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 The Atlantic's digital features editor. More

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, an Atlantic senior editor, began her association with the magazine in 2002, shortly after graduating from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She joined the staff full time in January 2006. Before coming to The Atlantic, Jennie was senior editor at Moment, a national magazine founded by Elie Wiesel.

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