The Gist

So You Think You Know About Race

Michael Eric Dyson on the civil rights era, his would-be woke students, and President Obama’s shortcomings.

Michael Eric Dyson speaks onstage at a gala on Jan. 29 in New York City.

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Listen to Episode 1007 of Slate’s The Gist:

Slate Plus members: Get your ad-free podcast feed.

Listen to The Gist via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

On The Gist, at this point, whatever the Trump administration doesn’t say under oath is very possibly untrue.

In 1963, Robert F. Kennedy met with black America’s greatest artists and intellectuals to talk about race. “And they lit his ass up,” according to our guest, making known just how much needed to be done to address racial inequality. Michael Eric Dyson wrote a book about the encounter and its relevance to race issues today. Dyson’s book is What Truth Sounds Like.

In the Spiel, Miss America is scrapping its swimsuit competition, instantly making the United States perfectly meritocratic. Wait, not really.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at

Join the discussion of this episode on Facebook.

Twitter: @slategist