John McWhorter Serializing His Book


John McWhorter has been a voice of reason in the debates on critical race theory--or at least he seems so to my mind. He has a substack now, and there her is serializing the book he is writing on the subject. You can find (as of today) parts 1-4 there.

I really enjoyed the third part of the serialization. It is where McWhorter makes a very interesting and strong analogy to the idea that critical race theory is a religion. (Note: McWhorter is an atheist.) I won't try to do justice to his complete argument--it's well worth reading. McWhorter writes so very eloquently; it is a pleaure to read his prose. Let me hit some of the high points as I see them.

McWhorter speaks about how CRT requires a suspension of disbelief. Here's an example of what he has in mind: "[J]ust as the Christian is told that the main thing is to believe, The Elect are taught that the main thing is to not be racist, regardless of what logic or fairness might dictate. So -- we must adjust standards for university admissions to foster diversity so that “diverse” students can contribute their perspectives in the classroom. But then “diverse” students regularly say that they hate being responsible for representing the “diverse” view in the classroom. The Elect’s response? To chalk up that expectation itself as “racism” – despite that this undercuts a prime justification for racial preferences. Question this closely and you just don’t “get it". . . To suspend disbelief is a kind of submission, to illogic.”

CRT is also evangelical, according to McWhorter: "do we wonder why the fundamentalist Christian does not see their beliefs as just one of many valid opinions? They see themselves as bearers of a Good News which, if all people would simply open up and see it, would create a perfect world. That most of the world does not fall in with them is something they learn to bear with toleration, with a hope that in the future things will turn their way. We see a certain coherence in Christians who see the rest of us as “heathen.” We may disagree, but can easily imagine someone under the impression that their worldview – if it includes unreachable belief in things we never see or feel which they insist are real nevertheless -- is Truth while ours is an error. . . To be Elect [that is, to be a devotee of CRT] is to think in exactly the same way."

Lastly, CRT is like a religion in its fire to ban (or burn) the heretic: "The Elect consider it imperative to not only critique those who disagree with their creed, but to seek their punishment and elimination to whatever degree real-life conditions can accommodate. There is an overriding sense that unbelievers must be not just spoken out against, but called out, isolated, and banned. . . The Elect commonly justified their witch-burnings as unquestionably in line with the reckoning in question. It was rather stunning to see their blithe assumption that any racial reckoning of worth must necessarily include chasing people out of conversations and casting people into unemployment, without even seeing it as necessary to even defend any of this. But that’s just it: for The Elect, barring heretics is not a decision, it is duty – unquestioned, and as natural as breathing air."

Interesting stuff, I think you'll agree. Check our McWhorter's argument--it's well worth considering.