Anti-Racism: The Pro-Human Approach. Bion Bartning

Sixty years ago in his most famous speech, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of his vision of an America transformed. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character," he said. 

Was this an argument for a color-blind society, or should racism be thought of as structural and systematic? Ibram X. Khendi, author of the best-selling book, "How To Be An AntiRacist", argues that "the most threatening racist movement" is the drive for race-neutrality. Our guest, Bion Bartning, argues that instead of emphasizing our common humanity, the approach of Kendhi and others lumps people into simplistic racial groupings.

Bartning founded the non-profit group, The Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR). In its mission statement, FAIR calls for "advancing civil rights and liberties for all Americans, and promoting a common culture based on fairness, understanding and humanity."

"Really, we should be anti-racism, the ideology, and not anti-racist, the individual," Bartning tells us. He calls for a pro-human approach. "There is a burning need to reaffirm the core principles of the civil rights movement... integration, healing divisions and moving forward together as one people." He says that in recent years a different form of anti-racism has emerged that goes against these ideas.

Bartning launched FAIR after pulling his two children out of one of New York City's most prestigious private schools because he thought that the new anti-racist curriculum was encouraging kids to look at themselves and others primarily through the lens of race and see the world in a pessimistic, grievance-oriented way. We discuss his personal story and ideas in this episode.

Recommendation: Richard has just read and thoroughly enjoyed John Steinbeck's beloved 1962 memoir, "Travels With Charley, In Search of America"

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