How To Be An Antiracist

Author: Ibram X. Kendi

Reasons to read:

  • To gain an understanding of the importance of being ‘antiracist’ as opposed to ‘not racist’.
  • To gain insight into different forms of racism and how to work to dismantle racist systems and policies.
  • To gain knowledge of the barriers faced by people of colour due to racist policies.
  • To be able to confidently discuss the subject of racism with pupils and colleagues.

Key notes:

  • Racist ideas make black people think less of themselves, which makes them more vulnerable to racist ideas. Racist ideas make white people think more of themselves, which further attracts them to racist ideas.
  • To say something is wrong about a racial group is to say something is inferior about that racial group, which in turn, is to say a racist idea.
  • The opposition of racism isn’t ‘not racist’ it’s ‘antiracist’.
  • The three racist viewpoints are: segregationist, assimilationist and antiracist’. Many people hold dual beliefs.
  • Biological racists are segregationists. They believe that races are meaningfully different in their biology and that these differences create a hierarchy of value.
  • There is no such thing as ‘racial ancestry’. People are born with ancestry that comes from their parents but are assigned a race.
  • When we racialise any group and then render that group’s culture inferior, we are articulating cultural racism.
  • Racial group behaviour is fictional. Individual behaviour is real.
  • Standardised testing is a racist policy.
  • What if we measured intelligence by how knowledgeable individuals are about their environment?
  • What if we measured intellect by an individual’s desire to know?
  • What if we realised the best way to ensure an effective education system is not by standardising our curricula and tests, but by standardising the opportunities available to all students?
  • ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to do what is right in the face of it’.

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