As advertised, Scott participated in a panel discussion on the NFL national anthem protests earlier today. The event took place at the University of Minnesota, under the auspices of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the Humphrey School. I assume it was scheduled with the Super Bowl in mind, but as far as I could tell it was mostly a local audience.
Scott brought badly-needed diversity to the panel. Without his participation, the discussion would have been nothing but the same old cliches (“white privilege,” etc.). As always, he was civil and restrained while telling people–most of those in the audience, no doubt–things they would prefer not to hear, e.g., about why it is that African-Americans have a disproportionate number of encounters with the police.
The audience was good sized, despite the difficulty of the online registration process. We chatted with a PL reader or two. I came away with two principal impressions: 1) it takes real courage to be a diverse voice in an academic setting, as Scott was today; and 2) the investment that liberals have in what has become the conventional narrative of race relations in the US is bottomless.
A PERSONAL NOTE (Scott Johnson): I appreciated John’s attendance and appreciate his kind words. CSPG Director Larry Jacobs invited me to participate; he wanted a “diverse” perspective. One could not have asked for a more hospitable moderator. My fellow panelist Douglas Hartmann holds genuine expertise on the subject of sports and racial protest. I think he complicated my understanding of the subject. The Twins’ Frank White offered a powerful personal perspective from the heart. Power Line reader Clark Griffith sat in front of me in the first row to provide moral support above and beyond the call of loyalty. I wish I could have drawn on Clark’s fund of knowledge during the program.