Disclaimer: I received an ARC via Netgalley.
Shortly after I finished this book, I put a quote from it up on the board in my classroom. At one point, Kendi argues that white supremacy is also anti-white and a form of genocide on whites. This is in addition to the attacks on non-whites. The interesting thing is that the black students (I use black because not all of the students are American citizens) were all nodding their heads, and the while students were all WTF.
But that idea of challenge of re-defining, defining, and expanding terms is, in part, the point of this excellent book.
Kendi contends that “not racist” isn’t the term we should be using, that it is a true neutral a phrase, too defensive and lets people who say it off. He says the term that is the opposite of racism is anti-racism, and that is what we all should aim to be. He includes himself in this, well for lack of a better term quest, and the book is also a chronicle of his becoming an antiracist.
While reading this, I kept thing of Coates’ Between the World and Me, and in many ways this book is a letter to all the world. For Kendi also details intersectional anti-racism, applying not only to feminism but also support of the LGBTQ community as well as classism (this is where the white supremacy being anti-white comes in).
He also dissects and challenges terms and ideas – such as his discussion about microaggressions or the connection between racism and power. He challenges you, as he challenges himself, to become antiracist.