Transcript: Ibram X. Kendi on “Face the Nation,” June 19, 2022


The next is a transcript of an interview with CBS Information racial justice contributor Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, a professor at Boston College, that aired Sunday, June 19, 2022, on “Face the Nation.”

MARGARET BRENNAN: For extra, we would like to show to CBS Information racial justice contributor, Dr. Ibram Kendi, who can also be the creator of two new books, “Find out how to Elevate an Antiracist” and “Good Evening Racism.” Good morning. Comfortable Father’s Day, by the best way. 


MARGARET BRENNAN: I do know you could have a six-year-old daughter. So I’m wondering how are you going to show her what this vacation is? 

DR. KENDI: Nicely, I am truly going to show her that it is Freedom Day. And that all through this nation’s historical past, there was two views on freedom, actually two fights for freedom. Enslaved individuals have been combating for freedom from slavery and enslavers have been combating for the liberty to enslave. And in lots of ways in which form of distinction nonetheless exists in the present day, there are people who find themselves combating for freedom from assault rifles, freedom from poverty, freedom from exploitation. And there are others who’re combating for freedom to use, freedom to have weapons, freedom to keep up inequality. So I actually need to get her to know that there are a number of sorts of freedom. And he or she ought to be combating for and becoming a member of with those that are combating for freedom from one thing like slavery. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: So this idea will get to form of the core of what so lots of your books are about if you say antiracist, and I simply need to be clear, for people who find themselves listening, you don’t train important race principle or CRT, which is turn into very politicized. You concentrate on this concept of antiracism, how do you clarify to individuals at residence the distinction? And for many who say, this is perhaps too superior for a kid? How do you- how do you reply? 

DR. KENDI: Nicely, the distinction is important race principle is an antiracist form of principle, however I am interested by one thing, you realize, I am actually attempting to get the American individuals to actually perceive that there is, there’s inequality. And the reason for that inequality just isn’t what’s flawed with as an example, black individuals, it is what’s flawed with- with unhealthy insurance policies. And the best way children can perceive it’s children perceive unhealthy guidelines. My daughter understands what’s not truthful. And we will train youngsters that there is unhealthy guidelines in society, there are issues that aren’t truthful in society. And that is why, as an example black individuals have much less, it is not as a result of they’re much less.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You- so I believe for individuals at residence who’re attempting to know the idea, it is attention-grabbing, since you principally are arguing, being colorblind just isn’t a advantage. For therefore lengthy individuals have been taught, be blind to paint. You are saying, acknowledging that is essential, as a result of for those who ignore it, it permits racism to outlive, does that proper? 

DR. KENDI: It does. And sadly, we as mother and father, and academics and caregivers of kids, and simply you realize, adults need to consider that, however sadly, it is simply not true. I imply, research present that as early as three years previous, our youngsters have an adult-like idea of race, they are not solely seeing coloration, however they’re attaching it to qualities like smartness, like honesty. And so we’ve got to share with our youngsters. Sure, there are all these completely different colours. However they do not imply something. Identical to a guide cowl does not imply something, you actually should open the guide, and it’s important to open somebody’s coronary heart to see who they and what they honestly are. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: You understand, Condoleezza Rice, the previous Secretary of State was on this program round this time final yr. And I used to be studying her remarks and she or he stated, on the subject of instructing about race, she desires youngsters to be taught about America’s delivery defect of racism, but in addition ahead progress on its points. She stated, I do not need this to be black in opposition to white, my weaponization of my id in opposition to yours. Do you see that weaponization taking place as a result of there’s concern of that?

DR. KENDI: I truly assume that, that weaponization can occur, however that is why for example, I discuss in regards to the conflict between racism and antiracism, versus black and white. And I additionally assume it is essential for us to know what I name in my work, racist progress, how over time, let’s take voter suppression insurance policies have turn into extra refined over time. And so if we’re not recognizing each racial progress, and racist progress, then we’ll be lacking the methods wherein racism and why racism is persisting and why inequality is persisting. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: You understand, one of many issues that we’re monitoring proper now on this nation is that this menace of home extremism. And simply this week, the 18-year-old white man who killed 10 Black individuals at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, made an look in federal court docket. He apologized to his mother and father, however defined his motivation as being about stopping the elimination of the white race. How do mother and father forestall their little one from being radicalized like that?. I imply, that appears like on-line recruitment for terrorism or one thing.

DR. KENDI:  It’s. And that is an enormous, big drawback. I imply that- the variety of significantly white male teenagers who’ve been recruited in multiplayer video video games, on-line by way of memes by way of direct messages, you realize, is de facto excessive. And the best way that we shield our youngsters from that’s guarantee they’ll determine white supremacist ideology. And the best way you the best way they’ll determine white supremacist ideology is to show them about it. There is no means they are going to have the ability to shield themselves from it, similar to they cannot shield themselves from vehicles. They’ve to know to look each methods whether or not they’re youngsters or younger individuals, so they will not get harmed.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Dr. Kendi, thanks very a lot. Good luck with the books. And Comfortable Father’s Day once more. We’ll be proper again.


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