Glenn Loury
The Glenn Show
John McWhorter – Inside the Ibram X. Kendi Collapse

John McWhorter – Inside the Ibram X. Kendi Collapse


This week, John McWhorter is back, and there’s plenty to discuss. We catch up on some issues that passed us by during our unplanned hiatus—including Trump’s conviction—and we share some new book news. And my current book, Late Admissions: Confessions of a Black Conservative, is still cooking. Last week I sat down for an in-depth conversation with Megyn Kelly that addresses the book, Ibram X. Kendi, Clarence Thomas, Florida Congressman Byron Donalds, and other subjects. And there are two reviews that I quite enjoyed, one from Jason Riley in his Wall Street Journal column and the other from Daphne Merkin in Air Mail.

In this episode, John and I kick things off with talk of our summer plans—John is headed to his Catskills bungalow and his native Philly, I’m going down to North Carolina’s Outer Banks with my children and grandchildren. We both have more than vacation in the works, as I’m preparing a short book about self-censorship and John is in the final stages of his new book about pronouns. We haven’t had a chance to discuss the Trump conviction, which almost feels like old news at this point. I push John to articulate why he’s so dismayed by a possible second Trump administration when we made it through the first one just fine. John is dismayed by what he sees as Trump’s demonization of immigrants, but I don’t see anything wrong with a border policy that lets us decide who comes into the country and who doesn’t. From there it’s on to Ibram X. Kendi and the big New York Times Magazine piece about the scandal at his Boston University research center and Kendi’s waning influence. We wrap up with comments on the ridiculous scandal over Florida Congressman Byron Donalds’s utterly factual remarks on the black family under Jim Crow and Biden’s condescending commencement address at Morehouse.

Correction: Henry Frankfurt’s book On Bullshit is published by Princeton University Press, not Polity Press, as stated in the episode. I regret the error.

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0:00 Glenn and John’s summer plans

3:56 Glenn’s forthcoming book on self-censorship

9:53 John’s forthcoming book on pronouns

17:25 Ground News ad

19:45 Inside the audiobook recording process

21:13 Why John isn’t celebrating Trump’s conviction

27:34 What’s so “monstrous” about Trump?

32:17 Is Trump demonizing immigrants or proposing sensible border regulation?

39:17 Inside the collapse of Ibram X. Kendi’s research center

44:42 Does Kendi’s fall mark the end of the woke moment?

49:15 The willful incomprehension directed at Byron Donalds

55:11 Joe Biden’s outdated speech at Morehouse

Recorded June 8, 2024

Links and Readings

Glenn’s 1994 essay, “Self-Censorship in Public Discourse: A Theory of ‘Political Correctness’ and Related Phenomena”

Henry Frankfurt’s book, On Bullshit

Glenn and John’s conversation with Mark Goldblatt

Rachel Poser’s New York Times Magazine piece, “Ibram X. Kendi Faces a Reckoning of His Own”

Herbert Guttman’s book, The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925

Joe Biden’s commencement address at Morehouse

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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