“When you stop debating whether … systemic racism is real and whether it’s a problem, you can then debate the more salient question what to do about it.”

March 22, 2021

Ibram Kendi and The Boston Globe are collaborating to create an online publication—The Emancipator—focused on race. Kendi’s take on racism is fundamentally existential: whether one is racist or anti-racist is a question not of what’s in one’s supposed “essence” but of the impact of one’s actions. “‘Racist’ and ‘antiracist’ are like peelable name tags that are placed and replaced based on what someone is doing or not doing, supporting or not expressing, in each moment,” he writes. “These are not permanent tattoos.” Such a view reinforces the importance of responsibility for one’s actions in each and every moment. We anticipate that The Emancipator’s coverage will be bracing and thought-provoking.

“He Redefined ‘Racist.’ Now He’s Trying to Build a Newsroom,” by Ben Smith, New York Times