On Thursday Ibram X. Kendi, the author of "How to be an antiracist", was being interviewed by CNN's Brianna Keilar and he mentioned his opinions on the recent police shooting in Columbus, Ohio.
Sixteen-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant was shot and killed by a police officer in Columbus on Tuesday after she drew a knife and was about to attack others near her, as was shown by body cam footage.
Kendi during the CNN interview is asked whether "people should make decisions between different incidents", and replies:
"When I look at that video, I ask myself if that would have been a 16-year-old white girl in a wealthy suburban neighborhood, would the police officer have sought to disarm this girl? Would the police officer have sought to talk her down? Would the police officer have used lethal force?"
"And it's hard for me to believe that [the shooting] would have happened. It's hard for me to believe that that officer would not have responded differently for a different girl in a different community."
"I look at that video, and I ask 'if that were my child?' You know, or if my child were the child in pink who was so close to Ma'Khia when she was shot. You know, what would happened. I think a lot of people are asking that."
The topic then moved to a controversial tweet by basketball player LeBron James, which was taken down before the interview took place. We have reproduced a screenshot of it below for purposes of context:
Keilar then asked, "LeBron James spoke out, he tweeted a picture of an officer, the officer who allegedly shot Ma'Khia, and he said 'you're next.' He has since deleted that tweet."
"What is your reaction to that? Does that add to the tension? Is that appropriate?"
Kendi responded, "I think it's important for us to recognize that people are very angry and upset and outraged. And people, including LeBron James, and others, they witnessed ..."
"I don't want to speak for LeBron, but I know many people feel as if they did not witness police work. They witnessed someone being killed, and potentially murdered."
"And of course, like with any other case, people are gonna be outraged that someone did not come and de-escalate the situation, disarm that girl so everyone could have gone home safely that evening."