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Old 12-31-2011, 06:13 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,202
Default Re: The Bromance (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Originally Posted by basman View Post
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.
I thought I had watched this attentively, but I saw little or nothing, in this discussion, of what you're describing here. Maybe you could ding-a-link it.

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?
Maybe you're talking about the discussion over the nature of Obama's 'blackness'. I can see your linkage of this to past discussions with Amy Wax and others, but I don't get the impression that was what Loury was really animated about or wanting to discuss.

I'm sure he holds the position that you describe. It would surprise me if McWhorter does not hold that position as well. In fact, Wax herself held the same position. I don't see how any reasonable person couldn't believe that black history factors in to some degree or another in the plight of black Americans. Wax's point was that the damage has been done and that white America (or America in general) is unable to fix it and that while there are things that can be done to help, the most important elements in solving the problem can only come from the the black community and black individuals themselves, and that there is misplace emphasis on what the solution is, both in the black community and in political discussion.

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?
It would be interesting if Mcwhorter agrees more with Wax on this. I don't know enough to comment on that
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