Please Stop It

Guys, I gotta run and catch a plane, so I don't have the time to do this the justice it deserves. That said, I keep hearing this "sexism vs. racism" argument put forth by Hillary's supporters, who rightly sight the list of sexist slights toward Hillary, but wrongly conclude that Obama has no such list. Most foolishly, they conclude that public slights are the worst part of the problem of racism or sexism. There is a reason you will never hear me engaging in Oppress-A-Thons in which we compete to see whose grievances are worse. The reason is simple--I know the limits of my experience.

So, I just need to say this before I scream. Please, stop with the "sexism is the last acceptable prejudice" or "Obama has endured less racism than Hillary's endured sexism" or the blithe quoting of Shirley Chisolm or the "sexism is the most binding force in America," or the "We're lucky to be black." You don't have to run me down to make your point. Have a drink. Take a run. Cut on the boob-tube. Or better yet, open a goddamn book that tackles something that's larger than your own, evidently, accursed existence. Do something that will prevent you from speaking on evils you've never had the privilege of dancing with. I beg of you--just stop it. You aren't qualified to speak on this. And the more you talk, the more we know.

P.S. Sorry for the lack of hyperlinks. Not joking about that plane. Something more analytical, and less raw when I get back. Be safe guys.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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