Ibram X Kendi S Concept Of Antiracism Reenergizes And Reshapes The Conversation About Racial Justice In America But Even Fundamentally, Points Us Toward Liberating New Ways Of Thinking About Ourselves And Each Other In How To Be An Antiracist, Kendi Asks Us To Think About What An Antiracist Society Might Look Like, And How We Can Play An Active Role In Building It In This Book, Kendi Weaves Together An Electrifying Combination Of Ethics, History, Law, And Science, Bringing It All Together With An Engaging Personal Narrative Of His Own Awakening To Antiracism How To Be An Antiracist Is An Essential Work For Anyone Who Wants To Go Beyond An Awareness Of Racism To The Next Step Contributing To The Formation Of A Truly Just And Equitable Society So great What an amazing human Kendi is His ability to reflect on his own racist actions and thoughts is profound I love his approach and think his insights are fantastic The use of memoir with the definitions of types of racism and antiracism are really smart I really enjoyed this book, though if you ve read Stamped from the Beginning his previous book you may find this one redundant or slightly elementary If you haven t attempted Stamped because it s intimidating this might be a better place to start. Disclaimer I received an ARC via Netgalley Shortly after I finished this book, I put a quote from it up on the board in my classroom At one point, Kendi argues that white supremacy is also anti white and a form of genocide on whites This is in addition to the attacks on non whites The interesting thing is that the black students I use black because not all of the students are American citizens were all nodding their heads, and the while students were all WTF But that idea of challenge of re defining, defining, and expanding terms is, in part, the point of this excellent book Kendi contends that not racist isn t the term we should be using, that it is a true neutral a phrase, too defensive and lets people who say it off He says the term that is the opposite of racism is anti racism, and that is what we all should aim to be He includes himself in this, well for lack of a better term quest, and the book is also a chronicle of his becoming an antiracist While reading this, I kept thing of Coates Between the World and Me, and in many ways this book is a letter to all the world For Kendi also details intersectional anti racism, applying not only to feminism but also support of the LGBTQ community as well as classism this is where the white supremacy being anti white comes in He also dissects and challenges terms and ideas such as his discussion about microaggressions or the connection between racism and power He challenges you, as he challenges himself, to become antiracist. I ve a longstanding interest in Malcolm X There were many aspects of his character that fascinate me One is the transformation he made in the final year of his life his second awakening, the birth of el Hajj Malik el Shabazz In these days, el Shabazz embraced the idea that there were other factors that went into making one a devil, not merely one s ethnicity His overnight change of heart opened up considerable possibilities, a movement with a unified front I always wondered where el Shabazz would ve taken us had he been given the chance I imagine he d have taught us a few things, even if most of us would ve been unwilling to listen.It may be presumptuous of me to make such a comparison, but I see a lot of el Shabazz in Ibram X Kendi Kendi is a brilliant, open minded scholar who, unlike many of his contemporaries, fesses up to a history of hatred Too many well intentioned people deny ever having or being capable of a racist thought by acknowledging his own racist past, Kendi puts himself on equal footing with those he s trying to instruct in the ways of anti racism The approach makes all the difference Guaranteed, some will read or glance at this book and see nothing but another black man who hates white people these are the same people who knew this would be the case before even turning the cover I imagine they re not the ones Kendi wrote this book for.In his previous book, Stamped from the Beginning, Kendi tackled the history of racism from its relatively unknown beginning, presenting a thorough and scholarly exploration in How to Be an Antiracist he breaks it down into a contemporary format, highlighting the complete spectrum of racial hatred, addressing the question of what it means to be truly anti racist By presenting his own personal story, Kendi puts his victimization and vulnerabilities in full view, a move that makes him infinitely accessible to the reader The result is a book that is incredibly inspiring How could a book about racism be inspiring By being informative, hopeful, and prescriptive By not hiding behind platitudes By keeping the tone instructive, not reactive and not incensed Kendi shows that he has a very strong grasp of the subject and though readers may disagree with a point or two of his from time to time no one is dissecting the issue quite as thoroughly, and certainly no one is presenting a means to dismantle the racist system one mind at a time, as Kendi strives to do here.All the time, I read reviews where people say everyone needs to read this We have our personal interests and biases one man s treasured book is another s kindling So take my recommendation for what it s worth I believe that every open minded individual, whether they blatantly embrace racist thought, hide behind not racism, or strive to be anti racist, can benefit from reading How to Be an Antiracist Maybe you won t be as touched by this book as I was Maybe you won t underline nearly as many passages as I did something I never do, by the way, emphasizing how much this book impacted me But I do think most of us will get something worthwhile out of it. I want all of America to do a big book club with this book There s so much here and I want to write a full review of this books brilliance Kendi s straightforward definitions, his use of memoir and history What surprised me the most is I wasn t sure I agreed with everything he said, especially the powerless defense and the chapter on racism against Whites I loved this book will try to write a coherent review What I have to say now is PREORDER THIS.Thanks to One World Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. How many times is Dr Kendi going to write a book that changes my life So far, he s done it twice This book has the potential to change the world I am not exaggerating. Privileged to receive an advance reader s edition A fantastic, challenging, yet hopeful book nothing short of mind altering Please read this and tell everyone you know to do the same. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.Okay, I worry about the ratings this book will get and whether or not they are truly honest North Americans have an extremely bad habit of being so far left that any criticism of commentary on sexism, racism, homophobia, etc means you re a racist misogynist homophobe etc I notice this book has straight 5 star reviews on Goodreads, many without commentary Why What about this book makes it deserving of five stars Because the topic is important Yes, it is But was it executed in a manner deserving of five stars No, it wasn t I can anticipate the backlash I will get, already I can imagine the super Leftists raging about me being bothered by it insert whatever discriminatory stance they think I have, here I got this ARC from NetGalley, and I want to be honest with my review Part of that means not giving it five stars And I think it s important to mention I m not a far Right person either As Imam Tawhidi imamofpeace says Stay away from both the Far Left and the Far Right Keep a balance in all areas of life Disagreements are necessary and dialogue is healthy Maintain the peace So here is my straight from the middle honest review And let me start by saying that I really, really like Ibram X Kendi He s brilliant Anyway, onwards I don t think Anti Racist is a new term though the author seems to pitch it as something of his invention Anti hate as been floating around for a while, now there are a lot of groups called anti hate groups just do a quick google search.This book is strange because I feel like the idea and the layout of the ideas great chapter division, cool addition with the definitions is brilliant, but it s executed rather oddly Is it a memoir Is it a textbook Is it an informative narrative Is it an educational tool Or is it a place for storytelling lots of Christianity references that don t seem to completely interconnect I m not sure Even the definitions at the beginning of each chapter don t really say anything profound Here s an example Along with definitions for assimilationist and segregationist there was this definition Antiracist One who is expressing the idea that racial groups are equals and none needs developing and is supporting policy that reduces racial inequity.What This definition does not relate as an anti to the first two terms.And I agree racial groups are equals But there are plenty of white groups that need developing to improve themselves, for example And there are plenty of extremist racial groups that also need developing Everyone needs a little developing Or Biological antiracist one who is expressing the idea that races are meaningfully the same in their biology and there are no genetic racial differences.What My lack of melanin is genetic I don t understand Or Cultural Antiracist One who is rejecting cultural standards and equalizing cultural differences among racial groups.What does this even mean I tried to read the chapter to interpret it but I left Chapter 7 still confused.And I m not sure if I agree with space antiracism because I truly believe some spaces are not meant to be occupied by people of privilege That doesn t mean integration is banned, but I do believe some people believe equity involves private spaces for racial or sexuality groups When you ve spent years being marginalized and excluded from white spaces, who could blame you for searching for a protected racialized space And at the same time, I don t believe white spaces should be protected, because they re usually rooted in discrimination and not in a safe space for bonding Maybe I misunderstood this chapter I understand that reference to real experiences help develop lessons and learning, but I actually found the endless stories to be distracting from the educational message that I thought this book was meant to be about It seems to be advertised as an essay or a long TEDTalk on being anti Racist but perhaps it is actually a memoir of self discovery Maybe I entered this book with the wrong mindset Listen, I liked this book a lot But I didn t love this book This is not a book I would call a defining voice on anti Racism because it loses a bit of focus throughout and some messages are difficult to comprehend I wish it would have been executed differently I wish it was informative and less a narrative But that s me projecting my own needs on this text based on what I expected it to be I would have given it a 3.5 5 but since that s not possible, I m choosing to round down. Quotes from unproofed arc I do not use microagressions any I detest the post racial platform that supported its sudden popularity I detest its component parts micro and aggression A persistent daily low hum of racist abuse is not minor I use the term abuse because aggression is not as exacting a term Abuse accurately describes the action and its effects on people distress, anger, worry, depression, anxiety, pain, fatigue, and suicide.What other people call racial microaggressions I call racist abuse And I call the zero tolerance policies preventing and punishing these abusers what they are antiracist Only racists shy away from the R word racism is steeped in denial 47 Assimilationists believe in the post racial myth that talking about race constitutes racism, or that if we stop identifying by race, then racism will miraculously go away They fail to realize that if we stop using racial categories, then we will not be able to identify racial inequity If we cannot identify racial inequity, then we will not be able to identify racist policies If we cannot challenge racist policies, then racist power s final solution will be achieved a world of inequity none of us can see, let alone resist Terminating racial categories is potentially the last, not the first, step in the antiracist struggle 54 I tried not to run away from the hypocrisy, either How can I get upset at immigrants from Africa and South America for looking down on African Americans when African Americans have historically looked down on immigrants from Africa and South America How can I critique their ethnic racism and ignore my ethnic racism That is the central double standard in ethnic racism loving one s position on the ladder above other ethnic groups and hating one s position below that of other ethnic groups It is failing to recognize that racist ideas we consume about others came from the same restaurant and the same cook who used the same ingredients to make different degrading dishes for us all 66 To be antiracist is to think nothing is behaviorally wrong or right inferior or superior with any of the racial groups Whenever the antiracist sees individuals behaving positively or negatively, the antiracist sees exactly that individuals behaving positively or negatively, not representatives of whole races To be antiracist is to deracialize behavior, to remove that tattooed stereotype from every racialized body Behavior is something humans do, not races do 105 But Du Bois discussed it An antiracist anticapitalism could seal the horizontal class fissures and vertical race issues with equalizing racial and economic policies Do Bois helped breed a new crop of antiracist anticapitalists before they were driven underground or into prison by the red scares of the 1950s, before resurfacing in the 1960s They are resurfacing again in the twenty first century in the wake of the Great Recession, the Occupy movement, the movements for Black Lives, and the campaigns of democratic socialists, recognizing there is an inexplicable link between racism and capitalism, to quote the Princeton scholar Keeanga Yamahtta Taylor 160 To love capitalism is to end up loving racism To love racism is to end up loving capitalism The conjoined twins are two sides of the same destructive body The idea that capitalism is merely free markets, competition, free trade, supplying and demanding, and private ownership of the means of production operating for a profit is as whimsical and ahistorical as the White supremacist idea that calling something racist is the primary form of racism Popular definitions of capitalism, like popular racist ideas, do not live in historical or material reality Capitalism is essentially racist racism is essentially capitalist They were birthed together from the same unnatural causes, and they shall one day die together from unnatural causes Or racial capitalism will live into another epoch of theft and rapacious inequity, especially if activists naively fight the conjoined twins independently, as if they are not the same 163 What if no group in history has gained their freedom through appealing to the moral conscience of their oppressors, to paraphrase Assata Shakur What if economic, political, or cultural self interest drives racist policymakers, not hateful immorality, not ignorance 206 The most effective demonstrations like the most effective educational efforts help people find the antiracist power within The antiracist power within is the ability to view my own racism in the mirror of my past or my present, view my own antiracism in the mirror of my future, view my own racial groups as equal to other racial groups, view the world of racial inequity as abnormal, view my own power to resist and overtake racist power and policy 215 It happens for me in successive steps, these steps to be an antiracist.I stop using the I m not a racist or I can t be racist defense of denial.I admit the definition of racist someone who is supporting racist policies or expressing racist ideas.I confess the racist policies I support and racist ideas I express.I accept their source my upbringing inside a nation making us racist.I acknowledge the definition of antiracist someone who is supporting antiracist policies or expressing antiracist ideas.I struggle for antiracist power and policy in my spaces Seizing a policymaking position Joining an antiracist organization or protest Publicly donating my time or privately donating my time to antiracist policymakers, organizations, and protests fixated on changing power and policy I struggle to remain at the antiracist intersections where racism is mixed with other bigotries Eliminating racial distinctions in biology and behavior Equalizing racial distinctions in ethnicities, bodies, cultures, colors, classes, spaces, genders, and sexualities I struggle to think with antiracist ideas Seeing racist policy in racial inequity Leveling group differences Not being fooled into generalizing individual negativity Not being fooled by misleading statistics or theories that blame people for racial inequity Racist ideas fooled me nearly my whole life I refused to allow them to continue making a fool out of me, a chump out of me, a slave out of me I realized there is nothing wrong with any of the racial groups and everything wrong with individuals like me who think there is something wrong with any of the racial groups It felt so good to cleanse my mind 226 7 The history of racist ideas is the history of powerful policy makers erecting racist policies out of self interest, then producing racist ideas to defend and rationalize the inequitable effects of their policies, while everyday people consume those racist ideas, which in turn sparks ignorance and hate Treating ignorance and hate and expecting racism to shrink suddenly seemed like treating a cancer patient s symptoms and expecting the tumors to shrink 230 Expect some tight jaws after reading this one, there will be some thought adjusting and discarding, this is a book of reckoning, there is no way around it I m working on my review, while challenging the man in the glass Stay tuned. I was lucky enough to win an advanced issue through Goodreads, and I know this is a book I ll keep referring to in the future My copy is now thoroughly highlighted, underlined, and notated It s such a worthwhile read, complete with key definitions concepts explained via historical, social, and political context goals to combat racism and truly honest glimpses into his personal life It feels every bit as intimate as it does academic, as accepting of personal growth as it is firm on the terms and problems it defines I m thankful for his willingness to share his experiences and be vulnerable for the benefit of others It s challenging, powerful, and effective writing, and I can t wait for people to read it.
- 320 pages
- How to Be an Antiracist
- Ibram X. Kendi
- 06 August 2017 Ibram X. Kendi