*Media personality Joe Rogan, who is white, made time on his podcast to unpack what it means to be a “Black” person in America.
During a recent podcast interview with conservative YouTuber Jordan Peterson, Rogan made remarks about racial identity and skin tone. At one point during the conversation, the two recalled the time author and academic Michael Eric Dyson described Peterson as a “mean, mad white man” back in 2018.
“Depending on who you ask, either you’re a voice of reason and rationality and personal responsibility, or a voice of intolerance and bigotry and anger and hateful. … What did Michael Eric Dyson call you? A mean angry white man?” Rogan said. “Hilarious. You’re not mean at all. That’s what’s dumb about that statement.”
Peterson then said it was “a lie” to call him white, because he’s actually “kind of tan” and that Dyson “is actually not Black.”
“Well, isn’t that weird? The Black and white thing is so strange because the shades are so…there’s such a spectrum of shades of people,” said Rogan.
“Unless you’re talking to someone who is, like, 100 percent African from the darkest place where they’re not wearing any clothes all day and they’ve developed all that melanin to protect themselves from the sun. Even the term Black is weird and when you use it for people that are literally my color, it becomes very strange,” he added.
Dyson responded on Wednesday in a statement to the Daily Beast.
“Clearly they haven’t kept up with discussion about how race isn’t just about skin tone or color, but about a host of meanings determined in the social world,” Dyson said. “Blackness is not about shade, but about the shade provided by traditions of Black thought, culture, and resistance.”
Dyson has called on Rogan to invite him on the podcast to discuss the issue further.