Some of us have been warning for some time that there is something unsavory about the new’ anti-racism ‘- sometimes referred to as critical race theory or racial identity politics Something, well, a little racist So it was no surprise that the infamous « white nationalist » Richard Spencer was able to find common ground with one of America’s most famous anti-racist activists, Ibram X Kendi
Kendi, born John Edwards, is the author of How To Be An Antiracist, which skyrocketed to the bestseller list during the summer of Black Lives Matter His core thesis is that everything can be divided into two categories: racist and anti-racist According to him, there is no such thing as « non-racist », because « non-racist » means being neutral in the fight against racism. It is therefore simply « a mask for racism »
So what should we make of Kendi’s bizarre tirade against interracial adoption this weekend? Is it racist or anti-racist? Responding to a photo of Trump’s Supreme Court selection Amy Coney Barrett, who adopted two black children from Haiti, Kendi tweeted:
Some white colonizers ‘adopted’ black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ way of white people, while using them as props in their lifelong denial images, while cutting off the biological parents of these children from the image of humanity
The language he uses seems anti-racist – condemning a true historical evil But the conclusion one must surely draw from his reasoning is racist How could we support this continued « colonization » of black children?
It turns out that white supremacists share a similar loathing for interracial adoption “Not bad,” conceded Richard Spencer Yes, this is the same Richard Spencer who calls for America’s ethnic cleansing and reconstitution of the European Union as a white racial empire
Of course Kendi is wrong Barrett is not a colonizer but a foster parent in 21st century America Métis families are now so common they are commonplace Yet Kendi’s rage illustrates how even something so innocent is now viewed by those who claim to be « anti-racist » with suspicion and hostility While segregationists sadly held obscene placards stating that « racial mixing is communism », perhaps Kendi and his ilk believe « racial mixing is colonialism »
Kendi insists his comments were taken out of context by « robots, » and he says he doesn’t think white parents of black children are « inherently » racist. But if we were to be charities and to say that Kendi is simply misinterpreted, he is also misinterpreted by his awakened fans
In July, a white New York City education counselor elicited deafening cries of outrage for the perfectly innocent activity of bouncing a black baby on his lap (the baby belonged to his friend’s nephew) “It hurts people to see a white man bounce a brown baby on their knees,” shouted an indignant counselor colleague during a conversation with Zoom “It’s harmful It makes people cry It makes people cry disconnect from our meeting « She then reveals where this rage comes from: » Read a book! Read Ibram Kendi! Whether intentional or not, « Interracial interactions are bad » seems to be the take-home message from one of America’s best-selling anti-racist authors
The logic of segregation is hidden under so much that passes today as anti-racism If a white person announced that he believed that the characteristics of « whiteness » are « politeness », « work relentless « and » objective and rational thinking « you might suspect she was an old school white chauvinist But this list of supposedly “white” traits is actually taken from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) as part of a collection of educational materials inspired by Black Lives Matter. The implication is that Blacks and Whites have different, foreign, perhaps even impassable values
These « anti-racist » ideas are now manifesting themselves in racist-segregated spaces Consider the short-lived experience of the « Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone » (CHAZ) that sprang up in Seattle after the George Floyd protests. protesters set up a ‘blackout’ zone in a field – a separate, black-only ‘healing space’ which was, ironically, guarded by predominantly white activists Many American universities also offer spaces for black-only accommodation and recreation Over 75 colleges offer early racial segregation events Such segregation is of course not driven by the same impulses that Jim Crow does or those that motivate people like Richard Spencer Instead , it is justified by the belief that people of color are perpetual victims and that whites are perpetual oppressors
What racists and « anti-racists » today have above all in common is a belief in the importance of race They see race as a defining characteristic of its character, of its values and its place in the world And that is why both sets of ideas produce such blatantly racist results, attitudes and policies We must reject racial thought in all its forms and instead aim to transcend race completely. p>
Fraser Myers is editor-in-chief of Spiked and host of the enriched podcast Follow him on Twitter: @FraserMyers
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Racism, Ibram X Kendi, anti-racism, awakened, how to be anti-racist, whites, white supremacy
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