Here we have conservative writer Bill Kristol speaking with Columbia Univesity linguist and writer John McWhorter. This is part of the “Conversations with Bill Kristol” website, and there the video is divided into two non-overlapping moieties. But just watch this one 71-minute video starting at the beginning.
McWhorter, always eloquent (does he ever say “uh” fluff a sentence?), is especially eloquent here in parsing the current meaning of “wokeism” and analyzing how it plays out in society—as a nefarious phenomenon. In fact, he pretty much gives up on academia as a venue for those seeking the life of the mind.
Kristol is a good interlocutor, not dominating the conversation but raising questions that draw out McWhorter. I find it heartening in that we have such honest people on our side. What’s depressing is McWhorter’s claim that only black people like him are capable of overthrowing wokeness. That makes me feel impotent, but surely white people can push back—at least by rejecting the claims and epiphets of the Woke. And he does have a message for non-blacks on how to counter Wokeness—starting about 49 minutes in.
People call McWhorter “white adjacent”, “useful idiot” or any of the names that the Woke hurl at their opponents to demonize them.(At about 39 minutes in, listen to how abysmally McWhorter has been treated by his black Columbia University colleagues.)
I call him thoughtful and honest. Let’s put it this way: if he was seriously setting back equality, would the New York Times give him a biweekly column?
I don’t recommend many longish videos, but I think this one will hearten you at least a bit.