Author Ibram X. Kendi compared criticism of critical race theory (CRT) to the KKK and pushback against the integration of schools during a Wednesday conversation with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
Kendi said that it is necessary to talk about racism in the same way that it is vital to treat cancer – if the uncomfortable subject is not talked about, then we will never heal. He also compared teaching about racism to teaching about the Holocaust when asked at what age children should be taught about racism, according to an article about the event by the AFT.
Kendi said that teachers educate children about the Holocaust in age-appropriate ways beginning when they are very young in order to prevent it from happening again, and the same approach should be used when teaching about slavery.
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) July 8, 2021
The author and activist then discussed critical race theory, the idea that America is fundamentally racist, and teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies. (RELATED: Republicans Are Turning Up The Heat With Anti-Critical Race Theory Bills And The Reaction Is Hitting A Boiling Point)
When asked about the parent-lead rebellion against CRT in classrooms, Kendi compared it to pushback against Brown v. Board of Education. He argued that the reaction to CRT is similar because parents are afraid the theory will be harmful to their children in the same way that parents were afraid integration would harm their children.
Kendi also compared laws prohibiting CRT from being taught in classrooms to schools in the South during the civil rights era which taught that the KKK saved the South from corruption. He said that teachers during the civil rights era found creative ways to teach the truth and that teachers today should find ways to get around anti-CRT legislation.