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Ted Cruz’s attempt to smear the book Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi seems to have backfired.
Following an attack by the Texas Senator during Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing, Antiracist Baby has risen to the top of Amazon’s best-sellers charts. As of writing, the book is Number One on Amazon’s best-selling Children’s Books in the U.S. chart, and is currently the Number Two best-selling book overall. It’s also at Number One in Children’s Values Books and Children’s Books on Prejudice & Racism categories.
Cruz invoked Antiracist Baby in an attempt to argue that Georgetown Day School in Washington D.C., which sees Jackson as a board member, is brainwashing children with critical race theory (an academic discipline taught in law school). “Do you agree … that babies are racist?” the senator asked Jackson.
While holding up a copy of the book, Cruz bemoaned the book’s message that people learn to be racist, and are not born racist.
First released in July of 2020, Antiracist Baby proposes actionable steps towards “building a more equitable world” that can be understood and enacted by children and adults alike. It introduces readers (and listeners) to the concepts involved in race discussions, and promotes reflection on one’s own biases.
Kendi, the author of Antiracist Baby, is the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. His other works include Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, The Black Campus Movement, and How to Be an Antiracist.
During the hearing, Cruz also brought up The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale, which argues for defunding the police. After Cruz’s reference, that book is now at Number One in the Discrimination & Racism, Law Enforcement Politics, and Law Enforcement (Books) categories on Amazon’s best-sellers charts.
Following the boost in sales, Vitale Tweeted, “Thanks to Ted Cruz, The End of Policing is now the #1 Best Seller in Gov. Social Policy.”