BBC News – Ta-Nehisi Coates starts a new reparations debate

Coates, perhaps because of his reputation as a talented, thoughtful essayist and thanks to his platform in and determined promotion by the Atlantic, has once again given the topic a serious airing for the first time in more than a decade – and the praise for his essay from the left has been near universal.Slate’s Ben Mathis-Lilley says that Coates’s emphasis on wealth creation afforded by slavery, along with his documentation of federally backed housing discrimination and the stories of discrimination vicitms who are still alive today, makes his piece “groundbreaking”.”The piece persuasively and seemingly effortlessly turns the issue of race in America into a pressing discussion about work, wealth and theft rather than an unresolvable grudge-match about bygone guilt,” he writes.The New Republic’s Isaac Chotiner agrees that this focus on the discrimination that has taken place since the end of the Civil War makes Coates’s case for reparations much stronger:Coates was wise to focus the essay less on the evils of slavery and more on the systemic and institutional ways in which African Americans have been beaten down, discriminated against and terrorised over the past 150 years.

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via BBC News – Ta-Nehisi Coates starts a new reparations debate.

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