TheGrio Daily

Let’s see if the racists are right

Episode 111

“We want to see if we can verify or justify some of those racist concepts.” What would happen if America flipped it’s racists and systemic policies around and it was white people who were affected? Michael Harriot takes a look at what that might look like.


[00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Black Culture Amplified. 

Michael Harriot [00:00:05] Hello. We’re back. Of course, we always here. Check your feed. But today we want to pivot away from denouncing and disparaging and demonizing racists. Today we’re going to, you know, embrace them. You know, we’re going to give them some validity and verify their arguments. And that’s why I want to welcome you to theGrio Daily, the only podcast that dares ask the question, maybe the racists are right? Yeah. So, you know, there are so many racist. Anti Black white supremacists arguments that they are hard to dissect sometimes. It’s hard to even keep up with them, right? Like every time one you dismantle one, there’s another one. . 

Michael Harriot [00:01:15] So today I want to look at that idea from the opposite perspective. Right? We want to see if we can kind of verify or, you know, answer or justify some of those racist concepts. Let’s use the scientific method. So whenever a scientist or researchers are studying something or comparing two things, they can’t just look at them and then look at the other one. What they have to have is a control group, right? So if you say, I want to see which group of people are smarter. Right. You just can’t look at one group and look at the other group and see which one is smart. Right. You have to take a homogenous randomized group of people and compare those results. Or an unbiased group of subjects. They use it all the time in medicine, right? So when they give people medicine, they’ll give half of the group the medicine, and then they’ll give some people a placebo or no medicine at all. Right. And then they’ll see how the people who took the medicine progress versus the people who didn’t or the people took the placebo, what’s called a control group. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Well, I want to do the same thing with racism, Right. I think we could solve all of the racist arguments if we did a control group or control the study of racism. 

Michael Harriot [00:03:04] Now, how will we do that? Well, let’s take, you know, the idea like the most racist idea that Black people are less intelligent than white people. I don’t object to that. As a matter of fact, I’d love to see if that is true. Now, to see if that is true, well, the first thing we would have to do is to see if white people benefited from the way the education system is constructed. Now, the only way to do that is we’d have to put Black people in an education system that benefited them more than it benefits. White people like you just can’t measure the results. Now, you got to give Black people the same advantages that white people have. And if you put Black people in education system that teaches Black children in a way that benefits them, right? Like you teach them history through the lens of Blackness. You use Black characters in their early English classes. Instead of see Jane run or see Sally run, we’ll see Shaniqua run. Let’s see Keisha. Right. Instead of teaching them math according to the way that white people have been taught, right? Like two birds on a wire, you shoot one bird up, How many do you have now? Let’s use instead of the white centric version, let’s use an Afrocentric or a Black centric version of education. 

Michael Harriot [00:04:53] Now, what we will have to do if we’re really doing this controlled study to see if white children achieve more because of the education system or because of their innate intelligence. We’re going to have to give white people the same disadvantages that Black people have, and we will have to make them learn how Black children learn. We will have to underfund schools. Right. We will have to discriminate against them when it comes to college admissions. We’re going to have to write the curriculum and the tests in like African-American vernacular English so that Black children understand it. And white people are asked like, what does that mean? We’ll have to gerrymander or or reconfigure the SATs and standardized tests to not just reflect socioeconomic advantages, but Black advantages, like maybe like they’ll be a rhythm part of the S.A.T. You will get extra points if you use a washcloth, something like that. Right. Because that’s what we’ll have to do if we want to equalize this education system or take another racist trope. Right. Like, let’s take the racist trope that Black people are more likely to be criminals. Well, I say it might be true, but just to make sure what we should do is we should patrol white neighborhoods more heavily. I mean, of course, police are going to have to brutalize and and kill more white people. I’m sorry, but I’m talking about just science. Like, we don’t have to do it just just for the advancement of science. This actual data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics that shows that judge’s sentence white people to shorter sentences than Black people who have the same criminal background and committed the same crime. So we’ll have to flip that on it’s head and just start treating Black people better in the criminal justice system. We’ll have to give them shorter jail sentences, give them parole sooner. I mean, I’m sorry, but this is science. 

Michael Harriot [00:07:07] I mean, we know that white people use drugs at higher rates than Black people. They started using them at earlier ages. So we will have to arrest white people at three times the rate of Black people. Well, not not really three times a week because they use more drugs. So, I mean, I’d say about four times the rate. I mean, just to be sure. So we’re going to have to put white people in situations that evoke violence. Right. We’re going to have to impoverish them because, you know, children who are in poverty are more likely to commit acts of violence. Oh, we’re going to have to break up your home. You have to put them in single parent homes. We’re going to have to discriminate against them in the education system. We go after teachers, go after, punish white students harsher than Black students because it actually happens. Because if they’re not right, like white people would thrive in that kind of system if they are genetically or socially superior. If whiteness is supreme, then it won’t matter. But if it does, we’ll have an answer and the answer will be that maybe we live in a racist country. Maybe the criminal justice system is skewed toward whiteness. Maybe the education system is beneficial to white kids and anti Black may be all of the economic systems the financial industry because you know, we’re glad to give white people better credit scores. Maybe that’s just skewed towards whiteness. I’d like to know. And the only way we could know is through science. That’s why we have to conduct this experiment. And that’s why we have to watch this podcast. We have to subscribe. You got to tell a friend about it because we need a movement to do these scientific tests. And that’s why you have to download that app. And that’s why we always leave you with a Black saying. And today’s Black saying is, I’m not a reverse racist. I’m just a scientist. We’ll see you next time on theGrio Daily. If you like what you heard, please give us a five star review. Download theGrio app. Subscribe to the show and share it with everyone you know. Please email all questions, suggestions and compliments to podcast at theGrio dot com. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:10:02] I’m political scientist, author and professor Dr. Christina Greer, and I’m host of the Blackest Questions on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. This person invented ranch dressing around 1950. Who are they? 

Marc Lamont Hill [00:10:15] I have no idea. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:10:16] This all began as an exclusive Black history trivia party at my home in Harlem with family and friends. And they got so popular it seemed only right to share the fun with our Grio listeners. Each week we invite a familiar face on the podcast to play. What was the name of the person who was an enslaved chief cook for George Washington and later ran away to freedom? In 1868, this university was the first in the country to open a medical school that welcomed medical students of all races, genders and social classes. What university was it? 

Roy Wood, Jr [00:10:50] This is why I like doing stuff with you, because I leave educated. I was not taught this in Alabama public schools. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:10:57] Question number three. You ready? 

Eboni K. Williams [00:10:58] Yes. I want to redeem myself. 

Amanda Seales [00:10:59] How do we go from Kwanzaa to like these obscure. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:04] Diaspora, darling. 

Amanda Seales [00:11:06] This is like the New York Times crossword from a Monday to a Saturday. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:10] Right or wrong. All we care about is the journey and having some fun while we do it. 

Kalen Allen [00:11:14] I’m excited and also a little nervous. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:17] Oh, listen. No need to be nervous. And as I tell all of my guests, this is an opportunity for us to educate ourselves, because Black history is American history. So we’re going to have some fun. Listen, some people get zero out of five. Somebody can get five out of five. It doesn’t matter. We’re just going to be on a little intellectual journey together. 

Eboni K. Williams [00:11:33] Latoya Cantrell. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:35] That’s right. Mayor Latoya Cantrell. 

Michael Twitty [00:11:37] Hercules Posey. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:39] Hmm. Born in 1754 and he was a member of the Mount Vernon slave community, widely admired for his culinary skills. 

Kalen Allen [00:11:46] I’m going to guess Afro Punk. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:49] Close. It’s Afro Nation. According to my research, and Samuel Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon. 

Jason Johnson [00:12:00] Wrong. Wrong. I am disputing this. 

Latosha Brown [00:12:02] Very, very, very rare 99.9999 sure that it is Representative John Lewis, who is also from the state of Alabama, that let you know, Christina, we got some goodness come out of Alabama. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:12:14] There is something in the water in Alabama and you are absolutely correct. 

Diallo Riddle [00:12:17] The harder they come. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:12:19] Close. 

Diallo Riddle [00:12:20] Wait, The Harder They Fall? 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:12:22] That’s right. I’m one of those people that just changes one word.

Roy Wood, Jr [00:12:27] I just don’t know nothing today. I’m going to pour myself a little water while you tell me the answer. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:12:31] The answer is Seneca Village, which began in 1825 with the purchase of land by a trustee of the A.M.E. Zion Church. 

Roy Wood, Jr [00:12:38] You know why games like this make me nervous? I don’t know if I know enough Black. Do I know enough? How Black am I? Oh, my Lord. We going to find out in public. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:12:46] So give us a follow. Subscribe and join us on the Blackest Questions.