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'Peace Y'all. I'm Out': Ta-Nehisi Coates Quits Twitter After Cornell West's Rant

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Author Ta-Nehisi Coates seemingly had enough of Twitter when Cornell West said in his rant against him that he “fetishizes white supremacy,” which drew a tweet of support from white supremacist Richard Spencer. Coates has deleted his account of more than 1 million followers.


A prolific writer on race, Coates penned an essay in 2014, “The Case for Reparations,” highlighting how white supremacy operated in American institutions. He is the authorof New York Times bestsellers “Between the World and Me,” a literary exploration of America’s racial history, and “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy,” which was published in October.

West,who’s had a career as a public intellectual, is currentlya professor of the practice of public philosophy at Harvard University.The Guardian published an op-ed by West on Sunday in which he bashed Coates.

“He represents the neoliberal wing that sounds militant about white supremacy but renders Black fightback invisible,” he wrote.

Coates’ latest book is a collection of the magazine essays he wrote throughout the Obama years, including, “My President Was Black.”Over the past few years, West has made searing critiques of former President Barack Obama and thinks Coates is wrongly supporting him.

“Unfortunately, Coates’ allegiance to Obama has produced an impoverished understanding of Black history,” he wrote.

West tweeted a link to his op-ed on Monday afternoon bashing Coates:

Spencer, a prominent figure of the white nationalist movement who claims to have coined the term “alt-right,” interjected himself into the Twitter feud between the intellectuals.

On Monday, he retweeted West’s chastisement of Coates and added the comment: “He’s not wrong.”

Coates tweeted late Monday evening:

“Peace y’all. I’m out. I didn’t get in it for this.”Between then and Tuesday morning, he deleted his account.

Spencer has retweeted comments that echo West’s sentiments against Coates:

If Spencer chiming in was a factor in Coates deciding to delete his account, it wouldn’t be surprising as he represents everything the author opposes.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes Spencer as an “academic racist” who backs the creation of an Aryan homeland. He leads the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist and nationalist think tank.

In May in Charlottesville, Va., Spencer led a retro racism-inspired torch-lit protest at Robert E. Lee Park, which houses the statue of the Confederate general the city council voted to remove.

They chanted, “You will not replace us,” “Russia is our friend” and “Blood and soil.”

The same kind of torch-lit protest including white supremacists was emulated at the University of Virginia, Spencer’s alma mater, in August. Neo-Nazis waving Nazi flags at the protest and Klansman and Confederates waving theirs represented various factions of hate. And in October, Spencer organized a“Charlottesville 3.0”protest.

However, West seems to think that Coates’ “neoliberalism” is more of a threat than his discussion of white supremacy.

In his op-ed he wrote, “The disagreement between Coates and me is clear: any analysis or vision of our world that omits the centrality of Wall Street power, US military policies, and the complex dynamics of class, gender, and sexuality in Black America is too narrow and dangerously misleading. So it is with Ta-Nehisi Coates’ worldview.”

The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb, who says he and Coates have been good friends since their time at Howard University, came to his defense in a string of more than 10 tweets. Cobb said he’s embarrassed by West’s “threadbare commentary.”

Here’s a portion:

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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