Chloe Valdary: How Kendrick Lamar and The Lion King Can Help Close the Racial Divide

Forget Robin DiAngelo and White Fragility. Theory of Enchantment uses popular culture to make workplaces more inclusive and welcoming.


In a world where workplace diversity sessions increasingly resemble Maoist struggle sessions, Chloé Valdary's Theory of Enchantment seminars seek to bring people together using popular culture to explore our common humanity and generate empathy rather than division. 

The 28-year-old Valdary started a group to combat anti-semitism as an undergraduate at the University of New Oreans, and after a fellowship at the Wall Street Journal opinion page, she created Theory of Enchantment as an alternative to the antiracist programs of Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo, which she believes deepen the very resentments they seek to alleviate. Her program employs materials as varied as Disney's Lion King, music from Kendrick Lamar, and writings by James Baldwin and Cheryl Strayed. 

Valdary spoke to Reason about how her life experiences inform Theory of Enchantment, why the demand for her program is growing, and why she's optimistic about the future of race relations and individualism.

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  1. Skin color is now the most important thing ever.
    Welcome to the 1950’s.

    1. We even have a “Red scare” to go with it.

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  2. racial divide lol. premise fail.

    1. Yeah, as near as I tell the “racial divide” is an artificial construct of the government, media, and academia. Regular people, with a few rare exceptions, really don’t give a shit about race anymore.

      1. I only hear the “N” word when I am in diverse parts of US cities. Out in suburbia or small towns, you never hear it. The kids get along fine. Thankfully, the media is here to let them know that they should hate each other.

    2. Moreover, Kendrick Lamar and The Lion King are *the* way to close it.

      Like saying the way to bring a ship into the doc is to toss a rope to people who have no interest in catching it.

  3. I mean I guess its mean to say, but to be honest, the best thing you can tell a minority, POC, woman, whatever victim category you desire is : “get good at something, and be better at it than everybody else”

    Unfortunately for them, whites and asians keep pushing the above, especially in STEM fields, and the current WOKEsters encourage that “you will likely get fucked due to whyiat supremacy, so best you focus on how much of a victim you are”.

    But when you spend all of your time focused solely on what race you are, what problems you have, and how much of a victim you are, unfortunately you get passed by all the people who decided to just be the best they could be in a given study.

    Meritocracy is a bitch, but its either that or have the govt divvy up everyones earnings for maximum equity.

    1. have the govt divvy up everyones earnings for maximum equity

      Which is, of course, what the wokesters really want. They can’t stand the fact that they’re life’s losers and want daddy gov to come in and rig the rules of the game for them instead of just getting better at life.

  4. Race essentialism is totes the way to go, nick.

    NoT rEaL cOmMuNiSm!

  5. And now you know why the amoral billionaires of the world have multiple passports and homes overseas. While they continue to cause social corrosion.

  6. I learned about police abuse through rap (and Rodney King).

    1. get up get get get down …

    2. Also learned about Police abuse through rap when Puff Daddy sampled “I’ll Be Watching You”

  7. Figuring a right-winger is going to guide America toward a better society is something only a pure misfit could expect or promote.

    Mr. Gillespie seems to fit that bill in modern America.

  8. The Lion King Can Help Close the Racial Divide

    First, we have to assume there is a racial divide. Then, we need to define what and how that racial means, and how it manifests itself.

    Then, once we find that racial divide (if any at all) then we need to agree on how to address it.

    Hint: Having a black college professor who went to an elite university who happens to agree with all the white professors who also went to the same elite universities and read the same authors, and took the same classes, are not the sole arbiters of defining the “racial divide”.

    1. As absurd as our current reality is, I’m not sure I want to live in the world they envision:

      “Well, we were going to have a Civil War over oppression, free association, and states’ rights but then everyone watched a movie that came out 25 yrs. ago and somebody else sang HUMBLE and we decided not to.”

      I understand there’s probably some sort of rationalization about The Lion King and Kendrik Lamar but that doesn’t make it any better. I mean, from either side of the divide I would want to avoid discussions about whether Beyond Tunderdome or The Lion King is a more effective cure for racism.

      1. ^Realizes that the process is the punishment and changing the topic of discussion at any given struggle session doesn’t make it not a struggle session.

    2. That she is 28 years old and based part of her doctrine on a Disney movie tells me all I need to know.

  9. Deja vu.

  10. The lion king? That movie is so racist! James earl Jones voices mufasa, who dies first!
    #black guy dies first

    1. Well Scar is Darker than Mufasa.

      Suprised Kimba was not brought in to colonize the tribe.

  11. 1. No idea who the girl in the picture is, but she’s pretty hot.

    2. make workplaces more inclusive and welcoming
    Workplaces need to be effective and useful. I don’t need to work in a hugbox, I need utility. I need an environment that fosters creativity and competence.
    When I want things to be inclusive and welcoming, I’ll hang out with my friends or S.O.

    3. That said, anyone who wants to provide HR fodder without the vile racism of X. Kendi and DiAngelo, is alright in my book.

    1. You would be ok with 2 if 1 was your cubicle mate.

    2. 1. That’s Valdary.

      2. Yes.

      3. Agreed, and I’d also rather, if anyone is going to make bank from this grift, that it be a black woman and not Robin “Hi, I’m Karen, can I touch your hair?” DiAngelo.

  12. If DeAngelo, Kendi, and pink-hair 1619 lady are Mutt, Gillespie’s friend is Jeff.

    It’s called good-cop, bad-cop. They want you to admit you’re a racist or complicit in racism.

    Mutt is of course the bad cop. He bangs the table, screams in your face, and DEMANDS that you confess.

    Jeff is the good cop. He says he’s so sorry Mutt is out control, he offers you coffee and just lets you talk. He suggests that if you just sign the confession and get everything over with you won’t have to deal with Mutt again.

    1. Just to be clear, I’m not saying that the good-looking chick (“Jeff” or should I say Jeffina) is actually in on a conspiracy – just that this is, if you’ll pardon the term, the *systemic* effect of her acting in the same milieu as the Mutts.

  13. When I was about 20 years old, about 24 years ago, a smart friend of mine who listened to what I was talking about philosophically and politically said I should listen to a guy on the radio named Neil Bortz. So I did. It lead me to a magazine called Reason, which I quickly subscribed to. I subscribed to that magazine for over 10 years, and voted, and promoted to anyone that would listen, libertarianism. I even converted a few people along the way. If this article was the first I’d encountered, none of that would have happened.

    I don’t remember what the first article was. But it doesn’t matter. What is the purpose of this publication now?

    1. Are you me? Because I could have written that post. Weird that two people walking the same path don’t recognize our flagship.

  14. Followup anecdote from my post on the first time this was put up:

    Today I was driving through a bad area of West Palm Beach, far from my normal stamping grounds. Waze was taking me down some residential streets. As I approached my turn back toward the main road, there was a scooter on the ground with groceries scattered about and a man standing there in the middle of the intersection. As I got closer, I could see there was someone on the ground wearing a motorcycle helmet. I pulled up and saw that she was injured… I told the wife to call 911 and got out to render aid.

    It was a hit and run. The guy in the intersection didn’t see it and didn’t know her. It must have happened less than a minute before I arrived.

    As we saw to her and attempted to calm her others arrived. I moved my car to block traffic and protect the victim. One lady provided a sanitary pad to hold pressure on a deep facial wound that was bleeding profusely. Another lady tried to unlock the victims phone to call her family.. I retrieved some wipes to clean the blood from her hands so the fingerprint would work.

    A group of 4 complete strangers came together to help a woman they never met. The first to arrive was a poor black man who lacked a cell phone. Next was a white family. Next was a young black Hispanic lady. Then a white Hispanic older lady. The young Hispanic victim did not speak any English.

    You know what didn’t happen?

    Nobody said anything about race. Nobody suggested that anyone was systemically racist. Nobody questioned anyone’s motives because of race or gender.

    I went immediately from that scene, where everyone instantly became a unit working to help a fellow human being, to my Android auto podcast playlist, featuring how to do better at fighting racism than the current anti-racist struggle sessions.

    Her heart seems to be in the right place… But anyone proclaiming my home to be a cesspool of racism that requires constant teaching and seminars to fight against our inherently racist society is an unadulterated idiot.

    I really like this lady and I think the world needs more whipsmart people with good hearts to stand up to this nonsense…. But still…screw this idea that we need to be continually trained on how to avoid being a bunch of racists. That is just not who we are at all.

    1. Bonus content to the anecdote:. Fire rescue and ambulance arrived extremely quickly… Less than 5 minutes for sure. Maybe even 3 minutes or less. And the ambulance has her loaded and out of there within two minutes. The police had barely gotten out of their cars when the ambulance pulled away.

      So major kudos to West Palm Beach fire and rescue.

      And my prayers to this lady and her family.

    2. I’ve been noticing this for years – going about your life, everyone generally gets along. It was like this in ATL, it’s like this outside JAX. Race isn’t an issue that comes up in every interaction. Indeed, race coming up is rare – and when it does, it’s not malicious or derogatory the vast majority of the time.
      This is why the narrative has to be pushed so hard and often – because it doesn’t match everyday experience. We have to be told racism is a prevalent problem because racism isn’t a prevalent problem.
      Antiracism is the attempt to create race self-consciousness.

      To the other aspect of your anecdote: my friend, his fiancé, and his parents were the only witnesses to a fatal hit and run in Fort Lauderdale about a year ago. They got the guy’s plate and he was arrested. My friend will have to testify if it goes to trial, but that seems unlikely. He and his parents are Jews from NJ, his fiancé is Jewish with Bahraini parents. Don’t know the ethnicity of the deceased or the driver.

    3. That was a fantasic story and my congratulations to you and the 4 strangers! The story fits in well with my own thoughts on HR Wokeism! The desire to accomplish a common goal–especially to save a life– is what brings people together, not some Woke Scold bullying!

      (The feminine pad bandage is excellent quick thinking. I keep both pads and tampons in my First Aid Kits to deal with things worse than boo-boos such as profuse bleeding and/or sucking chest wounds and I bought the pads and tampons unscented to acommodate for allergy-sensitive casualties.)

      Without even knowing the woman, I hope she’s all right too and again, congratulations to you and your fellow Unofficial First Responders! Don’t deny you and your fellow humans proper credit for doing the right thing.

  15. To be clear… Her sin is accepting the premise that these folks (Kendi, etc) are attempting to address our racial biases and tendencies toward racism.

    This is absolutely, unequivocally not what they are attempting to do. And she even notes that their approach is likely to create more racial tension, not less… But for some reason she cannot see what is painfully obvious to most of us.

    They are not trying to solve racism, be anti-racist or promote racial harmony. Quite the opposite. The entire point of this movement is to bring back the racism of the past, to divide people by race and create acrimony and conflict. The purpose is for the acquisition of political power.

    This is no organic, bottom up movement. This is a think-tank, top down, elite intellectuals propaganda war being pushed by progressives out of the DNC and their surrogate groups, supported by their mouthpieces in the media and joined by unwitting dupes and cowards in the rank and file.

    Nobody really believes any of this crap. Not at the top they don’t. What they believe is that if we have a colorblind society, the DNC hold on the black vote evaporates and so does their electoral map.

    1. This is it completely. The goal isn’t “anti-racism.” The goal is racism, for the most cynical reasons possible.

      My wife and I regularly take walks in a park where quite often we’re the only white people there. We’ve encountered a few assholes there who are obviously just assholes, but people mostly either don’t pay us any mind or are friendly. Progressives act as though every encounter between white people and POC is inevitably fraught with tension, but 1. No it isn’t, and 2. Progressives make everything awkward and weird, so yeah, maybe for them.

  16. The rest of you can go out, on your knee(s), crying, and tearfully reading from your prepared anti-racist confessions.

    I’m going out, standing up, both middle fingers thrust prominently outwards, head up, eyes open.

  17. As long as “those people” keep voting for the party that fought for slavery what do you expect? Can you imagine if the jews voted for the nazi party if they tried to rebrand themselves? How stupid con one be?

  18. she believes deepen the very resentments they seek to alleviate

    Hold up. Since when did things like CRT ever claim the goal was alleviate anything?

  19. Drop some new music kendrick!! It’s been some time.

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