A few weeks ago, in the middle of a rhetorical battle he was already very clearly winning, The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates published a long, lovely piece called “The Blue Period: An Origin Story.” In it, he remarked that “historians are heartbreakers.” I thought of that remark last night when he published a long, long piece, “The Case For Reparations,” that is clearly the result of that sort of heartbreak, too.
"Is it even possible for this essay to be the speech act that will break that taboo? I’m not even sure Coates expects that, because so much of what he reports here suggests that this is not a problem a single essay can solve. Like his historians, he must know that insisting on the harder truths now makes him a heartbreaker, too."
See on gawker.com