Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race
'One of the most important books of 2017' Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good ImmigrantA powerful and provocative argument on the role that race and racism play in modern Britain, by award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-LodgeIn 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren't affected by it. She posted a piece on her blog, entitled: 'Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race'.Her words hit a nerve. The post went viral and comments flooded in from others desperate to speak up about their own experiences. Galvanised by this clear hunger for open discussion, she decided to dig into the source of these feelings.Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race Details

TitleWhy I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 1st, 2017
PublisherBloomsbury Circus
ISBN-139781408870556
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Race, Feminism, Politics, History

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race Review

  • Didi
    January 1, 1970
    It was approximately five months ago that my book club was speaking about race since we were discussing Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I found myself being the unique reference since I was the only black person in the room. https://browngirlreading.com/2017/08/...
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  • TheSkepticalReader
    January 1, 1970
    “When do you think we’ll get to an end point?”“There is no end point in sight,’ I reply. ‘You can’t skip to the resolution without having the difficult, messy conversation first. We’re still in the hard bit.” In 2014, Reni Eddo-Lodge made a blog post, from where emerges the book title, about why she does not want to talk to white people about race. The response was overwhelming, both from whites and people of color. Motivated by the response, she decided to continue the conversation in this boo “When do you think we’ll get to an end point?”“There is no end point in sight,’ I reply. ‘You can’t skip to the resolution without having the difficult, messy conversation first. We’re still in the hard bit.” In 2014, Reni Eddo-Lodge made a blog post, from where emerges the book title, about why she does not want to talk to white people about race. The response was overwhelming, both from whites and people of color. Motivated by the response, she decided to continue the conversation in this book in an attempt to bridge the gap that exists in a discourse about race.This book is personal, it’s not about grander ideas of life and history. She does discuss politics and history but they are reflected upon from her perspective. Her dissatisfaction with conversations about race are reflected loud and clear in this book. This is one of the reasons why I’d recommend this to everyone. White, brown, blue, green, whatever your skin color is, you should read this book. In any conversation about race, Eddo-Lodge’s experience is important to listen to.Eddo-Lodge’s words hit many cords with me. There are cases where I could too easily relate to the frustrations she expresses. One instance of this is when she brings up the subject of the ‘good’ racist (or the moderate white person who is often the greater threat) as opposed to the ones who are explicitly malicious. Another is when she talks about the superficiality of the left’s aghast at Jeremy Corbyn’s win in UK elections (easily relatable to the US version of Corbyn in 2016). The 2016 election saw US Democrats in a new light and we came across racism from the self-proclaimed progressives on the left in a way I hadn’t thought possible.In her chapter on defining and understanding white privilege, Eddo-Lodge states, “white privilege is an absence of the consequences of racism…White privilege is dull, grinding complacency.” I certainly agree, however, her approach to the topic made me interested to see how white people would define it today (if they consider it a thing at all, that is). Another surprising tidbit she reveals here was that the term ‘white privilege’ was created by a white man. Isn’t that something?On the topic of feminism, we also have to address the battle between feminism and intersectional feminism. Being that intersectional has to precede the term ‘feminism’ in order to include the ‘other’, which the default feminism often dismisses, herein emerges an issue of class where one or more persons might not even be able to define intersectionality to understand what intersectional feminism stands for. It’s a dilemma we clearly failed to address.But again, her argument echoes mine when it comes to feminism as a whole. That is, “When feminists can see the problem with all-male panels, but can’t see the problem with all-white television programmes, it’s worth questioning who they’re really fighting for.”I don’t agree with Eddo-Lodge 100% of the time obviously, nor can I always relate, but this is still a voice worth listening. Right or wrong, agree or disagree, I can still love the book for what it is even when I’m not always in sync with the author.Buy this book, read it, and then pass it on to your friends and family.
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  • leynes
    January 1, 1970
    I read Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race based upon the recommendation of Yamini. So make sure to check out her review. Shutting up about racism creates the sort of silence that requires some to suffer so that others are comfortable. And it's definitely a book that I, myself, will start recommending to people. Reni Eddo-Lodge has a very distinct and clear voice. I liked that she displayed her thoughts in such a structured way, and didn't try to sound academic or elaborate. Thi I read Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race based upon the recommendation of Yamini. So make sure to check out her review. Shutting up about racism creates the sort of silence that requires some to suffer so that others are comfortable. And it's definitely a book that I, myself, will start recommending to people. Reni Eddo-Lodge has a very distinct and clear voice. I liked that she displayed her thoughts in such a structured way, and didn't try to sound academic or elaborate. This book is really for the average person trying to educate themselves. You don't need a degree in Gender of African Studies to understand it, and that's why I appreciate it so much.On 22 February 2014, Reni Eddo-Lodge published a post on her blog entitled Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race. She wrote about the fact that she can no longer engage with the gulf of an emotional disconnect that white people display when a person of colour articulates their experience, and that she can't have a conversation with them about the details of a problem if they don't even recognise that the problem exists. These are sentiments that most black people can probably relate to. Discussions about race, whether on- or offline, can be damn frustrating and emotionally draining. Oftentimes, one has the feeling that white people don't even want to listen, they just want to prove you wrong. It's really refreshing that Reni doesn't feel like she owes white people anything. She puts herself first – self-care and self-preservation are her top priority, and if talking to white people about race wasn't a give and take for her, but just a give, I'm glad she put a halt to that. She starts her examination by looking at Britain's history with racism. Slavery as a British institution existed for much longer than it has currently been abolished. The damage is still to be undone.She distinguishes between simple discrimination and discrimination + power. Only the latter should be called racism. She states that structural racism is an impenetrably white workplace culture set by those people, where anyone who falls outside the culture must conform or face failure. It is the kind of racism that has the power to drastically impact people's life chances. It doesn't manifest itself in spitting at strangers in the street. Instead, it lies in an apologetic smile while explaining to an unlucky soul that they didn't get a job.I think that distinction is very important, and, sadly, something that most white people still don't get. I will never understand why they see the fact that one can't be racist towards them as an insult? As if being racially targeted was somehow desireable?I also highly appreciated that Reni proved her statements with recent studies. Research indicates that a black schoolboy is three times more likely to be permanently excluded compared to the whole school population. He will also be systematically marked down by his own teachers. Researchers found that applicants with white-sounding names were called to interview far more often than those with African- or Asian-sounding names.A 2013 British report revealed that black people are twice as likely to be charged with drugs possession, despite lower rates of drug use. A 2003 NHS England report confirmed that people of African or African Carribean backgrounds are more at risk than any other ethnic group in England to be admitted to psychiatric hospitals under the compulsory powers of the Mental Health Act. In 2015, just 7 percent of judges across courts and tribunals were black or from an ethnic minority background.We don't live in a meritocracy and to pretend that simple hard work will elevate all to success is an exercise of wilful ignorance.One of the best sections in the book is where she dissects white privilege. She defines it as 'an absence of the consequences of racism. White privilege is the fact that if you're white, your race will almost certainly positively impact your life's trajectory in some way.'I also highly appreciated that she, as the kids say, checked her own privilege, by admitting that she is university-educated and able-bodied – factors which bolster her own voice above others. I think it's very important to be aware of the fact that you can be privileged in some areas and not in others.Another excellent section is her dissection of the feminism question, and in particular the problem of 'white feminism'. She asks herself the important questions: Can you be feminist and be anti-choice? Can you be a feminist and be wilfully ignorant on racism? Spoilert alert: The answer to both is NO. I fear that, although white feminism is palatable to those in power, when it has won, things will look very much the same. Injustice will thrive, but there will be more women in charge of it.As bleak as some of the statistics and facts may be, Reni ends on a hopeful note: The mess we live in is a deliberate one. If it was created by people, it can be dismantled by people. We must work together to dismantle the fucked up system we live in, we must work together on calling out the injustices that we witness. We can use our anger for good!
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  • Emma Wallace
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful, harrowing, emotional and raw; quite possibly the best book I have read all year! I write this review with an awareness that this book was never designed for my consumption or even education: this is such a personal account of Reni's experience and the historical experience of all POC in Britain and that connection is deeply felt in Reni's direct, emotive prose. I have felt a plethora of emotions while reading this book and have been shook to the core by the knowledge of the racist roo Beautiful, harrowing, emotional and raw; quite possibly the best book I have read all year! I write this review with an awareness that this book was never designed for my consumption or even education: this is such a personal account of Reni's experience and the historical experience of all POC in Britain and that connection is deeply felt in Reni's direct, emotive prose. I have felt a plethora of emotions while reading this book and have been shook to the core by the knowledge of the racist roots in my hometown, the slave port in my university town, Exeter, and the generally disgusting crimes my race have perpetrated throughout the many years of imperialism. I have felt all consuming rage at the historical injustice faced by those communities forced to participate in a world war they thought would guarantee the independence of their countries; the abhorrent crimes committed against the black community during Britain's civil rights movement and have cried learning of the history of injustice, immorality and cruelty that has been shielded with the apparent dismantling of colonialist occupation. I am truly not the same person through having read this book and feel a great sense of introspection through having read this: what is my role in shoring up this systemic racist network; the wrongness of my earlier colour blindednsss in mindlessly consuming white washed content or not even being conscious of the many benefits accredited to me by my white privilege and the methods I must adopt if I am to be a genuine ally to the black community and the boundaries I must observe and the privilege I must manipulate if I am to truly contribute the challenging of white supremacy. I am numb and so emotionally wrung out by this book and I think that the emotional resonance of this book is stunning; everyone due to the nature of their experience in whatever racial identity will relate to this book differently and will gain a different awareness through that. Undeniably an essential read this book is empowering, incitive, even hopeful; Reni has achieved something remarkable here and should undoubtedly be raised as the feminist icon and intellectual she is. Everyone must read this book!!
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  • Kaitlin
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book I picked up on audible as I had heard pretty rave things about the author and her work. I was definitely not disappointed as the audio version is actually narrated by the author, and this lends a lot more to the book than I think reading it would have, because it feels incredibly approachable but also very personal. This is Reni's experiences over her life with specifically British racism. She questions white privilege, naivety, safe spaces, social guilt and much more, through the This is a book I picked up on audible as I had heard pretty rave things about the author and her work. I was definitely not disappointed as the audio version is actually narrated by the author, and this lends a lot more to the book than I think reading it would have, because it feels incredibly approachable but also very personal. This is Reni's experiences over her life with specifically British racism. She questions white privilege, naivety, safe spaces, social guilt and much more, through the lens of different chapters and people who she gives voice to. Not only did this book focus on the BME side of the story, it also did show some of the very, very privileged and (in my opinion very wrong) views of people like Nick Griffin, former BNP leader. It's certainly a representative view of why some BME groups would no longer want to put up with people from the white class of Griffin, and it does a good job of illustrating just why Reni has decided sometimes it's just not worth it. Equally, it also discusses how to be an ally, or how to shake things up yourself. It doesn't go into extensive detail on this, because there's really no one way to change, but it's there and you can take or leave the advice she offers. Feminism is also discussed a bit in the book and I found it very interesting to hear about Black Feminism, and how this differs greatly from White. Something I myself hadn't thought as deeply as I should have, and something I would like to read more about. Overall, this is short but well worth a read. I really enjoyed it, and I felt like if nothing else I came away from this with more exposure to other people's viewpoints on topics I maybe hadn't considered because of my own privilege. I also think it's very strong in audio form and would recommend that highly. 4*s from me.
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  • Drackemoor
    January 1, 1970
    A book full of underlying hate and racist prejudice against white people. Why would, such a despicable text is allowed to be published is beyond me.It starts with its title, which is offensive enough, and gets worse from there. If you want to see what the real racism is, read this book.
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  • Meike
    January 1, 1970
    Don’t let the book’s title irritate you: In this text, Reni Eddo-Lodge does nothing but talking about race, especially to white people, and she calls upon everyone to challenge the structural set-up that allows racism to thrive. From black history in Britain (which is obviously not taught in schools, a reality that deprives both colored and white kids of knowledge about important aspects of British history), to structural racism, the intersectionality of race, gender and class, and the role of f Don’t let the book’s title irritate you: In this text, Reni Eddo-Lodge does nothing but talking about race, especially to white people, and she calls upon everyone to challenge the structural set-up that allows racism to thrive. From black history in Britain (which is obviously not taught in schools, a reality that deprives both colored and white kids of knowledge about important aspects of British history), to structural racism, the intersectionality of race, gender and class, and the role of feminism – Eddo-Lodge takes different angles to discuss what it means to be black in Britain. What makes this book so interesting is that it helps to heighten awareness and to take different perspectives – of course I knew that social identities overlap, but when Eddo-Lodge writes about her personal experiences talking to other women and how, presumably without bad intentions, they contribute to the fact that feminism is a predominantly white discourse, she highlights parts of a narrative that is often overlooked.Although this book focuses especially on Britain, many problems, phenomena and ideas are transferable to other countries as well. Eddo-Lodge encourages her readers, especially white ones, to talk about race, to challenge the status quo, and to contribute to the task of improving societal structures themselves, and not only the way we accommodate to them. Very thought-provoking.
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  • Mohammed P Aslam
    January 1, 1970
    Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote in the Guardian (June 2017) where she stated, White privilege is a manipulative, suffocating blanket of power that envelopes everything we know, like a snowy day.Why wouldn’t we wish to talk to white people about race, this would be an automatic response to the title of this book from any normal white person and many black people too. This book is certainly a very edifying as much as an instructive book by all accounts and without question it will keep you engrossed in the Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote in the Guardian (June 2017) where she stated, White privilege is a manipulative, suffocating blanket of power that envelopes everything we know, like a snowy day.Why wouldn’t we wish to talk to white people about race, this would be an automatic response to the title of this book from any normal white person and many black people too. This book is certainly a very edifying as much as an instructive book by all accounts and without question it will keep you engrossed in the debate whether there is substance or not to the detail she covers.This book came out of a blog that Eddo-Lodge wrote sometime back with the same title and consequently she received many favourable responses for the work, some of whom I am sure are most likely the politically perturbed co-conspirators to the racial discourse under discussion. However, writing a book on the same topic is a little more complicated, it requires more data, its needs further analysis and it demands unique evidence to support the assertions. Unlike a blog, much like a Facebook blog where you can shout the odds and no one really cares that much. Just another loud voice in the gloomy, dark and often politically obscure wilderness. We will see if we explore these points a little later in this review. The scene is set when Eddo-Lodge starts her writing with her opening gambit of explaining why she feels she is unable to speak to white people about race. When I read this statement, I was immediately thrown towards the political work of Malcolm X who at the start of his religio-political life, after decades of living a delinquent life style, he too refused to acknowledge white people as he saw them as autocrats, oppressors and tormentors of black people and their history from across the world. The comparisons were very striking initially. There is a well-known phrase used by Mr X where he commented about racial integration and said; It's just like when you've got some coffee that's too black, which means it's too strong. What you do? You integrate it with cream; you make it weak. If you pour too much cream in, you won't even know you ever had coffee. This is the premise from where Eddo-Lodge starts her journey. She certainly isn’t our modern-day Reni X and she isn’t suggesting, she doesn’t wish to integrate into wider British society either, all she is doing is, acknowledging that white people fail to understand race and all that comes with it. Therefore, we need to find a new way of defining what we are experiencing. The defining line she has introduced in the early chapter of the book is a concept of structural racism. This is her term and she spends some time attempting to explain the meaning of this term. Eddo-Lodge argues there is an emotional disconnect between white people and what she terms as the people of colour. This is, in her view, justified by her statement that white people fail to understand, listen or engage in race and are more content on talking and listening to themselves. However, she did, for the purpose of the book interview the Leader of the British National Party, the outcome of which is not made clear in the book nor is the purpose of interviewing him. But I suppose if you wish to fill a few pages in your quest to find a definition for a term that is barely recognisable, then a short telephone interview with Nick Griffith may not be too bad an idea (maybe!).Eddo-lodge starts with an historical look at race hate in Britain and steps up to the plate with her general analysis of the race debates over the last five decades and its relationship with systems, feminism, class and politics. She outlines a number of important events in history of racial discrimination from slavery to the election of four black parliamentarians but fails to state the precise periods in which these historical events took place. A chapter about the history of black people’s struggles without dates, times and places isn’t an encouraging sign I must admit and sounds much like an elongated blog on Facebook. This debate took her to the door of academic familiarities by attempting to define what she means by structural racism. Her definition began with firstly setting out the inferences relating to the Stephen Lawrence murder and the subsequent public inquiry Chaired by a High Court Judge Sir William Macpherson. It was at this point the book begins to focus on her theory of structural racism, although still unclear but she equates this term as more workable than the term introduced by the Macpherson Inquiry of Institutional Racism. Macpherson’s term of Institutional Racism looked at what is broadly defined as racial discrimination that has become the established norm within an organisation or society. Eddo-Lodge’s term of structural racism on the other hand is defined by the EHRC as structural discrimination based on socio-economic factors and not socio-political factors as she has attempted to redefine. This is a pointedly and expressively important clarification for the book and clearly there is an implied challenge to how Eddo-Lodge refers to her concept without a proper academic analysis and a racial discourse to support any empirical findings.The term structural racism is argued by Eddo-Lodge as a series of processes, procedures and actions that limit the success experienced by black people and therefore unlike institutional racism, structural racism recognises the failures of white society in addressing such injustices. Quite honestly, after reading Eddo-Lodge’s work, when one compares institutional racism with structural racism it is hardly a notable difference. However, this book appears to be attempting to rewrite this term in Eddo-Lodge’s own image with a new concept that claims to be a more updated and refined explanation of how black people experience racist behaviour in British society. The idea of not talking to white people about race is a soundbite for public consumption in order to capture ones’ mood rather than a serious attempt to exclude white people from the debate.Throughout her book, Eddo-Lodge uses the term people of colour referring to those who are not white. Mostly in a social context. She goes a step further by using a commonly accepted term Black as a political definition used by the Labour Party Black Sections in the 1980s and who described people of colour as Black in order the create a collective identity. The book lends itself to discussing various political events where black people struggled to gain important recognition in politics, business and employment and thereby the most notable event was in 1987 where she referred to the black parliamentarians getting elected to the House of Commons, and named them as Bennie Grant, Paul Boating and Diane Abbott. Mysteriously Keith Vaz (The only Asian) was omitted from her list of Black MPs elected on the same Black Section ticket in 1987. Did he not fall in to her definition of structural racism or was he not black enough? By talking about the term structural racism which seemingly excludes at least Keith Vaz MP from the definition, she enters another arena of namely ‘white privilege’ where she examines how privilege has been a costly perception for black people in Britain and consequently responsible for black poverty, discrimination and hate crime; this claim is supported by Eddo-Lodge when she argues that white peoples’ experiences are not the same as black peoples’ experiences because white people are privileged. What Eddo-Lodge had inadvertently done is that she has classically confused ignorance with class privilege leading to a separation between class and race. This implies that black people due to their race are less privileged than white people because of their class. By the same token, are white women more privileged than black women. Has the concept of sisterhood gone because ‘privilege’ defines not just who you are but also who are your friends, I agree that there may be some value in this debate.An article in the Guardian Newspaper (7 December 2014) titled Dear White people, your discomfort is progress by Rebecca Carroll and Jess Zimmerman discuss the concept of privilege and its definition when they commented:… if you have black friends and black people in your life and it still doesn’t gut you when another black boy or man or person gets shot and killed, then you need to examine your friendship.Our legacy as black folks is of pain and strife; your legacy as white folks is of cultural decimation, violence and human ownership.It is in this direction that Eddo-Lodge has taken the debate of structural racism away from Institutional racism by pretexting it as a new definition, a more modern version of describing organised exclusion and which she may argue is more appropriate for the 21st Century. My view on this point is that definitions don’t change through date order, they don’t have expiry dates like you would find on a can of baked beans, politically charged definitions are modified through events and circumstances changing where previous definitions do not work anymore and a new explanation is required. Eddo-Lodge certainly a well-defined writer, equally an enjoyable and informed writer. However, after reading her book, I am curious as I am minded to think her whole book which is aimed at introducing her conceptual theme as a means of promoting her political and academic vanity. The concept fails to acknowledge the parameters of the term, it doesn’t have a firm base upon which the debate is soundly analysed and all it has attempted to do is knock of its perch the term Institutional Racism only to try and replace it with her own unqualified term of structural racism.Eddo-Lodge wrote over 200 pages in an otiose attempt to place herself on the Ouija board for academic racial discourse however the ‘spirits have yet to appear’ to support her argument.
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  • Theo
    January 1, 1970
    A book all white people should read. If you assume this book is racist then you'd be wrong. It lays out a lot of facts about how race affects people who aren't white in the UK that are interesting and damning. Luckily the author's writing is brisk and highly readable. Unlike many factual books where it feels the author has a word count to achieve, this is always pithy and to the point, covering a range of points without repeating the same ideas over and over.
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  • Mich
    January 1, 1970
    I would be lying to you if i told you i didnt sticky-note every other page. Racism is alive and well in Britain and this book here is ready 👏 ta 👏 give 👏 you 👏 the 👏 facts 👏. I wish there was a miniature version i could carry around in my bag Im not even joking. How does racism present itself in 21st century Britain? What are the intersections between racism and misogyny? Between race and poverty? Why is the scarcity mentality flawed? Its all in this book, buy it now and tell your friends.
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  • Natalie (weneedhunny)
    January 1, 1970
    “Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race” is an ambitious, biting, and clear account of racism in contemporary Britain. Lodge divides her discussion into different sections like class, feminism and intersectionality, criminal justice, and politics; to discuss both general trends and problems as well as eying these problems through specific examples of structural racism. One of the most important lessons given in this book, I think, is how linked structural racism can be and how it f “Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race” is an ambitious, biting, and clear account of racism in contemporary Britain. Lodge divides her discussion into different sections like class, feminism and intersectionality, criminal justice, and politics; to discuss both general trends and problems as well as eying these problems through specific examples of structural racism. One of the most important lessons given in this book, I think, is how linked structural racism can be and how it feeds off of each field it plays in and manifests. In this book, Lodge exemplifies how different networks and systems and really domains, interplay and create a larger net of discrimination and limitations on life chances and resources for marginalized groups. Lodges examples are given with each domain in mind but ultimately paints up a larger picture that shows how the problem is multifaceted, and how there’s no one solution to racial discrimination. While Lodge often uses the phrase “people of color” to include several groups of minority, the book is largely focused on black peoples experiences and racism towards black people in Britain. It is natural enough given that this book is written in connection to personal experience, and it’s also understandable that not every experience and group can be explored into one short book about race discourse in Britain. For me however, this was one of the shortcomings of this book, mostly because it was often included into conclusions but rarely really discussed - like for example the use of “brown people” and “people of color” is rarely part of the concrete examples given to each individual discussion. One of the exceptions was the discussion on being muslim in Britain, in connection to feminism and intersectionality, which was great and I think only served to strengthen the idea of intersectionality being important. Intersectionality is important to understand how race and gender work together, but it's important too for other factors like religion and sexuality; what is clear is that we need a more complex discussion to be really beneficial for our modern societies. Lodge makes many good points and often in very clear language. I found the discussion of freedom of speech to be especially poignant to myself, as well as the overarching criticism of words and language in the race discourse. Lodge doesn’t necessarily present us with answers for the future, but instead gives us the axes with which to start chipping at our own ideas, actions, and world views. Because of the short length of this book, it has a certain swiftness that inevitably leaves things out. One thing I particularly missed was a deeper discussion of social status and resources in a long-term sense; how for example the chances for one black single mother's chances in terms of job and living situation affects her children's chances at education, health, schooling, etc, which in its turn shapes his/her chances for higher education and jobs and his/her own social status. While Lodge certainly deals in parts with a macro perspective, I would’ve liked an expansion on the long-term effects of racist discrimination or at the very least the possible domino effect in light of said structural racism. As I’ve mentioned, I don’t think Lodge presents us with answers nor a conclusion. I'll conclude this review some of her own words that for me quite neatly sums up the road ahead:Getting to the ‘end-point’ will require you to be uncomfortable Uncomfortable means viewing yourself and the world around you with a critical eye, it means dismantling and dissecting, and for me this book is only the beginning.
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  • Tadas Talaikis
    January 1, 1970
    This should be interesting, because I don't see "color" and I am constantly seeing some racists out there, in the wild. I want to understand their idiotic "logic". Now I have only one hypothesis, backed by various research pieces, - when people live too well, they lose empathy, because it's no longer economically profitable.What I think after reading it. Yes, racism exists, "blindness to race" exists, but at the end this book goes too far with judging about the reality out from singular events, This should be interesting, because I don't see "color" and I am constantly seeing some racists out there, in the wild. I want to understand their idiotic "logic". Now I have only one hypothesis, backed by various research pieces, - when people live too well, they lose empathy, because it's no longer economically profitable.What I think after reading it. Yes, racism exists, "blindness to race" exists, but at the end this book goes too far with judging about the reality out from singular events, like "objectification of woman's body " or "every man is a rapist", etc., totally crazy, author probably should learn that reality can be expressed only in numbers, and not in talk of emotions, which are also strengthened by human biases.More about the real.First (for one side of this equation), such thing as "race" doesn't exist in the DNA, so people from this side, are reeling on their idiotic biases. In the long run, doesn't matter at all whether world would be "black" or "red" or "green", all colors just depend on regions, and with climate change, probably, human "race" (which also doesn't exist, as we are 98% pigs and apes) would inevitably become darker in "hot" areas.Second, about the last idiotic part of this book, both women and men if put into distributions are equally similar (I don't have broad proof for that, judging out from simple probability understanding and few comparisons that are actually made) with few minor exceptions, so, women also objectify man's body, they just don't talk about it due to cultural conditioning and out from such "logic" women can also be rapists, but due to ~20% physical difference and lower testosterone, for the resources.Many more to comment about, but I refrain from this job as this is useless, everyone love buying various idiocies.Overall, how such war can create a better world, I don't know, do the real job, because talking about race only worsens things up, talk about exact problems.Also posted on my blog.P.S. Not saying objectification doesn't exist. "The problem isn't the objectification but the fact that objectification of women upholds a sexist view in society that women are actually nothing more than sex objects, which isn't something we do for men." Well, valid, but let's turn it around and we'll see that opposite is also true: "The problem isn't the objectification but the fact that objectification of men upholds a sexist view in society that men are actually nothing more than resource providing objects, which isn't something we do for women." If that's equally true, we're talking more about self-esteem and biological differences, not something that can be easily changed.All in all, relationships are "just*" trades with high expectations and poor outcomes, but still achieving main biological goal - make even more rats. If you are poor as a commodity, no one would ever buy you and doesn't matter at all, which sex you belong. Men, probably, having even worse outcomes here, because women usually don't actively go buying them, not including the fact that men usually don't actively react to every woman's sexist comments about men.So, went from racism to sexism.* Unless you invest more "magick" into it.
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  • Tim
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so important! From the history of racism in the UK to questions of intersectional feminism and class, this book shows up the network of structural racism and how it is upheld. I simply cannot recommend this enough!
  • Liz Tyson
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone should read this book.
  • Suswati
    January 1, 1970
    My reaction to this book was FINALLY someone is discussing the intersectionality between feminism, classism, and the British identity with race and racism. Having spoken to her personally about this during one of her talks, it's rather refreshing to hear it included. Absolutely current and relevant to society especially in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. I listened to this in one go on Audible, nodding and shouting in agreement throughout. Reni Eddo-Lodge writes coherently and extremely My reaction to this book was FINALLY someone is discussing the intersectionality between feminism, classism, and the British identity with race and racism. Having spoken to her personally about this during one of her talks, it's rather refreshing to hear it included. Absolutely current and relevant to society especially in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. I listened to this in one go on Audible, nodding and shouting in agreement throughout. Reni Eddo-Lodge writes coherently and extremely succinctly to make the language accessible, and the anecdotes slightly terrifying. An absolute must-read and listen. 
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  • Anthe
    January 1, 1970
    A few parts, especially the chapter on class, were a bit too uk-specific for me to completely grasp, but this is a very necessary read.
  • Asim Qureshi
    January 1, 1970
    This book is important for many reasons, and while it is written very much from the perspective of Reni Eddo-Lodge's experience as a black woman growing up in the UK, there is much about it that I recognise. particularly pertinent in the book is her presentation of white privilege and the way in which discussions that step outside of what is considered to be acceptable by liberals results in demonisation. I have a great deal of both sympathy and empathy for what she has been through as she has s This book is important for many reasons, and while it is written very much from the perspective of Reni Eddo-Lodge's experience as a black woman growing up in the UK, there is much about it that I recognise. particularly pertinent in the book is her presentation of white privilege and the way in which discussions that step outside of what is considered to be acceptable by liberals results in demonisation. I have a great deal of both sympathy and empathy for what she has been through as she has sought to assert the truth of herself - sometimes a thing that is too difficult for others to hear: "Some white people, all white people, or none - it wouldn't have mattered in the end. The aim of these commentators - whether they knew it or not - wasn't to have an honest conversation about racism. It was to obscure, to derail, and to ardently avoid the wider issue."
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  • Alex Strick van Linschoten
    January 1, 1970
    Essential reading.
  • Gem (Glimpsing Gembles Blog)
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book hoping to learn more, but I was disappointed. Although there were a lot of well researched, important, and heartbreaking facts, I wanted more about what we can all do to improve the situation. Maybe a follow up book would be great to build on the facts and history provided in this book so as to educate readers about how we can move forward.
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  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    On the rather short space of about 270 pages she tackles topics like intersectional feminism and the link between the British class-system and racism.I especially liked the parts about why Eddo-Lodge thinks color-blindness or the idea of post-racism is so problematic and harmful because it cuts short any attempt of debate. For me, the most interesting and most revealing part though were the chapters about the history of structural racism in the UK, starting with the slave trade the British Empir On the rather short space of about 270 pages she tackles topics like intersectional feminism and the link between the British class-system and racism.I especially liked the parts about why Eddo-Lodge thinks color-blindness or the idea of post-racism is so problematic and harmful because it cuts short any attempt of debate. For me, the most interesting and most revealing part though were the chapters about the history of structural racism in the UK, starting with the slave trade the British Empire prospered on (and after the abolition of slavery those slave-owners had to be compensated for their losses) followed by up to today's housing policies which enforce segregation by pushing minorities out of view from marketable neighbourhoods. What I found shocking is that Black British history apparently isn't taught at schools. Students seem to mostly learn about American slavery and the Civil Rights Movement in the US which must feel like a million miles away from their lives.Eddo-Lodge includes some statistics which I knew about but reading them again in this context made some things clearer for me. I thought she uses them well and there was no info dump in my opinion.This book taught me a lot and challenged me. I'll recommend it to anyone, not just living in the UK, because it tackles so many relevant issues. I must have been about 19 or 20 and I made a new friend. We were studying the same course . . . Ticking class boxes for an upcoming term found us both opting to take a module on the transatlantic slave trade. Neither of us knew quite what to expect. I'd only ever encountered black history through American-centric educational displays and lesson plans in primary and secondary school. . . . But this short university module changed my perspective completely. . . . My friend, on the other hand, stuck around for a couple of tutorials before dropping out of the class altogether. "It's just not for me," she said. Her words didn't sit well with me. Now I understand why. I resented the fact that she seemed to think that this section of British history was in no way relevant to her. . . . Perhaps to her, the accounts didn't seem real or urgent or pertinent to the way we live now. . . . I was resentful of her because I felt that her whiteness allowed her to be disinterested in Britain's violent history, close her eyes, and walk away. To me, this didn't seem like information you could opt out from learning.
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  • Jamrock
    January 1, 1970
    So good, so important and so relevant that I read it twice, three times if you include the audio book. The author smashes the ball out of the park with this intensely critical essay on race and racism. I remember being confused by the title (and not even that clear after Googling the original 'blogpost that this stemmed from) and who the book was aimed at. After all, I'm as far from racist as you can get, aren't I? I'd later regret making that blasé assumption. Curiosity got the better of me in So good, so important and so relevant that I read it twice, three times if you include the audio book. The author smashes the ball out of the park with this intensely critical essay on race and racism. I remember being confused by the title (and not even that clear after Googling the original 'blogpost that this stemmed from) and who the book was aimed at. After all, I'm as far from racist as you can get, aren't I? I'd later regret making that blasé assumption. Curiosity got the better of me in the bookshop (another reason why I shun Kindle!) and I read the first twenty pages. A sucker for black history, I was quickly drawn into a wealth of detail I had not been aware of regarding Black British history. Wait! How did I know of Rosa Parks but not Guy Bailey. Not so much "how" but "why" I kept reading...There are many elements to this book, the most useful for was the section on interesctionalism and the overwhelming whiteness of feminism. I had feared to tread into this territory in case I became guilty of mansplaining feminism...but this chapter was empowering.For the main thrust of this book I have been struggling for weeks to put into words the impact of this books so, somewhat unusually I will use the words of another reviewer as they manage to sum it up so precisely. I am truly not the same person through having read this book and feel a great sense of introspection through having read this: what is my role in shoring up this systemic racist network; the wrongness of my earlier colour blindednsss in mindlessly consuming white washed content or not even being conscious of the many benefits accredited to me by my white privilege and the methods I must adopt if I am to be a genuine ally to the black community and the boundaries I must observe and the privilege I must manipulate if I am to truly contribute the challenging of white supremacy. Link to Emma's full reviewI read this alongside another book, to which Renni was a contributing author, The Good Immigrant, which I will attempt to review next but is equally excellent but futher reaching.
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    In response to a one-star review:A book full of analysis of the underlying hate and racist prejudice against black people in majority white society. Why such an insightful text took so long to be published is beyond me. It starts with its title, which is eye-catching and thought provoking, and the author carefully explains her meaning in a well-considered and personal way. If you want to see what real structural racism is, read this book.It's easy to understand why some white people take offense In response to a one-star review:A book full of analysis of the underlying hate and racist prejudice against black people in majority white society. Why such an insightful text took so long to be published is beyond me. It starts with its title, which is eye-catching and thought provoking, and the author carefully explains her meaning in a well-considered and personal way. If you want to see what real structural racism is, read this book.It's easy to understand why some white people take offense at the title of this book. Eddo-Lodge seems to have designed it to slap the reader in the face, to take notice of their position in relation to her declaration. It's like a Zen koan, designed to snap the reader into an immediate awareness of their underlying feeling, rather than their thought. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, then, if you can be open to hearing the author's experience as a black person in a majority white society, there's undoubtedly much to learn.I, as a white person, you're prepared to squarely look at how you have a head start in life simply by being born with a characteristic that society considers the baseline for normal (doubled and re-doubled if you happen to be male, tripled and re-tripled if you happen to be born into wealth), then you can begin to understand the exasperation of the author at constantly having to fight the same battles over and over again; constantly having the discussion about racism subverted into accusations of racism against whites.As is obvious from the existence of the book, Eddo-Lodge has not stopped talking about race, and much of the book is directed towards white people. Yes, in a challenging way, but not in a vituperative way. Eddo-Lodge explicitely states that she does not want to evoke "white-guilt" in her readers, but rather makes a call to action, to take an anti-racist stand where it matters most, in our own lives and with the people we live and work with.White people need not fear Eddo-Lodge's message, however uncomfortable it might feel at the outset. Awareness is a precursor of change, and she advocates for a harmonious society in which everybody is prized and is able to live a fulfilling life free from oppression.
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  • Ada
    January 1, 1970
    I finished reading Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race, only to hear a few days later that it has been nominated for the Baillie Gifford Prize for nonfiction. It’s very exciting to hear it – as the book deserves to benefit from the extra publicity.The book‘s title, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, has been the source of much discussion and anxiety. I think it’s excellent in that it makes people stop and pay attention. A book entitled "Why W I finished reading Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race, only to hear a few days later that it has been nominated for the Baillie Gifford Prize for nonfiction. It’s very exciting to hear it – as the book deserves to benefit from the extra publicity.The book‘s title, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, has been the source of much discussion and anxiety. I think it’s excellent in that it makes people stop and pay attention. A book entitled "Why We Should All Talk About Race" would not get half the publicity that this one does. There’s a reason why the blog post (from which this title is taken) has gone viral. It makes people stop and think. It really works marvelously with the design on the book’s cover. “White People” simply blur into the background, whereas the black stands out extremely clearly. Just as white privilege is absorbed and taken for granted.Eddo-Lodge writes about an incredibly important subject: racism in the UK. The first chapter of the book presents a short history of structural racism in the UK (with a special emphasis on the British Nationality Act of 1948, which gave British citizenship to all Commonwealth citizens) – which is invaluable, given how little the subject is spoken about in public life.Eddo-Lodge then goes on to talk about a variety of subjects: white privilege, the question of white-centered feminism, and the distinction between race and class. Her book is unapologetic and strident in its tone – Eddo-Lodge is aiming to convert her audience to her view and the rhetoric she uses is often quite categorical. Sometimes one feels, especially if one disagrees with her on a certain subject – that one is like a naughty pupil in a classroom, who should sit quietly and not attempt to argue. At times, her book does feel a bit too much like a blog post - argumentative and strident, but not all together thought through structurally. It makes one suspect that the success of Eddo-Lodge's blogpost made her publishers urge her to produce a book as quickly as possible, without giving her the time to structure it properly. It's an important book on an important subject, but I wish its structure was clearer. (full review on www.litcritpop.com)
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    This is a thought provoking text and although Eddo -Lodge is describing institutionalised racism in Britain, it absolutely applies to Australia. Her chapter on "What is White Privilege?" is particularly important as she points out that "Neutral is white. The default is white... And white privilege is an absence of the consequences of racism." She adds: "There is an unattributed definition of racism that defines it as prejudice plus power." As a white person, I have always felt it was difficult f This is a thought provoking text and although Eddo -Lodge is describing institutionalised racism in Britain, it absolutely applies to Australia. Her chapter on "What is White Privilege?" is particularly important as she points out that "Neutral is white. The default is white... And white privilege is an absence of the consequences of racism." She adds: "There is an unattributed definition of racism that defines it as prejudice plus power." As a white person, I have always felt it was difficult for me to understand the plight of the indigenous people of Australia. Reading Stan Grant's "Talking to my Country" helped, and this text has added more depth to my limited understanding. Her final paragraph in the book is a call to action, for all of us, as she points out we cannot wait for governments or community leaders to come to a consensus and lead change. She says what we do "can be as small scale as chipping away at the warped power relations in your workplace... It can be creative. It can be informal. It can be your job. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as you're doing something."
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    I received a galley of this book via Bloomsbury and NetGalley. This has not impacted my thoughts or opinions.This book blew me away. I found myself highlighting and bookmarking full sections of this book. As an American, I read predominantly books about the experience of black Americans and American POC. It was refreshing – yet alarmingly similar – to read about Britain's own complicated and horrific history of oppression, racism, and slavery. It's a story not frequently heard here in the U.S., I received a galley of this book via Bloomsbury and NetGalley. This has not impacted my thoughts or opinions.This book blew me away. I found myself highlighting and bookmarking full sections of this book. As an American, I read predominantly books about the experience of black Americans and American POC. It was refreshing – yet alarmingly similar – to read about Britain's own complicated and horrific history of oppression, racism, and slavery. It's a story not frequently heard here in the U.S., but it's time we start listening to POC from other nations and experiences.Eddo-Lodge's voice is a critical one. Her essays on white privilege and intersectional feminism are outstanding, and her expository analysis of black British history really reminded me of how much we still have yet to learn and understand.If you're looking for an accompaniment to readings of race in America, this is the volume to pick up. Most Americans don't know of Eddo-Lodge yet, but I hope they will.
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  • Dabarai
    January 1, 1970
    This book really delivers. I wanted to read it, didn't expect it to be so easy to digest, persuasive and accurate. It talks about black history in UK and covers things like, systemic, institutionalised racism, white feminism, color blindness etc - and it makes you want to agree but also shake your head in disbelief and it can make you cringe too. The essential read for Black History Month.
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  • Lois Clark-Johnston
    January 1, 1970
    This was so good. So much information about the British BPOC and NBPOC civil rights movement.
  • Ned Summers
    January 1, 1970
    Very important and necessary book
  • Reader28
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone should read this book.
  • Gabriela Pop
    January 1, 1970
    an essential must-read
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