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Old 12-31-2011, 04:33 PM
basman basman is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 648
Default Re: The Bromance (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

One of my impressions of this exchange is that Loury was making a full frontal attack on McWhorter's fundamental position on black victimization and that McWhorter ducked the fight.

Very animated was Loury, as has been noted, to the point of at times ranting inconsolably, I don't know why or who he was yelling at, but the gist of a lot of his content here is his argument that the staggering social dysfunction black Americans suffer under--remember his exchange with Amy Wax after she eviscerated Adam Serwer--is traceable back to slavery's terrible legacy and that America owes its black citizens differential treatment in the attempted amelioration of that dysfunction.

Do I have that right?

In contrast, McWhorter's position is, as I recall reading him and hearing him, unless I have it wrong or his views have changed recently, is closer to Wax's in rejecting what he would characterize as special pleading as manifest in the call for raced based differential help, and in McWhorter's call for both individual and community based self help, culturally and institutionally.

Do I have that right?

If I have these matters right, then, as I first noted, it's remarkable to me that McWhorter in this exchange with a vituperative, albeit clearly friendly, Loury seemed to slide off his position, proceeded sotto voce and ducked the good intellectual fight that was beckoning to him.

Itzik Basman
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