A Last Word On Identity Politics

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

For those who haven't followed the debate going on here and over at Andrew's, it's worth checking out this summary. Even if you have, it's still worth checking out. One thing that I didn't realize, until it was all down on paper, was how many voices you have at work--there's Andrew, me, Adam Serwer, Shelby Steele, and the commenters on this blog. There's something very cool about that. And about this line from Andrew's summary:

I didn't actually enjoy reading these TNC commenter posts but they sure got me thinking.

I have more to say about this, but frankly I'm afraid. I don't want to write a long mash note dripping in sentimentalism. I just need you guys to know how much of a privilege it is to be here to set the table for you everyday, to live next door to Andrew, Jeff, James and Megan.

I can remember being a young man, angry about the world, failing out of school, but bursting with words, and frustrated that I had nowhere to lay them down. And now the discipline is to not say too much. What a shift. In my heart, I think I'll always be that kid who flunked out of high school--twice. It is shocking--truly shocking--to be a daily participant here at this site.

Look at this. What a mess. I ended up with a mash note anyway. Damn my dumb, weak heart.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2009/06/a-last-word-on-identity-politics/19182/