I didn’t dare be that captious about Kendi’s book when I read it, but Sullivan is braver than I, and I pretty much agree with his characterization. Kendi’s suggestion about the Constitutional Amendment frightens me. As he wrote at Politico:
“ [The amendment] would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.”
Can you imagine that? It suffers from the same problem as having A Department of Speech Monitoring: who, exactly, do you trust to make the judgments? And in this case, the result would be oppressive, authoritarian (it would supercede, for instance, the Supreme Court), divisive, and frightening. It would be the ruination of American society, turning into an Orwellian nightmare.
It baffles me that so many people seem to adhere to Kendi’s views—or at least this one.Jerry Coyne, “Andrew Sullivan flogs his new book and discusses the meaning of CRT” at Why Evolution Is True (July 17, 2021)
Why be surprised? It is jobs for life for literate but unintellectual people. Cracking down hard on the frightening world of ideas…
Fact is, Darwin’s people imposed this on the rest of us for a long time. It’s good if they are beginning to see, however dimly, the problem.