Sep 10, 2021 • 1HR 7M

UNPAYWALLED: "Adolph Reed doesn't understand racism." –Too many white people

Professor Emeritus Adolph Reed pulls out his "Go Fuck Yourself" stamp to talk sense into today's activists.

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Appears in this episode

Matt Taibbi
Katie Halper
Useful Idiots is an informative and irreverent politics podcast with journalist Matt Taibbi and podcaster/writer Katie Halper. Episodes feature on-the-road coverage of the 2020 campaign and exclusive interviews, with humor, commentary and dissection of the politics news of the week. Join Matt and Katie as they examine important stories that have slipped through the cracks and what the media got wrong – and laugh about whatever is left to laugh about.
Episode details

Matt lost his voice this week, so we’re unpaywalling this extended interview with Adolph Reed. We’ll be back next week with Monday Mourning and a new UI episode. Subscribers can still get their UI fix with Katie’s attempt at the Taibbi dating app, also out today.

“But if that doesn’t happen, then that’s gonna be the end of American democracy in the next year.” Does he mean Republicans taking the senate? The creation of a new religion of Wokery in deference to Robin DiAngelo? Duke winning March Madness in 2022?

You’ll have to watch to find out. Professor Reed has big statements and important messages for you in this informative and irreverent extended interview.

He shares with Matt and Katie his perspective on the changing progression of civil-rights activism from policy-oriented protest to squabbling over abstract moral superiority. The pre-eminent scholar on this new ideology of course being Robin DiAngelo and her new book Nice Racism, which Professor Reed awards Matt the purple heart for finishing.

It’s in this “book” (apologies to Norm Finkelstein for using the term) that DiAngelo calls for such BIPOC-infantilizing ideas as moral reparations, seeing white people collectively while seeing BIPOC as individuals. And this new teaching is quickly becoming the dominant theology. This, according to Professor Reed, is dangerous.

“What we need,” he argues, “is having frank conversations with actual people in society, not mediated through mass media, about the problems and policies in their lives that confront them.”

And he’s planning to do just that. In a Useful Idiots Breaking News Alert, Reed announced his upcoming podcast Class Matters, in which he and other scholars will discuss what society would look like if it were governed by and for the concerns of the working class.

Listen to the interview now. Learn something, laugh, but please, whatever you do, stop telling Adolph Reed he doesn’t understand the depths and intensity of racism in America. Because we’re pretty sure he does.

Plus, Matt and Katie break their silence on the Aaron Maté vs The Young Turks feud, and yes, they have some demands.