ANAND: You have said the bad anti-racism trainings get all the attention. Do you think the idea of training our way out of this is itself intrinsically flawed, or there are just too many bad trainings and not enough good ones? Is there a good version of this training that needs to happen at schools and workplaces that is part of the America you want to see, or is training just the wrong intellectual paradigm?

ADAM: It's a completely irrelevant thing that doesn't have anything to do with anything. We're talking about actual structural, material problems that can be solved with changes in public policy and the way that we do things. Instead, we've developed this consumer model of racism, where you get rid of racism by putting a black box on your Instagram, or developing yourself as a person.

Racism is an institutional force. It's not necessarily about you as an individual, whether you're good or evil. That has become the preoccupation.

It's a real problem, because it misleads people about how to solve the problem, and it also makes people think that this is about teams, when actually racism is a part of American society. It's not necessarily a partisan thing. It is an institutional force that has to be dealt with as an institutional force, not by making different individual consumer choices that show everyone that you're not racist.

It's not just a question of the trainings. Anything that reinforces that consumer model of anti-racism is necessarily, to me, anything from benign and harmless to basically counterproductive.

Interview with Adam Serwer
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