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A protester during a demonstration in Los Angeles, California, June 2, 2020. (Kyle Grillot via Getty Images)

From Racial Reckoning to Race Abolition

Kmele Foster, John McWhorter and Glenn Loury discuss identity, blackness, and the changing meaning of the word racism.

Today’s episode is borrowed from the feed of the great podcast The Fifth Column. Usually hosted by Kmele Foster, Michael Moynihan, and Matt Welch, this episode, which aired in July of 2022, features Kmele and two guests who have become elder statesmen around the persistent issue of race in America: John McWhorter and Glenn Loury. 

Over the past few years John, Glenn, and Kmele, each have written, discussed and lectured exhaustively on anti-racism, the role race plays in America, and the changing meaning of the word “racism” itself. In this episode, they talk about the inadequacies of regarding people solely by their racial category, the dignity of the individual and what a future might look like if we were to abolish race all together. While all three men bring a contrarian streak to this discussion, you’ll find that they have big disagreements when it comes to questions of race abolition and the so-called “racial reckoning” of 2020. 

Glenn Loury is an economist and professor of social science at Brown University. You can listen to his Honestly interview here.

John McWhorter is the author of numerous books, including Talking Black and Woke Racism. He’s also professor of Linguistics, Philosophy and Music at Columbia University, and a columnist at The New York Times.

Since 2015 Kmele Foster has been a prominent voice in a number of discussions about race in America, including his reporting challenging the mainstream media’s verdict on Amy Cooper, better known as the Central Park Karen.

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