Ted Cruz Complaint About ‘Woke’ Book Made Sales Increase By 5000%


During recent confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) questioned the judge over books he claimed to be part of the curriculum in some form or another at a D.C. school where she serves on the board of trustees. Jackson, in her role on that board, does not have any role in the selection of either recommended or required books for curriculum at the educational institution in question, which is known as the Georgetown Day School — showcasing Cruz’s questioning, in case it wasn’t clear, as a colossal waste of time. Now, sales of one of the books Cruz touted — called Antiracist Baby, by Ibram X. Kendi — have gone up by some 5,150 percent.

A full 10,814 copies of the book were sold in the week of March 20 through 26, while just 206 copies were sold the previous week, per data from NPD Bookscan reported on by Forbes. (Cruz’s relevant questioning took place on March 22.) Other books that figured in Cruz’s exchanges with Jackson have also seen significant spikes in their sales. For instance, purchases of The End of Policing by Alex Vitale went up by 1,076 percent, while purchases of Critical Race Theory: An Introduction from Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic rose by 116 percent. In other words, whatever exactly that Cruz may have been hoping to accomplish with his broadside against the books didn’t work. People, it turns out, were paying attention and interested in the works.

Cruz complained during his questioning about critical race theory, defined in Education Week as the dual-pronged notion that “race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.” Sounds straightforward, right? Well, Republicans have been metaphorically losing their collective mind over it, claiming that the framework teaches people to hate the United States and themselves, or something. Vitale, the author of one of those books referenced by Cruz, remarked that right-wing broadsides against critical race theory — which sometimes seems broadened by Republicans to include things that aren’t actually critical race theory — “make clear just how far we have to go in addressing America’s long legacy of structural racism and its on-going impact on the economic opportunities and social well being of Black Americans.”

During his questioning of Jackson, Cruz asked the judicial pick for her understanding of critical race theory, to which the judge replied, in part: “It doesn’t come up in my work as a judge. It’s never something that I’ve studied or relied on. And it wouldn’t be something that I would rely on if I was on the Supreme Court.” As for the books, Jackson pointed out that she does “not believe that any child should be made to feel as though they are racist or though they are not valued or though they are less than, that they are victims, that they are oppressors.” Other Republican Senators had similarly off-base questions for the judge — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for instance, asked Jackson personal questions about her religious beliefs, apparently hoping to make an irrelevant point about the discomfort associated with religious questions previously faced by a Republican judicial selection.