The New James Baldwin Speaks: White People Suck
The New James Baldwin is breaking it down for NPR: TNJB had a really, really, really tough childhood. Violence to and from school. During class. Even on the way to grandmother’s house.
Nonstop. All at the hands of black people in Baltimore. TNJB even figured out why it happened: White people suck.
Today, the New York Times says reading TNJB is “essential, like water or air.” One review could not quite capture his total brilliance, so the Gray Lady did another: “Brilliant.” The New Yorker says his work is “extraordinary.” The President of the United States is a big fan, and seeks his counsel in private audiences in the Oval Office.
TNJB has honed his message for 20 years and never deviates from it: White people suck.
And as for all the white people victimized by black on white crime then and now? Wildly out of proportion? Including cops. Especially cops? So much so that even Terry Gross of NPR’s "Fresh Air" should have a hard time ignoring it?
Not a word. Not a thought.
Gross is too enthralled with these tales from Chocolate City to wonder about why Baltimore is so dangerous for white people -- all documented in that scintillating best-seller: Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry.
Or maybe she just does not think it is important. Either way, Gross starts her interview with TNJB -- Ta-Nehisi Coates -- with the usual litany of how cops are killing black people all over the country for no reason whatsoever.
Which some people -- that’s reporter-speak for mostly me -- say this story of constant black victimization is the biggest hoax of our generation.
The greatest lie of our lifetime.
Gross repeats it effortlessly and artfully.
Gross wonders about what the cops were doing as black criminal anarchy became the norm in Baltimore: That was easy: Coates said he “recognized them as another element within society with no real moral difference from the crews and the gangs and packs of folks who dispense violence in the neighborhood,” he told Gross.
Cops and criminals: Synonymous.
If there was any anger or even irritation at the black killers and thugs who took a town once called Charm City and turned into one of the dirtiest and most dangerous places in America, it was not on display.
Just the opposite: After a few minutes of a curiously jovial conversation about routine black crime and violence and how it was all in good fun, the talk turned somber when Gross asked about one of Coates’ BFF’s: Prince Carmen Jones.
The cops shot Prince Jones 15 years ago for no reason whatsoever. And that, Coates said, put him on the road to becoming the Literary Darling for the Black Lives Matter mob and their allies at all the liberal white magazines you never find in black homes.
Atlantic. Salon. Slate. Just writing these words makes me yawn.
The story of Prince Carmen Jones is the keystone Coate’s new book -- part of the reason why Obama’s favorite novelist Toni Morrison declared Coates to be the New James Baldwin.
You remember Morrison: She’s the one who first came up with the idea to kill two white cops for every black person killed by a cop. She got a Nobel for that. I’m not kidding: Look it up: Song of Solomon.
But there’s more to the Coates and Prince story -- and that means there is less to this brilliant case of excellence that the cop-haters want us to believe.
“Was there some kind of investigation?” asked Gross, suddenly remembering that she was supposed to do something with her guest besides constantly nodding her head.
The New James Baldwin shrugged off the question, and reminded listeners that the family did get some justice in the civil courts. But there is no justice for black people. Not in this wicked country.
The story of Prince Jones was well reported in the D.C. media at the time: Prince was a 25-year-old student at Howard University.
If Coates was a friend of Prince Jones, he never said so when he first wrote about the case when it was winding its way through the courts. Let’s just say their friendship blossomed posthumously.
The night of the shooting, Prince Jones and his crew were in the Maryland suburbs of Washington doing some clubbing. They left his infant daughter with a girlfriend of one of the fellas.
When they returned after 1 a.m., Prince was on the phone with his baby mama in Fairfax, Virginia. A booty call. Soon he was gone, leaving the child behind.
As he made his way towards Fairfax, an undercover cop picked up his trail: The cop and his supervisors thought the car matched one that belonged to a hood, whom they wanted on a gun charge. So they gave the cop the OK to follow Prince Jones through several jurisdictions.
Soon they were in Virginia and Prince was pulling his Jeep into a driveway, perhaps to turn around.
That is when the cop pulled in and blocked Prince and his car. The cop said Prince got out. Some say he did not.
But everyone agrees Prince rammed his car into the driver’s side of the unmarked cop car as many as three time while the cop was holding a gun, identifying himself as law enforcement, yelling at him to stop.
It was 3 a.m. The cop did not show a badge. Prince could not have seen it even if he had.
Prince did not stop. The cop killed him.
Then the investigation began: In Fairfax county, the district attorney said it was a good shoot -- and did not even take it to a grand jury.
Ditto from the police in Prince George’s County: No disciplinary action. A good shoot.
Ditto from the U.S. Department of Justice: No action. A good shoot.
Later, a fourth agency, the Department of Homeland Security, would also look at details of the case: Then they hired the cop away from Prince George’s county.
No matter: It was a bad shoot, representative of all the other times cops kill black people for no reason what- so-ever, Coates said.
A few words about the county where the cop worked: Prince George’s County. It is a black county -- 65 percent. With black elected officials, black judges, black cops, black juries, and black people running the show. Even so, Coates claims it is some kind of racial hellhole of criminal injustice for black people.
Who are still lining up to move in.
In a civil trial, even a largely black jury in Prince George’s county refused to hand down a judgement of wrongful death against the cop. They did say he used excessive force.
But they also found that Prince Jones was at least partially to blame for his own demise.
Which by the way was at the hands of a black cop.
Most of which was curiously missing from the extended NPR interview. All except the part about how white people suck.
It is a popular topic:
Earlier this summer, a largely white crowd jetted into Aspen for the annual idea festival. They paid $9000 each to hear Ta-Nehisi and the Mayor of New Orleans debate just exactly how much white people sucked.
Ta-Nehisi was the crowd favorite and New York magazine showed us why with a few snippets:
“I don’t know what I’d do if I were mayor, but I could tell you what I’d do if I was king.” He’d let criminals out of prison, he said. “And, by the way, I include violent criminals in that.” (the moderator) asked what he meant by “violent.” “Gun crime, too,” Coates said.
More flavor from TNJB writing in Washington Monthly: “But as much as affluent blacks want to believe that money and power can insulate them from the effects of racism in this country, it is a delusion.”
Coates was an enthusiastic and early adopter of Critical Race Theory: White racism is everywhere. All the time. And explains everything.
How about this nugget:
“I’m guilty for being a young, black African-American male."
“The color of my skin is against all odds.” He went on.
And that the police are the bad guys.
“They shooting and killing unarmed African-Americans across the state,” he said.
“I don’t look to the court for justice,” he concluded, “there is none for the young black male.”
Oops, my bad: That is not Ta-Nehisi. That is actually a cop killer a few days ago in a Rochester, New York court room explaining to a judge why he should go free for killing the cop. Talk show host Bob Lonsberry is the one who caught this guy, channeling Ta-Nehisi.
It could just as easily have been the black person who killed two white teenagers in Detroit. Earlier this year, during his sentencing, he made similar remarks, concluding with “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot. Black Lives Matter.”
Ask a cop: They meet Ta-Nehisi wanna-bes every day.
Ta-Nehisi’s new book takes the form of a letter to his son. “The Dream of acting white, of talking white, of being white, murdered Prince Jones as sure as it murders black people in Chicago with frightening regularity. Do not accept the lie. Do not drink from poison. The same hands that drew red lines around the life of Prince Jones drew red lines around the ghetto.
“In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body -- it is heritage.”
‘White America’ is a syndicate arrayed to protect its exclusive power to dominate and control our bodies,” Coates said.
Tbe reviewers say this mediation on how white people suck is “poetic.”
His teenage son has a lot to learn. But it is curiously similar to what Coates learned at the knee of his father: A leader in the Black Panthers in Baltimore.
Coates described his life as a Black Panther cub scout in a recent interview with Eddie Conway. Another Panther.
Coates ran the gamut of all the different ways white people suck as his interviewer reminded people the porch where they sat was where the Coates family used to live. Where Coates grew up hearing stories about “Brother Eddie.” His hero.
And where Eddie Conway lives now -- released from prison last year after serving 44 years for killing a white cop.
Colin Flaherty is the author of the best selling book: Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry: The hoax of black victimization. You can see hundreds of recent videos of black on white violence and hostility at his YouTube channel.