EVIL MAY LOSE THE BATTLE FOR HISTORY BUT WINS THE WAR OF AESTHETICS
- Dujie Tahat
After Ta-Nehisi Coates
As in even the heroes’
narrative belongs to General Lee.
Banality is of the same order
of removal. It’s the same rhetorical gesture
from victim to survivor. An act
by definition can never be
a state of being. If it remains
an identity, it never gets to end. The way it works
is the mics go out, the car in front
of you swerves, and we forget
we were talking about evil at all.
In the literature of the time—
which can be described as any time—
the supernatural is always present.
The truth: evil is easy. It’s not
a layered story. Evil says this is what I’m going to do
and does it. Maybe at our best, we’re okay
not knowing the villain is in our house or
on the ballot. We’re approaching the point
of death where we turn to your questions.
Is this a period of hope? Why write
about anything at all in 2019?
Hasn’t it all been said? What can I do
as a white person? The crowd in the symphony
hall murmurs when the Black author says
whiteness is a political idea. I don’t need
to feel hopeful that the sun will come up
tomorrow. I have people I owe.