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April 2, 2024

Coleman Hughes Schools ‘The View’

Colorblindness was the topic, and a moderate and thoughtful young black man more than held his own.

They didn’t know what to do with him. And that was the best evidence for the power of his arguments.

Normally, the fireworks are utterly predictable when a heretic appears on “The View” to discuss a hot-button issue such as race. Invariably, the hens start pecking away until Joy or Whoopi or Sunny launches into an indignant squawk about their guest’s failure to abide by the approved leftist catechism.

So it was with Coleman Hughes, a mild-mannered young black thinker who was there to promote his new book, The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America, which makes the case for a colorblind approach to politics and culture while warning that the so-called “anti-racists” aren’t helping to heal the racial divide but rather are driving us toward a new kind of racism, a neo-racism, as Hughes calls it.

The title of the book itself would seem to be enough to set his hosts off, as it contained that taboo term, “colorblind,” which those in the race industry rightly view as an existential threat. It certainly got under Sunny Hostin’s skin, as evidenced by this exchange:

HOSTIN: Your argument for colorblindness, I think, is something that the Right has co-opted. And so many in the black community — if I’m being honest with you because I want to be — believe that you are being used as a pawn by the Right and that you’re a charlatan of sorts. … But my question to you is, how do you respond to those critics?

HUGHES: I don’t think there’s any evidence I’ve been co-opted by anyone, and I think that that’s an ad hominem tactic people use to not address, really, the important conversations that we’re having here. And I think it’s … better for everyone if we stuck to the topics rather than making it about me. … There’s no evidence that I’ve been co-opted by anyone. I have an independent podcast, I work for CNN as an analyst, I write for The Free Press, I’m independent in all these endeavors, and no one is paying me to say what I’m saying. I’m saying it because I feel it.

Smooth. Hughes is calm and dispassionate throughout. He positions himself as the adult in the room, and his hosts are left to mutter to themselves about how he bested them without even raising his voice.

“My argument,” says Hughes, “is that we should try our very best to treat people without regard to race, both in our personal lives and in our public policy.”

A moment later, Joy Behar challenged Hughes’s comparison of the so-called antiracist approach of Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo to that of white supremacists. Hughes responded: “They both view your race as an extremely significant part of who you are. … Neo-racists like Robin DiAngelo say that to be white is to be ignorant, for example. Well, this is a racial stereotype, and I want to call a spade a spade and say this is not the style of anti-racism we have to be teaching our kids. We should be teaching them that your race is not a significant feature of who you are. Who you are is your character, your values, and your skin color doesn’t say anything about that.”

What makes Coleman Hughes really dangerous, though, is what we might call crossover appeal. Hughes isn’t the next Thomas Sowell or the next John McWhorter. He certainly has the intellectual chops to fight in that arena, but he’s also a rapper, and that’s what those on the Left are most afraid of: He can reach young blacks in a way that traditional black conservatives never could. He can get to them before they’re indoctrinated by their college professors or by hucksters like DiAngelo and Kendi. “Race is a fake idea,” he raps. “Put it to bed.”

Take a look, if you can tolerate some blood and the N-word and an occasional obscenity. Otherwise, imagine a young black witness more than holding his own under cross-examination.

Times are a-changing, slowly but surely. And they’re changing in the black community, where change is needed most. Blacks — and especially black men — are beginning to question their decades-long fealty to the Democrat Party and their disempowering embrace of permanent victimhood.

“The neo-racists,” writes National Review’s Rich Lowry, “fan the dissension by attributing any racial disparity in America to racism and ignoring the influence of demographics, geography, and especially culture. They disregard, or disparage, all the indicators of racial progress, which are inconvenient to their simplistic condemnations of American society as fundamentally and irredeemably racist.”

Those on the Left are right to be afraid of voices and perspectives like those of Coleman Hughes. And the rest of us — those who think working toward a colorblind society and public policies is a worthwhile endeavor — should welcome them warmly into the marketplace of ideas.

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