Radical Discipleship

Conjoined Twins

From author and professor Ibram X. Kendi’s recent interview on DemocracyNow (August 13, 2019). Kendi’s new book is called How To Be An Antiracist.

I classify racism and capitalism as these conjoined twins — right? — from the same body but different personalities, different faces. And the reason why I do that is because I’m an historian. And so I track, particularly in my last book — the origins of racism cannot be separated from the origins of capitalism. The origins of capitalism cannot be separated from the origins of racism. The life of racism cannot be separated from the life of capitalism, and vice versa.

When you think about, for instance, the slave trade, which was critical in the accumulation of wealth in Europe, that was fundamentally a set of racist policies. When you think of colonialism, or even slavery, these are fundamentally a relationship between racism and capitalism, which was essential to its emergence. And so, I think in order to truly be antiracist, you also have to truly be anti-capitalist, as I write in the book. And in order to truly be anti-capitalist, you have to be antiracist, because they’re interrelated.