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University of Michigan pays critical race theory author $20k for Zoom session

Ibram X. Kendi spoke for 45 minutes, and took questions for 15 more minutes, during a one-hour Zoom session hosted by the University of Michigan.

University of Michigan pays critical race theory author $20k for Zoom session
AP Photo/Steven Senne, File
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The University of Michigan paid critical race theory advocate Ibram X. Kendi $20,000 for a single one-hour virtual session, where the author and activist was reportedly contracted to promote his book.

According to a contract obtained through a public record request by Campus Reform, the University of Michigan paid Kendi, a humanities professor at Boston University, $20,000 to participate in a Zoom discussion last fall.

The contract between the university and Kendi’s speaking agency, Penguin Random House, says Kendi spoke for 45 minutes and answered questions for 15 minutes during a presentation that took place on November 11, 2020. The publication reports that the contract stipulated that if the event went over 1,000 attendees, the university would be charged even more.

“Costs for this event were covered by the university's general fund," said the university’s director of public affairs and internal communications, Rick Fitzgerald.

“General Fund money comes from a variety of sources, including student tuition and fees, state appropriations and costs recovered from sponsored research activities. It pays for teaching, student services, facilities and administrative support for the university.”

The Zoom session reportedly revolved around Kendi’s 2017 book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.

“From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America,” the book’s description claims.

“Contrary to popular conceptions, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred,” the description adds. “Instead, they were devised and honed by some of the most brilliant minds of each era. These intellectuals used their brilliance to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial disparities in everything from wealth to health."

Following the publication of the 2017 book, Kendi was propelled into the public spotlight after authoring his bestselling 2019 book, How to be an Antiracist. Kendi remains one of the leading figures pushing for the implementation of critical race theory across American public schools and universities.

According to Kendi, racism is embedded into every aspect of American society, and is defined as “systemic racism.” Kendi advocates for “anti-racism” which calls for the dismantling of traditional western civilization. The author argues that it is not enough to not be racist, one has to be actively anti-racist to fight white supremacy.

As a proponent of the racially-infused variant of critical theory, Kendi says that it is necessary to identify racism wherever it exists, describe it, and then dismantle it.

Following the George Floyd riots in 2020, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey donated $10 million to Kendi’s Center for Racist Antiracist Research at Boston University, Rebel News reported.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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