with John McWhorter
Coming to this discussion really late, but hey, in for a penny...
During what I refer to the as, The Great Covid Dumpster Fire™ there has been no shortage of gnashing of teeth and back-and-forth on the question of "evil" versus "inept" and so forth. This debate, albeit on a different subject--the machinations of race hucksters--is similar in that it attempts to place a group of people, or their motivations, into one category or the other. Are they bad academics or are they charlatans, taking advantage of "the low energy path"? At some point, all the errors cannot move in the same direction. Mistakes are random, not systematic. If all the folks who claim "systemic racism held me back" use the same rubrics, that means something. John seems to think they made mistakes. I tend to think people make choices, and those choices serve them, regardless of if we think (or hope) they are honestly mistaken or otherwise.
Doing things 'blackly' - hilarious!
Newsflash-Ibram Kendi's Center is laying off about 15-20 people. Not enough racists out there?
Also...we’re making rap references now? Progress!
Here’s why not both: Because someone would have to be in such an impermeable and recalcitrant socio-political and ideological bubble, that it renders them completely unaware of the intellectual and logical and philosophical arguments against their own, let alone of the veracity or validity of such arguments. It also would necessarily mean that they’re completely unaware and hypocritically oblivious to the fact that their own powerful occupations and prestigious status in journalistic institutions, government, academia, and corporate environments directly contradicts their assertions of systemic or societal racial oppression.
Take Kendi for example. Despite his simplistic, elementary “past racism requires present racism” argument- he’s seen by many as high minded and he was given a position at a somewhat prestigious university. Ten years ago people would have said what the fuck is this childish drivel posing as a worthwhile observation on race relations?
But he’s oppressed. Got it.
Nikole Hannah Jones and her verifiably incorrect historical assertions landed her in the position of a couple universities tripping over themselves to give her a position and the NYT virtually salivating for her critical race theory-laden commentary that isn’t worth a squirt of piss when juxtaposed with a long and complex history of historical events.
But she’s oh so oppressed. I could go on- to borrow one of Glenn’s phrases.
And what do these charlatans offer as an explanation for how these things can exist simultaneously- the fact that ‘America has its figurative boot on the neck of black people’ but somehow despite this, they’re millionaires sometimes many times over, that have the power to wield influence in a variety of settings and venues and have scores of people- WHITE and otherwise defending what is masquerading as legitimate academic musings?
“I made it out. I was one of the lucky ones.”
How convenient- that they can sit there, often times in LITERAL ivory towers, wagging a judgmental finger at an entire race, branding them all racist, even though half the race that THEY condemn in this country is responsible for helping them generate their wealth.
“I just got lucky.” How they got lucky, they don’t care to mention. But it seems as though everyone cut from that cloth has that same story. “Just because I ‘got lucky’ doesn’t mean that anti black racism isn’t thriving in America.”
Pardon me, but THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE FUCK IT MEANS because it wasn’t luck. When people that don’t have a serious, clever, multi-faceted, or nuanced argument regarding their stance on contemporary race relations, yet they find themselves at or near the pinnacle of success in higher education, it is precisely because allowances and exceptions have been made by ‘white gatekeepers’ to place them there. Being handed an accolade or title that one didn’t earn to say things that everyone knows is mostly bullshit is not oppression, it’s placation. It’s universities realizing who their customers are, and which demographic of ‘ordinary Americans’, NOT hedge fund managers and NOT oil tycoons, has the most money- and that is people with left leaning political persuasions.
In addition to this obvious and demonstrable truth, they always seem a bit too afraid to defend their ideas in public against a worthy opponent. In the rare occasion that they do not lack the courage of their convictions and are willing to debate, they get obliterated like Malcolm Gladwell did here: https://munkdebates.com/debates/mainstream-media
Kendi didn’t want to debate Coleman Hughes because Coleman “misrepresented” his (Kendi’s) position. First of all, misrepresenting something that simple would be a feat for Coleman, and second, what better way to reaffirm your position and correct your opposition? But nevermind. Nothing to see here.
If their ideas are so true, so virtuous, so staunchly defended by so many, then how come the purveyors of these ideas all seem to be cowards? It’s because they don’t really believe what they’re saying. They can’t. If they’re as smart as we’re all being told they are, then we would willfully have to ignore the gigantic tsunami of evidence that they don’t even bother with addressing in order to lend any credence at all to their assertions.
And John- what’s worse? A boorish, crude, egomaniacal windbag saying that an election was stolen, and being prosecuted legally for it, or a twisted, evil, bitter, corrupt old lady still bent out of shape from being publicly humiliated by her husband, and probably guilty of multiple murders launching a lie that led the FBI and the DOJ on an 8 figure witch hunt wasting an obscene amount of tax dollars for the better part of three years and drove political division and weaponization of intel agencies into another dimension? When you say “I’m just flabbergasted” regarding Carol Swain, are you also flabbergasted at the hijacking of major journalistic institutions and government offices of the highest order with the “collusion” narrative as well?
How quickly we forget that the stolen election narrative was made popular by Gore, fed steroids by Clinton, but when it comes to Carol Swain it’s just so unbelievable that she would support such a claim? I love your books, you have a fantastic perspective that is really interesting on a lot of things but sometimes I wonder how you don’t suffocate on some subjects with your head so far up your ass.
The message is manipulative in that whites should feel guilty and morally responsible for the history of slavery. It is at once easy to believe, and is a way to cross oneself as a sign of faith (as John has noted before). Which whites believe it? Teenagers. A deliberate shifting of truth through a powerful media enterprise to morally sway the youth of a nation? Is James Lindsay right?
If James Lindsay is wrong for calling this cultural Marxism we have to say how he is wrong. I would point to this history of radical activism and communist texts and make the distinction between Marxist theories and the work done in his name. What Walter Kaufman does for Nietzsche by giving us a more responsible translation and separating him from antisemitism and fascism. Is James Lindsay a white equivalent of an Ibram X. Kendi? Moral panic is moral panic regardless of race, gender, etc.