Obama as the end of hip-hop culture

The Corner, following Juan Williams's lead, takes up the case with all the subtlety and nuance you'd expect. I've dealt with this silly, silly argument before. The only thing new I have to add is this: It seems foolish to listen and read pundits in a way that suggests they're talking about actual human beings. I know they claim they are, but they're lying--to themselves, mostly. In reality, the pundit is arguing about two-dimensional caricatures that exist in his head.

Only a two-dimensional caricature listens to Tupac, and then decides to be a bad father. Only a two-dimensional caricature sees the election of Obama and then says, "Hmmm, guess this means I can't listen to Jeezy anymore." Only two-dimensional caricatures say, "Hmm, got a black president, better pull my pants up."

In the real world, where real people live, and breath real air, a multitude of forces--cultural, social, economic, etc.--weigh on people. Barack Obama will certainly change something about black culture. But anyone who's spent any time around actual people should know better then to act like they know what that is, or how it will play out. These guys are Skip Bayless, telling you who's going to the Super Bowl next year.

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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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