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Ibram X. Kendi Makes Huge Mistake On Twitter, But Realizes It Too Late: Screenshots

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Ibram X. Kendi is a left-wing intellectual associated with popularizing critical race theory and the adjacent concept of “antiracism” — which isn’t exactly what it sounds like.

If you didn’t encounter this strain of thought during the febrile summer of 2020 — when Kendi’s best-known work, “How to Be an Antiracist,” was only surpassed in liberal guilt-buys on Amazon by Robin DiAngelo’s similar tome “White Fragility” — New York Times writer and podcaster Ezra Klein summed it up neatly in an introduction to a conversation with Kendi back in July.

“When I first read ‘How to Be an Antiracist’ in the fall of 2019, I was struck by Kendi’s relentless focus on outcomes,” the piece read.

“For him, racism wasn’t about what you intended, or what you felt. If a given policy or action reduced racial inequality, it was antiracist; if it increased racial inequality, it was racist. If you support policies that reduce racial inequality, you are being antiracist; if you don’t, you’re being racist. That’s it.”

America, in Kendi’s telling, is a systemically racist country. How can we fix it?

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Kendi himself sums it up thusly: “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.”

On Friday, Kendi admitted America is actually pretty antiracist.

According to the Daily Wire, that’s when Kendi tweeted a link to an article from The Hill. That piece, from Oct. 21, reported on a survey that claimed over a third of white students lie about their ethnicity on college applications.

Is critical race theory completely false?

Kendi said: “about half these applicants lied about being Native American. More than three-fourths of these students who lied about their race were accepted.”

This tweet got deleted posthaste — for reasons that conservative writer Alex Griswold, formerly of the Washington Free Beacon, pointed out:

Griswold also questioned the accuracy of the study (“There’s also zero chance those stats are accurate, because if so you’d expect schools to report at least 10 percent American Indian enrollment instead of like 0.5 percent”), but it’s also worth noting that of the students that said they lied on their applications, 85 percent said it played a role in their admission. Furthermore, half of those students said part of their reason for lying was “to get minority-focused financial aid.”

In other words, when it comes to access to higher education and the resources to pay for it, if the survey is accurate, the system is incredibly antiracist — and Kendi is furious because whites are taking advantage of it, without realizing the implications of what he’s furious about.

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In fact, after deleting the tweet, Kendi continued to let the point fly right over his head as he attacked conservatives who noticed the problematic nature of the original tweet.

“They lie about what I said to defend the lying of White college applicants,” Kendi tweeted Saturday evening.

“Here is their tortured line of thinking: When White applicants *think* they have an advantage by lying about being a person of color then that means they *do* have an advantage which then means structural racism doesn’t exist.

“They imagine White people are disadvantaged while White people are on the higher end of nearly every racial disparity. They imagine Black and Native people have racial advantages at the same time Black and Native people are on the lowest end of nearly every racial disparity. SMH.”

Yes, we can both agree: White people lying about their race is bad. (Looking at you, Liz Warren.) The rest of this tweet thread, however, is glibly and deliberately uninformed about race and college admissions.

For over forty years, institutions of higher learning have been willing to go to court — in fact, all the way to the Supreme Court — to defend policies which consider race as a factor in college admissions. That’s how serious they are about the matter, and they’re not doing it to ensure white people keep on getting in.

In the first major Supreme Court ruling on the matter, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke in 1978, the court held colleges couldn’t use strict racial quotas while still considering race when deciding who to admit.

In the last major decision on the matter — 2016’s Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin — the court’s opinion was materially similar, with then-Justice Anthony Kennedy noting in his opinion that the school had “tried and failed to increase diversity” through other means that weren’t as overtly race-based, according to Reuters.

This, in other words, isn’t a “tortured line of thinking.” It’s a fact: Colleges can and do consider race as a factor in admissions and aid because they universally view the pursuit of diversity as a necessary goal, even when it runs contra to meritocracy. While these policies are less formally enumerated in other areas of American life, they still exist.

Ibram X. Kendi isn’t an idiot who’s terminally unaware of these things. He’s counting on you to think he is, though. After all, if you don’t, then you know he managed to undermine the entire basis of his scholarship — and the underpinnings of antiracism and critical race theory — in one errant tweet.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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