Meet the 24-year-old North Carolinian behind a national movement for a “race-blind America”

Kenny Xu

RALEIGH — Color Us United, an organization based out of Morrisville, North Carolina, is behind a national effort advocating for a “race-blind America.” 

According to the group’s website, “We are the voice of those who oppose dividing America by race, religion, sexual orientation or any other characteristic. We resist those who divide Americans in the name of “racial equity” — in government, schools, corporations, journalism, or social media.” 

At just 24 years old, Kenny Xu serves as the president and main spokesperson for Color Us United. In an interview with North State Journal, Xu noted the debates going on in the public discourse about what the appropriate response to race relations should be in this country and he says that the best response is “race blindness.” 

“We should not use it [race] to hire. We should not use it to promote. We should not use it to admit either for or against anybody,” Xu said. “We should strive to treat people as individuals.” 

Xu is the author of the book An Inconvenient Minority, and the host of the podcast Inconvenient Minority, which does deep dive investigations into race, identity, and culture. 

“The current narrative, unfortunately, is propagating a very divisive view that says that we need to use race in everything and furthermore that America is a racist country and they use the racist country to justify that,” said Xu. “And I think both of those tenants are seriously questionable and need to be taken down, which is why we [Color United] started.” 

Xu is a graduate of Davidson College with a major in math and minor in philosophy. He currently resides in Raleigh. Before leading Color Us United, Xu worked at Young America’s Foundation before writing his book.  

“I fell in love with NC while at Davidson and always knew it would be the place to make my home and build a national nonprofit based upon the ordinary goodness of Americans,” said Xu of his decision to live in the Tarheel state. 

Xu says his organization also does an “activists response to Black Lives Matter,” but that his own involvement in the debates on race stemmed from what he saw as discrimination in university admissions policies.  

“We all knew in high school, that – Harvard, Princeton, Yale – those colleges are only going to take a certain number of Asians from our school,” Xu explained. We knew that we were going to be judged at a higher standard. That was common knowledge in my Chinese American Community where I lived in New Jersey.” 

“And so, for me, that sparked an awareness about what’s going on in our country,” said Xu. “Then I saw it spreading. I saw it spreading and gifted talented programs, DEI [Diversity, Equity, Inclusion] programs across the country and I decided this is something I have to start speaking out on.” 

Both Harvard and UNC Chapel Hill have been the subjects of lawsuits by the group Students for Fair Admissions (SFA). Xu was the youngest board member of SFA, as well as the board of the Asian-American Coalition for Education. 

In late January of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court signaled it would be consolidating the cases of SFFA v. Harvard University and SFFA v. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Depending on the outcome, it could spell an end to race-based policies in the college admissions.  

Also on Xu’s mind is the increasing presence of Critical Race Theory and other controversial ideologies in K-12 classrooms and the subsequent pushback from parents. 

“The reason why people are pushing back is because they’re looking at their kids and their kids are coming home from school and they don’t know reading, they don’t know math,” said Xu.  

“People in North Carolina are really amped up over this issue,” said Xu. “I mean, you can see what’s going on in Wake County in the public school system. Now, they’re trying to get rid of the gifted and talented programs for the sake of ‘equity’.”  

Xu, who said his group is looking into Wake County Public Schools more closely, questioned whose fault it really was if gifted and talented programs] doesn’t admit enough minority students. 

“You know, it’s not the Asians fault for studying so hard that they get admitted into gifted and talented programs,” Xu said. “It’s the school system’s fault for failing to educate at the level of which they should be educating Black and Latino students.” 

Xu shared that Color Us United’s current campaign is on “fighting the leaching of Critical Race ideology into corporate America.” The group’s target at the moment is American Express. 

“They’ve been conducting these trainings where they’re saying capitalism is racist. I’m like, you’re a credit card company,” said Xu, adding that “We say, “you don’t deserve the name upon which your card is printed.” We’re going to call you the UnAmerican Express.”

About A.P. Dillon 1290 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_