The leading intellectual light behind the Critical Race Theory that has already severely damaged racial harmony in the United States and is corroding American society itself, Ibram X. Kendi, has discovered the fundamental truth of our absurd age: the quickest path to elite status and highly lucrative remuneration is to be oppressed, victimized, and marginalized. Kendi has mastered the art of parlaying his alleged oppression into big bucks, fawning coverage from the establishment media, and respect and influence in the academic world. Many others have done this, but none with the breathtaking audacity and extraordinary success of Ibram X. Kendi.
Kendi graciously granted an audience recently to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), where he trained faculty and students in racial resentment and baseless grievance-mongering. A savvy and unabashed capitalist in service of Communism, he also took the opportunity to promote a few of his bestselling books, which are, of course, about how to sow racial resentment and indulge in baseless grievance-mongering.
The sage intellectual was generous with his precious time, but Kendi is no Gandhi: the university had to shell out top dollar for the privilege of having the chance to bask in his serene presence. In order to be able to present “An Evening with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi: How to Be An Antiracist,” UWM paid the scholar $40,000, plus $3,500 more to cover his flight, hotel, and meals. Given the time that Kendi spent at UWM, according to The Federalist, this works out to about $207 per minute, which is not at all a bad wage for a few short hours sowing hatred, bitterness and suspicion.
In advertising the event, UWM emphasized that Kendi was not just an oppressed person of color, but was one of the foremost and celebrated oppressed persons of color in the United States: “Join us for an evening with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and other books. Professor Kendi is one of America’s foremost historians and antiracist scholars. In 2020, he was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and by The Root 100 as the most influential college professor.”
What’s more, Kendi’s tale of subjugation and exclusion was endorsed by the university’s highest authorities. The Federalist noted that “UWM’s Kendi event was sponsored by the university’s board of regents, division of student affairs, student involvement center, division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the group Leaders Igniting Transformation.” The ad for the event stated: “At UWM, Professor Kendi will participate in a conversation on antiracism with UWM’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Dr. Chia Youyee Vang. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see the award-winning author, scholar and Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.” And of course, Kendi would have a chance to pick up some spare change at the event itself: “Books will be sold at the event by Boswell Book Company.”
UWM also heavily subsidized the Kendi event. About 630 tickets were printed, but 400 were for free admission for students. 90 were sold to the general public for $12 each, and the other 140 were sold for $10 each to the “campus community.” That means that the Kendi event showed about a $40,000 loss, but it was no doubt worth it for UWM students to get the very latest in race-hate indoctrination.
What Kendi actually said, however, is not known. His agreement to speak included an “audiovisual recording addendum,” under the terms of which the recording of the event was removed from UWM servers shortly after the event.
Wisconsin state Sen. Julian Bradley, whom the Federalist notes is “the first black Republican to win election in the state,” aptly summed up Kendi’s lecture: “Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a nation where we are judged by our character, not the color of our skin, is under attack by grifters.” That is true, but the fault is not entirely Kendi’s. He has a product for which American academia, as well as the American business community, is eager to pay. It is a rancid, hateful, divisive, and mendacious product, but in paying big money for it, institutions such as UWM are just as responsible for its spread as Kendi is for offering it. The American academic establishment is sold out to race-grievance nonsense; Kendi is just a clever huckster who is supplying something that is in great demand. His lucrative appearance at UWM was just another day in our age of absurdity.