Boston University Professor Denounces Barrett As “White Colonizer” For Adopting Two Haitian Children (Twitter)

It appears that Judge Amy Coney Barrett has gone from a “cult member” for being a devout Catholic to a possible “white colonizer” for adopting two Haitian children.  Where most of us saw a loving interracial family at the White House ceremony on Saturday,  Ibram X. Kendi, the new director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, saw a possible case of effective baby snatching by “White colonizers.”

On Saturday, Kendi wrote “Some White colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of 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.”  The obvious implication is that the Barrett’s may have used their adopted children as mere props as part of a possible effort to hide their racism. It was clearly designed to curtail the praise of the Barrett family by suggesting that the parents might be racists. Indeed, he puts “adopted” in quotation marks to suggest that some of these children are not really adopted but presumably acquired or snatched by “White people.”

After leveling that truly disgusting suggestion against this family, Kendi added “And whether this is Barrett or not is not the point. It is a belief too many White people have: if they have or adopt a child of color, then they can’t be racist.”

It is akin to saying that you are not sure “whether not” Barrett is a kidnapper while leaving that question dangling as you explain how the criminal scheme.  It is an example how any notion of decency can be dispensed with in the criticism of conservative figures or causes. Once again, the only thing more disturbing than this outrageous attack is the relative silence of the media or Kendi’s colleagues.

It appears that it only takes a Supreme Court nomination to take a clearly loving interracial family to raise the possibility that the parents are craved racist baby snatchers.  It is not clear if Kendi would have preferred that Barrett hide two of her children or not mention them to avoid any suggestion that they are mere props.  What is clear is that he wanted to interject the possible racism of the Barretts at a time when others were complementing the Barretts and their family. He then expressed a sense of his own injury when his words were taken as an accusation of any kind:

“And whether this is Barrett or not is not the point. It is a belief too many White people have: if they have or adopt a child of color, then they can’t be racist/ I’m challenging the idea that White parents of kids of color are inherently ‘not racist’ and the bots completely change what I’m saying to ‘White parents of kids of color are inherently racist.’ These live and fake bots are good at their propaganda. Let’s not argue with them.”

In fact, many of us are not saying that Kendi said that all white parents of kids of color are racist. We found his need to raise whether the Barretts might be racists using her black children as props to be sufficiently offensive.

Judge Barrett has never had a charge of racism leveled against her as a lawyer, a law professor or a judge. While many disagree with her judicial philosophy, there is absolutely no basis to suggest that she is a racist or akin to a “white colonizer.” It is a classic set up to “prove the negative.” Prove that your adoption of two children from Haiti was not an effort to acquire “props in [your] lifelong pictures of denial.” As is often the case in the last few years, many of us are left simply dumbfounded by these vicious and gratuitous attacks. This (and so many moments) is best captured by the words of Army counsel Joseph Welch at the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954: “Have you no shame, sir, at long last? Have you no shame?”

171 thoughts on “Boston University Professor Denounces Barrett As “White Colonizer” For Adopting Two Haitian Children”

  1. Some additional context may be helpful here.

    1. According to Newsweek:

    “Barrett, a white woman, is the mother to seven children—including two Black children she and her husband adopted from Haiti. Some commentators, such as right-wing pundit Candace Owens, had suggested that this signifies she cannot be accused of being racist. Kendi argued, however, that adopting Black children does not necessarily mean a person is not racist, although he also did not call Barrett racist.”

    2. Who is Candace Owens, and what exactly did she tweet? She’s a conservative black activist:

    “Owens has argued that African Americans have a “victim mentality”, often referring to the Democratic Party as a “plantation”. She has argued that the American left “like black people to be government-dependent” and that black people have been brainwashed to vote for Democrats…She has characterized abortion as a tool for the “extermination” of black babies.”

    And this is what she tweeted:

    “Amy Coney Barrett:

    -She’s a woman, so they can’t hire their usual fake sexual assault victims.
    -She has two black children, so they can’t smear her as a racist.

    Taking early bets as to what the Democrats will cook up to try to stop ACB…”

    Owens was clearly speaking politically, i.e., Democrats will find it politically awkward, if not impossible, to smear this particular conservative SCOTUS nominee as a racist. Presumably, Owens did not mean a transracial adopter cannot be racist any more than she meant a woman cannot be guilty of the sexual abuse of a minor.

    Kendi responded to a fellow black activist with reason and facts. What he tweeted would be an appropriate counterpoint in a university classroom, depending on the context. But was Kendi inappropriately insensitive to the Barrett family, in retrospect? In response to the criticisms of his remark, he concludes:

    “We should take it as a compliment when people attack us personally or when people misrepresent our work. Because that means they can’t challenge what we are actually saying or writing or meaning or doing. Take the compliments with grace and move on.”

    Perhaps Amy Coney Barrett feels the same way.

  2. The real problem is Kendi trying to explain such an important and complex issue in a tweet. Of course everyone will draw the wrong conclusion. Understanding racism today — for white people — requires either a 16 week college course or lots of reading and an open mind.

    1. Understanding racism today — for white people — requires either a 16 week college course or lots of reading and an open mind.

      IOW, you need to pay a salary to someone like Ibram X Kendi to rant at you.

      I’ll remember this exchange the next time a higher ed apparatchik brings up Trump University.

      1. Floptop got paid to rant at people before being forced to make a $25 million payoff to avoid discovery? Do tell.

    2. Dexter:

      Thanks for your very helpful comment.

      I see two sides of a genuine debate:

      1. Kendi’s Twitter speech in this case was incisive, necessary and decent.

      2. Kendi’s Twitter speech in this case was errant, unnecessary and indecent.

      Not everyone (“white” or otherwise) will draw the wrong conclusion from Kendi’s tweet.

      A long and serious education in structural racism is implied. Even more than a single college course!

      This is not uniquely true for “white” people.

  3. What Ibram X. Kendi wrote was racist and a disgusting attack on children.

    But a Democrat said it, so it’s fine.

    The Left is utterly and completely wrong to group humanity by color. We are not all homogenous groups based on skin color.

    Leave the kids out of it.

    This butchery is what conservatives have come to expect from Democrats. If they don’t get their way, they’ll burn buildings and threaten to overthrow the government. We do no treat their nominees like this. RBG sailed through. But after Kavanaugh, and Barrett, how are Republicans to behave towards Democrat nominees? For how long will they hold the high ground?

  4. Ibram X. Kendi is just feeling guilty (as he admits in his book “How to Be an Anti-Racist”) when the topic of Haitians comes up.
    You see, as a teen in hip, black Queens NYC 1990s, Ibram and his buddies mocked and humiliated teen immigrant boys from Haiti
    because they weren’t tuned into the rap stars, flashy expensive footwear and clothing, street names, and other tokens of bravado exuded by Kendi and his pals. Kendi now feels remorseful for this bullying, and equates it to the same “us” vs. “them” propensities that drive white-on-black racism.

    However, Kendi dished out more black-on-immigrant-black bullying than he ever received from white people in NYC.

    Still, I credit his self-examination, and willingness to recognize unfair discrimination as something universal in humans.

  5. JT’s critique is spot on. Positioning a white person to “prove the negative” is an example of black privilege on race. A black person with a college degree is presumed to be correct whenever they speak on race, no matter how absurdly indefensible their argument may be. See, for example, the panic black MBA students caused at USC because they heard a Mandarin sound which reminded them of the n word. The admins presumed that idiocy warranted serious consideration for no other reason than race.

  6. Biden’s bid to oust Ukraine prosecutor followed intense pressure by son’s Burisma firm

    Six high-level meetings included a previously undisclosed contact with U.S. ambassador in Kiev, records show.

    Hunter Biden and representatives of Burisma Holdings secured at least six high-level meetings with senior Obama administration officials in the weeks just before Vice President Joe Biden forced the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating the gas company, according to newly disclosed memos and testimony. …

    Ukraine caved, and Shokin was sent packing by the Ukrainian legislature on March 29, 2016.

    Shokin has long claimed he was fired at Joe Biden’s insistence because he would not drop the Burisma probe. Joe Biden denies he was trying to help Burisma, and instead pressed for Shokin’s dismissal because the international community wanted a change in the prosecutor’s office. …

    But State officials testifying before the Senate Finance and Homeland Security committees’ joint investigation of Hunter Biden and Burisma could not corroborate the corruption claims. …

    Shokin’s successor as prosecutor general, Yurii Lutsenko, settled the allegations against Burisma with almost no penalty, pleasing both Blue Star and the gas company. …


    1. Hey Diaper Man, that Ukrainian prosecutor was a stooge for Putin’s stooge. But, as we know, you support Putin stooges.

  7. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., hinted at the big revelation in a Sunday appearance on the Fox News show “Sunday Futures with Maria Bartiromo.”…

    Next declassification could flip Russia collusion script, point to effort to hurt Trump
    Former NSC official says some evidence cut against claim Russia was helping Trump.

    The Trump administration is preparing one of its biggest declassifications yet in the Russia case, a super-secret document that could flip the collusion theory on its head four years after the FBI first started its investigation.

    Multiple officials familiar with the planned declassification, which could happen as early as this week, told Just the News that the new evidence will raise the specter that Russian President Vladimir Putin was actually trying to hurt President Trump, not help his election in 2016, as the Obama administration claimed.

    The new evidence would complement a revelation last week that the primary source for the Christopher Steele anti-Trump dossier was known to the U.S. government to be tied to Russia intelligence, raising the possibility that the Russians were undercutting the GOP nominee.


  8. I once had a friend so near to me. He could not see that I was different than he. We walked the same path towards our own destiny hoping to see that we could always be we. But I as you’ll see we could not reach our destiny for he was killed by our enemy. My friend you see was different than me as God said come’ith to me. My friend was White and I was not but he’ll always be a friend to me.

  9. I adopted a baby of mixed race as the California Children’s Society was advertising on KPFK for adoptive parents for hard-to-place children. Amy went on to graduate summa cum laude from the University of Washington.

    Don’t give me garbage about racism in adoptions.

    1. My cousin adopted a girl of half white and half black ancestry. She was an excellent student and is now practicing law with a large firm in Philadelphia. My cousin is a teacher and a very nurturing and encouraging person. Anyone adopted into that family was very fortunate.

    2. To Benson – what happens to children not adopted? In UK politically correct social workers enacted a policy that the child to be adopted must be matched to its genetic parentage. So a child whose parents were Caribbean or mixed heritage must go to adoptive parents of the same origin. This immediately cut out the majority of adopters being the whit e majority population leaving the children stuck in care, not noted for producing good outcomes. There are few inter-race families by adoption in UK.

        1. To Art Deco – my opinion of social workers cannot be repeated in polite company due to the worst working experience in my life of providing admin support to a SW team for two years. It took 2 further years when I could hardly work to get my mind back to normal. God knows what they do to their clients – hardly ever help but they can patronise at Olympic level.

  10. “Anti-racist” research? How ironic. Ibram Kendi is brainwashing students w/vile falsehoods & anti-white sentiment. Boston Univ should fire him, but they won’t. Black privilege, perhaps? If he were white, he’s be gone immediately for such racist vitriol! Did you know that “Ibram tries to take on the “Malcolm X” aura by changing his name to “Ibram X” his real name is Henry Rogers; born August 13, 1982 but he is so racist himself and reaction formation minded that he changed his own name that his mother gave him. In Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, reaction formation is a defense mechanism in which anxiety-producing or unacceptable emotions are replaced by their direct opposites. For example, the porn addict who becomes president of the anti-porn society. I suspect that Henry Rogers is probably a hyper racist who has become head of the anti racist program at BU. He also relishes in the money from the books and donations. He will eventually become a painful thorn for such a wonderful school.” (shared from a FB post).

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