Princeton African-American Studies Professor Patiently Explains Systemic Racism And Affirmative Action To Morning Joe

Prof. Eddie Glaude Jr.: History Of Slavery Determines "The Very Notion, The Very Nature Of Citizenship In This Country”

From the July 14 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

EDDIE GLAUDE JR.: We want to be very clear here. The folks who are supporting Donald Trump are, many of them are experiencing extraordinary economic insecurity. We don’t want to reduce them to simply a gaggle of racists. That would be too simplistic. But we do know there’s a history of populism in the United States that carries with it, right, a kind of racist undertone, that often times becomes really explicit. And what I mean by that is --

JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): Divide between racist undertone and racial resentment. I think that’s so important, and said it after Barack Obama’s 2008 speech on race. There is racism, but then there’s this sort of latent racist resentment. “Why am I working next to a guy in a factory in Youngstown, my kid’s getting As and Bs, and I’m white. And this guy next to me is black, and his son’s going to Harvard. And my kid, I’m going to have to put in a community college.”

GLAUDE: Right, and the fact that the white guy in Youngstown is identifying the black kid who’s getting into Harvard as opposed to the legacy who’s getting into Harvard as the reason why he or she didn’t get in, suggests that this is much more complicated, right? So pasrt of what --

SCARBOROUGH: The guy on the assembly line, he doesn’t even know what legacy means.

GLAUDE: Right. But I’m just saying so who is he identifying as the person taking his child’s place is the interesting question to ask. And so part of what we know is that there’s a sense in which the zero-sum approach to racial inequality, that in order for us to actually address this cultural practice of inequality that defines the country, requires that we have to take something from white people and give it to undeserving people. Right?

MIKA BRZEZINSKI (CO-HOST): Right. Not that simple.

GLAUDE: Leads to this kind of resentment, right? And then there are a host of assumptions about black folk. Right? That they want handouts, that they want something for free, that they’re lazy --

SCARBOROUGH: Well, we need to expand now beyond black folk. We now need to look, especially when we’re talking about white, working class Americans without jobs, they’re looking at Mexicans. They’re looking at immigrants. I think even more than they’re even looking at blacks for taking their jobs away from them and -- 

GLAUDE: But see, there’s an interesting thing about this. The late Judith Shklar, a former political theorist at Harvard, said that what’s unique about the United States is the only modern constitutional state that begins with slavery. And that the issue of racial slavery overdetermines -- that’s a fancy word -- overdetermines the very notion, the very nature of citizenship in this country. So black, white, right, colors and shadows, all of these interactions. So not only are they scapegoating African Americans, they’re scapegoating Mexicans, the question of immigration, Muslims.

SCARBOROUGH: Mexicans, Muslims.

GLAUDE: Everybody's eroding white privilege.


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