The Corner

Politics & Policy

Glenn Loury’s Unspeakable Truths About Racial Inequality

In this powerful Quillette essay, Brown University economics professor Glenn Loury sticks his neck out and speaks truth to the “progressive” race mob.

He begins, “I am a black American intellectual living in an age of persistent racial inequality in my country. As a black man I feel compelled to represent the interests of ‘my people.’ (But that reference is not unambiguous!) As an intellectual, I feel that I must seek out the truth and speak such truths as I am given to know. As an American, at this critical moment of ‘racial reckoning,’ I feel that imperative all the more urgently.”

In the course of the essay, Loury repeatedly calls out the anti-intellectual tactics of blacks and whites who don’t so much argue about racial inequality as intimidate people into going along with their points of view.

Loury writes, “Activists on the Left of American politics claim that ‘white supremacy,’ ‘implicit bias,’ and old-fashioned ‘anti-black racism’ are sufficient to account for black disadvantage. But this is a bluff that relies on ‘cancel culture’ to be sustained. Those making such arguments are, in effect, daring you to disagree with them. They are threatening to ‘cancel’ you if you do not accept their account: You must be a ‘racist’; you must believe something is intrinsically wrong with black people if you do not attribute pathological behavior among them to systemic injustice.”

As to “pathological behavior,” Loury says that black communities have seen a great increase in it even as white America mostly changed from hostility to acceptance to preferences for blacks. (I’m reminded of a statement by the late Walter Williams: “Thank God I got my education before it became fashionable for white people to like black people.”) It makes no sense to blame “white supremacy” for the terrible violence, the family breakdown, the indifference to education, and other plagues in black communities, nor the fact that black immigrants are highly successful in America.

I would bet that the “progressives” choose to ignore this challenge to their hegemony.

Read the whole thing.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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