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Loury and McWhorter on the 1619 Project

Summary:
I rarely watch a whole 1-hour plus podcast but there have been 2 exceptions lately. One is the 84-minute bloggingheads conversation between Brown University professor Glenn Loury and Columbia University professor John McWhorter. It’s on the New York Times‘s famous (infamous?) 1619 project from this summer. If you want to know pretty much all the ins and outs of the project, criticisms and defenses, go to Phil Magness, “The 1619 Project Debate: A Bibliography,” AIER, January 3, 2020. Phil definitely has an ax to grind but what’s notable in his contributions is that he is more balanced than most of the critics. He grants a few points that the 1619 Project made. If you want to watch an entertaining and extremely informative discussion of questions like “Why Now?”,

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I rarely watch a whole 1-hour plus podcast but there have been 2 exceptions lately. One is the 84-minute bloggingheads conversation between Brown University professor Glenn Loury and Columbia University professor John McWhorter. It’s on the New York Times‘s famous (infamous?) 1619 project from this summer.

If you want to know pretty much all the ins and outs of the project, criticisms and defenses, go to Phil Magness, “The 1619 Project Debate: A Bibliography,” AIER, January 3, 2020. Phil definitely has an ax to grind but what’s notable in his contributions is that he is more balanced than most of the critics. He grants a few points that the 1619 Project made.

If you want to watch an entertaining and extremely informative discussion of questions like “Why Now?”, then go to the bloggingheads video “A Critical Look at the 1619 Project,” September 11, 2019. I’ll give some highlights, along with the times at which they occur. Notice that in the YouTube video to which I link most of the times are wrong. The actual times at which those discussions occur are typically 3.5 to 4 minutes later than the listed times.

On or around the 1:30 point: Glenn Loury shows his fun-loving, very attractive personality. Actually his attractive personality comes through in the whole thing.

8:35: Clever comment by John McWhorter. “Low rent thinking disguised as higher wisdom.”

8:50: Loury says that he interprets white guys and a few gals asking him to speak out on the 1619 Project as their request for cover. Sadly, I think that’s true: that’s where we are in this society right now. By the way, I didn’t wait for cover. It didn’t even occur to me to ask for it, explicitly or implicitly. I posted on it in August and, to his credit, Phil Magness posted on it earlier than I did.

9:40: Don’t miss Loury’s question to McWhorter and McWhorter’s one-word answer.

16:00: Why now?

26:00: Somebody who we will leave nameless. Who?

42:45: In a humorous moment, Glenn catches himself playing devil’s advocate very effectively.

43:55: Booker T. Washington was invited to a meal and then White House employees broke the crockery afterwards. True? Wow!

45:00: This is what the post on YouTube says should be happening at about 39:40. The elided history of black shopping districts. (History that I did not know.)

59:30: McWhorter’s critique of the low expectations put on black children.

1:01:28: Great comment. “They sky isn’t necessary going to fall in because there’s no sky on the internet.”

There’s a lot of good content here.

HT2 Jeff Hummel.

David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

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