Ta-Nehisi Coates made a guest appearance on The Late Show to promote his new book We Were Eight Years in Power.
During Coates’ conversation with host Stephen Colbert, the latter asked the former if he had any hope for the future of America, to which he responded “No.”
“But I’m not the person you should go to for that,” Coates added. “You should go to your pastor. Your pastor provides you hope. Your friends provide you hope.”
“I’m not asking you to make s**t up,” Colbert responded. “I’m asking if you personally see any evidence for change in America.”
“But I would have to make shit up to actually answer that question in a satisfying way,” Coates replied.
From there, Colbert then referenced the foreseeable demographic change in America, where white people will soon be a numerical minority in America, and asked if that would change things.
“Your question presumes that there is a static definition of whiteness,” Coates said. “And that this is the first time that there’s been a demographic change…it’s happened before. The Irish when they came here were not considered white. There was a period of time when Jews were not considered white, Italians were not considered white. Things change.”
“In addition to the very definition of whiteness being malleable the ability to vote is also a malleable thing,” Coates added. “So you might have the possibility of the demographics actually changing, but who has the ability to use those demographics in an electoral system might also change too.”
“I hope you’re wrong,” Colbert said before the interview came to an end.