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During the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson this week, Ted Cruz singled out multiple books while questioning the judge about her stance on critical race theory.
Two such books were Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s “Antiracist Baby” and “Stampled (For Kids),” both of which are used to teach about prejudice and racism at Georgetown Day School, whose board Jackson serves on. However, Cruz’s attacks against Kendi’s books seem to have had the opposite effect than the GOP senator intended: Both are now No. 1 bestsellers on Amazon.
Cruz spent most of his time smearing “Antiracist Baby,” falsely claiming that its contents are used to brainwash kids into radically progressive ideologies, namely critical race theory. Cruz said he was “stunned” by the book for its ideas surrounding racism, singling out certain lines such as, “Babies are taught to be racist — there’s no neutrality.”
“Do you agree…that babies are racist?” he asked, holding up a copy. Jackson said she had never heard of the book and that she doesn’t play a role in helping curate reading syllabi at Georgetown Day School.
But if Jackson wasn’t aware of the book before, she and millions more across the country are now familiar. “Antiracist Baby” and “Stamped (For Kids),” both of which came out two years ago, shot to Amazon’s bestsellers list the day after Cruz’s comments. Both were No. 1 New York Times bestsellers upon their initial releases in 2020.
Cruz also unwittingly helped boost sales for the other titles that he mentioned. Alex Vitale’s 2017 book “The End of Policing,” which argues for the eventual abolition of the police, became a No. 1 bestseller in Amazon’s Government and Social Policy category. Vitale excitedly took to Twitter to share the news, writing, “Every purchase now comes with a vial of Ted Cruz tears.”
“Antiracist Baby” aims to build a more equitable world by guiding parents and students through “nine easy steps” to better understand race’s role in society and empower people to uproot racism. The #1 bestseller introduces readers to useful language to use when talking about race, with discussion prompts and questions to help readers recognize their own biases.
Stamped (For Kids)
Ibram X. Kendi and Jayson Reynolds joined forces to adapt their award-winning “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” into a children’s book that introduces readers to their research on the history of racism. The chapter book delves into the origins of today’s most pervasive racist ideas and the best ways to identify and stamp out racist thoughts throughout readers’ own lives.