You may remember Ta Nehisi Coates as America’s most prominent literary racist until Ibram X. Kendi came around.
He’s the guy who got a ton of awards for writing in “Between the World and Me” that the police officers and firefighters who died on September 11 “were not human to me. Black, white, or whatever, they were menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could — with no justification — shatter my body.”
Now he’s taking that moral triumph and signing on to a letter, alongside Richard Ford, Molly Crabapple, China Miéville and a whole bunch of writers you don’t know, attacking Israel for bombing Hamas.
After 400 or so words attacking Israel, the letter gets around to mentioning what started all this only at the end.
“On Saturday, after sixteen years of siege, Hamas militants broke out of Gaza. More than 1,300 Israelis were subsequently killed with over one hundred more taken hostage—some of them friends and family of signatories to this letter. We deplore the loss of all innocent life and now, as we write this letter, Israel is executing the largest expulsion of Palestinians since 1948 as it bombs Gazans without discrimination.”
After sixteen years of siege, Hamas militants broke out of Gaza. Note that opening. The letter doesn’t actually condemn Hamas, the way it repeatedly condemns Israel, it just “deplores the loss of all innocent life.”
The letter is helpful insofar as you know whose books not to buy. (But really, what are the odds you’re buying Richard Ford or China Miéville anyway and it only gets more obscure from there.)
The thing about Ta Nehisi Coates signing on to a letter defending Hamas is his history of exploiting the Holocaust. Coates’ original argument for reparations for slavery was based on Holocaust reparations. He was attacked for that by some on the Left. Earlier this year he visited parts of Israel occupied by Muslim settlers and blasted the Jewish State.
Coates opened his remarks with a comparison between the struggle of African Americans and Palestinians, discussing the process that he underwent with his identity as a black man and the struggle of the black community. He explained that he had felt he needed to be well-versed in the facts before expressing himself on the Palestinian issue.
Clearly he’s well-versed now. Murdering, raping and kidnapping children is not the issue, dead Hamas terrorists are.
But what did anyone really expect from the guy who compared 9/11 rescuers to “menaces of nature”. At least his moral compass is consistently inverted.