How to be an antiracist

by Ibram X. Kendi - pub. 2019

All the details - part 2, page 110 to 225

Page 110 - 113 - We now find out that light skin blacks have it better then dark skin blacks. “Dark African Americans are disproportionately at risk of hypertension. Dark African American students receive significantly lower GPSs than light students.” “ Is that why employers prefer Light Black men over Dark Black men regardless of qualifications?” And that’s not all.

“Dark sons and light daughters receive higher-quality parenting than light sons and dark daughters.” And Kendi “pledged to date only Dark women.” “White people and Dark people reject and envy Light people.”

Comment: Kendi is Insane. 

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Page 123 - “Black Floridians had not forgotten Jeb Bush’s termination of affirmative-action programs earlier in the year. We had voted to save the rest of America from the racist Bushes.”

Comment: Afirmative Action programs were implemented in the mid 1960s and were never meant to be permanent. They were intended to correct discrimination from the past. In the 1990s, public opinion turned against Afirmative Action - really quotas.

In 1999, Governor Jeb Bush banned affirmative action in Florida through Executive Order 99-281 or the “One Florida” Initiative. “One Florida” prohibits affirmative action systems in university admission, government employment and state contracting. Along with this, it created the Talented Twenty Program, which guaranteed that students in Florida graduating in the top 20% of their class admission to at least one of Florida’s public colleges. “One Florida” also increased funding for need-based financial aid for university students.(65)

Ten states in the US have banned affirmative action: California (1996), Texas (1996), Washington (1998), Florida (1999), Michigan (2006), Nebraska (2008), Arizona (2010), New Hampshire (2012), Oklahoma (2012), and Idaho (2020).

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Page 123, 124 - Kendi claims fraud in Bush’s win in Florida in the November 2000 presidential race. Not true. When the votes were tallied, Bush had won by 1,784 votes. Due to the closeness of the race, there was an automatic recount which confirmed Bush won.

Florida used a punch card system in 2000. If a voter didn’t push the handle hard enough, the punch card would be dimpled instead of having a circular hole in it for the machine to count. So Gore demanded a hand recount so any dimpled punches besides Gore’s name would be a new vote for Gore. This manual recount resulted in subjectivity, where workers tried to determine the intent of the voter. Some cards had deep dimples, while others had a slight mark. This hand count eliminated the strict uniform standards of a machine.     

Gore demanded manual recounts in four counties he won - Volusia (53-45%), Palm Beach (62-35%), Miami-Dade(53-46%), and Broward (67-31%). These Democratic counties would surely give Gore the votes he needed. These counties began applying their own standards and interpretation to ambiguous ballots. Votes that were previously discarded where now being included in the tally. Broward County adopted the most liberal standard, and gave Gore his biggest boost during the 37 day period: almost 600 net votes.) 

The U.S. Supreme Court ended the partisan recount on Dec 13, 2000 which made George Bush the official winner of Florida. Following this ruling, media and academic organizations conducted two different studies of the disputed ballots in Florida.

Both studies showed Bush would have most likely won the Florida statewide hand recount of all undervotes. Undervotes are ballots that did not register a vote in the presidential race. This nullifies the belief by some that Bush was ‘selected,’ not ‘elected.’ (66) 

Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino summed up both studies this way: “Like sorting grains of sand on a windy day, getting a definitive recount of Florida’s votes in last year’s presidential election has turned out to be an exercise in frustration.”

In a statewide election decided by hundreds, maybe only dozens, of votes, the limitations of the voting machinery – compounded with sometimes sloppy custody of the ballots and the slight but measurable biases of allegedly neutral human tabulators – made getting precise vote totals virtually impossible. (67)

It should be remembered that Ralph Nader, who ran on the Green Party platform is the person who cost Gore the election. Nader got 97,488 votes. Had he not run, most of those votes would have gone to Gore. Also ignored was the vote in New Mexico, where Gore defeated Bush by 0.06% - 286,783 to 286,417.  Also interesting to note that Jeb Bush was re-elected governor of Florida in 2002 by 56 to 43% 

Due to the Florida controversy in the 2000 election, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002. The bill passed in the House 357-48 and 92-2 in the Senate and was signed into law by President Bush on October 29, 2002. The goals of HAVA were:

1) Replace punchcard and lever-based voting systems.
2) Create the Election Assistance Commission to assist in the administration of federal elections.
3) Establish minimum election administration standards.
4) Requires voters identified as ineligible but who believe themselves to be eligible, to be able to cast a provisional ballot until their eligability is determined. In the 2004 election, 1.9 million voters nationwide cast provisional ballots. Of those, 64.5% were counted.

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Page 124 - Kendi claims many voters were disenfranchised. After the November, 2000 election, the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, under Mary Frances Berry, investigated the Florida vote. Mary Francis Berry is a left wing radical activist who has no objectivity. Her ‘investigation’ into the Florida 2000 vote makes her findings unreliable and tainted with prejudice. 

Berry - who is black - has been quoted saying: “Civil rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of white men and do not apply to them.”   (68)

Berry encouraged lying about the Tea Party movement in July 2010: “Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.” (68)

The report made many accusations. However, the report also stated: “The report does not find that the highest officials of the state conspired to disenfranchise voters. Moreover, even if it was foreseeable that certain actions by officials led to voter disenfranchisement, this alone does not mean that intentional discrimination occurred.” (69) 

The final report by Berry was severly criticized by two member of the commission, Abigail Thernstrom and Russell Redenbaugh, who stated: 

“The Commission’s report has little basis in fact. Its conclusions are based on a deeply flawed statistical analysis coupled with anecdotal evidence of limited value, unverified by a proper factual investigation. This shaky foundation is used to justify charges of the most serious nature—questioning the legitimacy of the American electoral process and the validity of the most recent presidential election. The report’s central finding—that there was “widespread disenfranchisement and denial of voting rights” in Florida’s 2000 presidential election—does not withstand even a cursory legal or scholarly scrutiny. Leveling such a serious charge without clear justification is an unwarranted assault upon the public’s confidence in American democracy.” (p1)

“What appears to be partisan passions not only destroyed the credibility of the report itself, but informed the entire process that led up to the final draft. At the Florida hearings, Governor Jeb Bush was the only witness who was not allowed to make an opening statement. The Chair, Mary Frances Berry, was quoted in the Florida press as comparing the Governor and Secretary of State to “Pontius Pilate... just washing their hands of the whole thing.” On March 9, six commissioners voted to issue a “preliminary assessment”—in effect, a verdict—long before the staff had completed its review of the evidence.” (p1,2)

“The majority report lays the blame for the supposed “disenfranchisement” of black voters at the feet of state officials—particularly Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris. In fact, however, elections in Florida are the responsibility of 67 county supervisors of election. And, interestingly, in all but one of the 25 counties with the highest spoilage rates, the election was supervised by a Democrat—the one exception being an official with no party affiliation.” (p5)

“The majority report argues that much of the spoiled ballot problem was due to voting technology. But elected Democratic Party officials decided on the type of machinery used, including the optical scanning system in Gadsden County, the state’s only majority-black county and the one with the highest spoilage rate.” (p5)

“The shoddy quality of the work, its stolen-election message, and its picture of black citizens as helpless victims in the American political process is neither in the public interest nor in the interest of black and other minority citizens. Do we really want black Americans to believe there is no reason to get to the polls; elections are always stolen; they remain disenfranchised? There is important work the Commission can do. But not if its scholarly and procedural standards are as low as those in this Florida report.” (p55)(70)

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Berry_photo_credit__Jim_Abbott2.jpg
Mary Frances Berry

May 2022