CBS This Morning invited children’s book authors Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds onto the show Tuesday to help shill their new book, “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You.” The book appears to be aimed at “teaching kids the roots of racism,” which sounds like exactly the kind of divisive tripe that we need at a time like this.
In addition to teaching readers all about the slave-holding legacies of George Washington and the other Founding Fathers, Kendi and Reynolds explain how innocent-seeming terms like “Black Monday” are deeply connected to our nation’s antipathy towards African-Americans.
“So many misconceptions and truly lies throughout history of what children are taught about their history,” lamented host Michelle Miller. “I hate to put it that directly, but, you know, when you go back and you look at people like a Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, these founding fathers who were so revered, how do you re-teach that?”
“Well, I think first and foremost you ask the question: What does it mean that a slave holder heralded the American philosophy of freedom?” said Kendi. “And so you sort of start there. And then I think young people can understand the contradictions. And I think that’s one of the things we’re trying to show them through this book.”
Cohost Tony Dokoupil questioned whether there was any benefit to teaching this revisionist view of American history.
“You know, there are people out there who, they see a book like this and they think, ‘Look America’s the greatest country that ever existed and to engaged in this sort of negativity is to dragging it down.’ What do you say to that kind of parent who is not going to want their kid to read a book like this?” he asked.
Reynolds said, “If we love the country as much as we claim we do, then we must be honest about it. It’s no different than my brother and sister, if I love them like I say I love them, then that means that I can’t lie about who they are and I have to challenge them when I think they’re making mistakes. And I think that this is the ultimate act of patriotism, as far as I’m concerned.”
Right, but would you constantly bring up mistakes your brother made 200 years ago?
“Tony made reference to it in introducing you, even terms like ‘Black Monday’ or ‘Black Sheep’ can be freighted with a negative connotation that sometimes we don’t even realize,” the hosts said.
“Yeah, and I don’t think we even realize when you have a skin color and regular color and we’re connoting both in a negative fashion. There are relationships between the two and I think we have to break not only the relationship, but those negative connotations,” Kendi said.
But this is a contradiction: If we “don’t even realize” that we’re conflating skin color with terms like “Black Monday,” then that means WE AREN’T DOING THAT AT ALL. The relationship has already been broken. No one says, “Hey, what do you mean by that?” when you comment on how white an egg is. And no one (other than tongue-in-cheek comedians) would say, “That’s racist” if you mentioned Black Monday.
These authors, like almost everyone else involved in the racial grievance industry these days, are creating problems where none exist. The fact that this propaganda is being aimed at children only makes it that much more disturbing and sad.