Economist and academic Glenn Loury on Sunday said the United States should “get beyond race” and reparations would be “disastrous” for the future of America.
Loury, an economics professor at Brown University, appeared on ABC’s “This Week” to discuss critical race theory and Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday, when he was asked by anchor George Stephanopoulos about how Americans can “bridge the divide” on these issues dealing with race.
“I think we should get beyond race. I know I’m spitting in the wind when I say that. I know no one wants to hear it. I think the right story here is that it’s the American story. We’re all in this thing together. I know that’s very easy to say,” said Loury, the first Black tenured economics professor at Harvard University. “I think Martin Luther King got it right in 1963. I think that the racialization of this discussion of crime and violence, and policing, of poverty and wealth and whatnot is bad for America.”
“I think talking about reparations, whatever the moral argument might be, is disastrous for the future of this country,” Loury continued. “Black people should not be trying to cut a separate deal with America. Let’s make the country a good country for everybody and we’ll be on the right track.”
Earlier in the interview, Loury was asked about conservatives expressing concerns about critical race theory and whether he agreed with their definition. Loury responded by saying he believes their definition is “fine” and that their concerns revolve around the “narrative” being pushed.
“I think the definition is fine as far as it goes. I think the concern is about the narrative. It’s about what is the story of the American project and where does race fit into that,” Loury said. “I think it’s a bit like arguments about how do you teach evolution versus creationism or what do you do about sex education in the schools where people are concerned a certain narrative, a certain view, which is very uncharitable to the American project.”
Loury was then asked whether he would ban critical race theory in schools.
“No I wouldn’t do that no more than I would ban the teaching of Marxism. I wouldn’t ban it. I would argue against it,” Loury said.
Once an obscure topic among academics, CRT and its associated ideas have featured prominently in political discussions over the past several months. Among Republicans, the issue has become particularly relevant. Former President Trump banned ideas associated with CRT from being utilized in federal government trainings – something Biden quickly repealed after taking office.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a member of “the Squad” – a group of progressive lawmakers that includes Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, repeated her push for reparations on Saturday in a tweet about Juneteenth.
“As we reflect on the significance of what this day symbolizes, let’s keep fighting to address the lasting consequences of slavery. Next step: reparations,” Omar tweeted.
Fox News’ Sam Dorman and Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.