Kmele Foster, John McWhorter and Glenn Loury discuss identity, blackness, and the changing meaning of the word racism.
Since I was a kid sitting at my family’s dinner table in the ‘60s, listening to my parents discuss the issues of the day, there has been a black problem. That was over 50 years ago, and the issues are still here. Poverty, gangs, fatherlessness, an indifference to education, dependence on welfare. Why haven’t things improved for so many black people in America? At least Loury has the guts to say, You can’t put this all on Whitey. I appreciate that. Trillions have been spent, and still there are too many black people in the poor, uneducated category. I get the sense these three guys are carefully saying, ‘C’mon now, black people, time to fix yourselves. I hope so. I readily acknowledge that there are lots of highly successful, law abiding black people of intact families, and I applaud and admire their success. But as to the others, I have grown weary of their victimhood.
I thought we were doing very well in judging people by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. I worked at the top of my profession for 35 years with a very diverse group of people from all races and it worked just fine. It was a meritocracy, which is what made the place so special. No one got a pass. You either performed well or were asked to leave.
The current cultural wars around race have done exactly what the experts who criticized critical race theory said it would do, and that is to create more racism. I’ve tapped out of this hot mess long ago. Good luck.
There's nothing grosser, or more supportive of the term "white supremacy" than dumb white people declaring their moral virtue by insisting that white people are holding black people back. As if they see whites as having to give permission to blacks to succeed and that "racist" plumber over there in Kenosha -- until he denounces racism and gives permission to blacks to succeed, they will still be held back...
Meanwhile, I live in a black neighborhood where I am oppressed by the 100,000 souped-up vehicles with stereo systems that blast the buildings off their foundations, where there are gang assassinations and a whole host of other problems IN PLAIN SIGHT. Ironically, I do not give permission for gang assassinations and souped-up vehicles that are obviously a debt trap -- but they do it anyway! My white permission has been flagrantly disrespected!
Good morning Bari, and please allow me to repeat my request for transcripts. There are many reasons for this request - economy of time, the ability to simply peruse and skip - or, as now, I'm sitting in a quiet house and playing an interview would both wake others and disrupt my morning calm.
At this point aren't we all feeling a bit of "race fatigue?" I know liberals simply can't view their fellow humans as other than stereotypical cartoonish figures, but the rest of us are doing pretty well in taking our fellow citizens as individuals, each with human rights and dignity, unique to themselves. Even as we are bombarded incessantly with race soaked messages and invective.
I’m always intrigued by the Loury/McWhorter dialogues. This morning I saw a quote which seems germane, from a Greek philosopher named Epictetus (himself a slave for a time during the reign of Nero--and I DID have to look that up)--“No man is free who is not master of himself.” Others may categorize us based on skin pigmentation, but our dreams, ambitions, fears and anxieties are our own, and we are free to shape ourselves according to our own will, not the hierarchical constructs of others. To obsess, legislate, educate, award, deny, or enumerate based on race is counter-productive to individual freedom. Conversely, the Marxist orthodoxy of collectivism, conformity and denial of individualism is the antithesis of freedom. I prefer to be my own master.
I was in a 2 hour leadership seminar recently that was moving along fairly well, with good participation, when the moderator put up DEI slides for the last half hour. She was very excited to discuss it, but was met by silence and couldn’t understand why. The only two questions asked were for the definitions of diversity and inclusion. No one - black, white, Indian, men, women, wanted to engage with any of it. We are a well run, mid size company in a profitable space that as far as I can tell, hires for ability, not quotas. Everyone could see that it was disruption for the sake of disruption, plus everyone’s scared to death to say anything to challenge it.
I feel the issue of education is prominent. Having crappy schools where only a small percentage graduate even at grade level, forget excellence, is a huge hurdle and a national disgrace. Obviously any solvent business would have fired the people who run some of these schools years ago. I recently saw some ghastly report on Baltimore schools which are a complete disaster. No child could hope to come out of this type of academic environment and become a thriving citizen. First of all, stop feeling Democrats are the answer. Most of these areas have been run by them for decades and are still a mess. We need a way to fire people and get these schools up to speed. Years ago an African American woman on 60 Minutes had quit her professional level job and started a school in her own home. She had very little funding, used classic books, and when they checked in on those kids years later, almost all were doing extremely well in various professions. It can be done. We have not done it.
Hope there will be a transcript. Either Way, Dr. Sheena Mason has made a lotta contributions to the idea of race abolition. https://freeblackthought.substack.com/p/theory-of-racelessness-a-case-for
May I make a protest against the ubiquity of podcasts? My husband and I are retired, so we don't spend a lot of time in a car or on public transport, where we might want something to listen to. We want to read our news. We can read the content in half the time (or less) it takes to listen to it. No matter how interesting the topic or the speaker, I don't want to hear/watch all the pauses, false starts, and Uhs and Ums. I wish podcasts were accompanied by transcripts. (Edit: I see others have made the same point. Please count me in with them.)
It just blows my mind that with all the supposed "racial reckoning" that been tossed about recently that NONE of the people discussing race in American seem to ever bring up the fact there there are THOUSANDS of examples of Blacks achieving success in our country. Business men/women, elected officials, Military leaders, police Chiefs, media moguls, sports stars, musicians etc. etc...
I watched story on CBS Sunday Morning a few months back where a VERY successful businessman/producer Byron Allen (net worth over 500 million) actually said OUT LOUD AND ON CAMERA that despite any successes Black people in the US might have had - blacks STILL can't get ahead I this country! I still couldn't believe this uber-rich guy actually said it (yet just another story of a very successful Black person claiming unfairness while being rich and ignoring all the success many blacks have achieved.
I stopped listening to anyone uttering "racism". It's become a joke and that's really a shame because there are still instances of real racism that occur that get drowned out because of the false racism claims.
I'm amazed at the intelligence of the readers here and their comments. Please continue to comment and keep this discussion going. Thank you all.
Enlightening. Thought-provoking. Heartening!
For me, the only discordant note was when somebody said the conservatives (or was it the “Right”?) have the law - implying control of our legal system. I thought, Has he not noticed what the ABA is doing? Has he not noticed the wokeness infecting law schools? Has he not noticed the propensity of left-wing judges to rule so as to achieve political outcomes? Has he not noticed the election of Soros-backed prosecutors and the havoc they are wreaking? Has he not noticed the trend towards pervasive, oppressive regulation - a form of unaccountable legislation? As a lawyer, which those guys are not, I’m particularly sensitive to the extent to which the left has overtaken our legal/judicial system.
Otherwise, I loved this podcast. Sorry for the rant.
I normally don't listen to podcasts - they take a lot of time where I can get more information more quickly by reading. But I listened to this because I had high hopes about this, that some on the Left have open minds.
But these guys think the Right are the enemy:
The right is "closer to the levers of power"
The right wrongly thinks the NY Times is woke and out to get them
The right 'punished Disney for having gay characters'
One speaker was distressed that his book on racism originally only embraced by conservatives
Critical race theory isn't being taught in schools
The right doesn't care about black crime victims with 27 minutes left
Sorry, the Right isn't the enemy. Much of the above is nonsense.
There is still much that is good to hear. But until the Left is ready to deal with the Right on even terms and not as demons, I remain very pessimistic about the ability of our society to come back together.
I’ll pass on this one, Bari. I’m sick of articles, talk and movies, etc. re: race.
Thank you Bari, this was a very good discussion.
This talk seems like a lot of overly intellectualized gobbledy-gook. So here. Let me simplify it for you.
“How do I have two medical degrees if I’m sitting here oppressed?”