« Freakonomics Radio

453. A Rescue Plan for Black America

2021-03-03 | 🔗

New York Times columnist Charles Blow argues that white supremacy in America will never fully recede, and that it’s time for Black people to do something radical about it. In The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, he urges a “reverse migration” to the South to consolidate political power and create a region where it’s safe to be Black. (This is an episode of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club.)

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This podcast dynamically inserts audio advertisements of varying lengths for each download. As a result, the transcription time indexes may be inaccurate.
If you'd like to listen to free economic radio without ads the place to do that is sticker premium five dollars a month and you can get. Free month trial by going to stick your premium dot com and use a promo code freak. You also get access to all our bonus. Episodes and you'll be supporting our show to that sticker premium: dot, com, promo code, freak thanks, disappeared, hi, I'm getting Jacobs an eye Deanna reason we ve got a new podcast called. If then, where we basically talk to scientists, engineers books from NASA just a bunch of really smart curious people about that stuff that they do. It, then, is out now just search if slash than to find the shell. That's if
Then no spaces listen instead sure ass, all the serious acts em up or wherever you got. Your pot casts. Such as you have said that you didn't want to write a quote race book guess I assume that We did, however, consider this book a facebook, well the race books that I knew were specific genre right. So there was these race history I write a residual, but I about historian even the historical forces. This book I was pulling my hair, I think, maybe, getting something wrong and colleague, airy historian. I know making sure that I was missing something, so I couldn't write that and then there were the synthesis of our racism and its deleterious effects books, and I certainly
Then one right, one of those, that's primarily where my dislike of the zone were comes from, which is that I never really felt that those books were ever written for black. There are always explaining something it already knew to someone else. I assume that without a white people- and I was interested in that so who's this book- written for back you. How do you feel white people reading it. Oh I love you read it. It's wonderful Europe. You know it's no longer Jane Austen, whether writing to me, but I can read those books and they could be wonderful to me, but I was it the audience for those books, so we can re things where we are not the target audience and still appreciate that it was written in the content of it. Welcome to the latest instalment of the economics read your book club in which we interview and author and your excerpts from the book. Today's author is Charles M blow and a bad columnist at the New York Times.
hello, hello, hello and his new book is a manifesto. He says so right there in the subtitle is called the devil. You know a black power manifesto, here's a short passage: black people fled the horrors of the racist south for silk. Liberal cities in the north and west trading, the devil they knew for the devil. They didn't only to come to the painful realisation that the devil is the devil. As Julian born once put it America after all, on scrambled spells. I am race we tend to think of manifestoes as relics of the past. The communist manifesto. By marks an angle vindication of the rights of women by Mary Walston craft common sense by Thomas Pain. You don't expect to come across one in twenty twenty one. At least I didn't
but I would argue that anyone who reads Charles blows book will be he changed by and moved, though, in which directions it's hard to say the devil you know is both deeply personal and unashamedly political. It is calmly descriptive, one moment and fiercely prescriptive. The next It channels the arguments and the disappointments of Malcolm X, James Baldwin Charles blow himself. It is A slender book built around. A large idea occurred to me that I have been thinking to small all my life. about my approach to being in the world and See that my role in it I had to however, that a big idea could change the course of history, and I was uniquely position as a writer that only to express such an idea, but also to push it out into the world
The idea grew out of blows reckoning that white supremacy is an enduring feature of America and what some people accept as progress really isn't. I simply cannot accept the progress argument because the progress I was promised on this. You should be happy with and applaud the fact that I am inching. My way out of the pressing you and is only taken forty years, the far end soon, maybe another hundred years, so we may be finished. My growth may be complete. I may come out of my cocoon, maybe a butterfly, that's crazy. To me. I was born into it is very likely I will die with these body. Can videos a black people being killed nothing about that architectures changed! My liberation cannot be contingent on your evolution. I can't wait for you to grow. It is such a path of position for meat out to take, and I won't take it.
Oh argues that too many black Americans have been abused for too long in too many ways and that too many white Perkins pay nothing but lip service to anti racism. He writes that the black lives matter. Protests last summer were a social justice coach hella for those deprived by the pandemic of rates of passage parties and problems. He also argues that too many black Americans have been blinded by personal ambition or co, opted by Democratic Party that, air is about them only during elections. He finds the status quo. Grotesque and not worth preserving this will be one night s, enemies register, and I wrote for like five days: twenty five thousand words of a book, A rambling messy full of grammatical arresting. The proposal became a book, and the book contains a plan.
I realise that I am proposing nothing short of the most audacious power play by Black America in the history of the country. Today on for economics, radio. What exactly is Charles Blows, audacious plan, how table is it and is it already happened I'm happy this is. economics, radio, the podcast but explores the hidden side of everything. Here's your host, Stephen, Abner Charles Blow was born fifty years ago. Grew up in the tiny town of gives Island Louisiana. It was situated on the site,
the plantation once owned by a doctor, Jasper Gibbs, I haven't grown up poor to know that your ancestors were not assume its stressing blows. First book is a memoir called fire shut up in my bones. It was published in two. two thousand and fourteen. It didn't dawn on me until I was writing this book that the entire genealogy of my family, all free black men. As far back as I can face it, the great great great great grandfather and Alabama he's one who said save that buddy and bodies are freedom. Low remembers once seen an old family photograph, a cousin of later generation I flitted over and the date the picture was taken was on a back. It was in the middle of the great depression and then the ice of the phrase which was extraordinarily high, and then I thought a good, like inflation adjustments
what black man in a motorway to president have the money to spend on this ridiculous. I was afraid Charles was the youngest of five sons. His mother worked in poultry processing factory. Before going back to school and becoming a home economics teacher, his father wasn't in the picture. He was as blow writes a construction worker by trade, a pool shark by habit and cereal philanderer by compulsion. Charles was a goods. didn't and a field trip to the state capital during high school. He thought he might like to become governor of Louisiana one day they took us to the governments in Cover Edwards struts into the receiving room, and, as I owe my guys guys so cool who's running its David Duke at one point is the only thing. Would you gotta have in common is work both good under the sheets, as I want to be this guy he's
they'd in Louisiana for college attending grumbling state, a well known each BC, you were historically black college or university. He wound up study communications, even early on, he had his doubts. We had a career, today and, One of the women who came clearly was unhappy were her work As you know, journalists thought only make it. I think she said something like sixty thousand idea. It was really love, and I remember like excusing myself from the seminar going to the bathroom literally throwing out like a kid. I have got a college and before I can't do it so did I just made up my mind it I'm gonna be the best at this and hopefully the money will come later and I'll be comfortable. Am adamant he has succeeded in turned at the Shreveport, Times in Louisiana and then moved north a couple years at the Detroit NEWS,
and then to the New York Times where, for years he was part of the team that produces maps and charts and diagrams. He left briefly to do similar work at next Geographic and returns the New York Times in two thousand and eight as an opinion columnist, he has become a star attraction, especially in recent years, as his focus on race and racism has intersected with a broader interest in these topics, but this six came at a cost, as he writes in the devil. You know I always felt safe in my joy a black home town, Majority Black college town, I never understood how much of a gift that work. until I ventured north and that sets of safety was replaced by stocking sense of tread Lois move to the north was an echo of what has come to be called the great migration.
From roughly one thousand nine hundred and fifteen until around one thousand nine hundred and seventy some six million black southerners moved to destination cities like Detroit and Chicago New York and Philadelphia They were fleeing Jim Crow laws and searching for better work in the beginning, especially a majority. Of the migrants were single men. This left behind the south that was missing. Many of its men, I was born in eighteen, seventy in Louisiana at the end of the great migration into a world shaped by vacancy, my tiny hometown. What gives Lynn last I for a quarter of its population between the nineteen, ten and nineteen twenty censuses during the first wave of the great migration by the time I was born There were clearly more women than men and the most recent census estimates. There remain three women to every two men in town
So the original sin here is obviously slavery. But can you talk to me about how significant law long term was the fact that freed slaves weren't, given land that they'd been promised. They weren't given access to health care and education. It seemed like that's what ultimately led to the circumstances that it migration to the northern cities so appealing as well. There are a lot of impediments. the civil war in the years after a quarter black people, America, guess seriously ill or died what little healthcare infrastructure they had collapse with the civil war, some of the bigger plantations just as a way of protecting property which treat densely people for certain illnesses,
their displaced from all that, and the programme is saying to the states you have. The ticket is people who stated that the further meant. What are you talking about? We have good white boys coming back limping, we had to get them into the hospital, and so no one step in they are freed, into starvation bitter enemy territory. You don't own anything where you gonna go, but somehow even in the midst of all that these packets of survival in prosperity, even Papa were black new to say no one's gonna help us. We just have to do it ourselves and they create economies and communities. Part of the human spirit is that it wants to work. It wants to create something. It wants to be remembered it. what's prosperity, and so it will created out of nothing. We should all be
sharing that story, but that is not the way it happens and if at all, communities, one by one, get burned to the ground, dismantle in some other way, because it was a threat to wipe the purpose. How dare you six with all this against the destination cities up north. Meanwhile, and with higher paying work and a supposed We enlightened view on race. It was easy for why people in the north- it looked out their noses at likeable us after you behaving Bursley. This is a poor it, but when black people showed up in real numbers in north and mid west
they are to put their money where their mouth was and they ended up using minute. A very same tactics did this out that use thousands aggregation, educational segregation, massive police repression as blow sees it. Those tactics have created a twenty first century that less different from the twentieth. you'd like to think for one hundred and fifty years black Americans have been hoping and waiting. We have marched and resist It mainly around most prominent leaders have appeased and cow town we have seen are hard earned gains eroded by an evolving refining white supremacy, while at the same time we are told that true and full equality is in the offing, but there is no more guarantee of that today. Then there was a
Three ago you re, we like to masculine eyes, wait supremacy when, in fact, it is just as likely to be spread by perfume white women have known from the beginning in this country that they possess the power to activate white supremacy and spur it to extreme violence. The activation of. a terror is await woman's soft power when you re in these categories is always with the unspoken, not all why people, not all black people, but in the aggregate. This is true. Forty percent of our labour is a white women. They made a market for black with his breast milk by women
many of them were treated literally like caused any that many of those women's own children with without proper nutrition, because all them it was being used up. If you look at many of most of the seminal moments around tremendous white terror in its country, it was about or the least white men couched it as a defence of white them in any emits hill is killed, wishes It's like a big bag of the civil rights movement because he suspected his Talkin slick to some white woman who, later in life since you didn't do any of that. Now you see the same thing popping up with the cell phone videos of Largely women say made on a call the police on people knowing full well now that the police or the muscle white moderates
north and west, plead their desire to be better allies, but they refuse to recognise that the system uses their very presence as a weapon employing brutal police tactics in the name of keeping them. if promoting hyper segregation, an imbalance in the name of keeping uncomfortable. They want to do something but relinquish nothing. it's all an enormous pageant of, though probity in eighty dollar yoga pants, holding a dollar lattes? They award them laurels for doing the least bit of labour to lessen the pain of an affliction rather than cure it. They focus on mitigating the impact of white support, Merci, rather than eradicating it and, in its worst form this misdirected, milk, toast nursing, a nanny tries to fix people black people with whom there,
there's nothing wrong other than being trapped in wastelands of despair, starved of access opportunity, resources among the wealthy who are thus incline. They give a little and expect to be praised alot before that it migration. The vast majority of black Americans prepped ninety percent lived in the south by nineteen. Seventy that numbered fallen to roughly fifty percent The standard argument holds that this migration was on balance. Worthwhile Charles blows argument is that the experiment has failed
black people move north and west during the great migration as a result of a combination of a push and a pull, the push was the racial terror and racial oppression of the Jim Crow south. The pull was the hope of a better life, economic, social and political. I say the same since of terror and a that push. People out of the south has been reincarnated in the north and West hyper, militaristic, policing, predatory, incarcerate. And the rebirth of a hate group movement are rendering destination, cities unwelcoming inhospitable and, in some cases uninhabitable- and this is where we get to Charles Blows- thesis what
He calls a grand generational undertaking a rescue mission for Black America. This book is my big idea. Black people in America should reverse the great migration, a return to the states where they had been at Orton near the majority after the civil war and to the states where they currently constitute large percentages of the population. In effect, black people could colonise True the states they would have controlled if they had not them. When you first, it voicing this idea to people. You knew what was their response before he had written a book. Airbus guys on the floor and I'm like I'm not fully appreciating that they think this is such a radical thing, because to me it's completely logical. It was important to me that I wasn't centering whiteness in the narrative of this book. I was literally talking to a young.
twenty something black person has committed to a job, still not marry just China get their toll in the world. Still free enough to be anywhere in the country who might be considering where they want to go home and how targeted do you want the reverse, migrate, to be? In other words, I could see that if you really want to optimize political power, you would want to be standing there with lake flag, a clip Lord yeah yeah, I know I'm not automatically, but but I did the single out the civic space that I think should be considered, and they a stretch from Louisiana up to Delaware. So it's not some of those Appalachian states, not in a seer Kentucky a West Virginia. It is also not Florida and not Texas. My
first migration argument targets. Only nine of the states that are included in the censuses count Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina North Carolina Virginia Marilyn in Delaware. Specifically, I suggest ground returning to the major cities arrange like jewels on a chain which dot the interstate twenty interstate, ninety five quarter from Shreveport Louisiana to Wilmington, Delaware, explain why state power is the optimal force together, verses, federal per se, well fed. It was great. There is a reason that we are called the United States of America. Half of the power in the country is reserve
for the states to exercise in the period of the federal government? In fact the constitution specifically says any powered not specifically delegated to the federal government, is reserved for the stay, so even if they didn't think of it and it cost vision if they didn't give it to develop, permit it belongs to the state, and so the states have real. It is sometimes disproportionate power or many of the things that black people are most concerned about. Mass incarceration is by and large a state and local issue. Most of the criminal code is developed in the state level. It is executed on the local level you could take. That ought to health policy and educational policy. In addition, there are ready, twelve hundred majority black cities in America- ninety percent over in the south, but there are no cities
in the constitution. The state can pre empt anything to city was, do so you're, not truly free. Even if you live in Atlanta or a new Orleans, where you have majority population, because a stake in say yeah you're free up until we say you're, not, let's say that all the black people knew s who don't live in the south, or even fifty percent of them were to move to the target states and cities that you propose. I'm curious how much, political leverage that would actually produce and whether federal leverage, maybe isn't the point. My lord made. Is that gaining stay power will increase both federal and state power the strategic, the array, let's just the right amount in the particular states that have moved about you- could control a whole band of states in the south, the six, maybe seven. Now that gives you control of up to fourteen synergies. That's federal power: can you talk about what you see is the strongest antecedents for a movement like this,
by their it's the Republic of New Africa? Nineteen sixteen weathered the back to Africa Movement, but some were black nationalists proposals, meaning they wanted to break away, but another separate country within the country. That is not what I propose. I am proposing that you consolidate power within the country I should take the strongest ETA seated is not black and white people moving en masse to Vermont, specifically for the purpose of consolidating liberal power and changing estate from more conservative. More liberal and it worked, but I'm modeled my attic see around the black journalists to advocate for the great migration in breathless. There was a long history of black. It will use in the press as a clarion call to reach out to black p. and I'm trying to be part of that legacy. Here's a passage from
the devil. You know we're blow argues that this legacy of black leadership has stalled, perhaps even curdled. I fear that black activism is creeping towards its own form of leaders in a way of building strata and hierarchy of the supposedly woke. over the supposedly asleep too many of our most lauded thinkers most in the north and West have rendered beautiful, meditations, delivered blistering orations on the subject of black liberation, but in the end many succumb to certain monotony of urbanity and arrogance, a plaintive. How
into the win, the building of a case without action, the diagram of a problem without a solution, activism becomes an exercise in credentials being aware, positioning and pursuit of power. These missives often represent as desperate longings by the offers to be anointed by white liberals and the White Academy Collect. Is that address blackness from a clinical distance? Turning
black struggle into every apology and black pain into pedagogy. It seems to me that, on the racial question, the white Liberal has nearly insatiable hunger for guilt laden self regulation. In the same way, the white conservative has a thirst for absolution from legacy guilt, an affirmation of current contempt. The markets to appease both are robust, but black colonization of the south. Is it a philosophy or intellectual posture is an actual plan coming up after the break. How actual is the plan? They would be disingenuous of me to say so. I worked it all out down to the last and I have your flight and your bus tickets will be right back with Charles Blow and the devil. You know.
Thanks to Pennsylvania, lottery, scratch ass, pennsylvanians or scratching their way to fine, and we new games every month, big top rises and said enchants drawings, excitements, always in order, so try, Pennsylvania, lottery, scratch, offer your ticket to fund and get yours today, keep on scratching must be eighteen or older. Please play responsibly benefits older pennsylvanians every day freedoms. Radio sponsored by dial pad work is a thing. You do not a place. You go with dial pads cloud business phone system? You can stay productive from anywhere call. Post video meetings and chat with customers and co workers from any device with a single app plus its, Howard by I, too transcribe every call in automate tasks like noting try dial pad for free for fourteen days, dialed had not come
disappeared. I am guilty and Jacobs and I'm Deanna reason over. We ve got a new pod task, called if then worry politically taught to scientists engineers NASA folks, just a bunch of really smart, curious people about cool stuff. Gillian? I think most people know you from your work on love and community and must be No, you as forensic scientists, Casey Heinz on Anti. I ass though he were both actors for what most Well, don't know is that we're both really curious in passionate about stem if we have a more diverse outlook in how we look at science and engineering and technology and map, then what this is possible. I get giddy. When I get to speak to these people, get a chance tat back into my curiosity excitement. You know that I have about all these topics so come on this journey with
as we learn from some of the poorest smartest people in their fields. If then, is out now just search, if slash than to find the show that, if slash then knows exit. Listen in stature apple, the serious ex em up or wherever you get your PA casts the New York Times. Columnists Charles Blow has written a book called the devil. You know. A black power manifesto in a blue urges black Americans living outside of the south reverse the great migration of the twentyth century and returned to the region where their ancestors came from. He is targeted a particular set of southern cities and states with a dual go. Or of maximizing black political power and creating sort of antiracist sanctuary. I am talking about
a grand generational undertaking, a rescue mission for Black America, and that mission begins with the states which are the true centres of power in this country and as such can for all the lion's share of the issues that bedevil black lives: criminal, justice, judicial processes, education, health care, economic opportunity and assistance you included quote at the very beginning. The book from dreams. Baldwin who said for the Negro there's no difference between the north and the south? There's just a difference in the way they castrate you, but the fact of the castration is the american fact: does that to some degree cut against your argument: in the book. However, what I M saying is not that northern racism is so much worse than saw the racism in deserts utopian cell, but rather that racism is everywhere, stop.
tending that you can run away to the north and achieve anti racist space. It's everywhere. I do say, however, that some of this behaviour by the northern police state in the western police state is accurate, is a throwback to something that the south did, but is doing less of an is that, because the south out grew, it were why I look at racism is: haven't, got a development aside this is an old man and his out in a young boy acting out and is it as it is? You have to go through the stages. What's the larger priority for your political leverage or a stab. The shaping, more enlarging a majority minority community for its own sake, to diminish the exposure to the racism. I believe political powers on par with a cultural cohesiveness. I believe that something is lost when
You are constantly thrown into racial warfare when you're constantly having to defend yourself the finger right to exist, the finger physical body defend yourself in court, where you could be in a space the you as a human being and as you for what have you bring to that human experience hard for me to imagine how that feels every day to be devalued so consistently and systematically and it makes me wonder how you don't just explode honestly, what some people do public and so people go to early graze. You look at mortality rates. Are you see that black people we wanted just for the factors that died in a little bit sooner than other people, and they attribute a lot of that to Rachel stress. So it's literally costing you years of your life but racial bias, pro white as a black among
why people, the percentage of there is often ignored or in the mid west- and it seems to me that the cleaving point his cruelty, there's some people who don't mind cruelty whatsoever and others who are gas at the idea that you a treat a living thing cruelly? That doesn't mean it? I believe that black people at my people are equal human beings. There were abolitionists who opposed the idea slavery, but they were complete white supremacist when Abraham Lincoln gives at Lincoln Battles debate. One of them he makes clear the here, a white supremacist, but he doesn't want slavery, so the entire book was written during the Trump administration. Yes, I'm curious. Whether you feel the argument has become any less intense because of a new presidency that is the less white, supremacist, etc No, it doesn't depend on any one administration. If it did
wrap Obama to solve the problem or Bill Clinton. But in Jakarta with that, it's not Democrats, Republicans! Even specifically, it is black people, don't have enough power to force the political structure to respond. You argue in the book that if black people in the south were to acquire the real political leverage you are describing the day and the Democratic Party Wouldn't necessarily be on the same team anymore, Well, black people on sources are not very liberal. They just cannot abide the republican parties courting of the racists, and so they ve democratic a hundred years ago, these parties were flit, so if black people can get over the absolute racism of democratic party a hundred years ago after seventy five years ago, this was the part of the clear it was the party of slavery black and were able to get over it and
The democratic right was able to quickly transform itself. So if it is possible to Democrats over a hundred years span- and it may be possible for the Republicans over honey, you span, who knows, we often think that Liberalism includes racial, egalitarian, his end, it does not just because I believe in fighting climate change. a woman's right to choose and that gay people should get married not mean that I am necessarily also irish egalitarian. Although the stated preference for racial, egalitarian, ISM Co travels with those things typically, because political parties are organised you been taught that the coalition should include all those things you can't belong to this party unless you by every single thing so what human beings operating their own lives pickup, for which a Basque as they want to do. When they leave things in the other basket, I am strongly in favour of gay marriage, but
There are a lot of black people were not including Obama for awhile, because every president, until above in the decades preceding the great migration, not even racial oppression, interracial terror were enough to dislodge black people from the south. They needed a nudge, a shock to the economic system to help them out of Margaret. hurry stasis and into action. That shot came with a bull wheedle infestation in cotton states, beginning around the turn of the twentieth century. The combined forces of an economic crisis and a social justice crisis finally set the migration into motion I believe that we are seeing a similar scenario with the economic crisis created for black people by the covert nineteen pandemic. In a grand twist of irony. These
accordingly, incompetent response to the crisis by Donald Trump, a white power president may will provide the necessary accelerant for a black power of migration. when I saw the data on the reverse migration, you're, encouraging especially the numbers for the Lana Metro area. I was sure it was a typo that area has had an increase of around two hundred and fifty I was in a quarter of a million black people, just between two thousand and ten and two thousand sixteen. So you Charles, are not the head of this movement. You may not be the tail of a movement but you're, not the head. No, been going on for two decades, maybe more. The black population of Georgia has doubled from eighteen. Ninety to two thousand and twenty, the first blackmail, but made us
The city was Maynard Jackson in Atlanta in nineteen, seventy three that was because Atlanta have become majority black Jesse, one thousand nine hundred and seventy. Now almost every major city in the south, not including Florida Texas, has a black mayor and most of them Jody black cities. It has changed the whole dynamic of let's say that you create great political lever John, the municipal and state levels, and then you say: ok, it's time to really make it happen on the federal level. What at the federal level? Would you most want to use that leverage to accomplish state power in federal power overlap when it comes to Sinnott seats and electoral college votes? Wouldn't black people, where the majority of the coalition that deliberate Georgia for Joe Biden, it was the first time since ITALY,
this reconstruction that that it happened when you can deliver to state, as the majority coalition death a whole different calculus you're, not that ten fifteen extra percent around Detroit. Or in Philadelphia that they need to excite at the last moment when why people basically split vote down the middle and when you have people elected to the Senate with a majority coalition who sends them? There is black people. They have to pay attention to blockage in the items. So all the bills in the Senate now like study reparations for that to advance? You have people in their advocating, for I asked This friend of mine he's mitigate thirties. These black. He grew up in what I call the MID south when I described Your idea he wrote back to me said it sounds interesting. It's a clear and understandable strategy, which is more than hoping the rest of the countries.
He's the late. I'm sure it will be met with a lot of resistance and violence. I assume white people will change the rules or completely circumvent them in some way the north will suddenly become very quote conservative. All that's likely it will be. Judge me to say I've worked it all out down to the last period, and I fear tat I have your flights in Europe must take, is what I am saying is that as the Revolutionary ACT Rebel, jerry acts, are never without resistance, didn't have without risk, but you have to decide. Do you really want power for you and your children and their children or not? Do you really want to create a space in this country where white supremacist the governing, if those are not, if you want to stay, muscle that your little apartment in Brooklyn or in the Southside of Chicago that's a choice that you are making, but I want you to make that choice in full
Oh is that that is not the only option you have whenever black people make progress, why people feel threatened and respond forcefully. emancipation and the civil war gave rise to the coup Klux clan, which form just months after the war ended. The Supreme Court's decision in Brown, be bored of education. Striking down ratio of segregation in schools gave rise to the white supremacist citizens councils. The election of the first black president gave rise to the tea party, its eccentric to America, to hone its instruments of oppression every time part of it fell it simply reemerged in a more elegant form. Battling races of in this country is like cutting heads off the height Can you talk about putting this idea to political and social and religious leaders? Talk about the sort of responses you got
in general. It is hesitation and that's why I like to talk directly to the people read in his book. The establishment, even black establishment, is the establishment. Their power is vested in the status quo, their distant in California, the depend on black people being in and for them to have black representative those representing the never ale. This great idea, black mayors of cities nor the MID West. We're never gonna say It is a good idea, so I already know going into this? I cannot count on the establishment, including the black establishment, to agree with me, and that includes Barack Obama Correct. I you did not put it to break Obama. getting to brag about this very difficult. You do right about him quite a bit in the book. You call him feel good bye. leader who would allow white liberals to purchase absolution on the cheap. So my sense is that you don't feel that he would be interested in a correct, my gun,
tells me no, but I dont know if he would be less talk a little bit about the Obama presidency. One would think that the first black president, who was a Democrat, would have addressed racism in a way that would satisfy, or at least a dress, a lot of thee. problems that you ve identified in the book- let's say that's the assumption. How would you judge the actual accomplishment then towards that goal? so little Farragut making do on those big things, mass conservation are community policing on the health front. Hands down, Obamacare is hugely important for black
people, but it does it get fully utilise because the southern states, where most black people lived most of them, have republican governors refused to take the money to expand Medicaid. So he does things, but I wasn't expecting saw of America. Racism. If were eight years, do you feel he was too much of an accommodation? Is, though, I believe, some of that he may have felt was by necessity that why I connect the through line with a lot of the major black leaders over time. They felt like a hand on his choice, but in retrospect it doesn't help people as I pondered Obama's hope, speech that night in New York it occurred to me the heat was only the ladys ambassador of the political hope, Doc. Psychology, the inevitable blindness that it renders the
as many other comrades in that crusade, perhaps the most famous of whom being Booker T Washington. Eventually, both men were forced to confront the truth that all black idealist must reckon with white supremacy cannot be appeased. It can't be bargain with it can't be convinced it is America's embryonic fluid America was born in it and genetic the code it by it? No amount of hoping or waiting coalition building are Colombia. Can redress that reality hope, as a religious two may well be essential, but hope as a political tool is folly
Uc black leaders over and over again say to themselves. Maybe if I just do this, they'll stop terrorizing my community and they give it in one of the black power leaders of the sexes. He says you give an inch they'll, take a yard. You give a yard and burn a cross on it. Every time that's, how wise policy works, dare not giving image. It's only you given Ich you write about Maybe the boys and his embrace if what he called the talented tenth, which you argue is the weakest, essentially and now, a hundred some years after Dubois wrote that you re quote too many of the black elite get drafted into await adjacent privilege, suckled by personal prosperity and personal comfort. Blinded by the glamour of the house,
society they become the NEO House, negroes placated passive a resurrection. of an anti bellum relish, in which the best and brightest of black society, those who would otherwise be the generals in resist since a rebellion or lulled to sleep by luxuries. The more talented successful, you are the more tightly the money, establishment embrace issue. Cleaves you from a struggling plight of Europe. People and been nights you as an honorary member of affairs. It is easy to get lost in this seduced by it. Convinced of it, I'm curious, were you lost in that ever? Were you seduced by that? I was in it. If you are what Polypi doesn't Gaza. Mrs Klass in New York, you're part of this. A successful cocktail party.
As you know, a newspaper man and an artist, and it hasn't dinner and now becomes your social life and it is artificial. Did you enjoy in the beginning. You can enjoy it lovely why? What beautifully made good? It is a wonderful and you go home comfortable in passing. from the adrenaline in order it all and yet the masses of black people have not been hit by that one bit and you see your own success, this become to tell the truth. Fallacy if I just see that will be the shining like five about us by coattails will drag other people into prosperity is not true. The real then pass me is not because they don't have an avenue is because their being actively suppressed and some one has to actively start fighting that oppression and it needs to be our most talented. People are strongest fighters.
A best writers and artists have to get down in the treaties, release the martini glass get down in the mud and help fight Charles blow himself has released the martini glass, the least the New York version he still rates for the times, and he still keeps an apartment in Brooklyn last year he moved to Atlantic. So when did you start feeling that that might be a good idea, for you personally forget about the treatise that euro for you personally to move back to him so well, as I started to write,
It became clear to me that I believe you said I can't write this book and not move back this parliament both but also actively what I'm writing. I believe that this is a solution. I'm not trying to convince the fifty year olds to move is really not about. My demographic bid is more targeted at young people, who have always been the majority of any migration. Let's say that your book inspires hundreds of thousands of young black people, maybe mill, and to move to the cities and states. You suggest what does it look like they're in twenty years describe what seventy year old Charles Blow sees when he looks around socially politically economically, I see an accelerated attempt to disenfranchise the new vote
for coming, we seen it already after this election, but that the forces of change over take them. You get a democratic governor, possibly a black one, maybe Stacey Abrams, and also possibly a democratic State House which George hasn't had in forever, and you start to take on the big issues with this portion of like black people, you look at the state criminal code. There's a lot of work to do there that would make life safer, more fulfilled, more happy for black people and also just stop in human capital in cages we examine what our children are learning from, what textbooks those decisions are made on a state by basis make sure textbooks reflective of the truth. In the fullness of our history, we expand Obama, Q,
it is a raging HIV infection rates here in Georgia, largely around young black people, a lot of them, or a low income and low income, people with HIV disproportionate, get their medication for medicate all they had to take the money and Spare Medicare. You save those people's lives. You continues in the two senators from Georgia who represent black interests to the Senate and possibly more representative to the house, depending on where black people settle in the state likely. You also see some. Some wifi is just a history of black majorities. Why people leave it black density
would it prove beneficial only for political reasons. Black people also need to reunite to combine purchasing power, brain power and cultural power. Our dispersal has exposed us to exploitation, for which density could prove curative. Black people have one point: two trillion dollars in purchasing power, and black talent produces untold billions for other people, how powerful wit the black community be if that money and talent remained and revolved internally between
people and black business. You wound up going to college at grumbling, stay at a variety of other offers, but you chose to go there. I'm curious. If you look at each BC used today. Would you like to see as purtier proposal? Let's say the top black Highschool athletes all go to play for each BC? Use instead of the eighty c in the big ten, the pack, twelve, that make so much money for black athletic talent. Absolutely all of that money that that tell it generates does not get circulated back into black communities. If you truly believe in,
aggression turned the glove inside out. If the back he's got about school, why by kid who one played out spotted with the highest calibre, please go there to you. I look at my kid who did not go down with you. It was their choice, but I think I should have been saying to them more vociferously that they should go to them. Why do you think he didn't buying into the same white credentials being that the recipe robots into. If you can go to I've got to an ivy. Do your kids regretted it all now They don't know any they re, so they'll know what it would have been like to go to, and I speak to you here all this is maybe mid too late. Twenties, yes, he's twenty six right! Now
You went to Yale and is now studying medicine at Cornell. Is our ain't that right river? Those are credentials are yes, but accuracy in my son, him cover any racial, better scores, his sometimes unease with himself in spaces, because he's always been one of the two or three or four or five in the space in the class. Whatever, and so you just never felt what I felt, which was every room I walked into. A black presupposes Myspace and ever so the idea that act, it is my was in any room I wanted to do was always in my head. It doesn't mean it was eager to school basis that I don't walk in with the handicap Oh no, I did I'm going to be a minority in this room. A nearby three look, I'm in thinking. Why did I get here? Was a sum affirmative action about that? Ok, but life is full of trade.
Straight and he's going to become a doktor with credentials. That will let him do a lot of different things that he might not have been able to do otherwise to help other people that he might not have been able to help possibly, but are the medical students graduated from Howard Not gonna. Be able to do that. I dont know the answer that question, but sometimes credentials exist because their worth sometimes not, but you kid divorce, the history from the present the legacy emissions of places like the eye, these led to a particular kind of alumni that largely excluded people who looked like me. The testing criteria, which benefits people who make millions of dollars. I can keep their kids in. Our tutors and go to Costa Rica and build
during the summer is not gonna. Event is people who can afford those tutors can't afford violin classes way years. I'm just asking whether the EU can disentangle the white supremacy of the institutions from the benefits of the environment. How beneficial is it to have your sense of self diminished? That becomes a trader? I went to grandly They did not have Nobel laureates on the faculty. They did not have the high tech Vassili, he's with all the latest equipment, they did have people who absolutely taught me that was valuable and smart and that there was nothing I could do you told your kids that you kind of which they had gone to strictly blackout. Is you know how it is? I write things in a red light, but about a written it like that.
Actually the other. What did I felt, Ask you that I should ever what further? Would you like to talk about that we haven't what I like to make this point, which is, I am not suggesting that people would be moving back into a utopia, because, if white majorities creed, it, ratio utopias anyway, person in America would be prospering, ye will still move back into basic human problems. You will still have poverty. User of crime, you'll still have income inequality, that's just the human condition, but it is undeniable to me that it is better not to live under white supremacy than it is to live under it, because in the aggregate, the people who don't live on it do better than those who do, and I am saying if racism is almost universal.
this country. It is better to consolidate your power that you have enough power to actually fight it, then not in here is one last passage of Charles blow. Reading from the devil, you know, we need a block of states, a region in which we and our children, or equally condition to success, support and safety. We need space in which black Donation is equally encouraged, where we recognise that black children dream to that. Their gaze upon the same stars is all others that adventure and invention or universally human trades.
the demand to be nurtured in all the black story must be much more than slavery, oppression and poverty. It must be so much bigger than the part of our literature. White America chooses to reward stories wrapped around array. Seven stories of struggling for south acceptance and societal acceptance in a white whirl riven with that racism we need space to reverse. the absorption of white anxiety into our flesh, their fear of us contempt of us disdain for us I say to black Americans in destination cities if you're, happy and prospering in those city
by all means stay if you feel physically say economically secure, culturally celebrated and spiritually edified. You have found your home, but if that is not your lived experience, if you have tired of fighting same battle that your parents fought. There is another option that is not only viable but desirable, as Frederick Douglass once wrote about escaping slavery. I prayed for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. Black people must pray with their legs that was Charles blow, his book is called the devil. You know. A black power manifesto is first
which I mentioned earlier, is a memoir called fire shut up in my bones, and it has just been adapted into an opera with music by turns Blanche. And the bread, oh by Casey Lemons, it opens at the metropolitan opera in New York, the September it will be the first opera by a black composer ever to be performed at the met. Here is a taste courtesy The production from two thousand nineteen dress rehearsal at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis,
and that is our show for this week. Your feedback is always welcome. We're radio at for economics, dot com we'll be back next week until then take care of yourself, and if you can someone else too, for economics. Radio is produced by stature in rainbow radio. This episode was produced by Brent cats. Our staff also includes Allison, Craig Low Mark Mccluskey Gregg Ribbon Zactly Kinsky married Duke met Hickey an immaterial. We had helped this.
We come jasmine, cleaner. Our theme song is MR fortune by the hitchhikers. The other music was composed by Luis Gara. If you'd like to read a transcript or show notes, go to free economic dot com, as always thanks for listening racism is everywhere and if that's the case, wouldn't you rather has real political power to address that racism and the Economics radio network, teacher.
Transcript generated on 2021-03-09.