BU prof, ‘antiracist’ activist wants to remove ‘not racist’ from vocabulary

  • The founder of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research says that humans need to remove “not racist” from their vocabulary.
  • Using the hashtag #ExpandingCourtExpandsDemocracy, he advocated for court-packing if the Republicans successfully confirm a new Supreme Court justice.

Ibram Kendi, a Boston University humanities professor and author of the bestselling book How to Be an Antiracist, wants to remove the term “not racist” from the human vocabulary.

After tweeting that the Democrats should “expand the Supreme Court to expand Democracy” if the Republicans are successful in appointing a conservative Supreme Court Justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Twitter user criticized his famous uses of the terms “racist” and “anti-racist.”

“Actually what I’m saying is we should eliminate the term ‘not racist’ from the human vocabulary. We are either being racist or antiracist."   

In response to the user’s assertion that Kendi places people into three categories — racist, not racist, and anti-racist — Kendi chimed in to clarify that there is no such thing as a “not racist” person.

[RELATED: US colleges are telling students to read this book, so we found out why]

In a now-deleted tweet, Kendi says that the word "not racist" should be eliminated from the human vocabulary.

“Actually what I’m saying is we should eliminate the term ‘not racist’ from the human vocabulary. We are either being racist or antiracist,” he said. “Is that clear for you? There’s no such thing as ‘not racist.’”

As Campus Reform reported in August, Kendi is the founder of Boston University’s new “Center for Antiracist Research,” which will run “exhaustive racial research, research-based policy innovation, data-driven educational and advocacy campaigns, and narrative-change initiatives.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey donated $10 million to the initiative, stating that he is “grateful” for Kendi’s work.

[RELATED: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey donates $10 million to Boston University's 'Center for Antiracist Research']

The New York Times bestselling book How to Be an Antiracist posits that "the only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination." 

Several news outlets and literary publications — including NPR, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly — named the work one of the best books of the year.

Campus Reform reached out to Kendi and Boston University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft

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Ben Zeisloft
Benjamin Zeisloft | Pennsylvania Senior Campus Correspondent

Benjamin Zeisloft is a Pennsylvania Senior Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform. He is studying Finance and Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Benjamin also writes for The UPenn Statesman and the Wharton International Business Review.

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