Tucker Carlson springs a racism trap on a progressive rising star
David D. Burstein is one of the young rising stars of progressivism, as a glance at his personal website reveals. Praise from the likes of Howard Dean, Judy Woodruff of PBS, and David Gergen reveal him to be an anointed one, predicting that Millennials will bring a glorious new era in his book Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World.
But last night, Burstein took on Tucker Carlson, defending a program at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, that offers credit for a program that focuses on what it alleges are traits of "dominant white culture" that include "superficiality" and "extreme exportation of labor and resources for profit." My impression is that he had never encountered someone willing to press him to go beyond his talking points.
Carlson went for the jugular and kept pressing Burstein, who defended these negative generalizations about white people, if he was willing to make a negative generalization about any other demographic group in America. Apparently realizing he was trapped because of the utter taboo on P.C. white males criticizing nonwhites in any way, but admitting that only whites can be negatively stereotyped would discredit him and the program he was defending, Burstein emitted word clouds of rhetoric.
Carlson's great virtue as an interviewer is his ability to remain polite, even cheery, yet insistent that the question be addressed. And to make the point that a refusal to answer is an answer itself.
The rush transcript from Grabien is embedded below, but this is one segment that can be savored and is worth seven minutes of your time:
>> Tucker: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is offering students credit if they create the series of "Witnessing whiteness" workshops in their hometown. The program is offered by the schools graduate certificate program in diversity social justice and inclusion. That is a department name that should strike fear into all who hear it, and for good reason, because among other things the program focuses on the alleged traits of the "Dominant white culture." These traits include "Superficiality" and "Extreme exportation of labor and resources for profit. "David Bernstein is the founder of the group run for America. He wrote the book fast future, how the millennial generation is shaping our world. Thanks for coming on.
>> Good to be with you.
>> Tucker: Are you surprised that racist stuff like this at exists in the open in 2018?
>> I don't know if I would necessarily call it that. There is a wide experience in America that is different from a black experience in America. Anybody who lives in America knows that those two things are true.
>> Tucker: That's true.
>>While I don't necessarily agree with every way these folks are going about it I think it's the beginning of a conversation about what it means to have a wide experience.
CARLSON: It's not the beginning of a conversation, it's the beginning of a series of attacks on people based on their skin color. To say that white people, white culture exploits in an unusually aggressive way the labor of others, that's an attack. By the way, is it true? Is white culture more likely to do this then, I don't know, Chinese culture? I don't know. But I know racism, textbook definition when I see it or not, is lumping a group of people together on the basis of their appearance and immutable characteristics and attacking them. That's what it is. Why is this not racist?
>> I think the way in which it is presented certainly is not the direction that you want to go if you want to actually do what I think really should be done, which is actually have a conversation about what white privilege actually means in this society. You and I both know as white men sitting here that there is such a thing as white privilege.
>> Tucker: I don't know that actually. There were immigrant — nonwhite immigrant groups that have on average higher annual incomes than average white Americans. It's more complicated than you and other live apologists for racism suggest that it is. You can't generalize about people on the basis of their skin tone, right? I thought. Or can you?
>> Of course you can't generalize, but there are trends that we have seen. It would be disingenuous for us to suggest that there aren't a larger number of say white people than black people in this country who have benefited tremendously from their privilege. I think that would be a disingenuous statement over time and there aren't more might people who exploit it.
>> Tucker: Are you comfortable making generalizations about other racial and ethnic groups that are negative? Any generalizations? Go ahead and try one. You just said that wife privilege is real. I'm serious. If we are going to have a honest conversation that you are calling for than I call on you to be honest and making negative generalizations about any other racial or ethnic group in this country paired go ahead.
>> I think that — I see where you're trying to go.
>> Tucker: You don't need to think anything, I'm asking you will you make a negative generalization about another racial group?
>> Are not going to be baited into — 'S bill and I'm not bating you. I'm asking you a question. Will you were won't you? The answer is no. Why?
>> The reality is when we try and talk about understanding things that are going on whether they are generations or groups of people, we make generalizations in order to have a conversation because, of course, every individual person —
>> Tucker: Hold on, I'm inviting you to make a negative generalization as you just did about one group about any other group. There are many groups in this country sometimes we generalize, I get it. You want to have an honest conversation, I get it. Let's do that now on live TV. Again, why not you make a single negative generalization about any other racial or ethnic group? I give her the floor, I will be quiet as you speak, go ahead and do that.
>> I think there's — being made about the fact that they are now in this country. We have people who are benefiting tremendously from a huge move towards diversity and inclusion programs that are designed to prioritize people of other ethnicities.
>> Tucker: Which people? Be a lot more specific. Make a generalization about another culture.
>> African-American, Latino people over white people.
>> Tucker: You are critiquing a program. That's a program that you're critiquing and I think you are right. Critique the culture as you just did white culture, whatever that is. But you are assuming it's real, so it generalize another racial ethnic group. That's culture.
>> I think you are missing an important distinction.
>> Tucker: You are missing the important distinction, this only goes in one direction and do bully people by making generalizations that are not strictly speaking true and if you are not on board with it you are a racist and then you get to attack those people. That doesn't apply to any other group which is itself racist. Do you acknowledge that?
>> I see where you're going with this argument, tucker, but I think the reality is.
>> Tucker: I'm not going anywhere. I just set it out loud. That's the argument.
>> There are a group of people who have been systemically oppressed in this country for a long period of time and those are people who are overwhelmingly people who are African-American and Latino. There's a long history of this. You and I both went —
>> Tucker: You are changing the conversation. You said it was okay to attack one culture but it's not okay to attack other cultures and I'm asking you why that is. If an 18-year-old college student did not participate in Jim crow, did not participate in slavery, most of the time not knowingly participating in in the oppression of anybody. It's okay to attack a person because his ancestors did something bad but that's not okay to do to other groups because why? You don't have an answer. No one ever calls you on this and you just I just did.
>> I think you're really missing the point here. Just because you want to say that someone is being criticized for the basis of what a culture is doing, that that's racist.
>> Tucker: Collective race guilt is wrong. It's racist to attack people for things they didn't do because of the way they look. It's really simple, you are on board with it, I'm not. Unfortunately we are out of time. David, thank you, I appreciate it.