Ibram Kendi is the one who doesn’t understand racism

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Ibram Kendi is the one who doesn’t understand racism

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Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), now a 2024 presidential candidate, continues to draw backlash for his comments during a recent interview with The View host Sunny Hostin about racism in America.

Scott had accused Hostin of promoting the message that “the only way for a young African-American kid to be successful in this country is to be the exception and not the rule.” He called it “dangerous, offensive, [and] disgusting,” arguing that the representation of blacks in politics over the decades, especially Barack Obama’s presidency and Scott’s own life of status and success as a black man, is evidence of progress.


“What I’m saying is that yesterday’s exception is today’s rule,” Scott told Hostin.

The liberal media took offense to Scott’s optimism, and MSNBC quickly summoned “anti-racist” author Dr. Ibram Kendi to lend his supposed expertise on racism.

People who truly “understand racism” see it as a “collection of policies and practices that are leading to racial inequities and are substantiated by ideas of racial hierarchy,” Kendi said. He cited ethnic disparities in poverty and incarceration as examples.

Scott’s error, he argued, was that he “wanted to focus on individuals” who succeed in America instead of “groups of people” who are supposedly held down by oppression.

Scott has long been an enemy of the Left for rejecting the superstition that his life is governed at every turn by intangible “systems” or “structures” born out of the historical sins of white people. He refuses to believe that non-whites with good lives in America are a fluke or an accident.

His attitude on these and other issues has earned him the brand of “the optimistic Republican” ahead of the presidential race.

Kendi knows it’s impossible to argue that minorities face the same direct discrimination of the Jim Crow era or earlier, the policies and social norms that overtly punished certain skin tones. So he and his followers seek to redefine discrimination altogether, arguing that statistical differences in outcomes among ethnic groups are the problem.

This lazy worldview ignores the endless list of circumstances and personal choices that factor into the disparities and chalks it all up to racism.

Policies that ignore or fail to remedy those disparities – meaning the color-blind policies that many Americans see as progress – are actually racist, Kendi believes. Anyone who wants to uphold those standards is protecting a racist system, or, in other words, a racist.

Under this twisted philosophy, America must vanquish racism by bringing back racial discrimination. Look no further than Kendi’s own words in his best-selling book, “How to Be An Antiracist”:

“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

Kendi has long faced backlash for the above paragraph and was eventually forced to revise it. Failing to learn from any of his critics, Kendi complained that “the conservators of racism” were out to get him.


Likewise, his calls for a racial caste system in our institutions are widely unpopular. A recent Pew Research Center found that a majority of each racial group in America opposes racial preferences in higher education.

Many rightly see racism as the simple but evil idea that there are some humans who are inferior and ought to suffer because of their skin color. “Anti-racists,” no matter what they tell themselves, are the biggest racists of our time for their group-based morality. Scott and his message are a far more positive influence than Kendi will ever be.

Hudson Crozier is a summer 2023 Washington Examiner fellow.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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