‘There’s been a slightly hysterical tone in this country about race’

‘There’s been a slightly hysterical tone in this country about race’
Mark Lilla (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – Here is conversation between two liberals — one a writer for Slate, the other Mark Lilla, author of a book on identity politics — on the role of race in America. They can’t agree on the impact of race — or more correctly speaking racism. What they can agree on is that Donald Trump is a racist who won’t condemn Nazis … which of course is unture.]

he one thing I maybe disagree with your book about the most was that bigger question of why all these former Democratic states are now Republican states. It seems to me that the overwhelming answer to that question is race. … Do you not see what’s happened racially post the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act in this country as being the primary driver of the fact that a majority of states now are Republican states, which was not the case 50, 60 years ago?

I certainly do not. …

We … disagree, and frankly I have to say I feel you are illustrating my point. The fact that liberals have gotten so focused — even in the past three years, America hasn’t changed that much. We had the problem before, we have the problem now, but there’s been a kind of slightly hysterical tone about race that leads us to overestimate its significance in particular things.

Mark, we have a racist president who won’t condemn neo-Nazis. You’re saying people are overreacting to race?

No, no, overreacting in the sense that we are thinking that it’s moving more than it’s moving.

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