The Brian Lehrer Show

Newsmakers meet New Yorkers as host Brian Lehrer and his guests take on the issues dominating conversation in New York and around the world. This daily program from WNYC Studios cuts through the usual talk radio punditry and brings a smart, humane approach to the day's events and what matters most in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Nancy, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin and many others. © WNYC Studios

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Why Racism Lingers


Ibram Kendi, assistant professor of African American history at the University of Florida and the author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Nation Books, 2016), looks at the lives and thinking of prominent American thinkers, from Cotton Mather to Angela Davis, to make his case that even advocates of racial equality often perpetrated the view he quotes from Confederate President Jefferson Davis that "inequality of black and white races" was "stamped from the beginning."

He rejects the idea of white people giving up their "white privilege" as a means of fighting discrimination. 

"I think that's been one of the greatest misnomers that racial reformers have used," Kendi said. They created this idea of sacrifice and losing their "white privilege" to create an equitable America. But Kendi said the times when Americans were most equitable were actually beneficial for everyone, so the language of "loss" is detrimental.


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 2016-04-12  17m