Alan Keyes--Goon

I spent some of my earliest days, as a reporter, profiling writers. It was what I wanted to be, and thus what I was most interested in. One of the more shocking revelations, for me, was the discovery that people who were brilliant on the page, could sound like they were illiterate the minute you put a mic in front of them. Likewise people who could talk like the wind, would write total drivel.The lesson was clear and oft-repeated for me--never confuse the ability to manipulate the spoken word, with wisdom, with deep insights, with original thinking. Sometimes they come in the same package--but often they don't.

I thought about that lesson, when I saw Keyes fulminating against Barack Obama in the video below. Obama, in Keyes eyes, is not the president of the United States, but "an abomination" who must be "stopped." Keyes, a product of the Ivy Leagues, has long been held aloft as some sort of intellectual of the far right. But anyone who's ever seen the wannabe Malcolms coming out of the prison talking "knowledge of self," anyone who's read Soul On Ice, knows exactly what Alan Keyes is--a highly articulate thug.

Behold, if you dare, the demon ramblings of sad, sick human being:

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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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