The Playboy Interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates | Playboy:
Did any of the criticism hurt?
All of it hurt. I had criticized Cornel for going after Obama, but not in that sort of personal way. The bell hooks shit hurt because she was talking about my son. The Loury shit, that hurt. Eventually I figured out that they were aiming at the gaze of white folks. I didn’t account for how much that shit controls everything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone somewhere and the question has been “What’s up with white people reading your book?” It alters everything. You’re talking about money right there. But I think on top of that it’s the prestige part. “Oh, you’re a MacArthur genius now?” Now people have to look at you a certain way and talk to you a certain way, and that has nothing to do with what you’re actually saying. People start shouting out your name and they ain’t even talking about you.
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