Ibram Kendi, assistant professor of African American history at the University of Florida and the author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Nation Books, 2016), looks at the lives and thinking of prominent American thinkers, from Cotton Mather to Angela Davis, to make his case that even advocates of racial equality often perpetrated the view he quotes from Confederate President Jefferson Davis that "inequality of black and white races" was "stamped from the beginning."
He rejects the idea of white people giving up their "white privilege" as a means of fighting discrimination.
"I think that's been one of the greatest misnomers that racial reformers have used," Kendi said. They created this idea of sacrifice and losing their "white privilege" to create an equitable America. But Kendi said the times when Americans were most equitable were actually beneficial for everyone, so the language of "loss" is detrimental.