Leadership Lessons From The Great Books – Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison w/Dorollo Nixon

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Leadership Lessons From The Great Books #94 – Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison w/Dorollo Nixon.

00:00 Welcome and Introduction – Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison with Dorollo Nixon.
02:00 “I am an Invisible Man,” Ralph Waldo Ellison.
06:37 Ellison’s Early Hardships and Tuskegee Experience.
10:57 Reflections on Pre-Civil Rights America.
18:18 Discussion about Hemingway, Mark Twain, and European writers’ struggles.
25:04 Comparison of Twain, Faulkner, Hemingway, Kipling, and Joyce.
27:00 Tackling Racism and Colonialism in American and European Literature
31:48 American Literature and Its Remove.
35:20 Leadership Lessons from Invisible Man.
38:49 Invisible Man’s (Nameless) Experiences at Tuskegee Institute.
43:56 Leadership Lessons within Ideological Disillusionment.
53:21 “I Forgive Political Marxists Pre-1950.”
56:15 Equality, Color-blind Constitutional Rights and Segregated Reality.
01:03:55 Racial Solidarity and Its Tensions.
01:11:53 The Fountains are Broken on the Road out of Eden.
01:21:22 Claudine Gay, Plagiarism, Class Consciousness, and Harvard University.
01:28:09 Dr. Bledsoe and the Deceit of Institutional Cynicism.
01:36:52 Leadership and Activism in Harlem.
01:41:57 Black Historical Figures in Modern Culture.
01:48:06 Leaders Help Followers Align Their Goals with Values.
01:51:17 Staying on the Leadership Path with Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.

Opening theme composed by Brian Sanyshyn of Brian Sanyshyn Music.

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Hello. My name is Jesan Sorrells, and this is the

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Leadership Lessons from the Great Books podcast,

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episode number 94 in chronological

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order. I always have to say that, but eventually, we’re gonna get

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to, you know, episode number one hundred, and then I’ll stop saying that, and then

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you can go back and find those

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archived episodes. With our

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book today, an exploration of the challenges

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that are inherent in living in a pre-civil rights

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United States of America as a Black Man.

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This is a book that engages readers around the

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psychological question of how a black man can position

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himself in a world, replete with racism and racial

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injustice that the postmodern, post-civil

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rights act leadership mind can barely

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contemplate. And when it does seek to contemplate such

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a world, usually, such contemplation

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results in an existential shudder at best and

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an attempt to grift off the past at worst.

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This narrative, strangely enough, proposes a simple solution

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to our current complicated cultural mess surrounding

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gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, and even

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how the facts of those identities are negotiated in the overall

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social order. I’m gonna drop a clue here

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a little bit In the beginning,

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say my name, to paraphrase from

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Breaking Bad. Today,

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we will summarize, analyze,

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and potentially even read selections

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from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.

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And today, we will be joined in this literary journey at the

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start of Black History Month in the United States of America,

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with our returning guest slash sparring partner,

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from last year’s episode number 49, where we covered

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The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B Du Bois,

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My good friend, and a good friend of the show, Dorollo

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Nixon junior, and as usual, I have to put this on the end,

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Esquire. How are you doing, Dorollo?

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Great, sir. Good morning. Great to be here. This

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is a great day

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for us to begin, our exploration

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of, The Invisible Man and

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how that book has impacted us, not

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only as black people in America, but also has

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impacted a lot of how we think about, racial politics

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in America. And we’re going to talk a little bit about the literary

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life of Ralph Ellison as well because he defied

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easy categorization much to the chagrin

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of people, writers who, who followed him, such as

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it were. So today, we’re gonna do

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something a little bit different. We’re gonna try a little bit of a different sort

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of format. So normally, at this point, I would pick up and I

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would read from Invisible Man directly. But today, we’re gonna

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summarize a little bit. We’re going to gonna kinda go back and forth.

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I would encourage you to pick up the pick up a copy

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of Invisible Man. And as usual, as I always say,

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yep. There’s there’s DiRollo’s copy. As usual, I as I

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always say, we will not be reading from the whole book because

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we can’t possibly do that. There’s too much depth here.

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There’s too much content. There’s too many things going on. It is a

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quick read, and it is a deceptively

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deep read once you get into it.

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So I would like to point out, though, that

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the the the prologue, which is where everything sort of begins

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its setup, begins with the line,

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I am an invisible man.

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Then the narrator goes

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on to tell you that

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he is not someone that is like Edgar

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Allan Poe or like some Hollywood fiction.

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He’s not made of ectoplasmic doc, right?

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He’s not someone that you can see through.

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However, he is a Jesan. He is solid, but he is living in a

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society where his presence is invisible.

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He tells in the prologue a brief anecdote about running into a white

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man, and this is where you first get the idea that he may not

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necessarily be writers. Right, and assaulting

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him. And that assault leaders him to hide in a basement, kinda like a

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Hobbit hole. Right? A quote unquote wormhole

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in Harlem, a place of incandescent light bulbs

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and ripped off electricity from Con Ed.

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From this, we are to conclude, obviously, like I said, that he is a

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black man because all of the social signals have been provided by

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Ellison, and we are to conclude also that he is

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suffering from the impacts of societal wide discrimination

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and Jim Crow. But

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as is about to be revealed from Ellison,

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all is not What it

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seems. When we

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think about Ralph Ellison and we think about the Invisible

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Man, we have to kinda think about his life. And

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so he was born on March 1, 1913,

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and he died on April 16, 1994. So lived a

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long, long life. He he, lived a life before

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the civil rights movement, and was a man who

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saw, 2 generations

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out, the actual impacts of slavery

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and the subsequent Jim Crow era in the

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South, as well as all the impacts of the sharecropping

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and the immense poverty that existed in the South

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at the time. He was, of course, and this is

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how he defined himself, fundamentally an American writer,

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a literary critic, and a scholar. He was born in Oklahoma, and

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was the 2nd of 3 sons. His, oldest brother died in

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infancy. His father, Books Alfred Ellison, was

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a small business owner and a construction foreman who died in

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1916 when Ellison was just 3 years old after an Operation

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to Cure Internal Wounds Suffered From Shards, Suffered

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After Shards From A 100 pound, ice block penetrated his

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abdomen failed, and he

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died. Died from something that he probably would have lived

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through if he had been born a little bit later.

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Ellison’s mother, Ida Milsap, remarried 3 times

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after Lewis’s death and encouraged

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Ralph Waldo Ellison, to play the trumpet,

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which later allowed him admittance to the Tuskegee Institute

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in 1933 when he was 20 years

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old. Ellison’s experiences at Tuskegee

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with class conscious black people, and I wanna talk a lot about this today,

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caused him to sharpen his satirical lens according to writer and

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theater critic, Hilton Alls. But the education he received there,

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including being exposed to TS Eliot’s The Wasteland,

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lit the spark of writing in him. And he moved away from merely

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playing music to beginning to

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write. Now Invisible Man was his

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only completed novel and was published in

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1952 to endless critical acclaim.

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And he did win the National Book Award, but subsequently,

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Ellison never published another novel

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To the Level of Invisible Man, ever again.

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So there’s a lot of stuff here, Right? From the book, from the

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narrative, from Ellison himself.

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And it leads us down this road, and we’re gonna open up with DiRolo here.

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It leads us down this road of having to really

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place Ellison in a particular spot, having to

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talk about, the pre civil rights African

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American conception. And I don’t really like that term African American, but we’re going to

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use it probably interchangeably with black American today,

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but the pre civil rights black American perception of

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themselves, versus the post civil rights black American

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perception of themselves. And, of course, it

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creates tensions for us. See Glenn book Libby

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Glenn Mcwell McWhorter and, and, or not Glenn McWhorter.

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Sorry. Glenn Libby and John McWhorter. McWhorter

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4th. 4th. Right? writers, something like that. Yeah.

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That’s right. Oh, you gotta throw that 4th in there. Gotta throw the

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4th in there. De Rolle is a big fan of the

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numbering. It creates tensions that Lowery and McWhorter

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have explored for the last over 10 years on their podcast as

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well about what it actually means to be black in

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America. And so Ellison touches on all of this. So let’s

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open up with Dorollo. He’s the 5th. My

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bad. He had to look. He had to look. Yes. He’s the 5th. I

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wanted to make sure I was correct, And I was incorrect.

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Yes. Ciccarolo, tell me, tell me about

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Ellison’s Invisible Man. I know you’ve read this book before. I know you revisited it

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for podcast no. Okay. I had read parts of

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Juneteenth before, and it’s a shame because, I mean, I have a degree in

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English from Cornell. My concentration was the modern novel.

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And so my focus I spent time focused on this. Exactly. I spent

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time Tom and it’s a it’s an important question. I spent time focused

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on Joyce. I spent time

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focused on, some other works and not this one, and it’s

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interesting because I took an American novel course that went

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through, like, the rise of Silas Lapham and and

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Babbitt and these other, you know, great weighty works. And it’s a

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shame because this this is I think this is a masterwork.

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There’s a truly majestic flow to

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what he presents, and it’s worth struggling through

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more than 500 pages. I don’t have no idea why you called it an easy

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read. I didn’t find it, so but,

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I I find it profound and his insights profound.

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It is a disturbing snapshot of, you know, pre

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civil rights America. And while

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I’m excited by how New York, which is

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where nameless, because that’s what I call him, you

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know, goes. I’m, you know, encouraged in certain

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respects to Opportunities he found in New York,

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and, you know, cultural

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DNA that still plays out in that city today in in ways that

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are both beautiful and disturbing, are there, you know,

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from, from the the concentration

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of black people in Harlem and Manhattan and nowhere else to the use

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of taxis to get around, and then the Subtle

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interplay between driver and passenger.

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And I don’t know how Uber changes that Or Lyft, but I assume it does,

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because now there’s not this it’s it’s it’s a much larger subculture, and

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there’s less cultural dynamics, I think, with with

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Uber and Lyft than there are with taxi drivers. A taxi driver is a thing,

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you know. Mhmm. Anyway, but Certainly

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of of the Jim Crow South, and of, you

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know, nameless’s forlorn

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Little oasis, that literally comes apart at the

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seams by turning down the wrong street.

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And, literally, you go from pristine,

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you know, neo classical architectured,

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No. Give it away. Ones. Don’t give it away too much. Don’t give it away

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too much because I I wanna focus on some of this in our in our

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Sorrells of third section on on on doctor Bledsoe. Oh, okay. Good.

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Yes. Yes. Yes. I do wanna I do wanna get into that a little bit

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here. I mean, you could do this. We let’s do the setup. Let’s let’s let’s

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let’s let let let’s Let’s let folks know where we’re going.

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But that right there is, I think I think writers Bledsoe is the

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critical linchpin character in this in this novel

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for a whole lot of years. I got stuck on Lynch because here,

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it has, you know, it has great resonance. It does.

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It does. It does. It does. Yeah. It does. Yeah.

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Okay. So you would not read this is interesting. I I

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figured you had touched on Ellison, at least,

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Ellison, Richard Writers, who we’re gonna be covering this month. Richard Wright. I

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Richard Writers, yes, but Richard Wright was actually high school. They were doing their

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jobs. So Richard Wright was either then in middle school or beginning of high school.

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Yeah. Okay. And then, of course I think it was middle school. I think it

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was 8th grade. Okay. Yeah. And then, of course, the anti

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the anti Richard Wright and the anti Ellison, my man, James

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Baldwin. Yep. Definitely. We’re also going to we’re gonna be

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bringing you back at the end of the month for for Baldwin, to

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talk about to talk about notes,

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from a native son.

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Yep. I okay. So it’s it’s interesting to me that you

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had not run into Ellison before. Oh, no. I run-in I I mean, I knew

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who he was, certainly. Right. But this didn’t read I didn’t read

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anything Juneteenth, and I didn’t read Juneteenth until post

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Cornell. I I don’t remember where I was. I

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don’t remember if I was in the north or the south. I don’t remember where

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I was. Is it do you think that because

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Ellison’s and we have to kinda talk a little bit about this. Do you think

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it’s because Ellison’s Politics

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Suddenly Shifted. And and one of the things that I wanna

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reference here is, Norman Podhertz’, is an essential

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link to this article as well. Norman Podhertz’s article on what

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happened whatever happened to to Ralph Ellison. Right? Mhmm.

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Mhmm. And Podcast makes the point. And Podherz was a

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leftist sixties Jewish radical, right, who

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believed fundamentally that Baldwin

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was correct, though not a good writer, and

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Ellison was a good writers, but not necessarily correct.

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And writing in Commentary Magazine in 1999,

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He kinda doubles down on this idea that

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Ellison’s attempt to be a humanist

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And a modernist Mhmm. Put him at odds

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with the black political structure of the middle 20th century

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and thus deemed his writing, particularly at a August

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institution like Cornell Mhmm. Deemed his

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writing to be verboten. And you double

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down on that by the fact that Ellison and I could talk about this,

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we could talk about this early, you double down on that with the or that

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analysis with the fact that Ellison never published

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another novel, was never able to complete another novel while he was alive.

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Juneteenth was completed after his death. And Podhertz calls

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it basically a cobbled together mess. I’m being friendly, but

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that’s basically what he calls it. You know, 398

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pages or something like that out of a potential 2,000 that were actually

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written.

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Why do you think Ellison didn’t make the Cornell cut?

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I mean, he may have. It it’s I so My where

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so it’s weird. I remember myself. I remember some of my thinking, of course,

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then, and it’s distorted by age, it’s distorted

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forgetfulness, it’s distorted by too much wine, etcetera.

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But because of my

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recollections of my state of mind And state of soul, let’s

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say. I will I will begin with myself. I assume

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I’m more inclined to assume it was by my choice than by

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something that wasn’t offered at my, you know, longest institution,

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our alma mater. So I assume it was

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that. I didn’t take, I

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didn’t take very many very many American literature courses. I, you

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know, I in high school, in contrast, That’s what I was reading,

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and I ate that stuff for breakfast. It was magnificent. And

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I remember, you know, feeling, not the

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exact moment I think I can see where I was reading one

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of Hemingway’s works. The first time I come across Nigger, and I’m just

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like, You know, here’s this

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betrayal where it’s like amazing writing and getting

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into his quirks and whatever, and then it’s like, wait, but, you know,

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This is so this is how you see us. This is what you believe about

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me and about, you know, my race. Oh, this

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isn’t book. You know. And so, by the time I got

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Cornell, I wasn’t exactly done with Hemingway, but,

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I think I was more focused in in European writers. And, of course, same time,

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I ended up studying a lot of comparative literature and French literature at

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the same Tom, And I would have frankly, I would have majored in

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comparative literature if I knew what it was before I was a senior.

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So, you know, I was just I was taking all this French lit

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stuff and taking some comparative literature stuff and then learn, oh, this is what a

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comparative literature major is like. And then, you know, if I’d realized that,

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I probably would have majored in that. But, you know, who knows?

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Again, hindsight about childhood and childhood quirks is far

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00:18:15,399 –> 00:18:19,164
better than 2020. Right? So you

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talk about and I’m a I’m a fan of Hemingway. I’m also a fan

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of Mark Twain. And and one of the challenges that we

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have on this podcast is that or not challenges.

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One of the opportunities that this podcast opens is the

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opportunity to talk about hard word hard

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words, hard ideas,

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hard thoughts that writers,

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particularly in an American, and you talk about European, an

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American in the European context struggle with. So the European context,

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European writers like Joyce, and,

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00:18:58,975 –> 00:19:02,274
and others, and I’m just gonna use Joyce because it’s the one you mentioned,

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They struggle with the European conception of self, not

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necessarily based on race, but a European conception of self based on

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geography and location in in in intention

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with or against colonialism. Right? Think of Kipling’s

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00:19:17,365 –> 00:19:21,120
writers man’s burden. He’s not really referencing race there, although

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everybody tags him with that. He’s actually referencing,

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colonialism primarily and race secondarily.

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Okay. Oh, don’t worry. What? I know he’s

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00:19:32,865 –> 00:19:36,465
mixed it all together, but his primary concern was colonialism with

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Kipling. Yeah. But okay. So let me push back.

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Chipman wasn’t writing about British colonialism in in Ireland, you know,

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where there’s no racial element, And yet the same types of

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hate and tropes, the same,

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inability, And here relating it to Invisible Man, the same inability to

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see the other. And I don’t just mean as a mass of people not seeing

316
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them and seeing them as animals, but, An

317
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inability to see the other, that that

318
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played out that played out in British colonialism of Ireland, but For sure.

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Where Kipling was focused, of course, was India. Right? And

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and and the the whole India under the Raj. And The thing

321
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that really spoiled it, in my opinion, because

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and this is, you know, a slightly contentious point, but if you you look

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00:20:25,585 –> 00:20:29,170
at Indian history, which I love and I study. You

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00:20:29,170 –> 00:20:32,930
know, the the podcasts I listen to the most, one of them

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00:20:32,930 –> 00:20:36,555
is is going through the history of India. It’s absolutely fabulous. There’s other books, more

326
00:20:36,555 –> 00:20:40,175
than 1 that I’m reading right now on the history of

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00:20:40,475 –> 00:20:44,235
not just the subcontinent, but the regions surrounding it. You can see a series of

328
00:20:44,235 –> 00:20:47,910
empires that Mhmm. Existed in India over time, sometimes

329
00:20:47,910 –> 00:20:50,650
over centuries Mhmm. Each. And,

330
00:20:51,510 –> 00:20:55,255
empires that foreigners started and Jesan.

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And so when I see, you

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know, and hear the animosity directed at the

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00:21:02,455 –> 00:21:05,960
British or at the Raj, I say to among the

334
00:21:05,960 –> 00:21:08,940
questions that I have is, okay, so why is this different?

335
00:21:09,640 –> 00:21:12,540
Because you got all these other, like, why are you not mad at the Mughals?

336
00:21:12,705 –> 00:21:16,544
Okay. Right. You’re mad at them British, but not the Mughals. The Mughals weren’t Indians.

337
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You know, they’re from Central Asia. They came in. They conquered,

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00:21:20,465 –> 00:21:24,110
you know, Babur, the Tom, Mughal

339
00:21:24,170 –> 00:21:27,690
emperor, right, was from a place called

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Fergana, and it’s just like, where the heck is that? You know, it’s I think

341
00:21:31,085 –> 00:21:34,865
it’s in Uzbekistan. But anyway, point being, this guy’s not Indian.

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00:21:35,164 –> 00:21:38,784
Why aren’t you mad at the Mughal yoke the way you’re mad

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at the Raj? Right? And to me, one of the

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00:21:42,520 –> 00:21:46,100
the there’s there’s more than 1 answer.

345
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One of the answers is because the the was the most

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00:21:50,758 –> 00:21:54,505
Jesan, and it’s instilled in certain people’s memories, and

347
00:21:54,505 –> 00:21:58,345
there’s things like photos and film that show problems. Got

348
00:21:58,345 –> 00:22:02,090
it. Okay. And, I mean, I assume that there’s at least

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00:22:02,090 –> 00:22:05,929
1 photograph of the last Mughal emperor because he was around

350
00:22:05,929 –> 00:22:09,434
in the middle of 19th century, so there’s I Zoom. There’s at least 1

351
00:22:09,434 –> 00:22:13,195
photograph of this guy. I forget his name too. But, anyway, but

352
00:22:13,195 –> 00:22:16,795
that’s that’s not, to me, the most important piece. The most that

353
00:22:16,875 –> 00:22:20,640
that’s just Aesthetics. Mhmm.

354
00:22:21,500 –> 00:22:25,020
In terms of the substance, the thing that I the the piece that

355
00:22:25,980 –> 00:22:29,655
well, The chief piece the British got

356
00:22:29,655 –> 00:22:32,315
wrong, in my opinion, is that,

357
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they let The racism infects them

358
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such that it then impacted how they did their colonialism.

359
00:22:41,280 –> 00:22:44,705
And if they hadn’t done that, They might still be there

360
00:22:44,705 –> 00:22:48,085
today. There were many,

361
00:22:49,904 –> 00:22:53,125
there are many ways that they helped bring,

362
00:22:54,670 –> 00:22:58,370
benefits to the society of sub of South Asia.

363
00:22:59,390 –> 00:23:02,670
But it’s like the racism poison the whole thing. That’s how I see it. And

364
00:23:02,670 –> 00:23:06,415
so if They had bought that, I think, you

365
00:23:06,415 –> 00:23:10,015
know, they would have had a fighting chance to still be there today. They wouldn’t

366
00:23:10,015 –> 00:23:13,830
have been, Ironically or not, it would have been

367
00:23:13,830 –> 00:23:17,670
so alien, you know, but it it wasn’t their

368
00:23:17,670 –> 00:23:21,510
alienness itself because that’s how it was with with the Kushans. That’s how

369
00:23:21,510 –> 00:23:25,355
it was the Bulldogs. And, you know, the the the Mughals

370
00:23:25,355 –> 00:23:28,975
and Kushans that were Tom to the Mughals, certainly, you know, they did some intermarrying.

371
00:23:29,115 –> 00:23:32,900
Okay. Fine. But They were still viewed, certainly, the

372
00:23:32,900 –> 00:23:35,560
shot is still viewed as foreigners. And so it’s like, okay. So

373
00:23:36,900 –> 00:23:40,675
why are they Given a pass, Mughals obviously love,

374
00:23:40,675 –> 00:23:44,355
you know, the architecture, all the rest of the stuff given a pass, but

375
00:23:44,355 –> 00:23:48,040
it it so it let’s be be even more specific. So the

376
00:23:48,040 –> 00:23:49,980
Mughals, they were Muslim.

377
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So you have this mass of Hindus And you have Muslim emperors,

378
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yet they’re given a pass, but then you have these British

379
00:24:01,085 –> 00:24:04,570
far fewer Well, in terms of the administration, probably fewer

380
00:24:04,570 –> 00:24:08,410
people, but, it just but there’s there’s no past, and I’m just

381
00:24:08,410 –> 00:24:12,245
like, okay. So If you wanna hold them to the same standards as

382
00:24:12,365 –> 00:24:15,885
did you hold Moogals and others, okay, fine. But if you’re not gonna do that,

383
00:24:15,885 –> 00:24:19,450
if you’re gonna, you know, make these distinctions, like, I just, You know, to me,

384
00:24:19,450 –> 00:24:22,750
it it it ruins the critique, but I digress. So

385
00:24:24,250 –> 00:24:28,090
That was a hell of a dig a hell of a digression. But

386
00:24:28,090 –> 00:24:31,825
but It’s but it it it triggers a couple of other things

387
00:24:31,825 –> 00:24:35,585
that relate to, Invisible Man and And you were

388
00:24:35,585 –> 00:24:38,710
talking about Twain. What were you gonna say about Twain? Well, and here’s what I

389
00:24:38,710 –> 00:24:42,250
was gonna say about Twain. So Twain and

390
00:24:42,470 –> 00:24:46,230
Hemingway are 2 of the largest pillars,

391
00:24:46,230 –> 00:24:49,775
because the parallel I was drawing was was between

392
00:24:49,835 –> 00:24:52,895
how, Joyce

393
00:24:53,515 –> 00:24:57,250
and Faulkner I’m not sorry, not Faulkner. Kipling and

394
00:24:57,250 –> 00:25:00,790
other European writers approached the tension

395
00:25:01,365 –> 00:25:05,125
between being European and being colonialist. Mhmm. And

396
00:25:05,125 –> 00:25:08,664
we, we could compare or contrast that with how Twain,

397
00:25:10,590 –> 00:25:14,190
Faulkner as well was a Southern writers. We could throw him in there. What the

398
00:25:14,190 –> 00:25:17,549
heck? But big the big the big tour Twain and

399
00:25:17,549 –> 00:25:21,135
Hemingway. How they

400
00:25:21,755 –> 00:25:25,055
dealt with and addressed the history

401
00:25:25,195 –> 00:25:28,960
of, racism, either in

402
00:25:28,960 –> 00:25:31,540
casual language, in casual,

403
00:25:32,640 –> 00:25:36,080
commentary, or in casual culture, or in high

404
00:25:36,080 –> 00:25:38,345
culture, quite frankly, in America,

405
00:25:40,085 –> 00:25:43,445
and the- the- the comparison and the contrast between those

406
00:25:43,445 –> 00:25:47,190
2 is this, and it gets to exactly what you said about

407
00:25:47,190 –> 00:25:50,870
religion and the Moghuls and the Muslims versus the Indians in a, in a

408
00:25:50,870 –> 00:25:53,770
European, and I’m Sorrells, European and Indian context.

409
00:25:56,455 –> 00:26:00,054
The larger lesson here, I think, is that, a, human

410
00:26:00,054 –> 00:26:03,570
beings will divide over anything. They will

411
00:26:03,570 –> 00:26:06,710
divide over race, they will divide over religion, they will divide over class.

412
00:26:08,289 –> 00:26:12,035
The biggest challenges come not from the division,

413
00:26:12,095 –> 00:26:15,934
seeing the division in your own country, and, or in your own backyard, because, you

414
00:26:15,934 –> 00:26:19,235
know, I I’m sure if we brought on somebody who was from India,

415
00:26:20,080 –> 00:26:23,300
They will be able to tell us all of the things, all of the reasons

416
00:26:23,360 –> 00:26:27,105
why the Sorrells, even though they were Muslim, were great,

417
00:26:27,184 –> 00:26:30,965
and the British Tom your point, even though

418
00:26:31,025 –> 00:26:34,325
they were maybe Christian, were terrible. Mhmm.

419
00:26:35,265 –> 00:26:38,100
They would be able to tell us because human beings are going to divide along

420
00:26:38,100 –> 00:26:41,160
those kinds of lines. Right? Mhmm. Whereas in America,

421
00:26:41,780 –> 00:26:45,000
we struggle merely with the idea of division

422
00:26:45,895 –> 00:26:49,495
because in an American context, we have

423
00:26:49,495 –> 00:26:53,274
really, doubled and tripled and quadrupled down on the idea

424
00:26:53,895 –> 00:26:57,670
that, at least until recently, and I would say recently within the

425
00:26:57,670 –> 00:27:01,270
last 20 years. We really doubled and tripled down on this

426
00:27:01,270 –> 00:27:05,085
idea of everyone melting together, and there would

427
00:27:05,085 –> 00:27:08,764
be no divisions. Right? That was the dream. Right? Talk about Martin Luther

428
00:27:08,764 –> 00:27:12,500
King Junior’s I Have a Dream. Mhmm. But Twain’s writing

429
00:27:12,500 –> 00:27:16,120
and Hemingway’s writing reveal the fault lines in those

430
00:27:16,260 –> 00:27:19,945
dreams. They reveal the reality, behind

431
00:27:20,245 –> 00:27:24,005
those dreams. And so it is

432
00:27:24,005 –> 00:27:26,998
interesting when we are first confronted with those,

433
00:27:26,998 –> 00:27:30,470
Humanities That Put Tension on the Myth of

434
00:27:30,470 –> 00:27:33,930
America. A lot of people who read Twain,

435
00:27:34,310 –> 00:27:37,705
read Hemingway, do exactly what you did. They run away from it because

436
00:27:37,705 –> 00:27:40,205
attention’s too much. Right?

437
00:27:41,544 –> 00:27:44,025
And I was drawing and and and the other thing that I was going to

438
00:27:44,025 –> 00:27:47,830
say In addition, was that I don’t run away from those tensions.

439
00:27:47,830 –> 00:27:51,670
I actually embrace them, because I think those tensions are worthwhile for

440
00:27:51,670 –> 00:27:55,174
us to struggle with. It is, it is an irony above

441
00:27:55,174 –> 00:27:58,934
ironies, not even irony, I wouldn’t even say that, it is a

442
00:27:58,934 –> 00:28:02,320
triumph of Twain’s heart over

443
00:28:02,320 –> 00:28:05,539
Twain’s reality that a comedy

444
00:28:05,679 –> 00:28:08,980
award that has his name on it

445
00:28:09,695 –> 00:28:13,395
get has now been given to, like, I think, 3 or 4 black comics,

446
00:28:13,775 –> 00:28:17,470
including most recently Dave Chappelle. Mhmm. I

447
00:28:17,470 –> 00:28:21,150
think Mark Twain would love that. I think he would

448
00:28:21,150 –> 00:28:24,590
love that. I I I think he would be fine with that.

449
00:28:24,590 –> 00:28:27,995
Right? I think Hemingway’s

450
00:28:28,535 –> 00:28:32,375
challenges with black people or his

451
00:28:32,375 –> 00:28:36,100
conception of how race existed in America Didn’t

452
00:28:36,100 –> 00:28:39,299
really here’s the, here’s the, here’s the dirty little secret. I don’t think it meant

453
00:28:39,299 –> 00:28:42,900
anything to him. I don’t think he fought any more

454
00:28:42,900 –> 00:28:46,605
about it that we think about where our cats

455
00:28:46,605 –> 00:28:49,645
or our dogs are in our house. I don’t think you thought about it in

456
00:28:49,645 –> 00:28:53,490
any of that kind of level. Right. And to me I I agree.

457
00:28:53,490 –> 00:28:56,930
To me, it’s well, that’s it because he was a racist. So there you go.

458
00:28:56,930 –> 00:28:59,485
Well, and and by the way I wish you. The way by the way, you

459
00:28:59,485 –> 00:29:03,165
could tag him as a racist What do my cat eat today? Don’t

460
00:29:03,165 –> 00:29:05,885
know. Don’t care. Don’t know. Don’t care. Right. When I went with my wife, you

461
00:29:05,885 –> 00:29:08,570
know. Well, and here’s and here’s the thing here’s the thing that we have struggle

462
00:29:08,570 –> 00:29:11,550
with Ralph Ellison as well. Okay? Mhmm.

463
00:29:12,010 –> 00:29:15,470
Mhmm. Ellison, I think,

464
00:29:17,305 –> 00:29:21,145
was as a writer rejected because

465
00:29:21,145 –> 00:29:24,789
he didn’t he recognized the racism. Mhmm.

466
00:29:25,250 –> 00:29:29,090
And he recognized its impact. Mhmm. But I

467
00:29:29,090 –> 00:29:32,845
think he thought, and and we’re moving in this direction on a podcast this year,

468
00:29:32,924 –> 00:29:36,625
I think he thought that the solutions to it were worse than the disease.

469
00:29:39,325 –> 00:29:42,260
And I think that Hemingway, if you went back in time and Showed him the

470
00:29:42,260 –> 00:29:46,020
solutions to the disease, would probably agree. I

471
00:29:46,020 –> 00:29:49,540
don’t know. To me, where

472
00:29:49,540 –> 00:29:50,520
he’s best,

473
00:29:54,424 –> 00:29:58,024
Yeah. So I mean, among the challenges with with

474
00:29:58,024 –> 00:30:01,840
Ernest Hemingway, Well,

475
00:30:01,840 –> 00:30:03,700
no. I don’t like how that sentence began.

476
00:30:06,080 –> 00:30:09,760
When I look at Hemingway’s perspective on

477
00:30:09,760 –> 00:30:11,045
black people there we go.

478
00:30:15,125 –> 00:30:18,645
One of the only place one of the only bright lights I see, no pun

479
00:30:18,645 –> 00:30:22,370
intended, well, the only bright lights I see is

480
00:30:22,370 –> 00:30:25,490
there’s certain ways in which he did like in the Green Hills of Africa, there’s

481
00:30:25,490 –> 00:30:29,245
certain ways in which he describes, natives with

482
00:30:29,245 –> 00:30:32,684
whom, you know, hunting is going on. There’s certain ways in which he

483
00:30:32,684 –> 00:30:36,044
describes them where you can see some

484
00:30:36,044 –> 00:30:39,860
understanding and respect. And, of course, the problem

485
00:30:40,240 –> 00:30:44,000
that it creates is the problem it creates for me as a black

486
00:30:44,000 –> 00:30:47,435
American is that that’s not my milieu. Okay. I’m not running

487
00:30:47,435 –> 00:30:50,575
around in the savannahs of East Africa

488
00:30:50,955 –> 00:30:53,375
hunting, half naked,

489
00:30:54,520 –> 00:30:58,360
or clothed helping white men go kill things. Okay? That’s

490
00:30:58,600 –> 00:31:01,500
Right. Not how I that’s not I hunt. That’s not how I hunt,

491
00:31:02,375 –> 00:31:05,915
but the milieu, the cultural milieu in which I’m in

492
00:31:06,295 –> 00:31:09,515
is one of the shared language, shared history, and shared institutions.

493
00:31:09,930 –> 00:31:13,690
And so when in that context, New York, for

494
00:31:13,690 –> 00:31:17,310
example, and when in that context, the same respect isn’t accorded

495
00:31:17,585 –> 00:31:20,385
where I have to get to the back of the line or just won’t be

496
00:31:20,385 –> 00:31:24,005
addressed at a party. That’s what’s infuriating.

497
00:31:25,020 –> 00:31:28,540
And so, and, you know, I didn’t shy away from his works. I still read

498
00:31:28,540 –> 00:31:31,340
them. He’s a phenomenal writer, and I still think they should be read and taught,

499
00:31:31,340 –> 00:31:34,855
you know. Yep. I would do a disclaimer So to any

500
00:31:34,855 –> 00:31:38,615
teachers listening to the podcast, give a disclaimer and then teach the works. And when

501
00:31:38,615 –> 00:31:42,215
you give the disclaimer, don’t you dare think of looking at the black students. Just

502
00:31:42,215 –> 00:31:45,720
you give the disclaimer. You may hear things that offend

503
00:31:45,720 –> 00:31:49,559
you. We understand that. You’re reading these works

504
00:31:49,559 –> 00:31:51,900
because these are foundational to American literature,

505
00:31:53,945 –> 00:31:57,545
And then you go on, and you do it. And then they can, you know,

506
00:31:57,545 –> 00:32:00,605
thrill with, you know,

507
00:32:01,090 –> 00:32:04,850
Some of the best writing in the language that, you know,

508
00:32:04,850 –> 00:32:07,110
is most likely their native language in America,

509
00:32:08,525 –> 00:32:12,365
and yet, you know, recognize that, hey. Some of these

510
00:32:12,365 –> 00:32:16,205
concepts, aren’t good. Some of them are

511
00:32:16,205 –> 00:32:19,960
evil, and you’re gonna read them, and you’ve gotta you’re gonna have to learn as

512
00:32:19,960 –> 00:32:22,360
you pointed out. You have to learn to deal with them. You have to learn

513
00:32:22,360 –> 00:32:25,240
to wrestle with those things. And if you’re not exposed to them, you’ll never learn

514
00:32:25,240 –> 00:32:28,865
to wrestle with And you certainly won’t solve problems in a

515
00:32:28,865 –> 00:32:31,925
society where you’re uncomfortable confronting

516
00:32:32,785 –> 00:32:35,605
an uncomfortable reality, you know. And so,

517
00:32:36,480 –> 00:32:40,180
but I thought I thought Ellison and this were I thought he did, absolutely

518
00:32:41,440 –> 00:32:44,095
magisterial job with Presenting,

519
00:32:45,355 –> 00:32:47,934
the problems and continuing through,

520
00:32:49,355 –> 00:32:53,070
you know, with his tropes and his symbols And things like that

521
00:32:53,070 –> 00:32:56,910
that are part of how you’ve structured how a

522
00:32:56,910 –> 00:33:00,665
well structured novel, is written includes things like that. And

523
00:33:00,665 –> 00:33:04,505
so and you can see them, you know, like and and and and detect

524
00:33:04,505 –> 00:33:06,765
them, like cabbage.

525
00:33:08,040 –> 00:33:11,880
The smell of cabbage in New

526
00:33:11,880 –> 00:33:15,640
York and what it meant for nameless. And it’s just to me, that that

527
00:33:15,640 –> 00:33:19,164
was beautifully done. That wasn’t as beautifully

528
00:33:19,164 –> 00:33:22,544
done as the physical remnants

529
00:33:23,565 –> 00:33:27,299
of actual slavery that keep cropping

530
00:33:27,440 –> 00:33:31,200
up and that somehow, at some point in this novel, basically find

531
00:33:31,200 –> 00:33:34,799
themselves as it were in the same container. And thus, like the Ark of the

532
00:33:34,799 –> 00:33:38,385
Covenant, You’ve got the tablets, you’ve got Aaron’s

533
00:33:38,385 –> 00:33:41,825
rod, and you got a pot of mana. And here, he’s got his

534
00:33:41,825 –> 00:33:45,350
shackle. He’s got that doll, Like,

535
00:33:45,350 –> 00:33:49,190
it’s broken with the coin. And literally, it’s just like that was really

536
00:33:49,190 –> 00:33:52,710
well constructed. That was really well constructed. This this novel is

537
00:33:52,710 –> 00:33:56,445
excellent. Well and and let me let me throw

538
00:33:56,445 –> 00:34:00,225
in one other thing there, and then we’ll go back to the book here.

539
00:34:03,360 –> 00:34:07,059
When Ellison initially,

540
00:34:10,239 –> 00:34:11,694
did his writers.

541
00:34:13,864 –> 00:34:17,705
He was writing from the perspective, or not

542
00:34:17,705 –> 00:34:20,605
perspective, his first initial efforts at writing,

543
00:34:23,460 –> 00:34:27,159
copied the voice of, ironically enough, Ernest Hemingway.

544
00:34:27,699 –> 00:34:30,440
Mhmm. And that’s where he started.

545
00:34:31,645 –> 00:34:35,244
And so The Sun Also Rises was published in the

546
00:34:35,244 –> 00:34:37,905
1920s. Ellison didn’t publish,

547
00:34:39,130 –> 00:34:42,510
Invisible Man until 1952. He was a notoriously

548
00:34:42,730 –> 00:34:46,534
slow writer, so it’s 7 years writing it. And of course,

549
00:34:46,534 –> 00:34:50,375
he didn’t attend Tuskegee until he was 20 in 1933 where

550
00:34:50,375 –> 00:34:54,135
he was first exposed to, not only TS Eliot,

551
00:34:54,135 –> 00:34:57,940
but also, would have been exposed to Hemingway and all of those

552
00:34:57,940 –> 00:35:00,760
other writers of the modernist

553
00:35:01,460 –> 00:35:04,133
era. Back to the book,

554
00:35:05,155 –> 00:35:08,855
back to The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. So

555
00:35:08,915 –> 00:35:12,360
we’re gonna skip ahead a little bit, and we’re going to

556
00:35:12,360 –> 00:35:16,200
go to chapter 5. Now again, we’re

557
00:35:16,200 –> 00:35:18,600
doing a little bit of a different thing here. If you wanna pick up the

558
00:35:18,600 –> 00:35:22,255
book, go ahead and get it. We’re not reading directly from the book today.

559
00:35:23,515 –> 00:35:26,315
We’re gonna do we’re doing a little more as you could tell from what we

560
00:35:26,315 –> 00:35:29,700
did during that that first sort of piece there. A little more of a deep

561
00:35:29,700 –> 00:35:33,380
dive at the literary level, and at the leadership

562
00:35:33,380 –> 00:35:36,955
level on Invisible Man. So, in

563
00:35:36,955 –> 00:35:40,795
chapter 5, chapter 5 is an interesting chapter. So this

564
00:35:40,795 –> 00:35:44,629
chapter, begins following Invisible Man

565
00:35:44,629 –> 00:35:48,460
Sorrells de Rolo has put on him Nameless. This

566
00:35:48,460 –> 00:35:50,800
follows on Nameless’s journey,

567
00:35:51,900 –> 00:35:55,585
through, well, actually, a disastrous trip, to

568
00:35:55,585 –> 00:35:59,184
town, the town outside of the university in

569
00:35:59,184 –> 00:36:02,580
this unnamed southern state. And the

570
00:36:02,580 –> 00:36:06,180
town, during in the town, the

571
00:36:06,180 –> 00:36:09,160
the the invisible man, was

572
00:36:10,100 –> 00:36:13,605
chauffeuring around, a white trustee named

573
00:36:13,605 –> 00:36:17,204
mister Norton. And mister Norton and the

574
00:36:17,204 –> 00:36:19,944
Invisible Man wind up in a,

575
00:36:21,350 –> 00:36:25,030
lower class sharecropper’s cabin. And they

576
00:36:25,030 –> 00:36:28,825
hear a shocking story of incest and the

577
00:36:28,825 –> 00:36:32,605
result of that incest. And

578
00:36:32,905 –> 00:36:36,740
as a result of the shock from that story, The

579
00:36:36,740 –> 00:36:40,500
Invisible Man Chauffeurs, mister

580
00:36:40,500 –> 00:36:44,305
Norton, to a bar known as the Golden Day, a bar

581
00:36:44,305 –> 00:36:47,745
filled with mental patients. I think that was I thought that was a

582
00:36:47,745 –> 00:36:51,345
whorehouse filled with veterans who have

583
00:36:51,345 –> 00:36:54,980
mental disease, but okay. But that’s what I thought it was. I mean, they

584
00:36:54,980 –> 00:36:58,420
got a bar, but they got it upstairs. You know? Yeah. Right. I think it

585
00:36:58,420 –> 00:37:01,415
was I think it was a combo. You talk about the arc Covenant Combo. I

586
00:37:01,415 –> 00:37:05,175
think it was a combo situation. Yes. Some of those people

587
00:37:05,175 –> 00:37:08,955
were veterans. Yes. Some of the individuals in there, were definitely

588
00:37:09,015 –> 00:37:12,700
ladies of the night, And In the middle of the

589
00:37:12,700 –> 00:37:16,000
day. In the middle of the day. Golden day. The middle of the golden day.

590
00:37:17,795 –> 00:37:21,155
Exactly. And so Ellison is playing with some tropes

591
00:37:21,155 –> 00:37:24,995
here in this chapter or in the chapter previous to chapter

592
00:37:24,995 –> 00:37:28,440
5. So in chapter 5, Invisible man is

593
00:37:28,440 –> 00:37:31,740
shaken Tom say the least, and he’s a young student.

594
00:37:32,440 –> 00:37:36,255
He’s class conscious. You can see that in the engagement with the lower

595
00:37:36,255 –> 00:37:40,015
class sharecropper. You could see that in his engagement with mister Norton.

596
00:37:40,015 –> 00:37:43,740
He’s almost painfully class conscious, but not

597
00:37:43,740 –> 00:37:47,580
as painfully race conscious. And this is

598
00:37:47,580 –> 00:37:51,260
something that is an important distinction with a difference that is about

599
00:37:51,260 –> 00:37:55,095
to hit him Upside the Head. Mhmm.

600
00:37:56,035 –> 00:37:59,875
Now after that terrible journey in

601
00:37:59,875 –> 00:38:02,869
chapter 4, We get to chapter 5, and,

602
00:38:04,450 –> 00:38:07,670
Invisible Man winds up in a chapel listening

603
00:38:07,809 –> 00:38:11,305
to a speech delivered, in the

604
00:38:11,305 –> 00:38:14,845
tune of an old Baptist or to the cadence of an old Baptist preacher,

605
00:38:15,385 –> 00:38:18,125
delivered by a fellow named Homer

606
00:38:19,065 –> 00:38:20,560
a Barbee.

607
00:38:23,660 –> 00:38:27,040
Not to put too fine a point on it, but

608
00:38:27,420 –> 00:38:30,735
Homer, just like

609
00:38:31,355 –> 00:38:34,975
the Homer in Greek

610
00:38:35,435 –> 00:38:35,935
myth.

611
00:38:38,810 –> 00:38:41,390
Homer well,

612
00:38:42,730 –> 00:38:45,770
Homer’s gonna tell you a tale. Homer’s going to tell you a tale of an

613
00:38:45,770 –> 00:38:49,615
odyssey, an odyssey of the founder. He’s

614
00:38:49,615 –> 00:38:53,375
going to lay the foundations of the

615
00:38:53,375 –> 00:38:56,820
institution that the Invisible Man is attending, and he’s

616
00:38:56,820 –> 00:39:00,340
doing this in order to raise the spirits of the

617
00:39:00,340 –> 00:39:03,940
students there and to let them know what exactly it

618
00:39:03,940 –> 00:39:06,875
is that they are going there for.

619
00:39:08,055 –> 00:39:11,415
Barbery relates the founder’s story, and the narrative of that

620
00:39:11,415 –> 00:39:15,080
story bridges the confusion the Invisible Man is feeling as a student

621
00:39:15,400 –> 00:39:18,540
following his experiences, his his

622
00:39:19,640 –> 00:39:23,000
his very, very class conscious experiences with mister

623
00:39:23,000 –> 00:39:26,545
Norton in a

624
00:39:26,545 –> 00:39:30,305
chauffeured vehicle. Now the irony of all of this

625
00:39:30,305 –> 00:39:34,060
is that the founder who is being, I

626
00:39:34,060 –> 00:39:37,840
won’t say lampooned. I I I wouldn’t go that far with Ellison.

627
00:39:38,060 –> 00:39:41,580
But who is being narratively identified is indeed

628
00:39:41,580 –> 00:39:45,375
Booker t Washington and the institution that’s being talked about by

629
00:39:45,375 –> 00:39:49,075
Homer Barbee, is the Tuskegee Institute.

630
00:39:49,855 –> 00:39:53,210
And, I will be honest, I didn’t really realize that that was what was

631
00:39:53,210 –> 00:39:56,349
happening until about halfway through Homer’s speech,

632
00:39:57,050 –> 00:40:00,855
and I went, oh, That’s what Ellison’s doing here. He’s

633
00:40:00,855 –> 00:40:04,455
talking about Tuskegee. And then,

634
00:40:04,695 –> 00:40:08,240
and then it was like a little, a little, A

635
00:40:08,240 –> 00:40:11,920
little gap began to open in my understanding, and I

636
00:40:11,920 –> 00:40:15,460
began to see something that de Rolo and I

637
00:40:15,885 –> 00:40:19,261
talked about when we talked about W. E. B. Du Bois’s

638
00:40:19,261 –> 00:40:22,845
Sorrells of Black Folk. And we talked about, back in episode number

639
00:40:22,845 –> 00:40:26,690
49, we discussed how There Was A Split in

640
00:40:26,690 –> 00:40:30,310
Black Culture. And it exists even a year later,

641
00:40:31,410 –> 00:40:35,244
between the upper class Black intellectuals, folks who went

642
00:40:35,545 –> 00:40:39,244
to Pacie de Rolo Jesan, but folks who went to Cornell,

643
00:40:40,797 –> 00:40:44,510
books who are going to Harvard currently. And we could talk a

644
00:40:44,510 –> 00:40:47,810
little bit about if we wanna, if we wanna more contemporize

645
00:40:48,030 –> 00:40:51,410
this, we could talk about Claudine Gay if we would like, but the Claudine

646
00:40:51,470 –> 00:40:54,865
Gay, Ibrahim X, Kendi, Tahaa Nazi

647
00:40:54,865 –> 00:40:58,645
coats, tied to folks who run the intellectual

648
00:40:59,985 –> 00:41:03,720
bought life or think they do of of African Americans, black

649
00:41:03,720 –> 00:41:07,160
people in this country. Mhmm. There’s a split in that

650
00:41:07,160 –> 00:41:10,925
culture between those folks and the folks who,

651
00:41:11,305 –> 00:41:14,665
as I framed it last year on the podcast, and I will continue to frame

652
00:41:14,665 –> 00:41:18,345
it this year, the folks who actually do the chauffeuring and

653
00:41:18,345 –> 00:41:21,980
drive the buses, the folks who do the sharecropping and the

654
00:41:21,980 –> 00:41:25,660
folks who have to go and work with people of all

655
00:41:25,660 –> 00:41:29,505
races, At Work and Have to Make Nice.

656
00:41:30,525 –> 00:41:34,349
Mhmm. And by the way, make nice is probably a terrible term, it’s not really

657
00:41:34,349 –> 00:41:37,789
making nice. It’s called social negotiation. It’s what we all have to

658
00:41:37,789 –> 00:41:41,329
do. There is a split in black culture between

659
00:41:41,390 –> 00:41:45,185
those two perspectives, and Ellison understood that this

660
00:41:45,185 –> 00:41:48,724
split was evident. And by the way, it’s going to become even more sharper

661
00:41:48,865 –> 00:41:52,590
when we get to chapter 6. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 are critical

662
00:41:52,590 –> 00:41:55,790
chapters in Invisible Man. And if you don’t read any of the other parts of

663
00:41:55,790 –> 00:41:59,150
that book, I would encourage you to read those 4, those 3 chapters in a

664
00:41:59,150 –> 00:42:02,765
row because they define very much

665
00:42:03,465 –> 00:42:06,984
what is happening right now in

666
00:42:06,984 –> 00:42:10,760
2024, I will probably be continuing

667
00:42:10,760 –> 00:42:14,200
into 2025 and 2026 in black culture in

668
00:42:14,200 –> 00:42:17,825
America. Now, Homer

669
00:42:17,825 –> 00:42:21,265
Barbee is named after the writer, as I said before, of The Odyssey and The

670
00:42:21,265 –> 00:42:24,965
Iliad. And interestingly enough,

671
00:42:25,020 –> 00:42:27,440
not to give too much away, but he’s blind.

672
00:42:28,620 –> 00:42:32,220
He’s blind like the cyclops in Greek myth. I don’t think

673
00:42:32,220 –> 00:42:34,640
Ellison did that accidentally either.

674
00:42:35,964 –> 00:42:39,484
He can only remember, Barbie, like the blinded

675
00:42:39,484 –> 00:42:43,265
patriarch of King Lear. He can only remember

676
00:42:43,325 –> 00:42:47,010
the story and provide soaring rhetoric, but he cannot

677
00:42:47,010 –> 00:42:50,530
provide genuine wisdom, which is what the invisible man or

678
00:42:50,530 –> 00:42:54,375
nameless is looking for. With

679
00:42:54,375 –> 00:42:58,075
this speech, and this is the other thing that Ellison does, this genius,

680
00:42:59,415 –> 00:43:02,555
with this speech begins Nameless’s descent

681
00:43:03,640 –> 00:43:06,700
into the black Americanized version of Dante’s Inferno,

682
00:43:07,559 –> 00:43:11,305
mashed up with Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, replete with a

683
00:43:11,305 –> 00:43:14,924
job that winds him up in a hellish manufacturing

684
00:43:15,704 –> 00:43:19,484
basement where he’s monitoring valves

685
00:43:20,460 –> 00:43:23,359
underneath watchful eye of a union busting

686
00:43:23,980 –> 00:43:27,580
elderly African American gentleman Mhmm.

687
00:43:27,740 –> 00:43:31,435
Somewhere in New York City. Now to put this

688
00:43:31,435 –> 00:43:34,699
in a historical context, Ellison It’s on Long Island. It’s on Long Island. It’s on

689
00:43:34,699 –> 00:43:37,035
Long Island. It’s on Long Island. Okay. It’s on Long Island. Alright. Yep. Now to

690
00:43:37,035 –> 00:43:40,510
put this in a historical context, Ellison, at the time, is writing

691
00:43:40,510 –> 00:43:44,130
this as a Marxist

692
00:43:44,430 –> 00:43:47,730
radical. He he was a radicalized Marxist,

693
00:43:47,950 –> 00:43:51,795
and he later softened his rhetoric

694
00:43:51,795 –> 00:43:55,315
in a fashion similar to the writer Albert Murray, who we haven’t read on the

695
00:43:55,315 –> 00:43:58,960
podcast, but we will. I’m fascinated by Albert Murray, and we’re gonna There’s

696
00:43:58,960 –> 00:44:02,560
leadership lessons we can pull from Murray as well. And

697
00:44:02,560 –> 00:44:06,099
Ellison, of course, wound up disillusioned with ideological

698
00:44:06,320 –> 00:44:10,015
posing and posturing, and he wanted real change

699
00:44:10,234 –> 00:44:12,575
for Black people in America.

700
00:44:13,915 –> 00:44:17,730
But at the time of this writing, he was captured by Marxist ideals.

701
00:44:17,730 –> 00:44:21,430
Because in 1919 33, when he went into

702
00:44:21,570 –> 00:44:25,325
Tuskegee and on to the other side of 1950 Tom

703
00:44:25,545 –> 00:44:29,165
when you finally published A Visible Man. Marxist

704
00:44:29,305 –> 00:44:33,065
socialism was considered to be the ideology that was doing

705
00:44:33,065 –> 00:44:36,289
the best for the most people on the face of the planet.

706
00:44:37,710 –> 00:44:41,470
Of course, at the time, due to the writing of the New York Times

707
00:44:41,470 –> 00:44:44,875
of Walter Duranty and many others, Most people did not

708
00:44:44,875 –> 00:44:48,714
know that Stalin was purging, and

709
00:44:48,714 –> 00:44:52,255
there were gulags, and there was massive repression,

710
00:44:52,960 –> 00:44:56,560
and the ideology of the state. The

711
00:44:56,560 –> 00:45:00,240
totalizing ideology of the state was locking up guys like

712
00:45:00,240 –> 00:45:04,075
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and torturing people

713
00:45:04,455 –> 00:45:07,975
and killing them, because in order to

714
00:45:07,975 –> 00:45:11,440
publish Pravda, sometimes gotta break a few eggs.

715
00:45:12,380 –> 00:45:15,900
Mhmm. By the

716
00:45:15,900 –> 00:45:19,695
way, just as a side note, I don’t fault anybody in the early 20th

717
00:45:19,695 –> 00:45:22,435
century up until about 1950, 1950,

718
00:45:23,855 –> 00:45:27,270
1945, 1950. I don’t fault any people for

719
00:45:27,270 –> 00:45:31,030
having Marxist views in the 1st part of 20th century. I

720
00:45:31,030 –> 00:45:34,755
really don’t. I do? I don’t. Because they didn’t they didn’t really know.

721
00:45:34,755 –> 00:45:38,515
They didn’t really know, and the truth wasn’t built know what? What

722
00:45:38,515 –> 00:45:41,795
didn’t they know? Here’s what they didn’t know. And and by the way, thank you

723
00:45:41,795 –> 00:45:44,710
for challenging me on this because people often push back on me on this.

724
00:45:45,270 –> 00:45:47,849
Mhmm. I don’t hold people responsible

725
00:45:49,430 –> 00:45:53,185
because, number 1, People didn’t

726
00:45:53,185 –> 00:45:56,725
know the things about Lennon that we know now. They just didn’t.

727
00:45:56,865 –> 00:46:00,245
Lennon was a great propagandist who managed

728
00:46:00,385 –> 00:46:04,130
to make his own image, last

729
00:46:04,130 –> 00:46:07,910
quite strongly through a good chunk of the 20th century. That’s number 1.

730
00:46:08,130 –> 00:46:11,545
Number 2, Marxism actually at that

731
00:46:11,545 –> 00:46:15,325
point, and people say this now and people born after

732
00:46:15,385 –> 00:46:19,130
1952, I fault them for saying this, but Marxism actually at that

733
00:46:19,130 –> 00:46:22,810
point was an ideology that had not wound up in its

734
00:46:22,810 –> 00:46:26,430
logical spot. It hadn’t wound up in its clearing at the end of the path.

735
00:46:26,605 –> 00:46:30,145
It hadn’t actually been fully tried. Now

736
00:46:30,285 –> 00:46:34,045
anybody born after 1950 when they say, well, Marxism hasn’t been fully tried,

737
00:46:34,045 –> 00:46:37,700
not even Marxist, Communism hasn’t been fully tried. I laugh at those

738
00:46:37,700 –> 00:46:41,380
people out of the room because communism has been fully tried, Marxism has been

739
00:46:41,380 –> 00:46:45,035
fully tried, and it has been found wanting. By the way, it’s

740
00:46:45,035 –> 00:46:48,075
the the fully tried part of Marxism is where you wind up with gulags and

741
00:46:48,075 –> 00:46:50,974
concentration camps. That’s the fully tried part.

742
00:46:51,840 –> 00:46:55,280
Mhmm. Mhmm. But at the time, pre

743
00:46:55,280 –> 00:46:59,120
1952, we didn’t we didn’t in the west, anyway, we

744
00:46:59,120 –> 00:47:02,715
didn’t realize all of that. Then number 3, the third

745
00:47:02,715 –> 00:47:06,315
reason why I don’t hold anybody responsible for following Marxism or

746
00:47:06,315 –> 00:47:09,615
believing in the value of a Marxist worldview

747
00:47:10,330 –> 00:47:14,170
is because the people

748
00:47:14,170 –> 00:47:17,610
who had the courage to write about it, who were in opposition to

749
00:47:17,610 –> 00:47:21,115
that, we’re being actively repressed by intellectuals in the

750
00:47:21,115 –> 00:47:24,734
West. Mhmm. Because the intellectual class,

751
00:47:25,355 –> 00:47:28,460
just like with any other luxury belief that they have in the 21st century, The

752
00:47:28,460 –> 00:47:32,140
1st century wanted desperately for Marxism to

753
00:47:32,224 –> 00:47:36,005
book. Mhmm. And they were not willing to kill it in its

754
00:47:36,085 –> 00:47:39,765
in its cradle. They weren’t willing to strangle it in its cradle. And

755
00:47:39,765 –> 00:47:43,605
then World War 2 came along, and everybody had to make sort of some some

756
00:47:43,605 –> 00:47:46,720
some decisions intellectually, morally, psychologically,

757
00:47:47,020 –> 00:47:49,680
spiritually. And

758
00:47:50,351 –> 00:47:54,144
book, say what you want, and we do say

759
00:47:54,144 –> 00:47:57,765
a lot, but I think World War 2

760
00:47:59,609 –> 00:48:02,030
went the best it possibly could have gone.

761
00:48:03,530 –> 00:48:06,890
And I’ll just leave it at that. Book have always been

762
00:48:06,890 –> 00:48:10,285
better, but it was the best out of a series of bad choices.

763
00:48:12,825 –> 00:48:16,285
So those are that’s my reasoning. That’s my reasoning. I called them because

764
00:48:17,230 –> 00:48:20,530
Human nature and human experience provide

765
00:48:20,910 –> 00:48:24,510
enough of an education to know from the beginning that

766
00:48:24,510 –> 00:48:26,585
there’s something fundamentally wrong with

767
00:48:28,585 –> 00:48:32,045
It’s why you can read the brilliant

768
00:48:32,105 –> 00:48:35,829
allegory of that brilliant, You

769
00:48:35,829 –> 00:48:39,498
know, socialist yet realist George Sorrells.

770
00:48:39,670 –> 00:48:43,510
Mhmm. Read Animal Farm, which I’m sure you’ve done in your podcast, but when you

771
00:48:43,510 –> 00:48:44,569
read Animal Farm,

772
00:48:47,655 –> 00:48:51,035
you get angry. And as you’re reading this allegory

773
00:48:51,655 –> 00:48:55,490
Mhmm. You can feel the emotion building because

774
00:48:55,790 –> 00:48:59,630
you’re reading about these acts of injustice, and you’re seeing the

775
00:48:59,630 –> 00:49:03,375
blindness of Certain animals to what’s going on and what’s being done to them and

776
00:49:03,375 –> 00:49:07,154
what they’re acquiescing in, and it’s infuriating.

777
00:49:08,255 –> 00:49:12,060
And so, and, of course, the very first time I read it in

778
00:49:12,060 –> 00:49:15,120
middle school, I was able because of my love of history

779
00:49:15,740 –> 00:49:19,505
and my reading, I recognized What the parallels were Tom,

780
00:49:19,605 –> 00:49:22,404
so I could then begin to predict what was gonna happen. Because it just it

781
00:49:22,404 –> 00:49:25,525
tracks with, you know, Bolshevik history. So,

782
00:49:28,180 –> 00:49:31,940
Anyway, so why I fault them is that

783
00:49:31,940 –> 00:49:35,515
human nature and human experience Tells them

784
00:49:35,515 –> 00:49:39,055
enough. Tells the the viewer

785
00:49:39,115 –> 00:49:41,934
of or the consumer of Marxist ideology

786
00:49:42,795 –> 00:49:46,420
that This is fundamentally unsound at best

787
00:49:46,560 –> 00:49:49,780
and evil at worst. And so,

788
00:49:50,585 –> 00:49:54,424
That but that’s one of the reasons that it’s it’s a cop

789
00:49:54,424 –> 00:49:57,404
out from having to make harder choices.

790
00:49:59,140 –> 00:50:02,359
And we’re human. We don’t like making hard choices. Okay?

791
00:50:03,059 –> 00:50:06,900
In fact, that’s part of human nature, not to want to to

792
00:50:06,900 –> 00:50:10,644
shirk Making hard choices is part of human nature. And so,

793
00:50:12,065 –> 00:50:15,204
you know, Marxism offers a compromise

794
00:50:16,589 –> 00:50:20,269
to a more just and fair society, but because it

795
00:50:20,269 –> 00:50:23,915
requires injustice to get there, Therefore,

796
00:50:23,975 –> 00:50:27,275
fundamentally, axiomatically, it can’t lead to a more just

797
00:50:27,655 –> 00:50:31,350
and fair society that In order to get

798
00:50:31,490 –> 00:50:35,030
a more just and fair society, you have to somehow produce

799
00:50:35,090 –> 00:50:38,310
more just and fair people. And

800
00:50:38,770 –> 00:50:42,595
we only produce people One way. They all come

801
00:50:42,595 –> 00:50:46,194
from a woman who’s an actual woman and not

802
00:50:46,194 –> 00:50:49,350
anybody masturbating as a woman. Okay.

803
00:50:50,210 –> 00:50:53,750
And then you’ve got to raise this creature

804
00:50:54,690 –> 00:50:58,405
these creatures knowing that it

805
00:50:58,405 –> 00:51:02,245
is not only what you tell them, but what you show

806
00:51:02,245 –> 00:51:05,980
them That helps direct their paths,

807
00:51:05,980 –> 00:51:09,660
that helps expose them to how they ought to

808
00:51:09,660 –> 00:51:13,484
behave, and thus, It it presupposes

809
00:51:13,944 –> 00:51:17,404
that we be more just and fair people

810
00:51:17,785 –> 00:51:21,145
and thus produce more just and fair people to get to a more just and

811
00:51:21,145 –> 00:51:24,810
fair society. Nobody’s got time for that. It takes multiple generations. And

812
00:51:24,810 –> 00:51:28,490
so we’re all looking for shortcuts, and Marxism offers a

813
00:51:28,490 –> 00:51:32,025
shortcut. It also offers a scapegoat. It offers a

814
00:51:32,025 –> 00:51:35,464
way for the privileged to ask to

815
00:51:35,464 –> 00:51:39,145
wage their guilt. And if it happens

816
00:51:39,145 –> 00:51:42,940
to cost a few Dozen or a few 1000000 lives, so

817
00:51:42,940 –> 00:51:46,540
be it. Now I can be at peace in my

818
00:51:46,540 –> 00:51:50,315
castle with my things because This is what we’ve done out

819
00:51:50,315 –> 00:51:53,215
there, and now you can no longer tell me that

820
00:51:54,075 –> 00:51:57,295
you haven’t been given this opportunity. You haven’t been provided this

821
00:51:57,779 –> 00:52:01,200
book that you need. Not realizing that, of

822
00:52:01,200 –> 00:52:04,880
course, as soon as you turn on the end the NV machine, there’s it doesn’t

823
00:52:04,880 –> 00:52:08,724
go off. It doesn’t need gasoline. It just keeps running. So,

824
00:52:08,724 –> 00:52:12,565
eventually, they’re gonna turn on you just because you’re there with something

825
00:52:12,565 –> 00:52:16,160
they don’t have. And to me, all of

826
00:52:17,180 –> 00:52:20,940
this, it’s it’s in there. It’s in there. Okay. So the question then

827
00:52:20,940 –> 00:52:24,755
becomes so the question Jesan becomes The DNA of it. Okay. So then the

828
00:52:24,755 –> 00:52:28,535
question becomes, and by the way, I don’t argue. I don’t argue against

829
00:52:28,595 –> 00:52:32,215
all of that being in the DNA of Marxism. You’re absolutely correct.

830
00:52:32,930 –> 00:52:36,530
My only assertion is that, and by the way, Orwell published Animal

831
00:52:36,530 –> 00:52:40,290
Farm in 1945. Okay? Just wanted to grab, I

832
00:52:40,290 –> 00:52:43,935
wanted to grab that date. I don’t think it

833
00:52:43,935 –> 00:52:47,455
was fully or widely disseminated until the

834
00:52:47,455 –> 00:52:51,180
1950s or so, and And I do think the 1950s is a

835
00:52:51,180 –> 00:52:54,780
critical time in the middle 20th century when the

836
00:52:54,780 –> 00:52:58,255
tide begins to turn, in the West anyway,

837
00:52:58,715 –> 00:53:02,395
against Marxism because of the things you stated now are

838
00:53:02,395 –> 00:53:05,055
fundamentally being realized because, again,

839
00:53:05,930 –> 00:53:09,450
Marxism up until the 19 fifties. And

840
00:53:09,450 –> 00:53:13,290
again, Marxism only had, what, a 25 year long lifespan, something

841
00:53:13,290 –> 00:53:16,795
like that, at least political Marxism. Cultural Marxism has

842
00:53:16,795 –> 00:53:20,175
a seemingly endless lifespan.

843
00:53:21,115 –> 00:53:24,670
But political Marxism, had a 25 year,

844
00:53:24,890 –> 00:53:28,730
at least in, in, in the context of the, of, of the Soviet

845
00:53:28,730 –> 00:53:32,375
Union versus the West, a 25 year long lifespan of

846
00:53:32,375 –> 00:53:36,135
being tried. Now, anything that happens after 1950 happens

847
00:53:36,135 –> 00:53:39,920
because of exactly what you have stated, becomes because now people become

848
00:53:39,920 –> 00:53:43,140
aware of this and they become aware of the sharpness of this in the west

849
00:53:43,440 –> 00:53:46,880
because the thing wound up at its logical conclusion. Just

850
00:53:46,880 –> 00:53:50,595
like Short circuiting the French Revolution didn’t lead

851
00:53:50,595 –> 00:53:54,275
to less revolution. It just led to more of it

852
00:53:54,275 –> 00:53:58,030
because the French revolutionary

853
00:53:59,210 –> 00:54:01,790
Jacobean sort of

854
00:54:02,650 –> 00:54:06,445
perspective was not fully allowed to

855
00:54:06,445 –> 00:54:07,265
play out.

856
00:54:09,965 –> 00:54:13,670
And this now becomes the question. So

857
00:54:13,730 –> 00:54:17,510
for all of us born after 1950,

858
00:54:17,730 –> 00:54:20,630
which is the vast majority of folks who listen to this podcast,

859
00:54:21,475 –> 00:54:24,835
who know all of this. The question becomes,

860
00:54:24,835 –> 00:54:28,595
particularly for those of us who may have more melanin in

861
00:54:28,595 –> 00:54:32,369
our skin, Why are we captured by

862
00:54:32,369 –> 00:54:36,150
the cultural version of Marxism? Because the cultural version of Marxism,

863
00:54:36,609 –> 00:54:40,385
and this drives me absolutely crazy. I have my own ideas on why, but why

864
00:54:40,385 –> 00:54:44,224
are we captured by the cultural version of Marxism? Because it’s going to

865
00:54:44,224 –> 00:54:47,845
produce it’s the same envy machine just turned on in culture,

866
00:54:48,110 –> 00:54:51,950
and it’s going to wind up in the same place, and we know where we

867
00:54:51,950 –> 00:54:54,210
know what the clearing at the end of the path is.

868
00:54:55,685 –> 00:54:58,805
We are no we can no longer claim that we are disillusioned. We can no

869
00:54:58,805 –> 00:55:02,085
longer claim that we do not know. We can no longer claim that Marxism has

870
00:55:02,085 –> 00:55:05,930
not been fully tried. It has been fully tried. We know where it ends

871
00:55:05,930 –> 00:55:09,690
up. DiRollo just said it. DiRollo, why are black

872
00:55:09,690 –> 00:55:13,385
intellectuals captured by cultural Marxism? Why? Why was

873
00:55:13,385 –> 00:55:15,485
Ellison captured by cultural Marxism?

874
00:55:17,465 –> 00:55:19,485
I have an answer. Okay.

875
00:55:21,570 –> 00:55:23,750
Bear with me a sec. Sure.

876
00:55:25,250 –> 00:55:28,770
I think that and I just you know, even even, you

877
00:55:28,770 –> 00:55:32,565
know, Dare we say it, you know, the reverend doctor Martin Luther King Junior.

878
00:55:32,565 –> 00:55:36,105
Right? Mhmm. I think when you reach a point

879
00:55:36,485 –> 00:55:40,230
in the struggle for More equality

880
00:55:40,290 –> 00:55:43,829
and justice in America. I think when you reach a point

881
00:55:44,930 –> 00:55:48,555
of recognition That despite your best

882
00:55:48,555 –> 00:55:51,849
efforts, the mass of society is not changing

883
00:55:51,849 –> 00:55:55,375
podcast enough, perhaps, but just not changing.

884
00:55:58,200 –> 00:56:01,800
Disillusionment can set in when one has

885
00:56:01,800 –> 00:56:05,595
assumed that through one’s efforts, A

886
00:56:05,595 –> 00:56:09,115
more just and fair society on a wide scale can be

887
00:56:09,115 –> 00:56:12,715
produced quickly. And

888
00:56:12,715 –> 00:56:16,220
so then one looks for the shortcut. And that’s

889
00:56:17,160 –> 00:56:20,920
to me, that’s when one has the best motives.

890
00:56:20,920 –> 00:56:24,724
That’s that, in my opinion, is what happens. When someone

891
00:56:24,724 –> 00:56:27,865
in contrast is disposed to hating the society,

892
00:56:28,165 –> 00:56:31,765
hating this magnificent scheme of constitutional rights that’s supposed to

893
00:56:31,765 –> 00:56:35,380
work In a color blind fashion that was set up to

894
00:56:35,440 –> 00:56:39,140
work in a color blind fashion. And, you know, was it hijacked

895
00:56:39,585 –> 00:56:43,425
by White Power Freaks, yes. But, you know,

896
00:56:43,425 –> 00:56:47,200
it was supposed to function in a way that

897
00:56:47,280 –> 00:56:50,960
It didn’t matter what you looked like. This is these are the rights you

898
00:56:50,960 –> 00:56:54,339
had as a man. These are the rights you had as a woman. These institutions

899
00:56:54,480 –> 00:56:58,224
are supposed Tom force them. Great. Now go live your Libby. You know?

900
00:56:58,385 –> 00:57:02,065
It it was wonderful. But anyway, there are people who are disposed to hate

901
00:57:02,065 –> 00:57:05,530
that system Anyway and so for them, I

902
00:57:05,530 –> 00:57:07,230
think jumping on the bandwagon

903
00:57:09,210 –> 00:57:12,545
of a political movement whose Stated

904
00:57:12,765 –> 00:57:16,385
goal is to overturn that system

905
00:57:17,165 –> 00:57:20,850
just is a more natural choice, and and one more easily

906
00:57:20,850 –> 00:57:24,690
made. But it’s the, you know, the idealists who then are

907
00:57:24,690 –> 00:57:27,830
disillusioned, like nameless. Right? Nameless is disillusioned,

908
00:57:28,505 –> 00:57:32,285
several times in this, book. And

909
00:57:32,425 –> 00:57:36,045
they’re beautiful moments where there’s even foreshadowing,

910
00:57:36,370 –> 00:57:40,210
you know. Mhmm. Again, like, I approach this, reading this,

911
00:57:40,210 –> 00:57:43,570
as someone who I have a degree in English literature. So I I and, again,

912
00:57:43,570 –> 00:57:46,904
I concentrated in the modern novel. I know how to approach this. And this this

913
00:57:46,904 –> 00:57:50,744
is extremely well written. But just, you know, beautiful moments of

914
00:57:50,744 –> 00:57:53,645
foreshadowing, like when brother Jack

915
00:57:54,750 –> 00:57:58,590
tells nameless, you are right not to trust me.

916
00:57:58,590 –> 00:58:02,365
That’s what he says in the beginning. It’s right there. It’s just like

917
00:58:02,525 –> 00:58:06,365
and I circled it then because I realized not knowing what’s coming, I said to

918
00:58:06,365 –> 00:58:10,180
myself, oh, this this is wise insight. You’re absolutely

919
00:58:10,180 –> 00:58:13,880
right. Whoever you are, whatever you’re gonna do, that that is true.

920
00:58:14,099 –> 00:58:17,799
And so later on, it’s like, hey. Wait. Does he he told you.

921
00:58:18,515 –> 00:58:22,355
He told you. And you, naive

922
00:58:22,355 –> 00:58:26,115
young man, now you’re getting it. And it’s it’s a

923
00:58:26,115 –> 00:58:29,780
shame because, Oh, I just saw it. I

924
00:58:29,780 –> 00:58:33,380
just literally, another insight just came. I was about to say it’s a

925
00:58:33,380 –> 00:58:37,115
shame that, you know, it actually didn’t

926
00:58:37,115 –> 00:58:40,875
caught his invisibility Libby which he in which he finds himself at the

927
00:58:40,875 –> 00:58:44,490
end didn’t podcast him his eyes. Thinking of

928
00:58:44,710 –> 00:58:48,070
Oedipus and thinking of Jesan. And then it’s like, wait a minute. But but it

929
00:58:48,070 –> 00:58:51,590
did. But, ding. It’s just like, oh, but I just saw that. I

930
00:58:51,590 –> 00:58:54,984
literally just saw, No pun intended. I just saw that. And it’s just like,

931
00:58:54,984 –> 00:58:58,345
yep. This this this is this is

932
00:58:58,345 –> 00:59:02,080
excellent. Like, This needs to be taught, Chuo.

933
00:59:02,080 –> 00:59:05,920
You could spend quarter of a year on this book, and it would be worth

934
00:59:05,920 –> 00:59:09,744
it in in in a high school literature class. Like,

935
00:59:09,744 –> 00:59:12,545
what are you gonna do this year? We’re gonna do 4 books, 1 per marking

936
00:59:12,545 –> 00:59:15,665
period, and we’re gonna spend real time in them. We’re gonna read them more than

937
00:59:15,665 –> 00:59:19,160
once, and you’re going to understand when we’re done. This is

938
00:59:19,160 –> 00:59:22,920
what a great American novel is like. Such that, when

939
00:59:22,920 –> 00:59:26,120
you’re then trying to find the next one or write the next one, you’ll know

940
00:59:26,120 –> 00:59:29,925
how to construct. You know, a a a a beautiful masterpiece,

941
00:59:29,985 –> 00:59:33,505
you know, because that’s this is what it is. It’s it’s literally

942
00:59:33,505 –> 00:59:37,190
phenomenal. And you see the young man on his journey. Oh, you

943
00:59:37,190 –> 00:59:40,550
mean you see the odyssey? Yes. You see the

944
00:59:40,550 –> 00:59:44,075
odyssey. Oh, so maybe we should teach those

945
00:59:44,075 –> 00:59:47,755
old gray dust covered yes. We

946
00:59:47,755 –> 00:59:51,550
should. Absolutely. In fact, and you

947
00:59:51,550 –> 00:59:55,310
should probably read at least 2 versions because,

948
00:59:57,550 –> 01:00:01,395
what the heck is her last name? Professor Emily Wilson

949
01:00:01,395 –> 01:00:05,155
just did she just her Iliad just came out, her translation of it, and the

950
01:00:05,155 –> 01:00:08,829
Odyssey came out, I think, like, 5, 6 years ago. And so I

951
01:00:08,829 –> 01:00:12,589
would read reading her

952
01:00:12,589 –> 01:00:15,595
versions, I think, makes sense, and then reading at least one other, I think, sense.

953
01:00:15,595 –> 01:00:19,434
But, I think what she’s doing with classics is amazing, which is, of

954
01:00:19,434 –> 01:00:23,275
course, why I’m talking about her right now. So Of course. Yeah. Okay.

955
01:00:23,275 –> 01:00:26,990
So Homer Homer Barbee. Let’s let’s I wanna go I wanna

956
01:00:26,990 –> 01:00:30,690
wind back to here because around that cultural Marxism,

957
01:00:30,750 –> 01:00:34,045
there is a tension, and we’re going to explore this in sort of the next

958
01:00:34,525 –> 01:00:38,365
section here. We’re gonna talk about the molding

959
01:00:38,365 –> 01:00:40,704
of the white underclass by doctor Bledsoe.

960
01:00:44,620 –> 01:00:47,440
The dynamic

961
01:00:48,380 –> 01:00:52,165
that is on the other side of this is the dynamic

962
01:00:52,165 –> 01:00:55,625
that Homer represents. Now, Homer is blind. Yes.

963
01:00:56,325 –> 01:00:59,924
Homer Libby can only deliver soaring rhetoric, but

964
01:00:59,924 –> 01:01:03,759
not wisdom. Yes. But Homer

965
01:01:03,759 –> 01:01:07,200
Barbee represents the founder, the Booker T

966
01:01:07,200 –> 01:01:10,645
Washington, the institution of Tuskegee,

967
01:01:11,905 –> 01:01:15,505
an institution that Ellison himself found to be, as

968
01:01:15,505 –> 01:01:17,925
was mentioned earlier, class conscious.

969
01:01:20,170 –> 01:01:23,790
And you get this sense, reading chapters 4, 5,

970
01:01:23,850 –> 01:01:27,505
and 6 of Invisible Man, that

971
01:01:27,505 –> 01:01:31,265
Ellison could not resolve this tension. He could merely expose it, which

972
01:01:31,265 –> 01:01:35,025
is I think there’s something else that great literature does. It exposes the

973
01:01:35,025 –> 01:01:38,820
tension, it does not necessarily seek to resolve it all

974
01:01:38,820 –> 01:01:42,040
the time. And the tension that exists is between

975
01:01:42,740 –> 01:01:46,515
institutions that are class consciousness and dare class conscious, and dare

976
01:01:46,515 –> 01:01:50,295
I say, bourgeois, to use a Marxist framing,

977
01:01:50,835 –> 01:01:54,350
versus institutions that are not class

978
01:01:54,350 –> 01:01:58,110
conscious or at least claim to not be class conscious and came

979
01:01:58,110 –> 01:02:01,733
to be culturally, free or Sorrells

980
01:02:01,795 –> 01:02:05,474
free, and and and make a and lay a claim to the

981
01:02:05,474 –> 01:02:08,295
Marxist definition of freedom where

982
01:02:08,840 –> 01:02:12,460
Everyone has everything shared equally. Okay.

983
01:02:14,920 –> 01:02:18,365
Homer represents that institution Jushin and Ellison has Homer being

984
01:02:18,365 –> 01:02:21,885
blind. And by the way, nameless doesn’t realize that

985
01:02:21,885 –> 01:02:25,325
Homer is blind until Homer stumbles, which also is

986
01:02:25,325 –> 01:02:29,089
interesting. Stumbles while

987
01:02:29,089 –> 01:02:32,230
going to sit after delivering his speech, stumbles

988
01:02:32,609 –> 01:02:36,135
while going back Tom sit down next to doctor Bledsoe.

989
01:02:38,915 –> 01:02:42,674
We talked about this last year with Booker t Washington versus W. E. B

990
01:02:42,674 –> 01:02:45,990
Dubois. We kind of have developed it, delved into a little bit here. But to

991
01:02:45,990 –> 01:02:49,290
me, this is this is the representative tension

992
01:02:49,350 –> 01:02:53,025
in black American, culture. This

993
01:02:53,025 –> 01:02:56,405
is the representative tension. It’s between the Book two Washington

994
01:02:56,465 –> 01:02:59,985
folks and the W. E. B. Du Bois folks. It it’s no

995
01:02:59,985 –> 01:03:03,720
more It’s no more complicated than that. And the Booker 2

996
01:03:03,720 –> 01:03:05,900
Washington folks, the black middle class,

997
01:03:07,720 –> 01:03:11,565
seek to raise up, Oh, not secretarial. Number 1, they are

998
01:03:11,565 –> 01:03:15,105
embarrassed by the Black lower class, which was represented

999
01:03:15,244 –> 01:03:18,710
in Invisible Man by the Incest

1000
01:03:18,710 –> 01:03:19,690
Driven Sharecropper.

1001
01:03:22,470 –> 01:03:26,010
So there’s an embarrassment there. There’s a realization

1002
01:03:26,470 –> 01:03:29,455
that the only way to bring yourself up

1003
01:03:30,315 –> 01:03:33,675
to sort of beyond parallel with the white

1004
01:03:33,675 –> 01:03:37,349
man, such as it were, is through education.

1005
01:03:37,890 –> 01:03:41,650
And and by the way, I always mention this every single time we do these

1006
01:03:41,650 –> 01:03:45,375
podcasts, but I went to a state school. I didn’t go to Cornell, but I

1007
01:03:45,375 –> 01:03:48,255
read a lot of books. DeRolla went to Sorrells,

1008
01:03:49,535 –> 01:03:53,109
comparatively in in in in black

1009
01:03:53,109 –> 01:03:56,790
American culture in the early 21st century. We are considered to

1010
01:03:56,790 –> 01:04:00,535
be privileged by other black people who also went

1011
01:04:00,535 –> 01:04:03,755
to the same institutions that we went that we went to,

1012
01:04:04,375 –> 01:04:07,835
which is ironic and interesting. And we, of course, are tagged

1013
01:04:08,800 –> 01:04:12,320
as Black men in America with this

1014
01:04:12,320 –> 01:04:15,924
invisible duty, and I’m going to write about this in my upcoming book. I’m

1015
01:04:15,924 –> 01:04:19,605
writing a series of cultural commentary essays, which this is the 1st

1016
01:04:19,605 –> 01:04:23,230
public announcement of that, and so they are going to be coming out

1017
01:04:23,310 –> 01:04:26,990
later on this year, but I’m writing about, I’m writing a particular essay about this

1018
01:04:26,990 –> 01:04:30,770
tension between what I quote unquote

1019
01:04:31,150 –> 01:04:34,585
‘owe the race’ versus

1020
01:04:35,765 –> 01:04:39,205
just because there should be some, some sense of racial solidarity, because I happen to

1021
01:04:39,205 –> 01:04:42,665
share melanin with you versus what I don’t owe

1022
01:04:43,190 –> 01:04:46,950
a society where the majority may not share my melanin with

1023
01:04:46,950 –> 01:04:50,750
me. There’s a tension there. And I have always, this is why part

1024
01:04:50,750 –> 01:04:54,595
of the reason why I’ve run back to Hemingway, I’ve always rejected that tension

1025
01:04:54,895 –> 01:04:58,655
because I think that’s a false dichotomy. Mhmm. And I

1026
01:04:58,655 –> 01:05:01,660
think it’s pretend, and I think that it allows

1027
01:05:02,040 –> 01:05:05,339
cynical race hustling to exist, which

1028
01:05:05,560 –> 01:05:09,365
Doctor. Bledsoe represents the cynical part of that, and we’re gonna visit

1029
01:05:09,365 –> 01:05:13,125
him in just a Jesan, but the disillusioned part, the part

1030
01:05:13,125 –> 01:05:16,540
that seeks to keep, individuals like

1031
01:05:16,540 –> 01:05:20,060
Nameless in naivete Mhmm. Is

1032
01:05:20,060 –> 01:05:22,800
represented by the Baptist ramblings

1033
01:05:24,365 –> 01:05:28,065
of Homer Barbee. And if you go and read Homer Barbee’s recitation

1034
01:05:28,365 –> 01:05:31,585
of what the founder did, there’s actually nothing

1035
01:05:31,805 –> 01:05:35,519
there. Now that’s Ellison’s critique of

1036
01:05:35,519 –> 01:05:39,279
Booker t Washington, but, again, it’s a critique from the political, if we’re gonna

1037
01:05:39,279 –> 01:05:42,995
go there, political left. It’s not a critique

1038
01:05:42,995 –> 01:05:46,435
from the political right. A critique from the

1039
01:05:46,435 –> 01:05:50,050
political right would have had Homer speaking

1040
01:05:50,050 –> 01:05:53,270
in actual practical terms of how many people

1041
01:05:54,290 –> 01:05:58,035
that institution actually raised up out of the

1042
01:05:58,035 –> 01:06:01,875
dust of sharecropping and put them on a

1043
01:06:01,875 –> 01:06:05,700
road to being middle class. An actual recitation

1044
01:06:07,119 –> 01:06:10,900
of the actual story of the founder would have involved,

1045
01:06:12,055 –> 01:06:13,915
not how the founder,

1046
01:06:16,375 –> 01:06:19,975
fooled white people into giving him money to start the

1047
01:06:19,975 –> 01:06:23,460
school and had a statue built well of him.

1048
01:06:23,680 –> 01:06:26,900
It wouldn’t have included that or or or how the founder

1049
01:06:27,200 –> 01:06:30,605
pretended to be subservient and yet had victory over

1050
01:06:30,605 –> 01:06:33,825
Whitey, it wouldn’t have included any of that, which, by the way, the the distribution

1051
01:06:33,884 –> 01:06:37,550
did include that. It would have instead, as a critique from the right,

1052
01:06:37,710 –> 01:06:40,290
would have included how many people

1053
01:06:42,110 –> 01:06:45,870
of a particular melanin were led to a greater conception

1054
01:06:45,870 –> 01:06:49,714
of liberty through their own through the use of their

1055
01:06:49,714 –> 01:06:53,474
own skills and ability regardless of whether or

1056
01:06:53,474 –> 01:06:57,140
not the society was racially opposed to them.

1057
01:06:57,519 –> 01:07:00,960
It would have been a story of victory from the right. It would have been

1058
01:07:00,960 –> 01:07:04,615
a critique of the potential of that person

1059
01:07:04,615 –> 01:07:08,375
from the right. And this is why there’s only 1 doctor Martin

1060
01:07:08,375 –> 01:07:11,990
Luther King, but why there are many,

1061
01:07:12,370 –> 01:07:16,070
many, many progeny after Malcolm X.

1062
01:07:18,984 –> 01:07:22,684
Many, many, many. Okay. Okay?

1063
01:07:23,464 –> 01:07:27,120
My main pushback book Ellison in this chapter, after my main pushback

1064
01:07:27,120 –> 01:07:30,340
on Homer Barbee, is that it sets up

1065
01:07:31,920 –> 01:07:32,420
the

1066
01:07:38,075 –> 01:07:41,915
It sets up the manipulation of nameless as

1067
01:07:41,915 –> 01:07:45,330
a person with no agency, and so it’s

1068
01:07:45,330 –> 01:07:49,010
not, it’s, it’s the, the, the logical conclusion of that is, of course, you will

1069
01:07:49,010 –> 01:07:51,270
become invisible. You have no agency.

1070
01:07:53,575 –> 01:07:56,955
Now Sorrells, to your point, will not become invisible.

1071
01:07:57,495 –> 01:08:01,195
You’ll still be able to see, but you’ll have no agency.

1072
01:08:01,990 –> 01:08:05,750
And I think that was Ellison’s frustration, was that

1073
01:08:05,750 –> 01:08:09,430
these tensions don’t lead to a greater either tensions from the left or tensions from

1074
01:08:09,430 –> 01:08:13,214
the right don’t lead to a greater understanding or a greater agency

1075
01:08:13,275 –> 01:08:17,055
of the individual. And by the way, Ellison Podhertz makes this point

1076
01:08:17,435 –> 01:08:21,080
in and his critique of Ellison. Every time he ran into Ellison, Ellison

1077
01:08:21,220 –> 01:08:24,439
always spoke from the position of black people being individuals.

1078
01:08:25,035 –> 01:08:28,795
That was Ellison’s main critique against Baldwin. Baldwin wanna put everybody in a

1079
01:08:28,795 –> 01:08:32,015
group. It’s like, get the hell out of town. We’re actually

1080
01:08:32,155 –> 01:08:35,970
individuals. Mhmm. Who are you to put me

1081
01:08:35,970 –> 01:08:39,810
in a group? I don’t know you. Just because we happen

1082
01:08:39,810 –> 01:08:43,545
to share the same skin tone doesn’t mean I share anything else with

1083
01:08:43,545 –> 01:08:46,984
you. And by the way, I’m gonna double down and bring it up to the

1084
01:08:46,984 –> 01:08:50,600
front of 2024. Just because I happen to

1085
01:08:50,600 –> 01:08:54,359
share the same melanin as a Glenn Lau

1086
01:08:54,439 –> 01:08:58,054
as a Glenn, a Lowry, or a John McWhorter, or

1087
01:08:58,054 –> 01:09:01,814
Atani Nhasi Coats or Nicole Hannah Jones, she

1088
01:09:01,814 –> 01:09:05,594
of the 16/19 project, does not mean they speak for me.

1089
01:09:05,820 –> 01:09:09,500
Doesn’t mean that they know the solution to the problem. We just happen to

1090
01:09:09,500 –> 01:09:13,020
be the same skin tone. That’s the absence of

1091
01:09:13,020 –> 01:09:16,745
genetics. Well, here is some pushback. I have pushback.

1092
01:09:16,745 –> 01:09:20,425
Yeah. Pushback. Yeah. No. No. I wasn’t asking. I’m I’m saying here

1093
01:09:20,425 –> 01:09:24,130
is some pushback. Yeah. Pushback. Yeah. So one of the

1094
01:09:24,130 –> 01:09:27,330
values of this novel, and it’s a strange thing to say, but one of the

1095
01:09:27,330 –> 01:09:30,229
values of this novel is how it serves as a cultural artifact.

1096
01:09:31,205 –> 01:09:34,804
Because in his time, there was

1097
01:09:34,804 –> 01:09:37,465
still a lot of internal unity within,

1098
01:09:38,760 –> 01:09:42,200
broadly, African Americans as a social group.

1099
01:09:42,200 –> 01:09:45,500
Okay? And Okay. There were certain powerful

1100
01:09:45,560 –> 01:09:49,055
dynamics that played out, and certain

1101
01:09:49,115 –> 01:09:52,655
shared cultural traits, shared cultural experiences

1102
01:09:53,354 –> 01:09:57,170
that created An instantaneous feeling of,

1103
01:09:57,170 –> 01:10:00,849
dare we say it, brotherhood. Okay. Even at

1104
01:10:00,849 –> 01:10:04,635
a remove of 800 miles or a 1000 Miles, however

1105
01:10:04,635 –> 01:10:07,914
far it is, from the middle of Alabama to Manhattan. Right.

1106
01:10:08,395 –> 01:10:12,170
And he did a good job of showing that. For example, How

1107
01:10:12,170 –> 01:10:15,850
many for we’re talking he is

1108
01:10:15,850 –> 01:10:19,370
Ellison, and nameless is who I’m now talking about. Nameless met

1109
01:10:19,610 –> 01:10:23,045
meets in the book or met in the book. Many

1110
01:10:23,045 –> 01:10:26,645
individuals who knew as soon as he started talking, oh, you’re from the South. Right.

1111
01:10:26,645 –> 01:10:30,185
Yep. Or saw how he dressed or whatever it was and started immediately

1112
01:10:30,325 –> 01:10:33,719
talking to him As Northerners would talk to Southerners,

1113
01:10:34,020 –> 01:10:37,540
meaning By the way, I wanna drop unsophisticated, you know

1114
01:10:37,860 –> 01:10:40,659
I wanna drop in another name just to sort of help you with where you’re

1115
01:10:40,659 –> 01:10:43,705
going with this with Push book, Thomas Sowell

1116
01:10:44,485 –> 01:10:48,165
came from this time. Right. Right.

1117
01:10:48,165 –> 01:10:51,970
Okay. So Thomas Sowell, fundamentally, looks

1118
01:10:51,970 –> 01:10:54,710
at everything that happens in the post civil rights era

1119
01:10:55,490 –> 01:10:57,670
Uh-huh. And goes, what the hell?

1120
01:11:00,115 –> 01:11:03,155
Because I mean, he’s he’s a much more polite man with who’s much more errored

1121
01:11:03,315 –> 01:11:06,695
with much more erudition than myself, but he goes, what the hell?

1122
01:11:09,190 –> 01:11:12,830
But okay. So I’m gonna get back to my point. So Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

1123
01:11:12,830 –> 01:11:16,470
You have this great internal cultural unity. He

1124
01:11:16,470 –> 01:11:20,135
does a great job of showing, that within the

1125
01:11:20,135 –> 01:11:23,115
southern context, regardless of

1126
01:11:24,375 –> 01:11:27,435
social class. Right? Mhmm. And thus,

1127
01:11:29,260 –> 01:11:32,800
Nameless is in his milieu that is not really.

1128
01:11:33,420 –> 01:11:37,135
Okay? I have so part of my notes that

1129
01:11:37,135 –> 01:11:40,494
I have on reading this, which, of course, is what you do when you’re studying

1130
01:11:40,494 –> 01:11:44,150
a novel. I have questions. And the very first question I wrote was, Why

1131
01:11:44,150 –> 01:11:46,410
are the campus fountains broken?

1132
01:11:48,310 –> 01:11:52,010
Everything is perfect, but the campus fountains

1133
01:11:52,150 –> 01:11:55,195
are broken. So what does

1134
01:11:57,175 –> 01:12:00,635
freely flowing controlled water represent?

1135
01:12:01,510 –> 01:12:04,090
Where is that? Where do we see,

1136
01:12:05,190 –> 01:12:08,710
rivers? Where do we see, you know, that which

1137
01:12:08,710 –> 01:12:12,185
gives life? Okay. And so my interpretation of why the

1138
01:12:12,185 –> 01:12:15,885
fountains are broken is because this is a little artifact,

1139
01:12:16,265 –> 01:12:20,010
and they’re just keeping it going, keeping it going. And and you’ll you’ll notice

1140
01:12:20,010 –> 01:12:23,790
Nameless’s original ambition was to stay in that

1141
01:12:24,489 –> 01:12:28,042
pseudo Eden forever Tom

1142
01:12:28,065 –> 01:12:31,665
become like doctor Bledsoe, to stay there and then teach there. And so it’s like,

1143
01:12:31,665 –> 01:12:35,445
well, what is he actually doing? Nothing. He’s literally running on a treadmill.

1144
01:12:36,659 –> 01:12:40,099
He got introduced to a treadmill, and then he’s running on a treadmill. And the

1145
01:12:40,099 –> 01:12:43,895
problem he has is that he fell off the treadmill, But the

1146
01:12:43,895 –> 01:12:47,515
point I’m sure well, the problem is he the not the problem he had.

1147
01:12:47,655 –> 01:12:51,415
The first event that happened to him that got him on the

1148
01:12:51,415 –> 01:12:55,030
road To actual clarity at some point. What was that he fell off the

1149
01:12:55,030 –> 01:12:57,670
treadmill? Right? He he fell out of his Eden, but the point I was trying

1150
01:12:57,670 –> 01:13:01,425
to raise is that whether he’s talking to True Blood, The

1151
01:13:01,425 –> 01:13:05,025
sharecropper with his significant family

1152
01:13:05,025 –> 01:13:08,805
issues, living in slave cabins, okay, or

1153
01:13:09,140 –> 01:13:12,520
It doesn’t matter who it was in the golden day.

1154
01:13:12,980 –> 01:13:16,555
The bartender knew who he was. People knew where he came

1155
01:13:16,555 –> 01:13:19,995
from. There was this tremendous internal

1156
01:13:19,995 –> 01:13:23,435
cultural unity. Now you shift up north, and one of the

1157
01:13:23,435 –> 01:13:27,260
critiques I have of of the writing of this Is

1158
01:13:27,260 –> 01:13:30,940
that Nameless wouldn’t have known or shouldn’t have known what a West

1159
01:13:30,940 –> 01:13:34,775
Indian sounded like. And so there was an introduction

1160
01:13:35,133 –> 01:13:38,675
Tom, this person sounds funny. I can’t figure out

1161
01:13:38,675 –> 01:13:42,440
where they’re from. Right. Because in New York, you would have had West

1162
01:13:42,440 –> 01:13:45,960
Indians West Indians like the parents of general

1163
01:13:45,960 –> 01:13:49,640
Colin Powell. Mhmm. Right? In New

1164
01:13:49,700 –> 01:13:53,455
Book, Very normal. Not in the middle of Alabama. Not even

1165
01:13:53,455 –> 01:13:56,915
close. And so how how

1166
01:13:57,510 –> 01:14:01,190
The way in which the author identified that the person was a West Indian, I

1167
01:14:01,190 –> 01:14:04,490
didn’t like that because there should have been something

1168
01:14:05,265 –> 01:14:09,105
that forced nameless to learn this black person is not a

1169
01:14:09,105 –> 01:14:12,725
black person like us. This black person is from this island over here,

1170
01:14:13,280 –> 01:14:16,960
but is now in our midst and sharing in this

1171
01:14:16,960 –> 01:14:20,480
struggle and suffering some of the same abuses and

1172
01:14:20,480 –> 01:14:24,204
perfectly willing to use violence on Irish American

1173
01:14:24,204 –> 01:14:27,885
policemen because they happen to be

1174
01:14:27,885 –> 01:14:31,660
evicting a woman in the middle of winter. You know? And the policeman wasn’t.

1175
01:14:31,660 –> 01:14:34,320
He was just there. It was they they’re just there. Guys. They they they they

1176
01:14:34,320 –> 01:14:37,900
they told me. But, anyway so against that

1177
01:14:37,900 –> 01:14:41,705
background, I understand how someone whom

1178
01:14:41,705 –> 01:14:45,385
I don’t know can see me. We share melanin, and we may share some

1179
01:14:45,385 –> 01:14:49,165
experience, etcetera, and we can establish a rapport very easily.

1180
01:14:49,770 –> 01:14:53,290
For me, I started in the position you were in, and I

1181
01:14:53,450 –> 01:14:56,330
literally, this is what I articulate to my father. Like, I don’t know these people.

1182
01:14:56,330 –> 01:14:59,264
Like, why am I saying I don’t know who these people are. I don’t know

1183
01:14:59,264 –> 01:15:02,784
who these people are. They don’t know me. They don’t know my middle name. That’s

1184
01:15:02,784 –> 01:15:05,505
a joke. If you know me, you’ll get it. They don’t know my middle name.

1185
01:15:05,505 –> 01:15:09,280
They don’t know The first thing about de Rolo Nixon

1186
01:15:09,280 –> 01:15:12,800
junior, what do I share in common with him? And then you can fast forward

1187
01:15:12,800 –> 01:15:15,975
in a very few amount of years. I was probably Well, you can fast forward

1188
01:15:15,975 –> 01:15:19,735
to when I was 20, abroad, a French speaker, and then I’d

1189
01:15:19,735 –> 01:15:22,780
see black people, and, of course, we’d nod and say hello. It’s Totally by that

1190
01:15:22,780 –> 01:15:25,500
point, it was totally at that point, I got it. So it’s totally normal to

1191
01:15:25,500 –> 01:15:29,340
me. And I remember foreign white friends of

1192
01:15:29,340 –> 01:15:33,075
mine being baffled by that experience.

1193
01:15:33,075 –> 01:15:36,195
It’d be like, do you know him? And it’s like, no. I don’t know him.

1194
01:15:36,195 –> 01:15:38,695
But it it did and they just couldn’t grasp

1195
01:15:40,680 –> 01:15:44,520
How both he and I could just there we go. They

1196
01:15:44,520 –> 01:15:48,360
couldn’t get it. Fine. So the so the seduction so

1197
01:15:48,360 –> 01:15:50,205
the seduction of a

1198
01:15:52,744 –> 01:15:55,804
racially no. Let me let me let me

1199
01:15:56,630 –> 01:15:59,850
Let me push back on this idea of, of of Eden.

1200
01:16:02,949 –> 01:16:05,449
Ellison brings nameless out of Eden

1201
01:16:06,895 –> 01:16:09,635
because you eventually have to get kicked out of the garden.

1202
01:16:10,895 –> 01:16:14,435
That’s just how it works. Writers? And we can, we as Christians

1203
01:16:14,495 –> 01:16:18,000
can argue about or could talk about the

1204
01:16:18,000 –> 01:16:21,760
nature of sin and evil and choices and separating life

1205
01:16:21,760 –> 01:16:24,715
from dark and all of that. Ellison doesn’t get into any of that. It would

1206
01:16:24,715 –> 01:16:27,435
have been interesting if he did, but he wasn’t going in that direction, and that

1207
01:16:27,435 –> 01:16:30,815
wasn’t what he was writing. He was doing something

1208
01:16:31,035 –> 01:16:34,255
that every great adventure novel does, which

1209
01:16:34,620 –> 01:16:38,300
Invisible man is a great adventure novel. You, you

1210
01:16:38,300 –> 01:16:41,659
push the hero out into the world so that the hero kills

1211
01:16:41,659 –> 01:16:43,600
snakes or, or fights dragons.

1212
01:16:45,565 –> 01:16:49,185
The dragons of 1940s

1213
01:16:49,485 –> 01:16:52,225
1950s American society were, of course,

1214
01:16:53,085 –> 01:16:56,290
Jim Crow, and

1215
01:16:57,310 –> 01:17:00,770
particularly for a black American in, during those times

1216
01:17:01,455 –> 01:17:05,155
were was were that was the biggest dragon. That was the biggest thing to slay.

1217
01:17:05,215 –> 01:17:08,974
And so pushing Oh, it wasn’t the sound. Right? It wasn’t

1218
01:17:09,054 –> 01:17:12,360
Right. It wasn’t the issue in the north. In the north, I would say Well,

1219
01:17:12,360 –> 01:17:15,960
everybody everybody said everybody everybody says that, but the knock on

1220
01:17:15,960 –> 01:17:19,500
effects from Jim Crow were in the north.

1221
01:17:20,465 –> 01:17:23,825
There’s there’s no there’s no geographic distancing of

1222
01:17:23,825 –> 01:17:27,665
this, you know? Well, I think there is. I think there is. I think

1223
01:17:27,665 –> 01:17:31,300
there is. I think there is. I think I think Ellison

1224
01:17:32,159 –> 01:17:35,300
got that point and thus put it into his,

1225
01:17:36,365 –> 01:17:40,205
into his novel. There were ways in which Norton was

1226
01:17:40,205 –> 01:17:44,045
out of place in the middle of Alabama, knew he was out of place,

1227
01:17:44,045 –> 01:17:47,630
but was committed to what they were doing, and he was thus

1228
01:17:47,850 –> 01:17:51,530
contrasted easily to those men in the

1229
01:17:51,530 –> 01:17:55,185
first scenes in the novel, you know, that

1230
01:17:55,725 –> 01:17:59,405
random freaking blind prize

1231
01:17:59,405 –> 01:18:03,000
fight. Right? We’re at the end well, here’s your, you know, here’s your

1232
01:18:03,000 –> 01:18:05,800
little token we give you. Oh, by the way, we’re actually gonna give you this.

1233
01:18:05,800 –> 01:18:08,860
Oh, yes, sir. You’re all bloodied, and you can you can speak to us.

1234
01:18:09,335 –> 01:18:13,095
Yeah. Yay. Those men, that that was a

1235
01:18:13,095 –> 01:18:16,775
different milieu. Okay? And and and I don’t wanna talk

1236
01:18:16,775 –> 01:18:20,480
about like that in the North Shore. Not a doubt in my mind. But

1237
01:18:20,860 –> 01:18:24,460
the way the society approached the issues and the

1238
01:18:24,460 –> 01:18:28,155
history of, The way

1239
01:18:28,155 –> 01:18:31,835
the limiting of opportunities for black people took place

1240
01:18:31,835 –> 01:18:35,295
in a place like New York. It they their their

1241
01:18:36,020 –> 01:18:38,280
Differences that, in my opinion, matter.

1242
01:18:40,739 –> 01:18:44,475
I don’t think they matter for the narrow thing we’re talking I mean,

1243
01:18:44,475 –> 01:18:48,075
I do think they matter for the overall novel for sure. But for the

1244
01:18:48,075 –> 01:18:51,640
narrow thing I’m I’m I’m trying to get to here, they don’t matter. And the

1245
01:18:51,640 –> 01:18:54,220
narrow thing I’m trying to get to here is

1246
01:19:01,175 –> 01:19:04,935
I think that the reason a novel like

1247
01:19:04,935 –> 01:19:08,635
this doesn’t get talked about nearly

1248
01:19:08,695 –> 01:19:12,380
as much as it should be talked about in Black

1249
01:19:12,380 –> 01:19:16,000
culture, particularly

1250
01:19:16,380 –> 01:19:20,074
now is because of 2 things that have

1251
01:19:20,074 –> 01:19:23,455
happened simultaneously that have impacted all of American culture,

1252
01:19:24,395 –> 01:19:27,695
but most notably have impacted black culture.

1253
01:19:28,790 –> 01:19:32,150
Okay. What are those 2 things? So the 2 things that have happened are

1254
01:19:32,150 –> 01:19:34,170
atomization due to the Internet

1255
01:19:34,170 –> 01:19:38,658
Jesan

1256
01:19:38,765 –> 01:19:42,445
social media that has impacted that has impacted

1257
01:19:42,445 –> 01:19:46,099
overall American culture ridiculously, it has impacted black culture,

1258
01:19:47,840 –> 01:19:51,679
quite notoriously. And then the second thing that

1259
01:19:51,679 –> 01:19:55,055
has happened is, and we’ve already, again, we’ve already talked about

1260
01:19:55,055 –> 01:19:57,315
this, is the prevalence

1261
01:19:59,135 –> 01:20:02,010
of the power of

1262
01:20:04,389 –> 01:20:08,150
intellectual cultural Marxism being gust

1263
01:20:08,310 –> 01:20:11,635
being gussied up and sold as institutional

1264
01:20:12,175 –> 01:20:15,875
as as battles against institutionalized white racism.

1265
01:20:16,975 –> 01:20:20,530
Uh-huh. And from there, I go directly to Claudine Gay’s

1266
01:20:20,530 –> 01:20:24,150
problems. I don’t know Claudine Gay.

1267
01:20:24,770 –> 01:20:28,114
Now just so we can give some background to folks who may not know, Just

1268
01:20:28,114 –> 01:20:31,495
let me give a little background here. Claudine Gay was,

1269
01:20:31,955 –> 01:20:35,715
the president of Harvard for about 5 minutes. She is most

1270
01:20:35,715 –> 01:20:39,300
notorious for being in the public eye as a

1271
01:20:39,300 –> 01:20:42,760
person who went to Congress, could not robustly,

1272
01:20:45,059 –> 01:20:48,905
how could I say this, repudiate antisemitism in a Harvard,

1273
01:20:48,905 –> 01:20:51,885
in her Harvard, in the Harvard culture over which she presides,

1274
01:20:52,905 –> 01:20:56,560
was then hoisted by her own petard, by a sub

1275
01:20:56,560 –> 01:21:00,240
stacker named Christopher Rufo who went to

1276
01:21:00,240 –> 01:21:03,540
Harvard Extension, not Harvard,

1277
01:21:04,304 –> 01:21:08,065
and discovered that she had, plagiarized. And the

1278
01:21:08,065 –> 01:21:11,344
level to which she had plagiarized, we can argue about, but had discovered that she

1279
01:21:11,344 –> 01:21:14,860
had plagiarized. And, by the way, On The Ground had a thin

1280
01:21:15,980 –> 01:21:19,600
actually, shall I essays, nonexistent CV of publication.

1281
01:21:20,715 –> 01:21:24,395
That was strike 1 and 2. Strike 3 was that

1282
01:21:24,395 –> 01:21:28,074
the Harvard hedge fund managers who actually run the money of

1283
01:21:28,074 –> 01:21:31,840
that institution decided that they were going to get up on their high

1284
01:21:31,840 –> 01:21:35,440
horse and run her out of town, and they did.

1285
01:21:35,440 –> 01:21:39,245
They ran her out of the Harvard presidency, and so she

1286
01:21:39,245 –> 01:21:42,705
has been demoted not from,

1287
01:21:43,725 –> 01:21:47,500
just not from the Harvard institution as a whole, just been demoted

1288
01:21:47,500 –> 01:21:51,180
from Harvard president and gets to hold on to her faculty position to the

1289
01:21:51,180 –> 01:21:54,885
tune of $900,000 a year in salary

1290
01:21:55,744 –> 01:21:58,885
with benefits. By the way, Ms. Gay

1291
01:21:59,824 –> 01:22:03,505
comes from a Ivy League background, which is the only way you

1292
01:22:03,505 –> 01:22:07,250
get that get to be considered from that kind of role. And her background

1293
01:22:07,469 –> 01:22:10,670
is Tom the point about the role we just made about being about West,

1294
01:22:11,070 –> 01:22:13,815
West Indians. She’s Haitian.

1295
01:22:17,075 –> 01:22:20,435
That’s some background on Claudine Gett. So to go back to what I was

1296
01:22:20,435 –> 01:22:24,120
saying, Those 2 factors, the atomization

1297
01:22:24,500 –> 01:22:27,880
that has been provided by the Internet and social media,

1298
01:22:29,395 –> 01:22:33,235
that breaking apart of people from the solidarity of groups

1299
01:22:33,235 –> 01:22:36,835
and internal solidarity that you were talking about, that inter that Eden of

1300
01:22:36,835 –> 01:22:40,540
internal cohesion is now being busted apart everywhere. We are all being

1301
01:22:40,540 –> 01:22:44,060
turned into atomized individual units. I I read something the other

1302
01:22:44,060 –> 01:22:47,695
day where it made the analogy, to some things that are happening in our

1303
01:22:47,695 –> 01:22:50,755
culture of 1,000,000 ants all being on the march.

1304
01:22:52,495 –> 01:22:56,195
1,000,000 ants have finally turned in in in a in a collective direction,

1305
01:22:57,070 –> 01:23:00,690
that it’s really hard for a mass

1306
01:23:00,750 –> 01:23:04,210
to stop 1,000,000 ants. It it it it’s really hard.

1307
01:23:04,985 –> 01:23:08,505
My point is this has happened to black culture. That’s the 1 step, and then

1308
01:23:08,505 –> 01:23:12,285
the 2 step is that cultural Marxism that has infected our intellectual

1309
01:23:12,825 –> 01:23:16,300
elites. Our intellectual elites have not been infected by the

1310
01:23:16,360 –> 01:23:20,120
by the pull your rope by your bootstraps, a

1311
01:23:20,120 –> 01:23:20,620
matter

1312
01:23:23,935 –> 01:23:27,295
ideas of a Booker T Washington. Those have been

1313
01:23:27,295 –> 01:23:30,929
abandoned, and I don’t think either one of those

1314
01:23:31,250 –> 01:23:34,770
writers, allows for

1315
01:23:35,630 –> 01:23:39,324
a modern Black Jesan. You talk about this book being a cultural

1316
01:23:39,324 –> 01:23:42,844
artifact, allows for a modern Black person to even understand what

1317
01:23:42,844 –> 01:23:46,680
Ellison is talking about. I think if I put this book in

1318
01:23:46,680 –> 01:23:50,520
front of, let’s say you you talked

1319
01:23:50,520 –> 01:23:53,320
about reading it in high school. I I think if I put this in front

1320
01:23:53,320 –> 01:23:57,094
of 10th graders in a Chicago high school,

1321
01:23:57,315 –> 01:24:00,835
they wouldn’t be able to read it, but they know

1322
01:24:00,835 –> 01:24:02,054
how to do TikTok.

1323
01:24:04,310 –> 01:24:07,710
Mhmm. They wouldn’t be able to read it, much less comprehending.

1324
01:24:07,989 –> 01:24:11,590
Fundamental educational problem. Yes. It’s possible that a

1325
01:24:11,590 –> 01:24:14,795
good number of That would not be I I agree a 100%.

1326
01:24:15,095 –> 01:24:18,775
Okay. I don’t think so I I I I

1327
01:24:18,775 –> 01:24:22,460
think what is more of a driver of the

1328
01:24:22,460 –> 01:24:26,000
atomization, are 2

1329
01:24:26,620 –> 01:24:29,835
cultural Effects that

1330
01:24:30,054 –> 01:24:33,835
precede one of your points. Okay? Go ahead.

1331
01:24:35,014 –> 01:24:38,489
Namely, I I think the two effects

1332
01:24:38,550 –> 01:24:42,310
are the overwhelming success of the

1333
01:24:42,310 –> 01:24:45,875
civil rights movement in the sixties Okay. And the suburbanization

1334
01:24:46,094 –> 01:24:49,875
of America. Okay. And because of those factors,

1335
01:24:50,255 –> 01:24:53,934
we can have an atomization. Well, 1, we’re spread across the country in ways we

1336
01:24:53,934 –> 01:24:57,540
weren’t before. To Mhmm. We can have an atomization that leaves

1337
01:24:57,540 –> 01:25:01,300
us marooned as individuals in, in in these

1338
01:25:01,300 –> 01:25:03,640
isolated islands of loneliness or whatever.

1339
01:25:04,855 –> 01:25:08,315
But that wouldn’t be possible if we were all

1340
01:25:08,775 –> 01:25:12,315
shoved in urban ghettos or in this mass called the South

1341
01:25:12,650 –> 01:25:14,909
with its dominating culture and,

1342
01:25:16,489 –> 01:25:19,849
and institutional racism. I don’t think it it it it could be

1343
01:25:19,849 –> 01:25:23,475
possible without, The civil rights movement

1344
01:25:23,475 –> 01:25:27,315
being, you know, very successful and the suburbanization of

1345
01:25:27,315 –> 01:25:31,110
of of American culture, you know. And so now, Power centers,

1346
01:25:31,110 –> 01:25:34,950
etcetera, they’re not urban based the same way they were before. Mhmm. You

1347
01:25:34,950 –> 01:25:38,550
know, culture happened. American culture and the the the

1348
01:25:38,550 –> 01:25:42,315
seat of American culture Became a couch. Okay?

1349
01:25:42,614 –> 01:25:46,295
It used to be a seat in a theater. Okay? Or a seat

1350
01:25:46,295 –> 01:25:50,140
in some kind of performance hall in a large city. It Shifted

1351
01:25:50,140 –> 01:25:53,980
to being a freaking couch or a seat in a movie

1352
01:25:53,980 –> 01:25:57,585
theater that is still in a suburb. That’s what happens. Okay.

1353
01:25:57,585 –> 01:26:00,885
Everybody moved to Long Island, keeping the trope

1354
01:26:00,945 –> 01:26:04,705
alive. Well, it is not a trope he used,

1355
01:26:04,705 –> 01:26:07,820
but because of Because the factory is found on Long Island and this guy was

1356
01:26:07,940 –> 01:26:11,060
and nameless was living in New York City, I’m gonna keep the trope that way.

1357
01:26:11,060 –> 01:26:14,340
So and it it’s a trope that my family went through. So there you go.

1358
01:26:14,980 –> 01:26:18,565
Meaning My father’s mother took him and 2 of his

1359
01:26:18,565 –> 01:26:21,705
siblings, the 2 alive at the time, and moved them from

1360
01:26:22,085 –> 01:26:25,010
rural, segregated East Carolina,

1361
01:26:25,710 –> 01:26:28,670
where the family had lived literally for 100 of years

1362
01:26:28,690 –> 01:26:32,085
Tom New York and then quickly to Long Island. So

1363
01:26:32,165 –> 01:26:35,385
Everybody moved to Long Island, and now this suburbanization,

1364
01:26:36,085 –> 01:26:38,745
you know, could begin. And so,

1365
01:26:40,320 –> 01:26:44,159
The culture shift, the cultural seat shifted. The throne as it were of our

1366
01:26:44,159 –> 01:26:47,860
cult, they shifted. They were then found in different places. And so,

1367
01:26:49,125 –> 01:26:52,425
arguably, it’s that’s actually far more efficient, of a model

1368
01:26:52,885 –> 01:26:56,725
than the one, before in terms of no. Not not

1369
01:26:56,725 –> 01:27:00,090
efficient. It’s it’s it’s It’s evidence of scale.

1370
01:27:00,310 –> 01:27:03,670
Okay? Okay. That when it went from urban to suburban, it

1371
01:27:03,670 –> 01:27:07,430
scaled. Okay? That’s that’s that’s an example of scale. In an urban

1372
01:27:07,430 –> 01:27:10,954
setting, you You gotta every you gotta be there, get in the halls, you gotta

1373
01:27:10,954 –> 01:27:14,795
travel there, be able to survive there, it’s more expensive there, blah blah blah.

1374
01:27:14,795 –> 01:27:18,390
When it reach the couch phase. Okay?

1375
01:27:18,450 –> 01:27:22,210
Okay. This is affordable. Mass market, all of

1376
01:27:22,210 –> 01:27:25,675
those, you know, Trends coming out of the, you know, post World War 2

1377
01:27:25,675 –> 01:27:29,515
fifties, big corporate era. Right? And so here here they are playing out in

1378
01:27:29,515 –> 01:27:33,170
culture in in many ways. Alright. Well, back to the book. This is a good

1379
01:27:33,170 –> 01:27:35,990
spot Tom go back to the book, back to the book, back to

1380
01:27:37,170 –> 01:27:40,975
Invisible Man by Ralph Allison. So again, the 3 most

1381
01:27:40,975 –> 01:27:44,335
important chapters probably in the 1st part of this book are chapter 4, 5, and

1382
01:27:44,335 –> 01:27:47,695
6, and so we turn to a summary of chapter

1383
01:27:47,695 –> 01:27:51,280
6. Following Horary

1384
01:27:51,280 –> 01:27:54,580
Barbee’s, rousing speech that

1385
01:27:54,800 –> 01:27:57,700
re deifies the founder.

1386
01:27:59,215 –> 01:28:02,574
The the Invisible Man or Nameless is still

1387
01:28:02,574 –> 01:28:06,255
confused. He’s still in the space of naivete. He’s not yet been

1388
01:28:06,255 –> 01:28:10,030
kicked out of Eden quite just yet, but it’s coming. And it’s coming

1389
01:28:10,030 –> 01:28:13,869
in the form of a gentleman named doctor Bledsoe. So chapter

1390
01:28:13,869 –> 01:28:17,565
6 opens up with the Invisible

1391
01:28:17,565 –> 01:28:21,405
Man being full of hope from Barbie’s speech, but also full

1392
01:28:21,405 –> 01:28:25,240
of trepidation because he doesn’t wanna leave Eaton. He doesn’t wanna leave

1393
01:28:25,240 –> 01:28:29,080
his comfortable spot and go someplace else,

1394
01:28:29,080 –> 01:28:32,600
and he does not know what will happen when he goes and

1395
01:28:32,600 –> 01:28:36,065
talks to the estimable doctor Bledsoe.

1396
01:28:37,085 –> 01:28:40,765
First thing he does is he goes and checks to see if mister Norton, is

1397
01:28:40,765 –> 01:28:44,110
okay. The, the, white man he was chauffeuring

1398
01:28:44,730 –> 01:28:48,510
around town, who unfortunately wound up in unfortunate

1399
01:28:48,890 –> 01:28:52,565
circumstances. And then he goes to

1400
01:28:52,565 –> 01:28:56,345
see the head of the school, like I said, the aforementioned doctor Bledsoe.

1401
01:28:58,490 –> 01:29:01,230
The doctor Bledsoe character is a,

1402
01:29:04,250 –> 01:29:05,550
attempt by Ellison

1403
01:29:08,375 –> 01:29:08,875
to,

1404
01:29:11,975 –> 01:29:14,475
preserve the institutional

1405
01:29:16,210 –> 01:29:19,430
value of, to DiRollo’s point, Eden.

1406
01:29:20,370 –> 01:29:24,070
And Bledsoe lays out very cynically, or the invisible

1407
01:29:24,130 –> 01:29:26,574
man, exactly what he’s doing,

1408
01:29:27,755 –> 01:29:31,514
in Alabama. And what he’s doing is he’s

1409
01:29:31,514 –> 01:29:34,880
manipulating white people to get them to give him

1410
01:29:34,880 –> 01:29:38,640
money for the cynical the most cynical of reasons

1411
01:29:38,640 –> 01:29:42,455
and the most cynical of outcomes, and that everything that the

1412
01:29:42,455 –> 01:29:45,975
Invisible Man did with mister Norton, who was a white trust who is a white

1413
01:29:45,975 –> 01:29:48,555
trustee in the book, everything that he did,

1414
01:29:49,380 –> 01:29:53,060
threatened everything that doctor Bledsoe had. Doctor

1415
01:29:53,060 –> 01:29:56,420
Bledsoe was set up as a

1416
01:29:56,420 –> 01:30:00,135
character that is sitting on top of

1417
01:30:00,135 –> 01:30:03,275
a hierarchy, is ruling that hierarchy,

1418
01:30:03,815 –> 01:30:06,954
and is not looking to be replaced nor be removed,

1419
01:30:08,320 –> 01:30:11,060
Even how he is described as being,

1420
01:30:11,920 –> 01:30:15,199
fat, as being, as being,

1421
01:30:15,600 –> 01:30:19,175
full of, not jolliness, but full of

1422
01:30:19,175 –> 01:30:22,535
sort of cynical cheer. All of these are

1423
01:30:22,535 –> 01:30:26,160
symbols, literary symbols that Ellison is using to move the

1424
01:30:26,240 –> 01:30:29,680
reader towards this idea that Bledsoe is an

1425
01:30:29,680 –> 01:30:30,820
early proto,

1426
01:30:33,040 –> 01:30:36,715
prototype of individuals that would come

1427
01:30:36,715 –> 01:30:40,235
later in the civil rights movement, and he is an early prototype of those

1428
01:30:40,235 –> 01:30:44,010
individuals. He’s an early version of Jesse Jackson or

1429
01:30:44,010 –> 01:30:46,350
a chubbier version of Al Sharpton.

1430
01:30:47,690 –> 01:30:51,449
Doctor Bledsoe says to the Invisible Man that basically he’s

1431
01:30:51,449 –> 01:30:55,235
manipulating these white people. Everything that the Invisible Man did with mister

1432
01:30:55,235 –> 01:30:59,074
Dorton threatens his manipulation and that he has to leave the

1433
01:30:59,074 –> 01:31:02,900
institution, but He will be allowed to return

1434
01:31:02,900 –> 01:31:06,579
if he just takes 7 letters of introduction. And so he

1435
01:31:06,579 –> 01:31:10,205
takes those 7 letters because the invisible man is still naive at the

1436
01:31:10,205 –> 01:31:13,905
time. Nameless is still naive. Mhmm. Takes those 7 letters,

1437
01:31:14,445 –> 01:31:18,065
gets on a bus, which ironically enough has a

1438
01:31:18,990 –> 01:31:22,770
A former a former veteran veterinarian

1439
01:31:23,070 –> 01:31:25,010
on it who helped him out with mister Norton,

1440
01:31:26,935 –> 01:31:30,295
and takes his bus out of Eden to go to

1441
01:31:30,295 –> 01:31:34,135
Harlem. The most interesting thing for me

1442
01:31:34,135 –> 01:31:37,060
about chapter 6 is that

1443
01:31:37,760 –> 01:31:41,440
doctor Bledsoe’s efforts keep the narrator away from

1444
01:31:41,440 –> 01:31:45,065
his school, and they are reflective of a multiplicity of

1445
01:31:45,065 –> 01:31:48,825
various psychosocial dynamics within the Black community in America for at

1446
01:31:48,825 –> 01:31:52,605
least the last 100 years. I see doctor Bledsoe’s everywhere.

1447
01:31:55,020 –> 01:31:58,700
Everywhere in the black community. They’re like whack a

1448
01:31:58,700 –> 01:32:02,400
mole. And the fundamental point, I think, to remember

1449
01:32:02,745 –> 01:32:06,425
about Ellison’s book is that it is not primarily about the racism of

1450
01:32:06,425 –> 01:32:09,785
white people. That’s just background fodder. That’s,

1451
01:32:10,105 –> 01:32:13,870
table stakes, such as it were. That was the thing he expected everybody to

1452
01:32:13,870 –> 01:32:17,390
know because this is, as de Rolo already said, a cultural artifact of its time.

1453
01:32:17,390 –> 01:32:20,965
He expected everybody in 1952 to know that this is

1454
01:32:20,965 –> 01:32:24,245
what he’s writing about. So he wasn’t really writing about that because he didn’t need

1455
01:32:24,245 –> 01:32:27,685
to say it out loud. Instead, he is writing, I

1456
01:32:27,685 –> 01:32:31,490
think I think Ellison’s book is primarily about the

1457
01:32:35,070 –> 01:32:38,685
about black people being kept down by other black people and about the

1458
01:32:38,685 –> 01:32:42,525
cynical grifting of white people by black people who

1459
01:32:42,525 –> 01:32:45,105
claimed to possess loftier goals.

1460
01:32:46,340 –> 01:32:49,719
By the way, we see this cynical grifting even in our own era from

1461
01:32:50,980 –> 01:32:54,795
Barack Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement all the way to the race

1462
01:32:54,795 –> 01:32:58,635
hustling. I already mentioned Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, all the way to the

1463
01:32:58,635 –> 01:33:02,235
cultural cache or the former cultural cache of folks

1464
01:33:02,235 –> 01:33:05,060
like Oprah and Bill Cosby.

1465
01:33:06,080 –> 01:33:09,520
By the way, I was never a fan of Oprah, and Eddie Murphy got a

1466
01:33:09,520 –> 01:33:12,480
call allegedly from Bill Cosby back in the day to tell him not to be

1467
01:33:12,480 –> 01:33:16,305
so dirty. And Richard Pryor when he when Eddie Murphy told Richard

1468
01:33:16,305 –> 01:33:19,605
Pryor what Bill Cosby said, Richard Pryor allegedly

1469
01:33:20,145 –> 01:33:23,710
said, tell Bill Tom have another puddin’

1470
01:33:23,710 –> 01:33:26,850
pop or maybe have another Coke and shut up.

1471
01:33:32,615 –> 01:33:36,215
The Invisible Man’s invisibility didn’t start with his

1472
01:33:36,215 –> 01:33:39,735
relations with the dominant culture. It started with his relations with his own

1473
01:33:39,735 –> 01:33:43,220
culture. Very good point. Yeah. Essays

1474
01:33:43,320 –> 01:33:47,160
Ellison was a Marxist or Marxist, but Ellison was also a

1475
01:33:47,160 –> 01:33:50,735
humanist. Mhmm. He wanted people

1476
01:33:50,895 –> 01:33:54,655
he wanted black people to stand up as individuals on their

1477
01:33:54,655 –> 01:33:57,475
own 2 feet, I think. Mhmm.

1478
01:33:58,460 –> 01:34:02,080
And he also didn’t think, I don’t believe, that grifting the whites

1479
01:34:02,940 –> 01:34:05,760
was going to get Black people much of anywhere.

1480
01:34:07,565 –> 01:34:09,105
The fountains are all broken.

1481
01:34:12,045 –> 01:34:15,470
Yeah. And they remain broken, by the way. There is

1482
01:34:15,470 –> 01:34:19,310
no Eden to go back to. Correct. Now that now

1483
01:34:19,310 –> 01:34:23,070
there no longer is. And I think that’s good, personally, because

1484
01:34:23,070 –> 01:34:26,905
that means that Jim Crow’s done. That means that that whole milieu that created

1485
01:34:26,965 –> 01:34:30,264
this strange insulated state of things is done.

1486
01:34:31,445 –> 01:34:34,470
But As somebody who, you know, loves,

1487
01:34:35,490 –> 01:34:39,010
I I mean, I’ve lived abroad more than once. I speak more than one

1488
01:34:39,010 –> 01:34:42,805
language. I love people and love different types of people,

1489
01:34:42,805 –> 01:34:45,625
and so I cheer that

1490
01:34:46,565 –> 01:34:50,400
American society is far more complex, And it’s no longer, you know,

1491
01:34:50,400 –> 01:34:52,500
biracial, monolingual, monocultural,

1492
01:34:54,239 –> 01:34:58,085
and that, you know, that that’s part

1493
01:34:58,085 –> 01:35:01,685
of the normal way of doing things in America. You know, there there are as

1494
01:35:01,685 –> 01:35:05,475
you know, there are black leaders who decry the end of segregation because the end

1495
01:35:05,590 –> 01:35:09,429
Because the end of segregation, over time and I

1496
01:35:09,429 –> 01:35:13,050
don’t think it’s cause and effect. It’s just it Sorrells. But over time,

1497
01:35:14,985 –> 01:35:18,605
you know, the the the decrease in

1498
01:35:20,505 –> 01:35:24,300
black lawyers, Black architects, black engineers, black

1499
01:35:24,520 –> 01:35:26,780
doctors, the black professionals,

1500
01:35:28,040 –> 01:35:31,265
owning and running their own firms. The numbers have collapsed,

1501
01:35:31,425 –> 01:35:35,265
basically. And so there are black leaders who decry the

1502
01:35:35,265 –> 01:35:38,865
end of of that era because, you had those

1503
01:35:38,865 –> 01:35:42,420
great institutions within our race here. I’m not

1504
01:35:42,420 –> 01:35:45,640
somebody who shares that position, for the reason I already gave.

1505
01:35:46,100 –> 01:35:49,285
And so, you know, I agree with you that

1506
01:35:49,605 –> 01:35:53,285
What what Ellison most likely wanted to

1507
01:35:53,285 –> 01:35:56,825
see, we see in the struggles of nameless, okay,

1508
01:35:56,950 –> 01:36:00,410
To get the people in Harlem to actually then respond,

1509
01:36:00,710 –> 01:36:04,344
that he can get them to a certain point, And

1510
01:36:04,344 –> 01:36:07,645
then outside forces keep pulling him back down.

1511
01:36:07,784 –> 01:36:11,625
Keep pulling him away, and we’re gonna send you down here so

1512
01:36:11,625 –> 01:36:14,980
you can be distracted. Oh, dude. But on that

1513
01:36:14,980 –> 01:36:18,340
line, there’s a line when he meets that woman, and I

1514
01:36:18,340 –> 01:36:20,760
just laughed my head off.

1515
01:36:22,335 –> 01:36:25,715
It’s about the class struggle and the ass struggle. Oh, yeah.

1516
01:36:27,055 –> 01:36:30,800
That’s absolutely the funniest line in the whole book. Oh, man. And

1517
01:36:30,800 –> 01:36:34,320
there’s some beautiful lines in this book. That wasn’t a beautiful line. It was just

1518
01:36:34,320 –> 01:36:38,000
hilarious line, but it’s just you know, that that was classic. That was

1519
01:36:38,000 –> 01:36:41,715
well Put and well located, and and it just sounds

1520
01:36:41,715 –> 01:36:45,475
like exactly what would happen, you know. But,

1521
01:36:45,475 –> 01:36:48,455
yeah, it, the so the people in

1522
01:36:49,540 –> 01:36:53,060
Harlem never rose up. They never rose up as individuals. They never rose up as

1523
01:36:53,060 –> 01:36:56,535
an organized unit to be able to essays, this is what we want,

1524
01:36:56,695 –> 01:37:00,235
and here’s what we’re going to do until we get it. And by the way,

1525
01:37:00,775 –> 01:37:03,940
here’s how we’re building. Here’s how we’re trying to

1526
01:37:04,420 –> 01:37:08,199
Using the Skills We Have, A Better Tomorrow for Ourselves and Our Children,

1527
01:37:09,460 –> 01:37:13,175
on a scale where it was, You know, can that’s I mean, that Harlem’s a

1528
01:37:13,175 –> 01:37:16,775
neighborhood. Right? Or it’s a neighborhood and a community

1529
01:37:16,775 –> 01:37:19,675
within Manhattan within Northern Manhattan. But, anyway, point being,

1530
01:37:20,630 –> 01:37:24,150
you know, as a unit, that’s not what happened. There was

1531
01:37:24,150 –> 01:37:27,510
always something, and it’s you know, Nameless came to that, you know,

1532
01:37:27,510 –> 01:37:31,015
realization that, you know, he could have these

1533
01:37:31,015 –> 01:37:34,635
great concentrated moments of breakthrough

1534
01:37:34,935 –> 01:37:38,752
like his first podcast. Well, not his 1st podcast.

1535
01:37:38,780 –> 01:37:42,619
When he first spoke in Harlem, you know, at an eviction that was

1536
01:37:42,619 –> 01:37:46,385
happening in the winter, and then, it morphed into

1537
01:37:46,525 –> 01:37:49,185
a protest briefly, and it morphed into a riot.

1538
01:37:51,005 –> 01:37:54,400
And he literally had to flee, but, you know, That he could

1539
01:37:54,400 –> 01:37:57,840
have successes like that, because arguably, there was some success in

1540
01:37:57,840 –> 01:38:01,595
that. Obviously, not the latter bits, but you see the point. But

1541
01:38:01,755 –> 01:38:05,535
It didn’t translate into a community wide

1542
01:38:05,835 –> 01:38:09,595
organized movement for a

1543
01:38:09,595 –> 01:38:13,370
better tomorrow. And, of course, you know, because this novel is

1544
01:38:13,370 –> 01:38:16,730
so well constructed, there’s both an internal dynamic that

1545
01:38:16,730 –> 01:38:20,465
sabotaged it, Right? And an external dynamic

1546
01:38:20,465 –> 01:38:23,764
that betrayed it. Now one of the pieces I find interesting,

1547
01:38:25,025 –> 01:38:28,610
you know, Well, it’s one of your questions.

1548
01:38:28,670 –> 01:38:32,510
Right? What are the processes used to keep people in their place among black Americans?

1549
01:38:32,510 –> 01:38:36,285
And they they exist. They’re there. And you you don’t even have to be

1550
01:38:36,285 –> 01:38:39,985
in high school before you experience them. You know? They exist in middle school.

1551
01:38:41,245 –> 01:38:44,620
These pressures, these, These

1552
01:38:44,620 –> 01:38:47,840
fears that are, you know, sometimes

1553
01:38:48,060 –> 01:38:51,739
lobbed, sometimes just slide across the table,

1554
01:38:51,739 –> 01:38:55,395
other times it’s right in your face, and someone’s at you, but just,

1555
01:38:55,695 –> 01:38:59,215
you know, the notion that, hey, we’re this massive labor

1556
01:38:59,215 –> 01:39:02,700
union. You’ve gotta get in line, take your number, show up and vote

1557
01:39:02,700 –> 01:39:06,540
accordingly. And, of course, men like you and I hate that, and

1558
01:39:06,540 –> 01:39:09,900
we’ll never do that. And so it’s just, you know but they’re out there, you

1559
01:39:09,900 –> 01:39:13,565
know. So more

1560
01:39:13,565 –> 01:39:16,465
specifically, you know,

1561
01:39:17,244 –> 01:39:21,060
the The employ employing

1562
01:39:21,200 –> 01:39:24,420
fear, fear of,

1563
01:39:25,440 –> 01:39:28,895
loss of economic opportunity, fear of Physical violence

1564
01:39:29,115 –> 01:39:32,475
by nameless Mhmm. Ubiquitous white

1565
01:39:32,475 –> 01:39:36,160
racists, you know, rather than

1566
01:39:36,160 –> 01:39:39,620
fear violence from actually can be found in black neighborhood,

1567
01:39:40,239 –> 01:39:43,915
black thugs. You know, That one’s not deployed as much,

1568
01:39:43,915 –> 01:39:47,755
but they’re there. And in this novel, of course, they are deployed and they are

1569
01:39:47,755 –> 01:39:51,375
there, which is which is, again, well done on his part. Very well done.

1570
01:39:52,580 –> 01:39:55,780
They know it’s funny. I I I don’t know why it took me this long

1571
01:39:55,780 –> 01:39:59,300
into the podcast to mention I used to live in Harlem, so it’s it’s

1572
01:39:59,300 –> 01:40:02,355
interesting because he’s talking about places I’ve Right.

1573
01:40:02,975 –> 01:40:06,655
And I can relate to some of what he’s talking about from, you know, having

1574
01:40:06,655 –> 01:40:10,095
lived there, even down to the, oh, when when they moved him to what was

1575
01:40:10,095 –> 01:40:13,679
probably, it’s the upper part of the upper east

1576
01:40:13,679 –> 01:40:17,440
side, but, their streets were, before it gets to

1577
01:40:17,440 –> 01:40:20,320
Spanish Harlem where it’s a little bit mixed. And so I lived in Spanish Harlem

1578
01:40:20,320 –> 01:40:23,115
when I lived in So it’s just like I can relate to when the authors

1579
01:40:23,115 –> 01:40:26,795
talk about this mix Spanish Irish neighborhood. I was like, underline them. Like, oh, okay.

1580
01:40:26,795 –> 01:40:30,610
Yeah. I can relate to this. There’s also a little Italian in the corner

1581
01:40:30,610 –> 01:40:32,469
I was in, but, anyway, I digress.

1582
01:40:34,450 –> 01:40:37,925
It’s a lot of, it’s a lot of fear and

1583
01:40:37,925 –> 01:40:41,705
social pressure, besides much economic, but,

1584
01:40:42,085 –> 01:40:45,590
there’s a whole lot of Use of signals. Right? The things

1585
01:40:45,590 –> 01:40:49,430
that signal something else, like political

1586
01:40:49,430 –> 01:40:53,155
party affiliation signals something So the people who

1587
01:40:53,155 –> 01:40:56,375
then are gonna start engaging and using these processes,

1588
01:40:57,395 –> 01:41:00,880
to try to get you to move somewhere else, you know, in terms of

1589
01:41:00,880 –> 01:41:04,560
your behavior, if not your thought. Because they they they don’t really care about what

1590
01:41:04,560 –> 01:41:08,221
you think. It’s are you going to do what I’m telling you to do? Right?

1591
01:41:08,328 –> 01:41:12,114
Just like, you know, the power structure of this brotherhood in this book, you

1592
01:41:12,114 –> 01:41:15,655
know. I don’t care what you think. Let let us do the strategizing, you know,

1593
01:41:16,470 –> 01:41:20,150
Not let us. We do the strategizing. You do what you’re told. Oh,

1594
01:41:20,150 –> 01:41:23,990
okay. Okay. You sound like, an organization that I wanna be part of. Like,

1595
01:41:23,990 –> 01:41:27,705
I have zero More interested in that. And

1596
01:41:27,765 –> 01:41:31,065
it just took nameless hundreds of pages

1597
01:41:31,685 –> 01:41:35,190
to get to a point where he might be willing to challenge that in any

1598
01:41:35,190 –> 01:41:39,030
real way. And, of course, pun intended, and I won’t

1599
01:41:39,030 –> 01:41:42,790
say exactly why, so it doesn’t ruin it, but pun intended, it was eye opening.

1600
01:41:42,790 –> 01:41:46,614
So it’s It was. Yeah. Yeah. There it is. Yeah. Okay.

1601
01:41:46,675 –> 01:41:50,435
So so the thing that we are approaching, I think, in the 21st

1602
01:41:50,435 –> 01:41:53,680
century, and we have to wrap up our podcast and episode today, and I’d like

1603
01:41:53,680 –> 01:41:57,280
to thank DeRollo for coming on and talking about this great book Sure.

1604
01:41:57,520 –> 01:42:01,360
And exploring the vagaries and the intricacies of this as we,

1605
01:42:01,360 –> 01:42:05,205
again, Use this episode as our kickoff to this year’s black

1606
01:42:05,205 –> 01:42:08,725
history month. And we’ll have de

1607
01:42:08,725 –> 01:42:12,340
Rolo on a little bit later on this month, talking about James

1608
01:42:12,340 –> 01:42:15,036
Baldwin, and notes from a native

1609
01:42:15,036 –> 01:42:18,280
Jesan, Baldwin, who was the antithesis,

1610
01:42:19,300 –> 01:42:19,960
of Ellison.

1611
01:42:24,905 –> 01:42:28,045
I think we’re approaching a space in our culture now, and

1612
01:42:28,740 –> 01:42:31,800
I think that the intellectual

1613
01:42:36,045 –> 01:42:39,745
cavalcade of folks that I’ve mentioned on this podcast in the black community.

1614
01:42:40,205 –> 01:42:42,525
And by the way, this is, this is part of the reason why there’s no

1615
01:42:42,525 –> 01:42:46,250
black leader anymore, but the intellectual cavalcade of

1616
01:42:46,250 –> 01:42:49,849
folks that I’ve mentioned on this podcast, are

1617
01:42:49,849 –> 01:42:53,525
flopping around, particularly in a post 2020

1618
01:42:53,745 –> 01:42:57,105
context, are flopping around waiting for the next crisis or the next

1619
01:42:57,105 –> 01:43:00,325
riot to pop up where they can coalesce people around.

1620
01:43:01,820 –> 01:43:05,280
And the reason why this is happening is because the atomization

1621
01:43:05,660 –> 01:43:09,315
that has negatively impacted black Americans has also

1622
01:43:09,315 –> 01:43:13,155
had positive impacts, and the positive impact of atomization is this. When

1623
01:43:13,155 –> 01:43:16,775
I move to the suburbs, I get to be my own man. Mhmm.

1624
01:43:18,640 –> 01:43:22,260
I Get Tom Be My Own Man When I Move TO Harlem. Mhmm.

1625
01:43:22,640 –> 01:43:26,240
I get to be me as Hayzad or me as de

1626
01:43:26,240 –> 01:43:29,135
Rolo. Racial reconciliation comes from individuals

1627
01:43:30,955 –> 01:43:33,855
relating to and intermarrying with

1628
01:43:35,755 –> 01:43:39,600
individuals. That’s where it comes from.

1629
01:43:40,380 –> 01:43:44,159
It doesn’t come from the Edenic sort of ideal

1630
01:43:45,065 –> 01:43:48,205
we will all be in solidarity with each other and push

1631
01:43:49,145 –> 01:43:52,780
a culture towards something that happens only once, and

1632
01:43:52,860 –> 01:43:56,619
it happened in the middle of 20th century, and now we’re done. We’re never gonna

1633
01:43:56,619 –> 01:44:00,335
go back to that. As NWA infamously They said

1634
01:44:00,335 –> 01:44:03,455
back in the day, or it might not have been NWA. It might have been

1635
01:44:03,455 –> 01:44:07,295
doctor Dre. I can’t remember. But one of the rappers

1636
01:44:07,295 –> 01:44:11,040
back in the nineties said, Malcolm and Martin are Gone, and I

1637
01:44:11,040 –> 01:44:14,020
Gotta Live Out Here. Mhmm.

1638
01:44:16,005 –> 01:44:19,305
Yeah. Yep. It sounds like West a West Coast statement.

1639
01:44:20,725 –> 01:44:24,360
It does. This does not sound like Somebody in Harl.

1640
01:44:24,360 –> 01:44:28,120
Sounds like somebody in Los Angeles. Yes. Well, Malcolm and

1641
01:44:28,120 –> 01:44:31,325
Martin are gone. And what are we gonna do? Right?

1642
01:44:31,545 –> 01:44:34,985
And and and Malcolm and Martin weren’t gonna come down to the ghetto and come

1643
01:44:34,985 –> 01:44:38,745
get me. They don’t know me, and I don’t know them, and I gotta

1644
01:44:38,745 –> 01:44:42,500
live out here with these people. There’s there’s a lot of truth in that.

1645
01:44:42,800 –> 01:44:46,640
Mhmm. And Snoop Dogg now hangs around with Martha Stewart. I think

1646
01:44:46,640 –> 01:44:50,425
it’s awesome. Which I think is incredible. I really get a huge

1647
01:44:50,425 –> 01:44:54,185
kick out of that. They’re like b f BFFs. I get a kick out of

1648
01:44:54,185 –> 01:44:57,830
that. It is ridiculous. His real name Calvin. Right? Calvin

1649
01:44:57,830 –> 01:45:00,490
Brodus junior. Yes. Junior.

1650
01:45:02,230 –> 01:45:05,365
Yep. Deuces.

1651
01:45:06,785 –> 01:45:09,825
At what point do you think and by the way, there are now pressures being

1652
01:45:09,825 –> 01:45:13,190
put on the African American, the black community in America,

1653
01:45:13,670 –> 01:45:17,370
by Hispanics Mhmm. And by Asians. Massive

1654
01:45:17,510 –> 01:45:20,650
pressures. Mhmm. And

1655
01:45:21,785 –> 01:45:24,745
I guess I’d like to wrap up this podcast today with the end with with

1656
01:45:24,745 –> 01:45:28,585
maybe this question. If you’re a leader who

1657
01:45:28,585 –> 01:45:32,100
happens by genetic Accident Tom be

1658
01:45:32,100 –> 01:45:35,620
Black, in an organization, and you are leading a

1659
01:45:35,620 –> 01:45:37,480
multiethnic, multiracial organization,

1660
01:45:39,865 –> 01:45:43,385
And this month comes upon you when you are asked by

1661
01:45:43,385 –> 01:45:45,960
virtue of silence to comment on it,

1662
01:45:48,520 –> 01:45:52,360
because the silence always becomes deafening right around this month if you happen to be

1663
01:45:52,360 –> 01:45:56,125
black in an organization, you happen to be in leadership. Mhmm.

1664
01:45:57,065 –> 01:46:00,685
What do you say after reading

1665
01:46:00,744 –> 01:46:01,804
Invisible Man?

1666
01:46:04,480 –> 01:46:06,740
What do you say to your people about this month?

1667
01:46:09,120 –> 01:46:12,965
Well, It it’s interesting because the

1668
01:46:12,965 –> 01:46:16,725
first point of departure I I have is, I follow

1669
01:46:16,725 –> 01:46:20,470
the the the premise of the question. Mhmm. I just I I don’t

1670
01:46:20,470 –> 01:46:24,310
think it extends to well, when the firm is actually owned and run by black

1671
01:46:24,310 –> 01:46:27,830
people, because then it might be different. You

1672
01:46:27,830 –> 01:46:31,245
know? You could have black history 12 months of the year

1673
01:46:31,485 –> 01:46:35,325
Mhmm. Or you could have it none. It depends. Or you could have it

1674
01:46:35,325 –> 01:46:39,160
still in February. It depends on the culture and the values of the

1675
01:46:39,160 –> 01:46:42,880
of the leaders and the owners of the entity, you know, versus a leader

1676
01:46:42,880 –> 01:46:46,180
within an entity that is really just a typical American,

1677
01:46:47,120 –> 01:46:50,615
you know, normal mainline American culture

1678
01:46:51,075 –> 01:46:54,055
creation, and thus, one can

1679
01:46:55,520 –> 01:46:59,360
Pretty reasonably anticipate that, it wasn’t founded and run by black people.

1680
01:46:59,360 –> 01:47:03,039
Anyway, you know, the the position, the perspective might be

1681
01:47:03,039 –> 01:47:06,475
different. And so for me, who owns and runs

1682
01:47:08,215 –> 01:47:09,675
a multiethnic organization.

1683
01:47:12,590 –> 01:47:16,350
What I focus on coming out of this, is I mean,

1684
01:47:16,350 –> 01:47:19,570
I pushed the novel. That’s a no brainer. Like, read the Sorrells awesome.

1685
01:47:19,710 –> 01:47:22,765
But, What what got to me,

1686
01:47:23,465 –> 01:47:27,225
because it’s one of his themes. Right? And again, I have no because, as

1687
01:47:27,225 –> 01:47:30,600
a guy with a degree in English, what? Like, How to

1688
01:47:30,600 –> 01:47:34,219
approach this? This is how you study a novel Yep. Anyway.

1689
01:47:35,480 –> 01:47:38,875
One of the themes is that everyone wants to use you for some purpose of

1690
01:47:38,875 –> 01:47:42,335
their own. And so for people I lead,

1691
01:47:43,195 –> 01:47:45,994
I wanna make sure. And then, you know, the last time I onboarded someone was

1692
01:47:45,994 –> 01:47:49,809
literally last week, and so it’s like, you know, I told her. Hi. I told

1693
01:47:49,809 –> 01:47:53,650
her, you know, one of the things that we will go

1694
01:47:53,650 –> 01:47:57,345
through are your goals for your career. And

1695
01:47:57,905 –> 01:48:01,745
Immediately that that is said, there’s some tension. I am telling someone who works for

1696
01:48:01,745 –> 01:48:05,590
me, I’m gonna help you Chief your goals. We’re

1697
01:48:05,590 –> 01:48:08,469
gonna work on your career goals. That may mean that I help her get out

1698
01:48:08,469 –> 01:48:11,830
of the seat. She’s gonna go work for somebody else, whether herself or somebody else.

1699
01:48:11,830 –> 01:48:15,255
I may end up helping her do that. Why am I willing to do

1700
01:48:15,255 –> 01:48:19,095
that? Because the type of values that we were

1701
01:48:19,095 –> 01:48:22,235
read about in this novel Libby the power structures

1702
01:48:23,020 –> 01:48:26,780
represented by the doctor Bledsoe and the Brother Books are

1703
01:48:26,780 –> 01:48:30,625
anathema to me. I hate them. I want them burnt down. And so I

1704
01:48:30,625 –> 01:48:34,145
don’t want to run an institution where I’m effectively co

1705
01:48:34,145 –> 01:48:37,745
opting people’s best years and efforts for my good

1706
01:48:37,745 –> 01:48:41,540
over their good, For my benefit over their benefit, I don’t

1707
01:48:41,540 –> 01:48:45,320
ever wanna do that. And so, therefore,

1708
01:48:45,380 –> 01:48:48,280
my whole leadership model is about,

1709
01:48:48,855 –> 01:48:51,595
Okay? I am trying to help

1710
01:48:52,615 –> 01:48:56,215
you get to where you’re trying to go, and together, what we’re

1711
01:48:56,215 –> 01:49:00,050
trying to do is achieve the goals that I have

1712
01:49:00,050 –> 01:49:03,650
set out in line with my values. And as long as that

1713
01:49:03,650 –> 01:49:07,295
shared, it works. And when it’s not shared, Then

1714
01:49:07,295 –> 01:49:10,175
not only is the person probably in the wrong seat, they’re probably gonna want you

1715
01:49:10,175 –> 01:49:13,934
to depart, and so that that can work. You know, one of the best people

1716
01:49:13,934 –> 01:49:17,199
I had working for me Told me in the beginning exactly how long she was

1717
01:49:17,199 –> 01:49:19,860
gonna work for me, and she kept it just about to a tee. Okay?

1718
01:49:20,880 –> 01:49:24,560
And there was an external reason in part why, but there are, obviously, there were

1719
01:49:24,560 –> 01:49:27,035
also reason, but she was able to tell me in the beginning, this is how

1720
01:49:27,035 –> 01:49:30,235
long I’m gonna work for you. That’s that that that was it. It it played

1721
01:49:30,235 –> 01:49:33,950
out. It’s great. It helped her meet her goals. It also

1722
01:49:33,950 –> 01:49:37,390
helped me meet my goals. Now she’s a very strong leader, and so she

1723
01:49:37,390 –> 01:49:41,070
knew to do things like that. Okay. Great. So back to me.

1724
01:49:41,070 –> 01:49:44,625
Okay. So how do I Help my people

1725
01:49:45,725 –> 01:49:48,845
achieve their goals. My people I’m talking about people working for my firm. I’m not

1726
01:49:48,845 –> 01:49:52,225
talking about my people in a king x, etcetera

1727
01:49:52,800 –> 01:49:56,500
way. But how do I help my people achieve their

1728
01:49:56,720 –> 01:50:00,180
individual goals? You know?

1729
01:50:00,815 –> 01:50:04,275
Because if I lead them and help them in that process, they’re gonna do great.

1730
01:50:04,415 –> 01:50:07,775
They’re gonna do exceedingly well helping me achieve my

1731
01:50:07,775 –> 01:50:11,160
goals. And if I don’t do that, they still may do well,

1732
01:50:11,780 –> 01:50:15,380
you know, they even may do exceedingly well, but there’s a cost. You know, there’s

1733
01:50:15,380 –> 01:50:18,844
a cost in terms of trust. There’s a

1734
01:50:18,844 –> 01:50:22,525
cost in terms of, like, an an actual

1735
01:50:22,525 –> 01:50:26,284
physical podcast on their bodies over Tom, on their minds, you

1736
01:50:26,284 –> 01:50:30,070
know, like, The hourglass those sands are going, and

1737
01:50:30,070 –> 01:50:32,889
so it’s just like, you know, at the end of the day,

1738
01:50:33,830 –> 01:50:37,575
if they’ve worked for me and they’ve been compensated fairly And,

1739
01:50:37,575 –> 01:50:41,335
hopefully, well, but certainly fairly. And, you know, we’ve been able to achieve some

1740
01:50:41,335 –> 01:50:44,135
good and help other people. That’s great. And if they can walk away from that

1741
01:50:44,135 –> 01:50:47,659
and they were choosing well, I’m good. You know, I’m

1742
01:50:47,659 –> 01:50:51,340
good. I’d rather have that than I managed to

1743
01:50:51,340 –> 01:50:54,320
cobble together some motley crew, and I

1744
01:50:55,135 –> 01:50:58,975
Cajoled, threatened, bribed, and assaulted them

1745
01:50:58,975 –> 01:51:02,095
so that they’d book for me for, like, 30 years, and then I bounced on,

1746
01:51:02,095 –> 01:51:05,400
you know, I’m retiring them out, and then they just collapsed. And then they have

1747
01:51:05,400 –> 01:51:09,000
no retirement, no pension. They don’t know what’s going like, that’s not a success. K.

1748
01:51:09,000 –> 01:51:12,835
That’s a tragedy. But the real tragedy is that they

1749
01:51:12,835 –> 01:51:16,595
didn’t see it, that they couldn’t perceive what was being done

1750
01:51:16,595 –> 01:51:20,090
to them. And this novel shows At

1751
01:51:20,090 –> 01:51:23,770
least 1 unnamed man’s journey to realize what

1752
01:51:23,770 –> 01:51:27,610
the heck was going on with him. Just one little brief

1753
01:51:27,610 –> 01:51:31,065
point. Don’t understand why he didn’t say there’s 7 letters. I’m gonna assume the

1754
01:51:31,065 –> 01:51:33,945
contents are the same. I’m gonna sacrifice 1 and open it up, and then I’ll

1755
01:51:33,945 –> 01:51:36,585
have the other 6. If he had just done that if he had just done

1756
01:51:36,585 –> 01:51:40,060
that Mhmm. Maybe we would’ve got back on a bus with an

1757
01:51:40,060 –> 01:51:43,820
ax. Hi,

1758
01:51:43,820 –> 01:51:47,515
doctor Bledsoe. Bam. You know? And then there would have been

1759
01:51:47,515 –> 01:51:51,195
no novel. Right? But there would have

1760
01:51:51,195 –> 01:51:54,770
been, on some level, Some measure of

1761
01:51:54,770 –> 01:51:57,030
justice, I think, we could live with.

1762
01:51:58,450 –> 01:52:01,110
And would it have cost him his life in

1763
01:52:02,625 –> 01:52:06,165
See what? You know it. It lit him up.

1764
01:52:07,905 –> 01:52:11,679
Lit him up Like a like like

1765
01:52:11,679 –> 01:52:15,140
a a funeral pyre. Man,

1766
01:52:15,679 –> 01:52:19,120
but yeah. Great great work. Great book. Happy to be here. Thank

1767
01:52:19,120 –> 01:52:22,865
you. And with that, I’d like

1768
01:52:22,865 –> 01:52:26,645
to thank once again to Rollo Nixon Junior for coming on our podcast today,

1769
01:52:27,665 –> 01:52:28,805
and we’re out.

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