TeNehisi Coates Discussion Periscope

Throughout his InBound 2016 speech, TeNehisi believes that America needs to address their underlying issues and stop ignoring them as if they do not exist. Within his speech he refers to how slaves were worth more than $3.8 billion which was what the wealth of America was at the time of around 1860. He explained how the economy at the time was significantly reliant on slaves especially the people in the South. TeNehisi explained that people he recently spoke to did not discuss the American Civil War as a problem based upon slavery and racism. People would say the cause was for state pride or being forced to fight, etc. But by the end, all that mattered was that there were 4 million “free” African Americans. The free was hesitant because they were not treated as free people nor citizens of the country that they were brought to against their will. For the next 100 some odd years the government would not let African Americans vote as citizens but made African Americans pay taxes as if they were citizens. TeNehisi then proclaimed how some of the people within the very room of the InBound 2016 conference were alive during the time where African Americans were not allowed to vote in the 1960s or at least their parents were.

TeNehisi related the history of America to the future that we are now facing with Trump being President of the United States and the former circumstances with President Barack Obama. When he contrasted the situations to each other he made sure to establish his purpose. He did not want to say anything bettering one President to another only wanting to show how he believed the differences were perceived between 1619 to 2008. TeNehisi believes that he underestimated the past of the country because he assumed there was progress because of Obama’s Presidency in 2008. He thought that the African American community was facing more benefits to come but instead the old America which never truly disappeared came out instead. The old America was what elected Trump into office. Even when Obama was in office there was racially motivated rumors about where he was born and all other accusations. But nothing was as clear to TeNehisi as to when Trump was elected.

TeNehisi tries to show that America needs to accept itself for it’s past and near future with Trump otherwise there will be no change. There will be no difference. He ended the speech saying that is there is no acceptance and acknowledgement soon then there will not only be an age the same thought process with Trump for the next 4 years but infinitely.

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