In this episode of the Making Sense podcast Sam Harris speaks with Thomas Chatterton Williams about the reality and politics of race. They discuss his book “Self Portrait in Black and White,” race as a social and biological construct, the prospects of achieving a “post-racial” society, interracial marriage, and other topics.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the making sense by against SAM Harris, ok
housekeeping today, jumping run into it too, damn speaking with Thomas Chatterton Williams, Thomas's, the author of two memory,
how's. The first is losing my cool and the second. The book under discussion is so
portrait in black and white on learning, race and
This is a wonderful rider he has written for the near
Times magazine, Harpers, the London Review of books and other journals
And here we talk about the
reality, and politics of race and
cover many aspects of that question. From his
the point of view as someone who is both the problem
given interracial marriage and in one himself anyway has taken. The topic is fascinating and quite refreshing.
And I bring you Thomas Chatterton Whims,
here with Thomas Chatterton Williams. Thomas thanks, rejoined me thanks for having made
say that my french mother in law is going to be extremely impressed, she's a huge fan of your meditation practice, but
doesn't even know that you do this other work, nice. Well, that's! That's! Probably, as it should be. That's great
so I feel, like I know her a bit from your book
written a dot
Will memoir self Portrait in black and white
on learning, race and people just will use. That is that, as the focus of our discussion before we would
I, then, how do you summarize your career, thus
as a writer and your interests, what are you tended to focus on sir? I study
philosophy and undergrad, and then I got a masters degree in cultural reporting and criticism
in the journalism department of anyway, you and I came out of grad school with a kind of coming of age memoir. I was working on cod losing my cool and my
that that would just be the only member I'd ever right- and you know I started writing magazine journalism in essays and criticism, literary criticism.
But here I am with the second member and I've kind of maybe I've put myself in the track to become a serial memoirs without having meant to, but I kind of I always write about.
Raise in class and culture and identity through the prism of personal expense? I try to use my own personal experience to get at something something,
larger year? Will you have a happy
a very I guess it's it's fairly unique personal experience which allows you to dissect the strands of was perhaps we perceived to be the most prevailing social problem of our time, and it has been that way for a long time, perhaps him speaking somewhat provincially an american but the problem of race and everyone's reaction to it.
And it seems that the legacy of it? How do you Thomas thirty, eight right? So you, your thirty eight and you written your second memoir, which is which to my father's cigarette India, which is the largest but appropriate, because it's it's a great book in and has a lot to offer it by way of informing our discussion, as our listeners are about to discover
So perhaps summarize how you view your own Rachel
identity about how you viewed. It is obvious in evolving self concept,
which is a lot in the book. But how have you come to this question and perhaps summarize the dynamics
of your marriage and fatherhood, because over there some surprises me. I guess I'll. Take it up for you by saying that you at one point published an a bed arguing essentially further the durability of of race. In your case, any the unequivocal
the fact that your children will be black no matter what else might be true about them. The how's, your thinking along those lines,
has been revised. Yeah, that's what I mean. I grew up
born in nineteen eighty one. I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey and Eightys and Ninetys. My father is a black men from the segregated south from Texas. He was born in nineteen, thirty, seven, so he's really old enough to be my grandfather
and he's a sociologist by training. And my mother is a white blood. Had blue eyed daughter of Evangelical Christians from Southern California. So I grew up in a mixed race household in New Jersey, but very much with a black identity and with yet understanding from both of my parents that we were black household.
There is really no such thing has been partially white that you're you're, either white or you're, not because whitenesses a kind of constructed identity, but its very real in the world. We have to learn to move through, so people went perceive. Mrs as white and we'd native, you know understand ourselves as as blackened this rationalized world, and you know
face it not just accept it, but a brace it, and it wasn't even until the year two thousand, when I got to college that you could even check more than one box on the census. So I didn't really. Think of
self is mixed. I didn't know a lot of people, I didn't mean
anybody who define themselves as by racial until I got to college, even I'm new black people of all variety of skin tones and hair textures for no one. No one who had to find themselves is something other than black, and is that true
Regardless of someone's appearance in it, if someone no matter how fair skin somewhere,
is, in the end, an amateur how much they quote pass or can pass for white that you in your experienced people, don't take
the other side of that identity and say that their white or they say that their by racial or mixed dress, most there's a cup
things that had been my experience, but also
were changing already in the culture, so I came up. I sometimes think that
probably the last generation, for which the logic of the one drop rule of hyper dissent, that a single drop of black clad necessitates that you are only black, though that really kind of is compelling on. Is it really makes sense out of something other than like a kind of solidarity level,
then we can find a scientific lovers. They may there. I didn't really question that on a biological level for most of my life, I dont think that that's where the culture is exactly anymore
think. There were a lot more familiarised with mixed to this.
Then we were when I was a kid. Certainly.
But I never met. I never met so called black people, like my children, so I dont know if in the culture that I grew up in tat, your question I dont know if my daughter and son would be perceived. Her would have a plausible route to self identifies black
appearing as they do ran swiftly. If, for instance, you hadn't our kind of giving away that
Punch line here in terms of your own experience of fatherhood, but
you had looked like your children. Do you think you're
father would have been as adamant in in defining your identity is black. My father's,
interesting guy, so he I have wonderful recollection.
I'm used to live by wonderful memories of me, known him things with a straight face to me that my mother's, not why she's light skin because he's got black consciousness INA, so my father could kind of probably he probably could rap his mind around my kids being black because one of the first things he said to me when he came to Paris when my daughter Marlowe is born six years ago, he held her
well, you know she doesn't really look so so black. Does he and he said she's, just a pallet mean. Oh, you know I went to school in the secret segregated side of town with you know, with more than one person who was colored similarly, so this is nothing new in the black committed. He said. I think he actually could he could deal with it. He could accept it. He could integrate that into his understanding of blackness, but I dont think that as soon as anyone step that side of the house it that would be how the world would accept us her perceive us. I think that there would be an enormous amount of push back where you to look like these children and to walk out into the world kind of proclaiming the innocence of yourself that I advocated
in the New York Times a year before my daughter was born in the offered you referring to rock I so so fast forward to your own marriage and progeny. Yes, oh I lived thirty years of kind of unexamined life interracial perspective accepted that great harm was done through the imposition of racial identity ended
construction of blackness and witness, but that you know it was how the world was, and you know- and it was really nothing to push backing as an infected-
there is a kind of moral duty I felt for mixed race backs to adhere to a kind of racial essential, because I felt that people who could break away if they broke away from a historically oppressed group. It would weaken the group. So there was a kind of moral reasoning that I try to lay out
in this up at, but in retrospect I realise that that up and was really written to convince an audience of one in that that audience was myself, because
I was already married to a woman who is coloured very much
where my mom is- and I was I think, on some level understanding that I would very likely have children who would not readers black to anyone but bite me.
So but you I even convinced my wife, this is not really a very european way of seeing things Europeans who grip and societies that never had
slavery within their national borders don't have this idea of the one drop rule at all. You know, Alexandre Dumas was a much. You know these friends using these words on scientifically, but he was a black or looking guy than my chill
but you know that was his identity wasn't defined that way, the way that it would be in America. You know W B the boys were certainly someone who is heavily descended from Europe. You know we have.
History of very, very european looking people, this define themselves as blacks. It we don't have here in Europe, but
prevailed upon my wife, the kind of except this this way of seeing things, and so for the next nine months after she got pregnant. We just accepted that we were going to have black children and be a black family kind of reproducing the
identity that I grew up with in my household, but when my daughter was when
sending the delivery room and the doktor started calling out. I can see the head. She said she described it as a tete doorway witches
is sluggish. It was no light, but I really do think that there is a golden head, Pritchard
and when my daughter, you know, opened her eyes and was out in our arms, I realized it. Whatever I thought I knew about re see was she was shaking it to the core she kind of thrust, and when I called the fiction erase intimate,
consciousness for the first time per physical presence in my life made me question these categories
that my own kind of contradictory childhood, I bring never forced. You know me to think through the same way year, while the
variable of nationality is incredibly important. Here is the difference between how this all looks?
in America as an American and how it looks in Europe. Given the different histories, it's huge and says it's almost like when you're insisting to your wife that you're unborne kids will be black and the
revealed inaccuracy, if not absurdity, of that when they come out. Look in Swedish
really is lacking.
African Americans are used as synonyms
in America right as it's ridiculous, to use african American outside of America, but it's almost like you and you are insisting in our kids. You can be
african American right, because you're insisting on the the
Eric in view of the durability of race, does right, which doesn't have the same logic in Europe, and there is also this level of confusion that exists in America, which is I what I was doing actually without realising
was. I was conflicting, something biological with something ethnic with something cultural with something based on a you know, a tradition and loyalty to to a historic
oppression. All of these things were combined, in my mind, with a very abstract color category that actually doesn't apply to most so called African Americans actual skin tone yeah. So, but the skin tone issue it is, is the variable here because hedgerow your daughter come out looking black, you would never have discovered the conversation that that you're having on the other side of this experience right, you just was hung out with my kids. Are black dress like I thought they were
I wonder, even if she didn't have blue eyes and really blonde hair. If I would have been, you know what I wonder it doesn't make me question, though the fundamental discovery that or the truth as I see it now, but it makes me wonder if I would have just. I hope that you don't have to actually see racial categories fall apart in your own, intimate life for these kind of insights to really feel compelling. I would. I would like to think that I could have arrived at the conclusion, but I'm just not sure that I was,
the person that would get there without being prompted this way. But my own experience of the the power of Amerika and american histories, maize is permissible.
Come to in many contexts, but at the place where I first discovered inward still most vivid to me as when I want em.
With my friend I on her sally, do you know I am I've never met her.
Press ion is somali for. For those who don't know her, and you know she looks somali so she's, you know to look at her. She is more or less as black as anyone but she's Somali she's, not african American she's gonna. She lived in Europe she's incredibly cosmopolitan.
Speaks half a dozen languages and she's never had the african american experience. She lives in America now
so maybe she's, belatedly getting a taste of it, but the reality is that she doesn't think of herself
black the way most African Americans think of themselves as black and
She managed to communicate that lack of aid
Kennedy. Just you know it's coming out of report.
Erase it when your ear, when you're with her there's something that's not happening for her, that is communicated rise like she just does not see the world in those terms
and the conversation doesn't have to be about raise. It may never touch race, but I realized to my surprise that it basically never occurs to me that she's black, apart from the fact that is useful, to talk about
her experience in conversations like this rise like I may. I know that a racist would view her is black Rina white supremacist would view hers black
and and many anti racist would view hers back to their say that you ve Shiva whether she likes it or not. Whether she has different experiences are not in America, she is confronted with white supremacy in the same way that other black bodies are that's, that's kind of what can unite racist and anti racist. Actually is this kind of year
And so as to exactly monotonous and as something that I've complained about a lot on this park ass, an I'm sure complain about it here is that the only people who is
fixated on the on the significance of race and it's and it's permanent as white supremacist are are they are the end of the irretrievably woke on the left to insist that this is a concept we're never going to get
beyond right, but in the presence of someone like I on, you feel yourself to be beyond. You feel yourself to be living in a post racial world because of how she's living and industry is just it so clear that is clear to me and it seems to be clear to you from what I've read that the goal has to be to get to a post, racial society
yeah as long as you racism really creates race. Racism is a way of seeing it, sir, it's a perceptive air as the philosopher Adrian Piper points out and really fond of quoting her and that because the impotent
of this perceptive error doesn't allow me to interact with your engage with you as an individual. It there's all kinds of history and stereotypes and myth that kind of come between menu. So as long as we code, people enter interracial categories, that's gonna necessarily imply all types of value, judgments and hierarchical implications side. We have to find a way to get beyond this. I'm not so naive as to think that you know my book is going to
just by my book in and suddenly we solve the problem of rising, we get to a post racial world. I don't even know that. I am. I think that word that
has been irredeemably corrupted post racial now. People can't say that in an an ironic way on the laughed image is it
It's just you obviously ridiculous on the left and spear spat out so many times that you actually can reclaim the as it is a useful phrase.
Probably not, but you know I want to stay with the idea of someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali a little bit, because this is actually something that I think make
a lot of sense. Are you? Are you familiar with like a dose american descendants of slavery, this this kind of hashtag movement? That's
because my arise on Twitter no was the kind of grass roots movement, descendants of american slaves who advocate for understanding american defenders of slavery is as a distinct ethnic group and that monolithic blackness actually doesn't makes
because a woman like I on her shall ear nigerian immigrants are come into America. To conceive of them is having the same experience in facing the same hurdles is demonstrably false and also these groups, don't
nigerian immigrants, for example, are that's one of the most successful ethnic groups in America, but when in August talked about as blacknesses, though its interchangeable, I think about it. The disadvantage of race in american society is specific, is not to say that it doesn't exist anywhere else and that their variants of this and in completely different cultures, but its specific to the american experience
and slavery as the founding sin, witches were still paying for in a wide variety of ways, politically and and economically so yea and the Sunday you do do touching your book that that the
problem of race and andean social disparities. Theirs is, is mingled with the problem of class Andy teasing. Those apart is difficult, absently, a minute. That's why? How can the programme at Harvard or someplace is supposed to you know? How can an affirmative action slot fur someone who's underground slavery in America? How can that power? Can a nigerian immigrant be swept into that because you don't there's nothing genetic about whatever? That programme is supposed to repair the something that
and a specific group of people in a specific places at a specific time. So for me that one of the main problems of moving through the world with racial language and categorizing people into abstract, color categories that it it just gates all of these complex things that make us who we are and that impact
lives, yeah, yeah, yeah, you, you make one move in the book and it is not clear how far
Will you make it to me? So I won't talk about this, but you you, you seek to undermine the car
Rather completely as a fiction- and they went one point- you just call it affection and any say that it's a social construct, it's not a biological one end.
You know that's in some ways, that's true in some ways. It's not true, though, in annex I feel like you're you're, making a potentially
dangerous move in disavowing any rights,
element biology here, because
it's not an accident that you can know some
then about a person's ancestry based on just looking at them.
American. I can look at someone whose ancestors spent the last thousand years in China and say that person looks chinese to me and I'd never be tempted to say that he looks like a came from Norway, and so that's obvious esters, the service level than theirs. You talk about the susceptibility to various diseases and any other trade that would have a genetic explanation in whole or in part
In part, so there is a biological story here around raise is just it doesn't,
a line with the social contract in every case and in certain cases it completely breaks a part of that,
for instance, the place where there is the most genetic diversity
at this moment on earth is on the key,
and of Africa rights of you. If you're gonna take the the white racism
you of Africa, will just everybody's black, obviously, but that doesn't track
actual historical isolation of various populations and the genetic diversity that's there and it, but the reality is that genetic diversity does produce consequences, that people can find interesting, whether its in susceptibility to disease or various traits, and I think
The place we need to get to in transcending raise is not to deny that these biological facts exist and may
surprise us is to deny that they have any political significance for us and we just don't. We shouldn't care about any of these things rather than commit, are
I was in advance to remaining unaware of them or denying that exist. What does a few things that I would say that the first is that first of all, I would like, with things like diseases like single cell is often brought up, is like a black disease, but in fact it seems it. That's a disease that group centre that populations that are exposed to malaria developing you can find many Greeks who develop sickles our trade and the idea that it is inherent in the black disease doesn't really hold up to scrutiny.
But I do in the book quote: David Reich the Harvard Tenaya Artist, whose Abed on really impact of my thinking is up in your terms a few years ago, where he, basically just cautioned less alter how
a lot of humility, because the only thing that's probably guaranteed, with the increasing knowledge that we're getting in the field of genetics is his. Is that we're going to find out a lot of things that surprise us and a lot of what we think we know now as a fact can be overturned.
So. I take that seriously. But what we talk about when we talk about population groups is not exactly the same thing as we talk about when we talk about black and white yeah,
I dont understand and I've never seen somebody or heard somebody encountered. Somebody explore
To me where a white person stops and a black person start- and I think that these things get very tangled up in a place like America, because the average african american Average Black American, in our view, to find that group has something like twenty to twenty five percent of Western Europe.
Can usually Anglo Saxon Genetic make up and there are millions and millions of White Americans walk
around who have no idea, and until recently
wouldn't be able to know that they have sometimes significant african West African DNA and then because that's the whole history of rape and passing and lots of different things have happened in this society in another time. You know people colored, like my children, they might choose to hide the fact that they have the black grandfather and just move into my side of that happened many times
we are a mongrel nation were Mongrel Society Whitley we unresolved dear said. That really means item is that you know that
even of America was to create a multicultural society, was to create the multicultural individual. I take that seriously. I I struggled to understand how we can ever
find a definition of racial groups in divisions that is coherent enough to make sense.
Because I was really thinking about all these things. In the conversation that you had with Charles Mary and I
that is really important to when we think about these things. Does this population group have, on average a differ
I q than this population group on average. First of all, what are the bounds of the population group and, second of all, I understand your point, which is: how does that effect
the individual. We live. Our lives as individuals- I did, I don't understand what it means to be dumped into or not dont about lumped into
some enormous group, like monolithic whiteness, what links the white, Anglo Saxon Protestant with a Sicilian,
a spaniard or for that matter with somebody who comes from the Caucasus Mountain regions, what what does it mean to say that these are all whites near it defies I dont interest,
and what how do we define these groups? How do we then compare these groups and also, how do we take these measures like intelligence and
You ve never even lived in a world where we really have seen what parity looks like so that these things kind of to your point. What's the purpose? Yes, but also, even if there were a purpose, show me first how we can measure these things,
right? Well, so there's a lot in that I agree with it. I think the the definitions of these things are the concepts like race, where's, the bright line between a white person and a black person in a
they may not be one raymie were my view. Rucker has over fifty percent european ancestry. Right. Ok document
and then and then there's a series of events in the case of someone like yourselves for someone like Booker or sixty percent, so called western northern European ancestry right
and her or Barack Obama. There seems to be a is an interesting social choice to decide to call yourself black or decide to call yourself white or were mixed race, and it seems to me to be a deeply uninteresting and and probably politically toxic project to try to give a genetic answer to the question of of self identity in those cases, but
it's also very arbitrary, where we decide where the group start and stop, I mean chatter man, ten thousand years ago, in living
What now the United Kingdom had blue eyes and and and black skin I mean these groups are fungible. People are fungible. We will continue to change and mix sought. The idea that we can just like take a freeze frame of how people look today in groups it we ve been calling white black Asian, which is a very vague term. You know that the people
always like this, I mean we ve only been saying. People have been like this for four five hundred years I mean I have actually I've even a restaurant I've drunk at taverns in Europe. There
continuously operating, I slept in hotel
environment that much older than the concept of the race in the way that we think of it today, you
yeah! No! I totally agree but
One thing to acknowledge all of those facts
it's another to doubt whether
there are differences between groups. However, we define them and that those dick
is, can be in the wrong hands can be made to seem to matter and ensure that, as the only response to that that I hear many people,
advocating for is to deny that such different that is coherent to allege that such differences exist or that they could conceive.
Doubly matter and I just think that's it. That's a fear, based council of of ignorance of certain facts measures to take it to take it at your name, politically uncharged
case. Before this conversation, I would own reading your book. I you know your encountering. That is the issue of each year. What you're ancestral background is- and you talk about you and having looked at the various website
twenty three and ancestry commoner com- and I realized I had a account at twenty three and manhood
literally like an hour ago, I checked my ancestry and MS, a few things to observe about this. The first time I'm fifty
One percent cent obstinacy and thirty two percent.
Dish Irish Annex six percent, french and then there was some other nine percent yonder northern Europeans so's. I knew the gist of this, but
but one thing is interesting- is that I've had these data for what
the decade- and I think I subscribe to twenty three made at the moment- it was born right, so was that could be fifteen years. I don't remember. I find these facts about myself.
So utterly uninteresting that I have never, you know, I'm sure I check ten years ago,
I knew a man who I was so you don't have Ashkenazi and- and you know the rest, you know european and some sense, but these are facts about
that have no relevance at all, and I do not have an aunt who is obsessed with ancestry and she's, constantly trying to get me to take an interest in this, and I just have never had. Even if I could meet these people in person, I wouldn't be interested right. So it's like on some level of this is all an expression of my quote. White privilege, right, like I haven't, had to take an a
first any of this- and this is like I'm just imagining a critic- criticism that someone could allege. This is not how I see myself there's nothing about my pedigree, that is part of my identity, and so from this point of view of just a being totally
interested in my race. I see certain potential facts, as both true
who undoubtedly true and they are to be found and
totally on threatening so, for instance, paranoia about thirty two percent. British.
Irish dna. I am sure that if you tested every person on earth you do that they had the total
Population of people who have more than thirty percent british- and I
irish dna you could find
as an invidious comparisons to make between them and people with a different GINO type right. So if we find
lay in a fine, the gene for being a jerk. You know we're going to have more of it than the swedes say, or the Nigerians or of a bit that there's going to be a difference that can be spun as as ugly and it has absent
firstly, no relevance to me as an individual, and
need have no relevance to our politics and yet, but it would seem frankly crazy for me to say
there is no they're they're, biologically there's no possible line of inquiry that could turn up something that is true there, because
we were all homo sapiens and there's just. There are no important differences among us that something that I'm not afraid of. If you were to find that
the the smoking gun tomorrow. That proves that on east agents are
we smarter than than Anglo Saxons in that. You know that the comparison works against other groups favour when compared to english seconds. I would I would, if you, if you show me how that's provable Ali,
that, and I also understand that, has nothing to do with how I'm
through the world I'm an individual and
sharing genetic ancestry with Lebron James has done nothing.
My basket, but unfortunately I wish it do. You know I've never understood
I've never really understood, having enormous pride with with your ethnic, her or so called racial group Riven with you?
you know your nation in certain ways and I've never understood having shame for these four. These histories, undone and deeds there have been done to end by people you're supposedly related. To a mean human life is unequal. There is enormous inequality within a four percent household ridden isn't hard for me to believe at all that there is
enormous inequality writ large. The idea that everybody is exactly the same would frankly be unappealing to me, there's the genetic,
phone into this inequality, but there's also Jesse
political, essential component of this inequality in the fact that, in our view,
have ay a best friend,
who got into a car accident? You know in childhood, and and has some deficit as a result
you are now among the privileged of people who were spared car accidents at crucial moments right and sure enough. There
fine grained equality of circumstance ever right anyway. So what we ve seized upon certain course variables as the crucial ones and the goal has got to be to correct for
disparities in luck, meaning a privilege by another name as much as we can
economically and educationally and innovators that as a matter of opportunity- and so in the end that point,
Is the only the only assertion of equality that I think we
need to conserve all of our our ethics. Here I tend to agree with you, but I do think that there's something particularly insidious with insisting men are missing that you do, but in the discourse has it proceed from both the racist, anti antiracist kind of
advocate there's something that is theirs harmed done society when we insist that these color categories,
real meaningful in that you can fit people into these boxes. I think that the term for me, is what granary called transcendent humanism I mean life is lived on the individual level. We have to have values and ways of belonging to each other that unite us, not blood and skin, in these kinds of ideas that have caused such
Human suffering over the past half millennium. You know, I really think that dumb, you can't redeem the language. I think we need a new language. You can't these these terms and black white. Not only are they so vague and they feel to capture life has slipped on the individual level, but they actually do. We dont describe our reality. Our language produces a reality to so these terms produced the racism that inherent in them. That comes from this kind of collision of Africa in Europe through the slave trade, and I think that you know, I think, that it's really
Where does that the language be much more precise than the ways we speak about race allow four year, why? I a hundred percent agree with you there, so my conception of ay, a post racial future is one in which
this notion of being black or white, is so interesting
that you would. It would never occur to you too, to mention this about another person or yourself, Khazars, dispersing no circumstance in which its relevant
I think that has to be the goal. That has to be the end point that we want to get too, and I've been pretty surprised and dismayed that that is not an end point that is shared with many increasingly prominent voices on the left. So I made that same point last fall at barred during your conference were deeper. Max candy was speaking. You note he made it. I forget exactly what he said, but he he alluded to this idea of a kind of post racial future where you know you're how you look tells me as little as possible about who you are. He said that that was the actually the white supremacist, the racist fantasy, that race go away and that all in inequalities become camouflaged and baked into the system, and I said you know respectfully
I think that's not at all the white supremacist fantasy, the weight, the real racist fantasies, every body is in a separate box and and kept far away from each other. You know in my reporting, with the french, far right with these thinkers that had influenced Richard Spencer in some of these. Alright guys calendar been long. People like this. I run along peace on this kind of thinking in France for the New Yorker couple years ago. These guys tell you straight up. They certainly don't wanna prostration future. They they want energized senses of of racial identity. They want people to be hyper aware of their whiteness and they want those
people to be segregated, kept away from mixing there's a depressing element when you realise that you're you're fighting a kind of on two sides, you're fighting you're fighting on on the left and the right to kind of carve out a space to just have an individual existence, ass, not defined by
there is less centralism yeah you mentioned candy. Also you write about tannhauser coats in the book end.
And this is something that I have struggled with, because on one levels is very tempting to try to have a conversation with codes. He's he's held up as a as a secular saint on the left and his his wisdom and prescriptive noose around race, as an issue is just assumed to be,
more or less perfect from the crowd who reads the kinds of journalism I read in the Atlantic, readers and the people who would go to the aspen ideas festival or to TED the man
can do no wrong and you
to my eye. He is a kind of pornographer of raised right. He's he's a good writer, but somebody
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the centre, is
Transcript generated on 2020-01-27.