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The Michael Shermer Show

A series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

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EPISODE # 231

Jason Hill on What White Americans Owe Black People

What do White Americans Owe Black People? Racial Justice in the Age of Post-Oppression (book cover)

In this conversation with Jason Hill based on his book What do White Americans Owe Black People? Racial Justice in the Age of Post-Oppression, Shermer probes the philosopher on the arguments for and against reparations.

In this provocative and highly original work, philosophy professor Jason Hill explores multiple dimensions of race in America today, but most importantly, a black-white divide which has grown exponentially over the past decade.

Central to his thesis, Hill calls on black American leaders (and their white liberal sponsors) to escape from the cycle of blame and finger-pointing, which seeks to identify black failures with white hatred and indifference. This overblown narrative is promulgated by a phalanx of black nihilists who advocate the destruction of America and her institutions in the name of ending “whiteness.” Much of the black intelligentsia consists of these false prophets, and it is their poisonous ideology which is taught, uncontradicted, to students of all races. It is they who are responsible for the cultural depression blacks are suffering in today’s society.

Ultimately, the answer to “what do White Americans owe?” is not about the morality or practicality of reparations, affirmative action, or other redistributionist schemes. Hill rejects the collectivist premise behind the argument, instead couching notions of culpability, justice, and fairness as responsibilities of individuals, not arbitrary racial or ethnic groupings.

Jason Hill is a professor of philosophy and Honors Distinguished Faculty at DePaul University in Chicago. He is the author of five books, including We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to the American People. He specializes in ethics, politics, foreign policy, and moral psychology.

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This episode is sponsored by Wondrium:

Wondrium (sponsor)

This episode was released on November 30, 2021.

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