Justifying Kendi’s Racism Patterns
The rapidly changing demographics and diversity in Canada and the United States challenge everyone to reevaluate actions resulting from good intentions. It is high time for people to deconstruct their behaviors that support existing policies that reduce racial inequality. Dr. Kendi conceptualizes the antiracism theory as a framework incorporating ideas and policies to address racial inequity. Instances of racial injustice like the murder of George Floyd require folks to choose their stance in the fight against racism. For instance, one can either fit in the racist or antiracist factions. There is no neutrality! Exploring the aspects of racist thinking in learning helps learners acknowledge their internal racist attitudes and behaviors (Kendi 8). Kendi’s publication has created space to discuss racism and antiracism, which feels uncomfortable for many people. The outcome of such a discussion is growth. Allowing people to talk about racism from different perspectives supports collective efforts to end inequity. This essay reviews Kendi’s text and argues whether or not racism starts with racist policies, followed by racist ideas, and people’s ignorance/hate.
According to Kendi, a racist policy is written or unwritten guidelines, rules, processes, and procedures that sustain or create racial inequity between people of different racial groups. On the other hand, an antiracist policy sustains or creates racial equity. Institutions have policies that either sustain or create racial inequity. Terms like structural racism, institutional racism, and systematic racism define racist policies (Kendi 18). Indeed, people in positions can easily take advantage of policies to discriminate against a racial group. Besides, racism emanates from policies when racist policymakers make laws. Surprisingly, racist policies become antiracist, especially when used to address racial inequity (Kendi 19). For decades, racial segregation policies existed that barred blacks from certain schools, professions, and social amenities. Besides, black history in the United States describes a race that struggled to overturn unfair, racist policies that are blamed for institutional racism to date.
Racist ideas attribute societal inequities to the inferiority or superiority of racial groups, hence contributing to racism. Antiracist ideas blame racist policies for causing racial inequities. Racist ideas substantiate policies that create or enhance racial inequity. Thus, people intending to support antiracism needs to utilize policies to express ideas of racial equity. It is also important to challenge policies that promote institutional racism. When we believe that a racial group is the major cause of the problem, we portray racist ideology and act like racists. Antiracism calls for everyone to confront racial inequalities. Ignorance and hate occur when powerful policymakers formulate and implement racist policies then use racist ideas to defend their effects (Kendi 230). It is clear that racism results from racist policies that make people have racist ideas, resulting in ignorance or hate. Kendi’s racism pattern makes it easier for people with limited power to identify how racism develops and allows them to become antiracists. Racist ideas make people ignorant or hateful towards certain racial groups. George Floyd’s murder revealed how black American’s were unfairly targeted and arrested by cops who thought they were burglars. Racist ideas have also contributed to hate and ignorance, targeting people from the Middle East who are perceived as terrorists. I witnessed a bearded Arab being questioned for security purposes while others were not. Everyone has a critical antiracism role in eliminating policies that promote racial inequity.
Kendi, Ibram X. How to Be an Antiracist. One World, 2019.