Eric Weinstein Addresses Black Lives Matter Movement
Eric Weinstein, mathematical physician, managing director of Thiel Capital, regular guest on the Joe Rogan Experience, and member of the so-called Intellectual Dark Web, is known for being outspoken and holding what some might consider to be controversial views - it is worth noting that when you stand for anything, your views are likely to be construed as controversial, or at least unfavourable, by people who stand against.
Whatever opinions one might reserve for Weinstein, it’s difficult to deny his commitment to his own truth, evident by his unreservedly putting younger brother, biologist Bret Weinstein, in the hot-seat on The Portal podcast. If you want to listen to big brother make little brother feel incredibly uncomfortable about his own career choices and lack of assertiveness on certain matters, audibly sighing in response, give it a listen.
Before kicking off a recent interview with the heralded black physicist Stephon Alexander, the new President of the National Society of Black Physicists, Weinstein addressed his black audience and peers in light of recent Black Lives Matter protests.
Weinstein had this to say:
“Those of us in white America who believe most in our black brothers and sisters are not going for this grovelling, performative bullshit. We have already many times stood with our friends in shock when the cab which slowed to pick us up then sped off when it saw who we were with. I can assure you that we were never called something so genteel and euphemistic as n-word loving race traitors as we were physically bullied in school.
Just as my black colleagues can mostly understand anti-semitism, I can get most of anti-black prejudice too. Sure, maybe not the whole thing but this pretend divide has to end.
What is the purpose of the heights of black oratorical skills if not to make us understand each other better? And speaking directly to black listeners, we are equals and very luck to have each other. I am very glad you are here and I wouldn’t be who I am without your gifts.
Forgive me but no true friend of mine has ever asked me to wear a hair shirt for my connection to racial crimes and slavery committed by people who vaguely look like me, decades before any of my family came to this country.
I will support you and do believe that you have triumphed over the humiliation of oppression. But don’t ask me for reparations, to abolish the police, to repeat lines that you feed me, to kneel when you instruct, or to accept lower lines of empathy between people because the uniqueness of your pain.
I am not simply going to take your word for it that no white person fears the police, nor am I going to ignore statistics that in turns, both confirm and cast out on so-called lived experience.
Daniel Shaver was white and died on camera in an Arizona hotel room. Be honest, had he been black you would know that racism was behind the deed, and yet because he was white we know that it played no role.
The true solution to race problems isn’t competing to demonstrate just how guilty we are. It is true love and friendship and critique and offence and fumbling in the dark until we get it right.
We Jews have a problem with sexual predation. Our Muslim brothers have a problem with terror. Black people have problems with violent crime. And if your true friends were any of these, you’d discuss these things in an arena of trust.
As a black friend of mine once said, ‘I cross the street when a big guy with a doo-rag comes towards me. I’m not sure why I feel just a bit weird that you do it too’.
But above all, thank you for measurably enriching my life. It will be an honour to try and help your children do for science and technology what you have already done for culture, letters, music, comedy and national character.
This country of ours isn’t perfect, but it’s not 1840 anymore and no group of us has the right to scuttle this beautiful ship we share called America. Let’s reform prisons and law enforcement like grown-ups. I am saying this because I believe in us as intimates and not because I am trying to hold on to an insulating layer that others built into the system.”