The Vile Effects of Fear in Between the World and Me, a Book by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Intro & & Abstract:

In the book Between the World and Me, author Ta-Nehisi Coates works to explore the long spanning violence in the United States and advances to supply advice on how victims can react to it. In the form of a letter to his teenage kid, author Ta-Nehisi Coates acts to inform about the dangers, dangers, and social alters that follow being an African American in the United States. His message to his boy develops a belief supported by direct accounts, as well as existing occasions involving police brutality, that being black in westernized (or western-ruled) hemispheres of society is a disability, a threat to a black individual’s wellbeing, and a prohibition to a black person’s societal success. This is however due to the source of overarching fear.

The violence he observes in his memoir relates to acts of aggression within the black community throughout the history of the United States, yet a lot more so the violence occurred on African Americans throughout the country’s life-span. From the violence occurred on the slaves of America’s beginning days, to the police cruelty and oppression that persists presently, Coates evokes the message to his son, and the reader, that violence is the core reason for America’s childhood, and much more so its sole existence. Violence is America’s legs, its back and assistance. Coates supports that America, or more exactly, white America, built on the work of African slaves, is a proven item of man labor, and is still dependent on mistreatment of guy in another type. This present dependence is the violence, cruelty and murders of African Americans by nationwide security. A security proving itself to be incorrect. With this violence against innocent African Americans, white America’s presumed safety is kept active; its safety versus the fear that power occurred by a false hierarchy could be overcome.

In turn, these acts have, considering that the existence of African slaves and their mistreatment, produced an extra worry. This other worry is weighted on the backs of African Americans, and similarly causes violence within its own population. African Americans, out of fear of losing their own selves, have displayed violence and aggressiveness, threatening and fighting, through various communal and familial locations of their own population. Coates displays these indicate his child throughout his book, supplying examples in which he has been made aware of this fear-induced violence throughout his life.

As we explore his message to his kid, we will textually show the ways in which Coates alludes to this violence and worry, and ultimately how he encourages his son (and most likely associated readers) to exist in this world that blindly hates him. In Coates’s message to his son, he thinks back a claim made by Malcolm X, in which the Civil Rights leader stated, “If you’re black, you were born in prison.” Coates makes it clear that he shares this view, discussing that to be black in the United States, is to have absence of security over your own body.

Violence & & Aggressiveness in America: What it implies to be White and Black:

First off, Coates makes note of this fear and violence, having been fired up by the slavery of Africans, when he begins his message. He depicts to his kid a recent interview he was associated with, and within this interview profoundly specifies that the answer to why he thinks that the United States is constructed on violence, keeping in mind that the reasoning is simple, and rather common sense. To Coates anyone might examine history and see the way in which the United States has been built totally on a violent hierarchy that has actually left black individuals worse off than white people. This is indicated by Coates when he annoys the sadness he felt when asked why he believes this way. Coates’s mannerly displays how simple it need to be for all Americans, whether white or black, to see the factor. The enslavement of Africans is not unusual sense, and has actually not gone untaught in scholastic organizations. Coates explains this, beginning, “the host wanted to understand why I felt that white America’s progress, or rather the development of those Americans who think that they are white, was built on robbery and violence. Hearing this, I felt an old and indistinct unhappiness well up in me.” (Coates)

It is not explained of the precise reasons for Coates’s sensations, up until more within the area. Coates merely mentions, “The response is American history,” yet subsequently makes aware of his reasons for explaining that white Americans have actively walked blindly of the apparent fact that America was constructed on the backs of African servants. And while their democracy permits them to stroll in the face of truth, their democracy has likewise given them supremacy for being white, and thus has enabled them to remain blind to this particular fact. Coates proclaims this describing, “There is absolutely nothing extreme in this statement. Americans deify democracy in a way that enables a dim awareness that they have, from time to time, stood in defiance of their God. However democracy is a flexible God and America’s heresies– torture, theft, enslavement– are so typical amongst people and nations that none can declare themselves immune.” (Coates)

While Coates’s writing is not distinct here, and it can not be made obvious that he is absolutely going over slavery when he says “enslavement”, and white Americans when he says “Americans”, additional analysis of instances in his composing will allow us to see this. Consequently, Coates starts to describe the worry within white Americans; the worry they had of losing social power and pride. This is the cause for the violence that attributed to the training of America. Coates describes that the hierarchy ignited by the early Europeans was unnatural, and rather occurred out of a desire for power and pride. Europeans produced a belief that white skin transcends to black skin, yet prior to this the only logical view/reaction to distinction in color was indifference to difference in color; an oxymoron. Coates reminisces this oxymoron when explaining, that “the process of calling ‘individuals’ has actually never ever referred genealogy and physiognomy even one of hierarchy. Distinction in shade and hair is old. But the belief in the preeminence of color and hair, the idea that these factors can properly arrange a society and that they signify much deeper qualities, which are enduring– this is the originality at the heart of these new people who have actually been raised hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to think that they are white.” (Coates)

Coates even more explains that the principle of being white is only a force to guarantee power among American’s initial residents, explaining that there are reasonable subcategories to white. These reasonable subcategories were recognized as different entities, without any affiliation to whiteness, prior to the deceitful hierarchy. Coates declares this when keeping in mind, “These new people are, like us, a modern invention. But unlike us, their new name has no real significance divorced from the machinery of criminal power. The brand-new people were something else before they were white– Catholic, Corsican, Welsh, Mennonite, Jewish …” For the first time in his text, Coates plainly makes clear that the enslavement that constructed America was specifically that of the Africans. He mentions the imprisonment, mistreatment, rape, and killing of African slaves, and the inferior outlook the white Americans had on them when explaining, “the elevation of the belief in being white, was not accomplished through red wine tastings and ice cream socials, but rather through the pillaging of life, liberty, labor, and land; through the flaying of backs; the chaining of limbs; the strangling of dissidents; the damage of families; the rape of moms; the sale of kids; and numerous other acts suggested, most importantly, to reject you and me the right to protect and govern our own bodies.” (Coates)

With the development of white Americans, came African Americans, or black Americans. And with the violent outlook on black Americans, came a fear within white Americans. Prior to this, obviously, Africans were made into subcategories. This fear is based upon the belief that white Americans (from their point of view), without the existence of African servants to drive the nation, and with the prospective development African Americans could make offered a flexibility from enslavement and unequal rights that ultimately followed, white Americans would lose their status of superiority, their false identity. The identity of white Americans depends on their hierarchal status, not their true ethnic cultures (whether it be Jewish, Welsh, Catholic, or other). Which in turn, as Coates explained, was initially begun with belittling the social status of the original African slaves.

Today, with the social progress of African Americans at a higher opportunity of ending up being a common phenomenon, white Americans, particularly part of national security, have worked to discover any cause to murder black Americans. Coates makes note of this when describing to his boy how American police are greatly exhibiting such strategy. Coates alludes to numerous unjustifiable cases involving police cruelty and innocent African Americans, them being murders of innocents Eric Garner, John Crawford, Tamir Rice, and Marlene Pinnock. He writes, “I am writing you due to the fact that this was the year you saw Eric Garner choked to death for offering cigarettes; since you know now that Renisha McBride was aimed for seeking assistance, that John Crawford was shot down for browsing in a department store. And you have actually seen men in uniform drive by and murder Tamir Rice, a twelve-year-old child whom they were oath-bound to protect. And you have actually seen men in the very same uniforms pound Marlene Pinnock, someone’s granny, on the side of a road. And you understand now, if you did not in the past, that the authorities departments of your nation have been endowed with the authority to ruin your body.” Coates make the claim here that authorities have been provided the authority to willfully profile black Americans, and eliminate them by themselves misguided discernment.

This long spanning violence versus black Americans has in turn produced an extra fear, specifically within the black American population. It is logical for worry to be the action to learning that your essence and citizenship (showed as “body” by Coates) are quickly endangered the moment you are born. This principle has appeared within the black neighborhood, and showed by means of Coates’s own experiences. Coates describes to his son that maturing he experienced adult aggressiveness, and common tension. Within his neighborhood, parents would reveal violence by means of threatening their kids. Black children experienced whippings by their moms and dads just for making ridiculous errors. The source of this beating, Coates notes, is the worry the moms and dads felt over the possibility of losing their children to the engulfing cops brutality. The pounding was done to keep black youths disciplined from delving too far from the safety and presence of their moms and dads. From taking part in activities that would make the vulnerable to the sight of the racists system. Coates makes this known when composing to his son, “My daddy was so really scared. I felt it in the sting of his black leather belt, which he applied with more anxiety than anger, my daddy who beat me as if someone may steal me away, because that is precisely what was occurring all around us.” (Coates)

Coates further displays this violence has actually left such strong fear throughout the African American population, and in turn followed through with a fear within youth people. This complementary worry was present in the ways in which black youths presented themselves. Coates emphasizes that black youths postured themselves with aggressive character as a way to safeguard their susceptible bodies. This in turn, extended to a violent culture within black communities, a culture that would be dismissed by fortunate white American onlookers as the fault of those involved. This violent culture taken place by youths’ fear of losing their bodies involved an aggressive personality, mesmerized in persistent attitudes of anger, constant battling with each other, showing who “owned the streets” they lived on, showing who was the more effective force over the others around them.

All of these things are symptoms of the worry of white America, that it may lose the power and pride it gained merely from its incorrect belief system. An incorrect belief system that has effectively been disseminated nearly worldwide. A greed for power, in a world where the principle of self-image has been exaggerated. Coates portrays this when he tells his boy, “The violence that undergirded the country, so flagrantly on display throughout Black History Month, and the intimate violence of ‘Yeah, nigger, what’s up now?’ were not unassociated. And this violence was not magical, but was of a piece and by style.” (Coates)

In action, Coates discusses that his kid’s only choice and possible way of living, is to bear the concern of fear. With police cruelty increasing, it becomes only reasonable for his son, and other black youths, to bear the fear and accuracy of being targeted. There is no other choice, however to bear it, and upon doing so the African Americans, early slaves and later on citizens who struggled generations earlier, will be valued for having struggled themselves. Coates describes, “I prompt you to struggle. Battle for the memory of your forefathers. Battle for wisdom. Struggle for the heat of The Capital. Struggle for your grandma and grandpa, for your name. But do not struggle for the Dreamers. Hope for them. Pray for them, if you are so moved. However do not pin your battle on their conversion. The Dreamers will need to learn to struggle themselves, to understand that the field for their Dream, the stage where they have actually painted themselves white, is the deathbed of us all.” (Coates) Coates profits to keep in mind that the struggle is not to please or comply with the white American belief system for white Americans, however rather for the generations of black Americans who have struggled in the exact same manner. Rather, react to the racism ensued by white Americans by hoping and hoping that they’ll change and willingly think rationally rather of hiding from the fact. In order for this to take place, white Americans will have to struggle themselves, pertained to severe terms that they’re given identity has actually been a lie, simple themselves, and surrender the worth they put on self-image, power, and pride.