Jul 4, 2022 • 1HR 22M

Glenn and John Live at the Comedy Cellar

with Sherrod Small, Jon Laster, and Nimesh Patel

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Appears in this episode

Glenn Loury
Weekly conversations on race, inequality, and more, with Glenn Loury. Bi-weekly appearances by John McWhorter.
Episode details

A couple weeks ago, The Glenn Show returned to New York’s Comedy Cellar. This time I was joined by John McWhorter and a trio of fantastic comics: Sherrod Small, Jon Laster, and Nimesh Patel. There were a lot of laughs and a lot big questions addressed, so let’s get into it.

John and I begin with a comment left on one of our previous conversations from an economically disadvantaged white man who recounted his frustrated attempts to get into law school. Affirmative action helps elevate women and racial minorities, but shouldn’t it focus more on socioeconomic factors than “diversity”? John and I are always trying to move the needle on issues like this, and it’s sometimes hard to tell whether our conversations are having an effect. The crowd seems to think they are! John brings up charter schools, and I advance an argument in favor of more school choice. We then move onto racial disparities. I think that most people know on some level that “systemic racism” is not really the cause of racial disparities in the commission of violent crimes, and yet it’s so hard to have an honest conversation about it in casual circumstances. John argues that the real core of the race debate in America has to do with the relationship between black people and the police, at which point Sherrod, Nimesh, and Jon come out to join us. Laster tells us about the Jon Laster Challenge, in which he asked black men he knew to recount bad run-ins with the police and his app, which promotes black-owned businesses. Next, Sherrod shows off his crowd work chops and riffs with the audience. One audience member asks what draws the people who become police to the job, and I ask Jon what he really thinks we should do about violent crime in black communities. Finally, we end the event with some questions from the audience.

I had a a lot of fun up there onstage, and I was so happy to meet the subscribers who came up to say hello afterward. If you missed us this time around, don’t worry. You’ll have another chance. Watch this space for more.

Note: There were some slight technical difficulties with the recording. As a consequence, the first minute or so of the conversation is missing. Many apologies.

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0:00 Why do race and gender trump socioeconomics in affirmative action considerations? 

9:03 Are Glenn and John making a difference in the race debate? 

11:30 The argument for charter schools

19:54 Glenn: Nobody really believes that racism is the cause of racial disparities in crime

23:05 The difficulty of having an honest conversation about race and crime

28:15 Seizing the possibilities of our freedom 

38:22 John: The race debate is about the cops

40:02 The Jon Laster Challenge

45:00 Sherrod talks to the crowd 

47:27 Why do cops become cops? 

54:41 Jon: Money is the biggest problem in black communities 

1:03:16 Can poverty account for violence in black communities? 

1:08:49 Q&A: Do we need more black police?

1:10:45 Q&A: Have Glenn and John gotten credit for highlighting The Trayvon Hoax?

1:16:59 Q&A: John clarifies his position on the Georgia voting law 

Links and Readings

Ian Rowe’s book, Agency: The Four Point Plan (F.R.E.E.) for ALL Children to Overcome the Victimhood Narrative and Discover Their Pathway to Power

Jon’s app, Blapp

Sherrod’s podcast, Race Wars