I’m Matt Bellamy founding partner of Puck news and I’m covering the inside conversation about money and power in Hollywood, with my new show, the town I’m going to take you inside Hollywood with exclusive inside on what people in Show, Business are actually talking about multiple times a week.
I’ll talk to some of the smartest people I know journalists insiders, all of whom can break down the hottest topics and entertainment.
Tell you what’s really going on.
Listen now, Today’s episode is about a subject that is core to American history and core to my obsession with progress, but it’s also a subject that I haven’t recorded a full episode on yet because I think I was waiting for the perfect guest.
The subject is racism and inequality, It’s unhealthy, fears of the other hurt us all.
Several years ago, the writer researcher and policy Advocate, Heather McGee, traveled around the country to report on how racism in America holds us back from policies.
That would otherwise benefit everybody in her book, The some of us.
She explained how racist fears have made us all worse off for decades.
She said many voters and politicians have fought against policies that would have gotten them better jobs better.
That’s more Healthcare, more upward Mobility because they were afraid.
They were afraid that those same policies might also help non-white and especially black Americans.
She made another point in this book, that’s struck me and stuck with me.
It’s that progressives sometimes talk about racism in a way that is also pretty unhelpful for our own causes Clint say, for example, that you wanted to build a new housing development in a mostly white neighborhood, the neighbors were against it and you want to get these neighbors to change their minds.
What do you do?
What do you say to those neighbors?
Well, one thing you could definitely do is you can call them a bunch of selfish races.
You could do this.
You could tell them they’re only against new housing and new construction because they’re afraid, it will reduce their housing values and allow people who don’t look like them to move into their neighborhood.
By the way you may be right about some of them.
If you chose this path, you could tell yourself.
Hey, I’m just calling it, like it is.
But there’s another approach that’s available to you without ignoring race entirely.
You could try to explain to them how more housing might make everybody better off.
You know more, local demand might mean more stores more restaurants.
Their favorite coffee, shop, might not exist.
Without this new development, it’s more economic activity.
It’s more local workers for their school’s, their construction projects, their bathroom.
The first approach focuses on what the neighbors have that, they won’t give up their privilege. the second approach focuses on how the neighbors could benefit if they just say, yes, Not the risk of losing, but the opportunity of building.
Quote progressives often end up talking about race relations through a prism of competition.
Every Advantage for whites mirrored by a disadvantage for people of color.
Heather wrote the task ahead then is to unwind this idea of a fixed quantity of prosperity and replace it with what I’ve come to call.
Solidarity, dividends gains available to everyone when they unite across racial lines in the form of higher wages.
Cleaner air and better funded schools.
End quote, today’s guest is Heather McGee.
In this episode, we talk about her new podcast, also called the, some of us her indelible metaphor of a drained pool in.
Alabama, how progressives and conservatives talk about race.
And why many laws today?
That might not seem explicitly racist, still, sustain, racial inequality.
I’m Derrick Thompson.
This is plain English.
Heather, welcome to the podcast, so good to be with you Derek.
I want to start with the metaphor at the center of your book, which is the story of the drained pool at.
Tell me that story, and what you think it should teach us.
So, I ended up in Montgomery, Alabama, on this journey that I took across country to Write the book, The some of us.
And I find myself walking the grounds of this big beautiful Park like a Central Park, but of a smaller City.
And there’s just this huge flat expanse of grass in the middle of this park and there about a handful of people at this otherwise, like beautiful Park that you would think, maybe might have a few more visitors.
And it turns out that 10 feet underneath the ground that I’m walking on is the carcass of what used to be a thousand plus person.
Public works progress administration, New Deal era, swimming pool, and there used to be about 2,000 of those pools in the country.
There were built in a building, boom, in the 1930s and 40s of public goods.
Roads Bridges schools, libraries parks and pools.
And they were a reflection of deeper ethos in the country, right?
This idea was born out of The Crucible of the Great Depression, and maybe the lesson, Of the first Gilded Age of inequality that we’ve now surpassed, which said, you know, government has a right and a responsibility to ensure a decent standard of living for its people.
So we’re going to invest in these public goods and for me, you know, my work is an economic policy.
So I carried a little less at first about the swimming pools than the other public goods that came out of this era, like social security for the elderly, a massive investment in housing that workers could afford, you know, the idea of mass homeownership that would be created by this.
Us government-backed and regulated insured.
Financial instrument, the GI Bill, put a generation to college for free and no down payment home, home ownership, right?
All these things that helped to build the Great American middle class.
And the thing is virtually everything.
I just described was in one way or another whites.
Only segregated exclusionary racially.
Whether we’re talking about explicitly, like, in the housing market which I’m sure your listeners know.
Was based on a never substantiated, assumption, that black people would be too big of a credit risk to allow them to be part of the financial market.
So, black neighborhoods were explicitly and deliberately redlined and excluded from Financial investment through commercial and residential mortgages and Loans.
The Social Security Act excluded, black workers by carving out the, to job categories that most black workers Has were in right?
The domestic work and agricultural work and a compromise with the southern delegation to Congress.
The GI bill was raised neutral on its face, right?
But it was the benefits were in housing and education to very segregated sectors and so you know, basically you had this sort of whites only public goods social contract that worked for those who got access and shut out everybody else.
And so too were these swimming pools not just in Montgomery Alabama but all over the country either.
Explicitly like in Montgomery, right?
Or just by custom, and enforced, through intimidation and violence in the Midwest, and the west and the North.
And when the Civil Rights Movement, empowered black families, to be able to say, you know, hey, that’s actually been our tax dollars, funding those public goods, all along as well.
And, in the case of the swimming pools, we want our kids to swim to towns and cities across the country.
Did what Montgomery?
They drained their public pools rather than integrate them, they literally drained out the water and backed up truckloads of dirt and gravel and buried them destroyed them out of a sense that it was better to destroy a public good, then open it up to all of the public including people in the public, they believed not to be good.
It’s a really, it’s an indelible metaphor that we drain the pool in order to preserve this feeling of segregation.
It reminds me of one of my favorite economic papers that I’ve written about by the late Economist Alberto elicina.
He did all sorts of work.
Looking at why the u.s. is more optimistic about upward Mobility than Europe, but ironically has less upward Mobility than Europe.
So like the American dream is more alive, in Denmark than it is for most native-born Americans and the money quote from this paper Paper is this, quote the presence of more minorities and immigrants.
In a commuting zone is significantly correlated with less support for redistribution, especially among right-wing respondents.
It may be that they believe redistribution will mostly help immigrants or minorities which they may not want and quote.
So again, you have diversity creating this zero-sum mentality, that cuts against equality.
And hurts everybody.
It’s the drain pool affect your reporting.
Also found the opposite.
It also found that there’s pockets of the country where people do come together across race.
Can you tell me one of those stories?
Yeah, so I mean, I was really good.
So I was like a class person, right?
My whole career has been an economic policy.
I am a black woman and I feel listeners can tell, but I am a black woman, but I felt like Like, if we can get these economic policies, right?
Because people of color, you know, disproportionately struggle struggle in a broken economy and struggle from discrimination and disadvantage and debt.
You know, we can solve the problem that way, and I was kind of, I don’t know, maybe like many people of my age resistant to kind of racialized thinking going in and my journey was both like a physical one, like logging real miles and going all over the But also an intellectual one.
One of the most important experiences that I had other than walking the grounds of Oak Park.
And realizing that there was a pool buried under there was, when I got to know some workers in Kansas City, including some, some white workers who were organized in a, you know, there were poverty, wage fast-food workers who are organized in.
What would become the fast-food, the The fight for 15, and but it was a local organization first called Stand Up Casey, for Kansas City and I talk to White workers there.
That organization, explicitly was organizing the lowest paid, you know, workers some of the lowest paid workers in our economy.
The biggest inequality of any industry fast food Thousand to one CEO to worker pay Gap and like the most derided, right?
It’s sort of like you don’t want to end up flipping burgers like You know, and it was really interesting for me to talk to white people who had those jobs who were really embodying.
Know what I had read about the wages of whiteness from w.e.b.
Du Bois, right?
This idea that it was like, I’m still alive, I’m still a real American, I’m still I’m still worth something.
I’m still have some status because I’m white Even though I’m very poor and I’m at the bottom, I’m feel like I’m looked down upon by everyone in society.
And the answer to my economic problem might actually require me doing what every worker in history has done to make their crappy job into a good job, which is organizing, right?
But that would require me to link arms across race and that would require me to see myself in a worker who’s black Latino right because this is you know, service sector work.
And so it was kind of you know this Workforce to sort of split a third, a third, a third and Kansas City.
And I got to know particularly this one worker named Bridget, you know, been into her home, and really got to know her.
And she really had a transformation where she went from thinking.
This is sort of my individual fault, like I had to drop out of school because I had to take care of my mom, but I II, you know, and, and it was and it was a Organizers who were explicit about the I mean they didn’t call it the wages of whiteness but they were explicit about the way that workers were going to have to come together across race and that poverty was affecting all of them and that the only person who could change it was the boss and that the boss wanted to keep them apart.
And you know, like really actually engaging in the way that the organizing that was rooted in a race conscious.
Camp to inoculate white workers against racist, you know, sort of zero-sum thinking, and it worked.
And we had this like explicitly multiracial labor movement, which you know, moved for a, you know, a bill in locally to raise the minimum wage, you know which ended up getting sort of absorbed and Amplified into the fight for 15.
So that’s just one story of talking to someone who said, you know, I used to think it was us versus them.
That’s what Bridget said to me said, but now I know that for us to come up they’ve got to come up to because as long as we’re divided or conquered the flip side of the drain pool effect, is what you’re describing right now.
This realization that with a sort of cross racial solidarity, you can have full pools, you can have anti-poverty programs.
You can have universal healthcare programs, you can have unions you call this, the solidarity.
Tell me a little bit about what you mean by solidarity dividend and why it’s such an important antidote to the drain pool.
So I love this for in solidarity.
It’s like not, it’s not hip, it’s not fashionable, it’s not, it’s not part of our, you know, sort of it’s not a well-known.
Well used word in American culture, but I love it right.
It-it’s really well used in labor movements and has been for Generations, right?
It’s this idea that your fight is my fight and that as I There’s a chapter in the book about Labor, called No One fights alone, which is, which I got from the back of a t-shirt, right?
A labor t-shirt and it’s just this idea, right?
I mean, we have such an individualized view of ourselves of the economy of mobility of success, right?
It’s like my fight is me against my bills.
Like at the kitchen table late at night, after the kids, go to bed.
It’s like I need to take on another shift.
I need to go back to school right on To ask my boss for a raise like, you know, good luck, right?
But it’s so a historical.
It’s such a false consciousness that we could ever have had the Great American middle class without Collective action.
And, and most of the things that really matter in life, take Collective action and then the US and in diverse societies, that’s, that’s got to be Collective action across race, right?
So, so this idea of the solidarity dividend is the idea that we can unlock these games but only Only through multiracial Collective action that ideally in terms of the organizing of how to get those solidarity, dividends what I’ve learned is that, you know, it takes explicit relationship, building across race, it tapes, it takes self-awareness, right?
You can’t like skirt around it, you know, you can’t only emphasize on race and identity, right?
Because that does make people see themselves as different and not recognize their common interest, but you can’t ignore it.
Either has less few years between.
In when you reported for this book and started this podcast change your mind at all about these things.
To be honest.
You know, the book came out in January 2021 and you know I’ve been going around the country talking about the book and people ask me the most common question has been, how do you see, how are you still hopeful and and how do we create this solidarity dividend.
Like love it.
How does it work?
You know how in today’s politics me.
One so divided.
You know, that enough.
And I was like, I am not as hopeful was finished writing the book and November of twenty twenty right on the heels of this, you know, huge social movement and right after the election was certified for for Biden, you know, January 6 happened and the attack on children’s freedom to learn and like all these things and I’m just like oh goodness you know, progress is not promised.
So I wasn’t as hopeful frankly and I Is that I did need to get back on the road both to reconnect to the hope that I had when I was on the journey to write the book and to ask deeper, more probing questions about what it really took and to find more stories to be like is, you know, are the handful of stories that were in the book, the only ones.
And so that’s why I ended up going back on the road for the last nine months to do this podcast and it includes eight, its Nine episodes.
Eight of them are all new stories.
The only on that carried over is Bridget and her co-worker Terrence and of cross-racial coalition’s.
And it’s it’s like a really hopeful series, it’s not uncomplicated, but I personally selfishly, I’m a lot more hopeful about our country than I was when I began the journey.
This is a really interesting theme that I picked up from other people.
Jim Fallows, for example, a long time, Atlantic writer, who’s now publishing a newsletter on sub.
Stack has Point to me over and over that if you live in Washington DC, as I do and right about America from the vantage point of Washington DC.
As I do, it’s very easy to see our politics as being hopeless, as being utterly manichean, there is purely Us Versus Them.
There is no solidarity that exists in the vast.
Expanse of America, it’s just all Teddy - polarization, but if you go outside of the 2002, if you go to these Cities and you talk to people about their friends, and their local politics, and their business partners and their lives.
Solidarity seems to trickle up from these kind of conversations as someone, who’s should have seen it from both sides here, right?
You sat in my chair and you’ve been on the road for the last few months.
Why do you think it is that polarisation scream?
So loudly as a national story from Washington DC, but that traveling across the country reveals more solidarity than someone like me would expect.
Well, let’s be clear.
Politicians in Washington.
Are paid to be, Republicans are paid to be Democrats, right?
Like, but that’s their job, they leave, their job is to be on a team, right?
It is not when you go to Kansas City and to rural Maine and Rural, Nevada and Dallas and Albuquerque, as I’ve been going for the, some of us podcast, I was with people whose job was to be a, you know, the stay-at-home mom, a farmer.
I’m just like ticking through them, right?
An assistant like basically a secretary a, an avid mountain biker, a poet, like, you know, people whose job is not to read or write the news.
Their job is to keep the lights on and pack their kids lunches and send them off to school, right?
Like and so ultimately, there is a sense that Like can you help me do that right hand?
You my neighbor like help me do my job, which is to like have a decent life and you know, could I trust you to tell me if my kid, you know, took a wrong turn on his walk to school?
Can I trust you?
Can you help me run the school?
Can you help me?
Save my family farm, write an episode in Maine.
Can you help me as the episode that’s out right now in Memphis, can you help me?
Checked my land because the huge company wants to come and use eminent domain to seize it to run a pipeline through it, like that is really important and can you help me do that?
So I think that’s why but then it’s also it’s in each of the episodes the stories of progress and struggle and change that we were able to tell what’s really impacted by the summer 2020.
Like and everyone’s story there was sort of like a quiet Moment of like you know when they first saw the video George Floyd, how they were radicalized by Ahmad, our briefs death, like what you know, like it just it’s sort of like the thing in the background that it’s like, oh, that is in some ways.
A, but for, for this kind of cross-racial organizing and and that’s really hopeful for me.
I was very hopeful to see that and I’m really excited to share it with people, because a lot of people are like, well, you know, they’re no more protests in the street.
So, what happened to all that energy.
And I really think it sort of settled in the A of people and communities, and sort of people haven’t really gone back in terms of their willingness, to be honest, about racer ability, to just talk about it and be fluent in it even a little bit.
I wonder what you think of as the longer-term effect of the summer of 2020 and the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder.
Because on the one hand, it’s clear to me that there was a moment of an extended moment of racial.
We Awakening not only in the US but really across the world.
I mean, it is really stunning, how Global that moment truly was at the same time.
Even though I feel like America learned and has learned a new vocabulary of racial awareness.
When you look at like public policies especially at the national level that I’m more familiar math.
There might be you know, a zillion policies that are past the state level but at the national level it’s like it’s a little bit harder to point to what the Legacy has been.
So, Example, I’m a huge fan of Senator, Cory.
Booker’s plan to give babies ten thousand dollars.
Something called Baby bonds which is the policy that would disappear shortly.
Help non-white Americans because non-white Americans are poor overall than white Americans in this country and so it would reduce the wealth Gap but policies like that just don’t seem to be discussed as much as I might have predicted.
They might be in the summer of 2020 when we were all thinking about these issues.
So, being on the road but also thinking about it from the lens of federal policy.
What do you see as the legacy of the George Floyd protest?
Yeah, I’m really torn about this.
I mean I’m not talkin about what’s happened.
I’m trying about the significance of it, right?
I think there has been a massive Consciousness shift in this country, you know all over the country especially at the local level.
You know their new coalition’s of people who are you know started out on a Facebook moms group and are now trying to change the way the local schools are funded to be more Equitable, right?
So that’s happening and I think it’s happening more around the country than you see and hear in the national news.
But I can’t disagree with you that, you know, this Administration came out of the gate, you know, really you know saying that there were these four imperatives and one was racial Equity.
I mean I nearly fell off my chair.
Like the first speech that Biden made on raised, he talked about the zero-sum and you know which is another big theme in the book and And, you know, basically made the point that racism is bad for all of us and it holds our economy back and I was like, oh here we go.
Like we’re doing this, you know?
And so many of the initiatives, which, you know, always is where you look, right, like what’s happening at the agencies, you know, at the administration, the administrative State initiatives like addressing the racism and in highways which is like this huge underappreciated story of how black wealth and thriving black main streets and businesses got Asteroids deliberately in the 20th century, you know, you heard Pete Buddha, just talking about it.
There’s this like pilot program and initiative and it’s like I’m just sort of faded away, right?
We had, you know, another huge black wealth story which is what the absolutely racist attacks on black Farmers from the USDA over the course of the past 150 years.
And there was like a little program to address that and you know, white conservatives sued and it was stopped right like these.
So it is clear that not as much as been done about statutes as has been done about statues, right?
I think culturally there’s been more done too.
Own up to our powerful racist symbols and our history and to not whitewash them.
But what I like to see some baby bonds.
Yes, am I annoyed that?
You know, the build back better American families, American jobs plans, like all the different versions of the name has now become some, some Mansion bill that completely Left Behind.
As did the infrastructure, Bill the things.
Really disproportionately impact women and women of color, right?
Like all the Care, Physicians, right?
The idea that we would have Universal child care and Universal elder care and, you know, thousands of noon, hundreds of thousands of new well-paid home, care jobs like that, that quite racialized and gendered part of what we need to rebuild our you know, human infrastructure as well as our hard infrastructure knows.
I’m not cutting room floor, right?
I guess there’s sort of three ways to look at it.
Like never won the optimistic way, is that the shift we’ve seen in American Consciousness?
Toward race is a necessary precondition to the shifts that we may later see in legislation the slightly.
Less optimistic way is to say that.
Right now, we’re just at a frustrating point where the statues are toppling faster than the statutes are being written that.
It’s proven a little bit easier to change names and pull down statues, then generate new laws that help.
The poor and even disproportionately help non-white Americans and then maybe the pessimistic way and not even representing this.
The thing that I think is most likely but the pessimistic way is to say that.
Well there’s a lot of people that are using the language of racial Reawakening in order to cover up the fact that they have no actual deep intent to pass these policies and they’re trying to slip by and avoid criticism by talking the talk, even though they have no inclination or capacity.
I walk the walk.
So I mean, I think you did a good job of helping me see those three potential paths and I just want to name them, it makes me think that you know a lot of the zero-sum thinking that you described toward Racial equality in the country has been centered on the right and clearly still is centered on the right.
I wonder if you also see elements of this zero-sum thinking on the left as well.
So, the book, The some of us, you know, the the subtitle is what racism costs everyone and how we can prosper together and it’s making a real, you know, somewhat radical.
But like it’s making an intervention.
It’s saying actually I think that we are intellectually not rigorous and we are strategically not smart when We only emphasize the benefits of racism to white people because that’s like, selling something to them.
That’s being like racism.
Like makes you wealthier healthier, makes you avoid contact, with the police, like it out.
Now, give it up.
And that’s, you know, I mean, both in the podcast and in the book, I really tried to be just deeply empathetic and Exercise of deep empathy that I was that I’ve been trying to do with the book and the podcast, I thought.
If I’m saying, if my message as a racial Justice Advocate or Progressive in general is White Privilege, White Privilege, White Privilege, aren’t I?
Just selling this and if I don’t finish the sentence that says in the world, I seek to build what happens to you, it’s not that we want white people to have more contact with the police and worse health.
Care and, you know, be poorer like, it’s laughable, right?
You’re like chuckling but like that’s what the right is saying.
And that’s what the zero-sum mental framework, which is predominant among white voters, sets them up to think.
And so it’s like we have to actually finish the sentence and say that we have, we want everyone to have great decent lies and actually only by coming together, can we get that and Racism is bad, ultimately because it causes us to drain the pool, it’s a lie that in any system, built on a lie, becomes dysfunctional, it stops us from taking Collective action.
So it has a cost for everyone’s not equal, but it has a cost for everyone.
Ultimately, it is the, you know, underlying unifying Factor behind most of our most vexing public problems from our unwillingness to To act on climate change to our lack of a family policy to all of these nice things that we don’t have and therefore, there’s a mutual interest in addressing it.
I want to take the powerful metaphor of the drain swimming pool on a road tour for a second.
Applying it to some real-world problems that I’ve been obsessing about one of them is housing and the issue of nimbyism that is people who are against the construction of housing in and around their neighborhood.
Because they think it’s going to make them poor create more traffic, but so often we know that housing inequality and housing on affordability and scarcity.
Is an issue for the lower middle classes and therefore is an issue for disproportionally non-white populations.
So when you talk to people about an issue like housing, and they say things like will look.
More housing is not better for me.
The more is more phenomenon.
Here, more housing means more traffic.
It means where’s construction noise.
It means declining housing values.
How do you get them to think about the world through the lens of this solidarity dividend?
You know, I think that what I’ve seen activists right again, like you know, this has been a topic for a lots of cross-racial coalition’s across the country.
What I seen them try to do is salivating the fact that the system right now is the result of bad policy choices and therefore sort of like unsettling people a little bit in their comfort with the status quo.
And then bringing in you know the same way that Neighbors from were neighbors.
Did a sense of like a real moral and economic vision of a more thriving diverse Community where it is not clear that property values will go down.
It is clear that more housing units, Atul effects, you know, accessory dwelling units, the ability to, you know, just sort of have something other than a single-family home and 75% of the most of the Metro areas.
In our country, might actually be helpful for all kinds of families.
All kinds of young adults, starting out, and that, that brings a lot to neighborhoods as well, you know, it is tough because, both the housing market and the stock market, Are free money.
That mostly white people disproportionately benefit from that.
There is zero moral quandary about in the way imagination, right?
It’s like you.
Can you put that differently to say?
What you mean by that?
so, Well from housing, the idea that I can buy a house for twenty thousand dollars and then suddenly with all these tax-advantaged ways I’m writing off all this stuff and then it’s four hundred thousand dollars two years later and I can do, you know, put my kid to college and go on more vacations and borrow against it.
That’s not seen as like a handout, that’s not seen as unearned money.
That’s just like, What happens to good people?
And that’s a problem, right?
That’s, that’s a problem because it creates this entitlement mentality around unearned money, you know, and I and the stock market is another huge example of this, right?
It’s just, it’s unbelievable that we never, we don’t even talk about it as gambling as a casino as anything.
It’s like just smart people.
Make smart decisions, that’s important to keep our economy going.
Like what are we talking about here?
Like people are just opening envelopes, you know?
Like it’s not.
At work, it’s not work and yet we have this moral finger wagging around poor people getting three hundred dollars a month to help raise their children.
You know, and I’m talking about a child tax credit that wasn’t just for poor people, right?
But you know, so it’s just, you know, we’ve let actual cash welfare dwindled to, you know, positively you know, nothing in so many places in the country.
Tree out of this idea that everyone has to work for every dollar that comes into their household, but it’s just bullshit.
It’s funny in the earliest days of my writing for the Atlantic.
I was basically a tax reporter.
I just found taxes.
Totally fascinating, and my friends would be like, why do you find taxes, interesting?
And I was like, it’s a representation of the values of a country.
If you want to know what a country values, look at the tax code.
We have tax benefits for carried interest.
We have tax benefits for capital gains that are long term.
We have tax If it’s for mortgage interest, right?
What are we saying?
We value investment bankers, investors, and people who buy huge houses with lots of debt, what don’t we value?
What we don’t have a universal Child Tax Benefit.
We don’t we have all these debates about the earn about increasing the Earned Income Tax Benefit.
So it’s it’s status quo that we value big houses and investment and it’s not status quo for some reason that we have value for young children being a A parent or being a low-wage worker who is under a threshold where eitc would kick in.
And so on this point, we are absolutely aligned.
I think it is, it’s pretty remarkable.
How some tax benefits are just seen as well.
That person’s just doing a good job, raising a family and other tax benefits are like, you can’t give a hand out to someone.
What would they do?
They’ll stop working.
It’ll ruin their American entrepreneurial spirit and it is, it’s very interesting how that particular argument is so selectively employed.
There’s It’s racialized so Derek.
Like that’s my point, right?
Is that it?
So I worked in tax policy and economic policy for so long.
And and I was and we were all suddenly disincentivize from actually talking about the racial politics of that cognitive.
There was a sense of, you know, it’s a head strap, it’s a head-scratcher, it’s so crazy.
Why do we value?
You know, things that are disproportionately what white men?
Men have gotten for, you know, free and why do we have all this moral?
Finger-wagging at like poor women and women of color and particularly this is where it’s been so helpful to, you know, Lincoln history and sociology and things because you know, the idea that black people are lazy, right?
Which is so much a part of our welfare politics, right?
Is and so that anything free would disincentivize black people from Working was a story that was created to justify slavery, right?
Like you have to chain and torture these people into working because they unlike us wouldn’t like to work and how much of a moral inversion?
And projection was that for the plantation class that literally didn’t lift a finger in the Enterprise of their Plantation, which was farming.
Like they weren’t Farmers, they were, you know, getting iced tea poured.
For them on the porch, right?
And not paying people for it.
And so it’s I feel like, without understanding the the way in which The elite the creation as a justification for an unfair economic system of racial stereotypes in the deployment of them, and the updating of them generation after generation.
You don’t really understand why we can’t have nice things in America.
You don’t really understand the things that just go without questioning and the things that are always scrutinized.
If you don’t like open, take the blinders off about the racism, in our politics, and our policymaking, very, very less point.
There are some People, especially, you know, conservatives that I sometimes, Listen to, Who will say, well, you know, there’s no more du jeu racism.
There’s no more legal racism.
We pass the Civil Rights Act.
We have affirmative action in our colleges legal, racism is gone.
And I think a really important point that you’re making is that we are still living in a house whose walls and Foundations are built by assumptions that are fundamentally racist.
Even if the people living in that house aren’t actually racist themselves.
They can’t see why those planks were set.
They can’t see why the house is built the way that it is.
But in fact, the blueprint comes from designs that are did you are a racist?
I think that’s very well said.
And it’s also where when you think about wealth and property values and housing, and it’s also clear, right?
Because we’re talking about wealth wealth, accumulates right from explicitly racist policies.
That said, do not lend Negroes hazardous Era area to today.
The fact that a black college graduate has less wealth on average than a white high school dropout like we can’t you know, it’s we’re wrapping up here and I could get way into it but read the book.
But some of us is a whole chapter about this, the ways in which wealth particularly is a way to understand that, systemic racism, you know.
And and that not addressing the wealth Gap allows current quota.
Quote reason, for policies from our student debt system to the way we fund schools to be like wildly racist, Heather McGee.
Thank you so much.
I’m Jerry Thompson.
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