Hi all, and welcome to the uncomfortable truth. I am reviewing the book How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi.
I read this book a while ago and have been meaning to do a review of the book. I will be honest in that I find the modern left in America too radical and extreme for my tastes, but I put that hat aside and started to read this book, and I am glad I did.
As expected from the title, this book is about being an antiracist and combines an autobiography and social commentary.
I have to say that, in my opinion, only one part of the book was mindblowing because it shared, but the rest of it was pretty much what you would expect.
Now I find it strange that someone in the 21st century would need to write a book with this title as it should be evident to everyone living in America and the Western World why racism or any other kind of ism or mass generalization about a group is wrong.
So the book begins with the author talking about his speech at a local church about how the black community needs to pick up its pace and turn itself around.
A central theme of this book is the author’s shift from self-hate or at least a distaste for other African- Americans towards understanding that every social problem, including those affecting the African-American, is a result of policy, not people.
There is some truth to this but also a naivety to this. Now in America, it is one hundred per cent true that the US government has discriminated against African-Americans and other minorities.
From slavery to not getting the free university education that white males who fought in World War 2 to the practice of red-lining, people in poorer areas of America could not get loans from banks.
It is true that African-Americans have historically received the short end of the stick and thus didn’t get the leg up that white men got as a result of the above, but this reflects things that happened over 60 years ago, so how long is that same argument going to apply for?
Especially now that you have affirmative action in universities, making it easier for African-Americans to enter colleges while openly discriminating against Asian students. African-Americans now have better access to education than ever before.
Not to mention there are scholarships just for African-American students, so it would seem that institutions in America are putting a lot of effort into righting historical wrongs.
The above did not anger me; it was when the author defended gangsta rap based on its poetic. This book seems to be about protecting the African-American community from the criticism some of its members get from conservatives like Thomas Sowell.
Dear god, the insanity. As someone who grew up in the late 90s and early 2000s listening to rap, I am well acquainted with its themes, and this is the most comprehensive account of selective rage I have seen in a long time.
Gangsta rap is misogynistic and violent and has its root in a violent culture that Southern enslaved people got from their Southern enslavers.
What insanity is that someone defends such a culture based on its poetic. Who cares if it’s poetic? If Stalin and Hitler were poetic, would that excuse their crimes?
That has got to be the most ridiculous defence of something I have ever seen. Like literally, the claim gangsta rap is poetic is the entire defence in the book like that’s all of the reason.
The author couldn’t expand on the defence because the more you think about it, the less sense it makes.
This gangsta culture found in African-American culture is a big part of the problem facing the African-American community. I am curious about what policy the author would create to address this problem.
Because it seems the author, like most left-wing ideologues, turns a blind eye to this gangster culture because it doesn’t fit their narrative, and they can’t blame it on institutional racism. So they ignore it or devise banal arguments to justify its existence.
The book also asserts that any scientific evidence that doesn’t fit in the antiracist construct it creates should be discarded. Scientists should be controlled and not allowed to do experiments that conflict with their antiracist sentiment.
All I can say is the Catholic Church, who held Copernicus in jail for presenting the idea that the Earth revolves around the sun, would be proud.
This is totalitarianism of the highest order, as scientists should be able to make any enquiry into social studies they wish as long as it doesn’t involve physical violence to human beings.
Now one good valid point that the book made was the arguments presented by many conservatives that immigrants from the West Indies have a better work ethic than other African-Americans and thus have done better than others.
But the author presents evidence that this is not a West Indies success story as immigrants from the West Indies have not done better than, say, immigrants from Asian minorities but that this is an immigrant success story as immigrants are more motivated than natural-born citizens
This part of the book was exciting, but probably the author’s only good point.
The last criticism of the book was how the author asserted that American doesn’t like a strong white woman, which is why Hillary Clinton didn’t get elected.
Now this claim and gangsta rap is one of the reasons I didn’t want to read this book because it could be exciting but rehashes tired old material that the left has been spouting for years.
Now I have to say I wasn’t expecting the gangsta rap defence, but I knew that a book by a left-wing ideologue would somehow have the same tropes.
Now I have explained in an article in the past why there are excellent reasons why Hillary Clinton didn’t get voted President. Still, I would say that was probably because conservatives like Dinesh D’Souza exposed Hillary’s history.
This includes getting a paedophile who raped a child she knew was guilty of and her shenanigans during the Haiti scandal, which the leftist media barely covered.
I have to say that I recently read the book Starry Messenger by Neil deGrasse Tyson, which covered similar topics but did so in a much better way, so before you go and think that I am a right-wing shill, I usually agree with the side that has the most evidence and in the case of Ibram X Kendi that’s not the case.