Bob Woodson Retires: Why He Left the Civil Rights Movement and the Search for His Successor

Bob Woodson Retires: Why He Left the Civil Rights Movement and the Search for His Successor

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Bob Woodson, founder of The Woodson Center and 1776 Unites, to the newsmaker to discuss his recent announcement of retirement, why he left the Civil Rights movement behind, and what qualities he’s seeking in his successor.

Leahy: We are joined on the newsmaker line by our good friend, the great Civil Rights leader Bob Woodson. Bob, welcome to The Tenessee Star Report.

Woodson: I’m pleased to be here.

Leahy: First, congratulations on a fantastic career. You made news. Certainly, it’s well earned. But you made an announcement last week. You’re retiring after 40 years as head of the Woodson Center. What prompted you to make that decision?

Woodson: Well, age, first of all. And secondly, we want the organization to have a prosperous 40 more years. And therefore, succession is a key to that future. And so I want to prepare other young leaders to come in and take my place. We have a really deep bench, and we are excited about the future. I’m going to step aside. I feel like the adult kids, empty nesters. And you know, goodbye ain’t always gone.

Leahy: You’ve said something quite profound. I think maybe 30 years ago or perhaps even 40. You said, “I realized I was in the wrong struggle and the Civil Rights movement was beginning to morph into a race grievance industry.” When did that realization come to you, Bob Woodson?

Woodson: It came to me in the late 60s when we had picketed outside of a pharmaceutical company. When they desegregated, they hired nine Ph.D. chemists, and we asked them to join this movement. And they said they got their jobs because they were qualified, not because of the sacrifices of those on the picket line who were janitors, hairdressers, and ordinary folks.

I realized that, as Dr. King said, what good does it do to have the opportunity to participate if you don’t have the means and the where with all to do it? The Civil Rights movement never concerned itself with preparing poor people to take advantage of opportunities.

Instead, it concentrated on attracting resources to the middle class. And so I realized a bait switch game had been going on. We use the demographics of one segment of poor blacks as bait, and when the benefits arrive, it only helps those who are prepared.

And so I left the civil rights movement because it had morphed into a race grievance industry. And I began to work on behalf of low-income people of all races. The poverty programs came along and we spent $22 trillion, with 70 cents of that money didn’t go to the poor, it went to those who served the poor.

And so a lot of those Civil Rights leaders became Democratic officials running these cities. And they were the ones administering these poverty funds. So you have this huge classicism in the black community that no one talks about.

Leahy: That’s very interesting and quite a profound point. Last year, you started the 1776 Unites Project to push back against Critical Race Theory and the project – 1619 project in schools. Very divisive and very bad for America in my view. Tell us how that project has proceeded in the following year.

Woodson: Well, as I said, we pushed back. And since the radical left, I think, was using America’s birth defect of slavery and Jim Crow as a bludgeon against the country that got expressed in this 1619 Project.

Since they were using blacks as a messenger, we thought that the counter-voice should be black-led. And so I brought together a group of scholars and activists and journalists, and we produced a series of essays, about 28 of them with 1776 Unites.

And we were offering not a point-by-point debate, but a more inspirational and aspirational alternative narrative. In other words, the basic accusation is that many of the problems faced by low-income blacks in the crime areas and out-of-wedlock births are related to a legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

That’s just a lie. And so in our essays, we talk about how, in the turn of the century, how blacks developed and built their own hotels and businesses and Wall Streets. They had $100 million dollars in real estate assets in 1929 in the city of Chicago and 731 businesses.

How schools were producing children who could read and write. And they closed the education gap between 1920 to 1940 within six months. We just were offering curriculum too so that school systems would have some counter-information and knowledge.

We have 15,000 downloads for our curriculum that celebrates America as really the country of opportunity, even for those who were enslaved.

Leahy: Now, let me ask you this, Bob. On what date will you officially be retired? Is it like, immediate?

Woodson: No, no, no. Nothing is going to happen tomorrow. We’re taking the rest of this year to search for my successor. In the meantime, the organization is prospering. We’re growing. I hope to name someone next year.

Leahy: Ah! So let me ask you this. In the search for your successor, what qualities are you looking for?

Woodson: I’m looking for someone of faith, someone who really loves and appreciates the richness of this country. We’re looking for people who are committed to looking at the strengths, the histories of resilience, people who understand. In other words, someone who is competent, loves this country, loves low-income people, and is forward-thinking, a visionary, and optimistic. Those are the qualities that we’re looking for.

Leahy: And how extensive will your search process be? And how many applications have you received so far to be your successor?

Woodson: We are not doing a national search as such. I mean, there are people who have been in this orbit walking with us over the past 30 years.

So we have a rich pool of people among those who we already know and had some experience with. The pool of people in this space are people already known to us.

Leahy: That makes sense.

Woodson: It’s just a matter of selecting which one will continue this message.

Leahy: When do you anticipate that process is likely to end? You’re staying in the gig full time until your successor is identified?

Woodson: Absolutely. I will be staying at the helm until my successor is named. I hope to when we identify someone who’ll work beside that person for a few months so we have an orderly transition.

But we will be making an announcement by the end of the year. We hope to be able to make an announcement and then perhaps a transition in the spring.

Leahy: Let’s say early January, your successor will be announced. You’ll work with that person for three months. And then April 1, when you officially retire, how’s your life going to be different?

Woodson: (Chuckles) Well, again, I’m going to step aside. I’ll be an ambassador. I hope to continue to lecture. I hope to teach and disciple my young leaders around the country as I do now. I hope to spend more time with my wife who has been very patient over these years.

I hope to just continue to offer a commentary. I want to continue to write a lecture and to disciple my young friends. But I want to step away from the daily administration. I want the organization to continue to move and to grow and allow new leadership to come in with new ideas as to how to expand our message.

So I’m looking forward to the next level of leadership and taking it to places that I never did. This organization is going to be around, and we’re going to be a fixture on the American scene, and we’re excited about the future. I’m just glad to be able to hand the baton to younger leadership.

Leahy: Bob Woodson, congratulations on a spectacular career and we look forward to having you back on the program. Thanks for joining us this morning.

Woodson: And thank you.

Listen to the full second hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Robert Woodson” by Gage Skidmore CC By-SA 3.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host of ‘Pensive Politics’ Christian Watson Talks About Color Us United and His Recent Op-Ed

Host of ‘Pensive Politics’ Christian Watson Talks About Color Us United and His Recent Op-Ed

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the host of Pensive Politics Christian Watson to the newsmaker line to talk about his background, recent Orange County op-ed and the pushback he’s receiving based on his worldview.

Leahy: We are joined by Christian Watson on our newsmaker line. He is the host of Pensive Politics. It’s a podcast. And also is a spokesperson for a new group called Colors Us United. Good morning, Christian.

Watson: Good morning. How are you?

Leahy: Good. Color Us United. It turns out that we’re friends with Fred Levin, who’s one of the organizers there. You probably know Fred pretty well.

And then also Christopher Rufo as part of this, as is Ward Connerly. Tell us a little bit about Color Us United.

Watson: Well, Color Us United really is, I think this sort of machine, an organization that is trying to organize Americans around a very basic and good principle.

A principle that America was founded upon, that our race, our identities, whatever they may be, do not define us. That we are colorfully united by one single similarity that we are all individuals.

And that should be the most important thing about us because that is something that is unique to every single one of us. It’s not a category.

It’s not a box. It’s not a statement. It’s not a political sentiment. It’s a sort of natural condition. And so we are formulated on that principle and we’re trying to push back against the ideology that says your race and other identities are the most important thing about you because we just don’t believe that’s true at all.

Leahy: Well, yeah, exactly. Tell me a little bit about Christian Watson. Who are you and how did you come to prominence here?

Watson: I host a podcast called Pensive Politics and I talk a lot about race issues on my program and on my YouTube channel where my podcast lives.

And I’m not quite sure I would say I’ve come to prominence quite yet. But I have been putting myself out there over the past seven or so months as Critical Race Theory has risen in the public consciousness.

And I have been doing my best to not warn people, but just to inform people about what it is and why there are better alternatives to these sort of fringe ideas of the academic movement and that America was much purer and much better for all of us.

Not someone who is of a particular group, Black or White, not someone whose particular sexuality, that all of us can tap into.

And that is the idea that we are all free people and that free people have access to reason and that we can use that to live good and productive lives. That’s how I kind of formulated my entire brand.

Leahy: Christian, where did you grow up?

Watson: I grew up in Pennsylvania for the first 10 years of my life, but then for the last 11 years, I’ve been living in Georgia.

Leahy: So you’re relatively young.

Watson: Yes, sir. I’m 21.

Leahy: Are you currently in college or what’s been your academic background?

Watson: I’m actually in college. I’m about to graduate in the next four to five months. I’m graduating a little bit early. I’m finishing up the first semester of my senior year.

I’m studying philosophy and journalism, which was a decision some folks question, but I have not regretted it one bit.

Leahy: Where are you going to school right now?

Watson: I go to school at Mercer University in Georgia.

Leahy: Oh, yeah. Good school. Good school, Mercer. Aren’t they a D-1 school now?

Watson: I think so. I’m not the guy to ask about sports.

Leahy: You’re not a sports guy?

Watson: My knowledge is iffy a little bit. I try to keep up, though.

Leahy: So there’s this opinion piece that you wrote for The Orange County Register out in Southern California, and the headline is kind of interesting. Black Americans Must Overcome Negative Self Concepts to Succeed. Tell us about that.

Watson: So there are these mindsets amongst African Americans. And I made my thesis from an article by Sonya Lewis and her academic partner and they were studying mindsets amongst Black youth, various demographics. This is not just inner-city Black youth.

This is inner-city Black youth, the urban Black youth of every demographic and every economic status. And they found one stunning similarity within all demographics: the youth were concerned about the idea of being authentic to their blackness, whatever that meant.

Or more simply put, acting Black. And this was much more than simply a fashion statement, although it was certainly a fashion statement as well.

They found that it was a statement about how one is supposed to interact with academics and academia. They found that it was a statement about how one was supposed to speak and then conduct themselves in their private and public affairs.

A lot of these Black youth thought acting Black should consume the whole of their existence. And this is not something I needed to study to confirm.

Throughout my youth, I have been accused of not acting Black sufficiently enough and actually acting White for certain things, and it’s always bothered me.

But until very recently, I’ve never really put a lot of thought into how to work past that. The article in The Orange County Register is an attempt or a product – is sort of a way to work past that mentality.

Leahy: I’m guessing then that a lot of people have been critical of you?

Watson: Yes. Yes. The mindset of acting Black, and especially in this era of wokeness, authenticity is the biggest thing because for a lot of people who happen to be, mostly – may not be, on the left and who happen to have woke ideologies, if you do not act a certain way that is different from how the norm is, you are embodying the language and actions of your oppressor.

This acting Black thing isn’t just some sort of colloquial thing that was concocted amongst a bunch of youth who just don’t know much about the world.

It kind of has roots in a broader movement, a broader system to critique what is understood as normal in America and to replace it with a sort of revolutionary technique.

So when you realize just the depth of this thing, oh yes. There is, sort of, no escape from criticism if you deny it.

Leahy: Let’s follow up on this. You attend Mercer in Georgia, a good school. And when you have these kinds of conversations at Mercer with people, how do they react to you when you say these things?

Watson: The interesting thing is we don’t really have this kind of conversation and that’s the unfortunate thing. A lot of people, at least in my experience, are very non-confrontational on this issue unless you force a confrontation.

If you force a confrontation, then you better believe there’s going to be holy rage to pay. But a lot of folks are very scared about talking about race.

They’re most certainly scared about talking about acting White or acting Black because they don’t want to be castigated as a racist or as an insensitive person.

And so I think my project at Mercer and abroad as well has been to allow – set a foundation that allows – for a productive conversation to flow forth. And sometimes when you do that, you get criticism.

But I don’t really worry about the criticism too much. I worry about: am I reaching the people who need to be reached and am I causing or encouraging people to be courageous in their opinions? And I think once I’ve gotten past that point, it’s all uphill from there.

Leahy: Let me ask you a little bit about your personal plan. So you’re about to become a senior right? Are you in your last semester?

Watson: Yes.

Leahy: So what do you do after that? How does somebody with your world view, what’s your next career move?

Watson: What I’ve been trying to do for the past few months, and I’m going to continue my podcast. I’m going to continue running the Pensive Politics program.

I’m going to continue working with Color Us United to fight for race behind society. I’m going to continue just doing things that will allow my voice to be utilized in productive ways.

And hopefully will bless people with a certain different kind of understanding. That’s my hope at least.

Leahy: Did you ever talk to your parents about this issue?

Watson: Yeah, sometimes. And those conversations can also sometimes be hard to have. Not because anyone has a particular belief, but just because, again, the confrontation issue, this is not a critique of other people.

I myself have had this problem in the past. There are parts of me that just don’t want to talk about this kind of issue with anyone.

But as I continue to get out there and do this, I am beginning to engage more people and my family about this. And I’m happy that I’m able to do that because there are some folks who cannot do that, unfortunately.

There are some folks that, if they do that, themselves will be castigated and scorned if they hold a certain kind of perspective. But that’s not a problem for me.

Leahy: Not within your own family. When we come back, we talk a little bit more about this view of the world and the pushback that Christian Watson is getting on it.

Listen to the full first hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Christian Watson” by Christian Watson. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Star Panelist Roger Simon Discusses Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Response to Cuba’s Call for Freedom

All Star Panelist Roger Simon Discusses Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Response to Cuba’s Call for Freedom

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Senior Editor-At-Large at The Epoch Times Roger Simon in studio to discuss Cuba’s cries for freedom and Secretary of State Blinken’s response.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by our all-star panelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, novelist, founder of PJ Media, my former boss at PJTV, editor and editor-at-large for The Epoch Times, Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger.

Simon: Good morning. I’m a little more awake this morning than usual. I don’t know why.

Leahy: Good. Now I have to admit to our audience, as a host, I’m falling down on my duty a little bit because I just delivered to you some stale radio-station and microwave-warmed coffee.

And I need to be delivering. I need to step up and we need to bring in. Scooter’s laughing because he knows it’s true. (Laughs) Our producer, Scooter.

Simon: It is true.

Leahy: What I need to do and I’m derelict in my duty here, Roger, because I’ve got to find a wonderful sponsor who can bring us really great coffee in the morning. So it’s on my to-do list. I promise.

Simon: I would move it up higher.

Leahy: (Laughs) That’s quite good. Roger, in the news today in Cuba, which has been under a Communist dictatorship for what, 60 years now –

Simon: 62.

Leahy: The people want freedom. They are demonstrating in the streets for freedom. What is the Biden maladministration doing about it?

Simon: Nada.

Leahy: Is that Español?

Simon: It’s a little bit of Spanish. No tiene interested. No le gusta. They don’t like it.

Leahy: What about Winken, Blinken, and Nod, the former partner there?

Simon: Antony Blinken.

Leahy: Tony Blinken.

Simon: Nodding off.

Leahy: The secretary of state of the United States. Now, what’s his big issue? It’s not freedom in Cuba.

Simon: No, it’s racism in the United States and he has gone to the UN asking them to investigate us. (Chuckles) This is the secretary of state of the United States, mind you.

Leahy: When I hear all these things, Roger, I think no, these guys didn’t really get elected. You know? Really? This kind of stuff.

Simon: They must have gotten there by a coup. (Laughs) Because how could anybody …

Leahy: Legal but not legitimate. Legal but not legitimate. That’s my mantra on these guys.

Simon: The whole thing about Cuba is you were very, very sad.

Leahy: Have you been to Cuba?

Simon: Yes. Yes.

Leahy: I’ve never been to Cuba.

Simon: As you know, shamefully I have a leftist past.

Leahy: No, no, no, Roger, that you are in the buckle of the Bible Belt and we believe in forgiveness. You are forgiven. Look at some of the great conservatives in history started out as liberal.

Simon: Ronald Reagan and Robert Conquest, my favorite.

Leahy: By the way, I did too. In 1980, I managed the reelection campaign of a Democrat running for Congress.

Simon: Uh oh.

Leahy: He won, but very shortly thereafter, I became a conservative Republican.

Simon: Well, you learned much faster than I. I’m a slow learner, but I was out in Hollywood where I was being essentially paid for keeping the other vision. Rollback to 1979. That’s the year I went to Cuba.

Leahy: So you went to Cuba in 1979.

Simon: It’s an amazing story.

Leahy: Was this during the Marielito?

Simon: No, no. I was invited as a Delgado to the first festival of a new Latin American cinema.

Leahy: Are you kidding me?

Simon: No.

Leahy: I didn’t know anything about this. Every time you come in, Roger, I learn a new, interesting fact about your fascinating, colorful past.

Simon: I’m sort of like the Woody Allen character Ziggy.

Leahy: Or a little bit like Forest Gump. Ziggy, Forest Gump at these main points in American history or world history.

Simon: Anyway, in this particular one, you couldn’t go to Cuba legally at the time. And so there were six of us on an illegal Cessna flying out of Miami.

Leahy: Is the statute of limitations expired, Roger? (Laughter)

Simon: Onboard the flight was my ex-wife and some other radicals. And one of the Hollywood 10.

Leahy: Tell everybody who the Hollywood 10 were.

Simon: Hollywood 10 were the poor souls who were supposedly irradiated out of Hollywood in the 50s for being Communist. And this one was Ring Lardner, Jr. Rather a famous guy.

Leahy: Famous writer.

Simon: His father was Ring Lardner, who was more famous. And we were all on this plane being flown by a – turned out – by a Vietnam vet who was very angry about where he was going.

He was just charted. So we’re flying over Cuba on our way in, and he just wants to turn back. And on the other hand, the flight control down on Vanity Airport, which in those days was the size of a postage stamp.

You could look down at it and there were some military vehicles and one airliner from Aeroflot.

Leahy: The Russian airline.

Simon: And it ended up that they only spoke Spanish at the airport.  So I ended up talking us down.

Leahy: So you spoke Spanish?

Simon: I spoke Spanish.

Leahy: Where did you learn Spanish, by the way?

Simon: I lived in Spain for a little while.

Leahy: Again, all of these mysteries of your past that you’re unveiling to our audience.

Simon: I was trying to be an author. (Laughter) Cuba at that time was worse than now almost. It was illegal to play Afro-Cuban music.

Leahy: In Cuba?

Simon: In Cuba.

Leahy: When we come back, we’ll learn more about what happened when you landed in Cuba in 1979.

Listen to the full third hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Criticalrace.org Creator Dr. William Jacobson Discusses Critical Race Theory as a Mechanism to Achieve Political Purposes

Criticalrace.org Creator Dr. William Jacobson Discusses Critical Race Theory as a Mechanism to Achieve Political Purposes

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Cornell Law Professor Dr. William Jacobson to the newsmakers line to discuss his website criticalrace.org and outline the underlying narrative that is the doing the real damage through critical race training and its message.

Leahy: We welcome to our newsmaker line our good friend for many years, Professor William Jacobson, the founder of Legal Insurrection and also the founder of criticalrace.org, and a Professor of law at Cornell University. Welcome. Professor Jacobson.

Jacobson: Hi. Thanks for having me on.

Leahy: It’s always fun to talk with you. Of course, you and I first met nine years ago when we sort of did a tag team of you and you at Legal Insurrection and I at Breitbart. We eviscerated the claims of Elizabeth Warren that she had any Native American ancestry.

In fact, we showed definitively that she has zip zero nada when it comes to Native American ancestry. So it was fun working with you on that.

Jacobson: It sure was. And all of the research we did came back to haunt her when she ran for President in the 2020 cycle because it was kind of funny to see a lot of Bernie supporters citing our research (Leahy laughs) that he had fabricated this. But we put it out there. One website you forgot to mention where all our research is at Elizabethwarrenwiki.org.

Leahy: You’re exactly right. Sorry to not mention that.

Jacobson: That’s alright. We put it all in one place. It’s still there. It is the definitive compilation, although it’s my website has a lot of your stuff, a lot of tile barns, the Cherokee genealogist stuff. It’s all in one place. And it is a devastating takedown of what she tried to pull off in her career by falsely claiming Native American ancestry.

Leahy: And those of you in our listening audience who want to send a thank-you note to Professor William Jacobson for derailing the presidential aspirations of Senator Elizabeth Warren, you can go to Legalinsurrection.com and make a donation to the Legal Insurrection Foundation.

Now you’ve been very busy Professor Jacobson. I guess we had you on back in April and you launched criticalrace.org. Tell us about criticalrace.org and what has happened since you launched it.

Jacobson: Criticalrace.org is a website we launched in early February, got a lot of attention. It is many things, but what it is primarily is a database of critical race training. They come back to the word training.

Critical race training in higher education. So we have an interactive map. You can hover over a state, you can click on your state and then you can go to your school. Right now we have 330 or so schools in it.

We’re building it out to at least 500. We may go beyond it. And basically, we do the work for people rather than you spending an hour or two on a school’s website. You can come to our website and in a few minutes find a lot of information.

And we basically catalog and quote what the schools are saying. Everything is sourced, unlike some people who are doing great work with leaks and things like that. We just tell you what the schools say to themselves and with the source link.

And it’s a way for people, parents, and prospective students, to understand what their child is going to get into by going to a particular school. Now, not every school on the list has this sort of training, but this is a way to find out.

And I emphasize training because we’re not primarily worried about who’s teaching a class on something. And if a student wants to voluntarily take a class, that’s up to the student. We’re focused more on mandates, training programs, requirements, things like that, and campus atmosphere, which can also be very coercive.

Leahy: And I just looked up here in Nashville at Vanderbilt University. You can go and find it. And it’s got a list of all the critical race training activities at Vanderbilt. Here’s an example. Anti-racism bias and diversity training.

I’ll read this sentence. The Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University has created a guide for developing and writing a diversity statement. What is a diversity statement and what purpose does it serve?

And it’s a full description of that. This is a very valuable tool. And so I thank you so much for doing that. The other thing I want to bring to the attention of our listeners is that you recently signed on with about 24 other organizations to a joint statement against Critical Race Theory using race to divide Americans. Tell us about that joint statement.

Jacobson: That was a statement initiated by Californians for Equal Rights. That’s the organization that defeated the ballot initiative which would have restored affirmative action to higher education in the public university system in California. Essentially discrimination with reinstated discrimination.

And so they helped put it together. And we’ve worked with them on a number of things. Essentially, it’s 25 groups saying that, well, we are not opposed to the teaching of the voluntary study of the subject, we are opposed to the way it has been rolled out, the coerciveness, and the pejorative terms that are routinely used such as white privilege and white fragility.

So we’re basically opposed to the way it is being used and exploited in higher education and K-12 and elsewhere to create racial tension and to use that racial tension for political purposes.

And that’s really the problem. The problem with Critical Race Theory is not that it’s a goofy approach to the law or anything like that. What it is is that it is a mechanism. It is a tool used to try to tear the country apart, to try to set children against each other, to try to set people against each other, to create a perpetual struggle session, and to make absolutely everything about race.

And every relationship has to focus on race. Every job has to focus on race. The entirety of our lives has to focus on race. And I can’t think of a single, more destructive thing you could do to this country than to do that.

It’s one thing, and I fully support it, that we should make sure there’s no racism in practice or advocate racism, et cetera, et cetera. But it’s another thing to say to a child that another child sitting next to you in your kindergarten class, well, that’s the oppressor.

That’s the people based on skin color who have historically oppressed your people. What is that going to do to relationships? So this is completely destructive. And Critical Race Theory is really an umbrella term to describe a lot of things that are happening.

Leahy: I’m going to read just a couple of sentences from this joint statement. It’s just a one-page statement. Let me read this and just get your reaction to it. Critical Race Theory and its pleasant-sounding derivatives, diversity, equity, and inclusion, anti-racism, racial sensitivity, racial healing, critical pedagogy, and critical awareness are underlined by a common thread of placing race, racism, and racial struggles at the center of our national dialogue and public institutions.

The doctrine paints a grim, inaccurate, and discordant picture of our history and present, challenging the very foundations of the liberal order, distorting our basic virtues of equality and merit, and purporting to dismantle free markets. What’s your reaction to that?

Jacobson: I think the usage, the term liberal there is key because liberal now doesn’t mean what it meant long ago. Liberal long ago meant open to other ideas. Meant embracing the foundations, frankly of our Republic.

Freedom of speech, things like that, and freedom of religion now. Liberal has essentially come to mean progressive or left-wing and a very repressive sort of society. And that’s what is happening.

This Critical Race Theory and its offshoots, and it’s called different things. And you’ll never see an elementary school, a book that says Critical Race Theory. They’ll always couch it in some other terms.

But the constant, relentless theme is that there’s a racial struggle, and these children are part of that racial struggle, and these children have to become part of it.

The overriding paradigm is the misuse of the term anti-racism. This is how Orwellian this movement is. Anti-racism actually does not mean the way they use it and what we would think of as being against racism.

What it actually means is that it justifies racial discrimination currently in order to remedy past discrimination. And it’s a term most associated with a guy named Ibram Kendi, and his book is everywhere.

And in fact, I first became alerted to this. I was always aware of critical legal theory, Critical Race Theory for decades, but it really was actually last summer, almost today to the day when Cornell University, where I teach, designated Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist as the selected book for summer reading for the entire university.

And they made it available for free. So I read it, and I was horrified that this is what they are promoting which is really, frankly, quite racist.

Leahy: Professor William Jacobson, our good friend, the founder of Legal Insurrection, will you come back on more? There’s so much to talk about. we really appreciate you joining us today.

Jacobson: Absolutely, thanks a lot.

Listen to the second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Woodson Retires: Why He Left the Civil Rights Movement and the Search for His Successor

Civil Rights Icon Bob Woodson: ‘America Is a Country of Second Chances, Redemption, and Transformation’

 

Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Bob Woodson founder of The Woodson Center and 1776 Unites to the newsmakers line to discuss his new book, Red, White, and Black, and highlight a few of the chapters and their context.

Leahy: We are welcoming to our microphone right now our good friend Bob Woodson, civil rights pioneer and the editor and contributor to a great new book, Red, White and Black: Rescuing American History from Revisionist and Race Hustlers. Welcome, Bob.

Woodson: I’m pleased to be here.

Leahy: Now I’ll tell you what. Talk about a family of intellectual thinkers. I’m delighted to find out about this book. It is published by Emancipation Press, a new imprint of Post Hill Press. Post Hill Press is based in Nashville and New York. And I’m guessing your editor there was the great Adam Bello.

Woodson: Adam Bello was one of them. Yes. David Bernstein, I work with him and Adam Bello. He and I go way back because when he was with the basic books, and then he published my first book. One of my first books was Triumphs of Joseph. He worked with me on that. Adam is a good friend.

Leahy: Adam is also a very good friend of mine. He published when he was at Harper Collins. He had the Broadside Books imprint. My first published book that wasn’t self-published, called Covenant of Liberty, about the Tea Party movement back in 2012.

And also the first book from Emancipation Press was by my good friend Bishop Aubrey Shines, Questions About Race that was published back in October. I have read the outline of this book.

You have a who’s who of great thinkers with great essays, including our own original all-star panelist, Carol Swain, who’s written a couple of essays here as well.

Woodson: Yeah. Carol is one of our stars. She did a great job on Fox last night, and as she does, she’s almost a regular there. So we are really proud of the group, an outstanding group that we brought together not only scholars but also the community activists because we really believe that one of the ways that we can help recruit people to re-embrace the principles of the founders is when we can demonstrate that following yet as the foundation really improves the quality of your life.

Self-determination, perseverance, you know, achieving against the odds. America is a country of second chances, redemption, and transformation. And so we try to celebrate the values of our founders by illustrating them in this book.

Leahy: John McWhorter has a great chapter. Slavery does not define the black American experience. Tell us about that chapter.

Woodson: What he’s really saying is that the radical left would have you believe that American Blacks are defined by oppression and slavery. That is not the total story. So what we do in this book and in this essay is that we counter this false narrative that somehow Black American’s history is defined strictly and limited to oppression.

Here, we celebrate the fact that when whites are at their worst, Blacks were at their best. When we were denied access to banks, we established our own. When we were denied access to hotels, we built our own.

We had our own education system. 5,000 schools were built by Booker T. Washington and the CEO of Sears. And so Julius Rosenwald. So we really provide evidence to refute the notion that Blacks are defined by oppression and slavery. So John McWhorter’s chapter supports that whole thesis.

Leahy: What I find interesting about the book is this is not all the writers are not Conservatives. For instance, Clarence Page, a well-known liberal reporter, and columnist has a chapter.

Children achieve the expectations we teach, turning a path to the more perfect Union begins with our guidance. Tell us about Clarence Page and how he came to be included as one of the authors you selected in this book client.

Woodson: Clarence Page has always been a long-time friend of mine. We never voted the same way, but he shared a passion for the virtues and principles of this nation and has always been projected in his writings.

And so Clarence was born in Middleton, Ohio, the same place that J.D. Vance. And they were trying to desegregate poverty as we are trying to de racialize race. Clarence did an important seminar interview with J.D. Vance and me in Cincinnati right up the road from Middleton to emphasize that the biggest barrier for people who are disadvantaged in America is not race.

You cannot generalize about race, but it is a lack of opportunity to progress. So Clarence and J.D. did this talk about the common ground between low-income and working-class white and lower-income and working-class Blacks that they have more in common than they do their racial differences.

And so Clarence has been a leader and standing up for that principle, that America is a country of redemption and transformation and a country of second chances.

Leahy: Charles Love has a great chapter. Critical Race Theory’s Destructive Impact on America. I see this all the time. Tell us about what Charles argues in that chapter.

Woodson: Well, critical race theory, we used to call that prejudice. We used to call it stereotyping. It’s just a fancy name for stereotyping. If stereotyping was bad and evil when it was applied to Blacks is bad and evil when applied to whites or anybody.

Nobody should be defined by the color of their skin. That tells you nothing. And yet that’s what critical race theory tries to make a case that whites are engaged in racism and therefore are engaged in white suppression of Blacks.

And so we really rip apart this whole notion and we go back to the King doctrine that we should be judged by the content of our character and not to color our skin. But this poisonous doctrine is bad for everybody.

It exempts Blacks from any personal responsibility. And nothing is more lethal when you have some doctrine that says to people there exempt from any personal responsibility because of their color.

And therefore the destiny of Black America is determined by what white America will concede. And that’s really sowing the seeds of self-contempt to say to people that somehow your destiny is determined by people who don’t like you. That’s poisonous to this nation.

It’s poisonous. These essays serve as given the foundation to attack that. We have developed so far, the 10 lessons that our curriculum has been made available free online. We’ve had 11,000 downloads in just a period of two weeks.

Leahy: Bob Woodson, that sounds like a great effort. And we keep us posted on how that goes. A Civil Rights icon. Great thinker. Great intellectual editor and contributor to Red, White, and Black, Rescuing American History from Revisionists and Race Hustlers. Bob, thanks so much for joining us. Come back again if you would please.

Woodson: Thank you for having me.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Robert Woodson” by Gage Skidmore CC By-SA 3.0.