Ta-Nehisi Coates responds to Kelly’s ‘compromise’ comments in viral Twitter thread

A Twitter thread by author Ta-Nehisi Coates in response to White House chief of staff John Kelly’s comments that the Civil War started from a “lack of ability to compromise” is gaining traction.

The 31-tweet thread, which can be read in full here, has garnered thousands of likes and retweets. It addresses Kelly’s comments, slamming them as inaccurate, “sad” and “racist.”

“Been a lot of hemming and hawing over the term ‘white supremacist.’ Fools who won’t be satisfied until Trump literally lynches someone,” Coates wrote. “People out here asking me for ‘hope.’ Meanwhile, the adult in the room thinks the Easter Bunny caused the Civil War.”

Coates pointed out several instances where “compromise” was a key factor in the Civil War, including former President Lincoln’s platform and the multiple “compromises” that denied enslaved people their rights and humanity.


“Notion that Civil War resulted from a lack of compromise is belied by all the compromises made on enslavement from America’s founding,” Coates wrote.

In an interview on Fox News, Kelly said that the Civil War was started because of a “lack of ability to compromise,” and praised Robert E. Lee as an “honorable man.” In discussing the debate on whether to remove Confederate statues, Kelly called it a “mistake” to put today’s standards of morality on historical events and said he thinks that the statues should be left alone.

“Notion that we are putting today’s standards on the past is, in itself, racist — implies only white, slave-holding, opinions matter,” Coates wrote in response. “Praising Bobby Lee as an honorable man is just sad. Like some kid insisting his deadbeat dad is actually a secret agent away on a mission.”

Tags chief of staff Civil War Confederate statues John Kelly
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