Tuesday, May 11, 2021

I Think John McWhorter is a Smart Feller, But . . .

 As a lawyer who can't abide sophistry, or non linear argument, he vexes me.  Case in point is the essay on Substack, where he wastes a lot of space arguing that we should get rid of the phrase "systemic racism." Because reasons.  None of them useful.  Getting rid of the phrase is in my mind comparable to the mayor and police chief of a city getting into a discussion about the proper name of some dinosaur attacking the city, instead of devising a plan to fight the creature.

But I believe that systemic racism is a toxic feature of American life. And should be dealt with as a threat to public health and well being.  But hey.  This is not me playing on with the charade, as former posts here by me show, I have been talking about getting rid of the last vestiges of white supremacy for years and years.

So I banged out a reply, not only on that essay in question, but generally on his output on that cluster of issues.  And I say it that way because, blur.  He was on Real Time this past week, and I caught the vid on YouTube.  So blur.  Here is what I almost posted to his comment section under the essay.  But I didn't because I did not want to deal with checking for other's comments, and deciding whether they were worth a response.  I did message boards for years.  That shit is tiresome to me.  So here goes my reply:

As a threshold matter, I want to be as brief as possible, as I believe we need less words, less chatter. Anyone who believes more speech is going to be the solution, just isn't paying attention.

The problem with the professor's argument is not so much the components, but the false choice. He seems to be attached to the idea of black people doing more for themselves. Fine. But people can believe that, and at the same time believe American society is still far too racist, and we need to work at eliminating every last vestige of white supremacy. It's not an either or proposition.

And one last thing. People just need to stop making generalizations about black and brown folk. That is how this toxic, racist garbage started, back in 1619.

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