A BOSTON University professor has sparked outrage after accusing Judge Amy Coney Barrett of being a "white colonizer" who was using her adopted black children as "props of denial".
Ibram X. Kendi was responding to pictures that showed Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee posing with her seven child, two of whom are adoptees from Haiti.
Kendi is the author of bestseller How To Be an Antiracist and the director of Boston's Center for Antiracist Research.
His comments came in response to a tweet about Barrett by conservative activist Jenny Beth Martin.
"With two adopted children from Haiti, it’s going to be interesting to watch Democrats try to smear Amy Coney Barrett as racist," Martin wrote.
In response, Kendi said: "Some White colonizers 'adopted' Black children.
"They 'civilized' these 'savage' children in the 'superior' ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity."
He later added: "It is a belief too many White people have: if they have or adopt a child of color, then they can't be racist."
Judge Barrett is currently at the centre of a political battle over whether the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be filled ahead of November's election.
Democrats say the Republican-controlled Senate should wait until after the election to hold a vote, as it did following the death of Antonin Scalia in 2016, but Republicans currently intend to hold the vote in the coming weeks.
Judge Barrett's appointment has also been opposed because of religious and socially conservative views.
'HURTFUL AND WRONG'
Kendi was widely criticised by social media users over the comments.
"You ever thought that just maybe race is irrelevant to some people when it comes to loving another human.. Crazy I know.." one wrote.
"You should be fired for your racism," said another.
"May Boston University reconsider your status!!"
Anti-racism activist Chloé S. Valdary said: "Are you suggesting that any white family who adopts black children are colonizers and that interracial adoption is somehow evil?
"Please clarify because if this is your position, it’s an evil one."
Another user wrote: "Generalizations like this are both hurtful and wrong.
"How can we create a multiracial, tolerant and learning society with statements such as this."
Other users defended Kendi.
"I have a biracial child but that doesn’t mean I’m not racist," said one.
"It takes work everyday to counter white supremacy values."
Kendi also retweeted a comment from a black woman who said her adoptive parents were racist.
"Try asking those of us who are living it!" she said.
Responding to the comment Kendi said: "Sooo many are saying this.
"Just like some Black kids adopted by White people say their parents are striving to be antiracist. Both are true.
"White parents of adopted Black children are neither inherently racist nor antiracist."
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