Coates pp. 72-99

1.) Coates writes this because he knows racism plagues many, if not all, of us in subconscious ways. The murderer of Prince was more than just a single, hateful man. Rather, he was the result of a corrupted and racist system. This is Coates’ point. It’s not in anyone’s nature that we are racist and hateful. Rather, it is in nurture that we accumulate these beliefs. Therefore, it’s hard to blame individual people for a problem that stems deeper than them. This relates to Coates’ points throughout pages 1-39, specifically when he comments that “race is the child of racism, not the father” (7). Both of these sections underline the social construct surrounding race, racism, and so on.

2.) To give a little context to this passage, Coates notes before this that white people would dance on the streets and in bars, get madly drunk, and, all in all, get rowdy when he was in Manhattan. When describing all of this, though, Coates also makes the distinction that the white people were “utterly fearless” and “without police” (89). I believe this point, the emphasis on the lack of police, makes it clear what Coates is trying to say here. Rather than fearing the police like black people, white people get to embrace the police. The use of the term “utterly fearless” implies that, to white people, the police actually provide that sense of security. This is the point Coates is trying to make. Black people across the US have been brought up to fear the same conditions these white people are embracing. Getting too rowdy means running into police, a dangerous situation to be in for African Americans. In this way, terror is taught to black children and mastery to whites. Mastery could also be an allusion to slavery, as it’s a bold choice of word.

3.) “I could not save you from the unbridgeable distance between you and your future peers and colleagues, who might try to convince you that everything I know, all the things I’m sharing with you here, are an illusion, or a fact of the distant past that need not be discussed” (90). I chose this passage because it relates heavily to a lot of what I personally have witnessed within the past two years. Especially after the murder of George Floyd, the US saw a large increase in black activism and protest. With this, though, and in my communities, came a lot of criticism of the movement. Many white people would claim that African Americans were making it all up, overreacting, etc. I always thought this was a foolish stance to take, and this passage just spoke to that notion.

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