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.

Presented by

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.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In