Below is an excerpt from Reihan Salam's conversation with The New York Times' Jay Caspian Kang.
What’s the Manhattan Institute platform for 2022?
Crime and public safety have been absolutely central to our work. Partly because, at a moment when virtually all elite institutions, including elite institutions on the right, were oriented toward criminal justice reform, we were saying: “Look, responsible, thoughtful, measured reform may well make sense. But what we want to do is avoid some kind of mechanistic lurch toward a permissive bias.”
And also the intersection of race and public policy. If you look at every important policy debate right now, there’s a way in which classic empirical debates have been overshadowed by a debate over what is and is not racist, with the definition of what counts as racist growing ever more expansive and totalizing.
I think it freezes a lot of people, including a lot of people of color, out of conversations. I think that it has obscured a lot of the diversity of opinion, a lot of different communities. If you’re a nonwhite person who dissents from elite progressive opinion, you are guilty of “multiracial whiteness.” We see this in debates about environmental policy, about health policy, any number of things. So I think that squarely addressing that is especially important in diverse communities, because these are communities where it winds up having very material consequences.