Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Case for Reparations

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This week Bill Moyers speaks with Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic, about “The Case for Reparations,” his cover story for the magazine’s June issue, which will be published on Wednesday. In it, Coates writes about why America needs to come to terms with its racist past, and the moral debt and real damage it has inflicted upon generations of black Americans. The article, previewed below by The Atlantic, is the result of over two years of research by Coates.

Watch:

Tune in this week or watch Moyers & Company online starting Friday.

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  • Anonymous

    I’m all in favor of reparations.

    We should measure the wealth of the median black family in the US against the median black family in their country of ancestry (or a representative median of black african families) and pay them immediately the difference, if they are less well off.

    It is only fair if the family ended up worse off than their peers who were not brought against their will to America.

    Lets calculate and pay.

  • Anonymous

    What of reparations for Native Americans whose land this is?

  • Anonymous

    It looks like the editors want to suppress all discussion on how to calculate the amount due for reparation.

    Apparently they don’t want to get down to specifics of reparation. They seem to simply want to keep it abstract, so it can be a permanently unresolved wedge issue.

    Any serious discussion on reparations needs to include a proposed methodology to calculate the amount of reparations to be paid.

    Seems to me that comparing the median wealth and median income of black families living in the US with the median families on the country of ancestry is a starting point for the financial calculation.

    The fact that the editors want to suppress any specific discussion on the practical aspect of reparations is very telling.

  • moderator

    To the community,

    If you bother to read the text above, you will see this is a preview of a story that will be published tomorrow, and a show that will start streaming online Friday. You might want to read the entire article or watch the program first before commenting.

    Moderator @ Moyers

  • moderator

    Baron95

    If you bother to read the text above, you will see this is a preview of a story that will be published tomorrow, and a show that will start streaming online Friday. You might want to read the entire article or watch the program first before commenting.

    Moderator @ Moyers

  • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

    This is something to pay attention to. Before we all jump in with what we want to say, perhaps we could listen to the argument first. It might not be what we think.

    Mr. Coates has hinted at this for more than three years. (I’ve done some research to see where he might be going.) It might be that what he talks about isn’t what we expect, not at all.

    Give him a fair hearing before jumping in.

  • Anonymous

    Fair enough. But you posted a preview with a place to comment, and I made a reasonable post in support of the idea of reparations and proposing practical ways to calculate the amounts to be paid, and that was deleted, but the responses to my post were not.

    So, I think it shows some amount of white washing of the discussion.

    Having said that, I’ll wait for the full piece and refrain from further comments.

    Regards,

    B95.

  • LauraNo

    No it doesn’t. A discussion is not a negotiation. No one has acceeded to any reparations as of now.

  • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

    Well, the article is up online. Go read it and then consider your own thoughts as a result of the article. I would grant that not one person in a thousand will read it with a fair eye.

  • Emahray Trolle

    Comments are closed on the Atlantic piece. So much for “discussion”.

    The Atlantic ruthlessly culls comments that are in disagreement with Coates, leading to a high-pitched echo chamber.

    Has this guy ever written anything that is not about his self-absorption over being black? He would not have an income at all were it not for white liberal webzines eager to project themselves as progressive on matters of race in America. If only the staff of those sites actually lived in a vibrant zipcode could we get a meaningful discussion rather than the continual sanctimonious bleating about white racists.

    But this is an important topic. The Democrats should listen to the people and make this issues a centerpiece, along with White Privilege, of their 2016 platform.

  • ray

    just saw mr coates on moyers why after 50 years of”great society”programs,at least 2 generations ,have the affected people not been able to improve themselves? wetbacks come to us don’t speak english but are somehow able to advance their personal and general situation?does all the fault revolve around rich people or is part of it self inflicted? use both lobes of your brain think realistically about it.