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Coleman Hughes — The End of Race Politics

As one of the few black students in his philosophy program at Columbia University years ago, Coleman Hughes wondered why his peers seemed more pessimistic about the state of American race relations than his own grandparents–who lived through segregation. The End of Race Politics is the culmination of his years-long search for an answer.

Contemplative yet audacious, The End of Race Politics is necessary reading for anyone who questions the race orthodoxies of our time. Hughes argues for a return to the ideals that inspired the American Civil Rights movement, showing how our departure from the colorblind ideal has ushered in a new era of fear, paranoia, and resentment marked by draconian interpersonal etiquette, failed corporate diversity and inclusion efforts, and poisonous race-based policies that hurt the very people they intend to help. Hughes exposes the harmful side effects of Kendi-DiAngelo style antiracism, from programs that distribute emergency aid on the basis of race to revisionist versions of American history that hide the truth from the public.

Through careful argument, Hughes dismantles harmful beliefs about race, proving that reverse racism will not atone for past wrongs and showing why race-based policies will lead only to the illusion of racial equity. By fixating on race, we lose sight of what it really means to be anti-racist. A racially just, colorblind society is possible. Hughes gives us the intellectual tools to make it happen.

Coleman Hughes is a writer, podcaster and opinion columnist who specializes in issues related to race, public policy and applied ethics. Coleman’s writing has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Quillette, The City Journal and The Spectator. He appeared on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2021.

Shermer and Hughes discuss:

  • If he is “half-black, half-Hispanic” why is he considered “black”?
  • What is race biologically and culturally?
  • Race as a social construction
  • Population genetics and race differences: sports, I.Q., crime, etc.
  • Base Rate Neglect, Base Rate Taboos
  • The real state of race relations in America: surveys, call-back studies, search data, etc.
  • George Floyd, BLM, Ibram X Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, Isabella Wilkinson, Ta-Nehisi Coates and the neo-racists
  • Institutionalized neo-racism: the academy and business
  • What it means to be “colorblind”
  • Viewpoint epistemology and race
  • Affirmative action and correcting for past wrongs
  • Lyndon Johnson’s famous quote, June 4, 1965, Howard University: “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, “you are free to compete with all the others,” and still justly believe that you have been completely fair. Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates. This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.”
  • Why are there still big gaps in income, wealth, home ownership, CEO representation, Congressional representation, etc.?
  • Myth of Black Weakness
  • Myth of No Progress
  • Myth of Undoing the Past
  • The Fall of Minneapolis
  • Reparations
  • The future of colorblindness.

Read Michael H. Bernstein’s review of Coleman Hughes book, The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America.

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This episode was released on March 30, 2024.

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