Stolen From the Open Thread

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

David White asks...


I missed the last couple of open threads, so this might have been covered already. If so, I apologize. 

 But can someone explain to me why I should give a shit that some law student thinks I might be genetically inferior to her? I could understand if it was a professor or administrator or someone with real influence. Now I'm supposed to be outraged by some random fuck with an email account? WTH?

I keep getting e-mails about this, and I don't really know what to say--and then I wonder what it says about me that I don't know what to say I guess, for one, I sort of expect that people in high (and low) places will think that black people are dumber than white people, so.....

Obviously that doesn't make it OK, but I feel like I've been missing something in how this has played out. I'm not really sure why anyone is shocked, or surprised, by this. I deeply suspect that large swaths of this country believe that "race" and "intelligence" are connected, and not in a way that favors black people. I don't know what to do about that. I don't think banning the conversation will change the numbers.

EDIT: Another point. Excepting public officials, I don't like commenting on other people's e-mail. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2010/05/stolen-from-the-open-thread/39828/