This image of a conquering, imperialistic, American kaiju or Elephantmen seemed an appropriate accompaniment.
At present, Ta-Nehisi Coates is working at the height of his powers. He is Macho Man versus Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3.
When I grow up I want to be able to write like Coates does in his new long-form essay "Letter to My Son" which is now up at the Atlantic:
There is nothing extreme in this statement. Americans deify democracy in a way that allows for a dim awareness that they have, from time to time, stood in defiance of their God. This defiance is not to be much dwelled upon. Democracy is a forgiving God and America’s heresies—torture, theft, enslavement—are specimens of sin, so common among individuals and nations that none can declare themselves immune.
In fact, Americans, in a real sense, have never betrayed their God. When Abraham Lincoln declared, in 1863, that the battle of Gettysburg must ensure “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” he was not merely being aspirational. At the onset of the Civil War, the United States of America had one of the highest rates of suffrage in the world. The question is not whether Lincoln truly meant “government of the people” but what our country has, throughout its history, taken the political term “people” to actually mean.
In 1863 it did not mean your mother or your grandmother, and it did not mean you and me. As for now, it must be said that the elevation of the belief in being white was not achieved through wine tastings and ice cream socials, but rather through the pillaging of life, liberty, labor, and land."
Damn. Please do take your time to read the whole essay. It is lethal verbage and conjuring from the awesome Ta-Nehisi Coates.