Ta-Nehisi Coates Feud With Cornel West

Ta-Nehisi Coates Feud With Cornel West

Updated Dec 21, 2017 at 03:11PM EST by Matt.

Added Dec 21, 2017 at 02:34PM EST by Matt.

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Overview

Ta-Nehisi Coates Feud With Cornel West refers to the ongoing disagreement between African-American writers and thinkers Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Following the release of an essay by West criticizing Coates' book We Had Eight Years in Power by West, Coates quit Twitter amid comments of support for West from white supremacists.

Background

On December 17th, 2017, Cornel West, the Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and author of Race Matters, published an essay in The Guardian[1] about author and Atlantic columnist Ta-Nehisi Coates entitled "Ta-Nehisi Coates is the neoliberal face of the black freedom struggle." The piece introduced many negative criticisms of Coates, calling "his view of black America is narrow and dangerously misleading." West writes,

"In short, Coates fetishizes white supremacy. He makes it almighty, magical and unremovable. What concerns me is his narrative of 'defiance'. For Coates, defiance is narrowly aesthetic – a personal commitment to writing with no connection to collective action. It generates crocodile tears of neoliberals who have no intention of sharing power or giving up privilege."

Development

That day, Cornel West continued his criticism on Coates by tweeting,[3] ".@tanehisicoates fetishizes white supremacy. His analysis/vision of our world is too narrow & dangerously misleading, omitting the centrality of Wall Street power, US military policies, & the complex dynamics of class, gender, & sexuality in black America." The post (shown below) received more than1,000 retweets and 2,800 likes in less than one week.


Cornel West CornelWest @tanehisicoates fetishizes white supremacy. His analysis/vision of our world is too narrow & dangerously misleading, omitting the centrality of Wall Street power, US military policies, & the complex dynamics of class, gender, & sexuality in black America theguardianopinions Ta-Nehisi Coates is the neoliberal face of the black freedom struggle | Cornel... The disagreement between Coates and I is clear: his view of black America is narrow and dangerously misleading theguardian.com

Following the release of the article, many online posted opinions about West's thoughts, including many to be considered against West's ideas. On December 18th, Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer retweeted West's article with the caption "He's not wrong." The post (shown below) received more than 30 retweets and 160 likes in four days.

Shortly after Spencer retweeted this, on December 18th, Coates tweeted, "feminists, white supremacists, and leftists all in agreement. wow." Finally, he wrote, "peace, y'all. i'm out. i didn't get in it for this." Following these tweets (shown below, center and right), Coates deactivated his Twitter account. [4][5]


Richard Spencer RichardBSpencer He's not wrong. Cornel West@CornelWest @tanehisicoates fetishizes white supremacy. His analysis/vision of our world is too narrow & dangerously misleading, omitting the centrality of Wall Street power, US military policies, & the complex dynamics of class, gender, & sexuality in black America bit.ly/2ouirlw Ta-Nehisi Coates @tanehisicoates feminists, white supremacists, and leftists all in agreement. wow. 12:27 AM 19 Dec 17 Ta-Nehisi Coates @tanehisicoates peace, y'all. i'm out. i didn't get in it for this. 12/18/17, 11:25 PM

After Coates' departure from Twitter, some theorized that the confluence of those groups coming together to criticize him is what caused him to leave the website. Mediaite writer Justin Baragona tweeted, "It feels like this might have been the straw that broke the camel's back for Ta-Nehisi Coates -- Richard Spencer endorsing Cornel West's criticism of him." The post (shown below) received more than 170 retweets and 300 likes in three days.


It feels like this might have been the straw that broke the camel's back for Ta-Nehisi Coates Richard Spencer endorsing Cornel West's criticism of him. Richard Spencer @RichardBSpencer He's not wrong. Cornel West@CornelWest .@tanehisicoates fetishizes white supremacy. His analysis/vision of ou… theguardianopinion 10:41 PM 18 Dec 17 12 Retweets 54 Likes

Media Coverage

Several media outlets coverd the feud between Coates and West, including The New York Times,[7] Uproxx,[8] Complex,[9] Slate[10] and more.

Search Interest

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Top Comments

MZambia
MZambia

>“feminists, white supremacists, and leftists all in agreement. wow.” … Following these tweets, Coates deactivated his Twitter account.

I mean, when everyone tells you you're wrong, maybe it's time to stop posting.

+17

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