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Some Very Smart Takes On Wright

If you're not comlpetely exhausted by the Wright controversy, don't miss this bloggingheads discussion between the always-fascinating John McWhorter and the always equally fascinating Glenn Loury. In this segment, McWhorter concludes that white Americans didn't really want to vote for a black candidate. They wanted to vote for a person with black skin who didn't have any real connection to black America--"Robert Kennedy in black face," as McWhorter puts it. I'm not entirely convinced the Wright episode demonstrates this--I think an association with someone like Wright is a slightly (though not grossly) imperfect proxy for bona fide blackness--but McWhorter's broader point is probably right. There are clearly mainstream elements of African American culture that, we're discovering (or re-discovering), weird out the average white voter. And that's pretty depressing.

--Noam Scheiber