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Ta-Nehisi Coates, a writer for The Atlantic and an educator, has tackled the issue of race in his writings over the course of his career. Coates took to Twitter to discuss the prevalance of “race myths,” and challenging the idea of how race plays out in the public intellectual arena.

Coates, a Baltimore native and former Howard University student, has been in the news of late after he wrote a piece detailing the history of racism at liberal magazine The New Republic and the views of current TNR editor, Andrew Sullivan. Coates was especially incensed at Sullivan’s assertions about race and the bigotry of former TNR owner, Marty Peretz.

From Coates’ The Atlantic piece:

TNR did not come to racism out of evil. Very few people ever do. Many of the white people working for the magazine were very young and very smart. This is always a dangerous combination. It must have been that much more dangerous given that their boss was a racist. (Though I am told he had many black friends and protégés.)

Sullivan responded to Coates’ critique in that heady way intellectuals often do, even suggesting that the TNR’s political and cultural aims means it couldn’t possibly be racist. Coates recently took to Twitter to address the matter, and revealing some of the struggles he too had with race myths in his path on becoming one of America’s sharpest minds on such matters.

Hit the following pages to read Coates’ dressing down of The New Republic‘s views and how they mirrored some of his thoughts on race as a teen. It’s worth the read.

Photo: David Shankbone/CC By 3.0

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