How to be an Antiracist: Ibram X Kendi

 How to be an AntiRacist -  is 80% an excellent, incredible book and 20% lacking in my estimation.    Kendi's basic dichotomies of:  "racist"  vs. "anti-racist" - with various expanded areas (relating to sexism, homophobia, etc.) seem mostly highly appropriate related to white people.   I have problems with his clear determination that Black People who aren't - with the (e.g. his) agenda related to racism are "racist".     He gave numerous examples of how he had learned of his own limitations which have helped him (in his estimation) from "racism" to "anti-racism".

Kendi is incredibly good at discussing issues like sexism, classism, transphobia and how they relate to sexism.     He also describes the racism (and other isms) that we white people have and how we (in some ways) are different from Black People in important ways.    He readily acknowledges and explains very clearly how white, upper-class, heterosexual men manipulate other white men,  playing them off against others who lack the (lesser) privilege that they have.   He clarifies how white women exploit their privilege over Black women, and how Queer Folk are manipulated b cisgendered people.

I don't appreciate hearing that for example, young, poor Black men who hate and resist white people are "racist" because they don't "get it" in understanding how their exploitation is part of a bigger picture.   Calling these people "racist" to me is condescending to them, equating them in a way with white people (though Kendi would argue exactly the opposite).

This book is an excellent book to read!   It is, in my estimation, flawed, however.


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