Ibram X Kendi book is an incredibly easy book to read and echos at lot my sentiment around anti-racism. He covers some important points:
- Racist or anti-racist, there is no in-between; This may sound like a dogmatic approach, but racism in society is the standard norm. Racism is as an ingrained ideology the premise that we are brought up into a pervasive system which oppresses people of colour, Kendi also extends this to sexism, homophobia, etc.
- Anti-racism takes effort. As we are all already radicalised into a society which fundamentally oppressive even as a man of colour to be anti-racist takes work, this is a daily toil.
- Well-intentioned people can believe they are serving the people and serve up racism through implied inferiority.
- Kendi also handles ‘Assimilation’ expertly through the premise of a superior white standard and targets the stereotypes linking blackness to poverty.
- Racism is intertwined with patriarchy and capitalism. If profits are the aim of the system, then exploitation is inevitable; People of colour or any difference have long been othered. Racism is then an extension of a justification black people don’t get jobs because they don’t work hard enough, etc.
The most impressive thing about Kendi’s book is how accessible it is. There are points that I may not agree with Kendi entirely. He challenges the notion that PoC cannot be racist and argues that elected officials do have power, my views on this although salient are relatively staunch that power is systemic; anyway, this is not the place for discussion on semantics.
If you are new to anti-racism as a concept, this is a great start.
Don’t forget to check out my influencer pages for even more great resources.
The book is available here.