Ibram X. Kendi is an American author and historian who teaches at American University. From July 2020, Kendi will join Boston University to launch the BU Center for Antiracist Research. Ibram sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the definitions of racism vs. anti-racism, the importance of acknowledging moments of racism in your life and his own racist beliefs that he has worked on shedding. Dax wonders if it’s realistic to ask people to prioritize issues that don’t directly affect them and Ibram equates fighting racists ideas to fighting addictions. They talk about the police system, how to educate children and the unspoken element of gun deaths in America.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
foremost words move to you said you just moved Boston. I just took a new position change is necessary to grow anything. Fortunately, for me, I've had to Has been helpful because you're not being able to build
been happening. These last two weeks is first and foremost, where in Raw America, Suburban America, urban, American and I think that that nation arriving too many people have spoken about that have the first. The crowds had been traders in the sixties, the scale and how widespread it is, an endless, sustained number demonstrations day after day and then for them to be growing as opposed to declining United
remember through my reading of history at another time like this, phrasing I read a bunch of, but at any rate you know in the times it had something to do with chronic and then like a lately all went away, and now nearly every article is about the protest is about a racial equality and that in thinking stop talking about corona. So I think that says a lot in and of itself that we switched so quickly
that's out of the goodness of everyone's hard or that deeper fear of property damage. If I'm a cynic, those who are opposed to it that these are the people who if in their mind, the country is property in police and soda New York Times and others your covering the signature moment in which those who are in the protests from their homes,
strong to do to build the injustice to build a society where people a policy and supporting it time where fundamental change could happen, Anyway, it's really about the life of this nation, Phoenicians are important and you you ve, made that clear that that's a big first step is like defining all these things, so you just made a difference. A distinction distinction. Thank you between. how to be racist. I tried very frustration site to find a demonstration,
calling in demonstrating, in speaking about the problem of racism or the problem of police brutality. speaking directly to power or speaking directly to those forces that they want change demonstrations, I think, is distinct from a protest. Protest is typically hey that puts pressure, direct pressure on power
ugly and behavioral, but there are cultural differences, why's that difference and basically level that difference. in some of our colleagues, were doing. They were not and it wasn't until really the sixties that you had by the latter you know that people started rejecting those anthropologists were saying, you know what the have gone like all that culture,
behavior in a cockpit thou, that's fascinating! So I'll just say that the meanest harm asking itself necessarily talk to level cultural difference were taught. of human culture, in that human culture. Typically, is why and does it? is considered civilized man striving to be that way there in that I guess for me for instance in I was raised in Africa
recognize. I don't really understand enough about. Other cultures intensive study, and even I can sort of understand history, but it's almost like coming to understand a language is its best, especially if you have emerged. As you know, from the time when you are child yeah, to make this interest team relevant to start by acknowledging that we have a lot of bad hardware. identifying group out group very quickly and that as Paul
identify your in grouping. You're out group could have been worse. That has to be challenged endlessly, and I We too have a naive sense of what the solutions can entail. Do disagree with that, or do you think that, as some merit, I'm not one of our genetic make up due to air. our socialization. Like setting an example, I have a new book coming out in terrorist speedy, research just to make sure that this back to a lot of research? they tend to match.
The words what they find is vital. six months, the biggest three months all day, boy who match their caretakers, but they it would seem to me that at least if this was racial asked so you're, certainly being socialized up and to have
most recent Chapelle Special he about watching the white people, go through the opium epidemic. In these like tat, I finally get it now and I you felt about the crack epidemic and I was like you now. I dont think Chapelle hates white people. He doesn't desire to see them struggle for monopolies epidemic, but another layer of that for many Blackie boys, Dave is old enough to remember I think there is a level of their child were black and you went through the crap he's in jail horse and derision, and now you're, seeing as as the state should be for the most part.
recognising this is a disease and not a criminal act and inch like what great point, so when the crack epidemic started and Hans was, let's That was the response. It wasn't all. This must be a health issue. I recognise its a health issue and people seem pretty opened the notion that it was a health issue. that was never presented in defence of people using crime the of March and early April
This was seen as a major emergency in that we needed to radically social distance. I believe the king asked April. We begin to see these regional disparities in state after state. Then, suddenly there was talk of ok. We can when there was no race attached to the victim faces became attached So people are your privately, Now I would point out that I feel Katy us on this topic, because by your own admission, I watch your you see Berkeley speech, which was fantastic. I recommend everyone watch if you
a team in Virginia and you actually took school of like let's blame the victims, because I think it's again really relevant that you have viewed this topic through the glass is that I think a lot of people are stuck wherein right now finalist for this moment, the king or a terrible contents imprints in County Virginia, which is outside of the sea and actually ever tabled that speech things that I said, came of age and ninety nine, this was the year. Two thousand
The problem will concern a menace to society. You know it There was all these ideas about black you'd being violent, not valuing education, black, you, you know having too many babies and- and many of those ideas were constantly sort of talk to me, and I ended up and I ended up sort of honouring their The study in which I was constantly talking about all the things wrong with black you back, you ve W education like you people don't have intestinal fortitude. And all of these reasons began the boy. So I'm talking about in admitting that an impact
meet those moments in our life in which we expressed race. when we say that majority black a human being on one leg and memories challenged we met the mistakes that were made Do you think, the nineties that the young blackmail was target number one? Do you think it simply because I cube I mean, I think the stories change like I telling the story of yours surrounding and song is not new. Is it just? Was that the mass popularity of white kids,
simpler, just one piece of it so and in M growing, a mass unemployment. to a growing out of violent crime answer. think about the porch. It's something about the hip, hop there listen and so therefore we need a crime. Do too rights in your out rules with more cops anything,
people saying you know it's because they don't value education, you also had to civil rights generation. then sixties and were basically telling young black you'd. Like me, you are not honouring king stream cause I of anything we don't like so Germany I'll say, will look Five million of those people are, however, many work evil. You have to explain it, so the explanation is treaty of Versailles as these war.
So what you get so like I'm trying to say in this context can produce this outcome, but I'm I start with the notion of I find it hard to believe everyone in Germany was evil rate goes up in black, meaning is the last thing I do is say. Well, I know they're great people, because there's this long standing b study is the idea. and then that leads to somebody like George Forward being killed or Brianna Taylor, a very simple truth,
so in other words, something about the black people that is behind this ban on the neighbourhood down the way, have less violent crime, blackness of the people is behind the by the crime? Would it the higher income? Maybe we have the same levels of violent crime, the higher levels of unemployment we should be doing. These is dangerous. which then completely changes the calculus on the problem and solution. Here, Looking at his socio economic issues, I mean: there's, that's not true
These things you also see much higher crime, so much at this stuff is really predictable. Just on the socio economic aspect of it, it is what's economic and what is not in it, but I think in terms of socio economic we'll think of violent crime, they think of murder, they think of actually does tend to happen more in a fluid black considered, you know to be about crime because of the way in which you know, people sort of regarded and then even when it comes to robbery. Europe
did you know robbing them for their while on the street. is in their suburban affluent neighbourhood, robbing every night on american dream a lot that your favorite show. The of this is in many ways. People will be that they live in these same neighborhoods, because a very narrow conceptions, crime, an impact Socio Economic did. I would it will make it because the issues like hell, oh. credible racial health disparities, is that
Mothers are more likely to die during pregnancy and poor white mothers.
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now write about why the opium crisis didn't it so they actually were prescribed the medicine at nearly the right white people were, which would you not lower the introduction raid and then the ultimate addiction ray that, as a result of racist policies, you know why people even white for people the priorities in the bandages cancelled, but at the same time, why people get hurt by racism to it's just
He bore payment, how you doing sickles anemia, even though no concentrations of malaria. That's not just Sub Saharan Africa of South America. If, then, the sickle saw array, the person gets. Misdiagnosed gets ha ha interesting, relevant
Jeanne right, so you can have some your blood cells signalled some, not sick in the signalled cells. Do carry oxygen better when you have malaria right, that's my understanding of how its it's all its offends against malaria, which is why where malaria is more prevalent? Ok, people are reading it in huge numbers right now and to think as fans have you had it sitting right here? How to mean antiracist on our desks now expect not racism, anti racist, some being stressing the racist idea was
So, in order to really unstable, superior inferior to another in any way or that this is what better or raw or write about particular racial grew. These are racist ideas in antiracist idea, superior period inferior about any rational at the racial groups are equal, the same biologically behaviorally and indifferent, ethnically and culturally her racial inequity or injustice
black people being disproportionately disenfranchised in the south in the same way now Booter IP law are franchising black and brown people