Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the foremost thinkers and writers about the black experience in America. He made huge waves in 2014 with an incredibly thoughtful piece in The Atlantic that argued a compelling and convincing case for reparations. But a recent piece in which he takes Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to task for his lack of support of reparations is making some waves.
When asked whether he supported reparations for African American descendants of the slave trade, Sanders said:
No, I don’t think so. First of all, its likelihood of getting through Congress is nil. Second of all, I think it would be very divisive. The real issue is when we look at the poverty rate among the African American community, when we look at the high unemployment rate within the African American community, we have a lot of work to do.
So I think what we should be talking about is making massive investments in rebuilding our cities, in creating millions of decent paying jobs, in making public colleges and universities tuition-free, basically targeting our federal resources to the areas where it is needed the most and where it is needed the most is in impoverished communities, often African American and Latino.
It was an interesting response given the fact that his entire platform is built on the fact that he is a "revolutionary" candidate and let's be honest, it's going to be incredibly hard, if not impossible, for him to get a lot of the legislation he wants passed through congress. If they STILL can't deal with Obamacare, how the heck does he think he is going to get single-payer health care through? We certainly hope he is prepared for quite a few "impossible" fights or else if and when he does win the election, he's not going to be happy with what is in store.
However thoughtful Coates' criticism may have been, there are lots of folks who felt that it was not right to single out arguably the only candidate who has any real plans to address the economic inequality that plagues many of our black and brown neighborhoods. Basically, if we have to choose between the lesser of all evils, Sanders is looking more and more like the answer. But instead of making an argument, we're just going to let Killer Mike sum it up for you.