The more months that pass, the more that “antiracism”—the fashionable ideology that rose to prominence in the wake of the 2020 George Floyd protests—is being exposed as a grift.
As highlighted last week at Intellectual Takeout, Boston University recently opened an inquiry into Ibram X. Kendi’s Center for Antiracist Research, to uncover, among other enigmas, where $55 million in funding has been spent since the center opened in 2020.
This follows on from BLM’s financial scandal last year: After indulging in a real estate buying binge, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Patrisse Kahn-Cullors, abruptly quit, leaving no one in charge of the remaining $60 million in the organization’s accounts.
Meanwhile, just last week in the U.K., a BLM organizer admitted fraud after £30,000 in donations from Black Lives Matter supporters went missing, as reported in The Telegraph in an aptly titled article: “It’s time to admit it: Black Lives Matter hysteria made fools of us all.”
While the antiracism movement may have set out with good intentions, it has quickly followed a well-trodden path of top-heavy leadership, centralized finance, and next to no accountability.
Some of its most celebrated leaders appear to be motivated primarily by financial gain, undermining the movement’s purported goals of helping the disadvantaged, and calling its cause and credibility into serious question.
Tens of millions of dollars in potentially embezzled funds is a major price for donors to incur. However, the greatest cost of the antiracism grift is not economic, but social.
As many are now aware, antiracism’s animating philosophy is critical race theory (CRT). On the surface, CRT claims merely to highlight the racism and injustice of the past so that we can overcome any residual effects of them in the present.
But get ready for the bait-and-switch.
In actual fact, CRT goes far beyond acknowledging that racism persists in America.
According to CRT’s own theorists, the very foundation of Western nations is white supremacy. Western values—including individual rights, meritocracy, free speech, private property, colorblindness, and equality before the law—are merely “camouflage” for white domination. Moreover, all white people are racists and are responsible for the sins of their ancestors.
Consider just several quotes from some of CRT’s most celebrated advocates:
“All white people are racist or complicit by virtue of benefiting from privileges that are not something they can voluntarily renounce.”
—Barbara Applebaum, Being White, Being Good
“White identity is inherently racist; white people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy.”
—Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility
“White people raised in Western society are conditioned into a white supremacist worldview because it is the bedrock of our society and its institutions.”
—Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility
“Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.”
—Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction
In short, racism is all around us—found not just in the hearts of individuals, but built into society’s structures, systems, and institutions. CRT insists that racial minorities face oppression in almost every realm of Western society—in the legal system, the corporate world, entertainment and media, sports, the political realm, education, and even our customs, holidays, and traditions.
If you think this is an exaggeration, consider that CRT’s advocates in the media have managed to spot racism just about everywhere: in freeways, math, front lawns, chess, the craft beer industry, classical music, being nice, jogging, trying not to be racist, milk, hiking, traffic lights, the climate movement, dogs, Western philosophy, knitting, the countryside, Bernie Sanders’ mittens, wine, cycling, science, horse-racing, not finding black people attractive, and finding black people attractive.
Antiracism is promoted as the remedy to these supposed problems. In the words of Ibram X. Kendi, “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
In truth, both CRT and antiracism are some of the most divisive ideas ever to enter mainstream American discourse. They have caused the most carnage not through financial fraud or the hypocrisy of their proponents but through the deep divisions they have opened up in American society. This is the true cost of the antiracism grift.
Western nations are far from perfect. But for well over a generation, we have embraced the simple yet profound idea of Martin Luther King, Jr.—that we should view one another not on the basis of skin color, but character. All MLK was asking in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech was for the United States to live up to its founding ideals.
Christopher Rufo, who has been one of CRT’s biggest critics, and who has waged a hugely successful legal campaign against it in many states, says that “the secret to winning this fight is courage.” He argues:
This is the fundamental virtue required of our time. The courage to speak the truth. The courage to withstand epithets. The courage to face the mob. When enough of us do this—when we break through the wall of fear that prevents so many people from speaking out—the narrative of critical race theory will begin to crumble.
When the cost of cowardice is our country and culture, perhaps it’s high time to call out antiracism for what it is: a way to divide America.