‘Antiracist Baby’ Author Kendi Refuses To Debate Matt Walsh After Viral Exchange On Slavery

"Kendi declines my invitation to debate the history of slavery because, he says, 'many historians' have already said that he's right."
Matt Walsh/Ibram X. Kendi
Walsh: Jason Kempin/Getty Images, Kendi: Jason Mendez/Getty Images

“Anti-racist” activist Ibram X. Kendi on Friday declined Daily Wire host Matt Walsh’s offer to debate the topic of world slavery following a viral exchange the pair had over its history.

Kendi last week accused Walsh of engaging in “White savior” rhetoric after Walsh noted that white people did not invent slavery “but were the first to abolish it.” The racial activist’s vague reasoning for declining the debate offer relied on “many historians” supposedly proving Walsh’s claims wrong, though little other information was given.

“Kendi declines my invitation to debate the history of slavery because, he says, ‘many historians’ have already said that he’s right,” Walsh said on X on Monday, quoting a post from Kendi.

The exchange started after Walsh posted a response last Tuesday to a post on X that claimed, “Slavery is white history. How we survived it is black history.”

“Slavery is world history,” Walsh reacted. “White people did not invent it, and were not the first to practice it, but were the first to abolish it. The last place in the world to still have legal slavery was Africa. It wasn’t fully legally abolished on the continent until 1981.”

Kendi was apparently irked by the post — which has been viewed more than 6.8 million times — and replied to Walsh, “The ultimate White savior statement.”

In turn, Walsh offered to debate Kendi on the topic, posting, “Why don’t we have a conversation live on camera about this issue? You can explain to me in person why my statements about slavery are wrong. What do you say [Ibram X. Kendi]?

Days later, Kendi told Walsh he would not debate him because it “would be a huge waste of my time” and accused Walsh of “producing propaganda about the superior greatness of White people for White consumption.”

“Many historians have already explained why your statements about slavery are wrong,” Kendi wrote. “It would be a huge waste of my time repeating what has already been shared with you. What is factually right and factually wrong doesn’t seem to matter to you. You seem intent on producing propaganda about the superior greatness of White people for White consumption.”

The Critical Race Theory (CRT) guru then suggested Walsh was wrong because of his supposed implied emphasis, not necessarily the facts Walsh stated.

“Your propaganda, this time, can be boiled down to three ideas: (1) White enslavers are hardly responsible for slavery in the Americas—but White people *are* responsible for the global abolition of slavery. (2) White enslavers are hardly responsible for enslaving Black people, but they are responsible for saving Black people from slavery. (3) The world and the historian should be praising White people for abolishing slavery and saving Black people,” Kendi posted. “The ultimate White savior statement.”

Kendi, who gained prominence after George Floyd died in 2020, developed a career pushing Critical Race Theory through books and speaking engagements. In 2021, the MacArthur Foundation announced that Kendi would receive a $625,000 five-year grant for research. Kendi, who says that America is systemically racist, often charges steep fees for speaking engagements.


In 2020, Kendi also started an education center at Boston University that focused on “anti-racist research.” Last year, however, Kendi’s Center for Antiracist Research fired around 20 staffers, and the university announced that it would launch an inquiry into the center after complaints about its culture.

Since publishing “How to Be an Antiracist,” Kendi has drawn criticism for promoting the theory that all racial disparities are due to racism. He has also faced criticism for his book “Antiracist Baby,” a children’s picture book that introduces children to the concept of anti-racism.

Zach Jewell contributed to this report. 

Related: Matt Walsh Challenges CRT Proponent Ibram X. Kendi To Live Debate Over Slavery After Viral Social Media Exchange

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Antiracist Baby’ Author Kendi Refuses To Debate Matt Walsh After Viral Exchange On Slavery