At some point, everyone has to be held responsible for at least some of their own behavior. This would seem thunderingly obvious, but it ain’t.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams is on the hot plate. His sin? With new indications that the coronavirus is disproportionately killing black and brown people, he suggested that we refrain from alcohol and cigarettes… [A number of] commentators were appalled that Adams had had the nerve to urge people of color to change their behavior, rather than resting with his acknowledgment that societal inequality exposes them to more risk from the virus.

… Barack Obama, then a presidential candidate, was roasted for supposedly condescending to a black audience in urging black men to take a larger role in rearing their children. Even though he did this with a vernacular warmth that his audience ate up with a spoon, legions of black thinkers reviled the president for addressing behavior rather than the broader causes that made counsel such as his necessary in the first place. [Similarly,] why is Adams not allowed to remind black and brown people to hold off on the smoking?

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One Response to “Scathing Online McWhorter Gets it Said.”

  1. Stephen Karlson Says:

    There are a lot of people who shy away from blaming the victim, and I bet a lot of them know the phrase but never read the book.

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