“Anti-racist” author Ibram Kendi spoke at Virginia’s largest housing event last year on the dime of a not-for-profit housing agency — which spent $25,000 for the keynote — comparing the United States to a house with “deeply racist” bedrooms, The Daily Wire has learned.
The speech was made at the 2021 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference on November 10, days after Republican Glenn Youngkin won the gubernatorial race. Public records show Virginia Housing spent $25,000, plus a $393 hotel reimbursement.
“Some of us are living in that liberated closet and there are many communities and organizations who have created very nice living rooms,” Kendi said with regard to restructuring America. “But the actual bedrooms and basement and kitchen and attic and everywhere else is [sic] deeply racist. There’s this perspective that it’s impossible to indeed tear down the house and build it.”
Kendi added, “Last I checked in housing, you examine a house, and you’re like ‘you know what, there’s [sic] too many issues here.’ The foundation itself is broken. And so they are better for the people who are going to live in it for us to create something totally new. I don’t understand why we can’t do that in our society.”
Virginia Housing is listed as one of five conference partners — two of which are federal agencies — for the three-day affair. The conference is an LLC and nonprofit. A committee composed of representatives from Virginia Housing and other partner groups selected the speakers, a spokesperson for Virginia Housing told The Daily Wire.
“They choose the keynote speaker every year, based on the focus of that year’s conference,” the spokesperson said.
More than 900 people registered for the conference, Virginia Housing says. Each year, attendees include elected officials, policymakers, nonprofit heads, financial institutions, and others.
In his speech, the author also called for reparations — a policy related to redistributing goods to the descendants of African American slaves. He was asked by an audience member why it is “difficult” for people to consider reparations, and the author claimed taxpayers would not bear the burden for such a policy. He also said people are wrong for not thinking American is systemically racist.
“The short answer is because of the deep well of racism,” said Kendi. “The longer answer is the tremendous amount of hypocrisy. … I think people are opposed to it because first they’re taught that if the U.S. government provides reparations to enslaved people that they’re going to have to pay themselves. That’s not the case. Secondly, [they’re] taught that the reason for the racial wealth gap is not because of this sort of history of enslavement and Jim Crow.”
“There’s only one proposal on the table for the American people that has the capacity to eliminate the growing racial wealth gap — and that is reparations,” Kendi also said.
The weekend event was hosted in Norfolk and began eight days after Youngkin beat Democrat challenger Terry McAuliffe. Youngkin rallied around education and the growing discontent of parents amid schools embracing race and gender ideologies in the curricula. On his first day in office, he banned the teaching and training of Critical Race Theory.
“The governor clearly won’t support hiring a divisive $25,000 Critical Race Theorist to espouse division,” a Youngkin spokesperson told The Daily Wire when asked what role, if any, he will play in the 2022 conference.
A media rep for Kendi did not respond to request for comment.
Northam, who implemented much of the equity policies and programs that Youngkin is now rescinding, also spoke at the conference. He delivered a virtual 10-minute talk during a luncheon on November 11 from Dresden, Germany, while on a “trade mission,” according to footage obtained by The Daily Wire.
“If we want thriving communities and we want everyone to have equitable access opportunity, then we have to create safe, affordable, and quality housing,” said Northam.
Kendi has continued to make rounds across the country while being paid thousands of dollars to discuss systemic racism.
His speech at the housing conference came after the publicly-funded University of Virginia (UVA) spent around $541 per minute to host him for a “racial equity” lecture in April, The Daily Wire first reported.
The Daily Wire has also exclusively obtained contracts showing The University of Kansas spent $17,000 in March 2020 to host Kendi, while Oregon State University spent $22,000 in April 2021. Like UVA, Virginia Housing contracted with Penguin Random House.
This year’s housing conference is from November 16 to 18 in Arlington. View the contract between Penguin and Virginia Housing here.
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