Friday, August 19, 2022

Ta Nehisi Coates and the Black Body: The Birthmark of Reparation

*For a huge part of 2 years, Ta-Nehisi Coates has been the most combative and visible supporter for the reparations in the political and social system. Coates even went on to call reparations as “the indispensable tool against white supremacy.”

In 2016, he published two pieces for The Atlantic “Better Is Good,” and “My President Was Black.” In these features, Coates refers to the idea of “moral logic” with the help of reparations. He claims that this nation owes the Black community a moral debt that should be remedied using a spiritual renewal which only reparations could facilitate.

Nowadays, Coates is touring some prestigious universities and making the same case of reparations in his keynote addresses to auditoriums that are packed to the brim. “I think every single one of these universities needs to make reparations,” Coates had recently said to a reception with thunderous applause in Harvard University.

Coates pushed this exemplary university to use a language of reparation as that measure that would acknowledge something positive could be done. Even though the pain of Black History was acknowledged by Harvard, no remedy that was race-specific is seen forthcoming yet.

Coates articulates racism in a powerful manner. He uses metaphors of earthquakes and extreme physical laws which describe its monumental magnitude. For workers in these university cafeterias, racism was an unprovoked slap from their boss. For thousands of poor Black people out there, racism constitutes to the corrosive water pipes which poison their bodies and makes them sick. Unstable and crumbling houses, school closures and all the intimate and practical necessities for life are their measures of racism. These realities of racism aren’t separate from the problem of class. In fact, these are strong expressions of politics using class. All of these factors are very eloquently put forward by Coates in all of his speeches.

These tragedies of a racist nature are strewn on the faces of the masses on a daily basis. Coates’s metaphysical and demobilizing maxims are exactly the same and follow these beliefs by portraying how white people should ultimately stop themselves from racism – whether inadvertently or deliberate.

His ideas also include solidarity from down below – between truck drivers, cafeteria workers and anyone who belongs to the working class who won’t be considered by ruthless amoral elites. This solidarity, formed through a shared and collective struggle, is the very foundation of a social transformation.

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