The myth of race, debunked in 3 minutes


You may think you know exactly what race you
are, but how would you prove it if somebody disagreed with you? The fact is, even though
race drives a lot of social and political outcomes, race isn’t real. One of the first
people to attempt to categorize humans according to race was a german scientist in around 1776.
He came up with 5 different groups according to physical appearance and geographic origin
of their ancestors. American’s of European descent eagerly bought into this type of thinking
around the same time. Some historians have said the idea that there are different races
helped them resolve the contradiction between a natural right to freedom and the fact of
slavery. If whites were their own distinct category, then they could feel a lot better
about denying freedom to people who they labeled black and decided were fundamentally different.
But as political priorities change, definitions of race in America adjust right along with
them. For example, if were of Mexican birth or ancestry in the United States in 1929,
you were considered white. Then, the 1930 census changed that to non-white to limit
immigration. Later, when the US needed to increase its labor force during World War
II, these people were switched back to white. And what it took to be “black” once varied
so widely throughout the country, from one quarter, to one sixteenth, to the infamous
“One drop” of African ancestry, that people could actually change races just by crossing
state lines. Then, suddenly, in 2000, the government decided that Americans could be
more than one race and added a multi-racial category to the census. This has left many
Americans scratching their heads when it comes to selecting who they are. As many as 6.2%
of census respondents selected “Some other race” in the 2010 survey. The idea that someone
might look one way, and identify another way, or that they might be really hard to place
in a racial category, is not new. This is why there was a public debate about whether
MSNBC’s Karen Finney could say she was black, or how we can’t even agree on the racial label
assigned to the President of the United States. Of course many people feel their racial identity
is very clear and very permanent, but the fact that some people have changed theres,
and that nobody can really argue with them, shows how shaky the very idea of race is.
This is all because there isn’t a race chromosome in our DNA that people can point to. It simply
doesn’t exist. When the medical community links race to health outcomes, it’s really
just using race as a substitute for other factors, such as where your ancestors came
from, or the experiences of people who may have been put in the same racial group as
you. Dorothy Roberts explains that sickle-cell anemia is a prime example of this. The disease
is linked to areas with high rates of malaria, which includes some parts of Europe and Asia
in addition to Africa. It’s not actually about race at all. This of course does not mean
that the concept of race isn’t hugely important in our lives. The racial categories to which
we’re assigned can determine real life experiences, they can drive political outcomes, and they
can even make the difference between life and death. But understanding that racial categories
are made up can give us an important perspective on where racism came from in the first place.

Thomas Jefferson: Champion of liberty or dangerous radical? — with Robert Bork (1994) | THINK TANK


Ben Wattenberg: Hello. I’m Ben Wattenberg. On July 4, 1776, our Founding Fathers cut
America’s ties with England by adopting the Declaration of Independence. The author of their manifesto was only 33
years old: Thomas Jefferson, philosopher, diplomat, president, slaveholder, and sometime
radical. Who was Thomas Jefferson, and what would he
think of our nation today? Joining us to sort through the conflict and
the consensus are Judge Robert Bork of the American Enterprise Institute and author of
“The Tempting of America”; Professor Peter Onuf, the holder of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Foundation chair at the University of Virginia and editor of “Jefferson Legacies”; James
Oliver Horton, a scholar of the Jeffersonian era, professor of history and American studies
at George Washington University, and author of “Free People of Color: Inside the African
American Community”; and Jan Lewis of Rutgers University and author of “The Pursuit of
Happiness: Family and Values in Jefferson’s Virginia.” The question before this house: What about
Jefferson? This week on “Think Tank.” In 1962, at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize
winners, President John F. Kennedy said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection
of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House,
with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Some historians say that Thomas Jefferson
was the last Renaissance man. The author of the Declaration of Independence
and third president of the United States spoke six languages and was an accomplished inventor,
naturalist, mathematician, and architect. Jefferson personally designed his home, Monticello,
as well as the University of Virginia. Jefferson’s greatest legacy, of course,
is the Declaration of Independence. It is probably the single most recognized
and copied political document in the world. Its powerful words still resonate everywhere:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Now, how could the man who wrote those stirring
words own 150 slaves? And unlike George Washington, who freed all
of his slaves upon his death, Jefferson freed only five. But he thought slavery would not last, declaring,
“Nothing is more certainly written in the Book of Faith than that these people are to
be free.” Political life was not easy for Jefferson. His hatred of aristocracy made him a strong
supporter of the French Revolution. His enemies charged that he was too fond of
popular uprisings, calling him “Mad Tom” and “the Robespierre of the American mob.” But supporters hailed him as “the mammoth
of democracy” and as “the man of the people.” He died on July 4, 1826. On his tomb, he asked to be remembered as
“the author of the Declaration of Independence, the founder of the University of Virginia,
and author of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.” Professor Onuf — Peter Onuf, let’s start
out. What kind of a man was he? Peter Onuf: Jefferson was an extraordinary
man, as your list of his achievements indicates. We still don’t know what to make of him,
though. I think the notion of Renaissance man is a
kind of fudge. He’s everything, which means that we don’t
really know what he is. What’s most remarkable about Jefferson the
democrat is that if anybody represents the aristocratic impulses in America before the
Revolution, it’s Jefferson and his class in Virginia. In effect, he’s the cream of the Virginia
aristocracy, and it’s remarkable that he could embrace these ideas that we now take
to be the defining ideas of democracy. Ben Wattenberg: Jim Horton? James Horton: Jefferson is an extraordinary
man — was an extraordinary man. He was also a very complicated man. In that regard, I think he becomes the personification,
really, of American society. He is a person of great principle, but a person
who cannot always achieve that which his principles would dictate. I think the same can be said of our society
— great principles, but we don’t always live up to them. Ben Wattenberg: Jan Lewis? Jan Lewis: I’d like to go back to a point
that Peter made and talk about this conundrum or paradox that Jefferson is the exponent
of democracy, yet in many ways he comes from an aristocratic background. Historians, I don’t think, have ever been
able to explain fully that paradox. How a man of such privilege — and he in
many ways maintained privilege in that beautiful setting at Monticello — how he was able
to go beyond his background and come up with ideas that are supposed to apply to all people
and that all people have chosen as their banner. Ben Wattenberg: Bob Bork, Judge Bork, lawyer
Bork. And you are surrounded by historians here. What do you make of Jefferson as a lawgiver,
law writer? I mean, that’s what he is principally known
as, I guess. Robert Bork: Well, if you mean the Declaration
of Independence, of course that is really in part a propaganda document; it’s a rhetorical
document. It’s not really part of our law. I suppose to the Virginia Statute of Religious
Freedom was a great achievement, but I don’t think of Jefferson primarily as a lawgiver. Ben Wattenberg: Why not? I mean, he — Robert Bork: Well, for one thing, you know,
if Jefferson’s principles had prevailed, they would have destroyed the United States. The Union would have been gone. He thought, for example, that the states could
nullify acts of Congress if they thought they were — if each state thought it was unconstitutional. He didn’t believe in judicial review. He thought each branch of government could
decide constitutionality for itself. Ben Wattenberg: That was the great fight with
Chief Justice Marshall? Robert Bork: Yes, that was part of the fight
with Marshall. He wanted a new Constitutional Convention
every 20 years. James Madison talked him out of that one. But obviously, if these principles had prevailed,
we would have —the states would have fragmented, and the Union would have been destroyed. Peter Onuf: I think it’s only fair to say,
Bob, that if Hamilton’s principles had prevailed, the same thing would have happened. Robert Bork: Well, that could well be. Ben Wattenberg: Was Jefferson a radical? Is that fair to say? I mean, all this stuff about “watering the
tree of liberty with human blood every 20 years,” that sort of stuff? Peter Onuf: Well, I think some of his rhetoric
was radical. And just to get back to the point you were
making here, his notions about being able to review — each state being able to review
and to decide congressional rulings for themselves. I mean, that comes in the context of the fear
that he had that the Federalists at the time of the Sedition Act were really concentrating
power in the hands of the federal government to a dangerous extent. So in some ways, that was a reaction. I’m not sure that if the context had been
different, he would have held to that belief. Robert Bork: Well, certainly when he interpreted
the Constitution, he interpreted federal power very narrowly, and this would have been a
very different nation if he had prevailed. Ben Wattenberg: Let me ask you a question. If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, would
he be a Democrat or a Republican, Jan? Jan Lewis: My son — I have to introduce
this by saying, my son, who is 16 and was attending many of the festivities around Jefferson’s
250th birthday last year, got so frustrated with this question that he insisted, if Thomas
Jefferson were alive today, he’d be 250 years old. [Laughter.] And I think I have to resist that sort of
question because the times were so extraordinarily different. That much said, I will say that we can follow
different parts of the Jeffersonian legacy, and they go in very different directions. As Bob has suggested, there is a states’
rights Jefferson that leads to nullification and to the Southern side of the Civil War,
and you can see those ideas developing. At the same time, there is Jefferson the rights
giver, and who leads to the sort of rights consciousness that we associate with liberal
Democrats. So there are different parts of his legacy
that lead in very different directions. Ben Wattenberg: How could a man who — I
mean, at times when you read about him, he sounds like sort of an agrarian nut. I mean, he hates cities. He hates mobs. He hates people in cities. How could a man like that be a member of the
Democratic Party today? James Horton: He distrusts cities. Peter Onuf: I think that’s misleading, in
any case, that notion of his hating cities. He’s a very urbane man. He loves urbanity and civility — that is,
the good things that cities bring. His political project is in opposition to
the metropolis, the concentration of power that he resisted in the patriotic resistance
movement before the Revolution, and the danger that such concentrations would be — emerge
in America under the aegis of a Hamiltonian system. James Horton: And to show you how complex
and how contradictory he was, you’re absolutely right that he feared the concentration of
federal power. But he used federal power when he was in the
federal office, when he was president of the United States — for example, the Louisiana
Purchase, which expanded the size of the United States several times. Ben Wattenberg: And which was unconstitutional. James Horton: Which was — at least he was
not sure that it was constitutional and said that, that he was not sure it was constitutional. Ben Wattenberg: Judge Bork, was it unconstitutional? Robert Bork: Probably was, probably was, but
there was a great disconnect between Jefferson’s words and his actions as president. In fact, when he was president, he had to
evade all of the principles that he had laid down before he became president. Not only the Louisiana Purchase, but he sent
out the Navy and the Marine Corps to Tripoli to attack the Barbary pirates. Ben Wattenberg: Without getting congressional
approval. Robert Bork: That’s right. One of the earliest precedents for a president
initiating hostilities without a declaration of war. Ben Wattenberg: What about his attitude toward
race and slavery? How do we deal with that now? James Horton: Jefferson — well, he was obviously
a slaveholder, obviously a man who was uncomfortable with the institution of slavery, who thought
the institution of slavery was wrong, and even so, could not bring himself to free his
own slaves. He only freed eight slaves his entire — well,
three during his lifetime, five in his will. A man with some 200 slaves who never moved
to the position of liberalism on the question of slavery that many in his own time, in his
own region did. So that although he was in some ways a leader
in terms of democratic thinking, he was — he lagged behind more progressive thinking on
the question of slavery, even for his time period. Robert Bork: Well, I think early on he proposed
a measure that no slavery would be allowed in new states, and he lost that by one vote
in the Congress. James Horton: Sure, but when the new states
were actually opening up — 1820s — he went exactly in the opposite direction. He denounced all that, said that slavery ought
to be allowed wherever it would expand. Peter Onuf: I think we have to understand
the limits of the notion of equality, and to some extent, we have to accept that when
Jefferson articulates universal principles, he comes up against a difference which he
can’t accommodate in his scheme. That is, it’s one of the aspects of liberalism
to generalize and universalize rights that we define ever more clearly the boundary between
those who are capable of bearing rights and those who are not. This is where Jefferson’s racism comes to
the fore — what we would call his racism. He naturalized difference. He couldn’t accept artificial difference
— that is, aristocracy — where privileged families would rule over others. But there were differences, for instance,
in the family, between men and women, parents and children, between races. He believed that African Americans were naturally
inferior. Jan Lewis: Yeah, I think when we read his
statement in the “Notes from the State of Virginia” about blacks, they make us extremely
uncomfortable today, and that this is a paradox with Jefferson. I mean he knows — he absolutely knows that
slavery is wrong. Everyone at the time knows that Jefferson
is opposed to slavery, particularly at the time of the Revolution. There is no question where the Declaration
of Independence leads: that it will lead to the elimination of slavery. At the same time, Jefferson plays around with
and creates a racism today that makes us, I think, very uncomfortable when we read those
words. Ben Wattenberg: Did Thomas Jefferson have
an affair with Sally Hemings, a slave on his plantation? James Horton: Obviously, we don’t know the
answer to that question. There is lots of circumstantial evidence that
he did, but there is no smoking gun. I don’t know of anybody who could testify,
“Yes, I know for sure that he did.” Peter Onuf: The only argument I would make
against the relationship — and I don’t like to put myself in the position of defending
Jefferson on this, but I think the main reason why it’s not likely to have happened is
that he was such a racist. And for him, miscegenation, mixing the races,
blurring the line between black and white created this unbearable dissonance and tension. Many of the people in the Hemings connection
were light-skinned; they could have passed for white. And to perpetuate that confusion of the races
while you’re claiming that the races are so distinct in their capabilities is to make
an unbearable situation for James Horton: Yes, but it would have been
very much in keeping with the kind of ethical dilemmas and inconsistency that we know Jefferson
had routinely in his life. Ben Wattenberg: Jan, you have written about
family life of Jefferson and his times. Where do you come out on the great Sally Hemings
mystery? Jan Lewis: Oh, I blame the nephews. Ben Wattenberg: You blame the nephews. Jan Lewis: The family, in fact. Ben Wattenberg: Well, wasn’t there one child
that was born exactly nine months after he returns as ambassador to France? Jan Lewis: Well, the timing is thought that
Jefferson might have been the father — that he was in the vicinity nine months before
the birth of each of Sally Hemings’ children. Ben Wattenberg: But so were the nephews, you’re
saying? Jan Lewis: No one’s done the research on
the nephews. The family thought that it was the nephews,
and in fact, many years afterwards, they would say, well, we know it was Uncle Peter. It was Uncle Sam. And what I found significant about that is
that even if Thomas Jefferson himself were not the father of Sally Hemings’ children,
which I think I would agree with Peter — not likely. Could be, but not likely. Even if he weren’t, by the family’s own
admission, these children would have been Jefferson’s great-nephews and nieces. They were family. And I think that this is a metaphor for race
relations in this country in that we’re all in some way family, and we should all
acknowledge that we are all related, that all of us are the descendants of Thomas Jefferson,
if not literally, metaphorically. Ben Wattenberg: Let me ask a question here. Here you have — as we’re talking here,
you have a man who certainly on the race issue does not seem like the great exemplar and
trumpeter of human liberty. And yet around the world — forget about
America for a minute —Jefferson, not Washington, not Hamilton, is — every revolutionary in
the world, the good guys as well as the totalitarians, waves the Declaration of Independence and
says, “All men are created equal,” “self-determination.” Where is that hypocrisy? I mean — Robert Bork: Well, Forrest McDonald, who was
an historian, said that Jefferson combined deviousness, slipperiness, hypocrisy with
charm and grace and a sure sense of his own purposes, which are priceless assets in a
politician. So that he did say a lot of — Ben Wattenberg: Does that remind you of anybody? [Laughter.] James Horton: Well, you know, here you have
the difference between his actions and his words. There is a great reverence within 19th-century
black society for his words. The conventions of blacks that were held throughout
the 1830s and the 1840s started off every meeting with the reading of the Declaration
of Independence. So that in terms of his words, they were revered
within the black community because, after all, those black people did believe all men
were created equal and so on. Actions — Robert Bork: He was a great rhetorician, and
he got off a lot of phrases that today we would identify with the new left, which is
why I think a lot of his rhetoric is so popular in an egalitarian age. But he was not an egalitarian. He referred to the people — when he opposed
the idea of direct election of senators, he referred to the people as “the swinish multitude.” Ben Wattenberg: “The swinish multitude.” That’s a pretty good bumper sticker for
a politician. Peter Onuf: I think the problem is not formulated
properly when we talk about the disjunction between words and actions. I think we’re looking at the outside in. We’re saying, what are the boundaries? How far do you go, Jefferson? Aha, we’ve found you. We’ve caught you out. These are the limits. You can’t be serious. This is just nonsense. But if we start with Jefferson’s own experience
of his world and talk about what his aspirations were, then it looks differently. Take the whole idea of equality. Equality is the buzzword of the revolutionary
period. Now we have appropriated it for our own multifarious
purposes now, but for Jefferson and his fellow patriot leaders, equality refers specifically
to their status and the status of their colonies in the British Empire. It was grounded in the notion of English rights. It was very specific. And what Jefferson did was try to reach beyond
that — not as far as we would like him to, perhaps, but the idea that you could form
even a union of liberty-loving, free Americans was itself an act of faith, an intellectual
leap. So if we look at it from Jefferson’s perspective,
inside out, then I think we have rather a different view than if we take this perspective
of why isn’t he good enough for us today? Why doesn’t he do what we do, we politically
correct moderns? James Horton: But let’s not judge him by
the standards of our time. Let’s judge him by the standards of his
own time. There are people in his own time who risked
their careers, who risked their fortunes in ways that are far more egalitarian than Jefferson
was willing to do. Ben Wattenberg: Let’s move on for a moment
to the legacy of Jefferson. There is this big argument between Jefferson
and Hamilton about what kind of America are we going to have, Jefferson sort of taking
his rural, agrarian view, and Hamilton writing the — what is it called about manufacturers? “The Report on Manufacturers,” looking
toward a booming, muscular sort of industrial society. Is it fair then to say, given what America
is today, that the true father of this America is Hamilton, not Jefferson? Jan Lewis: It seems to me that they both are. I mean, what we get out of the Hamiltonian
legacy is a strong, active, huge federal government — a centralized government. But we still have also the Jefferson suspicion
of a strong government. And it’s in the space between those two,
the actuality of a centralized state and an American suspicion of a centralized state. That’s where American history is made. Robert Bork: And I think it’s wrong to think
of either of them as the father of the country. This country would have developed as it did
if Jefferson and Hamilton had never existed. Jefferson’s idea of an agrarian society
was doomed from the beginning. You couldn’t succeed and live in this world
as an agrarian society. I mean, we’d be overrun by other powers. And the growth of the central government was
a natural development. People wanted it. George Washington immediately began proposing
projects that were well outside the federal power in the Constitution. Ben Wattenberg: So your current argument that
you make these days — you would have been making that in 1790 — that these guys are
using too much federal power, more than the Constitution gave them? Robert Bork: Well, the Constitution certainly
doesn’t give the federal government the power it now has. But the Constitution could not stop the federal
power from growing. There is no way it could stop it. I think the strong central government was
in the cards whatever the Constitution said. Peter Onuf: I think we misunderstand Jefferson’s
legacy if we think of him simply as an agrarian, this quaint figure who’s attached to a romanticized
past, who resists modernity and all the ills associated with it. I think Jefferson instead — his impact on
American history has been to authorize and license private initiative. A release of energy. His preference for agriculture is a preference
for commercial agriculture and the initiatives of individual farmers, and then traders as
well. He believed that the force to develop manufacturers,
as Hamilton was going to do, would in fact be retrograde; it would not contribute to
the wealth of the nation or its future prosperity. You could argue that through much of the 19th
century, until the great concentrations of capital that emerged in the Civil War and
afterwards, that this was the prescription. This was the formula that was going to make
America the way it was. So I think there was a choice early on, and
it is significant that the Jeffersonians emerged in power with the so-called Revolution of
1800. Ben Wattenberg: What about Jefferson and the
world? I mean, what would this — what did that
piece of paper mean, that Declaration of Independence? Forget America for a minute. It’s complicated and we just — Peter Onuf: Forget America. [Laughter.] Ben Wattenberg: Yeah, forget America. Bob, is that the revolutionary document of
the world? Robert Bork: Well, I think as the world becomes
increasingly egalitarian, the Declaration becomes an inspiration to people. And that’s true I think throughout Western
civilization. Ben Wattenberg: And it’s been used by good
guys and bad guys? Robert Bork: Oh, sure. James Horton: But I think that probably the
most important thing here is that it provides the touchstone for those people who are oppressed. It is a document to which they can turn, to
which they can appeal. It becomes a way of appealing to the conscience
of the nation. And without that document, without us saying
to the world, this is what we believe, it becomes very difficult for oppressed people
within the country to appeal to a conscience. To say, if you say you believe that, you must
act in that way. And it seems to me that that’s the importance
of the Declaration. Jefferson didn’t always do it, but the fact
that he put this declaration there makes it possible for us to have a touchstone. Peter Onuf: I think there’s another dimension
of Jeffersonian thought having to do with equality that relates to this, and that is
the equality that Jefferson hoped to achieve, as I mentioned before, was the equality of
the American colonies. And that notion of equality applied to states
and to nations is I think probably the most significant Jeffersonian legacy. On the level of rhetoric, it’s human equality
that we refer to. But it’s really national self-determination,
nation-making, the independence of states that’s been, I think, the great legacy of
the American Revolution and of Jefferson’s Declaration. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. Thank you, Professor Peter Onuf, Professor
James Horton, Professor Jan Ellen Lewis, Judge Robert Bork. And thank you. We have appreciated hearing from you very
much. Please send any comments or questions to the
address on the screen. For “Think Tank,” I’m Ben Wattenberg. Announcer: This has been a production of BJW
Inc., in association with New River Media, which are solely responsible for its content.

Divided island: How Haiti and the DR became two worlds


Let’s pause here. I’m driving on the road
that separates Haiti from the Dominican Republic. Right here. It’s the border that
divides two very different countries. If you’re born in Haiti, you’re
2.5 times more likely to die as a baby than if you’re born in the DR. You’ll be almost ten times poorer and you can expect to have a much shorter
life. I came here to find out how the two countries that share this one island can
be so different, with a politically volatile and impoverished Haiti on one
side and the stable and relatively rich Dominican Republic on the other. How did this line produce two totally different worlds? My journey starts here, at this beach
village in southern Haiti, where Haitian merchants, most of them women, are
preparing for a nighttime boat ride. The women boarding this boat have one goal:
to make it to the border where they will be let into a Dominican market, to buy
and sell goods before returning to their villages. It’s international trade at its
most informal. We’re taking these boats because the next door mountain range
makes the land journey almost impossible. These worn-out wooden boats have been
making this exact journey twice per week for decades and yet the process remains
chaotic and unorganized as if it’s happening for the first time. All of this energy, time, and effort all to transport a handful of goods that, in most
countries, would be shipped in bulk inside one of these. We make this seven-hour journey to the
border town arriving around, 4 am. The sun rises and we walk to the border
market. This market was established right on the border as a partnership between the two nations, to give vendors from both sides a place to buy and sell on equal footing. As we approach the border I quickly realize that’s not what’s happening here. So I’m looking across the border right now, into the market and you can see that
Dominicans are already setting up. This is one of the big complaints of the
Haitians: they’re stuck on this side waiting to cross the border and the
border guards are just delaying it and meanwhile the Dominicans are able to set
up and get the best spots. These Haitians come from miles away on this grueling
boat journey, that I know now firsthand is very grueling, and they get to the
border and the guards stop them for no reason. They’re supposed to open it up for
everyone at the same time. The guards keep the Haitian women from
crossing, not letting anyone know how long it will be. The tension grows and
then finally, hours after the Dominicans were allowed to enter, the guards open up
the bridge. They buy and sell for the day, before
returning to the boats to make the journey home. The grueling boat journey,
the senseless discrimination, it embodies the asymmetry that exists on this island.
Watching it happen, it’s impossible not to ask how it got like this. There are a
few key things that explain how this island produced two very different
countries, but if you want to get at the very root of it you have to go back to
when this island was owned by two European powers: France and Spain. This
island is actually the first place that Christopher Columbus set up a colony in
the new world on his first voyage back in like 1490. France wanted a piece of
this island because it was rich in resources like sugar and coffee, so they
fought a war with the Spanish and they ended up splitting the island in two: one
side would be the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo and the other side would
be the French colony, with the same name, Saint-Domingue, just in French. And that is
the most important part of understanding this whole thing, is how these imperial
powers treated their colonial posessions. The French exploited the
land. They brought in tons of slaves and they were interested in making Saint-Domingue solely an economic producer. They destroyed the soil from aggressively
harvesting the same crop year after year, and they created a group of very
resentful, overworked, and abused slaves that eventually rebelled. The Spanish had
a different approach. After establishing domination on this island by massacring
the indigenous population, they didn’t exploit it like the French did. Instead they went to places like Mexico and Peru, to look for gold. So they didn’t bring nearly as many slaves onto this island, and as a result they weren’t nearly as profitable a colony. Instead, the Spanish integrated with the remaining indigenous population, by recognizing the native leader’s authority and intermarrying with the locals. The result was a smaller and more racially mixed
population, with a sustainable economy and a political system, something totally absent from
France’s colony. This becomes really important in the
early 1800s, when independence comes around. Haiti declares independence,
fights off the French, and basically declares itself the first black, former
slave republic in the world. They do so with very little framework for a society
and for a government and they also do so with land that has been exploited, year
after year, with the same crop which basically destroys the fertility of the
land. And to add to all of that, because they were this first black Republic, the
world essentially isolated them. The United States didn’t want to recognize
the independence of a black nation. They thought it might become a slave empire
and seek revenge. The French showed up on Haitian shores
soon after independence, and said you owe us a debt for all of the assets that you
stole from us when you became independent, all these economic assets,
you owe us that debt and you have to pay it over the next thirty years. This
crippling debt Haiti did pay back over years, but it really hampered their
development. This history doesn’t exonerate the dictators and corrupt
politicians that have plagued Haiti’s development since its independence, but
it helps explain them. Suffocating embargoes and the independence debt, as
well as the lack of any tradition or investment in governmental institutions,
guaranteed Haiti’s failure from the moment it was born, and a racist world
made sure of it. That racism isn’t just embedded into Haiti’s history, it is in
fact very alive today. As I drive up the border, by coincidence my driver is also
a Dominican border patrol official. We have hours in the car, where he slowly
and cautiously tells me about how immigration policy has changed in the
Dominican Republic in recent years. “Regularization Program”. That’s a euphemism. He’s talking about a policy of targeting anyone of Haitian
descent, even citizens, rounding them up and deporting them.
There’s always been anti-Haitian sentiment in the Dominican Republic,
usually resulting in racist violence, but since 2010, that sentiment has been
seeping into legislation. The Dominican Constitution that was drafted in 1929,
says that anyone born in the country is automatically a citizen, even if your
parents were undocumented immigrants. This is the same in places like the
United States, but the DR rewrote its constitution in 2010, to only give
citizenship to those born on DR soil, to legal residents. Then, in 2013 the high
court in the DR ruled that this new definition would be applied
retroactively. All the way back to 1929, meaning any citizen who had been
born in the DR to undocumented parents would have their citizenship revoked. More than 200,000 Dominican citizens, were suddenly stateless. It is clearly an illegal act, it is an
immoral act, it is a racist act by the Dominican government. And it’s happening
because these people are black. Dominican law said that if these
stateless people wanted to stay in the DR, they would have to go to a government
office and put their name on this foreigner registry. The government gave
these people one year to either get their name on the registry or face
deportation. Over 55,000 have been officially deported since the
June 2015 deadline. The UN estimates that 128,000
people have voluntarily fled to Haiti, a country many of them have never lived in.
Some came here to this camp on the border, where they’ve been living in
limbo for years. The moment I cross into the DR, I start
to see what this crackdown looks like. On a 75km bus ride, we pass eight
security checkpoints in which security personnel board the bus, to eye who was on
it, and in some cases check papers. But each time we stop, they seem to only
check the papers of the same few passengers. That’s my translator, Pascale. He’s an American
citizen, but everywhere we go in the DR, security forces keep asking him
for his passport. Halfway through the journey, we pull off the road into a facility where a few young military guys are sitting around. And our driver brings
this woman and her two children over to the military guys. She’s speaking in
perfect Dominican Spanish to them, claiming that her children are Dominican
and that the driver brought us to this checkpoint to turn her in because she’s
black. None of this seems to matter, she doesn’t have her papers and her skin
color seems to be all the guards need to see. Haiti’s land and people were abused
when it was a colony of slaves. The world then shunned it, with embargoes and
independence debts when it was a new nation, and today Haitians in the DR
experience racism that is overt enough to be enshrined in law. As we drive up this very curvy road, I
have the DR to my right and Haiti to my left. Back when the French were here, this
was the richest colony on earth, but that came at a price. Not only to abused slaves, but also to the land that they worked. Clear cutting and
single crop planting continued after the French left, but instead of being used to
make fancy French furniture, the trees were burned to cook food. This explains what I’m seeing when on my right there’s lush jungle. and on my left
there’s bare and eroding hillsides. Zoom out a little bit and it’s very clear. I follow the border road all the way north,
until I hit another market town. I wanted to see if the same discriminatory
dynamics played out up here as they did down south. This market was built
with money from the European Union, and the UN development program, with the specific intention of creating a space where communities from both sides could come and buy and sell on equal footing. Rolling through the market, and
once again like we saw in the southern market, the Dominicans are first setting up. I walk to the border and find this huge group of people at this gap in the
fence, paying a border guard to get in early. The dynamic is the same as down
south, only with a few more overt bribes and border guards who seem to have no
problem hitting Haitians with a stick. After hours of waiting for guards to
open the gate for everyone, the Haitians are finally let in. This is a story about a border that
separates two vastly different countries, but it’s moreso a story about policy: how centuries of racist policies, from the French, from the U.S., from the world,
from the DR, can hold a nation back from progressing. Haiti, this first black
republic, has experienced some of the most predatory and racist policy from outside
forces. For Haitians this story isn’t just their history. It’s their present. It’s the stage on which they live their lives. So, I want to say a big thank you to lululemon, who is a sponsor for Borders. They sent me these ABC pants, which are these really versatile, flexible pants. They’re super sturdy, and they’re meant to be basically used for hiking and for activewear, but also around the house when I’m kind of just hanging out, I’ve been using them for both as I’ve been making Borders. I love them. Thank you lululemon for sending me these pants, but more importantly thank you for sponsoring Borders and making this happen. If you want to try out some lululemon ABC pants, You could get a pair of your own. You should definitely check that out.

Political Correctness Unites People — in Hatred | Adam Mansbach, “Go the F*ck to Sleep”


You know even the term “political correctness”
at this point I feel like has been compromised, has been diluted, and means different things
to different people in a way that is counterproductive. I would vote to retire the term entirely. I guess where I fall is, on one hand if you
are whining about the way that political correctness and some culture of respect prevents you from
being an asshole, then you’re an asshole. If the political correctness of the world
stops you, impinges your freedom of speech and prevention from being misogynistic, homophobic,
racist—then fuck you, basically. I guess that’s ultimately where I fall on
it. I don’t really know any artists, any creative
folks who feel like some restrictive culture is preventing them from doing their art, you
know. The people I see are flourishing in this space. I think respect is important. I think calling people by the words and the
names and the pronouns that they choose for themselves is critical. There’s no reason in any sense to do otherwise
that I can think of. But I feel like the term itself, as far back
as the 90s, was being bandied about in this spirit of mockery, and I remember books being
published, like “The Politically Correct Handbook” and like things that just take
it to a level of absurdity. The simple idea—that people of various marginalized
discriminated against groups were claiming ownership of the words used to describe them—was
taken and satirized and made absurd by the right, a group of people who are not known
for their sense of humor. And it became kind of a battering ram. Like “Oh, you know, we can’t say blah,
blah, blah.” And like “Well you can’t say short anymore,
you have to say vertically challenged.” And it was very deliberate. I mean it was part of the war around language
which is a very critical part of political discourse. The control of terminology is really, really
important in the way that people’s views are shaped. And it’s something that the right has had
a lock on surprisingly for a pretty long time, you know. “Pro-life” sounds good but isn’t. But the way that the words and the phrases
and the terminology shape the debate is really critical. So the term in my mind goes back to that and
yeah, at this point I think we could probably put it to death and come up with something
better.

Why Does Educational Divide Only Exist with White Voters?


All right, let’s get into audience questions
for the week. First one. Hey David. And why is the educational divide among white
voters not there among non white voters? This is a really good, it may be the wrong question in a sense and
I’ll explain that in a minute, but first let’s discuss what we’re talking about here. We recently did a story which looked at polling
in terms of Trump support. And what you saw was that among black voters,
black voters basically opposed Trump by similar, uh, in similar proportions regardless of whether
they did or didn’t go to college. Hispanic voters are opposed to Trump roughly
equally between Hispanic voters who didn’t go to college and Hispanic voters who did
et cetera within white voters, white voters who didn’t go to college are significantly
more likely to support Trump than white voters who did go to college. So one way to ask it is, why is there an educational
divide among white voters on supporting Republicans? The way it may be backwards is maybe the question
is what is it about white voters where when they aren’t educated, they are falling for
Republican talking points. But essentially we’re asking the same thing
here. Now there’s a few things that aren’t good
answers. One would be it’s merely about religion because
if you look at black voters, black voters are a pretty significantly religious group. They should be more conservative than they
are based on religiosity. If that was sort of the X factor, it doesn’t
appear to be. When you look at Hispanic voters, education
doesn’t become a dividing line I believe because regardless of educational attainment, Hispanic
voters know that Republicans don’t have their interests in mind. They don’t propose policies that are good
for them and Hispanic voters regardless of education aren’t likely to fall for bogus
Republican talking points like the left is really the racist party or whatever the case
may be. The educational element becomes sort of secondary. With a lot of these groups with white voters,
the educational differences become more of a dividing line because nothing else is bringing
educated and uneducated voters together on the same basis. What I mean by that is I’ve explained to you
many times before, those lame Republican talking points that don’t work on Hispanic voters
regardless of education and they don’t work on black voters regardless of education because
they understand the political realities of the Republican party. Those talking points do work on white voters
who are not by virtue of their identity already, uh, understanding Republican versus democratic
policy. And because they are uneducated, they’re more
likely to fall for those talking points since there is no other sort of insulating factor
that will protect them from it. And this becomes a self reinforcing feedback
loop where in great part, the Republican party has written off a lot of these minority groups. They’ve written off, uh, Hispanic voters and
black voters and Asian voters in many ways because they see that their policy isn’t appealing. So they’re effectively doubling down and trying
to appeal to white voters even more. That, of course leads to a bigger divide because
the white voters who are educated have more of a framework with which to understand and
realize that they, there are attempts to bamboozle them, whereas the educated uneducated voters
are not. So we have a combination here of a self reinforcing
feedback loop where in Republicans are particularly targeting white voters and succeeding more
with those that are uneducated, combined with the reality that in a lot of these other groups
there is something else about their place in the political mill. You, for lack of a better term, that reduces
the importance of what, whether they are or are not educated. I mean, as a very micro level, um, I know
a lot of Argentinians here in Boston, I was born in Argentina, as many of you know. And in the group there are drastic financial
differences where there are people who, um, are, you know, effectively just entering the
workforce or have been in it for awhile but earn very little money, are on social welfare
programs all the way up to medical and legal professionals and successful entrepreneurs,
et cetera. And across that entire group. Nobody likes Trump. Everybody understands the role that Trump
plays in furthering the Republican policies that are not good for Hispanic voters. Voters who are immigrants from Argentina,
however you wanted to find us. Many, many Argentinians are white as the term
is, uh, and the educational level and the class differences that exist within the group
don’t really seem to move political views one way or the other. If you looked at an equivalent group of native
born American born white people with such drastically different class and educational
backgrounds, my prediction is you would see much more of a spectrum of political view. So those are some of my ideas. Let me know what I’m missing. Um, very important question and an important
one to understand, uh, when looking at the 20, 20 election for sure.

What Will Y’all Do When Your Liberal Lies Are Exposed?


Okay. Today we have a second in an installment of
Trumpists whose mind you can’t change a fourth. Today’s voicemail segment. The voicemail number of course is two one
nine two, David P. yesterday we had one example, a, a woman, a young woman, or I don’t know
what age she was, a woman, uh, who made it clear that it’s not a good strategy to go
and try to convince Trump is to change their mind. That’s not how we’re going to win 2020. I have another example of that for you today. Take a listen to this. Are you guys gonna do, once the truth comes
out and all your liberal lies and stuff are made known, what are you guys gonna do? Right? You guys gonna root for when all the bad guys
are locked up. When, uh, when Obama was in Clinton’s and
bushes, all the deep Staters are locked up. What are you guys gonna do then? He’s going to pay your bills. There’s going, you know what I’m saying? You guys better get on the right side of the
outside of the reality. Guys, I’m telling you, you’re on the wrong
side of reality. Yeah. So listen, as far as paying bills, I’ve said
before, um, you know, Trump in office has been good for, for the show in terms of the
business of the show. It’s been terrible for the country and I still
prioritize the country over the show. I can assure you that if circumstances in
the United States lead to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George W. Bush being in prison,
I think the show will be doing just fine. But of course, you know, deep state conspiracies,
all of this stuff, we can’t talk these folks out of the worldview that they’ve adopted,
not in any sensible amount of time. So the focus must be, the focus has to be
get the vote out from people that are on our side already. Make sure they don’t stay home. And let’s try to improve the country that
way. Because arguing with folks like that, and
the person called in yesterday, it’s an exercise in futility. It’s a, it’s, it’s simply not worth it. It’s not worth our time. We can get way more people to vote before
we can get one of these folks to change their mind. On today’s bonus show. George Papadopoulos is running for Congress
and he announced it where of course on Fox and friends. We will talk about that T-Mobile has a trademark
on the color magenta and is demanding that an insurance company stop using that particular
Hugh. We will discuss that and the limits of intellectual
property also may be good news. Donald Trump has signed an animal cruelty
bill into law. Interesting. When in the video I showed you earlier of
Trump with a dog, he seemed to have absolutely no affection or empathy for the dog whatsoever,
in fact seemed to want nothing to do with the dog despite clock calling the dog. Brilliant and extremely smart. We will talk about the animal cruelty bill. On today’s bonus show. How do you get access to the bonus show? It’s very easy. Sign up for a [email protected]
slash David Pakman show. You can also get on our mailing [email protected]
and this Friday, black Friday. Everybody on our mailing list. We’ll get an email with a one time use coupon
code for an obscene discount off of a David Pakman show membership. So if you want to sign up, but you want the
best membership discount of the year, just get on our [email protected] and
Friday. I would guess early afternoon you will find
in your email inbox a very special one day, only one time use code for a discounted David
Pakman show membership. In the meantime, we will talk to you on the
bonus show today. Morrow, the chest showdown between producer
Pat and me will take place. We have all been preparing. I’ve been doing, I’ve been working on my lats
actually to prepare for the chess match. More on that tomorrow though, the David Pakman
[email protected]

President hosts New Year’s Reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps


We can never afford to forget that peace, prosperity and equality are fundamentally based on justice. Our republic is, of course, a work in progress and the freedoms we have been
gifted by it are moral and ethical obligations for each successive
generation. And they, in turn, pose profound questions, about fairness and inclusiveness. And may I suggest to you, likewise, 2017 might be the year in which we, the
members of the United Nations, recommit ourselves to honouring in full the pledges
made in the UN Charter. We can open a dialogue with
the ‘cos muintir’ of the world, ‘la gente de la base’, the excluded, the disappointed, the angry.
Above all we cannot abandon those excluded, confused, to the predatory abuse of those
who seek the exploitation of difference – Difference of race, ethnicity, culture or
gender. There can be no room for such abuse. We have in Europe and elsewhere
experienced the consequences of that already. We, as peoples, as Heads of State or Diplomats,
cannot ignore the agony of humanity that cries out to us for belief in the capacity of the human spirit to feel, imagine and create –
what I call a civilisation of sufficiency.

The end of racism: Part 1 — with Dinesh D’Souza and Glenn Loury (1995) | THINK TANK


Ben Wattenberg: Hello, I’m Ben Wattenberg.
As the issue of race becomes ever more prominent in America’s public dialogue, a controversial
new book, “The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society,” promises to
ignite a heated argument, very heated. Joining us to sort through that argument are,
in the hot seat, the author of the book, Dinesh D’Souza, research fellow at the American
Enterprise Institute; Glenn Loury, a university professor at Boston University and author
of “One by One from the Inside Out: Essays and Reviews on Race and Responsibility in
America”; Christopher Edley, professor of law at Harvard University and former head
of President Clinton’s task force on affirmative action; and Michael Cromartie of the Ethics
& Public Policy Center. The topic before this house: the end of racism,
part one. This week on “Think Tank.” One of our panelists on this program, Glenn
Loury, had this to say about Dinesh D’Souza’s book: “Mr. D’Souza is determined to place
poor urban blacks outside the orbit of American civilization. Their lives are governed by
barbarism. They are the enemy within.” It is no wonder that Dinesh D’Souza’s
book provokes comments like that when you consider the following sentence from page
22 of the book. Quotes: “Virtually all the contemporary liberal assumptions about the
origin of racism, its historical significance, its contemporary effects, and what to do about
it are wrong.” Here are some of the arguments from “The
End of Racism”: Racism is a historically recent and Western idea. America is not racist,
but it used to be. Today the biggest problem with the black community isn’t white racism,
but black culture. Racial discrimination can be rational. And the conclusion that Dinesh
D’Souza reaches is that in order to set up a truly fair, multiracial society, all
race-based government policies must be scrapped, including affirmative action, but private
individuals should be free to discriminate. Dinesh D’Souza, you have to get used to
30-second sound bites. Let us hear the thesis of this book from you first. Dinesh D’Souza: Its basic argument is that
“The Bell Curve” is wrong to say that black failure in America is the result of
genes. Ben Wattenberg: That’s Charles Murray’s
bestselling book. Dinesh D’Souza: That’s Charles Murray’s
book, “The Bell Curve.” And the liberals are wrong to say that black failure in America
can be wholly or even largely today attributed to racial discrimination. I argue not that we have barbarians in our
midst, but I argue we have seen a cultural breakdown in our society, one whose effects
are particularly bitterly felt among poor blacks, and that this is the main obstacle
to success in America today. I am a first-generation immigrant. I have
benefited from the civil rights movement, and I believe in a multiracial society. We
have to have equal rules, fair rules that apply equally to all citizens. It’s that
that we’ve gotten away from and that we need to pay attention to. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. Glenn Loury, I know
— I read a draft of a review of you wrote of Dinesh’s book, and I could only — if
I had to describe it in one word, I would say, “angry.” Is that about right? Glenn Loury: Well, sure, the book did make
me angry. And one of the reasons it makes me angry is that it is insensitive. Now, that’s
a word in bad repute these days because of the political correctness movement, which
has made it difficult to talk candidly about issues that we must talk about. Dinesh is
talking about something that we must talk about. But I insist that the way in which he does
it — this is not my only point, but it’s an important one — is not helpful, is certain
to provoke, to hurt, to anger, and to preclude the possibility of reasoned discussion. I see no reason to title a chapter on intelligence
differences between blacks and whites, “The Content of Our Chromosomes,” or to include
within it the statement that “we can almost hear the roar of the white supremacists.”
Quote, ‘‘Forget about racism and discrimination. These people are naturally stupid,’’ close
quote. Ben Wattenberg: But Glenn — Glenn Loury: Even words put in the mouth of
a hypothetical racist, this is an inflammatory sentence. Ben Wattenberg: Okay, all right, let’s hold
up for — go ahead. Glenn Loury: Well, I only want to add this.
I want to say that if Dinesh had argued, as he claimed, that American civilization is
in crisis and that we must pay attention to that, a crisis of values, a crisis of culture,
I would have been all with him because indeed that is the case. But that is not, in my reading
of the book, what he argues. What he argues is that a certain cast of mind
that he calls relativism prevents us from recognizing differences between cultures within
America, like between black and white culture — prevents at least certain people from
acknowledging the failings of black culture and, as a result, leads to a lack of civilizational
capacities among people in the inner city, which he then goes on to characterize, and
again, in ways that I think are imprudent, and soon. Ben Wattenberg: All right, let me just ask
Chris Edley and Michael Cromartie if you have any brief general comment. Christopher Edley: I think it’s tough to
come to terms with Dinesh’s book. For me, I found several things in it, several lines
of argument, several observations that resonated quite comfortably. But I found a host of others
that did not. The tone that Glenn is discussing is clearly
a problem and will be a difficulty as America tries to absorb the thrust of the arguments.
But as to the substance, I think if I were going to say one thing about the book, it
would be that there is frequently resort to what strikes me as a straw man kind of an
argument, as though, for example, on the issue of cultural relativism, that that is the core
of all support for affirmative action and related social measures, when in fact cultural
relativism in the extreme form that Dinesh lays out seems to me to be a very — seems
to me a view that’s held by relatively few people who are proponents of affirmative action. Ben Wattenberg: Cultural relativism basically
being that — Christopher Edley: The notion that somehow
we are — Ben Wattenberg: — all cultures are equal;
there’s no distinction. Christopher Edley: Right, and that we are
somehow disabled from making judgments about what is good and what is bad, what is beneficial,
what is not. Ben Wattenberg: All right, Michael, brief
comment, and then let’s — Michael Cromartie: Well, I think it’s very
important, Ben, that we listen carefully to the way people read the book, especially African
Americans as opposed to other people, the way they read the book. I read the book to say that there are social
pathologies in our culture, and especially in my culture, that are inhibiting black progress.
And throughout the book, Dinesh makes the point: Unless there is renewal in this community
and that moral, cultural arena, then we’re in for big trouble, which we already are in. A lot of what I saw in Dinesh’s book, in
fact, is reflected in Glenn’s newest book, “One by One from the Inside Out,” where
Glenn talks about the moral quandary of the black community. I was a little surprised
by Glenn’s critique of the book, but I’m also sensitive to the fact that he’s right
about some of the chapters, I think, are a little bit too provocative. Ben Wattenberg: All right. Let’s go to this
list of ideas that Dinesh puts forward in “The End of Racism.” The first one is
racism is a historically recent Western idea. Dinesh D’Souza: I distinguish between racism
and what I call ethnocentrism, or tribalism. You find groups fighting with each other all
the time from the dawn of human history, but it stretches the definition of racism beyond
all comprehension to call the argument between the Hindus and the Muslims or the argument
between the Serbs and the Croatians — these are people, by the way, of the same race — to
call that racist. So I trace racism as a modern Western ideology
that developed to explain a large civilizational gap between the West and other cultures. Racism
became a commonsensical view to explain why the West had the cathedral of Chartres and
the cathedral of Notre Dame, the telescope and the microscope, had mapped the planets
and the globe. Other cultures by comparison appeared to be hopelessly primitive, hopelessly
far behind. Racism to Europeans appeared to be a commonsensical way to account for these
developments that could not be explained by climate. Ben Wattenberg: And it’s new. Dinesh D’Souza: It’s modern. Ben Wattenberg: I mean it’s modern. Dinesh D’Souza: It began around the 15th
century and reached its heyday around the 19th century. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. Glenn Loury: I think that’s a plausible
story. It’s not new, of course. I mean, other scholars who have investigated these
questions have made that point. I just — Christopher Edley: What do you make of it? Glenn Loury: The question is the implication. Christopher Edley: Right. Glenn Loury: And also the following observation,
which is that in Dinesh’s account, and I think plausibly, this idea of racism develops
in conjunction with enlightenment. It’s closely linked with the effort of Western
man to understand natural phenomena. And given the moral problems with the idea as well as
the subsequent discovery of many of the errors of people about these notions, we can see
some problematic aspects of the enlightenment itself, as contrasted, for example, with a
more religiously grounded ethical sensibility, which would incline us to see people of different
ethnic origins or racial origins as equals. Ben Wattenberg: Is it a recent development,
or are human beings inherently racist? I think that’s the key point you were trying to
— Dinesh D’Souza: Well, I was saying that
if racism has a beginning — Ben Wattenberg: It can have an end. Dinesh D’Souza: — it can have an end.
And that’s the reason for exploring the question. Ben Wattenberg: Right. Christopher Edley: I think that I prefer to
hope that it can have an end, but I think it’s important less to debate the historical
origins and which particular century was the dawn of this human tragedy than to understand
what are its contemporary manifestations and effects and how do we get out of it. Ben Wattenberg: Dinesh says America is not
racist, but it used to be — or Dinesh, again, give us a short paragraph on that. And then,
Chris, maybe you can — Dinesh D’Souza: Well, racism is a doctrine
of biological inferiority usually accompanied by the practice of systematized discrimination.
And it is true that the vast majority of Americans believed in black inferiority and supported
a set of social policies. Ben Wattenberg: Believed in the past. Dinesh D’Souza: Believed in the past. Today
there is very strong evidence — not just from opinion surveys, because people can lie,
but even looking at discrimination, which was the norm in America not very long ago
— there has been a revolution not only in attitudes but in practice. And young people
today are born after the civil rights movement. They take the idea of equality — they can’t
imagine putting someone in the back of the bus. What concerns me is that these young
people are being corrupted into thinking of themselves in racial terms, so the possibilities
of the future are being diminished. Ben Wattenberg: Chris Edley. Christopher Edley: The problem with the argument
is that it fails to come to grips with a huge gulf in social perception between — certainly
between blacks and whites and perhaps between whites and other disadvantaged minorities
more generally. I mean, whether one looks at the O. J. Simpson trial or whether one
looks at a variety of phenomena that Dinesh lumped under the category of statistical discrimination,
the social experience that many African Americans feel is one of otherness with a bite — not
simply otherness in the sense that Episcopalians are different from Methodists, but others
with a bite that has lasting and important social economic consequences. So it’s difficult for me to see how we get
to the bottom of this issue. Dinesh will say the problems are far more muted than they
have been in the past. I would certainly concede that America is better now as a result of
civil rights progress over the last couple of decades. The question is: How serious are
the lingering effects, and what set of subtle attitudes and habits of thought, habits of
institutional behavior continue to stall progress? Ben Wattenberg: Michael, are we still racist
in America? Michael Cromartie: Well, there are certainly
still racists in American society and lots of them. But I wanted to follow up on what
Chris was saying. I see Dinesh saying that racism still exists in this book. What I don’t
— what I do hear him saying is that, however, it can no longer be an excuse in the African
American community and that we have to get over this idea that black people are putty
in the hands of white people and cannot make their own decisions and cannot have their
own lives. A lot of the problems that Dinesh described
in this book do not have political and legal solutions. They are really moral, cultural
problems that cannot be addressed by legislation. And I think that’s going to create a lot
of frustration for people because they’ll want a political solution to a problem that’s
really moral and cultural. Glenn Loury: Let me just observe here, if
I may, that I agree with Dinesh on this point very strongly and have myself been arguing
for many years with respect to what should blacks do about our problems. Just this point:
Discrimination, racism, civil rights activity, petitioning to whites, change the government
policy will not solve the problems, won’t make the crime rate go down, won’t make
the out-of-wedlock birth rate go down, won’t make the failure to understand what the possibilities
are implicit in contemporary America go away. Those are problems that have to be confronted
directly by blacks. I think he’s right about that. I do think,
however, though, that racism is a historical and cultural phenomenon in American society,
which, because it’s not being manifest at a given point in time by a set of people,
does not mean that it won’t come back, can’t creep in, can’t influence the way in which
we relate to each other. As we get more openly candid with each other, the risk is that we
may provoke a reignition of a set of historic problems in American society. Ben Wattenberg: Are you saying Dinesh’s
book could play a role in reigniting that? Glenn Loury: I would not accuse Dinesh or
his publishers of, you know, bringing down racial comity in America. That would be an
extreme thing. But I think there is a problem. I think, you know, Charles Murray and Richard
Herrnstein in “The Bell Curve,” they go out so far. Dinesh goes out a little bit further
in some of his inflammatory rhetoric. The issue here is a flaunting of convention.
It’s a kind of the credibility comes from the bravery to say what others will not have
said before. I’m defined to making a contribution purely by virtue of not attending to the sensibilities
of others. I think that’s a pernicious development. Ben Wattenberg: But the way you first phrased
it is something that is honored in the intellectual community in theory, which is to have the
guts to say something that people know is so but don’t want to say. Glenn Loury: Let me give you — Christopher Edley: No — Ben Wattenberg: Chris. Christopher Edley: What’s honored in the
media is controversy and iconoclasm. What’s honored in academia is creativity. And — if I can go back to another point.
I think that there is a flaw in much of this discussion. I think we put too much weight
on the word “racist” — what is racist, what is not racist, what is the definition
of racism. That’s the wrong debate. And if Dinesh’s straw man is a small slice
of public opinion or opinion on the left that wants to paint a broad brush and say that
racism exists around every corner, that’s fine. What I am more concerned with is — whether
you call it racist or not — the deep and pervasive pattern of, let’s call it blind
indifference, a malign indifference to the welfare, the aspirations, the problems, the
challenges faced by people who are different from you, who live in another community that
you feel free to ignore. Ben Wattenberg: All right, that brings us
right to the next point, and I know you want to deal with that. And that point was, as
we phrased it in the setup piece, the biggest problem with the black community isn’t white
racism, but black culture. So why don’t you — Dinesh D’Souza: Even though the problems
of American civilization stretch across the national culture, there are some problems
that are distinctive to black culture. A good example for this is the extremely high, virtually
parasitic reliance of African Americans on the government. Now, I point out in the book that there is
every historical reason for this. Historically, while many whites have viewed the government
as the enemy of rights — the Bill of Rights says Congress shall not do this, Congress
shall not do that — blacks have found the government to be a helper. The government
ended slavery, the federal government ended state segregation, the federal government
was the employer of last resort, helped a lot of blacks enter the transmission belt
of the middle class. So I’m not saying that it’s peculiar or
bizarre that blacks rely on the government. I’m saying today, when the government cannot
employ large numbers of people, when public confidence in the government is low, the Korean
or the Asian strategy of entrepreneurship, of small business, which is very weak in the
black community, we need to stress that. So a cultural orientation that was functional
at one time is dysfunctional today. White racism — if white racism were to end overnight,
this would not improve black test scores. It would not increase black savings rates,
black rates of business formation. It would not reduce violence in the inner city. It
would not strengthen black families. I think that’s obvious. Christopher Edley: It would be a start. It
would be a start. Glenn Loury: Look, of course he’s right.
Of course what he’s saying is right. And as I say, people have been saying this for
a very long time. Ben Wattenberg: You’ve written much about
it. Glenn Loury: But look, “parasitic”? “Parasitic”
— black dependence on government transfers is parasitic? Okay, let’s suppose Dinesh
doesn’t know what he is saying. Let’s say he has a tin ear. What about Joe Sixpack,
okay, in Idaho, in Arkansas? What does he think about the parasitic, blood-sucking blacks?
The point here is this. Michael Cromartie: Well, Glenn, you’re going
a little far here. Glenn Loury: If I may just make the point.
Dinesh makes the following argument in his book. He says there were certain personality
types under slavery: the Sambo, the dependable mammy, the sullen field hand, the inscrutable
trickster. We can still find some of those types today, he says. Some of those types
are still to be observed today — which one, one wants to know. The comparable sentence about Jews. There
were certain personality types to be observed in the Russian shtetl. Okay, you can complete
the sentence: We can still find some on Wall Street today. The reason that no one utters
that sentence in polite company is because six million people were exterminated by a
regime which uttered those sentences for 15 years. The failure to appreciate the importance of
this point that I’m making here is part of what makes Dinesh D’Souza’s book considerably
less than what it could be. Now, let me just make one other point. Christopher Edley: Is it racist, Glenn? Glenn Loury: Well, who cares? I don’t — you
know — Ben Wattenberg: What was your question? Is
the book racist? Christopher Edley: Is it racist? Is that insensitivity
racist? Glenn Loury: He’s asking if the book is
racist. The book — I don’t want to put a label on it. I want to say exactly what
I said. It’s dangerous. It’s dangerous to our republic. It’s dangerous to the organic
and constructive dialogue that we must have if we’re going to get beyond this problem. And I want to just make one other point briefly,
and that’s this. American civilization is in trouble. In the 1950s, there were a bunch
of people who rebelled against the organization man and conformity, and they wrote a bunch
of books. In the 1960s, that developed into a counterculture of drugs, free sex, and so
forth. We have a corporate culture that markets destructive
rap music, as Bill Bennett is trying to get everybody to know. We have a demand for cocaine
in this country that’s through the roof, and I assure you, it’s not all being consumed
by people in the inner city, et cetera, et cetera. We’ve got out-of-wedlock birth rates that
are going through the roof. This is a problem for American civilization. This is a problem
which will only be solved if we reconstruct the way in which we think about America. So
the division between black and white and the link of this to black culture is, when spoken
from inside the black community, a plausible set of arguments about self-help and reconstruction;
when spoken from outside the black community, can become a very destructive set of arguments
about divisive things and so on. Dinesh D’Souza: Well, this is the heart
of the issue, in a sense. The heart of the issue is that I suppose I have broken the
code, which is that only people like Glenn Loury and Christopher Edley get to talk about
this in their living room. I am in a sense viewed as an outsider. Maybe I haven’t suffered
enough. I am not criticizing black culture pure and
simple. I point out in the book, I cite the urban anthropologist Elijah Anderson, who
says, I think vividly and accurately, that there are two cultures in the inner city:
what he calls the besieged culture of decency, people who struggle to maintain, keep their
families together, keep steady jobs, and what he calls the hegemonic, a dominant culture
of incivility, of violence, of sex abuse. And I can use all the euphemisms in the world,
but that’s what it is. Now, the problem is we have to have the courage
as a society to say one culture is better than the other, and we need to stand up for
those civilizational values. Look, I believe the line between civilization and barbarism
runs through every human heart. I don’t believe it runs through blacks and whites,
and I think that we can make a distinction between those civilizational forces in the
black community that need to be strengthened. I say all this, but you don’t seem to hear
it. Glenn Loury: I didn’t hear the line between
civilization and barbarism runs through the human heart — Ben Wattenberg: Chris — Glenn Loury: — not between racists, because
it’s not in your book. Ben Wattenberg: Chris Edley asked — playing
the role of moderator — asked Glenn Loury whether he thought Dinesh’s book was racist.
Let me ask you: Do you think Dinesh’s book is racist? Christopher Edley: I think — I mean, candidly,
I think that I want to resist getting into that argument. I think that’s a different
topic. I think what Glenn is — Ben Wattenberg: Then why did you ask Loury
that? Christopher Edley: No, here’s the point.
But he — because here’s the point. Michael Cromartie: That’s a dodge, Chris. Christopher Edley: If the issue is what is
racism, I think that that’s a diversion. I think the question is: What’s the set
of attitudes that are pathological in America? To me, the attitude that is pathological is
the one that says I’m not worried about the problem that exists in the underclass
because I’ve got mine and to hell with the rest of them as long as they don’t become
a big drain on my affairs, on my budget, on my community, on my sense of security, on
my economic aspirations. Now, in my view, that pathological, malign
indifference to the welfare of others is tinged with the problem of color, with America’s
particular neurosis about color. The fact that they are dark means that white America
is even less likely to include them in some sense of community, in some sense of shared
aspirations and values. Now, I view — in my own lexicon, that’s
racism; that’s the problem. Michael Cromartie: Let me just say, Ben, that
— Ben Wattenberg: Michael. Michael Cromartie: — let me answer your
question that Chris didn’t answer. It’s not a racist book. It’s a very serious,
courageous book in this sense, that it says that if not certain cultures are different,
certain behaviors must be condemned among white people and among black people. Certain
behavioral patterns in the black community are not going well, and the fact that we have
so many children without fathers, so many children who don’t even know what a father
is, is a crisis of immense proportion, and the violent crime rate is skyrocketing. I think maybe if Dinesh had emphasized certain
behaviors and not just say it was peculiar to the black community, he would have been
better off, and the language would have been a little more sensitive. Glenn Loury: Well, of course, he does say
that it’s not peculiar to the black community. Dinesh D’Souza: I did say that. Glenn Loury: Those qualifying sentences are
there. But what he does not say is that this is a problem of American civilization running
down through the heart of every human being, et cetera, et cetera. And indeed he can’t
say it because the logic of the book, with its emphasis on cultural disparity — you
know, the bogeyman is the relativist who refuses to acknowledge the cultural disparity which
Dinesh has the courage to look straight in the eye — forces him to make a distinction
among Americans, as between the disparate cultures. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. We need to break here.
Please join us next week when we will continue the discussion of “The End of Racism.”
Until then, thank you, Dinesh D’Souza, Glenn Loury, Michael Cromartie, and Christopher
Edley. And thank you. Please send your questions
and comments to New River Media, 1150 17th Street, NW, Suite 1050, Washington, DC 20036. We can be reached via email at [email protected] and do check out our new homepage on the World Wide Web at www.thinktank.com. For “Think Tank,” I’m Ben Wattenberg. Announcer: This has been a production of BJW
Inc., in association with New River Media, which are solely responsible for its content.

The end of racism: Part 2 — with Dinesh D’Souza and Glenn Loury (1995) | THINK TANK


Ben: Hello. I’m Ben Wattenberg. Last week on this program, we began what turned
out to be a very vigorous and spirited discussion about Dinesh D’Souza’s controversial new book
entitled, “The End of Racism.” Today, we will resume that discussion to give
you a flavor of why it is controversial. Let me read one quote from page 22 of the
book. Dinesh D’Souza writes this, “Virtually all
the contemporary liberal assumptions about the origin of racism, its historical significance,
its contemporary effects, and what to do about it are wrong.” Joining us to sort through that argument are
in the hot seat, the author of the book, Dinesh D’Souza, research fellow at the American Enterprise
Institute, Glenn Loury, university professor at Boston University and author of “One by
One from the Inside Out: Essays and Reviews on Race and Responsibility in America,” Christopher
Edley, Professor of Law at Harvard University and former head of President Clinton’s Task
Force on Affirmative Action, and Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. The topic before this house, “The end of racism:
Part 2,” this week on “Think Tank.” We are back again with the distinguished panel
that we had assembled last week about dealing with the Dinesh D’Souza’s new book, “The End
of Racism,” that viewers who saw that program will remember that it ended with what is called
in the business a vigorous discussion. We have decided to continue it. Dinesh, when we get to remedies in your book,
you are basically saying that all race-based government policies should be eliminated including
affirmative action. This would help create a healthy multiracial
society. You say that private individuals however,
should be free to discriminate and in fact, you say there are times when racial discrimination
can be rational. Explain that. Dinesh: Well, the classic example of rational
discrimination is the dilemma of the cab driver who is hesitant or reluctant to pick up a
young black male particularly at night. The cab driver doesn’t know his clients personally
and young black males, unfortunately, committed disproportionately high rate of crimes particularly
violent crimes in this country. So the cab driver’s dilemma is that he doesn’t
necessarily have to be a racist in order discriminate. In fact, black cab drivers, Middle Eastern
cab drivers, Pakistani cab drivers act no differently from white cab drivers. And the tragedy of this is that if Christopher
Edley wasn’t dressed in this, in a beautiful suit with a lovely tie, the cab driver doesn’t
know. And so he’s going to make a group judgment. Now, we can say that that’s wrong, but it
is… Ben: And as an Indian from the subcontinent
of India, do you ever experience that sort of racism? Dinesh: I’m constantly… Well, let me say two things. First, I think that while many people may
think may not like Hispanics or Asians regarding us to be lazy, or clannish, or whatever, it’s
the suspicion of black inferiority that’s the heart of racism. And so I would not claim to have gone through
the same experience. On the other hand, sure, I run into people
all the time who expect elephants to be walking on the street in India. These are misperceptions that those of us
who are immigrants run into all the time. But, you know, let me say, I would not have
devoted, you know, years of my life thinking about the subject if it’s something on which
I wanted to counsel, malign, neglect, or indifference. It’s something I care about. I want to argue for a set of rules in which
people of different backgrounds can get along. Ben: And your set of rules is… Again, to sort of briefly… Is to get the government out of race-based
and let demark it. Dinesh: It’s what I call separation of race
and state. Look, we need to get the government out of
the race business and what we need to do is pay attention to our real problems. Our real problem is this, that immigrants
are coming to this country including black immigrants, including Caribbean immigrants,
and they are leapfrogging, they’re going ahead of African Americans, and they’re succeeding. They are claiming their share of the American
dream leaving blacks behind. Blacks are not competitive with other groups
in American society today in measures of academic achievement, economic performance. This is the heart of the problem that we need
to address. Ben: Right. Christopher Edley, you just devoted a number
of months of your life to helping the President prepare this vast study of affirmative action,
which deals with the problem that Dinesh is talking about. How do you come out on this idea of the government
ought to get out of the business of race? Christopher: I think it’s both bizarre and
frightening, and ahistorical. I mean, let’s go… But other than that it’s interesting. So… Christopher: The issue to me is not whether
we ought to label the cab driver’s behavior as racist or not. There is a prejudgment in the cab driver’s
decision to pass up the young black male. There is a prejudgment and we have to make
a decision as a society as whether that kind of prejudgment is one that we want to permit
or one that we want to lean against as best we can. Ben: And what do you think the answer is? Christopher: I think we must lean against
that kind of judgment just as we must lean against a prejudgment made by an employer
about whom to hire or who to promote. Ben: But if you were a black cab driver and
you left a wife and three kids at home, and she said, “Honey, be careful today,” or, “Be
careful,” you know, “I always worry about you. It’s a dangerous job, taxi cab driver, taxi
cab driving,” would you resist picking up two young black teenage males at night knowing
what you know about the disproportionate crime rates? Christopher: Look, I’m not denying that is
a tough question. Ben: It is a real tough question. Christopher: We’ve done a lot of things to
try to address the problem. You know, you go in a lot of big cities and
they have plastic partitions to try to provide protection, you have lockboxes in cabs. There’s lots of… Ben: Now I see. Christopher: So what I wanna draw is a distinction
between whether or not we label the behavior of that cab driver or to make the point more
concrete, the behavior of an employer who may not be interested in hiring a young black
male because of a prejudgment that he will not be a good worker or that he will be disruptive,
or something of that sort. Is that behavior that we want to say is perfectly
okay? Is that behavior that we somehow want to try
to prescribe legally that we want government to get involved in trying to prohibit it and
trying to punish it? What I’m saying is that if there’s going to
be any hope, any hope of closing the opportunity gap, if there’s going to be any hope of trying
to take the people who were in the underclass and to give them their fair share of America’s
opportunities, that we cannot allow those opportunities to be depressed by rampant…a
rampant set, a pervasive set of prejudgments of prejudices whether or not you label them
racist. Glenn: I think actually the cab driver’s case
is not hard. I think it’s easy. I think the cab driver has to preserve his
life. In any case, you can’t force him not to do
it. The employment case for racial discrimination
is much harder. Now, I have the attitude that black men don’t
wanna work and so perhaps, I don’t hire them in favor of Hispanic men, or Asian men, or
whatever. The bank lending case is harder still. I think this neighborhood may go down because
the racial composition is such and such a thing. It’s in distinguishing among these cases and
deciding as a society to what extent we can, you know, countenance a certain amount of
rational discrimination and to what extent we must stand for something else. That’s where all the work has to be done. Unfortunately, this work isn’t done at Dinesh’s
book. But that’s not to his discredit because it’s
really hard. He’s really just reporting in this discussion
irrational discrimination about stuff that, you know, many people from Tom Sowell to Sandys
Jencks and others have worked out over the years. How do we get further? That’s what needs to be done. It’s not done in this book. Dinesh argues in this book and on the op-ed
page of “The Wall Street Journal” that it’s time to reconfigure the Civil Rights Act of
1964 so that it applies to government which would eliminate affirmative action and racial
preferences enforced by government. But that it would not apply to private behavior,
which would permit, for example, motel and restaurant owners not to serve blacks legally,
which would permit employers to refuse to hire blacks simply because they didn’t feel
like doing it and so on. Ben: Dinesh, I own a diner in Louisville. The four of you come in and I say, “Chris
and Glenn, I’m not gonna serve you,” that’s okay? I mean, when I was in the military in Texas
a long time ago, exactly that situation happened to me. We went there as an integrated group and they
said they can’t serve. Dinesh: See, the line there is in a liberal
society, in a free society, we have to draw a line between the public and the private
domain. The example you’re giving me, the hotel, the
motel, the diner is a tough one because it falls in the middle of that line, in the grey
area. In other words, is a hotel, a motel, or a
diner, at some level a public institution because it’s putting up a sign and serving
the public. This issue has been addressed by courts for
years. Let’s take a simple case. Let me… Ben: No, not after the 1964 Civil Rights Act… Christopher: That was the heart of the debate,
the heart of the filibuster. Ben: And it was addressed by the court and
they said that’s quasi-public and you may not say you can’t come in. Dinesh: That’s right, right. And I’m not quarreling between the public-private
distinction. But I’m saying right now it is the case that
private discrimination that doesn’t trespass on that fuzzy line is also illegal. And I’m saying that those forms of private
discrimination particularly in the area of… Ben: For example. Christopher: But for example, what? Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act does not affect
who you invite to your dinner parties. Dinesh: Right. The point I’m making is a little bit nuanced. So let me make it first then jump on me. Ben: Please. Dinesh: The sociologist Christopher Jencks,
gives the example of baseball teams. Imagine the case of baseball teams and he
says that if every baseball team in America discriminated against blacks, that we won’t
hire any blacks, the burden of this would fall most heavily on blacks. They wouldn’t be able to get into professional
baseball. Maybe the games would be a little weaker in
quality, maybe fans would suffer a bit, but blacks would suffer the most. On the other hand, now imagine if three baseball
team said, “We don’t want blacks.” Who would suffer the most, blacks? No, because the black players who go to other
teams. It would be those three baseball teams that
would suffer in games, in revenue, in losses, and angry fans, and so on. My point is that in a free society where the
government isn’t coercively supporting racism, there is automatic competitive pressure against
discrimination. Ben: Michael… Michael: This is sophomoric. Dinesh: It’s sophomoric. Christopher: Hold on, Ben. Ben: Michael. Hold on. Michael. Dinesh: What’s wrong with it? Ben: Hold on. Michael Cromartie, you have defended Dinesh’s
book. He is now under serious attack, I mean, about
this 1964 Civil Rights Act. Michael: It could get ugly. Ben: Do you think he’s going over the line
on this aspect of it? Michael: On this point, I do. Yes. I mean, the fact of the matter is if you’re
a black family riding through Selma, Alabama or somewhere in the south, you ought to be
able to stay in any hotel you want to. Ben: I agree. Michael: But if you remove the statutes to
say that it is wrong to do that, then I don’t think there’s gonna be any pressure on the
manager of a hotel or a restaurant to not let you eat there or sleep there, and I think
that has to be there. Ben: Dinesh, I know that you agree, but do
you think… Did you agree so strongly that it ought to
be a matter of law? Dinesh: I agree that… To me, the restaurant, the hotel, these are
quasi-public institutions and the law regards them as such. And I’m not contesting that. I’m concerned more with… Let me put a different case to you and to
Glenn. Go down to Washington DC to a Korean store,
look in the back. You see 15 other Koreans. Is the Korean hiring other people who are
like them? Yes. Right? Is he discriminating? Yes. Should that be illegal? Now, if we decided in our society we wanna
outlaw discrimination, no discrimination is permitted either in favor of blacks or against
blacks, then you’d have to go break down that Korean store and say, “Why are you hiring
other Koreans?” Now, I know as someone who has looked at history
that historically, ethnic groups in this country have advanced by helping their own guys that
this is true of the Jews, it’s true for the Italians, it’s true of the Irish. And I don’t want to destroy those ladders
of good ethnocentrism of people trying to pull up other people who are like them with
whom they share cultural affinities. This is a healthy trend in American society
and in a free society would not regulate it. Ben: Is that now illegal for a Korean shop
owner to hire 15 Koreans and no one else? Christopher: Well, you said 15. Actually, it is illegal. The question is what’s the size of the business? There’s a threshold. I think it’s 15 employees. But in fact, it is illegal. Ben: In other words, a truly small business
can hire all Koreans? Christopher: Right. I mean, I… Ben: But when you get to a certain threshold,
you start saying… Christopher: Right. The notion in the legislative history was
if it’s a family business, you know. Ben: This is the Mrs. Murphy clause kind of thing, right. Christopher: This is really a family… Exactly. Mom and pop. But once you start getting into something
that begins to really be commerce, then it bites. I think there may be a bit of a legal misunderstanding
here. The statute that Dinesh talks about repealing
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is precisely the statute that in the public accommodations
provisions opens up the hotels and the motels, and the restaurants. And in the employment title that opens up
these employment opportunities. The thing that their private behavior that
who’s at your dinner party, who’s in your church, those are not regulated by the Civil
Rights statutes. When Dinesh says what law ought to worry about
is how governments behave, well, that’s done by the Constitution itself through the 5th
Amendment and the 14th Amendment. So the issue it seems to me is what kinds
of prejudices are we willing as a society to tolerate in drawing this distinction between
private behavior that for libertarian motivations are otherwise private behavior that we would
leave unregulated and other kinds of behavior private or commercial that we say, “Look,
sorry. Our vision of America requires a more inclusive
attitude than the one that you with your narrow prejudices might be comfortable with.” Dinesh: See, this is the central flaw here
because the Civil Rights movement for the last generation has been based on the assumption
that racism is the theory and discrimination is the practice. And that’s why things like prejudices are
bad because they are presumed to spring out of the racist impulse. Now, if I am an Indian setting up a cab company
and I wanna hire 25 Indians or 100 Indians for that matter, there are economic and moral
reasons to permit me to do this. There are Indians come to this country who
don’t speak English, who don’t have access to credit, who are strangers in a new land,
and entrepreneurship is a very good way to integrate them into the economy. On the other hand, this is not because I’m
prejudiced against anybody. I am prejudiced in favor of Indians. This should not be illegal in a free society. Christopher: But that it seems to me is the
difficulty when… Dinesh: The difficulty is… Christopher: At what point does the law firm… Look, they’re not prejudiced against anybody. They’re just prejudiced in favor of people
just like them. Glenn: I think Dinesh is wrong on the substance
and we’re obviously not gonna resolve it here. But let me just observe that this argument
is ahistorical and… Ben: Tell us what ahistorical means. Glenn: Well, just the reason that you just
said. You just… You can remember driving through the south,
etc., etc. Now, there were a set of events that dealt
with that. One of them was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Any good justice will tell you as a matter
of jurisprudence that you wouldn’t wanna repeal a precedent without any good reason. There’s no reason to do it. Dinesh: The reason is… Glenn: To make the world safe for Indian taxi
companies? Michael: No, that was… Glenn: That’s not a serious argument and I’m
not finished. When people said… Ben: He’s sensitive, Glenn. Yeah. Glenn: When people said conservatives were
trying to turn back the clock because they disagreed with liberals about civil rights,
I stood up and said, “You’re wrong.” They’ve got arguments. I think they’re right about most of their
arguments. Now we’ve got conservatives unabashedly saying,
“Hell, yeah. I wanna turn back the clock. It’s a new generation. You people are living in the past.” This is not a tenure. This is a willful disattention to a central
theme in modern American history. This would be not just mischievous. This would be more than mischievous. This would be political reaction of a very
high order and I doubt that you can find two or three serious Republican politicians who
have to get elected, and who have to govern a multiracial country, who will truck with
this kind of nonsense. Christopher: Even Phil Gramm says that he
favors vigorous enforcement of the Civil Rights statutes. You may wanna trim a little bit on… Well, you may wanna trim substantially on
some of the interpretations, but the statutes that’s on the book, he favors these. Dinesh: I’m afraid this is blaster [SP]. I’m not trying to propose political solutions. My book is an intellectual book, a scholarly
book. It’s a way of trying to think through first
principles. What I mean when I talk about “The End of
Racism,” I ask what is our destination? Where do we wanna go? And the arguments are aimed at trying to point
us that way. Now, when I hear these arguments about history
and so on, I’m well aware of history. But I’m also reminded of the passage in the
Bible about Moses leading the Israelites to the promised land. But Moses couldn’t get them there. Why? Because he was too committed to old struggles
and that’s the problem here. The problem here is I’m sure if you asked
Alexander Solzhenitsyn what’s the most serious problem facing Russia, he would say the return
of the Bolsheviks. And here, we have two people proclaiming the
return of the Bolsheviks. I’m simply saying, I have more faith in young
people, I have more faith in the new generation that can get beyond the pathologies of race
that have poisoned earlier generations and made everybody go around policing words, and
saying, “Oh, we are dependent on the government, but not parasitic on the government.” Glenn: Zambo, the Zambos of today. Dinesh: No. Glenn: Who are the Zambos of today, Dinesh? Dinesh: Look, I am… You are citing a passage which deals with
historical scholarship on black culture. Glenn: What I’m telling you is that the rapacious
Jewish moneylenders would be out of bounds in contemporary American and contemporary
Europe for good reasons. And Zambos… Ben: As a phrase. Glenn: As a phrase. And Zambos and sullen field hands, and mammies
is out of bounds. And if you don’t know it, it’s not because
I’m hysterical. It’s because you’re indifferent or insensitive
to something that’s important about contemporary American life. Dinesh: No. I’m not talking about contemporary American
life. You are describing a historical argument about
the evolution of black culture. There’s no question that under slavery, for
example. The person who is admired under slavery was
the runaway, the rebel of, the so-called bad Negro because he was after all not allowing
his spirit to be crushed by oppression. And all I was trying to do in that passage
was to explain how a prototype, an archetype that was admired under slavery, admired under
segregation, the person who said no, who refuse to succumb to the system. Whereas the person who played by the rules
was an Uncle Tom, but I’m saying the world has changed now. And today if you want to be an outlaw, a bad
Negro, or a rebel, you’re going to end up in the hospital, in the morgue, in prison. And the people who attacked these Uncles Toms
and Glenn, you know that there are people who are willing to use these phrases very
easily, many of those who are attacked as Uncle Toms are defending civilization values
including I will say, Glenn Loury. Ben: Okay. Hold on. I wanna try something out here. We’ve seen, to say the least, what the disagreements
are here. The super central point of Dinesh’s book is
to paraphrase the Clinton 1992 thing, it’s the economy stupid. He’s saying it’s the culture stupid. That’s what he’s saying. My recollection of your writings is, if you
strip away all the other stuff, Glenn, you do not disagree with that. Glenn: Absolutely not. More than that, more than that, I agree with
what is a corollary of Dinesh’s argument. I don’t think he makes it explicit which is
that the fact that civil rights leadership among African American since King has not
attended to this problem, has hurt the group politically, has undercut our ability to make
credible argument, has made it possible for a person like me who has been ostracized and
who has spent over a decade making many of the arguments that Dinesh wants to make to
appear to be, you know, oh, just one of those complainers when I object, I think rightly,
to his excesses and his error so that… We have a problem here. We have a problem with race and the problem
has been sown to some degree in my judgment by the intellectual bankruptcy of the Civil
Rights movement. My intention in my writing is to try to work
us out of the problem. I don’t think Dinesh is helpful there, but
I could be wrong. Ben: We agree on this and I think Dinesh agrees
with this also, but he can speak for himself. And that is that racism is still a problem
in American society. I think where we disagree is that some of
these problems are really in the moral cultural arena and the reason we have culture wars
in our society today is because these different value systems about certain behavioral patterns
are being contested. And I think that there are not many political,
and legal, and legislative solutions to getting fathers to go back to homes and having…and
to prevent children from having babies. They’re just not a lot of legal answers to
that and I think that then, therefore, the only reason there is hope is that we do need,
as Gertrude Himmelfarb, the historian has said some kind of religious awakening to rejuvenate
our communities both black and white. Christopher: May I add one more point, Ben. There’s more to the disagreement with Dinesh
I think than something about tone or something about emphasis. What is striking to me is the gap in perceptions
that it evidences between the…at least, the African American perception of what America
is like today and the perceptions of many others. Is prejudice or racism if you want to call
it that, something which is being ever so tenuously repressed, constantly ready to rear
its ugly head reassert itself, or indeed is it genuinely a thing of the past? My fear when I see swastikas in Harvard Square,
when I see Mark Fuhrman, when I see the lawsuit against Denny’s Restaurant is that too many
whites, too many people in the majority culture dismiss episodes like that as abhorrent, whereas
many people in the African American community, many minorities perceive that those are just
the tip of the iceberg, those are just the tip of the iceberg, and those behaviors which
someone dismiss as abhorrent are in the first instance far more pervasive than may be readily
detected. But secondly, ready to mash or ready to explode
insignificance. That is a tremendous gap in perceptions and
I don’t know how we bridge it. Michael: I… We… Ben: Michael. Michael: I take it that the central argument
of this book is that it is a cultural problem, a cultural problem that’s been addressed by
these gentlemen here now. And I think it’s a cultural problem that in
fact is exacerbating the increase of racism in our society. In fact, because of these social pathologies
which are not just peculiar to black people, but to white young people who I don’t have
as much confidence as Dinesh does about their enlightenment about these issues, these social
behaviors, and the fact that we have so many children without parents and so many children
who don’t even know what a father is are going to in fact exacerbate and increase racial
stereotyping and racial problems in society. Unless those behavioral patterns are curtailed,
it won’t ever go away totally, but curtailed, then I think we’re going to have even more
of a racial crisis in the society. Ben: Right. Dinesh. Dinesh: That’s the message of my book. Ben: Say it for us. Dinesh: Well, that if our problems are the
product of genes, we can’t do anything about them. If the problems are the result of racism,
fighting racism I think has run its course. There’s nothing new we can do to fight racism
that will address these cultural issues. So we should realize they’ve taken on a life
of their own and the end of racism is about not diverting our attention from that crisis
and facing it squarely. Ben: Okay. Thank you, Dinesh D’Souza, Glenn Loury, Michael
Cromartie, and Christopher Edley. And thank you. Please send your questions and comments to
New River Media, 1150 17th Street, NW, Suite 1050, Washington, DC 20036. We can be reached by email I think, [email protected]
and do check out our new homepage on the worldwide web at www.thinktank.com. For “Think Tank,” I’m Ben Wattenberg. Announcer: This has been a production of BJW
Incorporated in association with New River Media which are solely responsible for its
content.

Chappelle’s Show – The Niggar Family – Uncensored


♪ IT’S THE NIGGAR FAMILY ♪ ♪ WE ALL KNOW
WHO THEY ARE ♪ ♪ FRANK, TIM
AND EMILY ♪ ♪ TEACHING
TIM HOW TO RIDE A BIKE ♪ ♪ THESE ARE THE NIGGARS
THAT WE LIKE ♪ ♪ N-I-G, G-A-R ♪ ♪ IT’S THE NIGGAR FAMILY ♪ ♪ IT’S THE
NIGGAR FAMILY ♪ ♪ YEAH ♪♪ ♪♪ BREAKFAST
IS SERVED. LOOK, HON, MY SISTER
JUST HAD ANOTHER BABY. LOOK AT THIS LITTLE
BUNDLE OF JOY. SHE’S GOT THOSE
NIGGAR LIPS. I KNOW, SO THIN. IS TIM STILL
ASLEEP ? ( Emily )
I THINK SO. HE SURE IS ONE
LAZY NIGGAR. GOOD MORNING,
MOM. MORNING, DAD. GOOD MORNING. YOU KNOW, TIM, WE’RE HAVING
A DINNER PARTY TONIGHT. I TRUST YOU’LL
BE HERE. OH, I CAN’T. I HAVE MY FIRST BIG DATE
WITH JENNY HALSTEAD. OH. JENNY HAS A DATE TONIGHT WITH
THE NIGGAR BOY FROM SCHOOL. WHAT ? OH, GOD,
NO ! NO, DADDY,
THAT’S HIS NAME. TIMMY NIGGAR. OH, OF COURSE,
THAT NIGGAR. HE’S A VERY GOOD
ATHLETE AND SO WELL-SPOKEN. THAT FAMILY’S
GOING PLACES. I MEAN, WE’RE RICH. THEY’RE
NIGGAR RICH. OH, BILL. MORNIN’,
NIGGARS ! WHY, IT’S CLIFTON,
OUR COLORED MILKMAN. AND THIS IS MY FAVORITE FAMILY
TO DELIVER MILK TO. THE NIGGARS ! MMM-MM ! SOMETHIN’ SHO’
SMELLS GOOD. YOU NIGGARS
COOKIN’ ? WE SURE ARE. THERE’S SOME LEFTOVER
BACON IF YOU’D LIKE SOME. OOH, NONE
FOR ME. I KNOW BETTER THAN TO
GET BETWEEN A NIGGAR AND THEIR PORK. MIGHT GET
MY FINGERS BIT. ( laughing )
HERE YOU GO. I, I HATE TO
BOTHER YOU ABOUT THIS. BUT, UH, WELL, YOU DIDN’T
PAY YOUR BILL LAST WEEK. AND I KNOW HOW
FORGETFUL YOU NIGGARS ARE WHEN IT COMES TO
PAYING BILLS. GOLLY, CLIFTON,
IT SLIPPED MY MIND. HERE YOU GO. SORRY ABOUT
THAT. OH, NIGGAR,
PLEASE. NIGGAR, PLEASE ! WELL, TAKE CARE,
MR. “N” WORD. I HAVE A HOT DATE
WITH THE WIFE TONIGHT. ALL RIGHT,
TAKE CARE. ALL RIGHT,
PEACE, NIGGAR. ( audience laughing ) NIGGARS ! ♪♪ ( man )
STEVENSON, PARTY OF FOUR. UH, STEVENSON,
PARTY OF FOUR. TABLE FIVE, PLEASE. BON APPETIT. NIGGAR, PARTY OF TWO,
NIGGAR, PARTY OF TWO. LOOKIE HERE,
JACK ! JUST BECAUSE
WE’RE COLORED, DOESN’T MEAN WE CAME OUT HERE TO BE
DISRESPECTED, OKAY ? UH, WE’RE THE
NIGGAR FAMILY. OH, HI, CLIFTON. OH, WELL, HELLO,
LITTLE NIGGAR. THESE ARE THE NIGGARS
I WAS TELLING YOU ABOUT. ARE YOU THE NIGGAR
THAT BROKE THE BOTTLE OVER RONNIE’S HEAD AT
THE DICE GAME ? NO, NOT THAT NIGGAR. THE NIGGAR
FROM WORK. THE MILK ROUTE. OH, OKAY. HAVE
A NICE MEAL. I BET YOU’LL GET
THE FINEST TABLE A NIGGAR’S EVER
GOT IN THIS RESTAURANT. ( laughing ) OOH, WHEE ! OH, LORD, THIS RACISM
IS KILLING ME INSIDE. ( doorbell ringing ) WELL, HONEY, PUT YOUR
DINNER PARTY FACE ON. ( Frank )
HELLO. WELL, YOU MUST
BE THE WETBACKS. IT’S SANCHEZ. AND DON’T CALL US
WETBACKS, NIGGAR. WE FIND IT
OFFENSIVE. I’M JUST KIDDING,
WE ARE THE WETBACKS. ( laughing ) WAIT’LL WE
TELL THE JEWS. OH, YOU’RE ONE
CRAZY NIGGAR. ♪ N-I-G,
G-A-R ♪ ♪ IT’S THE NIGGAR
FAMILY ♪ ♪ IT’S THE
NIGGAR FAMILY ♪♪ NIGGARS ! ♪♪