Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Jake crashed this afternoon at about 4:30 and never fully awoke for diner. He moved from bed to couch and drifted into his nighttime sleep (yes, I've checked on him and he's fine, he's not in a coma, as Natalie suggested, just exhausted). Left with the evening to myself, I was watching short films for the Florida Film festival when I stumbled upon a Fox News interview with UC Berkeley professor John McWhoter, a black linguist (loved by conservatives) who has written about the victim mentality of blacks and how that's holding them back far more than any white racism. His comments (which mercifully, the Fox anchor let pass without many interuptions) were fascinating and lucid eye-openers. In a world buried in bullshit, this guy could cut to the chase.

I immediately got online and started digging up information about John McWhoter. I ordered his book "Loosing the Race" and found this article, which is a transcript of a speech he made for Frontpage Magazine. It's long, but well worth reading. I've excerpted some of his better bits below.

We need to realize that a people can achieve despite there being racism, especially residual racism. It doesn't matter that maybe all White people don't think Black people are too wonderful. That changing is not what is required for a group to move up. And therefore our solutions to our problems must aim at giving the Black community inner pride through its own accomplishment.

I think that affirmative action in university education is an obsolete idea. I know many people think that it never should have happened. I would disagree, but I would say that it’s now about 15 years obsolete...

Lowered standards equals lowered performance. There’s your slogan. That’s it. There is not one group in the world – and I’ve been asking around, I’ve been talking to historians – there’s not one group in the world where standards have been lowered where the group has then jumped over the bar. And that doesn’t surprise any of us. When you take the bar and you lower it to here, everybody goes to about here except for the strange. You know, every now and then you get somebody like that [makes hand motion]. But for the most part everybody just stops right here. Simple as that.

I’ve seen at night, two glasses of wine, you know, relatives of mine who sound like Larry Elder. Then, the next day at the office or at some forum, all of a sudden, because they were trailed in a store once, they are, you know, victims in the same way as their slave ancestors, they weren’t promoted as quickly. All those things are very real, but there’s such a thing as degree...

Like I said, interesting stuff. I always appreciate somebody who presents a solid challange to the way I think. For further reading, here's a list of articles by John McWhorter.

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