Unveiling Racism: A Comprehensive Exploration in 'How to Be an Antiracist' - A Free Essay Example

Published: 2024-01-24
Unveiling Racism: A Comprehensive Exploration in 'How to Be an Antiracist' - A Free Essay Example
Essay type:  Book review
Categories:  Racism Justice Society Books
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1726 words
15 min read

The book "How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi discusses the racism concepts as well as the proposal for anti-racism actions and the need for systematic changes. The readings from the discussion by Dr.Kendi on the Intersectionality between sexism, racism, and homophobia are the best read. This is because the author is very informative on the current issues facing Americans and the populations of the world.

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The book addresses the concept of white fragility, which has then been defined as a state where a white person being subjected to a minimal amount of racism results in a very hostile response in whites' attempt to defend themselves against such (DiAngelo 54). Such is arising from the environment where white people are mostly insulated from racism. There is the identification of several situations that may trigger the occurrence of such situations. The article has listed some of these instances that would promote the experience of white fragility.

There are several factors that promote the presence of white fragility. These factors offer an idea of how white fragility concepts arise in various societies with the white population. There is an illustration of how white fragility presents itself and the underlying conditions that have assured its continued presence (DiAngelo 55). It identifies how this condition develops from childhood and develops gradually as a white person grows up within a white-based community. The idea that white people are a superior race in comparison to others. The article also identifies the role that white people's denial of racism has played in an increased aspect of white fragility and racism (DiAngelo 56). It is considering the always-existing situation to preach against racism while still secluding themselves in various avenues. The observation of how antiracist whites utilize certain conditions to manipulate the conversation to be about them.

The intersection of racism, for example, is educative. The author reveals the dimensions of racism and the reasons they are wrong perceptions; an instance is racism based on colorism. The racists who view one color as superior to the others are biased and not driven by real facts. It shall stick in my mind that Intersectionality is a definition of an institution or a group of people working together to propagate inequity (Kendi).

The optimism of the author is appealing. He uses the example of his parents surviving the fight against cancer as a metaphor for Africans fighting for their freedom from racial injustices. The author believes that despite the hardships in the fight, they shall finally overcome the struggle and celebrate the benefits (Kendi). The reading also explores the differences in the beliefs of people on the subject of sex. Sexism has been experienced in the world, especially in sports, where people are being discriminated against for their sexual affiliation. The reading explains the issues of homophobia and transphobia. According to the author, phobias are a result of inequity and propaganda that is not factual. These issues are among the reasons why the world has not yet achieved success in the war for social justice.

An important aspect to consider in the social changes towards anti-racism is the 14th amendment that gave birth to the equal protection clause, which declared that all people should be provided with equal protection from the law irrespective of their differences in the jurisdiction. This amendment was motivated by the provisions in the Civil Rights Act of the year 1866. The Civil Act protected all citizens against suppression during assemblies and rallies for political representation. The whole amendment shifted the constitution's application, especially in states that were still demonstrating a partisan approach to issues, especially to the people of color.

The statement of equality under the 14th Amendment has been debated by lawmakers and human rights activists. The definition of the clause is supposed to mean equal justice under the laws of America. Despite the provisions of equality, there are still instances of injustice in the country, especially among the people who have been marginalized on the basis of their race. The authors of the amendment had a vision of having a country where diversity and justice for all people are guaranteed.

The goal is yet to be achieved as there is generational civil activism, with African Americans plighting for more representation in the political, educational, and social spheres. The injustices being witnessed resulted from the institution of slavery that led to the torture and enslavement of Africans in America. The law is still unclear on the position of the diverse community.

The institution, despite being banned, is still present in some ways, as evident in the killings of innocent people of color and the instances of systemic racism. The amendment is hopefully soon going to eliminate racism and inequality among the communities. The amendment should dismantle institutional racism and allow the government to erect proper houses, schools, and other social amenities for the segregated communities. The act should prompt the judicial system to cut funds on projects that are not useful for restoring justice.

The institution of policing and correctional facilities should be underfunded, and the funds used for building initiatives such as community policing. There are, however, several steps that the law has been useful in the restoration of justice. It has led to the development of the Racial Justice Program, which aims to slowly dismantle the institution of slavery in the minds of the citizens and gradually repair the racial damage.

The program files lawsuits in state and federal courts. It offers representation to the offenders of color and ensures that the charges are entirely based on the law and not on other racially biased statements. It also lobby's with non-governmental organizations in states to educate the citizens on the institution of racism, its source, and the effects it has on

The theme that has inspired me to be an agent of change in the book, how to Be an Anti-racist by Dr. Kendi, is the theme of Intersectionality in racism and how to stop being racist. The understanding of the piece is useful for every individual aiming to make changes in modern society, which is still racist. According to the author, there is nothing like "not being racist." Understanding that the world is divided into two sets of beliefs, racists, and antiracists, allows individuals to set a stand and fight for their beliefs.

My understanding of the Intersectionality of racism has enabled me to understand the people around me in society. The judgments based on culture, color, and beliefs are not data-driven. Every individual who believes in a world free from prejudice and progress in the fields of education and economy should condemn racism. The theme reflects the institution of racism and the torture that the African-Americans faced under the institution (Kendi). The institution continues to prevail in the modern-day through systemic racism, which has led to the poverty of the colored people, where they are unable to afford basic health care, better housing, and education. The racial injustice is evident in the government, where they are underrepresented. The book is, however, an inspiration of optimism, as the author is sure that victory against racial injustice is guaranteed.

Strong Arguments developed

The topic discussed by Kendi is meant to deal with racial trauma, which is an area of concern for most educators because they need to take it into consideration when dealing with their students. It is a sad reality that racism has found its way into the school systems, with students also being perpetrators of racist incidents.

This leads to an increase in the insecurity that the students who are victims of racial profiling and abuse become racially traumatized, whereby they feel that their race is the reason for the maltreatment that they receive (Ahmed 2). Some of the practices within the education system that have escalated the situation include incidences of hate crimes and bullying with race as the motivating factor. These school policies have resulted in more suspensions and expulsion of black students due to the system's inability to take into account the cultural factors that may make the students behave in a certain way (Simmons, 2017). For example, they may be aggressive because of the environments in which they have grown, yet they will be judged on the same scale as the children who come from secure neighborhoods with no incidences of crime.

Racial trauma is also evident when it is over-referred and misidentification for special education for students with learning disabilities, developmental delay, or other related emotional and behavioral disadvantages. At the same time, children from different races enjoy specialized attention and education when there is an incidence of the same conditions (Yates & Allatar, 2017). The preferential treatment means that intellectually challenged children will suffer from the lack of support they require to overcome the hurdles they face in their quest to get an education.

While they are over-referred for special education, black children are under-referred for gifted education programs, advanced placement, or any other programs offered to other advanced learners. This means that while they may be qualified, the black children are not provided the same advantages that their counterparts receive, leading to racial trauma in the children involved. They feel inadequate, unappreciated, and rejected, making the dropout rates from black children continue to rise steadily, and those who persist in the school system revert to delinquent acts to get the school system's attention America does not.


The founding documents are a philosophy of the founding fathers and their ideals for a diverse America. The ideals include the government's responsibility to offer justice to every citizen irrespective of their racial difference and political affiliation. Modern America is struggling to live according to the ideals, despite the instances of racial injustices in the country. The results of not following the provisions include massive riots and violence as people demand justice. The readings of Dr.Ibram Kendi are educative; his writings on the theme of racism and Intersectionality are essential in understanding the current situation faced by people of color in America. The themes are necessary for an individual aiming at initiating changes in the world in the future.

Works Cited

Ahmed, Sara. "Declarations of whiteness: The non-performativity of anti-racism." borderlands 3.2 (2004): 1-15.

DiAngelo, Robin. "White fragility." International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2011, pp 54-70. https://libjournal.uncg.edu/ijcp/article/viewFile/249/116

Kendi, Ibram X. How to be an antiracist. One world, 2019. 1-320

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Unveiling Racism: A Comprehensive Exploration in 'How to Be an Antiracist' - A Free Essay Example. (2024, Jan 24). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/unveiling-racism-a-comprehensive-exploration-in-how-to-be-an-antiracist-a-free-essay-example

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