News and Commentary

Ibram Kendi Says Term ‘Legal Vote’ Is Racist, Just like ‘Handouts’ And ‘Personal Responsibility’
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 10: American author and historian Ibram X Kendi attends a photocall during Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019 on August 10, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty Images

Several hours before major media outlets projected Democratic nominee Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election, anti-racism author Ibram X. Kendi shared with his 330,000 Twitter followers that the term “legal vote” is just as racist as the words “crackbaby,” “handout,” and “personal responsibility.”

“The term ‘legal vote’ is as fictionally fraught and functionally racist as the terms ‘illegal alien’ and ‘race neutral’ and ‘welfare queen’ and ‘handouts’ and ‘super predator’ and ‘crackbaby’ and ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘post racial,’” declared Kendi.

“The misinformation of widespread voter fraud—or ‘illegal voting’—in Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Phoenix where Black and Brown voters predominate is baked into the term ‘legal vote.’ No matter what GOP propaganda says, there’s nothing wrong with those voters and votes,” said Kendi.

Kendi, who is not an attorney, didn’t appear to offer any way to discern between a vote made in accordance with local and state laws (i.e., a legal vote) and a vote made not in accordance with them. But the anti-racism guru did add, however, that what “makes a term racist is rarely the term’s literal meaning, and almost always the historical and political context in which the term is being used.”

Over the last year, Kendi has burst onto the public scene with the help of his writings on “anti-racism,” an ideology purporting that discriminating against others on the basis of race is meritorious so long as it produces racial equity. Kendi explains this ideology in “How to Be an Antiracist,” his best-selling book from 2019.

From a 2020 book extract in Penguin UK:

Since the 1960s, racist power has commandeered the term “racial discrimination,” transforming the act of discriminating on the basis of race into an inherently racist act. But if racial discrimination is defined as treating, considering, or making a distinction in favor or against an individual based on that person’s race, then racial discrimination is not inherently racist. The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity. If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist. If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist. Someone reproducing inequity through permanently assisting an overrepresented racial group into wealth and power is entirely different than someone challenging that inequity by temporarily assisting an underrepresented racial group into relative wealth and power until equity is reached.

The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination. As President Lyndon B. Johnson said in 1965, “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.” As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in 1978, “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently.

Related: Virginia Public School District Spent $20,000 To Host Anti-Racism Author Ibram Kendi For An Hour

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Ibram Kendi Says Term ‘Legal Vote’ Is Racist, Just like ‘Handouts’ And ‘Personal Responsibility’