Category Archives: racism

Is “colorblind casting” problematic?

“Colorblind casting” is defined in this New York Times piece by culture critic Maya Phillips as “performers [inhabiting] characters of racial backgrounds that [differ] from their own.” When applied in such a way to ensure “acting justice” (people of all ethnicities getting an opportunity to play anyone) rather than just letting white people play people […]

Godless Spellchecker reviews “White Fragility”

Robin DiAngelo’s book White Fragility has enjoyed a tremendous resurgence of popularity since George Floyd’s murder. It’s appearing on many college reading lists, and is even a recommended resource of the Society for the Study of Evolution, which has now gone uber woke and has a full page of resources that will teach the guilt-ridden evolutionist […]

Why the Associated Press is writing “Black” and “white”

When I was writing about the New York Times music critic’s article calling for an end to blind orchestra auditions—although they have reportedly led to a dramatic increase in women orchestral players, they haven’t done squat for blacks or Hispanics—I noticed that the Times, like other venues, is now capitalizing “Black” and using lowercase “white” […]

Robin DiAngelo and white fragility: does her message make sense? And do her methods work?

The New York Times Magazine has a very long article on Robin DiAngelo, her white fragility hypothesis (and her best-selling book about it), and her methods of training people in government, colleges, and businesses to be anti-racist and promote diversity in the workplace. As the article notes, she’s made a ton of money off her […]

John McWhorter reviews White Fragility

Knowing a bit about Robin DiAngelo‘s book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, having heard some of her lectures online, and also having read John McWhorter and listened to his exchanges with Glenn Loury, I was pretty sure that McWhorter’s review of DiAngelo’s book wouldn’t be full of encomiums. And […]

In view of continuing racial disparities, should orchestras eliminate “blind” auditions?

After two black musicians accused the New York Philharmonic in 1969 of racial discrimination, the Philharmonic, and many other American orchestras, began auditioning prospective members behind a screen, so that neither the race nor the sex of the individual could be discerned. All that mattered was musical quality. (As I recall, women were told not […]

“White culture” chart removed from the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American History and Culture site

Although I’ve heard from friends who have visited Washington, D. C.’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) that it’s a fantastic place, its online presence suffered from the adoption and proselytizing of Critical Race Theory (CRT), at least on this page about “Whiteness.” Yesterday I posted two posters from that page about […]

A profile of Glenn Loury

Glenn Loury, a professor of economics at Brown University, is well known to us as an African-American intellectual who, though a centrist with liberal tendencies (he might contest that position), dares to question the received wisdom of critical race theory. In this he’s sympatico with Columbia’s John McWhorter, and the pair often do discussions on […]

Brian Leiter on the relative importance of racism

My Chicago law-school colleague Brian Leiter, who runs a well known website (Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog), has been relatively quiescent this summer, but has just shown a burst of activity with two posts, one on a signer of the Harper’s letter (the estimable Wendy Kaminer), who excoriates the letter’s critics, and the second on […]

Five timely readings for the day

I have nothing to say, but it’s okay (Good morning!).  Actually, duck duties in the pouring rain (yes, I got soaked, but in a good cause), combined with overdue grocery shopping, has put a crimp in my day. But, mirabile dictu, I have five—count them, five—pieces that are worth your time to read. I’ll give […]