In a segment commemorating Juneteenth, Ibram X. Kendi told “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan he teaches his young daughter that the struggle for emancipation continues today. Kendi, the network’s “Racial Justice Contributor,” said “freedom” today means liberation from poverty and guns.
“I’m actually going to teach her that … throughout this nation’s history, there’s [sic] been two perspectives on freedom, really two fights for freedom,” Kendi said. “Enslaved people were fighting for freedom from slavery, and enslavers were fighting for the freedom to enslave.”
“And in many ways that sort of contrast still exists today,” he continued. “There are people who are fighting for freedom from assault rifles, freedom from poverty, freedom from exploitation. And there are others who are fighting for freedom to exploit, freedom to have guns, freedom to maintain inequality.”
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Kendi, the author of controversial books including “How to Be an Antiracist,” believes America is plagued by systemic racism and white privilege. He argues that whites must acknowledge their privilege and implicit bias, as well as America’s systemic racism, to oppose racism.
Kendi said he is raising his daughter to believe the effort to purge America of racism is like the fight to end slavery.
“I really want to get her to understand there are multiple kinds of freedom, and she should be fighting for and joining with those who are fighting for freedom from something like slavery,” he said. “And the way kids can understand it is, kids understand bad rules. My daughter understands what’s not fair. And we can teach children that there’s [sic] bad rules in society. There are things that are not fair in society. And that’s why, let’s say black people, have less. It’s not because they are less.”
Gun control has been thrust back into the spotlight following mass shootings last month in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas. While most firearms killings in the U.S. involve handguns, both mass shootings from last month’s attacks used AR-15-style weapons. They are often referred to as “assault weapons,” but that term is not used by the industry, and lawmakers have struggled to define what it means in order to draft legislation.
A recent poll by Quinnipiac University found that support for banning semi-automatic long guns was at an all-time low and that Americans do not support limiting the number of guns someone can own. It also concluded that Americans do not expect Congress to do anything on gun control.
“In today’s poll, 50 percent of registered voters support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, while 45 percent oppose it,” the poll said.