The Glenn Show: What Made Omar?
In this week’s episode, John and I return to a familiar character: Omar. For those of you unfamiliar with “Omar,” he’s our invented surrogate for the kind of young black man whose behavior is wreaking havoc on Chicago and St. Louis. Omar is economically disadvantaged. He was more than likely raised by a single mother. He underperforms academically, and he may have dropped out of high school. He’s involved in illegal activity of one sort or another. If there is some kind of large-scale disorderly event, you’ll likely find Omar there.
After a discussion of Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News, John and I spend most of the episode talking about Omar: what made him who he is, why he acts the way he does, and what, if anything, can make him change. John has little sympathy for structural explanations for Omar’s behavior. According to John, culture makes Omar who he is, not the history of American racism, not implicit bias, and not even a supposed lack of legitimate jobs. I play devil’s advocate, raising some objections you might hear from sociologists or historians, but in truth, I find John’s reasoning pretty persuasive. To couch it in my own framework, the bias narrative just doesn’t cut it.
And to those of you wondering if I have anything more to say about YouTube’s removal of my conversation with John and Mark Goldblatt: I sure do. I’ve recorded an episode with my creative director Nikita Petrov in which we discuss censorship, YouTube, and why we’re sticking with Substack. Stay tuned.
Follow Glenn Loury at The Glenn's Show on Spotify
Subscribe for more at glennloury.substack.com