June 19th, 2023 Podcast by The Glenn Show

The Glenn Show: John McWhorter & Jonathan Rieder – Canceling "Culture in America"

This week, John McWhorter and I are joined by Jonathan Rieder, professor of sociology at Barnard and Columbia. Jonathan recently found himself in some trouble when a small group of his students complained to his school’s administration after he quoted a passage from the film 8 Mile that employed the n-word. Jonathan’s course, “Culture in America,” was subsequently canceled. (You can read about the incident in more detail here.) Jonathan thinks the incident is a symptom of a broader abandonment of the norms that guide liberal arts education, and we discuss what happens when a handful of “CRT zealots” derail the process of free inquiry and Socratic pedagogy the university depends on.

After Jonathan departs, John McWhorter and I go on to discuss the Supreme Court’s impending decision on affirmative action. Everyone can see that racial preferences in college admissions are not long for this world, so what comes next? John gives us some indication, pointing to an Atlantic article by Richard Rothstein that calls for continued racial preferences—even for middle-class black applicants—and civil disobedience on the part of university administrators. (John wrote about it in a special guest post on Sunday.) We close with a discussion of my friend Randall Kennedy, the brilliant Harvard Law School professor, who, despite his somewhat heterodox views on race, nevertheless insists on the necessity of racial preferences in affirmative action.

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