147 episodes

Weekly conversations on race, inequality, and more, with Glenn Loury. Bi-weekly appearances by John McWhorter.

glennloury.substack.com

The Glenn Show Glenn Loury

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 1.8K Ratings

Weekly conversations on race, inequality, and more, with Glenn Loury. Bi-weekly appearances by John McWhorter.

glennloury.substack.com

    Nikita Petrov – Who Is Responsible for the Russia-Ukraine War?

    Nikita Petrov – Who Is Responsible for the Russia-Ukraine War?

    As many of you know, Nikita Petrov, Creative Director of The Glenn Show and this newsletter, is Russian. He left his country after the invasion of Ukraine.

    Since then, the war and the role of Russian individuals in it have been weighing heavily on his mind, along with broader questions about responsibility and belonging. In this episode of The Glenn Show, Nikita and I discuss the problems of group affiliation and government action. When large-scale political and civil conflict fragments a society, how do we decide who “our people” are? And relatedly, how much responsibility do we bear for the actions of “our people” and our governments? This leads us to discuss racial and ethnic group belonging. I’m black, but how does that affect how I regard my relations with others of my race? One of “the people with three names” seems to think I’m not “authentically black” because I no longer live on the South Side of Chicago. But what does “authenticity” even mean in this case? From there we move into a broader historical register to consider the long and the unfinished work of emancipation, both that of African Americans and Russians (the serfs were freed in 1861). While, in my view, many blacks are still grappling with American democracy, Nikita notes that Russia experienced only a brief window of democracy between the Cold War and Putin’s rise. We conclude with a discussion of Russian and American wars, and the US’s role in amplifying executive power under Boris Yeltsin.

    Nikita is wrestling with some complicated questions, and I enjoyed talking them through with him. We’re both interested to hear your thoughts, so let us know in the comments.

    Want to keep the TGS talk going? We’ve had a Discord server for a while, but it was previously available only to paying Substack subscribers. Now we’re opening it up to everyone. So if you want to connect with other TGS fans to talk about the show or any topic related to it, click the button below to get in on the conversation.

    This post is free and available to the public. To receive early access to TGS episodes, an ad-free podcast feed, Q&As, and other exclusive content and benefits, click below.

    0:00 Nikita asks: Who are “my people”?

    14:09 How much responsibility do we bear for the actions of our governments?

    21:53 The problem of racial affiliation 

    26:39 The use and abuse of group identity

    35:00 Is Glenn “authentically black”?

    40:39 The incomplete project of emancipation 

    50:28 Why was Russia’s period of true democracy so brief? 

    56:36 Democracy and “the Russian soul” 

    1:03:55 Can we compare antiwar Americans and antiwar Russians? 

    1:14:38 Glenn: Why would the US risk nuclear war with Russia over Ukraine? 

    1:20:09 The US’s involvement in drafting Russia’s constitution  

    Links and Readings

    Nikita’s Substack, Psychopolitica

    Glenn’s essay in City Journal, “The Case for Black Patriotism”

    Glenn’s speech at the National Conservatism Conference

    The Woodson Center

    Glenn’s conversation with Sylvia Bennett-Stone and Robert Woodson

    Voices of Black Mothers United

    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit glennloury.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 30 min
    John McWhorter – Rejecting the Tokenism of "Diversity"

    John McWhorter – Rejecting the Tokenism of "Diversity"

    John McWhorter is back again for the latest installment in our ongoing, nearly decade-and-a-half-long conversation. Let’s get into it.

    John starts out telling us about his current whereabouts: a Dirty Dancing-style bungalow in the Catskills. We move on to a developing story out of Princeton, New Jersey, where a group of parents has written an open letter protesting the school district’s “dumbing down” of the math curriculum in the name of DEI. John and I are on the same page on this one: How much longer are we going to pretend that this is doing any good for the students? The way that the Princeton school district went about implementing these curriculum standards was, at best, deceptive. Don’t parents have the right to know how decisions that affect their kids are being made? Of course, DEI is a business, one that has created thousands of jobs for administrators and consultants who spend their days rooting out racism. And as John points out, if someone’s job depends on finding instances of racism, they’re going to “find racism,” whether it’s really there or not. This incentive structure makes John despair. He also suggests that my theory of social capital may provide the conceptual underpinnings for some present-day arguments in favor of affirmative action. But I point out that, while social capital may partially explain disparities in outcome, it doesn’t excuse disparities in outcome. After all, we can see that, some historically disadvantaged groups regularly over-perform when high academic performance is incentivized within their community. But incentives for middling academic performance tend to produce middling academic performance, and I fear that we’re incentivizing middling academic performance in our young black students. Is there a way out of this mess? Is John right to despair? I close on a note of hope from my Brown University and Heterodox Academy colleague John Tomasi.

    This post is free and available to the public. To receive early access to TGS episodes, an ad-free podcast feed, Q&As, and other exclusive content and benefits, click below.

    0:00 John reports on his rustic Catskills bungalow

    2:40 Parents protest Princeton public schools “dumbing down” their math curriculum 

    17:11 How much educational transparency is owed to parents? 

    25:07 How many DEI initiatives and administrators do we actually need? 

    33:50 John: I don’t think we can fix what’s broken in DEI

    40:49 Glenn’s theory of social capital may explain (but does not excuse) some disparities

    48:56 Cultures of achievement vs. disincentive effects of affirmative action

    58:19 What do we know about what kids know about the world? 

    1:04:46 Glenn offers some reason for hope from John Tomasi

    Links and Readings

    John’s NYT piece, “Sometimes ‘Proper’ Speech Isn’t Correct Speech”

    The open letter from Princeton, New Jersey parents

    Bard College at Simon’s Rock

    John’s book, Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America

    Jennifer Lee and Min Zhou’s book, The Asian American Achievement Paradox

    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit glennloury.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Jonathan Haidt – After Babel

    Jonathan Haidt – After Babel

    For this week’s episode, I’m joined by NYU psychologist Jonathan Haidt, author of several books, including (with Greg Lukianoff) The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Jonathan is also the co-founder of Heterodox Academy, where I serve on the advisory council. Despite that connection, this is our first extended public conversation.

    This is not, however, the first time I’ve engaged with Jon. After a talk some years ago, I asked Jon a question during the Q&A session, which I reintroduce here. Heterodox Academy’s mission is very important, but does focusing exclusively on viewpoint diversity prevent us from acknowledging that some viewpoints are more cogent than others? Jon’s recent Atlantic article “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid” generated a lot of discussion, and he elaborates on his theory of “structural stupidity” here. He claims that, at the national level, the Republican Party’s hostility to moderation has made it structurally stupid and unable to examine its own premises, while left-dominated “epistemic institutions,” like journalism and academia, are mired in their own kind of structural stupidity. I find the structural analysis compelling, but I think it elides the fact that some of the Republicans’ policy position are not, in themselves, stupid at all. Jon is concerned that increasing intolerance on the left, especially on college campuses, may be caused by generational changes in child development. Gen Z is the first generation to have had access to social media as children, and they also had far less unsupervised free play than previous generations. I ask Jon whether this shift can account for groupthink around COVID-induced school shutdowns and drastic changes in attitudes toward trans and racial issues in the US. While the academy no doubt leans left, there is much more viewpoint diversity in economics departments than other areas. Jon has some interesting ideas about why. And finally, I ask Jon whether religion could play a role in increasing viewpoint diversity.

    It was great to finally connect with Jon. I hope and suspect it won’t be the last time we sit down for one of these conversations.

    This post is free and available to the public. To receive early access to TGS episodes, an ad-free podcast feed, Q&As, and other exclusive content and benefits, click below.

    0:00 Glenn asks: Is Jon’s heterodoxy insufficiently pugilistic? 

    5:23 Jon’s theory of social media-driven “structural stupidity”

    16:18 Do the Republican Party’s structural flaws negate its policies?

    26:53 The rise of social media and the disappearance of free play for kids

    35:42 Race, trans issues, and the future of the country

    45:34 Why are economists uniquely heterodox thinkers in the academy?

    48:08 What fills the “God-shaped hole” in the hearts of putatively secular Americans?

    Links and Readings

    Heterodox Academy

    Jon’s Atlantic article, “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid” 

    Jon’s book, with Greg Lukianoff, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure

    Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann’s book, The Spiral of Silence: Public Opinion—Our Social Skin

    Brown University President Christina Paxson’s letter about racial justice

    Glenn’s rebuttal to Paxson in City Journal

    Jon’s childhood independence advocacy organization, Let Grow

    Jon’s social media research

    James A. Morone’s book, Hellfire Nation: The Politics of Sin in American History

    John Tierney and Roy F. Baumeister’s book, The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It

    John McWhorter’s book, Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America

    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with ot

    • 59 min
    John McWhorter – Race and Inequality across the Atlantic

    John McWhorter – Race and Inequality across the Atlantic

    John McWhorter is back once more for an episode of The Glenn Show, so let’s get into it.

    I begin by reporting on my current “European Tour.” Last week I spoke at the London School of Economics, and I’m currently headed from Toulouse, France to Marseille to deliver the keynote address at the International Conference on Public Economic Theory. It’s been quite an enlightening experience so far, as I’ve gotten a look at how young black European economists are thinking about inequities within and without their profession. John and I discuss a recent report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which offers a picture of racial disparities in the UK that differs greatly from that of the US. But as John notes, the impression that people abroad have of our problems is often distorted. One of our real problems is our tendency to filter all thinking about race and ethnicity through “blacks and whites.” The US is a much more diverse place that that, and John and I ask how long the concerns of African Americans will determine the national agenda for all “people of color.” Next, John asks a big question: What is the real cause of racial disparities in the commission of violent crime? We know that black perpetrators are responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crime, but we need to understand why. I gently chide John for missing the recent Old Parkland Conference, but he’s got a good excuse: He was busy recording a series of lectures about the history of the alphabet for the Great Courses! I am utterly fascinated by this project, and I convince John to give us a preview. And finally, I offer a critique of John’s recent column, which addresses school shootings.

    This one is buoyant and weighty in equal measure. As always, I want to hear your thoughts. Let me know in the comments!

    This post is free and available to the public. To receive early access to TGS episodes, an ad-free podcast feed, Q&As, and other exclusive content and benefits, click below.

    0:00 Race and economics in the UK

    14:26 How long will the concerns of native-born black Americans drive the race conversation?

    23:15 The shaky “people of color” coalition

    27:51 Trying to account for racial disparities in the commission of violent crime

    39:44 Reclaiming moral agency from white people

    42:37 The Old Parkland conference

    44:37 John’s forthcoming lectures on the alphabet

    51:47 Glenn’s critique of John’s school shooting column

    Links and Readings

    The “Sewell Report” from the UK’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

    Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld’s book, The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America

    Ezra Klein’s interview with Reihan Salam

    Glenn and John’s conversation with Randall Kennedy

    Ian Rowe’s book, Agency: The Four Point Plan (F.R.E.E.) for ALL Children to Overcome the Victimhood Narrative and Discover Their Pathway to Power

    John’s recent NYT column, “Gun Violence Is Like What Segregation Was. An Unaddressed Moral Stain.”

    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit glennloury.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Robert Woodson & Sylvia Bennett-Stone – Voices of Black Mothers United + Glenn's Bradley Prize Acceptance Speech

    Robert Woodson & Sylvia Bennett-Stone – Voices of Black Mothers United + Glenn's Bradley Prize Acceptance Speech

    Earlier this year, I announced that I would be donating 10% of the net income from this newsletter to the Woodson Center to support the vital work that they do. I also want to use the newsletter and TGS as a platform to promote the work of Woodson Center-affiliated organizations that are making change on the ground in communities around the country. My first guest in what I hope will be a long ongoing series is Sylvia Bennett-Stone, Director of Voices of Black Mothers United, who is joined by Robert Woodson himself. Sylvia and Bob were on hand at the recent Old Parkland Conference, where I had the honor of speaking, so we sat down for an in-person discussion. (You can also read the great essayist Gerald Early’s account of the conference). I had Sylvia on the show last year, but VBMU’s work supporting mothers who have lost children to violent crime is so powerful and so important that I thought it appropriate to have her back.

    Bob begins by introducing the mission of the Woodson Center, which provides support to “social entrepreneurs” who work within communities to help solve the toughest problems facing them today: crime, poverty, academic achievement, and many others. Sylvia then talks about a recent five-city tour that she undertook with VBMU to support victims of violence and to raise awareness for victims’ rights. Sylvia recounts how the loss of her daughter moved her to reach out to help other mothers who are suffering. Sylvia is clear that, in order to prevent more deaths, more police are needed in black communities, and good relations need to be maintained between law enforcement and the people they serve. As Bob points out, contrary to what many progressive activists claim, efforts to defund the police are unpopular in black communities with high crime rates. The subject of forgiveness comes up more than once in this conversation. Sylvia and Bob tell me about instances in which the mothers of slain children not only forgive the perpetrators but sometimes reach out to them in prison. This remarkable fact suggests to me that there is a strong Christian influence in VBMU, which Sylvia and Bob affirm, though Sylvia notes that they support whoever needs their help, regardless of religious affiliation. I wonder why, given the importance of Christianity in many black communities, we hear so little about it in the media. We end with a final word from Sylvia, who urges anyone struggling with the pain of losing a child to reach out to VBMU.

    Sylvia and Bob are doing vital, necessary work, and I am so proud that all of us here are able to support them. And if you want to make additional donations, please visit the websites for the Woodson Center and Voices of Black Mothers United.

    Unfortunately, we only had a little over a half hour for our conversation. So to round out this week’s episode, I’m including a speech I delivered when I accepted the Bradley Prize in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. It was a tremendous honor, and I want to share the moment with all of you here.

    Ten percent of net revenue from this newsletter goes to support the Woodson Center and programs like Voices of Black Mothers United. To help support these absolutely essential organizations, become a subscriber to this newsletter, or donate directly to the Woodson Center and Voice of Black Mothers United.

    0:00 The work of the Woodson Center

    2:26 Sylvia’s recent five-city tour to support victims of violence

    4:40 How tragedy moved Sylvia to start Voices of Black Mothers United

    9:29 Sylvia: We must work with the police in our communities

    13:38 What role does race play in VBMU’s work? And where are the fathers?

    18:20 The importance of forgiveness in the healing process

    22:07 How VBMU is reaching out beyond black communities

    25:23 Sylvia: The pain of mothers who lose children to police violence is no different than mine

    28:39 Glenn: Why do we hear so little about Christian faith’s role in healing?

    34:10

    • 51 min
    John McWhorter – The Immigration Debate after Buffalo

    John McWhorter – The Immigration Debate after Buffalo

    This week, I’m back with my friend John McWhorter. A lot has happened since we last spoke, so let’s get to it.

    We begin by discussing the horrific, racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. John states that, among other things, the event makes him wish we had a word besides “racism” to help us distinguish between truly racist acts like that shooting and situations where there may be racial disparities but no actual racism present. One of the shooter’s motivations was so-called “great replacement” theory, or the idea that there is a conspiracy on the part of Democrats or Jews or whoever to “replace” large parts of the white population in the US with Latino immigrants. Tucker Carlson has given much airtime to a version of this theory (though without any overt antisemitism), and I’ve appeared on one of Tucker Carlson’s shows in the past. John asks me if I think Tucker is indirectly responsible for stirring up ugly sentiments toward immigrants of the short held by the shooter. I respond that, while I don’t endorse everything Tucker says on his show, I don’t believe him to be a racist. After all, Democrats often point to the impact that the country’s shifting demographics may have on elections. We need to be able to debate the immigration issue on its merits. It’s perfectly legitimate to believe that we need tighter controls on who is allowed to live in this country, and one ought to be able to say so without being charged with racism or xenophobia. We move on to last week’s Bradley Prize ceremony, where I received the honor and delivered a speech. John recounts a time when a white woman condescendingly gave him a book by Walter Mosley in an attempt to “educate” him. The incident turned John off of Mosley’s writing, but he’s come back to it, and he is delighted by what he’s found. (When is Mosley going to get a Pulitzer or a National Book Award? It’s past time!) And finally, we discuss the difficult problem of mass shootings, mental illness, and the second amendment.

    I grab hold of more than one third rail in this one. As always, I want to hear your thoughts. Post them below!

    This post is free and available to the public. To receive early access to TGS episodes, an ad-free podcast feed, Q&As, and other exclusive content and benefits, click below.

    0:00 John: We need a word besides “racism” to distinguish racial inequities from what happened in Buffalo

    10:49 Glenn: I don’t agree with everything Tucker Carlson says, but he’s not a racist

    20:22 Demographic change is happening in the US, but how should we understand it?

    28:07 What does Tucker think he’s doing and what is he actually doing?

    36:21 Glenn: We should be able to freely debate immigration policy without evoking racial tropes

    46:31 Glenn accepts the Bradley Prize at the organization’s gala 

    51:13 How a white woman’s condescension stopped John from reading Walter Mosley

    57:42 Can we disentangle incidents like the Buffalo shooting from ideology?

    1:02:34 A correction from Glenn

    Links and Readings

    John’s book, Woke Racism

    Glenn Greenwald’s Substack post, “The Demented - and Selective - Game of Instantly Blaming Political Opponents For Mass Shootings”

    Part 1 of the NYT’s series on Tucker Carlson

    Glenn and John discussing whether Glenn should appear on Tucker Carlson’s show

    A partial transcript of Glenn’s appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show

    Glenn and John discussing Glenn’s appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show

    John’s NYT column on Walter Mosley

    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit glennloury.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
1.8K Ratings

1.8K Ratings

buyigiyugygkuykig ,

Thank you Sir

Mr. Loury thank you so much for speaking about race. I truly appreciate your amazing speech you gave at the end of your episode with Bob Woodson and Sylvia. In the past two years my head has been spinning. I cannot believe the views the leftist regime has been espousing. I don’t think and never have thought that black and brown people are less than and that they need white people to help them. It is pandering and so disrespectful. I do not understand the world we are in where race and gender have become this mentally Ill obsessive focus. I so appreciate your discussions, they give me a small bit of hope.

Keepitwildtv ,

John got it wrong.

Why was John allowed to let a falsehood stand by claiming that the Buffalo shooter was from the right? He claimed that he was a communist at one time and considers himself as part of them “authoritarian left” and an “eco-fascist.”

non ya biz 2021 ,

Five stars but....

Love Glenn and John but I disagree with Johns take on Tucker Carlson. Johns account of Tucker leads me to believe he is only watching curated clips of Tucker and is not someone that watches and reads Tucker. Tucker never condemns the people coming over the border. Tucker rightly condemns the lawlessness and the cynical way that the open borders are being manipulated by the progressive left in order to retain their POWER. Tucker is a classical liberal on these issues. No one benefits from
Open borders except the elites and the cartels. The people that suffer are the middle and lower class. And how does John justify this and justify open borders and all the harm that it causes by overburdening an already burdened system.
John ascribes to Tucker the characterization promulgated by the left wing media. Sorry John but your analysis of Tucker is LAZY

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Apple TV+ / Pineapple Street Studios
This American Life
Pushkin Industries
iHeartPodcasts
Shan Boodram
New York Times Opinion

You Might Also Like

Coleman Hughes
Quillette
Kmele Foster, Michael Moynihan, and Matt Welch
Bari Weiss
Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal
Andrew Sullivan

More by Bloggingheads.tv

Bloggingheads.tv
Bloggingheads.tv
Bloggingheads.tv
Aryeh Cohen-Wade
Bloggingheads.tv