Listen now (62 mins) | I’m back again with my good friend John McWhorter for another edition of our ongoing biweekly conversation. In this edition, we discuss three heavy subjects: our respective fields’ changing attitudes toward us, the killing of Jordan Neely, and reparations. Despite the political and existential weightiness, we manage to retain our good humor.
No ham emoji but this is as close as I could get 🥓🥓🥓🥓 reminds me of my favorite shirt Glenn owns! Great episode as always!
Many of the main points mentioned in the comments about reparations are summed up nicely on ProCon.org, including dozens of additional references toward the bottom: https://www.procon.org/headlines/reparations-for-slavery-top-3-pros-and-cons/
My take: The 2% Solution by Billionaire Robert Smith is on the right track, along with organizations like Project H.O.O.D. on a local level. Reparations shouldn't be paid by tax dollars, but from private corporations and donations. This would take away much of the animosity, and would prevent siphoning from other government programs. The money is there, Americans donated $471 billion in 2020, much of it to inefficient causes. Even more people would donate if they were confident it was getting into the right hands. Corporations drove much of the wealth gap by closing down manufacturing facilities, and now most of them can't find enough trained employees to fill positions. Possibly direct payments of equities if a finite list can somehow be determined (descendents of vets unable to take advantage of the GI Bill a good start), but most of the money should be used for food, healthcare, community centers, and job training facilities in locations where it's most needed.
On the issue of reparations, Hilary Fordwich offered the best response, and funniest, to Don Lemon's whiny question.
If black people get reparations for slavery and past racism et al, when are women going to get reparations for thousands of years of patriarchy? :)
This is the unintended consequences of 'reparations'. Also, a bunch of Indigenous are trying to elbow in front of us who want reparations too ;)
Reparations will not become a national program
Blacks have better economic outcomes under Democratic Presidents
Republicans want to banish teaching the honest history of the Black experience in the U.S.
Republicans work to suppress Black votes.
A Republican Governor in Mississippi is working to establish a segregated judicial system
Republicans have nothing to offer Black voters.
Jordan Neely should still be alive despite his mental breakdown
His race does not matter.
BTW, one person who held Neely down was Black, the other man was white.
The Daily Mail said the NYPD had a lead on the identity of one of the men, but that was in a story from a week ago.
Edit to add:
Fox News anchors would be outraged if a Black choked a mentally ill, unarmed white man to death. Fox News would be calling for his head. Tuckems argued both Breonna Taylor and George Floyd had it coming.
Another powerful episode. I couldn't wait for these two intellectual giants to tackle this Jordan Neely topic and they didn't disappoint.
Absolutely correct that if the colors of the people involved in subduing mentally ill and dangerous vagrant Neely (his family didn't take care of him yet are now complaining about Penny's actions) were different, the charges would have been too. Black men helped hold Neely so why aren't they charged as accessories? You can bet if they were white they would have been. If Penny had been black –no charges.
NO ONE in the biased media is upset by the elderly WHITE handy man, Lawrence Kerr (SAY HIS NAME) who was shot in the back by black thugs who wanted to kill a white person.
I abhor this disgusting, racist, hypocrisy.
My in-laws received reparations from Germany within 10 years after WWII. Truth be told they suffered as much or more from Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, Estonians, Lithuanians etc., but the Germans lost.
Reparations 100-150 years after the fact are a non starter.
1. I like John, I support John. But it's hard to feel bad for him when he has voted for everything now that is being used against him.
2. Crazy people. In California in 1950 there were 350,000 people in state mental hospitals. In 2020 the number was 150,000. People have voted to live amongst the insane.
3. Reparations. The idea that we have found a group that we believe to be helpless, hopeless and useless. And the only solution is to pay them off, so they don't burn the place down, is scary and insane.
Side note: The Frisco teachers union went on strike to get a raise for the California Reparations Committee.
60 years and trillions of dollars later, this is as good as it gets?
Glenn absolutely is dead on. How do we help create productive human capital that creates income is the only way. Reparations is wrong for so many reasons, legal, practical, moral ect, but the divisive effect is perhaps the worst aspect. African Americans have a lot of clout in Blue America and I fear these efforts will split away Asians and Latinos permanently from the party, just as working class whites are gone from the Democratic Party coalition. Cross racial action to help the poor of all colors become productive human capital is the answer but is doomed to fail as so many interest groups that depend on race identify, both left and right (MAGA) wouid be existentially threatened by a true working class coalition.
The main reason that so many severely mentally ill people are wandering on our streets is that during the Sixties the leftist do-gooders decided that the psychiatric hospitals had to be dismantled. As is always true for leftist do-gooders, they had no idea what harm they were doing to the group of people they were trying to "liberate" from "oppression," nor did they have a plan for how the chronically mentally ill were going to be cared for. The reality is that most people suffering from chronic schizophrenia need stable, protective housing with at least minimal medical supervision. Many of the mentally ill go off their medications if someone isn't supervising their care, whereupon they lose their ability to navigate reality, sometimes profoundly. Some people with chronic schizophrenia have delusions and hallucinations more or less continually if they don't take medication, while others have severe, acute psychotic episodes with periods of relative normalcy in between. When state hospitals were available, the people who were too psychotic to function independently could be taken there to stay for as long as they needed to, until they recovered enough to be in another placement. They could be held on court commitments for periods of six months to a year, during which time they might be in and out of the hospital.
I worked in this kind of system for several years, and can attest that the majority of patients adapted well to being in hospitals, and did not report any atrocities beyond what is common in medical settings. Many of them learned to initiate a hospitalization when they saw themselves getting symptomatic again, and they liked going back to places where they knew the staff and often some of the other patients as well.
Some of the healthcare policy professionals would say that the current system accomplishes all of what I just recounted, but it obviously doesn't. Mentally ill people get acutely ill, stay at a hospital for a short time, are discharged to another facility, then probably another, until they are out on their own again, where sooner or later many of them become too sick to manage their lives. It is known that chronically mentally ill people need STABLE housing that is well-known to them, and where they feel safe. If they won't stay in such a place voluntarily they need to be committed by the court to stay there. Most chronically mentally ill people are not violent, but the ones who are need the additional help of a lockdown hospital unit with orderlies who can manage combative patients. All of this used to be in place.
That being said, the hospitals weren't the most perfect way to provide permanent medically supervised housing for the chronically mentally ill. Other options have been explored historically and have worked well, but new ones need to be developed for our current situation. This is possible to do, but once again the leftists are pushing to "protect" this extremely vulnerable population from the true protection they actually need. That is why mentally ill people are killing other innocent citizens, and why they are being killed themselves, by criminals and by citizens who are being victimized.
Neely- I have a few thoughts. As someone who has served in the Marines(aka dark green), I understand that most veterans you encounter on a daily basis are not experienced soldiers but still receive certain benefits as if they were combat veterans. They enjoy perks like 10% discounts and expect gratitude for #TeamInfidel service in defending the nations currency against the heathens.
Secondly, the concept of restraint only exists when violence is impersonal, when a person is merely a target and you are looking for work! It's similar to a Boa constrictor snake, when I cut off oxygen to your brain, I'm simply waiting for you to lose consciousness. So why continue applying pressure? The more you resist, the deeper the hold becomes. If I refuse to let you tap out, it implies that I intend to kill. Given the size of the individual and the presence of two wingmen, why the depraved indifference? Perhaps the details of the situation will eventually emerge.
I have witnessed and experienced a great deal, so I refrain from passing judgment until I have seen the evidence, as it could be a complex scenario with various factors at play. It's possible that the person in question is racist and that the individual targeted had provoked the confrontation. The intensity of combat often erodes one's sense of restraint, which is why there's a rumor that Rome discouraged its soldiers from returning home after war, as they can become emotionally warped to varying degrees. In the context of war, soldiers are not expected to engage with restraint; they go from 0 to 100 mph in an instant, and the consequences cut both ways.
Reparations - I am still undecided... I am one of the few black men who managed to navigate the gauntlet and be selected for employment or tests that lead to employment. I have always been readily accepted by white folk, and throughout my upbringing, I faced the discipline of the belt, book reports, then extra book reports. I have become adept at playing capitalism, and if necessary, I could argue that this system works for me. In the past, when conversing with Anglo, Hispanic, and Asian entrepreneurs, it seemed that we all encountered similar obstacles, albeit with minor differences. As a black man, I have the autonomy to interpret these nuances and assign my own labels to them. However, I have rarely succeeded in convincing another black man, who has experienced physical or economic harm from white society, to not take it personally and to instead use it as fuel. I bear a scar on my arm from a childhood German Shepherd attack, but it never instilled the fear of dogs, nor did it cultivate any animosity towards other dogs to this day. My father would often and with Richard Pryor like humor recount past the racist jokes at Abbot Labs, and a book written about the Class of '71 at Harvard being excluded from corporate America left a lasting impact on him, mistakes were never tolerated. John was never able to let go of the attempted drowning by white men in Florida, and another remained damaged by his very NFL career. I never possessed the necessary tools to frame these struggles beyond how they were perceived. We are out of fingers and toes in just our lifetimes, which appear to be just a continuation of the many forms of violence from my fathers time and his before him, all the way back to Seaborn, circa 1830's? How do I craft that compelling conversation in the barbershop given how pervasive these experiences? Moreover, so much has happened since Jan 20th 2009 that I am not sure we can continue to use that as the official armistice date?
Final comment: On bottle thrown at youth In convertible; In 2020 - an alley warlord threw a bottle at me because I “trespassed into his private property alley” riding my bike. He missed. He had blocked the other end of alley to prevent car access so he could have a prostitution/drug scene- half a block from pricy Valencia Street.
Time 29:00; Glenn talks about public safety needs of citizenry. I paused audio to go get a burger and a woman was yelling angry profanities while walking down the sidewalk. We cannot wait until the next election, hoping that a sane person becomes our rep. Defund cities need to go in reverse. (1): Cancel all related components of Defund that exist in various city departments. (2): City Hall in each city should be criminally prosecuted for fraud, defamation, slander and libel against police.
(1): Glenn and John - any books (non-fiction) dated 1898 or prior, I am interested. Will pay cash.
(2): I enjoyed reading “Bastard Tongue”. On my bookshelf, It is next to Chomsky- On Nature and Language, (Have not yet read.)
3): “Truth in Advertising” rule of business transaction. If you give me $100K for a Tesla and I deliver a Schwinn bike - that would be fraud on my part. There is a serious disclosure violation on the part of institutions. Prestigious legacy institutions are expected to be elitist in obsessing over the highest quality of information. I include APHA, AMA, APA, CDC, NIH. When an institution decides to abandon elite scholarship/research standards so as to pursue ideological conformity instead; then this must be publicly disclosed. Otherwise, the institution is committing fraud.
I'll put it this way. Both of my parents are still alive; 87 and 91. For about a decade, as adults, neither could vote as a result of that cesspool condition known as The Jim Crow South.
My parents are obviously not unique. There must be at least one to two million living victims of Jim Crow who were of voting age at the time. Simple question: Do they deserve something or nothing?
I say they deserve something.
Do I think America will ever pay up? Nope. Am I willing to fight for it? Nope. I think it would be a waste of time and energy.
I couldn't disagree more with McWhorter. Affirmative action isn't reparations. Neither is building a school or a monument in honor of some historic figure or era. (Not to mention most African-Americans have never and will never benefit from affirmative action.)
Reparations, to me, is something liquid--like money, gold, land, stock in AMZN, etc--issued directly to the victims of the injustice.
I honestly don't see this issue as substantially different from the reparations granted to the families of interned Japanese-Americans during WWII. Very different situations, of course, but the principle remains the same: The basic civil rights of American citizens were seized by the government for an extended period of time.
To this day, I have yet to hear one person complain about Japanese-Americans receiving reparations. Not one. Not a peep. (Interestingly, Reagan signed that bill.) While it may be fair to argue that one situation was about a federal government responsibility while the other is more state-based, at the end of the day, what's the difference?
All that said, I am, perhaps ironically, more against reparations than I am for it. But it's not because I don't think some people are deserving--quite the opposite.
Why am I mostly against reparations for African-Americans? Honestly? I am still trying to figure that one out.
It's kind of an unresolved internal conflict for me: (A) I think race is an idiotic taxonomy the world foolishly bought into 500 years ago, and the sooner we flush it down the toilet, the better. (B) Basically, what I have already said: I think some people have a fully legitimate claim. (C) The part of me that cares about this country--not exactly 100% these days--is a little concerned about our social cohesion going forward. I don't know what a powder keg like Reparations for African-Americans would do to us societally.
When GenZ is retirement age and nonWhites make up the majority, maybe it won't be a big deal. But now? I don't know. I can imagine some crazies really, really losing it. Maybe it's my imagination.
Plus, there are other more basic and more probable issues ahead of us, like the impact of technology on all of our lives. Clearly, we are in the early stages of an economic and social revolution; not enough noise is being made about it.
Maybe we are better off focusing as one on the issues that are destined to affect us all.