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University professor and critical race theory advocate Ibram X. Kendi attacked an attempt to defend standardized testing by a New York Times opinion writer on his Twitter account Sunday.
Kendi argued that the newsletter op-ed, penned by Black linguist John McWhorter, was a “merry-go-round of denial” that attacked Black citizens while claiming to defend them.
“John McWhorter rejects the notion: when Black folk get lower standardized test scores, either the tests are racist or something is wrong w/ Black folk. Calls this ‘an artificially narrowed realm of choices.’ Then he explains what’s wrong w/ Black folk,” Kendi tweeted.
McWhorter’s piece specifically argued against the notion that discrepancies in standardized test scores are due to racial bias. He further explained that the real difference comes from community discrepancies between middle class and working-class people in both Black and White populations.
Ibram X. Kendi visits Build to discuss the book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You at Build Studio on March 10, 2020 in New York City. (Michael Loccisano)
Kendi claimed that this argument was hypocritical, suggesting McWhorter was attacking Black people.
“’Neither she then, nor I now, say there is some flaw in Black or working-class white culture,’ McWhorter writes after describing flaws in Black or working-class culture that in his view explains why Black people are getting lower standardized test scores,” Kendi tweeted.
He added, “This is a usual McWhorter’s op-ed on race. He challenges antiracism. He denies there’s something wrong and inferior about Black people. He claims there’s something wrong and inferior about Black people. He denies he said there’s something wrong and inferior about Black people.”
Kendi further attacked McWhorter as an “embarrassment” after McWhorter’s continuous criticism against “anti-racism” and what he refers to as “woke racism.”
WASHINGTON – JANUARY 15: John McWhorter, Senior Fellow of Manhattan Institute, speaks during a taping of "Meet the Press" at the NBC studios January 15, 2006 in Washington, DC. McWhorter spoke about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and race relations in America. (Getty Images)
“The same McWhorter merry-go-round of denial. He offers readers an escape from the discomfort of antiracism for the pleasure of demeaning Black folk as they deny they are demeaning Black folk. McWhorter has reduced himself to a popular amusement ride. He’s an embarrassment,” Kendi ended.
McWhorter replied to Kendi’s final tweet, writing, “This, from someone with the formal credentials of an academic, is buzzwords and rhetoric in the guise of reasoned engagement.”
Kendi is a humanities professor at Boston University and a leading figure in critical race theory advocacy for education. His book “How to Be an Antiracist” was previously a New York Times bestseller while his children’s book “Antiracist Baby” was touted as being used by educators in New York City schools.
While Kendi implied that differences in standardized testing is based on systemic racism rather than cultural differences, he accidentally argued the opposite back in October. The author tweeted out an article from The Hill that found that 34% of White students who applied to colleges and universities falsely claimed they were a racial minority with 77% of them being accepted.
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 10: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) IBRAM X KENDI visits BuzzFeed’s "AM To DM" on March 10, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Mendez/Getty Images) (Jason Mendez/Getty Images)
While critics pointed out that this undermined his White privilege narrative, Kendi deleted the tweet and claimed that people were twisting his words.
Lindsay Kornick is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @lmkornick.