Glenn C. Loury of Brown University joined Jason Riley to discuss the persistence of racial inequality in America. Their conversation took place at a Manhattan Institute event in New York City entitled “Barriers To Black Progress: Structural, Cultural, Or Both?

Professor Loury, who has also taught at Harvard University and Boston University, is a professor of economics, with a focus on race and inequality. He's published several books, including The Anatomy of Racial Inequality and Race, Incarceration, and American Values.

Audio Transcript

Jason Riley: This is my fourth year hosting a conference on race-related issues for the Manhattan Institute, um, and when my colleagues and I sat down a few months ago to start planning this one, I can assure you that we had no idea how much material we would have to work with based on recent events. Um, it's occurred to me that we could do an entire conference based on what's happening in Virginia this week, but that's my point. That's what's different about what we're attempting to do here today. Uh, so much of the discussion about racial inequality gets hung up on these sorts of things. A medical school yearbook page with photos of people in KKK costumes and blackface. A governor and state attorney general darkening their skin to imitate black celebrities at college parties back in the 1980s. A congressman from Iowa who promotes Neo-Nazis on Twitter and tells The New York Times there's nothing wrong with using terms like "white supremacy" and "white nationalist." A president who picks fights with black athletes on social media and gratuitously uses the most disparaging language imaginable to describe illegal immigrants from south of the border. Of course, none of this should be ignored by the media. It's all legitimate news, but does it explain racial inequality in America? Or more specifically, to what extent does it explain racial inequality? Do episodes like the ones I just described and countless others explain our persistent racial gaps and everything from income to home ownership to educational attainment to employment? Does it explain why our jails and prisons are teaming with young black and brown men? Well, the prevailing wisdom is that they do. That's the prevailing view in the media, in academia and among our politicians and public policymakers. Amongst social activists, it's taken as a given. Civil rights groups spend most of their time scouring the nation for sightings of Confederate flags and use of the "n-word" by white people. In most of our discussions about racial inequality today, the assumption is that racism, by and large, explains racial disparities. That's the starting point. Many people have convinced themselves that evidence of ongoing racial bias proves beyond any doubt that racism in America today remains the major barrier to black progress. Whether other factors play a bigger role, is a question seldom asked, let alone investigated with any rigor. In fact, to even ask such a question is enough to earn the wrath of those who believe racism is an all-purpose explanation for bad black outcomes in America today. Well, I don't think that's the prevailing view among the people you'll hear from today. We're going to ask the questions that others don't want to consider. Now, no one here believes that racism is a thing of the past in America. Most reasonable people agree that it still exists. Nor am I arguing that racism, the racism that blacks have endured over the centuries and continue to endure today has no bearing at all on racial inequities. It's not a question of whether racial biases is a negative factor. The relevant question is to what degree is it a factor? The relevant question is whether the racism that does still exist adequately explains the racial gaps we see today, or whether other factors, namely cultural factors offer more plausible explanations of what we're experiencing. Another problem with too many of our discussions about racial inequality today is that they are often driven by emotion and political correctness, which is understandable, but not particularly helpful when trying to come up with ways to improve matters. Anecdotes too often substitute for facts and evidence or evidence is cherry-picked in order to drive a certain narrative. One of the best examples of this is the debate over police shootings that has gripped our country in recent years. Journalists these days, state matter of factly, that there is an epidemic in this country of trigger happy cops gunning for black people. Protestors have marched in the streets. Pro Athletes have refused to stand for the national anthem. An entire movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, has arisen from this narrative, but is there any empirical data to support it?

Well, here in New York City we have the nation's largest population and largest police force. The NYPD has kept detailed records on police shootings since 1971. That year in 1971 police shot 314 people, 91 of them fatally. Two decades later, the number of police shootings in New York had fallen from 314 to 108 and fatalities had fallen from 93 to 27. Last night, I looked up the most recent figures we have, which are from 2017. In 2017, New York City police shot 19 people, 10 of them fatally. It's the lowest number on record. So we're talking about a roughly 90 percent reduction in police shootings and police shooting fatalities in the nation's largest city, the nation's largest police force over the past four and a half decades and New York is no outlier here. Police shootings have fallen dramatically nationwide in other large cities over the past half-century. In 2017 police in Los Angeles shot 15 people, police in Chicago shot 25 people, which represented less than one percent of all shootings in Chicago that year. Meanwhile, we have social activists claiming that police shootings are not only rising but have reached epidemic proportions. This is just one of many examples of how our prevailing narrative can be almost completely divorced from the empirical data, but if we want to begin to do something about racial inequities in this country, we need to be honest with ourselves. We need to correct the false narratives that so often drive the discussions. And that brings me to our featured guest, Professor Glenn Loury of Brown University, whom I'd like to invite up here to join me now for a brief discussion.

Professor Loury is a truth teller extraordinaire. Uh, he's an economist by training, who's also taught at Harvard and Boston University, so he has an appreciation for facts and data and logic and empiricism. He's also published several books on race, including one titled the Anatomy of Racial Inequality and another titled Race, Incarceration, and American Values. Professor Loury wrote a provocative paper for today's conference titled "Culture, Causation, and Responsibility: Some Reflections on the Persistence of Racial Inequality in 21st Century America." And I'm going to spend a few minutes discussing some of the major themes he explores. So Professor, let's, uh, let's start with that title, "Culture, Causation, and Responsibility." Um, if we were sitting in the studio at CNN or a lecture hall at Wellesley and tried to discuss culture and responsibility at a conference on racial inequality, I submit to you that armed guards would escort us to the exits. Do you disagree?

Glenn Loury: Only slightly. I mean, I do at Brown University where I'm a professor, teach a course called "Race and Inequality in the United States." It's ongoing right now and I started with a review of some of the data that are reflected in this paper about the extent of racial inequality and I challenged people straight ahead. I'd say, you know, what's the cause of this? Okay. So there are various, various stories out there and one of the stories is an unrelenting, overbearing white supremacist society won't give black people a chance. And I asked them, do you believe that 7 in 10 black children born to a woman without a husband, that fact is due to an unrelenting white supremacy? Do you really believe that? Do you believe that homicide victimization and homicide perpetration at an order of magnitude higher rate amongst African American young men as compared to similar white men is a, how? Explain to me, tell me what the causation is. I challenge them.

Jason Riley: But, but they're saying...

Glenn Loury: And they don't riot. My point is they don't riot. I mean, they are a little bit stunned because they're not hearing that kind of a challenge in most of their classes, but I'd say 60-70% of them are challenged by it. They're not, you know, just reflexively dismissive of it. Now among the activists who are not in my classroom, but if we were to invite you, heaven forbid to come and give a lecture would be present in large numbers. There's a different story. There's no, as it were, talking to some of those people, but I'd say you just draw a kid at Brown University at random, it's not, it's not out of the question that you can get them to take seriously some of these kinds of things.

Jason Riley: Well, let's talk about some of the arguments they make, um, because to be fair, many of even the activists don't deny the antisocial behavior that we see among particularly low-income minorities. But they say before we start talking about that before we start talking about black behavior, we need to talk about white behavior. We've got governors in blackface. We've got congressman spouting off about white nationalism. Professor, why are you talking to me about out of wedlock childbirth? That is the real problem. Until we can eliminate that, don't talk to me about learning gaps, uh, and, and the black role in that. We can't get there yet until we handle this issue with white people. They need to get their act together. Don't talk to black people about getting their act together first.

Dr. Glenn Loury: What a horrible argument that is. No, I, I understand that people are going to make it. Yes, that will be said. That's somewhat of a caricature, but not, not much. Um, and what a horrible argument that is. Uh, you just made white people, the ones who you say are the implacable racists, indifferent, don't care, uh, oppressors into the sole agents of your own delivery. Really? If they are in fact, so racist, what's the point in talking to them? I mean there's just a straight up logical contradiction in that posture. Uh, the oppressor is going to be the agent of my delivery, if only I could get him or her to respond effectively to my moral appeals. I don't follow that at all. Now, as a matter of fact, I don't buy the hypothesis, the hypothesis being that, uh, the fact that, um, the uh, culture of Jim Crow segregation and white domination in some parts of American society had a long, long, um, you know, shadow that could be seen even in the decades of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s in American society reflected in the fact that some prominent Democrats in Virginia would appear to have been participants in the remnant of that. That's true. As an African American, I'm not especially, you know, happy about that, but it's hardly a, an implacable force holding you back. And what I have to say to such people, and I expect that there may be some here who would find this problematic, but what I have to say to such people is grow up. Nobody's coming to save you, grow up. You're just dodging your responsibility. You're just looking for an excuse and sadly too many in the establishment and the media and academy and so on are willing to play along. But you know what, when it comes to their children and their lives, they'll defend the norms of decency and civil behavior that they know are essential to the development and the success of people whom they care about. But when it comes to you and your people, uh, they're willing to nod along with your nonsense. Grow up.

Jason Riley: But, we're not, these are people in positions of authority, positions of power, congressmen, governors, uh, business owners and the argument is that they run the system by and large and they are in a position to hold people back, to discriminate on a systematic, in a systematic way and that, that is what explains these racial disparities that we see. I mean, you're, you're an economist. You deal, uh, in, in, in, in, in facts and data and empiricism, logic. Uh, we've, we have persistent statistical gaps in this country. They've been around for a long time. Is that in and of itself evidence of racism? But for racism, would we see more racial parity when it comes to home ownership or income or education levels? Because that is one of the arguments being made out there.

Dr. Glenn Loury: Well, that's why I say Culture, Causation, and Responsibility because the causation question is important. It's a difficult question. It's a matter of social science analysis, but it's really very important. Um, so the way I look at it is, I mean, there are basically two narratives that people concerned about persistent racial inequality can adapt, can adopt. One of them is a biased narrative of the sort that you're outlining here. You know, racism and white supremacy have done us wrong. We won't be able to get ahead until they relent. Uh, we have to continue to press for a reform of American society, of white American society to that end. But the other narrative which I take very seriously, which I think there's a ton of evidence, I'm calling the development narrative. I'm saying that you have to look at the processes by which people come to acquire skills, traits, habits, and orientations that lend themselves to successful participation in American society. And to the extent that African American youngsters, too many of them certainly not all, are not having the experiences and being exposed to the influences and having the benefit of the resources that foster and facilitate human development, so much so that the statistics that you were alluding to are what they are. To that extent that they are not developed, that they're not achieving their full human potential, that is basically the cause for the gaps that we're seeing. And you know, these two different crudely, a different orientations or predispositions point in two very different directions in terms of intervention and remedy. The first is white America must reform itself. We need more of this or that, whatever the this or that is of the latter-day agenda of the race reform is we need more of this or we need more of that. White America must reform itself. Racism must end. You see it in the New York Times every day. Um, the other, however, the development narrative, both puts more onus on the responsibilities of African Americans to be engaged in the processes that lead to the development of full human potential and points towards solving the actual problems, uh, rather than, uh, this, uh, kind of wishful argument. If we could double the budget for this program, then the homicide rate amongst young African American males would go down. If we can get this police officer at this police department under the investigation of the Department of Justice or convicted for their wrongful acts, then then what? Then it'll be safe to walk around on the south side of Chicago at 1:00 in the morning?

Jason Riley: Well, well, well

Glenn Loury: That's wishful thinking.

Jason Riley: Well, you made two arguments here. One is that self-development needs to take place among these groups, but to what extent can politicians or public policy abet that self-development? We've had, um, black elected officials, black police chiefs, a twice-elected black President, black school superintendents, principals. Um, do these sort of problems you're describing lend themselves to political solutions or solutions that can be put forward by public policymakers? Is that where our focus should be?

Glenn Loury: Well, most in my mind of the public policy initiatives and activities aimed at improving life chances for disadvantaged people, should not and need not be formulated in racial terms or understood as a remedy for racial inequality. We need to figure out as a society what the character of our social obligation should be, one to another. What makes sense? What does morality require? What does pragmatic, practical wisdom and human judgment suggest? I'm talking about everything from healthcare to education, to income support for indigent families, to indigent families and so on. We need to figure out what works for America's disadvantaged people, period. If we get that right, um, and you know, we're, we've been working on it for some time, that is the shaping of the American welfare state, consistent with our own demographic realities and our own values and our fiscal capacities. We get that right, we'll go a very long way toward, uh, I think, uh, uh, assisting African Americans to be able to develop our full human potential. But one area that I'd point to in specific and Ian Rowe is here we're going to be hearing from him, is education. And I think that there is an obviously very large footprint that public policy at the federal, state and local level has in the provision of educational services to young people. And I think it's demonstrable that on the whole for disadvantaged African Americans concentrated in large cities and largely minority-majority school districts, uh, served by public employees who are on the whole, I assume, are decent people doing the best that they can, but based on assessment of the outcomes, maybe not doing as best as can be done. Uh, that's a huge area for policy with respect to charter schools, increasing the, uh, uh, the options that parents have to avail themselves of. My, my son Alden who lives in Chicago has two children in the Chicago public schools and I can tell you he and his wife, both of whom are college graduates and professional people spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about how to get their kids educated, um, navigating the in and outs of the, of the system there, um, and that's just one example. There's plenty of room there, but you know, I mean, I'm talking to Jason Riley. I know you know, uh, that there are huge political forces standing in the way of that happening. And I find it profoundly ironic that you look across African American politics, you don't see any argument. It's not like I expect everybody to agree with me. I don't, but you don't see any argument.

Glenn Loury: There is a virtual unanimous stance. In the case at hand, I'm talking about education in favor of the National Education Association, the basic platform on these issues are hostile to charter schools. A couple of years ago, the NAACP Board meeting in Cincinnati was, in effect attacked or overwhelmed by African American parents coming to protest the fact that the NAACP board was about to sign onto a resolution, opposing funding for charter schools or exposing the expansion of funding for charter schools in the various states. Uh, but you don't see any political engagement with these fundamental questions. Likewise, on the issue of are the cops good or bad for the security and safety of African American lives in American urban environments? What a profoundly important, significant question. Where is the debate amongst African Americans effective at the political, where's the challenge to a sitting, a congressperson, a Maxine Waters or somebody like that. And you know, I mean, I don't mean to make this personal, but, uh, really? Uh, here we are now a half-century after the 1960s and there's no debate amongst African Americans about the lack of the effectiveness of these tried and shopworn and ineffective stances that people are taking? I thought you cared about black lives. You're forcing me to the conclusion that you don't give a damn about black lives. What you care about is the New York Times editorial page. That's what you care about. You don't care about black lives. If you cared about black lives, you'd actually be out there arguing with people over this question of how do I secure the safety of person and property of people in places like the South Bronx or on the West Side of Chicago or whatever, because there's an argument to be had. It is far from self-evident.

Jason Riley: Yeah. Yeah. Um in the paper, you also talk about social media today and its ability to prime our conversations about race and racial inequality and the role it plays in, in, in pushing a narrative, which seems to be what's most important. Owning the narrative. Uh, regardless of whether you have the facts on your side. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Glenn Loury: Yeah. I'm speculating. It's not as I have this one nailed or anything like that, but it seems plausible to me, plausible to me. So an incident will happen somewhere, a Starbucks in Philadelphia, if I'm not mistaken. Two black men asked to leave the restaurant after getting into a dispute with the manager. The incident then becomes an event and the event becomes a cause and it's all around this idea that that incident is somehow emblematic or representative of the experience of African Americans. It resonates with the bias narrative. Here we have the incident, now what makes the incident even exist? It's that information about it gets spread instantly and quickly among people. People react to that information about it, post on Facebook, tweets on Twitter and so forth and so on, and suddenly now we have a cause to lift. Now we have a larger than the actual objective, you know, relative frequency. But likewise, a police officer shoots an unarmed African American who's fleeing and shoots them in the back, that then becomes the face of the experience of African Americans with police. Hundreds of thousands of people will now start taking their children aside and having a conversation with them about a purported threat that they face out there without any real statistical validation of the relative frequency of incidents of this kind. And it seems to me that social media does facilitate that. I, I say in the paper that it's not that people know about the event, it's not the event happened and people know about, it is that people know about other people knowing about it. So then when I come to the cocktail parties it's a trope, but it becomes a kind of a shorthand reference to a generic phenomena of African-American oppression, suppression, exclusion and so forth that people can then draw on knowing that others will understand the meaning of their reference to these events. It was that kind of idea I was getting at.

Jason Riley: What about the role that um intellectuals, academics, people who deal, public thinkers, people who deal in the world of ideas? What explains their reluctance to go there in terms of talking about the role that culture plays in inequality in this country? Uh, we all know about the Moynihan Report, what happened to him, uh, when he talked about what was going on with the black family, but we are 50 years past that. Uh, why is there such a hesitancy still today to talk about what is so obvious? I mean, you look at the, we, it's, you know, causation is hard to prove, but the strong correlations between a father being in the home and a kid staying out of, finishing school, a girl not getting pregnant, uh, as, as a teenager, uh, staying out of prison. Strong correlations between these things. What explains the, the, the, the reluctance of, of, of, of your colleagues to honestly have these discussions in this day and age?

Dr. Glenn Loury: Yeah, that's a that's an important question. I'm not sure I know. I would speculate that part of it is virtue signaling. One, you know, you're in an equilibrium, we economists would say where certain kinds of speech acts have a connotation, that is negative. Only certain kinds of people would say that thing. So when the economy, when the society is very polarized and where you have people who we know are arch enemies of our interest, you know, at or whatever it might be, who we know don't like black people saying certain things. If you are an African American or someone who wants to be thought of as very friendly to African American interests, you risk when you repeat things that are like, what's being said by the known racist or it's similar to them, you risk a devaluation of your, uh, uh, you know, the assessment people are prepared to make about you as being committed to the cause. Uh, so there's a kind of, this is my theory of political correctness. I actually, what I think political correctness is at the end of the day is a cul-de-sac, a kind of cognitive and intellectual cul-de-sac where we're trapped by the need to not seem to be on the wrong side of history. And therefore saying things that we may not even believe ourselves, many of us deep down, but that we know are the things expected of us to be said. Uh, so I, I think it's something like that, at least for many people, it's something like that. For other people. I think it is a, um, it is a technique and in effect, it's a dare or I'm calling it a bluff in the paper. People know, you know, I'm sure many people who are friends of the Black Lives Matter movement know that the cops are on the whole, the principal line of defense of black lives against the depredation of a relatively few violent people. They know that, okay. On the other hand, uh, they, they, they dare you. They're in effect daring you to disagree with them in public about it because they are relying upon being able to, um, to smear you as a person who, uh, you know, in virtue of the fact that you were pointing to the good that the cops are doing must not be on the right side of history. This kind of, they're counting on us backing down when confronted about calling attention to the absence of black fathers, the uh, and, and, and by the way, there are other issues besides race. There is gender and so forth. There, there is a the left-right debate about how you organize society, the economy, the social. So you have ideologues of a variety of stripes who are allied together and they're kind of, you know, I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine. I will not say anything about the negative consequences of unrestricted illegal immigration coming across the southern border if you promise not to talk about how many of the black babies in Chicago don't have daddies.

Jason Riley: Yeah. Well let me ask you, I mean, I, I have a theory as to why there's a hesitancy out there for these various groups to speak honestly about these things. I think with the, with the civil rights folks and the activists, they become less relevant if they acknowledged that, that racism is not, does not play the role it once did in holding blacks back. Um, and with our politicians, I don't think there's anything to be gained by having an honest discussion here. When you're a politician, you tell people what they want to hear, if not, not necessarily what they need to hear about these things and you tell them that, I've got a government program here that can solve, solve your problem and, and that's the way you win votes. I was recently,

Dr. Glenn Loury: I'm sorry Jason, let's just.

Jason Riley: You do.

Dr. Glenn Loury: That's what they do. That's cowardice. That's cowardice and that's public irresponsibility.

Jason Riley: Let me give you an example. I'll give you a very recent example. There are some youtube videos out there of Kamala Harris as a prosecutor in San Francisco, uh, 10 years ago.

Dr. Glenn Loury: Yeah.

Jason Riley: You should listen to the way she used to talk about some of these issues. There's, there's a speech of her in Chicago talking about how she gets tired of these progressives talking about, you know, build fewer prisons and more schools. She, she mocks them. She says, hey, in principal I agree with you, but you haven't addressed why I have three padlocks on my front door. Kamala Harris doesn't talk like that anymore. It's because that is not the route to the White House. That is not the route to the nomination. That is, that is not in her interest to talk like that.

Dr. Glenn Loury: I'm not sure about that, but that's easy for me to say. I'm not a politician trying to get elected. I'm not. I remember during the primary campaign in 2016, Bill Clinton was giving a speech somewhere, I think it was in Philadelphia again, and he got confronted by a bunch of activists calling him out about the Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994, and he said to them, in effect, tell the truth. Tell the truth. You weren't there. Okay. It was a s-h-i-t storm. Okay. We did the best that we could. In retrospect, we might've done a little bit differently, this or that, but you going to call me a racist because I was trying to take care of my responsibilities? Tell the truth, tell the truth. Now, it was reported later as a gaffe. Clinton once again goes off script and hurts the campaign. I'm not persuaded. I mean, look, the way you get to be rich is you have an idea that nobody else has had and you have the balls to put your money where your idea is and you go into that niche in the market and you find out that people want what it is that you're selling. If you're not willing to take a risk, you're not going to get paid. Isn't that the rules of how, uh, how it works? So likewise here with politics, if you're not willing to take a risk and step out a little bit and challenge people. Isn't that what Donald Trump did to a certain degree in 2016? Isn't that why he's president of the United States right now? He made a bet about what he thought that the electorate was going to respond to, that nobody else was willing to make. I know I'm not supposed to say that, but I mean, if I'm wrong, tell me I'm wrong. Last time I checked he won that election.

Jason Riley: I'm not sure how much time we have left before we're going to have questions. Oh, okay. Well, let me, uh, try and summarize.

Dr. Glenn Loury: Can I just say I'm not endorsing everything that Donald Trump has said? What I'm endorsing is chutzpah. What I'm endorsing is the willingness...

Jason Riley: Professor Loury goes off script and commits a gaffe. So what you, what you seem to be getting at in the paper is that, um, in terms of the theme of this conference, black barriers, is that the, the, the, the focus hasn't been on to the extent it's needed to be on, on developing that, that social capital, that human capital among these groups, um, and, but that, that underdevelopment is a better explanation of the racial gaps we see today, uh, than is racism and, and, and, and that there are opportunities out there for blacks today more than ever, but they're unable to take advantage of them due to that underdevelopment.

Dr. Glenn Loury: Can I just say one thing? I know our time is short. Yes. In affirming your summary of where I'm coming from, that's exactly where I come in. I want to give the school discipline, uh, uh, example to make this point graphic. So the Obama Department of Education enjoins or strongly recommends or cajoles local school districts around the country to get their racial disparity and suspension rates of students for disruptive behavior in school, narrow. Narrow that racial disparity or else you're going to have trouble with the Office of Civil Rights and Department of Education. Along comes, Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration and they rescind or walk back some of that advice, to much consternation. And listening to that debate, I thought, well, you know, if in fact it's the case that teachers, principals, and guidance counselors, and the school-based police officers are racially discriminating so that the same behavior amongst African American ends up with the toughest sanction like suspension, then that same behavior amongst whites, that would be a problem. It would be something the Office of Civil Rights and so forth, should be involved in. But based on all that we know, like for example, what's the crime participation and incarceration rate of those same populations five years later, it's at least plausible that there's an objective racial disparity in the frequency of disruptive behavior that occasions a difference in the statistics. Now, if that's right, if it's not racism, if it's the behavior of the kids, what a disservice we're doing to those kids to cover up that disruptive behavior, uh, under the, uh, idea that we're getting civil rights. What a terrible thing to be doing and not only to them but to their classmates who came into the school with the intention of learning something and to the teachers who were doing a very, very difficult job by being in that classroom with these kids by not willing to back their play and instead rolling that up into a civil rights thing. That is on the borderline of criminal. If in fact, the reason for the disparity is the disruptive behavior being more frequent amongst the, amongst these lower class African American students. So, so that's, that's the kind of thing that I'm saying. I'm saying if you really cared about racial equality, I could go on in this vein, the affirmative action debate. We're now in, now I'll stop because I know our time is limited. But we're now on the verge of enshrining as a permanent device achieving the inclusion and representation of African Americans in elite and selective academic venues through an openly acknowledged use of different standards to judge their performance. That's horrible. It's not horrible because of the 14th amendment, although the Supreme Court may yet find so, it's horrible because it really isn't equality. It's patronization. It's African Americans embracing and the establishment adopting a set of practices that basically are rooted in the soft bigotry of low expectations. It's a horrible thing. Okay. Not because the Asian kids are being unfairly treated though they well may be, it's horrible to African Americans ourselves. And again, I asked, where's the debate? Other than Justice Clarence Thomas and, uh, Professor Thomas Sowell and a few others, there's not even a debate amongst African Americans about a first-order question, if the goal is equality.

Jason Riley: Well, we're going to wrap this up. Thank you, Professor Loury. Thank you very much.

Photo Courtesy Manhattan Institute

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