CBS contributor Ibram X. Kendi said Friday that white people need to “stop denying their racism” in order to end white privilege.
“It is critical for white people, for people in general, to stop denying their racist ideas, to stop denying the ways in which policies have benefitted them, to stop denying their racism,” he said. “The heartbeat of racism itself is denial, and the sound of that heartbeat is ‘I’m not racist.'” (RELATED: CBS Set To Air ‘Grease’ Singalong Instead Of Tony Awards Due To Coronavirus)
— Kyle Drennen (@kjdrennen) June 5, 2020
The comments come during a time of heightened racial tensions following the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. Nationwide protests have taken place all over the country, some of which have turned into violent riots.
Kendi said in early May that people protesting against the coronavirus stay-at-home order were comparable to slaveholders, who he said also fought for “individual freedom.”
“Slaveholders desired a state that wholly secured their individual freedom to enslave, not to mention their freedom to disenfranchise, to exploit, to impoverish, to demean, and to silence and kill the demeaned,” he wrote in The Atlantic.
Kendi is the founding director of The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University and has written several books, according to his website. His books include “How To Be An Antiracist” and “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, And You,” both of which made the New York Times Bestseller list.
His website says that he “strives to be a hardcore antiracist and softcore vegan.”