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What Biden gets wrong about race He fans the flames of America's racial torment

Affirmative action sows division (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


February 15, 2022   8 mins

Glenn Loury is an economist, author, academic, and one of the most perceptive critics of the progressive upsurge in politics and media.

Freddie Sayers spoke to Glenn about Joe Rogan and Whoopi Goldberg, Joe Biden’s new Supreme Court Justice, and how to fix America’s torturous racial politics.

Joe Biden has pre-announced that his nominee for the Supreme Court will be a black woman. What do you think about this? 

I think it is strange. I think no one needs to be apologetic about reacting to that announcement with a bemusement and kind of quizzical ‘what?’ This comes out of Joe Biden’s political ambition, and the character of American politics. During the South Carolina primary when Biden was uncertain of prevailing in the contest for the nomination of the Democratic Party, in 2020, he wanted to appeal to the black vote and so he made this announcement. He announced that his vice presidential selection would be a woman and that his first appointment to the Supreme Court, should he be fortunate enough to have one, would be a black woman.

You could call this craven pandering. I’m bemused by it because it unnecessarily raises questions about the fitness of whomever he might appoint, when he might have simply chosen a black woman as his nominee, and crowed about it after the fact. To avoid casting any doubt over the choice that he would have made, he could have said this is the best, most qualified person that I could find. But in any case, as he’s done it now, he’s limited his range of options to a very small percentage of the total population of people who might have been selected, and, you could say, has put an asterisk by the name of whomever it is that he might ultimately select.

This is, by the way, the Supreme Court of the United States of America, this is the final stopping point for any legal dispute. There are nine justices serving there, the quality of an appointment is not a small matter. We’re not now admitting a marginal student to an elite college campus, we’re selecting the people who are going to govern the country. The President might have engaged in a kind of subtle and tacit preference, rather than crowing about it and making it overt and explicit. It sows a kind of contempt for the standards that we ought to be employing.

 

Is it right to aim for public bodies to be “representative” of the population? 

What do we mean by representativeness and who can represent whom? How many Catholics are there on the US Supreme Court? I’m pretty sure there are more Catholics on the court in proportion than there are Catholics in the population. Dare we ask the question: how many Jews, how about gays, how many openly gay people are on the Supreme Court? How dare we. That’s a rabbit hole that we don’t really want to go down.

And it’s kind of silly because it presupposes that something as superficial as racial identity or sexual orientation is of such fundamental significance that legal counsels must have members present who, when they act out in that context, are acting on behalf of, quote unquote, their group. Well, these individuals are not only women, or blacks, or gays, or Catholics. These are human beings whose humanity supersedes and reaches beyond the categories that we might impose on them.

You were the first African American to become a tenured professor at Harvard. Would you have felt differently about this achievement had the governors at Harvard pre-announced before selecting you that they were going to choose someone of African American heritage? 

My appointment as professor of economics at Harvard, which happened in 1982, was accompanied by an initiative at Harvard to enhance the quality of the Afro American Studies department there. I was jointly appointed: economics and Afro American Studies. I was 33 years old. It would have been entirely fair, for some outside observer looking at that to say: “Oh, well, fine. But if he hadn’t been black, they wouldn’t have appointed him.” That’s probably true. So such is the condition that we find ourselves in.

How do you think someone like Whoopi Goldberg can get to the point where said that the Holocaust was not about race? 

I assume it’s because she thinks Jews are white. I would chalk that up to ignorance and naĂŻvetĂ© — just not being immersed in the long history of modern Europe and anti Semitism and the ideology of Nazism, in which the notion of race had a very particular meaning. I think Whoopi just didn’t appreciate the actual meaning of the word race, in the context in which the Holocaust arose, revealing her ignorance. She ought not to have put it that way. It is a misstatement or mischaracterisation to say that the Holocaust was not about race — it just wasn’t about ‘race’ in the way in which we in the United States might be talking about race.

One finds anti-Semitism not only on the far-Right, with ‘Jews will not replace us’ kind of sentiments, but also in ethnic minority communities. Especially among African Americans, there’s quite a bit of anti-Semitism; there are attacks on Jewish interests. The Reverend Al Sharpton, a prominent civil rights leader, got his start in part by demagoguery over incidents in which there was conflict between blacks and Jews. He has a history in which I think anti-semitism would be a fair descriptor.

Why is there not more sympathy for the Asian community among progressive activists? 

The Asians are called a model minority — people say that sardonically. And of course, the subtle implication there is that you must be anti-black if you compare blacks to Asians, and you find the blacks wanting — or anti-Latino.

Some of the corruption and decadence of the legacy population here, black and white, in American society, is exposed by Asian success. They expose the lack of depth and seriousness of too many of our people by their assiduous self application, and their excellence in the mastery of the currency of the modern world. I’m talking about calculus, I’m talking about biochemistry.

Do you think this kind of thinking actually makes racial tensions worse? 

So George Floyd is killed — murdered, a jury has spoken — by Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, in 2020. A policeman inappropriately applying force, he had his knee on the man’s neck, the man expires. Was that a racial incident? Now the police officer was white, the man was killed, George Floyd was black — it became a racial incident. A whole movement was launched or abetted by the racial characterisation of that incident. But why should we understand it as a racial incident?

There is very little evidence at all, if any, that Chauvin was motivated by racial animus when he acted. And on the victim side, George Floyd, the fact that a policeman might over use his power and harm a citizen — that’s something that happens to white people, too. There are cases parallel to the George Floyd case in which the victim has been white, which have not occasioned national attention. So that’s one thing.

But the other thing that I would say is that by cultivating a practice of looking at such incidents in racial terms, invites a parallel practice of looking at criminal victimisation of citizens in racial terms. You want to count the number of white cops who have killed unarmed black men, somebody is going to start counting the number of black murderers who have abused, black carjackers who have robbed and threatened, black assaulters who have bludgeoned and beaten white people. There are an endless number of such cases.

There is enough racial blame to go around, and I’d hate to live in a country in which when a white person was victimised by a black criminal, the first words out of their mouth were “a black criminal victimised me”. That’s not good for black people, because there are many black criminals. And that’s not good for our country because the issue is a criminal victimising a person; the criminal’s blackness doesn’t stand in for his race. He doesn’t represent his race when he acts badly. The victim’s whiteness doesn’t stand in for her race.

What would happen if Affirmative Action is deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court? 

The Supreme Court has six conservative justices, the majority of whom have publicly stated that they have serious doubts about affirmative action. There’s a very good chance that racial affirmative action will be stricken by the Supreme Court.

If it happens, I assure you, there will be mobs in the streets of this country. No progressive activist is going to take the Supreme Court’s ruling as an opportunity to turn within and consider: “if we want to be at Harvard or the University of North Carolina in larger numbers, why don’t we get busy preparing our youngsters from the cradle to be competitive in this great country that we live in where competition is the coin of the realm?” No, they’re not going to do that. They’re going to interpret that as an anti-black move by a racist Supreme Court. I assure you that it is a disaster and I think we’re headed toward it.

In the past week there has been a big, powerful movement to get Joe Rogan removed from Spotify over historic cases of him using the N-word. What should we make of this?

I’m not going to say the N-word on your programme, but I should be able to say it, it’s just a word. I’m talking about a word — I’m not talking about a slur. And neither was Joe Rogan’s use of it a slur. He wasn’t pointing to a person and calling them one in a way of being a derogation, of an insult. He was speaking about speaking. That is to say he was saying that the word exists and then he was saying the word in the context of quoting someone else’s use of it or whatever.

We have a genre here of music, it’s called hip hop or rap, in which the word is used regularly. And they are not using it as a slur either. It’s a part of the English language. Now, this thing that we’re doing here — where we’re making the utterance of certain sounds an indication of a person’s racism, and then seeking to cancel people for it being revealed that they uttered sounds, without any reference to their intent — is a bizarre phenomenon.

And I think that it’s actually not a sign of strength, by the people, black people, who insist that the sound of the word is so injurious to them. I think it’s a sign of their weakness. There’s something almost pathetic about requiring people to indulge you by not making certain sounds with their mouth because hearing it reminds you of lynching, of nightriders coming down on black people who are defenceless and are being set upon and whatnot.

It seems like a lot of the voices that were most upset about this were white. And it seems like more of an intra-elite power battle to do with the nature of the media, in which the race issue is used as a battering ram. What do you think?

Who are those people who listen to Joe Rogan? They are mostly not latte-sipping, National Public Radio-listening, coastal elites in New York City or Washington DC or San Francisco or whatever. They are mostly, or more often than not, male, more often than not, white. There’s some truck drivers among them. There’s some Trump voters among them.

So this culture war that’s well-advanced here in the United States in which we are in effect, mutually contemptuous of one another based upon what camp we belong in — Joe Rogan is right at the centre of it and his audience substantially is on the ‘wrong side’ from a progressive’s point of view. A lot of this enmity directed toward Rogan is really directed toward his audience.

How do we make it better? 

I’d like to tone down the emphasis on race and be more concerned about the humanity of people. If we want to talk about disadvantage, poverty and the lack of wealth in America, there are more poor white people than there are black people. And anything worth doing, whether it be reform of education, or changes in the tax laws or extension of the welfare state programmes, anything worth doing to help black people is worth doing to help people who are in need of of help. I would have our arguments, that is our African American arguments, couched in broad, humanistic terms. And I think that less attention to racial identity and more attention to human common need is healthy for the country.

This transcript has been lightly edited.


Glenn Loury is an economist, academic and author.

GlennLoury

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Kiat Huang
Kiat Huang
2 years ago

Glad to see the wise Glenn Loury on UnHerd! The man is a thoughtful and fair humanist.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago
Reply to  Kiat Huang

Absolutely right and it is a disgrace that the voices of sane commentators like Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, Thomas Sowell etc and their UK equivalents are not the dominant voices in our public life instead of the divisive racist Critical Race Theory rubbish that gets widely peddled in our institutions. The US has been based on racial divisions in a systematic way historically in a way we never have in the UK. No black has had to sit at the back of the bus in the UK. No black has ever been forbidden by law from marrying a white person in the UK unlike the US. Why is it thought we have anything to learn from US race grifters?
Of course people in the UK have not been without prejudice. Many of the English have been prejudiced against the Irish and every group of new incomers and when I was young the phrase: “W**gs begin at Calais” could still be heard. Xenophobic for sure but race has not been a particular issue especially as the proportion of blacks in the country is extremely small compared to the US despite the images pumped out by advertising agencies.
It is our shared humanity that is important not the superficial and utterly unimportant differences in the colour of our skins. Sensible blacks like Glenn Loury get that. If only more people in public life in the UK got it we would be a lot better off.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  Kiat Huang

Agreed. The emphasis of humanity should be on ‘human need’ as Glen Loury rightly concludes, not divisive pigeonholing.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Karl Francis

Yet don’t you find it bizarre that the identitarian-left would be the first to denounce any who’d think to pigeonhole someone whilst, almost in the same breath, they themselves are constructing a fairly sturdy pigeonhole and stuffing it with a well-fed pigeon.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Jordan Peterson has stated that most of us are aware of far right extremism and how it manifests itself. He further states that there is no accepted equivalent on the modern left. How do we know when the left have gone ‘too far’? The Guardian certainly isn’t going to fess up in some noble act of epiphany for the common good.
My sincere hope is that in 20 years or so, the vast majority of people will view identitarian politics as a destructive evil guilefully and wickedly employed to set humanity against itself.
I’d rather we left the pigeons out of it, lest they should turn on one another in a fit of paranoia over which is the most worthy shade of grey.

Last edited 2 years ago by Karl Francis
Aleksandra Kovacevic
Aleksandra Kovacevic
2 years ago
Reply to  Karl Francis

That Guardian line is funny

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago

These discussions are not new. This phenomenon is called positive discrimation. I’m just a little surprised that more actors and politicians are not wheelchair-bound. Also there is the important issue of fat-shaming; where are all the fat politicians?

As the old joke goes: the next member of the Supreme Court has to be a fat, black, lesbian, invalid woman, preferably one who sees herself as a man or even a cat. Her legal qualifications are irrelevant.

Last edited 2 years ago by Chris Wheatley
Dana Jumper
Dana Jumper
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

There is no shortage of fat politicians representing. Just sayin’.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

America doesn’t have a race torment, it has a race grifter torment.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
2 years ago

I hope this is the first of many times we get to see Glenn Loury on Unherd. He is a very honest thinker, who cuts through a lot of the woolly thinking of our times. His conversations with John McWhorter are always worth watching.
As to Supreme Court nominations – they are always going to be a fight thanks to the politicisation of the American judiciary. We, here, should worry. The UK Supreme Court’s recent forays into overtly political decisions threaten changing the perceived independence and autonomy of our own judges. If they are seen to be political they will have to be accountable – and surely no one who has seen the high drama and low politics of the American judiciary should want to go down that road. 
Before Trump made his nomination to the SC bench, the Guardian ran an extraordinary article by former NY Times Editor Jill Abramson (Think Hilary Clinton, played at half-speed, crossed with Polly Toynbee and you’d be close). Always quick to criticise any right-leaning news outlet for being hyper-partisan, she told admiring followers that she kept a “little plastic Obama doll” in her purse “for comfort from Donald Trump’s America,”
Ms Abramson, who had endlessly castigated Trump for his prejudice and bigotry, penned an article – with no sense of irony – entitled “Donald Trump’s nominee for the supreme court will have to be resisted”.
At the time of writing Ms Abramson did not, as yet, know the identity of the man or woman that the President of the United States would put forward as a nominee for the supreme court. Yet she knew, without question, that the nomination “WILL HAVE TO BE RESISTED”.
One might imagine that an editor of so august an organ as the NY Times would know that to pre-judge anything is prejudice, plain and simple. The clue is kind-of in the name. And that a Bigot is defined as “a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions”.
Yet somehow, in Ms Abramson’s mind, Trump was the prejudiced bigot, and she was on the side of the Angels in resisting whomever he nominated to the court.

Last edited 2 years ago by Paddy Taylor
James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Excellent comment about Jill Abramson, and frankly there is a little of this “Obama Syndrome” with GL. So many people I knew seemed to grow faint at the mention of Barrack Hussein Obama–he was the physical embodiment of “healing,” mother (complete nutter, by the way, made it possible for him to rise by dying) from Kansas, father from Kenya….what more could there ever be to the story.
Let me present a dissident voice on the 2020 elections. I do not believe they were free and fair. Par example, my vote from abroad was not counted (11mm Americans living overseas, how many were in the same boat?), and how could there be truly free and fair elections when the press AND Big Tech conspired–yes conspired–to completely trash one of the candidates regardless of the facts. Would election observers sent in by the UN say that there is a free press (including Big Tech) in America? They probably would, but they’s be lying.
That JA was so high at The Times and yet she had such open Barack Hussein Obama sympathies is a major reasons. She is a vile, disgusting, repugnant human being.

Sean Penley
Sean Penley
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I would argue the biggest reason Supreme Court nominations matter so much is because the federal government has grown so far beyond its original parameters. With too much controlled at the national level, the rulings of the constitutional court have greater impact. The solution to this, as to many other problems, is contained in the wisdom of those who designed the system: federalism. The national government has certain functions that are exclusive to it and that states may not assume, but these functions are very limited. That allows a population that was spread out, divided, racially diverse, and of vastly different opinions from the very birth of the country not have to be against each other to get their way, because the various regions could have their own way locally. The system has only failed once before, and that was when a group of states got the (incorrect) idea that Lincoln was going to abandon the concept to force his ideas through–he was very much a proponent of federalism, in reality, and had a very limited view of the president’s powers.
Of course that was all before socialism was defecated upon this world, and its followers (who have been calling themselves ‘progressives’ since the late 1800s) can’t accept others doing things their own way. Everyone has to do things the way the progressives want or it is a threat to them. I know I seem to have contradicted my earlier argument, but the fact that these people exist doesn’t mean the government has to accommodate their views. Go back to limited national government, let the progressives run CA and OR into the ground if they can get enough votes (which they will), but don’t let them force this on all 50 states.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

The best thing the NYT has done in many a long year is to acquire Wordle.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

Why doesn’t the US have someone like Glenn Loury as their president? Instead they have an ignoble career politician (career criminal?),who has dementia.

Sean Penley
Sean Penley
2 years ago

Because he would face the same problem Ben Carson did when he ran in 2016: this man was a literal brain surgeon, but because he was black and running on the Republican ticket, the media mocked him as an imbecile at every turn. Oddly, it isn’t racist when a reporter for NBC, CNN, CBS, etc. do it.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

Lesley, is there anyone in South Africa who speaks of the reality of Race there, historically and through to the present?

Here is is like the ‘Life of Brian’ skit where it is against the Religious Law to speak the name of God, and some guy keeps accidentally saying the name Yahweh, so they stone him to death.

Derrick Hand
Derrick Hand
2 years ago

Can’t disagree, but then . . . why doesn’t Great Britain? But to your point, American democracy has been usurped. A few (who endure mockery), refer to the usurpers as the “Deep State”, those who have been running the show for a long time and refining the game to their favor in the process. Americans, bathing in their good luck from the outcome of WWII are too busy spending money and arguing over it among themselves to even notice.

V Solar
V Solar
2 years ago

What a voice of reason. I would love to meet Glen Loury and shake his hand and thank him for his courage, compassion and fair mindedness.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago

Very interesting, thank you.
“How do we make it better?”
Firstly by prosecuting the black Police Lieutenant who deliberately shot & killed the white Capitol Hill protester, Ms Ashli Babbitt on the 6th January 2021 last.
It is a national disgrace that this crime has been allowed to go unpunished, and brings eternal shame on the concept of US Justice*.

(* In the spirit of fair play British Justice is sadly, little better it must be said.)

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

This is a good point, though perhaps a wee bit tangential here. For those who don’t know, this DC police lieutenant–who was previously scolded for leaving his gun in a public bathroom–is a murdered, though he described himself as “a hero.” That’s the first clue! He shouldn’t even be a police officer, let alone a lieutenant.
Now for the second clue: if this pathetic, incompetent moron, really, really stupid moron is correct (he is not) then why weren’t the other trespassers shot? Only this piece of rubbish fired because he is an incompetent, afraid, and a murderer. Think about this: if he acted properly in shooting, then ALL of the other officers acted IMPROPERLY in NOT shooting!
Boggles the mind. His race protected him. Blacks are untouchable in the US, regardless of competence–and this piece of filth is certainly not competent.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Thanks for that, I was completely unaware of those juicy details, and I am glad we concur that this was murder and it is simply appalling that this man is not to be charged.

Together with the ludicrous nonsense over the late Mr George Floyd one has to ask what has happened to US Justice?

Here in the UK our once fabled Judiciary is gradually being corrupted, but as yet we have seen nothing like what happened in DC. However no doubt our day will come.

Thank you for upbraiding me over heading “off piste”, 


guilty as charged!

Sean Penley
Sean Penley
2 years ago

And prosecute the DC Metro officer who beat an unconscious woman to death that same day. I don’t know the races of the parties involved, and I don’t care. Not least because race was definitely not the issue–he was doing what he thought his political masters would approve of and that the victim would be beyond any form of justice because they voted the wrong way. It seems he was right.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Sean Penley

‘Day of Infamy’ indeed!

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago

A profoundly intelligent and humane piece. It has got to the stage where I am surprised that Americans are permitted to utter such thoughts.

Paul Scannell
Paul Scannell
2 years ago

Glen Loury and John McWhorter’s insightful chats online have given me the most helpful education. They exude common sense, fairness and decency at a time of such bad-faith posturing. I hope to see more of him this side of the pond.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Scannell

He talks of the Emperor’s nakedness…. which we all see – the odd thing is who may say so…..

Paul Scannell
Paul Scannell
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I’m reading ‘Taboo’ by Wilfred Reilly. He’s another truth seeker. Facing cold, hard facts devoid of spin is the quickest route to the betterment of all communities.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago

So, let me get this straight in my own mind. If Biden says that he is only considering a black woman for the Supreme Court, that is OK, but if he were to insist on the post going to a white male, that would be both sexist and racist.

Is there any danger of the post going to the best qualifed lawyer? Would that be elitist?

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

Back in the second half of the 20th century, in America, both black and white, I imagine, and not just the very young, were moved by varying degrees by each other’s popular music-making. White faces may have dominated, or rather plainly outnumbered, those of black artists. “Reach out” – as the cry from the song went up, so did the gravitation towards a new understanding or appreciation of the other camp. Not quite singing from the same hymn sheet, but churchgoers were churchgoers.

In other areas of the arts and entertainments, the abundance of white faces may well have made the scene, the set-up, feel in many respects a not-so-warm house for blacks, especially prior to 1980. But as long as the tide of equality of opportunity was making its way in, and it did only begin to roll in in the 1960s, then an open mind in relation to how people generally enjoyed or participated in the arts and entertainments prevailed. America, after all, was the land of hope. It still is, bizarrely.

So for much of the late 20th century, the screen, for example, whether the screen existed in the home or at the cinema, was seen as an exciting release valve, a form of escapism, but always a gateway to some enjoyment or cosines. Without a television in the home, the home was gloomy.

But other forces that would undermine the building-up of an enjoyment for life, of a coziness in the home, came into play.
The undermining of the family, starting in the 1960s, and the miniaturisation. of viewing screens, both a consequence of government policy and private enterprise, would in time knock the stuffing out of the cosy 1950s image of the American family gathered in front of the television enjoying a show, together.

That 
. atomisation of living, the breakdown of community and the miniaturisation of screens, has made a mockery of the goal of community.

People don’t watch TV now to relax and enjoy themselves. There’s nothing relaxing and enjoyable to watch. It’s all gloom and doom. It’s all pouting and posing. They mimic us and then we re-mimic them.

Our entertainment providers in the fields of technology and the entertainments have led populations up the garden path. To where it’s thorny and there’s no sunlight.

So much for the supposed delights of the latest technologies. As for the movers and shakers? All they can do is move. All they can do is shake. No wonder people are bored. And when they’re bored, they’re soon angry.

Last edited 2 years ago by Dustshoe Richinrut
Tony Price
Tony Price
2 years ago

People don’t watch TV now to relax and enjoy themselves” – how can anyone making that crass statement be taken seriously on any subject? Certainly in the UK the most consistently popular TV programmes aim at exactly that: think ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, ‘Call The Midwife’ and assorted talent shows (my personal preference is live sport, similar just different!). “Nothing relaxing and enjoyable to watch” – what complete rubbish!
Sorry mate but if you did make any good comments they are cancelled out by that ridiculous paragraph.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Price

I never found the good comment in it

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Thank you for your honest rebuke. What I say is that the bigger the screen, the grander the entertainment. And the grander the entertainment, the cosier and happy is society.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago

Loury is a truth-seeker and a helpful & worthy voice today.

jonathan carter-meggs
jonathan carter-meggs
2 years ago

The race card and CRT are political ploys in the competition for resources that is the human condition (a condition of life in fact). It has been spectacularly successful in recent years especially as it has gained favour with many privileged whites who are keen to signal their superior virtues. There is no doubt that inequality exists, this is an inescapable result of competition at the biological level. Every effort is made by governments to produce equality of opportunity, but it is Marxism (failed more than once) to think you can make everyone equal.

Michael Josem
Michael Josem
2 years ago

A minor typo in the fourth paragraph: “hw” should be “how”

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Josem

well that changes everything…..

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago

The only anti-Semitism I have ever personally encountered( being a Lapstatheist from birth) came from the “liberal” left and was associated with the Palestinian question. It is still pretty vile and although the left deny it, it is certainly anti- semitic.
Well, these individuals are not only women, or blacks, or gays, or Catholics. These are human beings whose humanity supersedes and reaches beyond the categories that we might impose on them.”
Are you sure about that statement Mr Loury? Most of the social experimentation which we endure today supersedes humanity and goes far beyond their categorisation.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

Craven pandering….
With respect, I think Freddie was a bit too gushing here, as is virtually everyone else he ever comes into contact with on a daily basis. Same with Bari Weiss, who had him on her podcast HONESTLY. Freddie was a bit too deferential, missed a few obvious opportunities–for example–I dug something up on Dave Chapelle, previously hidden, and Dave Chapelle has used the n word on numerous occasions. I would have liked to see Freddie talk about how word choice varies by skin color in the US, perhaps the world. Isn’t it utterly ridiculous for Joe Rogan to have been called out because he used the n word–in a certain context–while Dave Chapelle uses it in a slightly different way and is celebrated for it?
FOOTNOTE: GL said that it is a sign of “weakness” that some blacks claim to be so affected by hearing the n word (is it racist not to capitalize it?) that they grow faint, can’t take it. TRIVIA QUESTION: What prominent “black” (same question, is the lack of capitalization racist?) recently used this argument in a very public setting? Answer: The fraudster Jussie Smollet, who objected to the prosecutor reading some texts–I think they were his texts–out of respect for the audience or some tosh. And the prosecutor agreed! A disgusting surrender, similar to revealing your pronouns if asked. The only acceptable response is….not polite. Compelled speech.
What those outside of North America don’t understand is that in the US, all politics is racial. Let me repeat for emphasis: ALL POLITICS IS RACIAL. And it’s not limited to politics–I would suggest that almost all day to day interactions between whites and blacks is through a racial lens. It’s exhausting, and the result is that most blacks hate most whites, and vice versa. Hatred of the other race is something to be celebrated, proof of one’s bona fides…. I’m blacker than you because I hate whites more–a position taken by many whites, who seem to renounce their “privilege,” with some even seeking to become black or pass for black–See Racheal Dozeal, and others. Michael Jackson was so 20th Century. And of course this raises an interesting question because if people with certain anatomy feel that this is wrong, can they change their anatomy (or presentation) and become something else? If a white “legitimately” feels black, identifies as black, can that person ever become trans-racial? What if it were a requirement to live for a year as a black? Blackface/body?
GL’s career–his entire life–is based on his skin color, as he more or less acknowledged. I don’t agree with much of what he has to say, for example, that some affirmative action (what you call positive discrimination–how’s that for Double Speak?), is OK. I disagree. BUT compared to the complete lunatic left, he does seem like a voice of reason, though he is not sanguine about the future. Good that he’s in the debate, good that he’s speaking out, wish Freddie could have been a little more HARD TALK with him. He’s not completely on side.
I have been attacked for continually predicting Civil War in the US, but I think it’s going to happen, and maybe it’s even needed. Impossible to overstate the hate in the US now, on both sides. No empire lasts forever. The American Empire has been in decline and is now falling. Let’s call it a day. Re-configure with different countries where the people don’t hate each other and share some common values.
Lock and load!

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Freddie gets more out of people by listening sympathetically. He still asks many pertinent questions.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

Fair play. In my view, not Freddie’s best, could have done more, as I have outlined. The comparison with Chapelle is one thing, but also when GL said “I should be able to say it–it’s just a word….” Freddie could have pressed….

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

That would have been a Great moment:

Freddy – ‘Come on, just say the F***ing Word!’ ‘Say IT!’
Glen Loury – ‘OK then, NI****, there; want me to say it again?’

Freddy – ‘I wondered if you wo…….’

Screen goes blank, fallowed by note from Youtube Fact checker saying because of ‘Mal-information’ Unherd has now been De-Monetized and given a second warming and will be removed for one week…….

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Will your military not step in and hold the line while a couple of salt-and-pepper squads (not to mention rice-and-tacho units) knock a few heads together. If you go too far down that road without containment you might find Russian and Chinese “peace-keepers” moving in and tidying-up the whole of North America.(for themselves)

Frederick B
Frederick B
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Thanks James, for the best comment. Far too many of the other comments are far too eager to assert that (in effect) race is trivial. It isn’t – it is an essential element in both personal and national identity.

Sean Penley
Sean Penley
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I don’t see any of that, and I live in a city where the population is 45% black.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Sean Penley

Fair play. We can agree to disagree on this one. How’s your seeing eye dog, by the way?

Sean Penley
Sean Penley
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Well, he doesn’t take his sense of sight from the media

Earl King
Earl King
2 years ago

It is my firm belief that in America we have a poverty problem not a race problem. Perhaps a class problem. The speaker hit real issue on the head. If SCOTUS ends affirmative action the speaker said this. “ Yet that is exactly what should be done by any group in America….it is exactly the principal on which the country was founded. How do we get those who feel marginalized to take advantage of of what every other immigrant group, the freedom to be anything and succeed at anything? Black immigrants have the same poverty level as whites in America. What do Black immigrants know that our own Black citizens do not? America failure was in slavery, then the failure was not integrating earlier…Jim Crow, failure to educate…the most destructive thing? Welfare….it has destroyed the Black family. I believe an African American single parent female is like 45.7% more likely to live in poverty. Their needs to be redress but not to our extremely successful architecture. It works everyone who works it. I can point to millions who have succeeded. European Black home ownership is at 4%, in America it is 40%…..We need to and should do better, but our system is not the problem.

Gerard McGlynn
Gerard McGlynn
2 years ago

Good Lord, how ignorant! Wogs also start North of Watford !!
The problem is what is needed is tolerance, not “love”.
My black friend ( do any of you have one?) simply said, when he toured Europe, some time ago now, as a Squash player, he could not get back to the UK quick enough, as here he realised he was at least tolerated, but hated in Europe.
As for the stupid lovey/liberal ads on tv you have spotted, I don’t think their stupid propaganda will work, particullarly in some of the Northern towns I have visited.
Just count the numbers in the ads ! Really! 60% of the UK are black etc. This is very dangerous and could result in a very nasty backlash!
In fact my black friend is very worried about uncontolled immigration as it will back fire on him.
The simple question is do you have a black friend ?
I do, but I’m not sure he is fit for the Supreme Court of the USA.
And actually I love him dearly as a friend!

Yan Chernyak
Yan Chernyak
2 years ago

Again this nonsense about Whoopie Goldberg… There was nothing shocking said, but of course, journalists being journalists, as always, got it out of context. See for yourself, if interested: https://youtu.be/AhITfM4bqO8

Actually, it’s almost exactly what Glenn is saying in his last answer.

Last edited 2 years ago by Yan Chernyak
Derrick Hand
Derrick Hand
2 years ago

I suspect that we will never get beyond the red herring called “race.” What in fact we are talking about is “culture”, but because culture is so often closely associated with skin color we brand it as race. Cultures are an imperative to existance in all living things. Culture matters. Cultures conflict, often irreconcilably. Cultures collide. They leave and new ones come into existance all the time, in both large numbers and small. Multicultural situations are inherantly unstable, and promoted and contrived multiculturalism is ultimately doomed to failure, often in horrific ways. Resolving scarcity is primarily the thing which causes cultures to overlap.
The second great “misunderstanding” is the notion of equality, a notion originally arising to depose kings and priests. Let me say emphatically, no two people are equal. Not in their make up, abilities, situation or luck. Not in the eyes of the law, nature or even God. In the game of life, you play the cards that you are dealt and a man has to know his limitations, to use two very good cliches. If you look at the world in this way, you can position yourself to take advantage of the good and avoid the bad better than those who don’t.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

Great argument for redistribution though.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

Didn’t Obama’s Uncle get Mau-Mau reparations? You mean like that? What would you give Obama + Michael as ‘Redistribution’? I mean, really – he is already wildly wealthy on the perks of hundred thousand $ speaking events, Book payments, and one assumes, Pelosi like, on insider trading – the usual payoff for favors done wile in office for all top politicos….