Depiction Of Problems Caused By Racism In Ta-nehisi Coates Memoir Between The World And Me
Most people have a mistaken idea about racism in America. They believe is a problem that no longer exist, but the truth is that they are wrong. A lot of people, not only Americans, do not address racist acts. That is why America has not fulfilled the ideology of a perfect country. In Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses in depth, about the injustices that he and other African Americans have lived through, witnessed, and will still live through because of their race. Coates is well known for being a supporter of equality between African Americans and those who actively discriminate them. He brings even more awareness to the wrongs that people, who are black, experience in the memoir he wrote to his son.
Coates’ memoir is socially and politically important for America because it educates those who are unaware of the racist acts that have occurred and makes it harder for others to ignore them. The memoir also brings awareness and offers support that pushes those to no longer ignore the issue. If people continue to disregard the unfair treatment of those who have a different colored skin, the problem can only worsen.
Coates deems it necessary that his son knows just how cruel the world is for those who share their skin color, if others would educate their family the same way, the issue would stop metastasizing. He points out to his son that even when a misunderstanding happens, the repercussions for those of his race are extreme and those who are responsible are “rarely held accountable” and if they are, the most “they will receive [are] pensions” (Coates 9). The abuse of authority that “include friskings, detainings, beatings, and humiliations” by police sets an example to society on what is acceptable (Coates 9). This unfair treatment has been going on for so long that Coates says it is recurrent and “old for black people” (Coates 9). Beatings and murders were so common that Coates even states that he “had no sense that any just God was on [his] side” (Coates 28). The plainspoken way that he writes about these experiences brought and still brings awareness for those who are willing to acknowledge the problems that are still happening today.
By doing so Coates not only inspires people to make a change, but he also encourages people to wake up from the dream they are choosing to live in. When it comes to the issues they see involving race, people choose to ignore it. If they are not immediately affected by it, they act like it does not exist. This is an issue on top of the disregard for the equal treatment, regardless of race, in America that Coates brings up throughout his memoir. People choose this reaction because, “it is so easy to look away” and “to ignore the great evil” (Coates 8), even though “very few Americans will directly proclaim that they are in favor of black people being left to the streets” (Coates 33). By doing this, they continue to live in their dream and nothing gets solved. However, those who live through this, “have never truly had the luxury” of choosing to react this way (Coates 9). They cannot easily ignore the brutal beatings, the lynchings, the racism that they have seen and, or endured. Since the number of people who react by ignoring is significantly larger than those who have to live through the violence, it is hard to end these injustice behaviors. It is difficult to force people to see what they do not want to, and just as hard to force them to act on the very thing they choose to ignore. This is one of the main issues we are experiencing as a country today. Those who are fighting for normalcy cannot do it alone, they need help.
Reading the memoir, that Coates wrote so thoroughly, will help to wake people from the dreams that they choose to live in. Seeing how bluntly Coates writes to his son, how fast one is expected to grow up when someone is a black person in America is difficult to read. Although, I never considered myself ignorant to the mistreatment of certain races, this book put me in the shoes of someone who was wronged everyday of their lives and had to watch helplessly as their families went through the same. Between the World and Me makes people think it, makes people realize and most of all wakes people from the Dream that they put themselves in, no matter how deep their sleep is. Coates’ work educates those who are unaware of the crimes against those of a certain race in depth and goes below the surface with those who are already aware of these acts. For those who have lived through these heinous acts, Coates provides knowledge that they are not alone and gives a deep connection with someone who has experienced on some level, what they too are going through or have gone through. Between the World and Me is important because the reader can understand how discrimination impacts not only one person, but also a whole race and then make a change.
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