In an in-depth conversation, the economist Glenn Loury and the journalist Bari Weiss discuss racism, anti-Semitism, black-Jewish relations, and much else. Loury emphasizes the dangers of the new “anti-racism,” which seems more interested in highlighting racial differences than bridging them and portrays any discrepancy in outcomes as ipso-facto evidence of racial discrimination:
I . . . think that one consequence of a fixation on group disparities understood to be the necessary consequence of oppression or racism is that the groups that do well come under suspicion. Their success will be thought to be the flipside of the disadvantage of the groups that do poorly. If African Americans are underrepresented in this or that venue because of systemic racism and Jews are, let’s say, overrepresented in those very same venues, how could it be otherwise but that the overrepresentation of the Jews is somehow the bitter fruit, the necessary consequence of that very system of oppression that excludes African Americans?
And that delegitimation of the success of groups that do well is very, very dangerous, it strikes me. It does fuel resentment, envy, and a kind of antipathy that can easily express itself in violence.
But, despite the growing influence of such pernicious ideas, Loury stresses that he is, nonetheless, “betting on America.” (Moderated by Hannah Meyers. Video, 63 minutes.)