Ibram X. Kendi, anti-racism activist, wasn’t surprised when Vivek Ramaswamy compared him to a KKK grand wizard: ‘He’s doing his job’ as a GOP candidate of color – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Ibram X. Kendi, anti-racism activist, wasn’t surprised when Vivek Ramaswamy compared him to a KKK grand wizard: ‘He’s doing his job’ as a GOP candidate of color

Ibram X. Kendi, director of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research.

Steven Senne/AP

Vivek Ramaswamy recently compared anti-racism activist and author Ibram X. Kendi to a KKK Grand Wizard.
The comments are part of a typical playbook for GOP candidates of color, Kendi told Insider.
Kendi said Ramaswamy may not even believe what he says when he makes inflammatory comments.

Ibram X. Kendi, the activist and author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” wasn’t surprised when Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy compared him to a Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard. 

At least, not that surprised. 

“On the one hand, I was surprised for a few seconds, but then I just remembered that this type of rhetoric over the last three years has become more and more extreme,” Kendi told Insider. “It went from describing those of us who are fighting against racism as dangerous, to describing us as seeking to harm America, to now the most extreme, which is that we’re somehow the modern KKK.”

Ramaswamy, a rising star in the polls following his first debate performance, recently compared Kendi and US Congressional Rep. Ayanna Pressley to grand wizards of the KKK, the organization responsible for terrorizing Black people for decades in the name of white supremacy. Ramaswamy has repeatedly said past comments from Pressley and Kendi on reparations and Black political representation were racist. 

“I would bet that he doesn’t believe what he’s saying,” Kendi said. “I think it doesn’t take somebody who has a deep knowledge of American history to know that it was people like me and Congresswoman Pressley who were being targeted by the Klan then and even to this day.”

Ramaswamy has denied the existence of white supremacy altogether on the basis that he believed he has not personally experienced it. 

“I’m sure the boogeyman white supremacist exists somewhere in America. I’ve just never met him. Never seen one, never met one in my life, right?” the rising GOP candidate said at a campaign lunch in August. “Maybe I’ll meet a unicorn sooner. And maybe those exist, too.”

Kendi said comments like that suggest that Ramaswamy isn’t a serious candidate for president, saying he is “auditioning to be Donald Trump’s VP.”

“To me, that was probably one of the most dangerous and disingenuous and outrageous things that he said, because it is a consensus among experts that white supremacists are the greatest domestic terrorist threat of our time,” Kendi said, of the candidate’s rhetoric that white supremacy isn’t real.

“You’re not running based on what’s happened to you, you’re running and speaking to what’s happened to the American people,” Kendi added. “And right now, the American people of all racial groups and religions are being subjected to white supremacist violence at incredible levels.”

Ramaswamy has also said racism in America is “manufactured,” suggesting that “the right answer is actually to restore colorblind equality.”

Those comments, made in late August, came on the heels of a hate crime shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, that left three Black people dead. 

Ramaswamy has staunchly defended Trump amid the former president’s four criminal cases, so much so that Trump has floated the idea of selecting Ramaswamy as a vice presidential candidate. 

Ramaswamy told Fox News that Trump was the “best president of the 21st century.”

“The irony is he calls two Black people modern Grand Wizards of the KKK, and then turns around and praises the very political candidate who the modern KKK themselves adore,” Kendi said, referring to Trump, who leads in the polls for GOP candidates. 

A spokesperson for Ramaswamy’s campaign did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on Sunday. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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