The true measure of a person’s character is not what he portrays to the public, but how he treats people in private.
Truly righteous people treat others with respect and dignity when no one else is around and there is no social recognition that they have done the right thing.
This distinction is important – especially for people who work in teaching others about the appropriate way to interact with people, especially those who are considered less influential in society.
But when no one was watching and there was nothing to be gained, Ibram took advantage.
Amid confirmation of layoffs at Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research, former and current faculty have spoken out about the mismanagement, “exploitation,” and enrichment of Kendi.
“There are different ways it got to this point. “It started very early when the university decided to create a center that was in the hands of one person, one individual who was given millions of dollars and so much authority,” he explained Spencer flaskBU Professor of Political Science.
Saida Grundy, former associate director of narratives at the center and associate professor of sociology and African American and black diaspora studies at BU, also described a lack of structure that led her to work extra hours, particularly given the salary, that she received were inappropriate.
“When I started, it became very clear to me that this was exploitative and that other faculty were experiencing the same thing and worse,” Grundy lamented.
With tens of millions of dollars pouring in shortly after the center’s founding in 2020 from major donors like Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, the Rockefeller Foundation and biotech company Vertex, Grundy also saw a missed opportunity to directly help Black students at Boston University.
“These donations could have benefited black students.”
Grundy is correct that much of the donated money could have been used in objectively more helpful ways to help the people Kendi supposedly advocates for. But the line between rhetoric and action was a line Kendi never wanted to cross.
Kendi used the dogma of anti-racism to project a new moral standard at a time when many Americans were momentarily questioning her behavior and guilt.
When he demanded that everyone examine their privileges and feel socially responsible for exploiting people, he was simultaneously exploiting a nation’s emotions to cement his aristocratic status in the upper echelons of academia.
Kendi’s boutique moral philosophy on historical events and human interaction has only made him known among the upper classes.
These elites declare racial enlightenment to the naive majority who prefer to treat people the way they would like to be treated.
The anti-racism think tank operated more like an anti-racism piggy bank, with only one man listed as a financial beneficiary.
Kendi’s interest became clearer over time: his “research center” served a single black man, not a black man People.
Remember the $90 million windfall that Patrisse Cullors and the Black Lives Matter organization made and their frivolous spending habits with donations, buying mansions and funneling cash to board members and family members?
Activist Shaun King has also been repeatedly accused of collecting money for recipients and causes that would never see it.
This is a similarly disappointing realization after tens of millions of dollars were placed in the hands of a lawyer who placed little value on providing a return on his bold ambitions.
Kendi had systemic control of his own research center, but used his position to exploit the people he led and continued to reap the academic influence that legitimized his profiteering $32,000 per speech.
Kendi suggests that people should become more race conscious to be better anti-racists, but I believe it is more important to be aware of the elite.
We need to be aware of the behavior patterns and condescending rhetoric of people who think they know everything better than we do.
If we were all good anti-elitists, we would ignore the utopian rhetoric of social progressives and anti-racists and focus on their behavior.
This readjustment would help us quickly recognize that race is a tool to distract us from noticing that they get rich by categorizing us into categories of human characteristics.
The only cure for moral elitism is moral anti-elitism: this is how we have an anti-elitist society.
Adam B. Coleman is the author of Black Victim to Black Victor and founder of Wrong Speak Publishing. Follow him on Substack: adambcoleman.substack.com.