I've created this account specifically to create this post, in hope that Thom and as many of his fans as possible will read a very important book written by Ibram X. Kendrik called Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Most importantly for me, and for any white folks trying to undo their racist upbringing and become anti-racists, Kendrik delineates THREE strands of thought and follows them from the late middle ages to our current situation:
1) Segregationist-racism - posits that non-whites are inferior and should not under any circumstances mingle with 'whites'
2) Assimilationist-racism - posits that non-whites are inferior to the extent that they have failed to live up to 'white' cultural norms. The strategy of 'uplift suasion' is presented as the means for non-white persons to join the 'majority' culture and prosper within it.
3) Anti-racism - posits that the deficits (e.g., income, test-scores) apparent in non-white communities are caused SOLELY by discrimination and oppression, which are and have been tools of economic domination.
Kendrik does an excellent job of showing the evolution of the thought of leaders like W.E.B. Du Bois and MKL jr from assimilationist to anti-racist, and enables readers to understand how our national struggle has actually often been between two forms of racism, without any voice given to anti-racism. He explains in a very accessible way how many current leaders cling to assimilationism rather than making the next step.
I found it liberating to understand that the voices I'm hearing around me DON'T break down into a binary of 'racist vs not racist'. I could never figure out how to make them do that, and now I realize it wasn't going to work.
I believe that if Thom, on his program, were to begin to use and disseminate Kendrick's 3-way frame, it could be that 'little leaven' that enlightens a great big lump of listeners and shifts our national conversation about race into a more constructive mode. Thanks for listening. I may never post again but if this works it will be so cool.
Love the show. Thanks for all you do, Thom!