John McWhorter — Reckoning with the Relics of Racism


John McWhorter is back for this week’s episode of The Glenn Show. In it, we discuss John’s new gig writing a newsletter for the New York Times. Anyone wondering whether he’s being stifled by the paper’s editorial sensibilities will be glad to hear the answer is a definite “no.” We spend a while discussing John’s recent piece about the removal of a “racist” rock from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus after administration gave in to student activists. From there we move on to a broader discussion of the historical relationship between the slave trade and American universities. We ask whether modern universities are morally culpable for the sins of the distant past. The scope broadens even further as we ask whether we can ever truly extricate the benefits of the modern world from histories of brutality and genocide. And finally, we move on to a discussion about black conservatives and accusations of “selling out.” This has particular relevance for the case of Larry Elder, a black conservative who is currently nipping at the heels of Gavin Newsom in the California governor’s recall.

This is a deep and provocative discussion, and I hope you’ll join in by commenting below. Let me know what you think!

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0:00 John's new gig writing for the New York Times

5:01 Wisconsin students get a "racist" rock removed from campus

16:39 Are present-day universities morally accountable for their involvement in the slave trade?

26:38 Debating the legacy of Christopher Columbus

40:18 Can we extricate modernity's benefits from its history of brutality and genocide?

50:52 Is California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder a sellout?


John's new New York Times newsletter

John’s piece, “The Performative Antiracism of Black Students at the U. of Wisconsin”

John’s piece, “Let’s talk about ‘Sellouts’”