I usually get bored listening to one person talk for an hour on video, but I found this interview of John McWhorter by Reason (a libertarian site) absorbing and thought-provoking. If you listen to the whole 65-minute interview, you’ll hear pretty much the entire panoply of McWhorter’s views on race, which are also in his new book, Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America. I’ve listened to the whole video, but haven’t yet read McWhorter’s book (much of its draft, however, used to be on his Substack site).
I’m heartened that McWhorter describes himseslf as a “Sixties-style liberal”, which is how I see myself, too. He’s certainly not an “alt-righter” or conservative, but he’s often characterized that way as he doesn’t buy into the standard “progressive” Left views on racism.
Part of the YouTube notes:
That’s New York Times columnist and Columbia University linguist John McWhorter talking about his best-selling new book Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America. He argues that the ideas of Robin DiAngelo, Ibram X. Kendi, and The 1619 Project undermine the success of black people by sharpening racial divides and distracting from actual obstacles to real progress.
His shortlist for what would most help black America? “There should be no war on drugs; society should get behind teaching everybody to read the right way; and we should make solid vocational training as easy to obtain as a college education.”
Reason’s Nick Gillespie spoke with the 56-year-old McWhorter about what white people get out of cooperating with an ideological agenda that casts them as devils, what black people gain by “performing” victimhood, and what needs to change so that all Americans can get on with creating a more perfect union.