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Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, wants to have a different conversation. In his new book, “How to Be an Antiracist,” he proposes a new way of thinking about countering racism:
What’s the problem with being “not racist”? It is a claim that signifies neutrality: “I am not a racist, but neither am I against it.” But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of “racist” isn’t “not racist.” It is “antiracist.” What’s the difference? One either endorses the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist or racial equality as an antiracist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an antiracist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist.
We talk with Kendi about the importance of antiracism and the steps he suggests toward becoming an antiracist.
- Ibram X. Kendi Author, "How to Be an Antiracist" and "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America"; professor of history and founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University; @DrIbram
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