Atlantic senior editor says racism, slavery foundational in formation of America

Friday, November 15, 2013 - 11:47

Atlantic senior editor says racism, slavery foundational in formation of America

 

Coates, a senior editor for The Atlantic, said slavery and racism were foundational in the formation of America and that understanding that was necessary to approaching future conversations about race.

“The fact of the matter is that the grand experiment was made possible by slavery and empowered by racism,” Coates said. “Racism is not some side thing over here. Slavery is not some side thing over here. That’s what you have to get.”

According to Coates, slavery and racism were formed around the idea of plunder.

“The main feature of racism in this country is the plundering of black people and giving it to white people,” Coates said. “Slavery isn’t just the right of me to whip you. It’s the right of me to use your body in any way that benefits me.”

 

Coates said that because African Americans were excluded from voting, they lacked a voice for how their tax money was used.

“This is about the distribution of funds,” Coates said. “So if I don’t have representation, even if I am in the majority in my state, you can take my tax dollars and you can build universities that I cannot attend. You can maintain pools that you will not let me swim in. This is robbery. This is the taking of my money to improve you.” 

 

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