In the just-released trailer for a new comedy flick coming in March called The American Society of Magical Negroes (I’m not making this up), one black man asks another, “What is the most dangerous animal on the planet?” The other character begins to reply “Sharks” when the first one interrupts to answer his own question: “White people, when they’re feeling uncomfortable.”
Now imagine replacing “white people” in that joke with literally any other demographic: black people, Asians, Muslims, Jews, etc. (actually, considering the antisemitic bloodlust rearing its ugly head among young people all across America and migrant-colonized Europe, Jews would be the other exception in this case; but the neo-Marxist Left lumps Jews in with white people anyway as “colonizers” and “oppressors”). There would be nationwide fury among the Cancel Culture mob. Executive heads would roll at the movie’s production company. The harpies on The View would blame Trump for having empowered hate and racial division.
The reason Hollywood knows it can get away with a punch line smearing whites as “the most dangerous animal on the planet” is that white people are the only racial group it is culturally acceptable today to demonize, especially among younger generations. A recent Harvard/Harris poll, for example, revealed that 79% of Americans – four out of 5 – between the ages of 18-24 believe white people are “oppressors.”
And no one alive is more responsible for popularizing that corrosive perception than celebrity “antiracist” author Ibram X. Kendi (real name Ibram Henry Rogers). At a recent screening, for example, for the new Netflix documentary Stamped from the Beginning, based on his own bestselling 2016 book, Kendi drew vigorous applause when he stated that “constructions of whiteness” have shaped the personalities of white people worldwide and prevented them “from connecting with humanity”:
When you’re not able to see yourself in other human beings, that creates all sorts of problems. But not just societal problems, but personal problems, that I think hopefully this film and this work will liberate those folks from. It’s liberating all the way around. I think it will liberate all of us because we’ve all been told a lie about ourselves and other people.
The audience applauded this condescending, racist assumption about whites because, again, we now inhabit a culture in which white people are seen collectively as oppressors, racists, and genocidal colonizers – thanks in no small measure to the influence of Kendi’s books for adults, How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped From the Beginning (he has written antiracism books for children as well, because it’s never too early to sow the seeds of a racist worldview).
Stamped From the Beginning blends news and entertainment footage, animation, melodramatic historical reenactments, and interviews with (only) black or mixed-race activists and academics to elucidate the history of anti-black racism through the lens of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
(Interestingly, all the interviewees but Kendi are female, and all the historical figures to which the film devotes extended attention – anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, poet Phillis Wheatley, slave autobiographer Harriet Jacobs – are female. Presumably he made this choice intentionally in order to amplify “intersectional” voices, but it’s curious that in a film on the history of racism in America, Kendi would deny black men the agency to speak for themselves.)
Though CRT is never mentioned by name, the false core assumptions of this ideological weapon are all there: that America was founded not in the seeds of liberty and justice for all but in slavery and racism; that the history of our nation is one of intentional, violent oppression of blacks by a power-hungry, white supremacist elite; and that systemically racist policies and institutions are still “baked into” American society today.
The film begins with the interviewees declaring that a false narrative about black people has been constructed by white people throughout history. The documentary then proceeds to construct a false narrative about whites – that they have literally and collectively conspired to dehumanize blacks and to punish them whenever they dare challenge white power by achieving any economic or cultural success. Activist and TikTok celebrity Lynae Vanee states that “black progress is so terrifying to white Americans that they will do anything to harness the power they thought was lost.”
Brittany Packnett Cunningham says that “somewhere along the line, folks figured out ‘Hey, if we link arms under this umbrella of whiteness, then we can protect our collective interests and make sure nobody else has access to our power.’” Somewhere along the line? Where? “Folks”? Which folks, exactly? Cunningham presents no details, no evidence, no source, no citation, that such a conspiracy among white people ever happened.
The interviewees, the most well-known of whom is lifelong Communist Angela Davis, blame a grand generalization called “white people” and “whiteness” for everything blacks in this country’s history have suffered from the Transatlantic slave trade forward (there is no mention of the black Africans who actually did the enslaving and selling of their fellow blacks). The film’s participants even personify “whiteness” as if it not only exists but has agency and feelings (Cunningham refers to whiteness being “uncomfortable” with blacks who aren’t “the right kind of Negro”) and intent, and that intent is to oppress blacks.
“White supremacy has been embedded in this country since its founding,” one activist declares. George Washington and the Founding Fathers – Stamped reduces them all to “enslavers.” Thomas Jefferson is a special target of antiracist condemnation largely for his relationship with slave Sally Hemings, which the interviewees repeatedly refer to as “rape.” Vanee declares with a chuckle that the principal author of the Declaration of Independence “was full of shit.”
Not only are America and Britain given no credit for being the first nations in world history to end slavery, it’s clear that the activists who appear in the film deeply resent any implication that whites played any more significant role in ending slavery than blacks did. They make it very clear that white abolitionists were not the real heroes of the anti-slavery movement, only problematic “allies” with mixed motives. Even that Abraham Lincoln “dude was low-key racist.” A chapter of the film is given to tearing down “The Myth of the White Savior,” arguing that whites today who are committed to, say, helping impoverished black Africans are doing so only to demonstrate “See? I was nice to the Negroes.”
Kendi has stated elsewhere that capitalism is essentially racist and that racism is essentially capitalist, so naturally his film’s perspective on economics is Marxist. Stamped claims that a “small group of wealthy white elites” – here we get images of Donald Trump, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos, among others – “continue to accumulate wealth and power on the backs of everybody else.” That’s not how the world actually works; it’s not how Trump, Gates, and Bezos got wealthy; and it gives the false impression that there are no blacks among billionaire power players. Kendi also smears poor whites, claiming that they believe the source of their economic “pain” is “people who don’t look like them.”
Visually, the film is packed antiquated cartoon imagery and old footage of Ku Klux Klan rallies and pre-civil rights era bigots, as if we still live in that America. It also features misleading clips of, for example, former presidents Trump and Reagan making law-and-order speeches, presented as if they are demonizing blacks; similarly, the film shows snippets of popular films like King Kong and Planet of the Apes as if every movie with a monkey is thinly-veiled racist propaganda.
Stamped decries the historical sexualization of black women but never acknowledges that the exploiter of black sexuality and the objectifier of black female bodies today is the black entertainment industry itself, which has raked in billions from the execrable gangster rap music genre. Gangster rap, which glorifies black criminals and demeans women relentlessly as “bitches” and “hoes,” has for 40 years dominated the popularity of any other form of black music, from jazz to soul to the blues. Has any single white figure in the past done as much to reduce black women to sexual animals as profane twerker Cardi B with her pornographic 2020 hit “WAP”? It was celebrated as Song of the Year by Black Entertainment Television (BET), no less, which ought to be ashamed of itself. Where is the condemnation of this self-exploitation in Stamped From the Beginning? Nowhere, because “whiteness” cannot be blamed for it.
Then we come to the segment of the film on crime. It explains away the reality of the disproportionate percentage of violent crimes committed by blacks by saying that white America has manufactured the lie that black males are dangerous predators through the intentional “invention of black criminality.” Yale historian Elizabeth Hinton says that in this construction, “crime becomes a code word for black.” Thus, presidential calls from Nixon to Clinton to Trump to enforce law and order are viewed not as assurances to the American people – including blacks – that they will not have to live in fear of criminal chaos, but as dog whistles for keeping blacks in their place.
Predictably, the film demonizes law enforcement, attacking the perceived police “massacre” of blacks as “state violence” and decrying policies “predicated on anti-blackness.” It attacks “policies, structures, and institutions that intentionally subjugate black people.” The point is hammered home that America was founded on the white supremacist subjugation of blacks and that the so-called “white elite” – whom Kendi says are willing to lie, cheat, steal, and kill to maintain power – continue to collude against black people to this day.
The film concludes with a call to dismantle society and rebuild a social justice utopia. Antiracists want whites to embrace a collective guilt; denial of that guilt is, as Kendi puts it, the very “heartbeat of racism.” Ergo, whites are racist, whether they admit they are or not; indeed, denial is itself evidence of guilt.
Slavery, as every reasonable person in America today would agree, was and is an ugly, unconscionable practice. No decent person in the Western world today would consider it or lynching or the sexual abuse of slaves to be anything but abhorrent. America has such a cultural revulsion toward anti-black bigotry that the most deplorable thing you can be accused of today is not political corruption or pedophilia or murder, but racism.
But antiracism, as its proponents define it – requiring that white people of today acknowledge their collective guilt for racist atrocities of the past, and actively assist blacks in dismantling America’s supposedly white supremacist institutions – is a racist scam. It boosts the academic credentials and public profiles of smug activists like the ones interviewed in Stamped From the Beginning, and it showers race hustlers and cherry-picking intellectual frauds like Ibram X.Kendi and his white female counterpart Robin DiAngelo with astronomical speaking fees, bestselling books, lucrative movie deals, and accolades – all in the service of promoting a false, divisive, racist, cultural Marxist ideology that exploits black rage and white guilt to deconstruct the demonstrable racial advances of the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
(This fraudulence and intellectual emptiness was recently exposed when Kendi’s highly-touted research center imploded with literally nothing to show for its $40 million treasure chest.)
Like the debunked historical revisionism of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, Stamped From the Beginning runs everything through the distorted, reductively racist lens of cultural Marxism to further an agenda to tear down everything great this country has accomplished and built – including the advances of the civil rights movement (Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of color-blindness would mark him as a racist today). We will never get race relations back on track in this country until blacks and whites alike reject the ugly, exploitative narrative of the antiracist con artists.
Follow Mark Tapson at Culture Warrior.