What a wonderful intelligent man. Glad to see someone else have the intellectual honesty to expose Kendi’s childish gibberish. School choice is critical. Many of our problems are socio-economic and cultural NOT racial.

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This: “the social disorganization among poor blacks, the lagging academic performance of black students, the disturbingly high rate of black on black crime, the alarming increase in the early unwed pregnancies among blacks now loom as the primary obstacles to progress.”

Everything Dr. Loury said about poor black people could also be said about poor whites. That's why making racism the cause of every social ill is so harmful; it divides the very same people who have the most to gain by uniting.

Isabel Wilkinson's book "Caste" was extremely offensive to me, because in it she stated that she was a member of the lowest caste in America. Bullshit. Isabel Wilkinson is an extremely privileged and accomplished woman and she is, in fact, a member of the highest caste in America.

When poor whites see economically and professionally privileged black people claim to be "more oppressed than thou" it inflames, rather than diminishes, racism (except among economically privileged whites who are perfectly content seeing black people as objects of pity - which I think is extremely racist).

The word WHY stands for Won't Help You.

What we need to focus on is HOW? How do we alleviate poverty and despair in the richest country in the world.

Of course equal access to quality education is one necessary step, but we also need essential workers like janitors, child care workers, delivery people, and home health aides - and we need to pay people a living wage for these necessary jobs.

We need early childhood interventions in high risk (impoverished) areas to support families in raising healthy children.

We need to crush the violent street gangs that terrorize poor neighborhoods, and cause so much stress that children cannot focus in school.

I don't care "why" so many people are suffering, I only want to know "how" to alleviate or even end that suffering.

Poverty leads to stress, which leads to depression & anxiety, which leads to abuse/neglect, which leads to addiction, which leads to crime, which leads to... and on & on it goes.

Focusing on racism instead of the deleterious affects of poverty - AND the severe breakdown in community that results from the loss of jobs that once supported families - keeps suffering people trapped where they are.

But middle and upper class liberals have no real interest in changing the status quo, because it works for them.

So instead they put up their silly little signs and say "Black Lives Matter" while continuing to gentrify neighborhoods and step over the disproportionately black & brown homeless people dying on the street.

It's the poverty, stupid. Let's focus on that instead of only race.

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"I don't know why anybody takes Ibram X. Kendi seriously."

Neither do I.

But I do know that the same fools who do, also denigrate and scorn honest men such as Glenn Loury.

There's a lesson in that, too. The groupthink of the American Left is laughable. We either ignore them, laugh at them or destroy them. Lately, the third option is starting to look appealing.

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I have followed Loury for about a decade. A serious, intellectually honest man. I chuckled when he spoke about how poorly students are educated in math. I'm a PI. I was suffering from PTSD in the late 90's[I was born in 1952....do the math!]. I returned to college @ UW to get my teaching credentials to teach high school history, which was my major prior to switching to criminal justice. In order to get into the College of Education one has to pass an aptitude test covering math, reading and writing. I'm standing in line on a Saturday morning in 1999 w/ a large group of young people. Some were taking the test for the first time, like myself. But there were about 8 people in my vicinity in a conversation about how they were retaking the math portion, having flunked it previously. Some were taking it for the 2nd time. But most were taking it the 3rd, 4th...one the 7th time!

Math was not my best subject back in high school and undergrad. I would mostly get B's, but always worked hard for those B's. So, after hearing these horror stories I start sweating. The math portion of the test was administered first since so many were only taking that portion. I start the test. It seems pretty basic and really easy. "WAIT..maybe this is a really tricky test!" I say to myself. I start second guessing myself. But, I'm not one to do that so I continue on and keep saying, "This is fucking easy!" I then took the other sections and a few weeks later get my results. I got 93% in the math. It was easy..all these young people were victims of a dysfunctional education system. I was taught by nuns and priests, not union rats.

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Professor Loury makes such a cogent argument about the plight of Black America. The disfunction that continues to plague the Black community in 2021 is a travesty. Quality education is truly the path that will uplift the masses out of such dire straits. The SJWs are the worst thing that could happen to Black America. Continually thinking that it's white supremacy that's holding you back is such a cop-out. I despise White liberals because I can see right through their facade. They are a huge impediment to Blacks truly realizing their full potential.

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I'm glad he at least brushed up against the idea that reparations would be incredibly destructive. They make me think of a study that was published a while back called "A Fine Is A Price," where unwanted behavior -- in this case picking up one's kid late from daycare -- actually increased after a fine was imposed for it.

What happened was that people who did it just paid the fine and didn't think any more about it. Lateness became something you could purchase, and one of the people who worked at the daycare said she was convinced that the wealthier families just factored it into their budgets. And if they had raised the fine to the point where it would really hurt them, it would have been crippling for poorer families.

End result: the rich -- the ones with the most power to improve the situation -- pay what to the is a pittance for the privilege of never, ever thinking about the problem again. The poor -- with the least power -- pay a far higher price for the right to seethe in anger over having been disproportionately punished.

Reparations will mean that the wealthy will pay and never, ever think about the challenges faced by black Americans ever again. And the poor and working class will rightly stew in anger that they will have paid for the right to feel.

And nothing will get any better. For anyone.

A fine is a price.

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I appreciated Mr. Loury's perspectives on rigor and standards. One thing I've wondered about a great deal is if some of the challenge we're seeing is also, and perhaps more, tied to the decline in public funding of postsecondary education.

Some of how tuition has moved, I am at a loss to explain. It's been fairly well covered, though, that a big part of the escalating cost has been the decades-long decline in public support for colleges and universities. I think that has its own distortions.

For colleges, they still need to be able to keep the lights on. In past decades, when they enjoyed plentiful support, Mr. Loury would probably had more footing to demand more out of students. The lights would still be on if a student failed, and the low cost of tuition would lower the bar for another student to take the failing student's place. Colleges have to be more careful about people failing, since each one blows a bigger hole in their budgets. The high price of tuition lessens the likelihood of another student taking the failing student's place.

I'd argue, too, that the distortions are being experienced by the students. If the cost of tuition is high, there may be a reluctance to recognize college is a bad fit until later. If you're putting so much money down, at least some students may be reluctant to quit, simply for it to not have been for nothing.

Of course, the biggest distortion is the obvious one that we all experience. We have a particularly fragile and weak set of graduates from the institutions that are supposed to be developing future leaders and professionals. I've already seen these students bring this fragility into the workplace, and it's not pretty. It's complaints from employees that are clearly going to be asked to leave within a year due to performance issues complaining about "cultural appropriation" in some of the corporate artwork. It's young professionals who will let the project fail if it requires a minute over 40 hrs/week. It's receiving calls from former employees' parents (?!) when their child is fired due to being a bad fit.

All the things I just described are things I'm seeing out of new employees of all genders, colors, sexual orientations, and whatever other classification that needs to be foisted onto every discussion of a problem. I appreciate that the new generation does have a level of empathy that's been missing from prior generations. That's good, and will be helpful if it gets properly-channeled again. But I feel like we're all being "awoken" to an age of American mediocrity if something isn't done about this soon, and the only thing egalitarian about it will be that we'll all equally have been robbed of an opportunity to better ourselves.

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"It's all a cover for black mediocrity." Talk about poetic truth ...! Excellent interview.

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Great interview, Bari! Glen Loury is someone our country needs to hear more from. Since progressives remain determined to destroy the African American family and culture via entitlement dependency and lowered standards, and conservatives are cowed into silence for fear of being called "racist", it will be up to the common sense, faith and wisdom of the African American community itself to articulate its own vision of how black lives really matter, and to insist on what's needed, like the kind of education the children of the liberal elites enjoy. When that happens, it will have profound political reverberations in American politics.

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Two of my heroes, Glenn Loury and Bari Weiss, in one place. Superb!

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Thanks so much for sharing. How do we get out of the situation where the only people who can safely raise these questions must be people of color?

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If there was a ‘white community’ that all white people were pressured to join, and that community was run by scumbag televangelist shysters........I suspect that wouldn’t work well either.

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I just joined my son's school Race & Equity Committee. He is only in Pre-K, but the school (a Public Charter in DC) is going all in on the notion of equity as well as spending 6 figures on a DEI consultant. While the whole thing seems unnecessary for an elementary school that only goes up to 5th grade it's important to be on the inside as this infantilizing and racist ideology takes hold. The indoctrination that your immutable characteristics are what define you and how you should define/pre-judge others is starting very young.

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How refreshing to hear some straight talk. Thankfully, there are still people around like Dr. Loury to provide such helpful and powerful commentary.

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If you liked this I'd like to point out Prof Loury ( often along with Prof McWhorter) have a podcast that I enjoy a lot.

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Great interview, but I think he didn't answer the question of what would be the three top priorities of a genuine movement for black lives quite directly enough, but I took it to be: school choice, law and order, patriotism/self-determination. Worth repeating.

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