Glenn Loury
The Glenn Show
John McWhorter – Four Years of George Floyd

John McWhorter – Four Years of George Floyd


We’re coming up on the four-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd. By May 2020, Americans had become familiar with the litany: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Ahmaud Arbery, and more. These were black males (Rice was a child) who were killed either by police or by men who believed themselves to be enforcing the law.

A few circumstances distinguished Floyd’s case from the others. There was the harrowing video that appeared to depict Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin nonchalantly kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he protested, “I can’t breathe.” There was the COVID-19 pandemic. Americans and much of the world had been cooped up in their homes for months, relying on social media as a substitute for human connection and attempting to stave off both the coronavirus and cabin fever. With so-called antiracist sentiment at its peak and millions of people with time on their hands, perhaps I should have seen that this was going to be the Big One.

I could recall everything that followed: the “mostly peaceful” protests that left cities in flames, the desperate attempts by progressive politicians to demonstrate their woke bona fides, the canonization of Floyd himself as some kind of civil rights hero, and so on. But rather than rehash all of it here, I’ve had my team assemble excerpts from many of my conversations with John McWhorter about Floyd, the protests, and the “racial reckoning.” There are some cameos. Ian Rowe, Jordan Peterson, Liz Collin, JC Chaix, Shane Hachey, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison make appearances. This is a long one—it clocks in at almost two hours—but it could have easily been three times longer. And somehow I feel like we’re not nearly done with the Summer of George Floyd.

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Click the timestamp to go to the indicated clip in this YouTube video, click the title to go to the video from which the clip was pulled

0:00: Intro from Glenn

2:15: Cops and Race - May 29, 2020

10:09: The Viruses - June 9, 2020

16:39: A Uniquely Potentially Calamitous Situation - June 3, 2020

21:14: The Slippery Slope to Hell - April 23, 2021

27:10: What Made George Floyd? - June 23, 2022

34:21: The Uncomfortable Truth Behind Economic Inequality - April 18, 2022

41:38: The Truth about George Floyd's Death - December 4, 2023

55:51: Filmmakers Reveal the Truth about George Floyd - December 18, 2023

1:10:29: What the Controversial George Floyd Doc Didn't Show Us - February 16, 2024

1:24:13: Minneapolis after George Floyd - March 1, 2024

1:27:34: Prosecuting Derek Chauvin - April 5, 2024


Glenn Loury
The Glenn Show
Race, inequality, and economics in the US and throughout the world from Glenn Loury, Professor of Economics at Brown University and Paulson Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute