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Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

av Ibram X. Kendi

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,890624,758 (4.46)116
Americans like to insist that we are living in a postracial, color-blind society. In fact, racist thought is alive and well; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious. And as historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas in this country have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the lives of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America. As Kendi provocatively illustrates, racist thinking did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Racist ideas were created and popularized in an effort to defend deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and to rationalize the nation's racial inequities in everything from wealth to health. While racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited--From publisher's website.… (mer)
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» Se även 116 omnämnanden

engelska (60)  spanska (2)  Alla språk (62)
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Excellent book. It takes time to read. It is packed with information that has not been widely shared in our education system. We all, in the US, harbor many racist ideas because racism is everywhere in our culture. There is no escaping it. But one can become aware and strive to overcome one's racism. ( )
  jaylcee | Feb 16, 2024 |
I pressed pause on this book on page 256. It's a great book, but I find myself needing a pause on the nonfiction for the moment. Call it pandemic reading syndrome. Hope to get back to it soon. ( )
  nogomu | Oct 19, 2023 |
Such an incredible piece of work, deepening my knowledge in some areas, expanding my awareness in others, and giving me new perspectives on some pre-existing understandings. I highly, highly recommend this book. ( )
1 rösta lschiff | Sep 24, 2023 |
Thick with history...but so relevant for today. ( )
  AmandaPelon | Aug 26, 2023 |
This book deserves a full review, which I do not currently have the time to do. Below are my "short" thoughts on this; and in actuality, 2.5 stars, but I think deserving of rounding up, so 3 stars. **EDIT: This is the second or third time I'm doing this. This is getting 2 stars because I realize I consistently bump this kind of review up specifically because a part of me is looking around, fingernails in teeth, worried someone will think I'm racist. This book contains all kinds of problems. I disagree with core chunks of its philosophy. There are significant factual and/or citation issues that I -a lay reader, not even an expert- was able to notice. 2 stars, which afterall (on Goodreads) still means "it was ok."**

Plagued by problems: some theoretical, some of bias (though not racism, in my definition of that word), some of style (it is a very narrative "narrative history"), and some of citation. The last is particularly annoying, in some places, where the citation for a paragraph that contains e.g. 3 quotes totaling 21 words is cited from a secondary source and with page references cover ~25 pages.

There are two main theoretical issues.

(1) is that Dr. Kendi writes as a "strong" cultural relativist (I don't know enough of his other work to judge how "strong" a relativist he is or even if, truly, he is.) This is problematic because he obviously judges cultures that embrace more "antiracism" to be "better." (That sentence is actually circular in his definition since "antiracism" is defined in terms of strong relativism.) The entire book rests on this: how could we prefer an antiracist society otherwise? Was antebellum US Southern culture no worse than any other society? There are ways of interpreting this (e.g. maybe he only applied his relativism withing a certain cultural range?) but nothing in the book gives a hint of this.

(2) is the "assimilationist" grouping (Briefly, Professor Kendi considers "segregationists" and "assimilationists" both to be racist while "antiracists" are the only kind of nonracists.) I think it is worthwhile to consider if there can be such a thing as a "non-anti-racist nonracist"... and it's tricky. As a thought experiment, I guess I could make up an example; but in the real world? Not really. But that also depends a lot on the definitions used... anyway, that sort of gets to the "assimilationist" grouping. In Dr. Kendi's telling, there is a continuous thread from ~1500's Europe through to now of White people trying to "improve" Black people. All of which is undeniable.

However, I'm not sure if wanting to "make Black people into White people" circa 1600 has much to do with criticizing NWA in ~1995 (god, 1995 seems so long ago now...) or John McWhorter wanting kids to stop using "acting white" as an insult, etc. You can argue that NWA was making profound cultural statements and that McWhorter just doesn't know what he's talking about, but that is fundamentally on a different scale... and size matters. I can criticize American culture vs. say Northern European or Asia or Latin American cultures without saying I want to "become" European or Asian or Latin American. Saying that Americans need to learn from the Danes or the Chinese to discard some of their idolization of "individuality" vs. society/the nation or vs. family without being "racist" or even, to use the term even without adopting Prof. Kendi's definition, an assimilationist. Again, as in (1), I don't know Dr. Kendi's views well enough to say "this is what he thinks, booooo!" And I have a hard time believing that is what he thinks... but it is what he says.

Anyway, I could get into other things (the citation thing grinds on me; saying Newton called "white light" "White" because it was the "Chiefest" of lights because it was the best is... that is... that is some "The Moon Landings Were Faked" level shit right there; etc.) ( )
  dcunning11235 | Aug 12, 2023 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Kendi, Ibram X.primär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Piper, Christopher DontrellBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Röckel, SusanneÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Schlatterer, HeikeÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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To the lives they said don't matter.
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Every historian writes in -- and is impacted by -- a precise historical moment.
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The 1688 Germantown Petition Against Slavery was the inaugural antiracist tract among European settlers in colonial America.
Benjamin Rush (demanded) that America “put a stop to slavery!” …Rush's words consolidated the forces that in 1774 organized the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, the first known antislavery society of non-Africans in North America.
On April 12, 1860, (Jefferson) Davis objected to appropriating funds for educating Blacks in Washington, DC. “This Government was not founded by negroes nor for negroes, he said, but “ by white men for white men.” The bill was based on the false assertion of racial equality, he stated. The “inequality of the white and black races” was “stamped from the beginning.”
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Americans like to insist that we are living in a postracial, color-blind society. In fact, racist thought is alive and well; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious. And as historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas in this country have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the lives of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America. As Kendi provocatively illustrates, racist thinking did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Racist ideas were created and popularized in an effort to defend deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and to rationalize the nation's racial inequities in everything from wealth to health. While racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited--From publisher's website.

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