The illogic, deception, and seething screed (see his comment on p37) of Dr. Kendi flows on almost every page of his book, “How to be an AntiRacist.” You don’t have to look far for examples.
For illogic, take this quote from p24: “…as my pregnant mother celebrated her thirty-first birthday on June 24, 1982, President Reagan declared war on her unborn baby. ‘We must put drug abuse on the run through stronger law enforcement,’ Reagan said in the Rose Garden. It wasn’t drug abuse that was put on the run, of course, but people like me, born into this regime of ‘stronger law enforcement.’
So, is Kendi admitting he is a drug abuser? Reagan declared war on all people with darker skin color with this new law? Reagan declared war on innocent children in the womb? (Actually, pro-choice people like Kendi have declared war on innocent children in the womb.) A declaration of war on harmful drugs such as cocaine or heroin is somehow oppressing Kendi? Unless he was doing drugs, he was not the target.
From reading this book I am given the distinct impression that Dr. Kendi believes he has lived under government and cultural oppression his entire life.
Exactly what sort of oppression has…oppressed him? In chapter 4 he tells us of his crummy third grade teacher who would never call on him or other black children. In chapter 6 he relates his fears from bullies in middle school and later high school. One pulled a gun out and showed it to him. Kendi says he shoved it in his ribs. (I had a student pull out a .38 revolver on me while in class in the 8th grade and pull the trigger. It was empty. Get in line, Kendi.) Later, on p232 he talks about seeing “racist terror.” Did he watch someone getting killed? No. He saw a Confederate battle flag, with cotton balls attached to it, stuck on a wall. He was afraid.
And that was as bad as it got for Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.
Does this sound like oppression to you? What does that sound like to you? He graduated from high school, from college, and from graduate school. He was never arrested, never thrown into prison, never had his property taken away, never denied a job because of the color of his skin. He is a highly acclaimed university professor and author. By any measure, he is living very well (even though in chapter 12 he disparages the capitalistic economic system that brought him his wealth). Yet poor Dr.Kendi has always been, and continues to be oppressed.
One more example: On p231 he condemns “moral suasion” and trying to change minds about racism. But he admits that he had a change of mind to focus on changing policies instead of changing people’s minds first! He tells us that focusing on changing minds first is backwards. You shouldn’t start with ideas, but rather with government policies. But wait, don’t government policies begin as an idea in someone’s head? Aren’t policies ideas that are founded upon some sort of “moral suasion?”
Dr. Kendi tells us that we must have government policies to prevent and punish what he seems to be racist thoughts and actions. Not contained in this book, but in his other public comments he has stated that there needs to be a US Department of Antiracism, to punish anything he thinks is racist, including anything he thinks is “microaggression.” Imagine the totalitarian power of such an authority.
No, you can’t have that job, that education, that property, that free speech, that radio program, that access to the internet, that health care. We at the US Department of Antiracism think you are not Antiracist enough.
Kendi does indeed want your freedom of conscience, your differing opinions shut down by his government. Only what he thinks, counts.
That is oppression. And that is what Dr. Kendi clearly agitates for from beginning to end of his book.