A circle is something that is circular.
Space is spacious.
Democracy involves a democratic process.
Tyranny is a tyrannical thing that we should all fear.
Government governs people’s lives.

How do you like those “definitions” for a circle, space, democracy, tyranny, and government? You don’t really learn anything from those “definitions” do you? That is because nothing is actually explained, drawn out, clarified, or described. We learned by the time we were in middle school (hopefully) that a definition does not include in it the word itself that is being explained.

Apparently, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, the university history professor and best selling author, missed that lesson in school.

Please note several of his “definitions” at the beginning of chapters in his book “How To Be An AntiRacist”:

“Racist: One who is supporting racist policy through their actions (p.13).”

“Biological racist: One who is expressing the idea that races are meaningfully different in their biology and that these differences create a hierarchy of value (p.44)”.

“Ethnic racism: A powerful collection of racist policies that lead to inequity between racialized ethnic groups and are substantiated by racist ideas about racialized ethic groups (p.56).”

“Bodily racist: One who is perceiving certain racialized bodies as more animal-like and violent than others (p.69).”

“Cultural racist: One who is creating a cultural standard and imposing a cultural hierarchy among racial groups (p.81).”

From this sample of Kendi’s “definitions” you’ve learned a lot about “racist”, “racialized”, “bodies”, “ethnic groups”, and “cultural”, right? Or maybe not.

How can one take seriously writings that cannot simply and accurately define? Defining, explaining, clarifying using logic and empirical data are essential to comprehending something. Creating confusion and spouting slogans is the basis of propaganda.

Or maybe Dr. Kendi is not really interested in clear definitions based on facts and logic, but rather on a narrative?