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« Orchestras in Crisis | Main | Been there, Done That Redux »

October 09, 2002

Free Reads -- John McWhorter

Friedrich --

Have you run across the writing of John McWhorter? A Berkeley prof of linguistics who writes commentary about black/white American racial issues, and one of the freshest voices on the topic Iíve encountered recently. He dares, for instance, to suggest that while racism hasnít entirely vanished, itís no longer the main factor holding blacks back. The civil-rights establishment isn't pleased -- what fun!

McWhorter has written (for the New York Post) the best sum-up of the Amiri Baraka-9/11-NJ-poet-laureate debacle that Iíve come across, readable here.

Sample passage:

Stringing together visceral ejaculations does not make one a serious poet, regardless of race. This is clear to everyone when the writer is white. But a sentiment reigns, especially in academic and artistic circles, that the rules of the game are different when it comes to black people.

He's best-known for his book "Losing the Race: Black Self-Sabotage in America." But there's lots of McWhorter to be enjoyed online. The Manhattan Institute's website provides a list of links here.

I've stumbled across a side of McWhorter that I haven't seen mentioned any place else, which is that (unless someone's perpetrating a hoax) he's an avid customer-reviewer on Amazon, with a marked interest in musical comedy. You can check out his likes and dislikes here.


posted by Michael at October 9, 2002


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