McWhorter: This whole debate is predicated upon everybody pretending to think that there are all these top-flight black economists out there working at the Post Office or laboring in community colleges, that haven't been hired by the top-rate schools, because at the top-rate schools the faculties are racist. That a black person can't get through who's really talented. As if it hasn't been true for now thirty-five years that the top-ranked black person is fought over by a great many schools. All these people know this. All these people in suits in the faculty lounge know this... Everybody's pretending it's nineteen fifty-six, and it's just not true.
I guess what's still puzzling me is, if what's happening in the academia is this enormous make-believe cultish larping, then what's the force driving it. Can an institution avoid jumping into the fray alongside the others? Can it sort of pause, and bide its time, and see what happens to those that have rushed ahead. What would be the risks to such an institution? What is the positive feedback loop that drives all colleges onward?
"It's not sick, it's actually sadly explainable," says McWhorter at 58:58. But he doesn't dive into an explanation.