Bill Moyers and Ta-Nehisi Coates on facing the truth of America’s racist past and the case…


Signs of overt racism nonetheless are all around us, be it a New Hampshire police commissioner’s use of an ethnic slur to describe President Obama or an NBA staff proprietor’s disturbing remarks about black athletes and fans. By now, we all know the drill, the media calls these individuals out for their ugly words and we play our elements, shaking our heads in sad disbelief — then return to our day by day lives.

The next is a reprint of an interview Bill Moyers carried out with Ta-Nehisi Coates in Might 2014.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, thinks it’s time for a bold step to vary the best way we speak and take into consideration race in America. This week, Bill speaks to Coates about his June cowl story for the journal, provocatively titled “The Case for Reparations.” In it, Coates argues that we’ve to dig deeper into our previous and the unique sin of slavery, confronting the institutional racism that continues to pervade society. From the lynching tree to right now’s mass incarceration of younger African-People, he says we have to look at our motives extra intently and reconcile the moral debt and economic injury inflicted upon generations of black People.

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For one, Coates factors to a century of racist and exploitive housing insurance policies that made it exhausting for African-People to own houses and compelled them to reside in poorer neighborhoods with unequal access to a very good schooling, resulting in a serious wealth gap between black and white. The truth is, the median wealth of white households is 20 occasions that of black households, in response to a Pew Analysis Middle research.

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“There are many African-People on this country — and I might say this goes proper as much as the White House — who will not be by any means poor, however are very a lot troubled by white supremacy,” Coates says. By white supremacy Coates says he refers to an age-previous system in America which holds that whites “ought to all the time be ensured that they will not sink to a certain degree. And that degree is the extent occupied by black individuals.”

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Coates explains to Moyers: “I’m not asking you as a white individual to see yourself as an enslaver. I’m asking you as an American to see all the freedoms that you simply take pleasure in and see how they are rooted in things that the country you belong to condoned or actively participated prior to now.”

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BILL MOYERS:Welcome. The younger man you’re about to satisfy is out to vary how we expect and speak about race. And he just may do it, beginning with this cover story in the new situation of The Atlantic journal. Its provocative title is “The Case for Reparations.” Yes, reparations – defined within the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the act of creating amends, or giving satisfaction for a flawed or damage.” The “fallacious or damage” in question is what President Lyndon Johnson once…



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