Date of submission
The Case for Reparation by Coates
In the world we live today, people pay for other people’s mistakes in one way or the other. Reparation in this case means that more generations are subjected to the same kind of punishment that their fore fathers might have done. According to recent happenings on cases of injustice among the Americans, the black race has suffered discrimination and several other kinds of hate practices. Nehisi Coates, an American author decided to write an article on how this kind of behavior has changed over time, and how is unlikely to end. Jesse Kohn, who is the author of an article known as Making it Matter explains further the relevance of essay written by Coates on reparation, where he describes America as a place where foreigners especially African-Americans suffer due to humiliation and discrimination (Williamson, 52). The legal system has also failed to protect the people who fall under this category as they also feel invaded. David Brooks, with his article the Case of Reparations affirms the message spoken by Coates concerning paying for other people’s mistakes as true because he thinks that slavery will never stop as racial divides is a feeling that has overtaken almost every white race.
In the article making it matter by Jesse Kohn, the author tries to elaborate to the audience that some of the hardships which the African-American citizens go through while in foreign lands especially United States of America. The article describes the environment as place full of struggles, where the individuals who have the black complexion go through several cases of discrimination as they are considered as complete foreigners (Kohn, 9). The situation in the place is made worse by the fact that the government and other legal bodies do not fight for the rights of those individuals, and rather participate in ensuring that democracy as they call it has been done by chasing away of oppressing the other races. African-American culture has history, which tends to be forgotten by the whites due to their personal issues on their black race especially with the fact that they came to their place mostly as slaves. The article also praises the action taken by the people who agreed to the motion black lives matter, trying to bring a new era into America of justifying and equalizing each and every person regardless of social or ethnic background like it has been before.
David Brooks, on the contrary comes with a different objective but with closeness to what Coates was talking about in his essays (Rambsy, 200). He argues that there is no sign of change in the way people treat each other basically regarding on race, gender or social class. He says that discrimination came immediately after slavery as those African-American citizens where only necessary to be used as slaves. As generations come, information on how their fathers and grandparents used to treat each other will be passed over, hence the author sees no hope in change of the conduct (Brooks, 3). There are different types of discrimination over the world, which all have different effects on the lives of the people affected. Among those types, racial discrimination is evident in most of the parts in America, where people hate each other only because of their difference in skin complexion. Racial discrimination, according to David Brooks is a sin which most of the citizens in United States and other places in the world ignore. He argues that this kind of discrimination is supposed to be considered as the top most type of hatred, which every citizen should be discouraged against. Comparing the sin to what Coates was talking about; the author condemns the act, and urges any legal authority to be in the frontline by ensuring that justification and equality are done in the administration system and the normal way of living.
In the article making it Matter by Jesse kohn, the author quotes some phrases from what Coates was talking about in his essays, which help him in finding more about the complexity of the issue of discrimination in the world, and how the African-American citizens are struggling to socialize with people of other races in American land (Williamson, 50). Coates says that; “ultimately, my goal became to reshape my students understanding of the American story as a constant and precarious battle for equality, not just the perfection of an abstract union”. That statement means that the author is passing important information to any individual who lives in America or who are interested to move over there that there is an impending hardship which awaits them, and which cannot be avoided considering the current world state. It is time that African-American citizens starts to understand that there has always been struggles with their fore fathers in that land, and that they should persevere and work on changing the mindsets of the next generation so as to get prepared for either a change to better situation or worse (Kohn, 9). According to Jesse, Coates seems to be tired of African-American citizens complaining of the same situation that has been there even before. He argues that Coates is dedicated as a writer, to ensure that special message is passed to those people undergoing discrimination, by encouraging them to remember their history and not lose their hope due to the current situation. He compares life there as a battle, which the winner is determined by self-realization and acceptance of any kind of situation.
In the case of Reparations by David Brooks, he takes some comments from the essay which says that; “And so we must imagine a new country, Reparations which I mean the full acceptance of our collective biography and its consequences, the price we must pay for ourselves squarely”. Brooks in this case understands Coates in another perspective, whereby he believes that the phrase shows exactly how African-American people should blame their forefathers for letting them go through discrimination and other injustices in that foreign country. The author believes that Coates sees those citizens as slaves to the white people, where they always have a responsibility to work for the other race as that was their original purpose in the history. Brooks reminds people that Coates reminded people of getting ready to pay up for mistakes that they did not do, so as to try their best in maintain peace and ensuring that they have a share in the nation too. Change seemed to be like an imagination to Coates, so David in his article is also reminding people to stop imagining about future change and work for their mistakes they never did (Williamson, 35). Again, Brooks, through the knowledge he gained from Coates essays reminds the people who belong to black race in America to step up and be accountable for their lives. In that matter Coates encourages them to accept any situation that becomes a challenge for them, and work equally together in fighting for their rights. They should not shutter their vision of better days, when racial discrimination will end and equality takes over, but for the moment, the author advices them to take up the responsibility of suffering and struggling just like their parents did in the slavery era.
Although the idea of accepting suffering as a way of payback and acceptance of the situation seems unpleasant to me, Coates still had an idea. The author talks of what is currently going on to the African-American citizens whereby he clearly states the kind of suffering that people of other races encounter once they visit or live in the country (Rambsy, 198). Recently, the government of United States had banned visits by people of other nations especially most of the African countries due to their own reasons which are considerably petty. The country, according to new research is ranked as one of the most racist nation in the world, where services, socialization and other special considerations are based on gender, race, social class and level of literacy. Most of the white citizens in United States consider the other races as invaders to their own land, where they use their knowledge from history books to term them as slaves, who were being misused in the country before they ended up getting dwelling places in the country. Coates wrote what is happening now, and surprisingly, he emphasized that the situation is not easy to change, unless everyone respects each other’s background. In his essays, he also said that the condition will move from one generation to the other, where he warned the African-American citizens from giving up and letting the whites take them to slavery once more. Personally, I agree with most of the conclusions which Coates makes in the essays, but disagrees with the fact that people have to keep on going through the same struggles so as to justify the fact that they are paying for their mistakes (Brooks, 3). Lastly, it is time that the world, through different legislatures in the world should allow every human being to live peacefully in where they feel comfortable, other than putting boundaries on each other. I feel that natural features such as rivers, seas and mountains are the only obstacles that should separate a human from one another, not just simple rules which bring more enormity and hatred.
Brooks, David. “The case for reparations.” New York Times (2019): 3
Kohn, Jesse. “Making it Matter: Reframing the US Survey.” Radical Teacher (2016): 9
Rambsy, Howard. “The Remarkable Reception of Ta-Nehisi Coates.” African American Review 49.3 (2016): 196-204.
Williamson, Kevin D. “The case against reparations.” National Review (2014): 34-56