Let us do Mr. Kendi the honour of taking him seriously for a moment. You know, instead of the usual screams of laughter at his statements. So, to take this seriously:
Writing this piece, I found myself thinking about Ibram X. Kendi’s book “How to Be an Antiracist.” Kendi’s central argument is that it is policy outcomes, not personal intent, that matter. “Racist policies are defined as any policy that leads to racial inequity,” he told me when I interviewed him in 2019. “And so, for me, racial language in the policy doesn’t matter, intent of the policymaker doesn’t matter, even the consciousness of the policymaker, that it’s going lead to inequity, doesn’t matter. It’s all about the fundamental outcome.”
That is, in fact, the argument for this capitalist free market malarkey. Because neither give jack shit for anyone’s race and, further, the outcomes are blind to it too.
Take a famed racist part of US history, Jim Crow. Sure, we’ve all heard of the coloured only waiting rooms and lunch counters. But the heart of the system was an absolute denial of access to a free market for their labour of those coloured* folks.
For the heart of that system was that all coloureds must be employed. Employment of coloureds can only be negotiated on an annual basis and similarly, all contracts at the same time. This meant that the employer – quite literally – had the whip hand in all such negotiations. A coloured was left having to accept the offer made because absenting oneself from the market wasn’t possible, therefore nor was choice, by construct.
The answer to this, as Gary Becker pointed out, was to actually have a free market in labour. Then that power imbalance largely – largely of course – resolved itself. Even simple exit, that Great Migration, ended it for those who left.
Or, as we can put it, it was the restrictions upon free markets that allowed the inequities to persist. Thus the Bendi argument should be in favour of the capitalism and markets, right? That “Is it Hell” is the correct answer here tells us all we need to know about Mr. Bendi too.
*If you want to start shouting that it should be people of color and all that then bugger off.