Ibram X. Kendi Claims the Term ‘Legal Vote’ is Racist

by Christopher Paslay

Kendi’s attempts to label any inquiry into voter fraud as “racist” is just a tactic to silence advocates of voter integrity, and to marginalize those who disagree with him.

According to Ibram X. Kendi, who recently equated the interracial adoption of African children by white parents with colonialism, and in college, wrote an article suggesting whites have used the AIDS virus to control the black population, insists using the term “legal vote” is racist.

“The misinformation of widespread voter fraud — or ‘illegal voting’ — in Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Phoenix where Black and Brown voters predominate is baked into the term ‘legal vote.’ No matter what GOP propaganda says, there’s nothing wrong with those voters and votes,” Kendi wrote on twitter. “What makes a term racist is rarely the term’s literal meaning, and almost always the historical and political context in which the term is being used.”

In other words, Kendi wants to redefine the term according to his own personal politics.

The fact that a coalition of 39 House Republicans just sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr, asking the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of potential voter fraud, doesn’t seem to matter to him.

The letter read in part:

Dear Attorney General Barr,

While each state runs its own election process, the United States Department of Justice is ultimately responsible for the integrity of federal elections. The American people must have the utmost confidence that the outcome of the presidential election is legitimate. 

With widespread reports of irregularities, particularly in the vote counting process, it is time for you to use the resources of the Department to ensure that the process is conducted in a manner that is fully consistent with state and federal law. And, it is also important that the process be completely transparent, so that the American people will have full confidence in the result.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division Voting Section’s responsibility to ensure that the right to vote is sacred. This not only means access to the ballot box, but it also means ensuring that no one’s vote is devalued by any means of voter fraud. 

This doesn’t seem to matter to Kendi. Neither does the fact in Nevada, there are over 3,600 possible cases of voter fraud— specifically, residents voting in Nevada who no longer live there. 

To Kendi, calling for voter integrity and transparency is somehow racist, because Kendi’s race-obsessed worldview does not allow him to see past skin color to the actual substance of an issue. 

Jonathan Church, a leading critic of white fragility theory, recently published an article criticizing Kendi’s scholarship in Merion West titled “Ibram Kendi’s Thesis Could Use a Lot More Rigor.” 

In it, Church criticizes the flaws in Kendi’s reasoning, including his belief in Mono-Causality and the Origins of Racist Ideas:

Skeptics are racists, it would appear, because they disagree with Kendi—not because they have legitimate concerns about whether Kendi is correct that causality only goes one way, or that policies are not the sole cause of inequality, or that counterexamples may diminish the force of his claims,” Church writes. “Logic, facts, and scholarship have little to do with it.”

By the way, Jonathan Church’s new book, “Reinventing Racism: Why “White Fragility” Is the Wrong Way to Think About Racial Inequality,” is available for pre-order, and is due out on January 13. It provides a great toolkit for resisting Robin DiAngelo’s toxic white fragility theory, and offers well-thought out alternatives. 

Still, from Ibram Kendi’s perspective, racial disparities are the sole result of racism. Period. Students of color are disproportionately suspended because of racist educational policies, not because their experiences or backgrounds differ in any way from those of their white counterparts. According to Kendi, all students arrive at school at the exact same place. 

(I wonder what Kendi would say if we used the same logic for the 2020 election: the late breaking disparity of votes for Biden IS the evidence of the fraud itself. Period. No other scenario is needed.)

Kendi’s attempts to label any inquiry into voter fraud as “racist” is just a tactic to silence advocates of voter integrity, and to marginalize those who disagree with him. According to Kendi, you are either racist, or antiracist, there is no neutrality. 

To this I say to Kendi: You are either for voter fraud, or against it. There is no in-between. And as evidenced by your attempt to racialize the term “legal vote,” it seems clear you fully embrace the latter. 

Ibram X. Kendi: White Colonizers and Interracial Adoption

In a recent tweet, antiracist educator Ibram X. Kendi wrote, “Some white colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.” 

These comments were made in the context of the discussion of SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s adoption of two children from Haiti. Kendi ultimately argued that White adoptive parents of Black children can still be racist. 

Tragically, when Ibram X. Kendi sees whites welcoming black children into their family, his psyche turns to colonization and racism. This video looks at Kendi’s controversial statements, as well as his polarizing and counterproductive antiracist ideas.

Is Anti-Racism Training Condemning Black Children to Poverty?

Branding America’s schools as oppressive institutions steeped in “white supremacy” is great for identity politics, but is it elevating children of color out of poverty and helping them succeed? This video explores how the approaches of Ibram Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, and Glenn Singleton — three anti-racist educators — place identity politics over academic skills, and how doing so may be hurting the very children they intend to serve. The video references an article from the New York Times Magazine by Daniel Bergner titled, “‘White Fragility’ Is Everywhere. But Does Antiracism Training Work?” Thanks for watching.

Is the Anti-Racism Training Industry Condemning Black Children to Poverty?

by Christopher Paslay

Branding America’s schools as oppressive institutions steeped in ‘white supremacy’ is great for identity politics, but is it elevating children of color out of poverty and helping them succeed?

Ibram X. Kendi, winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction, believes that the racial achievement gap in the United States is a myth. The very idea itself is racist, he argues, insisting the supposed gap is simply the result of poorly designed, culturally biased standardized tests. As Jonathan Chait writes in The Intelligencer

It does not matter to [Kendi] how many different kinds of measures of academic performance show [the achievement gap] to be true. Nor does he seem receptive to the possibility that the achievement gap reflects environmental factors (mainly worse schools, but also access to nutrition, health care, outside learning, and so on) rather than any innate differences.

To Kendi, all racial disparities are the result of only one thing: racism. Hence, the racial achievement gap in America isn’t really a gap at all, but merely the result of racist thinking.

Like White Fragility author Robin DiAngelo, Kendi is now regarded as a leading scholar and international expert on anti-racism, and has recently accepted a position at Boston University, where he will launch BU’s Center for Anti-Racist Research, and will work across disciplines to “transform how racial research is done.”

For the 37-year-old Kendi, this is quite an accomplishment; the renowned author and scholar from Queens, New York, has come a long way in the past 17 years. Back in 2003, Kendi — who went by his birth name, Ibram Henry Rogers — was writing a column for the student newspaper at Florida A&M University. “I don’t hate whites,” he wrote. “How can you hate a group of people for being who they are?”

As reported in The New Yorker:

He explained that “Europeans” had been “socialized to be aggressive people,” and “raised to be racist.” His theory was that white people were fending off racial extinction, using “psychological brainwashing” and “the aids virus.”

But suggesting whites were brainwashing people of color and using the aids virus to fend off racial extinction was a bit too progressive for 2003 audiences, so an editor demanded that Rogers discontinue his column, and Rogers agreed under protest. After graduating from Florida A&M, Rogers went on to earn a Ph.D. in African-American studies from Temple University in Philadelphia, and eventually reinvented himself with the name Ibram Xolani Kendi.

Now Kendi — a Queens native and Temple educated aids virus conspiracy theorist — will be working across disciplines at Boston University to “transform how racial research is done.” This will most likely entail using Critical Social Justice based in social constructivism, which is the concept that everything (all truth and knowledge) is simply the result of a social construct. In other words, there is no absolute truth or knowledge, rather, these things are humanly produced and constructed by social expectation and coercion and presented as “objective.”

The African-American History Museum’s page on whiteness, which summarized what it called “white culture,” is a case in point:

Under social constructivism, values such as work ethic, rational linear thinking, politeness, self-reliance, and the scientific method are no longer considered universal or objective, but are redefined as “white” — or the byproducts of a racist, Western, white supremacist culture. As Daniel Bergner writes for The New York Times:

Borrowing from feminist scholarship and critical race theory, whiteness studies challenges the very nature of knowledge, asking whether what we define as scientific research and scholarly rigor, and what we venerate as objectivity, can be ways of excluding alternate perspectives and preserving white dominance. DiAngelo likes to ask, paraphrasing the philosopher Lorraine Code: “From whose subjectivity does the ideal of objectivity come?”

Social constructivism is gaining ground, especially in American K-12 schools. Glenn E. Singleton runs an equity workshop for discussing race called Courageous ConversationNew York Times writer Daniel Bergner joined this two-day workshop in September of 2019, documenting his experiences in an article titled, “‘White Fragility’ Is Everywhere. But Does Antiracism Training Work?” Bergner writes:

Singleton . . . talks about white culture in similar ways. There is the myth of meritocracy. And valuing “written communication over other forms,” he told me, is “a hallmark of whiteness,” which leads to the denigration of Black children in school. Another “hallmark” is “scientific, linear thinking. Cause and effect.” He said, “There’s this whole group of people who are named the scientists. That’s where you get into this whole idea that if it’s not codified in scientific thought that it can’t be valid.”

Leslie Chislett, a white former executive with New York City’s Department of Education who filed a lawsuit against the department in 2019 for racial discrimination, disagrees with such beliefs. She was co-director of a drive with the goal of getting a broad slate of Advanced Placement courses into all the city’s public high schools. “The availability of A.P. classes,” she told Bergner of the New York Times, “communicates to kids that it is possible for them to exceed the regular curriculum and can help teachers see that many kids have the potential to succeed at college-level course work. It’s about creating a culture of high expectations.”

Bergner writes: 

Some lessons of the antiracism trainings weren’t easy for Chislett to embrace. Colleagues on her multiracial A.P. for All team accused her, during and outside the workshops, of hindering exercises and refusing to acknowledge her own white supremacy, her own racism. . . . Chislett eventually wound up demoted from the leadership of A.P. for All, and her suit argues that the trainings created a workplace filled with antiwhite distrust and discrimination. . . . 

“It’s absurd,” she said about much of the training she’s been through. “The city has tens of millions invested in A.P. for All, so my team can give kids access to A.P. classes and help them prepare for A.P. exams that will help them get college degrees, and we’re all supposed to think that writing and data are white values? How do all these people not see how inconsistent this is?”

This inconsistency is a valid point. Instructing administrators and teachers to put less value on skills like written communication and linear thinking could negatively affect students of color, especially when it comes to college readiness and competition in the labor market.

But when Times writer Bergner brought up such a point with Singleton, Kendi, and DiAngelo, none of these anti-racist educators could give a meaningful response. They all failed to explain what should replace such things as written communication and linear thinking, and could only offer circular, propagandistic ambiguities in response.

The social and academic consequences of such anti-racist training should be carefully considered before implementing such workshops in America’s schools. Believing that systemic racism is the only explanation for differences in learning — and that the supreme and almost absolute-power of white culture prevents Black kids from succeeding in school — might not be the best course of action to empower students of color and help them succeed.

Why Silence Is Not Violence

Hillsdale College’s Frederick Douglass statue, crafted by sculptor Bruce Wolf. Breana Noble | Collegian Archives

by Christopher Paslay

Those of us who choose not to forward the polarizing identity politics at the heart of modern anti-racism should not be told our “silence is violence.”  On the contrary: our everyday actions speak louder than any trendy anti-racist words.

Modern anti-racism, an approach that uses polarizing identity politics to bring so-called social justice, is replete with catchy mantras that help drum home its message and accompanying agenda.  One such phrase is White Silence Is Violence, or more simply Silence Is Violence, a slogan that guilts and/or strong-arms people into espousing the ideologies of modern anti-racism.

As Ibram X. Kendi teaches in his book, How To Be An Antiracist — often viewed as the bible of modern anti-racism — you are either an anti-racist fighting for racial equality, or you are a racist perpetuating white supremacy.  There is no neutrality in the struggle.  According to Robin DiAngelo, whose white fragility theory has become one of the most influential ideas about racism in America, white silence perpetuates white supremacy, and maintains the racial hierarchy. 

But what is meant by “silence”?  When it comes to anti-racism, so-called “silence” is not only failing to speak out against racial injustice, but of also failing to become actively involved with the identity politics at the core of anti-racist ideology.  In other words, you can be a well-meaning educator who stands for equity, equality, and diversity — and set an example by modeling just and fair actions in your classroom — but if you don’t commit to actively pushing anti-racist slogans and agendas, you are still categorized as “silent.”

Recently, Hillsdale College was accused of such “silence.”  Ironically, Hillsdale was founded in 1844 by Free Will Baptists who were abolitionists and feminists, and the college immediately began admitting blacks and women.  Because of Hillsdale’s abolitionist reputation, Frederick Douglass spoke there, as did Edward Everett, who shared the stage with Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg.  When the Civil War began, Hillsdale sent a higher percentage of students to the Union Army than any other college in Michigan.  Sixty students gave their lives in the fight against slavery.  A full history of Hillsdale can be found here

Still, in the beginning of June, several dozen Hillsdale students signed an open letter to Hillsdale College that went viral on social media — a letter that accused the college of participating in, or at the very least not preventing, racism.  Why?  Because Hillsdale did not publicly promote the Black Lives Matter movement and advertise the reforms its activists proposed. According to the letter, this “silence” was evidence that the college had “abandoned its founding principles” and consented to “white supremacy” and the “tyranny of our militarized police force.”

In other words, Hillsdale College has been fighting for racial equality and social justice for over 175 years by its actions, not by simply mouthing political slogans or trendy phrases.  And thankfully, Hillsdale didn’t bow to political pressure or get bullied into espousing a modern anti-racist ideology, but took a stand and held firm to its values and principles.  In an official statement titled, “On the College and Silence: A letter from Hillsdale College,” the leaders of the college explained that they didn’t need to publicly pay homage to any modern anti-racist cause, because Hillsdale’s actions were its testament to their fight for equality and justice: 

Amidst the events of recent weeks, a number of alumni and others have taken up formal and public means to insist that Hillsdale College issue statements concerning these events. The College is charged with negligence — or worse.

It is not the practice of the College to respond to petitions or other instruments meant to gain an object by pressure. The College operates by reasoned deliberation, study, and thought. The following observations, however, may be helpful and pertinent.

The College is pressed to speak. It is told that saying what it always has said is insufficient. Instead, it must decry racism and the mistreatment of Black Americans in particular. This, however, is precisely what the College has always said. . . .

The College founding is a statement — as is each reiteration and reminder of its meaning and necessity. The curriculum is a statement, especially in its faithful presentation of the College’s founding mission. Teaching is a statement, especially as it takes up — with vigor — the evils we are alleged to ignore, evils like murder, brutality, injustice, destruction of person or property, and passionate irrationality. Teaching these same things across all the land is a statement, or a thousand statements. Organizing our practical affairs so that we can maintain principles of equity and justice — though the cost is high and sympathy is short — is a statement. Dispensing unparalleled financial help to students who cannot afford even a moderate tuition, is a statement. Helping private and public schools across the country lift their primary and secondary students out of a sea of disadvantages with excellent instruction, curricula, and the civic principles of freedom and equality — without any recompense to the College — is a statement. Postgraduate programs with the express aim of advancing the ideas of human dignity, justice, equality, and the citizen as the source of the government’s power, these are all statements. And all of these statements are acts, deeds that speak, undertaken and perpetuated now, every day, all the time. Everything the College does, though its work is not that of an activist or agitator, is for the moral and intellectual uplift of all. 

(The full statement can be found here, and it’s very worth reading.)

The courage displayed by Hillsdale’s leaders is the kind we need in America as a whole, especially in our public school system.  Just as students have multiple learning styles, educators have multiple teaching styles, and fight for racial equality and justice in their own ways.  Most teachers do so through their actions — by modeling fair and just behavior and strengthening core values such as love, honesty, friendship, respect, and tolerance — and by teaching critical thinking skills. 

Those of us who choose not to forward the polarizing identity politics at the heart of modern anti-racism should not be told our “silence is violence.”  On the contrary: our everyday actions speak louder than any trendy anti-racist words.