 trillion dollars? Get this:

10 years of vaccines for kids in 117 countries
$110 billion

10 years of $10,000 bonuses for all US public school teachers
$318 billion

Sending all 2009 US high school grads to private college
$347 billion

Doubling US spending on HIV/AIDSand cancer research for 20 years
$493 billion

10 years of CO2 offsets for all Americans
$559 billion

Meeting UN anti-poverty goals by 2015
$757 billion

20 years of universal preschool in US
$860 billion

Buying a house for every homeless American
$878 billion

Buying the world an iPhone 3GS
$2 trillion

10 years of private health insurance for uninsured Americans
$2.2 trillion

Paying off 1/3 of US home mortgages

$3.5 trillion[34]

And all those expenses do not even add up to 16 trillion dollars! For Coates to ignore all that is a blatant hypocrisy, and he took no pains to avoid this self-contradiction.[35] This brings us to a central point: has Coates really been following the rules of logic and evidence? Or has he been ignoring the obvious and deliberately excluding rival explanations to save his career as a journalist and public figure? Coates’ position, says West,

“reaps the benefits of the neoliberal establishment that rewards silences on issues such as Wall Street greed or Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and people. The disagreement between Coates and me is clear: any analysis or vision of our world that omits the centrality of Wall Street power, US military policies, and the complex dynamics of class, gender, and sexuality in black America is too narrow and dangerously misleading. So it is with Ta-Nehisi Coates’ worldview….

“Coates praises Obama as a ‘deeply moral human being’ while remaining silent on the 563 drone strikes, the assassination of US citizens with no trial, the 26,171 bombs dropped on five Muslim-majority countries in 2016 and the 550 Palestinian children killed with US supported planes in 51 days, etc. He calls Obama ‘one of the greatest presidents in American history,’ who for ‘eight years … walked on ice and never fell.’”[36]

Both Coates and West fall into the same trap. They see “white supremacy” virtually everywhere, when in fact the fundamental issue always revolves around morality and practical reason. West is right on target when he talks about the plight of the Palestinians, Wall Street gangsters, and US military invasions. But he is simply wrong when he starts talking about “race matters” and supporting radical movements such as Black Lives Matter. He is certainly playing into the hands of the very people he is trying to criticize.

Coates and His Amoral Universe

Coates, for his part, is trapped in his own “amoral” universe, one which intellectually crippled his antecedents like Loraine Hansberry. Coates writes:

“Ideas like cosmic justice, collective hope, and national redemption had no meaning for me. The truth was in the everything that came after atheism, after the amorality of the universe is taken not as a problem but as a given. It was then that I was freed from considering my own morality away from the cosmic and the abstract.”[37]

Coates’ atheism, as E. Michael Jones has pointed out, is not grounded in sufficient reason but in what in what his father taught him as a nine-year-old kid, that “there was no justice in the world, save the justice we dish out with our own hands.”

Coates has intellectually locked himself in his own incoherent ideology. If there is no objective morality, if we are living in an “amoral” universe, then why is Coates upset about so-called “white supremacy”? Why writing articles such as “The Case for Reparations”? Why is he imposing this worldview upon us all and indeed “white people”? And why is he using languages such as “a strong moral feeling”[38] throughout his recent book?

Coates praises Margaret Garner, “who would slaughter her own child before submitting her to the slow slaughter of bondage, who with her last breath said to her husband, ‘Never marry again in slavery.’”[39] But we are living in an amoral universe!

Total nonsense. If we are living in an amoral universe, then there is no way to condemn rape, child slavery, injustice, and even lynching, the very things that Coates himself despises and hates.[40] But since Coates’ own views are impressively and fantastically incoherent, he finds it appealing to embrace the absence of a moral universe, which inexorably is irrationality and chaos. He writes:

“I don’t have any gospel of my own. Postwar, and the early pages of Bloodlands, have revealed a truth to me: I am an atheist. (I have recently realized this.) I don’t believe the arc of the universe bends towards justice. I don’t even believe in an arc. I believe in chaos. I believe powerful people who think they can make Utopia out of chaos should be watched closely. I don’t know that it all ends badly. But I think it probably does.”[41]

Coates moves on to say, “I’m also not a cynic. I think that those of us who reject divinity, who understand that there is no order, there is no arc, that we are night travelers on a great tundra, that stars can’t guide us, will understand that the only work that will matter, will be the work done by us.”[42]

If “the only work that will matter, will be the work done by us,” does that “us” include slave owners as well? If not, then why is Coates so prejudice? Why can’t he see that he is implicitly appealing to a moral code which essentially says that “the only work that will matter, will be the work done by us”?

Perhaps Coates needs to pick up the writings of people like Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, H. G. Wells, among others, and realize that to argue for an amoral universe and then flee from its metaphysical consequences is intellectually dishonest and therefore worthless. But throughout Between the World and Me, Coates expounds his racist ideology as if it is a brute fact to which everyone at all time and place must submit. He writes, “In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body — it is heritage.”[43]

Let’s suppose that a person changes the “black body” to “white body.” Wouldn’t you say that he or she is a part of some racist group, perhaps the Ku Klux Klan? If Coates considers white nationalists racist, how can he get away with saying preposterous things like this?

Moreover, the statement itself is categorically false. In order for the statement to be true, Coates has to ignore or dismiss the South Side of Chicago, where blacks are being killed astronomically by other blacks on a daily basis. As E. Michael Jones said in our conversation last year:

In 2014 there were 432 homicides in the city of Chicago. During the week beginning October 18, 2015, four people were shot and killed in the city of Chicago and 34 people were shot and wounded. During the month of October 2015, as of October 24, 21 people have been shot and killed and 136 people have been shot and wounded…”

The fact is that this has been a pattern since the 1980s![44]

Tyshawn Lee

In November of 2015, a 9-year-old boy by the name of Tyshawn Lee was playing basketball at a park next to his grandmother’s house. It was on a Monday afternoon. All of a sudden, a group of gangbangers began to have an argument, during which they pull up guns and began to take revenge on the young boy. Why? The Chicago Tribune reported:

“Cook County prosecutors say three members of a Black P Stones faction had targeted the 83-pound boy to avenge a shooting by rivals three weeks earlier in which a mother was wounded and her 25-year-old son killed.

“As two of the gang members drove off in a black SUV, the one who remained in Dawes Park picked up Tyshawn’s basketball and dribbled it a few times before handing it back to him. He then lured the boy into a nearby alley about the same time the SUV re-emerged. As the two looked on from the SUV, the one gang member shot Tyshawn five times, killing him… The fourth-grader’s basketball was found a few feet away.”[45]

Lee’s shooting suspects

Tyshawn, according to his mother, dreamed about becoming a basketball player and was even taking basketball lessons. “He’s a good kid,” his mom lamented. “He didn’t deserve that.” Ta-Nehisi Coates will never talk about these murders in a rational way because they would ruin his financial career. He dismissed similar reports by one strike of a pen:

“The notion that violence within the black community is ‘background noise’ is not supported by the historical record—or by Google… It is not ‘black on black crime’ that is background noise in America, but the pleas of black people.”[46]

Balderdash. But Coates moved on to propound: “The policy of America has been, for most of its history, white supremacy. The high rates of violence in black neighborhoods do not exist outside of these facts—they evidence them.”[47]

Now, we’re talking. The operating system for Coates is that “white supremacy” is not something that is obscure and arcane but widespread. It is the zeitgeist upon which Coates sees everything, despite the fact that numerous studies belie the claims he propounds in Between the World and Me and We Were Eight Years in Power.

Coates uses Between the World and Me to enslave his beloved son throughout, such as this: “‘White America’ is a syndicate arrayed to protect its exclusive power to dominate and control our bodies. Sometimes this power is direct (lynching), and sometimes it is insidious (redlining). But however it appears, the power of domination and exclusion is central to the belief in being white, and without it, ‘white people’ would cease to exist for want of reasons.”[48]

This says very little of Coates as a cultural analyst. In fact, the statement itself does say a lot about his deep ideology, which is essentially racist, incoherent, and historically Jewish. If Kant is right in saying that one ought to be able to universalize a principle in order for it to be coherent, then Coates is in deep trouble, because again if we replace “white people” that he refers to in his book with “black people,” then the party is over. Coates would have to refund thousands upon thousands of dollars to those who naively bought his books, hoping that Coates was going to liberate them from “white supremacy.”

In a sense, Coates is inexorably mimicking the very ideology he tries to criticize, namely “white supremacy.” I certainly am not the only one to see this. Thomas Chatterton Williams of the New York Times has said the same thing. Williams writes:

“The most shocking aspect of Mr. Coates’s wording here is the extent to which it mirrors ideas of race — specifically the specialness of whiteness — that white supremacist thinkers cherish. Mr. Coates’s recent writing and the tenor of the leftist ‘woke’ discourse he epitomizes.

“Though it is not at all morally equivalent, it is in sync with the toxic premises of white supremacism. Both sides eagerly reduce people to abstract color categories, all the while feeding off of and legitimizing each other, while those of us searching for gray areas and common ground get devoured twice. Both sides mystify racial identity, interpreting it as something fixed, determinative and almost supernatural.”[49]

The foundational principle that is missing in Coates’ writings and in the writings of the people he is criticizing is what Kant again calls the categorical imperative. We have discussed this issue at length in the past.[50] Obviously Coates and the ideas he is criticizing diverge in many ways, but Coates is basing his entire worldview on a faulty ideological premise which is either immoral or amoral. Take your pick.

Let’s just say that according to the categorical imperative, both Coates’ position and the position he is attempting to criticize are philosophically incoherent and existentially worthless. They are both operating outside of practical reason, and when that happens, all hell breaks loose. Coates’ identity, as it turns out, is a function of his rejection of the moral order, which he describes as amoral.

It was inevitable that Coates would embrace a racial binary which he finds comfortable—and which in our modern age is financially profitable. His obsession with “white supremacy,” which he desperately tries to pass off as an intellectual exercise, has obviously become a covert-up—an escape from rational and moral responsibility. “If you are attempting to study American history and you don’t understand the forces of white supremacy,” Coates said in a lecture, “you fundamentally misunderstand America.”

When he was asked the question, “You believe that white supremacy—and the preservation of white supremacy—is a fundamental fact in the United States that has been systematically upheld”? In a typically despairing tone, Coates quickly responded, “I do. I hope one day that’s not true. But I think there is a broad amount of evidence to suggest that it is.” Coates wrote in 2014 on his blog:

“I view white supremacy as one of the central organising forces in American life, whose vestiges and practices afflicted black people in the past, continue to afflict black people today, and will likely afflict black people until this country passes into the dust.”[51]

One ought to say that there are some ideas that are so stupid and out of touch with reality that only Ta-Nehisi Coates would believe them. How does Coates get to be placed on the political platform if “white supremacy” is virtually everywhere in the United States? How is it that both whites and blacks have bought his books by the truckload? How is it that Between the World and Me was on the New York Times bestselling list for 80 weeks? Why didn’t we see an emergence of “white supremacists” burning his books and asking for his head to be placed on a silver platter? Did “white supremacists” change their worldviews?

How is it that Coates’ writing “is required or recommended reading” in at least 400 colleges in universities? Who is this guy kidding? As Thomas Chatterton Williams puts it elsewhere, “Our reflexive indignation fosters a laziness of thought that, paradoxically, can reinforce some of the very anti-black biases it hopes to wipe out.”[52]

Moreover, does Coates mean to tell us that he faces more discrimination than people like Ralph Waldo Ellison, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Walter E. Williams, William Julius Wilson, and even Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784)?[53]

As Cornel West himself has pointed out, how is it that Coates praised Obama and at the same time never even criticized the Neocon wars in the Middle East, which is fundamentally imperialistic? “I have to ask you,” Bill Maher asked West on a TV show, “You seem very hard on Obama.”

“It’s out of deep love, my brother,” West responded. “You call him a war criminal,” said Maher. “I’m telling the truth,” West replied.

You’ve got over two hundred children who have been killed by bombs dropped by US drones under Barack Obama. I called Bush a criminal. He only had 45 drones. Obama has 400 drones. A child and Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan has the same value with a child in Newtown, Connecticut, South Side of Chicago, China Town, and Boston. A child is a precious child, no matter what. Somebody has got to be accountable for that.”

“White supremacy” is wrong, but Neocon imperialism is good? How does Coates maintain these contradictory notions while his head doesn’t explode to different particles?

Just three days after he took office, Obama ordered drone strikes in Pakistan, which took the lives of 10 civilians, “including between four and five children…Obama has authorized 506 strikes that have killed 3,040 terrorists and 391 civilians.”[54]


Coates seemed to have realized with mortification that he hadn’t touched on this topic at all, but instead of responding to the central issue which West has raised, he chose to shut down his Twitter account and moved on. His ideological project was doomed to fail from the start, and it seems that he is witnessing its accelerating collapse.

But that doesn’t mean he would stop collecting hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of dollars preaching about how evil “white supremacy” really is. One could argue that Coates likes a version of imperialism, one which allows him to be a public figure in America.

Surprisingly, the same “white supremacy” obsession got Coates all kinds of awards and accolades over the past few years. In fact, it was that obsession—not really academic or scholarly achievement—that put Coates into the political and cultural platform. If you read Coates’ books seriously, you will quickly observe that they are not scholarly reflections but the opinions of an angry man who is trying project his own problem upon society.

Not only that, Coates is deliberately ignoring a plethora of facts which are detrimental to his entire weltanschauung. As Williams points out again, Coates’

“less convincing and more doctrinaire efforts, such as the 17,000-word ‘The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration’, which appeared in September, seem to be powered by a diffuse sense of outrage in ardent search of an affront. He presumes to speak on behalf of ‘the black family’ but erases the existence – extensively documented in Michael Javen Fortner’s recent study The Black Silent Majority – of the working and middle-class black families that for decades actively supported and sometimes participated in the implementation of many of the most notorious tough-on-crime measures that helped put the current US prison system in place.”[55]

But in an age where “race” or “white supremacy” becomes an obsession, rational discourse has become a lost art, and subjective opinions based upon other subjective opinions have become a substitute for elementary logic and common sense. Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Larry Elder, Glenn C. Loury, John McWhorter, Shelby Steele, among others, all went to school in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, but they never saw “white supremacy” as a stumbling block.

Loury, who is now at Harvard, created a firestorm of controversy in 1984 when he wrote that “the disturbingly high rate of black-on-black crime, and the alarming increase in early unwed pregnancies among blacks” have a tremendously detrimental effect on education. Thomas Sowell and others rightly attribute this problem to the breakup of the family, which took place in the 1960s and 70s.[56]

Even in the 1940s and 50s, black crimes were quite low, but when the number of black marriages began to decline during the 1960s,[57] things were never the same. After the Civil Rights era, the moral pendulum for many black families seems to have swung in the opposite direction. The number of children born out of wedlock rose dramatically, as did crime rates among black families.

Many writers lay the blame for this moral breakdown directly at the feet of slavery. However, this widely held notion is false, historically and logically. Thomas Sowell himself wrote,

“[T]he fact is that in the late nineteenth century, when blacks were just one generation out of slavery, there was nothing like today’s levels of unwed births or failure to participate in the labor force. It has been from the 1960s onward that these social pathologies have escalated. Whatever the cause, it has arisen long after slavery had ended.”[58]

He continued,

“Over the entire 85-year history of academic success in [Dunbar High School], from 1870 to 1955, most of its graduates went on to higher education.

“This was very unusual for either black or white high-school graduates during that era. Because these were usually low-income students, most went to a local free teachers’ college or to relatively inexpensive Howard University, but significant numbers won scholarships to leading colleges and universities elsewhere.“

“At one time, the reputation of Dunbar graduates was such that they did not have to take [an] entrance examination to be admitted to Dartmouth, Harvard, and some other selective colleges. When Robert N. Mattingly graduated from the M. Street School in 1902, he entered Amherst College, receiving credit for freshman mathematics and first-year college physics—and he graduated in three years, Phi Beta Kappa. Yet, far from being one of the elite, Mattingly was, in his own words, ‘at Amherst on a shoestring.”[59]

This is just the beginning:

“As early as 1899, Dunbar scored higher in city-wide tests than any of the white high schools in the District of Columbia. Down through the years its attendance records were generally better than those of the white high schools, and its rate of tardiness was lower. Dunbar meant business.”[60]

So, the next time you hear people like Coates talk about “white supremacy” and completely ignore brute facts and statistics, then just simply ask them, “What have you been smoking lately”?

  • [1] E. Michael Jones, “Race and ‘Generational Shame,’” Culture Wars, January 2018.
  • [2] Ibid.
  • [3] Ibid.
  • [4] Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Ghetto Is Public Policy,” Atlantic, March 19, 2013.
  • [5] I have addressed this issue in Chrisitianity & Rabbinic Judaism, Vol. I.
  • [6] See E. Michael Jones, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2008), 601-643.
  • [7] Maria Diedrich, Love Across Color Lines, 227.
  • [8] Ibid.
  • [9] Ibid.
  • [10] Ibid., 84.
  • [11] Ibid., 228.
  • [12] Ibid.
  • [13] Ibid.
  • [14] Jones, Jewish Revolutionary Spirit, 908-909.
  • [15] Ibid.
  • [16] Ibid.
  • [17] Ibid.
  • [18] I have an entire chapter on this very issues in Christianity & Rabbinic Judaism, Vol. I (Bloomington: WestBow Press, 2012).
  • [19] For historical studies on this, see E. Michael Jones, The Slaughter of Cities: Urban Renewal as Ethnic Cleansing (South Bend: St. Augustine’s Press, 2000).
  • [20] Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht, The Fate of the Jews: A People Torn Between Israeli Power and Jewish Ethics (New York: Times Books, 1983), 190.
  • [21] Ibid.
  • [22] Ibid., 190-191.
  • [23] Ibid., 191.
  • [24] Ibid.
  • [25] Jones, Jewish Revolutionary Spirit, 811.
  • [26] Ibid.
  • [27] Murray Friedman, What Went Wrong?: The Creation & Collapse of the Black-Jewish Alliance (New York: The Free Press, 1995), 59.
  • [28] Gelya Frank, “Jews, Multiculturalism, and Boasian Anthropology,” American Anthropology,
  • 1997, vol. 99, 735.
  • [29] Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years (New York: Pluto Press, 1994), 103.
  • [30] Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2015), 6.
  • [31] Mike Collins, “The Big Bank Bailout,” Forbes, July 14, 2015; see also Nomi Prins, It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bailouts, Bonuses, and Backroom Deals (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2009).
  • [32] See for example “9 Wall Street Execs Who Cashed In on the Crisis,” Mother Jones, January/February 2010; Andy Kroll, “The Bankers on Obama’s Team,” Mother Jones, January/February 2010.
  • [33] Prins, It Takes a Pillage, 1.
  • [34] Marian Wang, “12 Better Uses for the Bailout Bucks,” Mother Jones, January/February 2010.
  • [35] People like Ben Norton of Salon saw this as a problem with the Obama administration. Ben Norton, “Obama’s hypocrisy: He said blame Wall Street, not food stamps — but he bailed out bankers and cut help for the hungry,” Salon, January 14, 2016.
  • [36] Cornel West, “Ta-Nehisi Coates is the neoliberal face of the black freedom struggle,” Guardian, December 17, 2017.
  • [37] Ta-Nehisi Coates, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy (New York: Random House, 2017), 110.
  • [38] Ibid., 86.
  • [39] Ibid., 111.
  • [40] Ibid., 112.
  • [41] Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Myth of Western Civilization,” Atlantic, December 31, 2013.
  • [42] Ibid.
  • [43] Coates, Between the World and Me, 103.
  • [44] “Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008,” U.S. Department of Justice, November 2011.
  • [45] Steve Schmadeke, Jeremy Gorner and Rosemary Regina Sobol, “Tyshawn on swing when gangbangers out for revenge targeted him: prosecutors,” Chicago Tribune, November 10, 2015.
  • [46] Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Black People Are Not Ignoring ‘Black on Black’ Crime,” Atlantic, August 15, 2014.
  • [47] Ibid.
  • [48] Coates, Between the World and Me, 42.
  • [49] Thomas Chatterton Williams, “How Ta-Nehisi Coates Gives Whiteness Power,” NY Times, October 6, 2017.
  • [50];;;;
  • [51] Quoted in Thomas Chatterton Williams, “Loaded Dice,” London Review of Books, December 3, 2015.
  • [52] Thomas Chatterton Williams, “Thomas Chatterton Williams: My black privilege,” LA Times, January 3, 2016.
  • [53] Phillis Wheatley, The Collected Works of Phillis Wheatley (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989).
  • [54] Micah Zenko, “Obama’s Embrace of Drone Strikes Will Be a Lasting Legacy,” NY Times, January 12, 2016.
  • [55] Williams, “Loaded Dice,” London Review of Books, December 3, 2015.
  • [56] Thomas Sowell, Education: Assumptions versus History (Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1986 and 2016); Black Rednecks & White Liberals: Hope, Mercy, Justice and Autonomy in the American Health Care System (New York: Encounter Books, 2005).
  • [57] Sowell, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, 161.
  • [58] Ibid., 160-161.
  • [59] Ibid., 207-208.
  • [60] Sowell, Education, 31.


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  1. The African people have never had patriarchy as roots of their culture. They come from a matriarchal system and used reciprocity as a way for the genders to cooperate with one another. Therefore, with the exception of European people and Americans that were caught in the system of patriarchy, one cannot compare African American families in the same way as European as to who should be the head of the household. This is why you hear in sports (and maybe still do today since I am not involved in sports as much as I used to be) African Americans giving credit to their mothers for becoming what they consider successful. What you are addressing in your comment is another tentacle of the trap set for the person who lives in poverty regardless of their color.

  2. Jonas, I have followed your political writings because we have shared the same perspectives on a lot of issues and fronts. However, when I got your big book entitled Christianity’s Dangerous Idea: How the Christian Principle & Spirit Offer the Best Explanation for Life & Why Other Alternatives Fail: Volume One, I could see that Christianity was the point for you of indoctrinated into the “white” mind.
    This is not meant to be a disparaging remark for two reasons: 1) I am African American whose mother was a Polish Jew from Warsaw Poland, who came to this country as an immigrant many years ago. She did not know anything about how to raise a black child, so she raised a black child with the “sense of entitlement” that all white children are raised with. Needless to say, I did not have a difficult time in my younger years because I did not see “white or black”, I just saw people. Now the most interesting part to this is, we lived in Chicago in a mixed neighborhood (that included blacks). There were Italians, Jews, Caucasians, and Irish. Everybody looked out for everybody else in a neighborhood that felt like a village. Here you had different cultures growing up side-by-side on the worse side of town, the south side of Chicago.
    All to say, I attended the same university, as you, to get my Bachelors in History, but ended getting my degree at another online university. Even though I am a baptized Episcopalian by religion, I did not let the university you attended indoctrinate me, as

  3. But adult males can unofficially live in Section 8 housing, and use it for trafficking in drugs, stolen goods, etc. For reasons obvious to anyone unfortunate to have lived in poorly managed mixed open rent and Section 8 subsidized apartments, this creates a situation where the non-resident criminals are allowed to terrorize the paying renters. This happened in Champaign, Illinois in the area just to the northwest of the UIUC campus, where overbuilding student housing created vacancies several management companies decided to fill with Section 8 residents. Most stopped doing so when rightfully panicked parents had lawyers looking into ways of breaking leases due to the management companies letting these Section 8 residents violate the rules.

    Turned me from a former believer in subsidized mixed housing into understanding why people legitimately should be able to separate themselves from the urban thug culture.

  4. Some of the most serious racial or other discrimination over the years is in the area of purchasing homes or so called real estate. And despite all the fancy laws today, it still goes on everywhere. Real Estate agents aid the process. Before an agent takes any client to view any home, they will be subjected to a number of very personal polite questions like where do you work, what do you do, how many in the family and so on. The purpose is to narrow down the price range of homes that client could qualify for. No agent, for example, is going to show a million dollar home to someone who can only qualify for a $100K home. So this right at the beginning prevents that client, no matter his color or race, from even entering any homes above that general level. Hence the issue of racial discrimination or religious discrimination does not arise. Suppose an expensive multi million dollar unit in Trump Tower were on the market. Imagine a straw buyer fooling an agent which resulted in a gang of black Chicago thugs or Muslims moving in. This would be their worst nightmare because it is much more difficult to remove an owner than a tenant although it can be very difficult today to even remove some tenants as well. The last thing any agent will do is pick up a bus load of people off the street to an open house!

    • Near the end of the Obama administration a plan was being implemented to move low end people into high end housing in New York with government programs providing the money. Of course the owners were squawking loudly. This was basically the same kind of argument Trump and his Dad made back in the 1970s to keep blacks out because they didn’t want to “harm” the good long term white tenants they already had and run them off! This is all documented by the late Wayne Barrett in his many articles about Trump over the years in New York. Most of the time a wealthy person wants to live among peers, not just in wealth but religious views too. So most of the time a very wealthy Muslum would not seek to force his way into a wealthy Jewish neighborhood but today he could. People with enough money can be discriminated against but it would be much more risky and difficult for the agent because they could find themselves quickly in a courtroom . Another ruse agents us is the “I already have 6 back up offers” on that property.

    • Yup,… Real estate, zoning and planing, and control of other projects are the way racism is carried out. Currently the big game is redistricting and of course continued gentrification and herding.
      Meanwhile, the MLS is basically held hostage for 7% of every purchase. The brokers feed off the agents and set the prices and fix them when necessary. It is corruption training. Once in a while I see a decent agent. Not too often. More citizens are needed at zoning board meetings. It’s usually boring, but when the important stuff happens we need folks to understand how it works.

  5. On the street, is the only place I need to go to investigate racism or supremacy and where it comes from is overwhelmingly obvious. If we step back, and just observe the whole earth at once and be honest. If there are 4 races, black, white, yellow and red, then which one has a policy of Dominion which was installed by force ?
    Dominus: Dominus, , in ancient Rome, “master,” or “owner,” particularly of slaves. The stated and acted out goal and mission of Dominion did not come from black, red , or yellow people. If that goal or mission is no longer being pursued vigorously, then someone did not inform the rest of us. John Trudell says it best. John Trudell ” Religious vs Spiritual” Perception of Reality
    If it is still unclear or seems confusing, then Steven Newcomb can spell it out. Steve Newcomb: The Language of Domination in the Vatican’s Papal Bulls

    • Once the belief was installed by force that we are born into sin, and the earth is to be dominated and subdued, then that paved the way for inducing a psychological mindset of inferiority while simultaneously establishing superiority. Thus, all things ‘godly” became white and all things ‘ungodly’ became dark. So the part of my brain that contains a curious strangeness, had to ask, where did this idea come from, because it reflects trauma.
      So, if a black couple can make a white baby, but a white couple cannot make a black baby, then the white race is the abandoned or “the original painted bird”, of humanity. And deep within the child is resentment and scorn which finds a morbid satisfaction from domination. Landlords. That is why I never let renters call me that, and I even scold the children in front of their mothers if they say it.

  6. Excellent article, Mr. Alexis. As you correctly note, someone who claims “white supremacists” maintain an iron grip on virtually every aspect of life in the USA is undermined by the fact that his books have made him a not so small fortune, much of it coming from the “white supremacists” (just about every white person) he despises; his books are required reading in 400+ colleges and universities; and his books are available at the local library in the small, very “white” town where I live. Coates breezes right past the claims of authors such as Yuri Slezkin that the 20th century is the “Jewish” century, the Modern Age is the Jewish Age–and we are all, to varying degrees, Jews. If Coates detests the modern age, then he seems astonishingly ignorant about which ethnic group claims responsibility for it.

    I see Coates as little more than a self-serving opportunist, who had the good fortune to be on the leading of authors who fastened onto a narrative that’s popular with the people who claim it’s the Jewish Age. I’d say more, but those “white supremacists” would call me an “anti-Semite”. Let Coates try publishing a book that criticizes Jewish supremacists, and he’ll soon find out where real power lies.

    • s/b “on the leading edge of authors who…” “edge” was there when I submitted that comment. Weird things happening on the internet lately.

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