McWhorter: Black People Don’t Default to Thinking We’re ‘Pathetic’ Like ‘White Fragility’ – Kendi ‘Is Not the General Black View’

On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” Columbia University Professor and author John McWhorter objected to books like “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo and “How to be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi being pushed “as the black view” when they aren’t. McWhorter argued that “White Fragility” makes black people look like “silly babies” and it’s “not the default in the black community to think of ourselves as pathetic.”

McWhorter said, “‘White Fragility,’ which basically says that black people are these hothouse flowers where everybody has to tiptoe around us and we’re always crying and we’re always angry and we’re just so very, very, very delicate. I don’t feel like that person. That book is talking down to me as far as I’m concerned.”

He added, “I don’t think people realize what silly babies books like that make us look like.”

After host Bill Maher told McWhorter that he thinks most black people agree with him, McWhorter stated, “I’ve been black pretty much for 55 years and I know how black people feel and I always think, this certain sliver of people in the media and in academia — they’re often much smarter than me — but that is not the representative view. And so, for example, if you’re going to read ‘How to be an Antiracist.’ That is not the general black view of things. That should be — it’s like the Bible. That book, if you must read it, should be read as literature rather than as scholarship. That’s not general. And yet, we’re told that somehow we have to accept these sorts of things as the black view. … There is a great deal of diversity in the black community and I can tell you it is not the default in the black community to think of ourselves as pathetic.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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