Some parents of students at Indian Hills Junior High in West Des Moines received an email from Mrs. Malcom letting them know the eighth-grade social studies department is planning to implement a new reading resource into learning.
“This year, like every year, we will be covering the topics of race, slavery and current issues,” the email said. “The book Stamped from the Beginning came out in 2016 and won the National Book Award for non-fiction. In March of 2020, a young adult version of this book was published called Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You.
“We will be reading from the book to supplement our discussion on slavery in early American history and the development of race relations throughout history.”
The full title of the original book is: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.
That portion of the title — “the definitive history of racist ideas in America,” was not included in the email.
Malcom did tell parents if they are uncomfortable with their child reading the book, she will have them read an alternative text.
Ibram Kendi, the author of the original book, is no hero.
As the Stanford College Republicans pointed out in the Stanford Review:
“Stanford gave a platform to a man (Kendi) who has made millions of dollars weaponizing race for political gain, dividing Americans along racial lines by preaching that they are defined by nothing more than their skin color. Ibram Kendi’s invitation to speak at Stanford is blatantly hypocritical, as Kendi is a textbook example of the racism Stanford claims to stand against.”
In that article, the Stanford College Republicans noted that when it was announced Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to the Supreme Court, Kendi opined that while Barrett has adopted Hatian children…
“Some [w]hite colonizers [had also] ‘adopted’ [b]lack children…they ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of [w]white people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.”
Kendi was called corporate America’s Critical Race Theory guru by Christopher Rufo, who wrote:
“Be warned: (Kendi’s) philosophy would jeopardize the bedrock American ideal of individual dignity and equality under the law.”
Kendi says racism is the single, self-evident cause of racial differences in everything from grades ins school to incarceration rates to income. He said “the life of racism cannot be separated from the life of capitalism. In order to truly be antiracist, you also have to truly be anti-capitalist.”