It’s easy...to mock the lengths to which white liberals will go to be seen as antiracist. McWhorter is more interesting when he discusses why some African Americans have chosen to join the ranks of the Elect ... McWhorter views it as a mistake to forge one’s identity around victimhood. He characterizes the woke racial worldview as harmful not for normalizing antiwhite prejudices or treating the social categories of race as something concrete, but because it deprives Black people of their humanity by infantilizing them ... McWhorter is less effective is in his critique of some of the Third Wave’s high priests. Although he takes aim at writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Robin DiAngelo, Ibram X. Kendi and The New York Times’s Nikole Hannah-Jones, he only briefly quotes their writing. A more compelling pushback would have involved a thorough analysis of their arguments ... Welcome to the world that the Elect are trying to create. The only story they want us to tell is one where whites are the villains and minorities are the victims ... Unlike McWhorter, who is a staunch atheist, I believe that religion is a force for good in the world ... But I agree with McWhorter that a religion that seeks to defeat white supremacy by insisting that nonwhite people cannot be expected to uphold the same standards of conduct and ethics as white people isn’t one worth believing in.
[McWhorter's] book is a cry from the heart, and readers should gauge the depth of his indignation from the fact that its working title was F*** ’Em ... Mr. McWhorter’s target audience is, precisely, the one that would regard him as racially incendiary ... This is a tonic to hear, of course. Yet to some weary Americans, resigned to seeing wokeness end jobs and wreck reputations, Mr. McWhorter may sound naive or overoptimistic.
... a standard-issue tirade against 'cancel culture,' a Bill Maher routine without the jokes or a Tucker Carlson segment without the bow tie and smirk. The alleged twist here is that it’s a Black man saying it this time. Even that has been done better and less hamhandedly by the past few years of Dave Chappelle’s career ... He just seems to believe that making culturally conservative arguments while Black is inherently thoughtful, or at least provocative. It's not ... he warns that it is 'coming after your kids' with a breathlessness that makes him sound less like a thoughtful academic and more like a conspiracy theorist looking for hidden critical race messages in the menus at Chuck E. Cheese. McWhorter never engages with any of the actual cultish movements that are threatening American democracy ... his work fits neatly within the long history of African American assimilationist thought ... If McWhorter’s readers dismiss him out of hand, it will be because of these sort of ahistorical arguments, not because of the color of his skin. They expose him not as a race traitor but as an unserious person, one either unwilling or incapable of contributing meaningfully to the discussion of race, politics and free speech in modern America.