After an embarrassing interview with Manhattan Institute scholar Christopher Rufo, MSNBC host Joy Reid reverted to featuring guests who support her erroneous views on critical race theory. On Monday night, she made a safe choice and interviewed a liberal media favorite and professional race-baiter, Ibram X. Kendi, who among other things claimed the U.S. military has a “white supremacist problem.”
Reid’s typical response to her opponents is “that’s not critical race theory” or “they’re not a critical race theorist.” Naturally, she began by asking Kendi, “are you a critical race theorist?” Kendi responded with an unclear answer:
I’ve certainly been inspired by critical race theory. I certainly admire critical race theory. But at the same time, I wasn’t trained on critical race theory. I didn’t go to law school. And so I don’t necessarily identify as a critical race theorist.
In another interview, Kendi said his definitions of racism and racist are based on critical race theory, which he cited as a foundational element to his work. The point Reid and Kendi tried to make was that he is not a critical race theorist, yet Kendi himself admitted his work is directly influenced by CRT.
Later during Monday night’s exchange, Kendi applauded the increasing wokeness of the military by claiming it was a racist institution:
The fact of the matter is, American Armed Forces have a white supremacist problem and the leaders have recognized that. And those leaders have decided that the way which you address that issue is by teaching people to be anti-racist, by teaching people to recognize the racial groups as equals.
This comment is no surprise because Kendi has a history of hurling vile, racially charged attacks.
It is clear that Reid has no problem with guests who lie and smear conservatives. Her only problem is with those who don’t support her radical agenda and confront her with facts.
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Below is a transcript of the segment, click "expand" to read:
MSNBC's The ReidOut
7:45 p.m. EST
JOY REID: Another common feature of the freak-out is to name and blame particular black public intellectuals who are not even involved in critical race theory. One of those black public intellectuals is Ibram X. Kendi, author of the bestselling book, How to Be an Antiracist and the founder and director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He joins me now. Professor Kendi, thank you so much for being here. I have been -- the whole sort of co-opting of the term critical race theory and then planting it onto really antiracism has been an astonishing thing to watch. One of the astonishing features of it is that they have decided that you are the main person responsible for doing that. I just want to very quickly get this off the table. Are you a critical race theorist?
IBRAM X. KENDI: So I’ve certainly been inspired by – by critical race theory. I certainly admire critical race theory. But at the same time, I wasn’t trained on critical race theory. I didn’t go to law school. And so I don’t necessarily identify as a critical race theorist.
REID: Yeah, and right. You have to go to law school to be one, right? And you just made that point very well. But they don’t either -- they don’t know really what it is either. But here it is Senator Josh Hawley, sort of one of the worst sort of offenders here, slamming you by name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAWLEY: Dr. Ibram Kendi wrote this: The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination. That’s right, that’s what he said. Think about that for a moment. He’s saying that he’s opposed to equality under the law. Dr. Kendi and his followers are in no uncertain terms advocating for state-sanctioned racism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Okay, now given the fact that they can’t seem to quote Dr. King accurately, I’m going to assume that they’re misquoting you or giving the wrong context. Can you explain, please what that quote, even if it’s an accurate quote, what it means?
KENDI: Sure. So, Joy, we recognized as a nation that elderly people were dying at the highest rates, were the most vulnerable to COVID-19. So we decided that it was best to provide vaccine to those people first. No one described that as a bad policy. But young people could have said, hey, you’re discriminating against us. And we would have responded, well, older people are dying at the highest rates. Should they not receive vaccine first? But if we would have then started thinking about, oh, black people are also dying at the highest rates from COVID-19. You know, maybe they should also receive -- maybe they should also receive vaccine first. Maybe we should have a system in which those who have the -- those who have the greatest needs are provided with what they need, but they call that reverse discrimination. They call that discrimination. They’re against that. How are we going to create equity and justice for all if we’re providing the same resources to middle income people as we’re providing to billionaires?
REID: Yeah, this is the same theory under which they have gone after black farmers receiving benefits when they have only 14 percent of the land at this point. They have been stripped of their land. But then they are saying that white farmers need to get all the rest, say all the benefits need to go to white farmers or it’s reverse discrimination, they doing that in court. Stephen Miller is part of that. I just want to ask a couple of other questions to make sure we’re getting everything clear. Do you believe that white Americans are inherently racist?
KENDI: Oh, I do not. And indeed in "How to be an Antiracist", I make the case that we shouldn’t believe that anyone is inherently racist or that we should identify anyone as a racist, and I make the case that racist isn’t a fixed category. It’s a descriptive term that describes what a person is being at any given moment based on what they’re doing or saying. So if a person is saying black people are lazy, they’re being racist. But then the very next moment, they’re advocating a policy that creates justice and equity for all, they’re being anti-racist.
REID: Okay. And do you know of any schools that are teaching that white Americans are inherently racist? Have you heard of any schools that’s teaching that anywhere?
KENDI: I haven’t. And indeed, I would speak out against that school if it was doing it.
REID: And we now know that one of the groups that is under attack from the same people who are attacking you are military, the military, particularly military generals, including the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff chair, General Milley. He’s now been attacked by Donald Trump, Matt Gaetz, who never served and probably wouldn’t have the guts to serve for 10 seconds, nor would Tucker Carlson, nor would Laura Ingraham, they’ve all gone after him. Bill Kristol has called that out as sort of proto -- sort of ground-level fascism. He said Trump voters are pro-military. Why are Trump and Carlson attacking the military? But the attack is on woke generals, the brass, and disloyal citizens in charge. It’s an attempt to appeal to aggrieved troops and vets, and to divide the military and subvert civilian control. It’s a classic move from the authoritarian playbook and also from the fascist playbook.
What do you make of the fact that people like Trump wanted to use the military to attack Black Lives Matter protesters specifically, he wanted them -- and Milley refused by the way. They got in a cussing match. He said I’m not doing it. But they don’t believe the military should study whether there are racist and white nationalists in the military because some of those folks attacked the Capitol. What do you make of that dichotomy?
KENDI: I mean, I think it’s pure sort of insanity that’s presented as logic. The fact of the matter is, is American Armed Forces have a white supremacist problem and the leaders have recognized that. And those leaders have decided that the way the which you address that issue is by teaching people to be anti racist
KENDI: By teaching people to recognize the racial groups as equals. And it’s fascinating, and we learned this year that the Republican Party isn’t pro-cop because if they were pro-cop, they would have responded differently to the Capitol insurrection and certainly were showing now they’re not even pro-military. These are -- these are wedges and terms and constructs they use just -- and they lie about them just as they lie about anti-racism and critical race theory and the 1619 Project.
REID: And your book took really off after the George Floyd murder and so did Robin DiAngelo’s book "White Rage." I believe that’s the name of her book. Do you think that this -- that the right is using the George Floyd movement and the fact that white Americans saw what happened to George Floyd and said, my god, we need to question whether or not there is structural racism in our society, that that’s what this is about? This is about white Americans having woken up to what happened to George Floyd and now the right wants to stop that?
KENDI: I mean, if you’re an elected official, if you’re a white elected official who has been instituting policies that have harmed the majority of white Americans and all the while you have been convincing those very white Americans that you’re fighting for them, that you’re instituting policies that help them, that you are teaching them that the cause of their pain are people of color, you are not going to want them to wake up, to understand racism because then they’re going to see you as a problem and vote you out.
REID: There you go. There you go. And if you are anti-anti racist, think about what that says that you actually are. Ibram X. Kendi, I’m so glad you could be here, author of How to Be Antiracist. Thank you.