Stamped a Remix: A Partial List of Errors
The “hot” book to “spur discussion” about racism or teach about “antiracism” for young adults is Jason Reynolds and Ibram Kendi’s book, Stamped a Remix, which is a dumbed-down version of Kendi’s book Stamped from the Beginning.
Kendi’s antiracism ideology is pernicious. He divides the world into racists, assimilationists, and antiracists. The assimilationists include almost everyone prominent who has ever worked for civil rights, including Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois (at least until he became a Communist), MLK, and more. The hero of the last third of the book is Angela Davis. For some reason, even though she was Communist who devoted most of her life to advancing Communism in general rather than civil rights specifically, and was an over-the-top apologist for every brutal action ever taken by the USSR, she becomes the exemplar of antiracism. Not incidentally, she was and remains [link has her engaging in a modern version of blood libel by ridiculously linking Israel to police violence against blacks in the U.S.] an antisemite, and it’s rather difficult to see how a racist against Jews can be an antiracist heroine.
But plenty of other people have taken on Kendi’s ideology. I had occasion to read the book, and made a running list of errors, which is undoubtedly incomplete. The list is extensive enough that no reputable academic institution should assign the book. As a resource for teachers, parents, and students I am going to list the errors I found in the last 1/3 of the book. I focus on that part because the errors seem more numerous and glaring; I’m not sure if that’s because I’m more familiar with the relevant history, or the book simply isn’t as bad until it gets to modern times. Along with gross errors, I’m including examples of where the authors gloss over reality when it suits their agenda. Some of these errors go to the heart of Kendi’s project, some are minor. But together they reflect authors who are indifferent to fact.
Readers should feel free to use this information, with or without attribution, to oppose assigning this book to their kids. Here we go:
Page 162: Malcom X and the Nation of Islam. The book’s description of NOI’s philosophy makes it sound rather benign, ignoring the both racist and crazy elements of it. Here is what NOI actually believes (though Malcom himself at the end of his life renounced these beliefs in favor of Orthodox Islam): over 6,000 years ago, the black race lived in a paradise on earth that was destroyed by the evil wizard Yacub, who created the white “devil” through a scientific process called “grafting.” Fard and his disciple preached of a coming apocalyptic overthrow of white domination, insisting that the dominion of evil was to end with God’s appearance on earth in the person of Fard. Following this, NOI predicts an epic struggle in which the Nation of Islam will play a key role in preparing and educating the Original People, who ruled the earth in peace and prosperity until Yacub’s “blue-eyed devils” came along to gum things up. The Nation of Islam teaches that intermarriage or race mixing should be prohibited.
On page 173, the books states as fact that the 1964 Civil Rights Act caused a racist backlash. In fact, racis
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