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I'm glad that's over. Maybe some liberals take glee out of the GOP's birther/anti-Islam/leader-not-a-reader antics. But I'm not among them. And I have to say, being human and all, I find it especially painful coming out of the mouth of a black man. His racialist attacks on Obama were bad. But watching a guy bill himself as a "real black man" repeatedly market ignorance is just too much for me. Racial essentialism is bad. It's worse when it's paired with stupidity.

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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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