Ibram Kendi Worries His Toddler's Attachment to a Doll Might Summon the 'Smog of White Superiority'

AP Photo/Steven Senne

The world is a colorful place, and that’s likely never been more true. In fact, we’re told to see color everywhere we look.

It’s a noted change from mere years ago, when the culture appeared intent upon a colorblind climb up Mount Unity. So far as I can tell, the climb’s been #canceled:


Professors Teach Preschoolers to See Color as Childhood Innocence Gets ‘Debunked’

Cartoon Network Schools Kids on Racial Righteousness: You Must Never Be Colorblind

Ivy League School Offers Rock Climbing Class for Everyone But White Students

The Federal Government Makes It Official: Colorblindness Is Racist

Add to that mountain of evidence a new essay by How to Be an Antiracist author Ibram X Kendi.

The Critical Race Theory proponent has penned a piece for The Atlantic in which he recounts a worrisome familial episode. At his one-year-old daughter’s day care, she became attached to a doll with pale skin and blue eyes.

Between him and his partner, he was first to notice…

The next day, when Sadiqa picked Imani up, she, too, noticed our daughter playing with the white doll. We laughed it off. We expected Imani to start playing with a different doll or toy soon.

But she didn’t. Her frown on day one turned into a sharp “No!” on day two, when Sadiqa tried to take the doll out of her hands, which turned into a car ride of whining on day three, and into an all-out tantrum on day four as she held on firmly to the doll, not wanting to go home.

Ibram saw a Code Red — “the alarm was ringing.”

On his daughter’s fifth day of attendance, he inspected the facility’s toy collection:

I walked around the day care and found the large toy chests. I rummaged through the toys and did not come across a single doll that looked Asian, Native, Latino, Middle Eastern, or Black. Every single doll I saw looked white.

Anger overtook me. Not at the day care’s owner—at myself. Imani had been going here for several weeks, and not once did I examine the toy chests.

Imani did not choose to play with the white doll over dolls of color, I realized; she hadn’t had another option. After all these years, how many children still don’t have another option in their toy chests, libraries, or schools? What does the overrepresentation of white dolls tell children about who their caregivers think is important?


He took care of business:

We told the owner about the white dolls before leaving for the day. Changes came.

It’s surely natural for a child to play with a doll the same color as she; after all, she’ll likely one day have a baby who’s a similar shade.

But Ibram wasn’t just worried about the endeavor’s naturalness. He was concerned about smog:

Sadiqa and I were probably unduly sensitive about the whole situation. But we wondered if our Black child’s attachment to a white doll could mean she had already breathed in what the psychologist Beverly Daniel Tatum has called the “smog” of white superiority.

He goes on to reference an 1897 study, in which a child psychologist found that children favored white dolls.

Might things have changed a smidge since the dawn of the 20th century? It would seem so.

Then again, the world is purportedly pregnant with prejudice:

Nature Journal Rips America’s National Park Names for Honoring ‘White Supremacy’

Major University Whacks the White Supremacy of the Library of Congress

Professor Razes the Evil of Writing Rules, Whacks White Supremacy by Gonging Grades

Major University Accuses Its Own Mascot of White Supremacy

Colorado University Hosts Teacher Training to Fight the ‘White Supremacy’ of ‘Productivity’

Law Professor Denounces the Constitution’s ‘White Supremacy,’ Calls for an ‘Antiracist’ Replacement


We’re living in an interesting time. Long ago, white supremacy was noted because men said, “We people are white supremacists.” These days, we know of white supremacy because Democrats say, “Those people are white supremacists.”

It appears as if, were the world crawling with such people, a fair number would identify themselves. But for now, we’ll have to hear it secondhand.

Regardless, Ibram’s in luck — and in more ways than one. Given that he’s credited with igniting the “antiracism” movement — which, per UCLA Law Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, is the “active dismantling of systems, privileges, and everyday practices that reinforce …white dominance” — his daughter’s surely set for a life smog-free.

Secondly, he’s no prisoner to the whims of day cares; from the New York Post:

[K]endi…is a prolific capitalist in his personal life. He charges $20,000 an hour for virtual presentations and has merchandised his entire line of ideas, releasing self-help products and even an “antiracist” baby book.

Perhaps a nanny is in the cards.

Meanwhile, if you’re concerned about your kids’ dolls, too, Ibram’s got you covered:




See more content from me:

On the Anniversary of George Floyd’s Death, a Professor Announces Property Is Racist

In Honor of America’s Heroes, Hollywood Star Chris Pratt Proves He’s Not Like the Rest

Christian Mark Wahlberg Congratulates His Son and All Teens Seeking a ‘Relationship With the Lord’

Find all my RedState work here.

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