Having spent multiple segments decrying the disturbing beating of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police earlier this month, CBS Mornings wound down Monday’s show by bringing in racial arsonist Ibram X. Kendi to fawn over his latest attempt to spread his poison about antiracism (and how black people are still subject to inequities in all facets of their lives by white oppressors) to teens.
“Coming up, New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone will be here to talk about their book empowering young people to stand up against racism,” boasted co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King in one of two teases.
Of course, King wasn’t going to challenge his views on such things as calls for racism against non-black people, that white Americans still pose a threat of terrorism to black people, opposing teaching children to hate themselves and each other means you’re a KKK member, or a constitutional amendment to declare anything unconstitutional if it promotes “racial inequity.” And he’s somehow still with CBS despite calling Justice Amy Coney Barrett a “colonizer” for adopting two black children.
Co-host Tony Dokoupil began the segment by invoking the Nichols beating as well as Kendi as he “argues that anti-black, racist ideas produce a total disregard for black life” and believes there’s currently “a total war on black people,” which supposedly makes his adaptation of How to Be an Anti-Racist for teenagers all the more pertinent.
Kendi replied that “black people have among the lowest life expectancy in the United States” and “police violence” is to blame because it’s “one of the leading causes of death for young black men.” In turn, he’s merely speaking out in hopes “black people” can “live and racism” will “die.”
Fact-check: Pants on fire.
According to the CDC, the top five causes of death for “non-Hispanic black” “male[s]” from 1-19 years are as follows: “Homicide” (so not necessarily police, but could include black-on-black crime), “unintentional injuries,” “chronic lower respiratory disease,” “suicide,” and “cancer.” For 20-44, all causes were the same except third place was changed to “heart disease.”
King then asked Kendi what he made of the fact that the officers in the Nichols case were also black. For Kendi, his response boiled down to the five black men unintelligently fell victim to “the most dangerous racist idea,” which is “that black people are dangerous.”
By becoming police officers in this era, Kendi added, they gullibly fell for the belief “that those people are dangerous, go into those communities and keep us safe”.
After a back-and-forth about how Kendi came to work with author Nic Stone on adapting his woke bible, King asked him “what…story you both wanted to tell” in the book. Kendi said he hopes “young people…understand” that they’re “experiencing racism” with blacks “facing multiple instances…of racist discrimination per day.”
Dokoupil wound down with what he probably thought of as pushback that “a lot of parents…think…to combat racism the old-fashioned way is to not see race, to treat everyone equally, to be colorblind” when though “one of the bedrock principles of being an anti-racist is that you are actually color conscious.”
Asked to properly reprogram those parents, Kendi made his life’s work of drenching society in seeing racism around the corner and as a defining characteristic of our souls seem rather innocuous:
[I]f your child does not see and understand difference — I mean, in other words, there are different skin colors and all those skin colors and all those groups are equals, then — then it’s incredibly important for them to see that. But they also see that certain people have less, so they’re trying to figure out why. Why is it that black and brown people disproportionately have less in this country? And we need to explain to them it’s not because there’s something wrong with them. It’s because of racism and here’s how you join the struggle to — to fight against it.
Back in July 2020, Christopher Caldwell wrote a masterful and must-read profile/takedown of Kendi for National Review, which can be found here. A year later, their Cameron Hilditch had an incredibly important distillation of Kendi’s role in the Critical Race Theory debate that can be read here.
Monday’s racial poisoning was brought to thanks to the endorsement of advertisers such as Google and Kia. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant transcript from January 30, click “expand.”
January 30, 2023
7:03 a.m. Eastern [TEASE]
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Battling Racism]
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: Plus, bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi has adopted his book How to Be an Anti-Racist for young people. He thinks they can find some answers. He and co-author Nic Stone will join us right here.
8:38 a.m. Eastern [TEASE]
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Coming Up; Standing Up Against Racism]
GAYLE KING: Coming up, New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone will be here to talk about their book empowering young people to stand up against racism.
8:42 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: “How to Be a (Young) Antiracist”; Authors Ibram X. Kendi & Nic Stone on New Book & Death of Tyre Nichols]
TONY DOKOUPIL: We’ve been talking all morning about protests around the country after the release of video showing Memphis police officers beating Tyre Nichols. The 29-year-old father died three days later from his injuries that night, according to an independent autopsy. And five police officers have been fired and are now charged with second-degree murder. CBS News contributor Ibram X. Kendi argues that anti-black, racist ideas produce a total disregard for black life. His new book How to Be a (Young) Anti-Racist is meant to empower teen readers to do something about that by helping to create a more equitable world. He teamed Nic Stone to reimagine his bestseller How to Be an Anti-Racist for young adults. Ibram X. Kendi is the founding director of the Boston University Center for Anti-Racist Research, and Nic Stone is The New York Times bestselling author of Dear Mariner and Clean Getaway. And they join us first on CBS Mornings. Thank you both for being here. We do have to start with the sad news — what we saw on Friday and then the reaction over the weekend. Peaceful protests but understandable anger. Ibram, you’ve called it a total war on black people. Explain that.
IBRAM X. KENDI: Well, black people have among the lowest life expectancy in the United States. And you know what’s one of the leading causes of death for young black men? Police violence. And so — I —
KING: Is the leading cause?
KENDI: — it’s one of the leading causes of death for young black men like Tyre Nichols.
KING: Mmhmm. Mmhmm.
KENDI: And so for me, I just want for once black people to live and racism to die.
DOKOUPIL: Nic, what was your reaction?
NIC STONE; As a mother — so I have two tons —
KING: How old are they?
STONE: — they are six and 10.
STONE: And it’s shocking still which I’m honestly thankful for because I do feel like there are a lot of people who are getting desensitized to things like this. So, the fact that I was shocked, that I am angry and sad, I think is — is good and feeling those emotions. Like, we all need to give ourselves the space to feel those uncomfortable emotions.
KING: A lot of the conversation is circling around that the officers were black and the young man was black, and they — and people keep going back to the dehumanization of this young — of Tyre Nichols. How do you explain that coming from other black men, or is that something that can be explained, Ibrahm?
KENDI: I think it can be explained. The —
KENDI: — the most dangerous racist idea is the idea that black people are dangerous and it’s an idea that anyone can internalize, anyone can believe, including black people, including black police officers. And so, when you — when you tell black officers or any officer that those people are dangerous, go into those communities and keep us safe, these are the things that are going to happen.
KING: But you’re one of those people, though, that’s why the people are struggling with this. You are one of those people.
KENDI: And I think that’s the insidiousness of racist ideas. That’s why it’s so harmful.
DOKOUPIL: So talking about how to combat them and turning to the book, How to Be a (Young) Anti-Racist. Nic, I’ve been curious how pairings happen on a become like this, right? How his work gets adapted and by whom. In this case, if I have this right, you DM’d him on Instagram —
KING: No, slid into the DM’s. I love that.
STONE: Slid into the DM’s. Yes, yes.
DOKOUPIL: Okay, so why did you want to do that, and then Ibrahm like, how did it work? Why?
STONE: Well —
KING: What did you say, number one? What did you say?
STONE: — well, I — I asked flat out, I said, you know, if you ever decide you want to do a young readers edition of How to Be an Anti-Racist like Stamped was done from Stamped From the Beginning, you know, consider me as a person —
STONE: — who could adapt. It worked.
DOKOUPIL: Yeah. It did. You got the credentials for it.
STONE: I did.
DOKOUPIL: Did it take you more than two seconds to say yes?
KENDI: It really didn’t. You know, Nic Stone, I mean, her — her bestselling work, her voice, her connection to young people. I wanted to book, the voice of this book, to be targeted to our — to our youngest readers.
KING: And what was the story you both wanted to tell?
KENDI: Well, I wanted young people to be able to understand what they’re experiencing.
KENDI: Young people are experiencing racism. They’re trying to make sense of it. You have — you have young white kids who are being targeted online by white supremacists. You have teens of color who are facing multiple instances according to studies of racist discrimination per day. They don’t understand what’s happening to them because nobody’s explaining it to them and no one’s sharing with them how to change the world and How to Be a (Young) Anti-Racist does.
KING: And for you, Nic, does the story you want to tell — I’m curious about the conversation that you and your partner were having with your young sons.
STONE: Yeah. You know, the story I wanted to tell was the story that Ibrahm told in How to Be an Anti-Racist. It’s his own story. It makes it very relatable. His willingness and courage when it came to just admitting that he had racist ideas was — was very helpful to me —
STONE: — as I was reading How to Be an Anti-Racist. We actually had an event last night in Atlanta, and we had a teen moderator. She was telling us how reading How to Be a (Young) Anti-Racist helped her to see racist ideas that she — ideas that she has, right? That’s what we want young people to experience. We want them to be able to identify with the story and also see that they can change things. And yeah, my — me and the father of my children, I — the two boys, we — we’re real big on making sure that they are both prepared for the world they’re — the world they’re going to enter, but also empowered, right? Like, I think that we can sometimes, as black parents, instill a measure of fear that trumps everything, so making sure my kids understand the world that they’re going to be in but also understand that they do have the power to change it, like that’s also what we’re going for with the book.
DOKOUPIL: So, Ibram —
KING: Go ahead.
DOKOUPIL: — I was going to say, Ibrahm, you know, there are a lot of parents who think, you know, to combat racism the old-fashioned way is to not see race —
DOKOUPIL: — to treat everyone equally, to be colorblind.
KING: Be colorblind.
DOKOUPIL: Of course one of the bedrock principles of being an anti-racist is that you are actually color conscious. Talk to those parents who think, well, wait a minute, that’s opposite of what I want my kids to see.
KENDI: Well, I mean, if — if your child does not see and understand difference — I mean, in other words, there are different skin colors and all those skin colors and all those groups are equals, then — then it’s incredibly important for them to see that. But they also see that certain people have less, so they’re trying to figure out why. Why is it that black and brown people disproportionately have less in this country? And we need to explain to them it’s not because there’s something wrong with them. It’s because of racism and here’s how you join the struggle to — to fight against it.
DOKOUPIL: I knew you would have a good answer for that. Something very good came out of you sliding into his DM’s.
KING: Tony, don’t you love her shirt? I love your shirt.
DOKOUPIL: We need more forward thinkers.
KING: “We need more forward thinkers” —
KENDI: That’s what it’s about.
KING: — on all levels. Yes.
DOKOUPIL: We sure do. Alright, Ibram X. Kendi, Nic Stone, thank you so much. How to Be a (Young) Anti-Racist goes on sale tomorrow.