Well, here is something quite remarkable for our time: an actual “conversation about race” in which two people, with completely incommensurable axioms and worldviews, discuss the topic for a full hour without shouting each other down, or resorting to violence. (Astonishingly, there isn’t even any mention of Hitler.) The interlocutors are Jared Taylor, of American Renaissance, and one Amna Nawaz of ABC News — who, if it isn’t too simplistic to describe the landscape this way, neatly represent entirely opposite poles of contemporary Western social thought.
They do not, of course, alter one another’s views on the subject one iota, but they actually do manage to sit across from one another for an hour and just talk. (Right past each other, like a couple of neutrinos.)
Will this help anything? No, because their worldviews are, as I said above, incommensurable. It quickly becomes clear that Mr. Taylor and Ms. Nawaz can’t agree about the most basic values and units and categories by which any human mind frames and organizes and measures the world. There is almost no common ground even regarding truth itself — moral, historical, biological, cultural, political or otherwise. But at least the encounter, however futile, proceeded with a brittle civility, which is far better than usual for this sort of thing.
I won’t score the “debate” — what would be the point? (Well, OK, maybe I’ll just say that I think that Mr. Taylor’s presentation is far more consistent, and far better grounded in history and human nature, than Ms. Nawaz’s, which rests almost entirely on the tenets of the modern West’s dominant universalist religion.) Mainly I offer it as a gloomy example of how little commonality there is between these radically antagonistic visions of reality, and how little chance of any “conversation” making any difference to anything. Keep in mind that this entirely unproductive interview is as good as it gets.