Flashpoint Extra: Bestselling author to give a talk on how to be an ‘antiracist’

August 31, 2019 - 4:00 am
Dr. Ibram Kendi

Courtesy of Jeff Watts-American University


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A New York Times bestselling author is doing a talk at the Univeristy of Pennsylvania next week on how to be an "antiracist."  The Temple University graduate explores the term in his latest tome in which he exposes his own racist ideologies.  

In "How to be an Antiracist," Dr. Ibram Kendi explains the concept of antiracism. The 2016 National Book Award winner and American University professor says most Americans work to be "not racist" or somehow neutral when it comes to systemic racism, but denying racism is not enough anymore. Instead, he posits that we must be active in the process of dismantling racism by being an anti-racist.

"Antiracist ideas connote notions of racial equality. Racist ideas connote notions of racial hierarchy. Antiracist policies yield racial equity. Racist policy yield racial inequity, and there’s really no in between neutrality,” he said.

Kendi says all people can be racist and as black man he notes he too had adopted racist ideologies, and had to actively work to retrain his mind. He says he had to actively work to eliminate racist stereotypes that had become part of his belief system.

"If you are doing nothing in the face of all of these racial inquities- you are actually supporting by your inaction the persistence of racism," he says. "Antiracists are clear eyed in seeing the problem and challenging it- anti-racism is our only way out."

Kendi will be at the Univeristy of Pennsylvania book store at 36th and Walnut Streets at 6 p.m. on September 3.