A most impressive response, Kevin, which I have no hope whatever of covering in full.

I think it's important to bear in mind that essays such as Catherine's are a bit like entry-level sociology courses where an instructor outlines basic, established principles of human social behavior, only to have hands raised as students comment on individual variations: "My cousin isn't like that at all!"

As I'm sure you're aware, human sciences aren't like physics, where a single exception can invalidate a law. Even Marley K's "Yes, all white people are racists!" have to be understood in that context. In short, they're maybe not talking about you. Or me.

I don't honestly know what a post-racial society would look like. I believe (& I posted this to Amren once, you can imagine the responses I got) that it will likely be truly post-racial, inasmuch as intermarriage will gradually even out ethnic differences. Everyone will look like Halle Berry. No too bad when you picture it.

There are certainly provacateurs in BLM. There always have been in any sustained movement. The anti-war movement produced the Weather Underground for one. And, also, I believe COINTELPRO operatives sent in by Mr. Hoover to invalidate their goals by proposing violence & extremism. The movement was also plagued by a degree of polarization that led people to attack the soldiers, essentially the victims of Washington's flawed domino theory, rather than make common cause with them. I'd like to imagine the movement more like that scene in Forrest Gump where Abby Hoffman embraces Gump & encourages him to speak out of his own experience, rather than disparage him as a baby killer. But that was not always the case.

One encouraging sign that we do, as a society learn from experience, is that while people opposed Mr. Bush's Iraq misadventure, they did not attack the soldiers, Marines & airmen who took part (even though none were draftees). We've learned to separate policy from personnel & in this case it's a good thing.

I'm sure we've been around many different fora pre & post-Internet. Medium tends to be leftist & radical. For balance I also spend time on American Renaissance, which if you're not familiar is unapologetically racist (they call it "race realism" now). It provides balance, shows what the other side is up to. They're calling for white "ethnostates" & speak regularly of the "great replacement" just as Mr. Trump's "decent people" at Charlottesville did. It gives one a bit of perspective & shows where some of the more radical writers here at Medium are coming from. To wit: there is no shortage of white racist assholes out there.

I think reparations from Coates's & other POVs would consist of affirmative action, scholarships, better funding for HBCUs, a reduction in insurance redlining, assistance in mortgages. Not so much cash payments.

What I took in particular from Catherine's essay was the tragedy of Gen. Sherman's order setting aside costal lands for freed slaves & veterans being countermanded by a Johnson administrate eager to placate Confederates who ought to have been happy not to be swinging from gibbets rather than assuming they were entitled to rebel against the rest of the country with no consequence whatever.

Now that we're in the post-election period, with Trump refusing to concede, most of the actual protest seems to be coming from the MAGA side. But if he & his cronies somehow manage to pull off a reversal of the election results I can only suggest that we of sound mind & outlook duck our heads!

Best....

LA born & raised, now I live upstate. I hate snow. I write on healthcare, politics & history. Hobbies are woodworking & singing Xmas carols with nonsense lyrics

LA born & raised, now I live upstate. I hate snow. I write on healthcare, politics & history. Hobbies are woodworking & singing Xmas carols with nonsense lyrics