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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Talking About Race

Glenn Loury and Conor Friedersdorf

Glenn Loury and Conor Friedersdorf

From the campus to the street

Miriam Schulman

Glenn Loury, professor of economics at Brown University, and Conor Friedersdorf, staff writer for The Atlantic, engage in a frank and wide-ranging conversation about race in this video podcast on Loury and Friedersdorf talk about stop and frisk practices and affirmative action; they discuss the Black Lives Matter movement on campuses and address the question, “Can black people be racist?”

Loury, always a maverick, describes the progress of his thinking, from his days being "obviously and flamingly" on the right, to his move more toward the center-left with the publication of his book Race, Incarceration, and American Values, to his position now to the right of the current "Black Lives Matter-centric" outlook on many American campuses.

Addressing the current campus climate, Loury says:

It's easy for somebody like me, so many decades past being a student, who came along at a different time, to tell these [African American students] to suck it in, be more resilient, not let [racism] define them. I hesitate to say that.  At the same time, I don’t want to see the institution destroyed in an effort to accommodate their legitimate concerns about not being placed in a position of discomfort. I don’t want to elevate their comfort to the highest ideal of my pedagogy…. I don’t want to find myself in a world in which faculty are being indoctrinated on the substantive matters that they can or cannot entertain in the classroom because we think that certain not particularly well-informed but nevertheless popular conceptions about what should and shouldn’t be said have to be respected because otherwise people’s feelings will be hurt.  No, I want the currency of the realm to be argument, evidence, reasoned discourse, effective advocacy for this or that position, persuasion....The only way at the end of the day that one defeats racism is through reason, argument, evidence and the like.

You can hear Loury at Santa Clara April 18, when he gives the 2016 Regan Lecture.  He'll be discussing "Racial Inequality in the 21st Century."


Mar 23, 2016

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