TheGrio Daily

What If White People Are Wrong?

Episode 32

“In the history of this country when has a majority of white people been right about anything that is related to race?” Keep your feet planted! Michael Harriot explains why doing the opposite of what white people say, might be the best advice of 2022. theGrio Daily is an original podcast by theGrio Black Podcast Network. #BlackCultureAmplified

You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, Black Culture Amplified. 

Michael Harriot [00:00:05] You know what? Like, I care a lot about what white people think. Seriously? Like, whenever I’m trying to decide whether or not I should support a movement or a policy or person or whether it benefits Black America, I wait to see what white people think about something, and then I do the opposite. And if it sounds racist, you’ve got to know that there’s never been a movement or a policy or a person that benefited Black people, that was simultaneously embraced by white people. Like in this country, a stance against, you know, the trauma inducing calm of whiteness is perceived as a stance against America. And anyone who disagrees can feel free to prove me wrong. If you could name one person who fought for Black liberation that white people agreed with, I give you like, I got like 5 dollars, like five. Well, I’d need to go. So, 3 dollars, 3 dollars. 

Michael Harriot [00:01:03] Yeah. If you could name one person who fought for Black liberation that white people liked. I’ll give you 3 dollars. Don’t worry. I’ll wait. And while we’re waiting, I might as well welcome you to theGrio Daily, the only podcast that does the opposite of what white people wants it to do. I’m Michael Harriot. World famous wypipologist. And this is theGrio Daily. Yeah man, like race, is the only subject where people think it’s objective to juxtapose the opinions of people who have no education, no experience, and no expertise against people who have studied, lived and worked in the field. When you think about Blackness that way white people will give you and offer their opinion on this subject that they have no opinion on. You know, I don’t know why Black people always vote like this or I don’t know why Black people always say this. 

Michael Harriot [00:02:07] How can Tucker Carlson or Donald Trump or I don’t know, Candace Owens, ever know what it’s like to be Black? They have no experience. So why do we listen to them? And more importantly, why would we listen to any white person and the general white consensus? Because historically, white people have always been wrong. No one would invite a person who watches like Gray’s Anatomy, to argue against like a real doctor. You wouldn’t listen to a weatherman if he was arguing against a climatologist. But when it comes to race. Cable news outlets will pick like conservatives from white nationalists like Tucker Carlson or Tom Cotton or Marjorie Taylor Greene, you know the Wicked Witch of the West, against Black and now white people who are actually doing the work and know what they’re talking about and live the experience. And that’s not objectivity. That’s not both sides. It’s malpractise. I. 

Michael Harriot [00:03:10] Mean, there’s nothing wrong with, you know, having two opinions. But ask yourself, in the history of this country, when has a majority of white people been right about anything that is related to race? When it comes to freedoms and and equality and diversity, white people just haven’t been dead wrong. They’ve been obscenely proud of being wrong. As we know, history is the greatest teacher. So let’s look back at all of the major movements in Black history and see what white people thought about them in real time. So let’s start with slavery or as I call it, race based human trafficking that was enshrined in the constitution, that was color based. Right. White people didn’t support the end of slavery. We only had to fight the biggest war in the history of the North American continent to end it. And I know what people say. Like, you know, whoa, half of the country fought to end slavery in the south. They fought to continue it. 

Michael Harriot [00:04:17] Well, that’s not really accurate. See, the South was fighting to continue the international human trafficking enterprise, but the North wasn’t fighting to end slavery. They was fighting to preserve the union. They were fighting to keep the South in the union. And matter of fact, like the North never wanted to fight for slavery until the South, who was adamant about, you know, killing and legally raping and subjugating Black people, fired those shots at Fort Sumter. And then that’s when the war began. It wasn’t like, you know, we going to fight these white boys down in Georgia to win this slavery. Nah, they didn’t do that. And if you need some evidence. Here’s what this one dude said. “If I could save the union without freeing any slave, I would do it. And if I could save it by freeing all of the slaves, I would do it. And if I could save it by freeing some and leaving some others alone, I would do that.” I mean, that was just some, like, arcane little dude name Abraham Lincoln. So as you can see, he didn’t care about slavery as much as he cared about preserving the union. So I think that settles that. 

Michael Harriot [00:05:42] Let’s go to the next one, the anti-lynching movement. Right. So all throughout this country’s history, since we essentially freed enslaved people. Black people have been pushing for an anti-lynching law in America. It began in 1900 when Representative George Henry, a Black Republican from North Carolina, introduced the first anti-lynching bill in Congress. And that bill didn’t pass until Mrs.. No, not in 1900. No, no, it wasn’t 1918 when they put forward the DEI anti-lynching bill. No, no, it wasn’t. When the civil rights movement. No, there still wasn’t one. Not when they killed Emmett Till. Oh, yeah, it was this year, like a couple of months ago, right. That was the first anti-lynching bill. And all of the white people in America, all of the white voters, all of the politically involved people, didn’t collectively force this country to stop killing Black people. You could look it up. Right. The Emmett Till anti-lynching bill just passed this year. For 150 years white people were like yeah, I mean, it’s kind of bad to kill Black people. But I mean, we ain’t got to make it a law. I mean, in fact, in 1938, during the congressional debates against H.R. 1507, a bill outlawing the extrajudicial murder of Black people. Representative Theodore Bilbo from Mississippi, of course it’s Mississippi, stated this about the bill, and it was called The Preservation and Prevention and Punishment for Lynching Act. He called it insulting and democratic, and he said this, quote, “But I want to tell the advocates of this bill one thing. If you succeed in the passage of this bill, you will open the flood gates of hell in the south raping, mobbing, lynching, race riots and crime will be increased a thousand fold. And on your garments and the garments of those who are responsible for the passage of this bill will be the blood of the raped and outraged daughters of Dixie, as well as the blood of the perpetrators of these crimes that obscured and demeaned the red blooded Anglo-Saxon white Southern men who will not tolerate it.” I guess that settles that. 

Michael Harriot [00:08:24] Next, we’ll go to the civil rights movement. Right now, we can talk about the civil rights bill and we can talk about, you know, whether white people supported it. But we have actual data, right. He is this this poll from 1964 that says most white people felt that the civil rights protests were, quote, not justified. Three out of four white people believe that the civil rights movement was and he always said is white. They say this every time. I literally just received an email that called me this a few minutes before we started recording this episode of this podcast. They called it Communist. 87% believed that the civil rights movement hurt the Negro. So as you can see, they were wrong about civil rights. And when it came to Black Lives Matter, recent polls show that most white people believed that police treated both race equally. Do they not have the internet? You could ever get an episode of T.J. Hooker or Starsky and Hutch from the Seventies and see like they treated Black people differently. They always had the Black people playing the thugs and then they would get the information out of them by beating them in the head or slamming them against the hood. 

Michael Harriot [00:09:53] Like, you know, in the seventies, car hoods were really hard. When it comes to freedom and equality, white people haven’t just been dead wrong. They’ve been historically obscenely proud of being wrong. But somehow we’re supposed to think that everything is different now and they’ve turned around and they’ve gained more knowledge. How? They haven’t lived an experience that is similar to Black people. They having gained more knowledge. Oh, well, maybe the schools are teaching more Black kids. Oh, no, I forgot about that. They’re not learning more Black history. They don’t know what they’re talking about. They never have. They never will. And given the historical track record on human rights, equality, voting, education, war, disease, intelligence, medicine, policing, drugs, mass insurrection, terrorism, Qanon, Q’s underground sex trafficking conspiracy and president picking. It would be insane to arbitrarily ascribe any knowledge or any wisdom to a position collectively held by white people. 

Michael Harriot [00:11:06] So. As I said earlier. When white people say something, the smart thing would be to do the opposite. But, for a moment. Let’s consider the possibility that they are. They aren’t as wrong as they have historically proven themselves to be. What would happen if they were wrong about the politics, the education, the economy, the justice and all of the things that they harshly bellow into the wind every time a Black person says something. Why? Do they think that we should listen to them? And here’s the most important question. Let’s say that they have some truth or some kind of knowledge to what they’re saying. How would you juxtapose the position against the vast majority, all the other Black people, all the other Black activists, all the Black people on the ground, all of the Black people who go to cookouts and go to churches and hang out in your grandmother’s living room and read Black History. All of the Black people in the history of America have been saying the same thing. And for some reason we are suppose to adhere to and listen to the opinion of white people. There’s only one explanation for that. White supremacy. And now that you know that, you have to ask yourself. When anyone who is white has an opinion on race, you have to ask yourself. Why don’t they watch theGrio daily? Why don’t they download the app? Why don’t they subscribe on their favorite platform? Why won’t they tell a friend? I don’t know. I have no idea. But as always, we’ll leave you with one of our favorite Black sayings. If you know, you know.  And if you don’t. Just the whitesplain it. We’ll see you later. And thanks for listening to theGrio Daily. 

Michael Harriot [00:13:30] 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 podcasts at theGrio dot com. 

[00:13:46] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, Black Culture Amplified. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:13:51] You’re watching the Blackest Questions podcast with Christina Greer. In this podcast, we ask our guests five of the Blackest questions so we can learn a little bit more about them and have some fun while we’re doing it. 

Guest 1 [00:14:03] Okay, so this is a trick question. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:14:05] We’re also going to learn a lot about Black history, past and present. 

Guest 2 [00:14:08] Beautiful. I learned a wonderful fact today. Great. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:14:11] So here’s how it works. We have five rounds of questions about Black history, the whole diaspora, current events, you name it. With each round, the questions get a little tougher. 

Guest 3 [00:14:21] Oh, you got me. You got me. Let me see. Let me see, let me see. 

Guest 4 [00:14:24] I have no idea. 

Guest 5 [00:14:25] I knew you were going to go there, Dr. Greer. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:14:27] Subscribe to the show wherever you listen to your podcast and share it with everyone you know.