Conversations with Ta-Nehisi Coates

This Is How We Lost to the White Man by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Atlantic, May 2008

“There was cheering as Cosby went on. Perhaps sensing that he had the crowd, he grew looser. ‘The lower-economic and lower-middle-economic people are not holding their end in this deal,’ he told the audience.

“Cosby disparaged activists who charge the criminal-justice system with racism. ‘These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake,’ Cosby said. ‘Then we all run out and are outraged: “The cops shouldn’t have shot him.” What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand? I wanted a piece of pound cake just as bad as anybody else. And I looked at it and I had no money. And something called parenting said, “If you get caught with it, you’re going to embarrass your mother.“’”   &nbsp

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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