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A Parent’s Guide to Kendi’s Antiracist Baby


Ibram X. Kendi has made a small fortune selling “antiracism,” which sounds innocuous enough. But some worry antiracism is a kind of newspeak – racism in different garb. I know. Kendi is a person of color. Your professors at Occidental College told you that people of color can’t be racist. So let’s just say that Kendi’s antiracism – like racism – is an ideology that manages to indoctrinate and segregate.

If you’re not sure about such concerns, this tweet (later deleted), from Kendi offers a clue:

Not sure whom Kendi’s quoting here. But I remember being horrified (though not surprised) when the infamous white nationalist, Richard Spencer, replied, “Not wrong.”

Antiracism is related to a germline of toxic social justice ideology that includes critical race theory (CRT). But many people (and public school administrators) buy Kendi’s books and send him money, thinking that they will be on the side of the angels by supporting his Manichean worldview. Buying antiracist books is like buying indulgences, i.e. cheap tokens one could buy from The Church to make it more likely he could get to Heaven. But some take Kendi’s book of false binaries seriously – enough to indoctrinate children with it.

So, whether you want to self-flagellate, or inculcate, you can pick up a copy of Antiracist Baby and read it to your kids. Before you do, I have put together a handy guide to Kendi’s book. But be warned: If you happen to be white and decide to read Antiracist Baby to your child, make sure the child on your lap is not a child of color. Otherwise, you could be accused of being a colonizer who uses the child as a prop in your lifelong picture of denial.

The Parent’s Guide

When writing a children’s-book version of your philosophy, you have to distill your doctrine into simple terms. You’d think those simple terms would make creating a Parent’s Guide a fairly low-cost proposition. Alas, it wasn’t easy.

Still, I submit this handy guide for your consideration (Kendi quotes in bold):

  1. “Babies are taught to be racist or antiracist – there is no neutrality.”

Like much of Antiracist Baby, this message is for you, Dear Parent, probably more than for your child. Kendi is saying you can’t be Switzerland in racialized culture wars. The story of American race relations becomes a story without subtlety. Equal treatment is liberal racism. You’re either with Kendi or against him. And if you disagree, you are a racist.

Okay. What is racism?

Someone asked Kendi that very question. Here was his answer:

“I would define it as a collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity that are substantiated by racist ideas.”

Puzzling. If your baby asks you what racism is, you might run into a bit of trouble, just as your child would have difficulty understanding what cannibalism is with this definition:

I would define (cannibalism) as a collection of cannibalistic norms that lead to cannibalistic practices that are substantiated by cannibalistic ideas.

Just as the concept of ‘people eating people’ might help define cannibalism, one might think that the concept of ‘prejudice based on skin color, physiognomy, or some other irrelevant trait’ might help us define racism.

Unfortunately, readers of Antiracist Baby will find no such definition.

  1. “Take these nine steps to make equity a reality.”

Sorry, Dear Parent. Kendi does not define “equity” either. But allow me to help.

According to, equity is “the intentional and continual practice of changing policies, practices, systems, and structures by prioritizing measurable change in the lives of people of color.”

Notice that those responsible for changing policies, systems, and structures are obliged to prioritize change in the lives of people of color, not members of any other group. It doesn’t matter if that person is poor or has otherwise lived at the margins. She is excluded from “equity” considerations by definition. Equity policies are designed to come at the expense of non-people of color (whites) – even poor ones – not to mention Subcontinental- and East-Asians, too, who are summarily dismissed as embracing “whiteness.”

According to antiracists, justice is a cosmic scoreboard of historical grievances by groups. Equity, therefore, means you need to cross a red line through the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees “equal protection of the laws.”

But Antiracist Baby will grow up to strike that clause!


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