Elizabeth Wright at Taki’s criticizes the Southern Poverty Law Center for putting Carol Swain, well-known black academic and author, soft lefty and contributor to the Huffington Post, on its “hit list.” Why? Because she gave a favorable review to documentary filmmaker Craig Bodeker’s A Conversation About Race.

Intrigued, I looked for said review. Here it is, in its entirety:

This outstanding film provides an opening salvo for the long-awaited national debate on race.  Meticulously done, it offers an opportunity for people of all races to engage in cross-racial dialogue. I highly recommend this film for social science courses dealing with race, class and ethnicity.

That’s it? A more substantive review from a woman of her stature (and race) would have done more for cross-racial dialogue than the film itself, I suspect.

Yet she still came under fire from the SPLC. In the words of the SPLC’s Mark Potok, she is, intentionally or not, an “apologist for white supremacists.” This even though she’s written two books on the subject of white nationalism and its threat to integration. I wouldn’t be surprised if the SPLC were more paranoid than half its hit list.

Though I haven’t seen Bodeker’s film, the impression I get from the excerpts and a review by Wright herself, is that it undermines the idea of a racist society. Though racism is believed to be insidious and omnipresent, almost nobody interviewed in the film can give a clear of example of it in their own life. 

Consider me unconvinced. According to Harvey Silverglate, I’m affected by the proliferation of law to the point that I commit “three felonies a day,” or thereabouts. And though I may be poised to believe it, because I’m already a convinced libertarian, I can scarcely give any examples of it because I’m ignorant of the way this whole legal apparatus works. I suspect that a left-wing academic could describe how racism operates, even if, apparently, few of its victims can.

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