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A Liberal Democrat Says DeSantis Was Right
John McWhorter appears regularly on the podcast “The Glenn Show” with economics professor Glenn Loury. When McWhorter is the guest, McWhorter and Loury usually talk about the racial issues in the United States of America and to what extent those on the Left have distorted the truth about the lives of African-Americans.
Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida and likely a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, has taken issue with some of the Woke education in Florida schools. While Glenn Loury is a self-described conservative, at least currently, John McWhorter is a self-described liberal Democrat and an atheist. McWhorter is also African-American and a non-tenured professor who teaches linguistics at Columbia University.
You might have to pick up your jaw off the floor to learn that John McWhorter wrote this (and more) in the New York Times.
However, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and in terms of how we tell the story of Black America, the board did the right thing, whether because of DeSantis’s threat or for more high-minded reasons. The take that I saw in the course’s original draft depicted the history of Black America over the past several decades as an unbroken stream of left protest against a seemingly unchanging racist hegemon. There is certainly drama in the procession. The Black Panthers, the Black arts movement, Black studies departments, Black Lives Matter. Incarceration, reparations and Black struggle. Amiri Baraka, Molefi Kete Asante, Manning Marable (all notably left-leaning writers). But Black history has been ever so much more than protest and professional pessimism; note how hard it is to imagine any other group of people whose history is written with this flavor so dominant.
This is not education but advocacy. And in no sense does racism mean that the difference has no meaning. The key issue is the difference between opinions that are considered and debated and opinions that are mostly uncontested and perhaps considered uncontestable — essentially opinions that are treated as if they were facts.
Of course, it is possible to teach about opinions rather than facts. When that is properly done, the opinions are presented along with intelligent counterproposals. Given that Black conservatives — or skeptics of progressive narratives often processed as mainstream after the late 1960s — were nowhere to be found in the A.P. curriculum (except for Booker T. Washington, who has been dead for over a hundred years, and Zora Neale Hurston, whose conservatism is all too often downplayed), it is reasonable to assume that opinions from the left were going to be presented with little or no meaningful challenge.
It will be a mere nanosecond until the calls for firing John McWhorter will begin. It’s one thing to write a book titled Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America. It’s quite another to openly say that he agrees with Gov. DeSantis on the hot-button issues of education and race.Published in Education
Critical Race Theory is not a liberal doctrine. It is a maoist doctrine. CRT practitioners tend to despise liberals.
McWhorter apparently considers himself to be a “liberal Democrat,” or did at one point. He’s wrong.
I think that McWhorter will be fine, especially since he received plenty of criticism for his book (which I highly recommend). Then, it’s hard to predict where irrationality will take them. . .
McWhorter has always and continues to call himself a liberal Democrat. He is a self-described atheist. He believes in climate change. I think there is an episode of The Glenn Show where Glenn Loury asks John McWhorter to become a Republican and McWhorter explains why he won’t vote Republican (he has never voted for a Republican).
He can consider himself anything that he wants, but his views across the spectrum belie it. True liberal Democrats march in lock step.. McWhorter does not.
McWhorter once said in one of his discussions with Glenn Loury, “Glenn, Donald Trump is dumb. Donald Trump could lose an argument with a spoon.“
Maybe he’s not a liberal Democrat. But he’s not joining the GOP.
There are precious few true liberals in the Democratic Party.
So right! At least, not the Trump wing of it.
There may be a few in the GOP who might go along with “Donald Trump is dumb. Donald Trump could lose an argument with a spoon.“
Perhaps a bunch more who would be partial to “Donald Trump is dumb. Donald Trump could not win an argument with a spoon.“
I am not taking sides in this one, though. Donald Trump and his enthusiastic supporters have always treated their opponents with a certain amount of respect, and I always show them a great amount of respect in return, regardless of what I think about spoons, etc.
Granted, but I’m assuming we’re talking about common use of the term.
Right or wrong, there are many in the GOP who would agree. I’ll admit that such hubris is more characteristic of a liberal academic.
There are issues where I think John McWhorter is under-informed (like gun control), but he is highly intelligent and is a man who thinks for himself. If more Democrats were as thoughtful as McWhorter, this would be a much more rational country.