Amazon spent $5,000 to distribute hundreds of copies of “antiracist” writer Ibram X. Kendi’s book to Virginia public school students as part of a program to promote black authors, according to emails between Amazon and school district officials.
The emails show Amazon employees reached out to Arlington Public Schools as part of “NeighborGood,” a program to donate $100,000 to schools and other institutions that “empower black voices and serve black communities.” Despite Amazon’s offer to purchase Kindles or other equipment, Arlington Public Schools director of diversity and inclusion Arron Gregory requested copies of Kendi’s Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. Amazon donated between 500-600 copies of the book to Wakefield High School and paid $10,000 to have Kendi’s coauthor Jason Reynolds address students.
Asra Nomani, vice president of Parents Defending Education, the watchdog group that obtained the emails through a public records request, called Amazon’s prioritization of “antiracism” efforts during a pandemic “shortsighted” in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon.
“Instead of donating Kindles and hot spots to students in Arlington Public Schools, Amazon chose to spread the controversial ideology of critical race theory,” Nomani said. “The shortsighted decisions during a pandemic, with so many students vulnerable, reflect the national crisis of school districts circumventing parents to indoctrinate students—in this case, with the help of corporate America.”