Updated: Feb 25
In our previous issue, we linked to Kelefa Sanneh's review of two books currently setting the terms for our contemporary conversation about racial equity and justice: Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility and Ibram X. Kendi's How to be an Antiracist.
Both books, to quote Thomas Chatterton Williams, "reduce the complexity of individual experience to membership in undifferentiated, monolithic masses defined by ancestry and skin color." By doing so, they "introduce a kind of racial Manichaeism to the discourse that is religious in scope and fervor."
DiAngelo and Kendi both feature prominently in the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge from the American Bar Association. It's a noble goal, but Jennifer Richmond suggests that the reading list tends to "lump black American thought into a homogeneous mass, failing to encompass alternative voices that are contrarian to the current racial dogma."
For point/counterpoint, dogma/dissent, check out Richmond's Alternative 21-Day Racial Reading Challenge. It's the first place to go for intellectually serious perspectives on race from across the ideological spectrum.