I recently presented a lecture for the University of Colorado, Boulder's Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization. In this hour-long talk, available in video on Youtube and in text at Quillette, I describe and lament the constraint which political correctness imposes on vigorous public discussion about the causes of and remedies for persistent racial inequality.
A friend of mine later objected to my lamentations, and I just wrote him a letter, which I want to make public here. Please see below.
Doug: No offense taken.
But, I'm not only scared about where things are going. I'm in despair. And, I'll admit to a bit of anger.
I think the summer of 2020 was a disaster for the future of "race" in the country. I think it reflects Obama's mishandling of Ferguson and Baltimore and Sanford, FL. I think it bespeaks the complete bankruptcy of the political governing forces representing the interest of blacks.
I'm unreservedly cynical about "civil rights" claims. Mississippi crusades were a half-century ago—as long as from Appamattox to Versailles!
The race debate has become a distraction—and a hustle. Make the social contract better—for all Americans—and you'll solve the only part of the racial disparity problem that warrants government involvement.
These killings by cops and their aftermath are national theater—a macabre enactment of lies, bluffs and self-delusions... The impositions of police are not the first, or second or third-order factors in determining the quality of black life—way behind families and schools and jobs...
Of course I know that structures matter. But, I think a central fact of our time is the failure of blacks at every level—from criminal behavior to performance on college exams—to measure-up to the plentiful opportunities at hand. A racial blame game has emerged to cover these failures which increasingly seems to corrupt everything.
And the tragedy is, I'm the only one who's saying so...