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Midmorning: McWhorter and WWII

Posted at 6:58 AM on January 15, 2007 by Bill Wareham (3 Comments)

At 9 a.m., Kerri Miller talks to conservative scholar John McWhorter, who suggests that black communities must first shift their outlook on race and racism to make lasting social change.
McWhorter is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of Winning the Race: beyond the crisis in black America. (Rebroadcast)

At 10 a.m., Kerri's guest Evan Thomas talks about four commanders who played critical roles in World War II's Pacific theater. Thomas is the first to examine their interlocking roles. In his new book, Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945, Thomas uses Japanese and American sources to piece together the reasons why both sides failed to understand each other. Thomas, an assistant managing editor at Newsweek, also will talk about the parallels to the war in Iraq.


Comments (3)


Has Mr. McWhorter read or heard of Jawanza Kunjufu and what does he think of Michael Eric Dyson? His comments will be in total agreement with white opinion because it eases any guilt for racist behavior.

Posted by Brenda | January 15, 2007 9:42 AM



I think that the major studies on the extent to which Black students are shunned for "acting White" have been discredited on methodological grounds. In fact, much of what McWhorter argues is at best simplistic and sometimes uninformed (e.g., his ideas about levels of criminaity across different ethnic groups).

The real question for me is why Minnesota Pubic Radio would be a forum for work this bad, especially when it is presented without critique. And I find it especially problematic that you rebroadcast this interview on the day when your audience is on holiday to celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King.

I would really appreciate a little more depth from MPR on the subjects that McWhorter so inadequately addresses.

Posted by Leola Johnson | January 15, 2007 10:11 AM


"Acting white," was called, "doing school," when my younger brother dropped out of high school in a rural Nevada district back in the late 1950's because the boys would beat him after school for raising his hand, asking questions, answering questions from the teacher and handing in completed homework. "Acting White," is just a form of poverty culture that can be found in any ethnic group--it is not a racial characteristic. Feeling unprepared or unable to compete can bring condemnation of those who are able, because the poverty culture can view being different as disloyalty to the group. Jealousy is especially intense when the stakes are so small. Any advantage can be considered unfair and an opportunity to vent frustrations from feeling inadequate--it is called "bullying," another characteristic of street/poverty culture. Success begins early and far before kids start school. Early confidence-buiding through obvious competency is the foundation for self-image and social confidence.

Posted by Lyelle Palmer | January 26, 2007 11:21 PM