When They Get Coates

Black writers matter.

The black experience in this nation cannot be accused of not having been recorded enough, spoken of enough, or analyzed enough. In the current climate of the world, I am reminded of a quote by shero Brittany Ferrell: “There is more than enough work to do.”

With this said, I am in a space where I am wondering why Dr. Cornel West is ready-aim-fire-killshot for Atlantic writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates (TNC). Read about this beef here.

Yesterday, from the onslaught of criticisms Dr. Cornel West, the co-signing of neo-Nazi White Supremacist Richard Spencer in this feud, TNC shut down/deactivated his Twitter account.

There is a young man, whom happens to claim to be conservative, whom I follow on my personal Twitter account. He said TNC should not have shut down his Twitter account because he encountered criticism. I agree. However, even boxers have rounds for a reason. You need time to regroup.

From the article, there are valid points to Dr. West’s critique of his work. However, TNC has said regarding these “blind spots” that those are not the topics of his expertise. The article goes on to say in regards to criticism, Melissa Harris-Perry believes it’s of a more personal in nature (Dr. West allegedly couldn’t get a ticket to the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama.).

TNC is allowed to go recover. He’s allowed to be mad and hurt, bruh. And it’s sad that we still have this crab in a basket mentality as a people!Instead of Dr. West encouraging TNC to learn more about where his argument was weak or not large enough, he continued to blast on him. And blast to the point a white supremacist agreed with him.

When you write, when you put yourself on any platform, you open yourself to the judgement, praise or scorn of people. It’s an occupational hazard for writers. You learn to deal with it by as my cousin Jason says, “Tighten your bolts.” You have to be able to hear a critique, even a bad one, and not let it stop your roll or swag. If you let those criticisms in, you will sink.

TNC shouldn’t stop writing. He shouldn’t stop speaking. But he does need to regroup. And we can celebrate more than one of us at a time, mane! If you don’t agree with West, Dyson, Obama or even Garvey–we should be able to have a debate about it, not a divide over it.

Certain things and people force you to be better, other things kill you if you let them. In the end, there is still more than enough work to do.

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