Derb gets fired from NR for writing “The Talk“, but in the NYT, Ekow N. Yankah, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University is given valuable weekend op-ed space to pen “Can My Children Be Friends With White People?”. It starts off as melodramatically as you’d expect:
My oldest son, wrestling with a 4-year-old’s happy struggles, is trying to clarify how many people can be his best friend. “My best friends are you and Mama and my brother and …” But even a child’s joy is not immune to this ominous political period. This summer’s images of violence in Charlottesville, Va., prompted an array of questions. “Some people hate others because they are different,” I offer, lamely. A childish but distinct panic enters his voice. “But I’m not different.”
It is impossible to convey the mixture of heartbreak and fear I feel for him. Donald Trump’s election has made it clear that I will teach my boys the lesson generations old, one that I for the most part nearly escaped. I will teach them to be cautious, I will teach them suspicion, and I will teach them distrust. Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people.
Yikes, that is some bad writing. And it’s all down hill from there.
History has provided little reason for people of color to trust white people in this way, and these recent months have put in the starkest relief the contempt with which the country measures the value of racial minorities. America is transfixed on the opioid epidemic among white Americans (who often get hooked after being overprescribed painkillers — while studies show that doctors underprescribe pain medication for African-Americans). But when black lives were struck by addiction, we cordoned off minority communities with the police and threw away an entire generation of black and Hispanic men.
America is ‘transfixed’ with the White Death? I would say that’s a bit of a stretch, and as a sociological phenomenon has only received any degree of mainstream attention post-Trump-victory.
Likewise, despite centuries of exclusion and robust evidence of continuing racism, minority underemployment is often couched in the language of bad choices and personal responsibility. When systemic joblessness strikes swaths of white America, we get an entire presidential campaign centered on globalization’s impact on the white working class. Even the nerve of some rich or visible African-Americans to protest that America, in its laws and in its police, has rarely been just to all has been met with the howls of a president who cannot tolerate that the lucky and the uppity do not stay in their place.
As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible. When they ask, I will teach my sons that their beautiful hue is a fault line. Spare me platitudes of how we are all the same on the inside. I first have to keep my boys safe, and so I will teach them before the world shows them this particular brand of rending, violent, often fatal betrayal.
The hatred this guy displays toward whites is dripping from his pen.
And the woeful influence of Te-Genius Coates’ mix of bad high school poetry + an obsession with framing race relations in terms of its effect on black ‘bodies’ is evident in nonsense-like passages such as:
For African-Americans, race has become a proxy not just for politics but also for decency. White faces are swept together, ominous anxiety behind every chance encounter at the airport or smiling white cashier. If they are not clearly allies, they will seem unsafe to me.
Barack Obama’s farewell address encouraged us to reach across partisan lines. But there is a difference between disagreeing over taxes and negotiating one’s place in America, the bodies of your children, your humanity. Our racial wound has undone love and families, and ignoring the depths of the gash will not cause it to heal…
What’s surprising is that I am heartbroken at all. It is only for African-Americans who grew up in such a place that watching Mr. Trump is so disorienting. For many weary minorities, the ridiculous thing was thinking friendship was possible in the first place. It hurts only if you believed friendship could bridge the racial gorge…
I do not write this with liberal condescension or glee. My heart is unbearably heavy when I assure you we cannot be friends.
Likewise, I do not write this with conservative glee that I shall likely never be friends, nor attempt to be, with the likes of Mr. Yankah.