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Bad Review of Winning The Race


Bad” as in “unfavorable,” and “bad” as in “confused and unpersuasive.” Amy L. Alexander’s review of John McWhorter’s excellent Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America (which I favorably reviewed for NR) makes clear that she doesn’t like the book. But she really attempts to refute only McWhorter’s claim that African Americans overreact in self-defeating ways to the (greatly diminishing) racism in our society. And even on this point, she doesn’t dispute that there is overreaction and that it is self-defeating. But, she says, it is too much to expect many African Americans to react intelligently, because they “lack the skills, emotional and social,” to do so, especially since “black Americans for centuries have existed outside the remedies supposedly found within the medical and mental-health-care establishment and, in many cases, have been victimized by it.” So, you have to go to a shrink and be a rocket scientist in order to react intelligently to racial slights? (Also, Alexander needs to read Jonathan Klick’s and Sally Satel’s The Health Disparities Myth.) Alexander notes early on that McWhorter’s arguments are “wearying to those of us who happen to believe otherwise.” I don’t doubt that; as WFB observed many years ago, baloney rejects the grinder.


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