Of course, Coates’ only subject is Coates, and What It’s Like To Be Black.
If you are a man or woman of the left, it is amazing what you can get away with. Not only get away with, but be celebrated for. …The question, of course, is how or why shallow intellects such as Coates get away with it. The same way they always have: guilty whites promote their drivel. It’s been happening for decades. Note that Coates admits, in the argot of the modern black intellectual, his academic weakness: “I wanted to pursue things, to know things, but I could not match the means of knowing that came naturally to me with the expectations of professors.” That’s the high-sounding euphemism for, “I can’t pass the tests or write coherent term papers.”
Ta-Nehesi Coates is another case in point and an even better example. Coates’s Between the World and Me may be the worst book I have ever read. It is pretentious. It is stupid. It wanders. The distance between facts and conclusions is galactic. I can say in its favor that it is short, barely book length. On a feels-like basis, however, Coates makes Proust seem the soul of wit.
The book is also overwritten to the point of hilarity. Speaking of his experience at Howard University, to take just one example, this is how Coates says that he got poor grades: “I wanted to pursue things, to know things, but I could not match the means of knowing that came naturally to me with the expectations of professors.” (The quote comes from page 48; the translation is mine.)
I summarized the leading qualities of this atrocious book in the City Journal column “An updated racial hustle.” I larded the essay with quotes from the book so readers could get a fair taste of what Coates had on offer.
As I’ve noted before, blacks such as Coates have cocktail party personalities. They have the gift of gab, such as the low -IQ Muhammad Ali, and can fluently imitate the narratives that whites want to hear. That’s how they get hired and get published. But in many cases, the only thing between their ears is air.
Thus, Barack Hussein Obama. He isn’t and wasn’t the giant intellect his white handlers claimed. Neither, we know, is Coates.