Mar 5, 2022 • 1HR 15M

Woke Racism/Ethnic Atlas

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Appears in this episode

Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.
Episode details

Ralph welcomes professor John McWhorter, linguist and author of “Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America” and also Father Al Fritch to talk about his long project mapping and celebrating the various ethnic groups that make up the United States.

John McWhorter is a Professor of linguistics at Columbia University. Professor McWhorter is a columnist for the New York Times, and author of more than a dozen books including Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of EnglishWords on the Move: Why English Won’t – and Can’t – Sit Still (Like, Literally), and Woke Racism: How A New Religion Has Betrayed Black America.

“Many people want to say, ‘Well, what’s wrong with acknowledging racism?’ And the issue is, you can get to the point where you are covering racism, acknowledging racism, showing people that you know what it is to such an excessive and self-centered extent that you’re not really concerned with the people themselves.”

Professor John McWhorter, author of Woke Racism: How A New Religion Has Betrayed Black America

“Racism does exist in this society in terms of personal racism. There are inequities that are certainly the result of racism in the past. And sometimes racism in the present, although what’s usually called ‘systemic racism’ in terms of the present is too complicated to deserve the name ‘racism.’ These race-based inequities are there. But I think in fifty years when people look back on the mainstream media and its obsessive concern with what it calls ‘racism,’ it’s going to be found peculiar.”

Professor John McWhorter, author of Woke Racism: How A New Religion Has Betrayed Black America

I would say that, as far as Donald Trump and his obvious, casual, Archie Bunker-style racism, the question is: how did it hurt black America? Now it was rather repulsive to see. But to the extent that you could not say that black America was harmed by how that man felt about black people, it just struck me as not as interesting, not as important as many people seem to think it should be.

Professor John McWhorter, author of Woke Racism: How A New Religion Has Betrayed Black America

All these people – white and black – are pretending that nothing is ever past. They’re pretending not to understand that people at different points in time, naturally, are going to have failings, compared to how we see things now. And that race is not going to be an exception with those sorts of things. Deep down all those people understand that, but they need to show that racism exists. And there are all sorts of ways of doing it. And if the pickings get slim, next thing you know you’re trying to pull someone’s name off of the building because of one thing that they said in one book in 1943. Because when you do it, even if you don’t get what you want, you have shown that you know that racism exists and has existed. It’s a very narrow way of looking at things, but only in understanding it can we see why so many people are so caught up in such trivia and willing to destroy people’s lives on the basis of it.

Professor John McWhorter, author of Woke Racism: How A New Religion Has Betrayed Black America

Father Al Fritsch is a chemist, an ordained Jesuit priest, co-founder of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and director of Father Fritsch is the author of numerous books, including The Contrasumers: A Citizens Guide to Resource ConservationHealing Appalachia: Sustainable Living through Appropriate Technology, and co-author (with Janet Kalisz and Mark Spencer) of Ethnic Atlas of the United States: National Maps 1980 – 2020.

It’s important for us to celebrate everyone that we have. Because greater diversity and [mixing] with each other means it’ll be a stronger America. Because we were actually people that were mixed from the beginning. We were not a single culture. we came together as a people, it was a federated situation, and we still have it today.

Father Al Fritch, author of Ethnic Atlas of the United States

Al, there’s so many reasons why you and your colleagues over 40 years have prepared this Ethnic Atlas [of the United States]. You mentioned societies that have diversity of ethnics are often enriched in many ways, not just different kinds of food, different kinds of music, but also different ways of solving human problems, some of which may be better in certain circumstances than others and we can pick it up and learn from each other’s ethnic heritage.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 417 Transcript
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