The Power Line Show, Ep. 120: Reckoning With Race: America’s Failure

Just in time for your Easter Sunday afternoon walk or Monday morning commute, the latest podcast. Gene Dattel is my extraordinary guest on this week’s show. Gene is the author of a book that deserves to be much better known—Reckoning With Race: America’s Failure (Encounter Books). This remarkably compact book is brimming with details about and revisions to the standard narratives of race relations in America from the colonial era right down to the present. Gene’s complete command of this subject—stemming partly from growing up in the Mississippi delta but also from wide reading and study—is on full display in this far-reaching conversation.

Gene and I cover a lot of ground, from how to understand race and the American Founding, to the failure of Reconstruction, the Great Society, and finally ending with consideration of the hot current topic of reparations for slavery, which may yet play an important role in the 2020 election. But this conversation barely scratches the surface of Gene’s capacious knowledge and insight into this difficult domain, so go buy the book!

Among key revisions of Gene’s book is how many leaders in the black community in the 1970s, 1980, and early 1990s were pleading for a crackdown on crime and drugs in their neighborhoods—a fact conveniently forgotten in the recent rush to reverse so many of our crime policies. Gene sent me this photo of a page from Ebony magazine from 1979 as contemporary evidence, and many others just like it.

As usual, you can listen here at our audio stripe below, or download the episode from our hosts at Ricochet. As always, do please become a subscribe to Power Line in iTunes (and will you please please leave a 5-star review, which helps us build up our audience).

I did forget my usual sign-off line on this episode, so I’ll do it here: Don’t forget to milk the soft power dividend!