John McWhorter, African American Academic, African American Intellectual, African American Linguist, Race Matters, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

The Difference Between Racial Bias and White Supremacy ‘The rhetorical brush is being applied much too broadly’



The list of white supremacists is getting longer all the time of late. John C. Calhoun. Theodore Bilbo. George Wallace. David Duke. Bernie Sanders. Mother Teresa. Others have argued that universities like Amherst are bastions of white supremacy, and expecting students to show up on time is white supremacist behavior. It seems that any white person who disagrees with a non-white one’s opinion about race issues is given the label.

Few will disagree that the first four belong on the list. But there will be reasonable disagreement over the final four. Among too many these days, the term “white supremacy” has become, of all things, a kind of hate speech.


“Mayor (Will) Sessoms refused to initiate a science-based study perhaps out of fear of inequalities the study would reveal,” Smith said.

Smith, a real estate developer and investor, first raised concerns of racial inequality and cronyism last week in a letter addressed to Sessoms and sent to dozens of legislators and officials in Virginia Beach and around the state. In the letter, Smith detailed roadblocks he said he has faced as an African American businessman trying to develop properties at the Oceanfront.

John McWhorter, African American Academic, African American Intellectual, African American Linguist, Race Matters, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Chuck Kennedy/The White House



John Hamilton McWhorter V (born October 6, 1965) is an American academic and linguist who is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he teaches linguistics, English, American studies, comparative literature, philosophy, and music history. He is the author of a number of books on language and on race relations. His research specializes on how creole languages form, and how language grammars change as the result of sociohistorical phenomena.

McWhorter is a popular writer and has written for Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Politico, Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Daily News, City Journal, The New Yorker, among others.

Social & Political Views
McWhorter characterizes himself as “a cranky liberal Democrat”. In support of this description, he states that while he “disagree[s] sustainedly with many of the tenets of the Civil Rights orthodoxy,” he also “supports Barack Obama, reviles the War on Drugs, supports gay marriage, never voted for George Bush and writes of Black English as coherent speech”. McWhorter additionally notes that the conservative Manhattan Institute, for which he worked, “has always been hospitable to Democrats”. McWhorter has criticized left-wing and activist educators in particular, such as Paulo Freire and Jonathan Kozol. One author identifies McWhorter as a radical centrist thinker. (Wikipedia)