50 Cent vs. the Confederate Flag

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These two clips are so surreal as to defy explanation. Imagine someone explaining to your kids that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were the good guys, and you'll have some sense of what it's like to hear a woman lionizing the Red Shirts to a descendant of black South Carolina. 


Some history on the Red Shirts here. I think the basic problem is that, when your lineage is all you have, when kinship is the only thing that defines you, how do you say, "My grandparents were not cheated. They were not righteous. They were terrorists and sore losers, who deserved to lose." And how do you say that knowing that, at the same time, they may have been loving mothers and fathers. That they were not monsters. 

I don't know. But that's how it happens.

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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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