Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
In 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' that led to this book.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, Feminism, Race, Politics, Writing, Essays

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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  • Clif Hostetler
    January 1, 1970
    This book was prompted by the viral response that resulted from the posting of this message on the author's blog. I think the message is worth reading because it provides an excellent articulation of the near impossibility of communicating the fact of structural racism to white people who happen to be unwitting beneficiaries of it.Below I've listed the main terms defined, explored and discussed in this book. The definitions are as I understand them to be from reading the book. My definitions a This book was prompted by the viral response that resulted from the posting of this message on the author's blog. I think the message is worth reading because it provides an excellent articulation of the near impossibility of communicating the fact of structural racism to white people who happen to be unwitting beneficiaries of it.Below I've listed the main terms defined, explored and discussed in this book. The definitions are as I understand them to be from reading the book. My definitions are my own translation of the author's narrative and are no substitute for reading the book:• Racism is prejudice with power. That means that minorities without power can't be racist.• Structural racism is the summation of expectations, associations, and social forces that are assumed to be the norm in daily life. Their presence is so pervasive that their existence is often not recognized.• White privilege is "absence of the consequences of racism." • White feminism refers to the campaign for women's rights while continuing to be blind to racism.• Class is often used as a code word for racist views (e.g. white working class).The history, social conditions and current events described in this book are focused on Great Britain, the author's native country. My first thought was that it was unfortunate that this sort of message wasn't focused on my own country, the USA. But on second thought I decided this book's message may be able to reach white Americans by allowing them to be less defensive about its message because it's about another country. If white Americans can comprehend racism in Britain they may be a step closer to understanding it at home. I was attracted to the book because 0f its title. Even though I'm white (and implicitly beneficiary of white privilege), I believe I share some of the same frustration that the title conveys. For a number of years I've noticed that the most racist people I know are the ones who preface their pontifications with the phrase, "I'm not a racist but ..." Talking to people like that about racism is the equivalent of talking to a brick wall, and if they have a disposition to be angry and threatened their words in reply can become the equivalent of thrown bricks. Thus, when I saw the title that expressed the futility of taking to white people about racism, I thought I understood the sentiment.According to this book if you claim to be color blind regarding race, you may be participating in the promotion of white privilege. Being color blind often makes people blind to the consequences of past wrongs and thus blind to structural racism today.This book says that racism is a problem for whites to solve because the power to do so resides with them. It is a problem that "reveals the anxieties, hypocrisies and double standards of whiteness. It is a problem in the psyche of whiteness that white people must take responsibility to solve."Toward the end of the book the author says that white people often ask her what they can do about racism—people of color ask how to cope with it. Among her suggestions for white people is that they speak to unsympathetic white people—exactly the LAST THING that I want to do. Well, maybe I can simply suggest they read this book.I want to also mention that the audio version of this book is narrated by the author, Reni Eddo-Lodge, and she does a good job. The emotion pent-up behind the book's text really comes through.__________The following is a link to an article discussing Trump's twitter exchange with reporter Greg Sargent on the day before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Day 2017. I've included it here to illustrate how we in the USA have a Racist-In-Chief who seldom passes up a chance to add to his many "contributions to the degradation of the integrity of the office he holds." Trump's tweets often contain fodder for racist feelings.http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slates...
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  • Ian Connel
    January 1, 1970
    "Why I'm No Longer Talking to Black People about Race."Consider that statement if you want to read this book. Avoid the mental gymnastics of postmodernism. Ask yourself, "does this statement show love and respect to other humans?" If you answered no, then you are not a moron. Stay that way. Treat people as individuals, not as stereotypes.
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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best books I have ever read, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is essential reading for anyone who cares about social justice, other people, and the state of our society. Reni Eddo-Lodge provides a thorough and incisive history of slavery and racism in Britain, followed by several powerful chapters about white privilege, white-washed feminism, race and class, and more. I want to emulate her writing style: it is assertive and provocative, and every word feels fierce One of the best books I have ever read, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is essential reading for anyone who cares about social justice, other people, and the state of our society. Reni Eddo-Lodge provides a thorough and incisive history of slavery and racism in Britain, followed by several powerful chapters about white privilege, white-washed feminism, race and class, and more. I want to emulate her writing style: it is assertive and provocative, and every word feels fierce and necessary, with no wasted space in this text at all. She strikes a perfect balance between conveying how entrenched and all-encompassing racism really is, while offering hope that we can fight white supremacy as long as we act. She refuses to coddle whiteness and instead discusses how we should move beyond protecting white fragility. I marked at least a dozen passages, but one I wanted to share about feminism which I absolutely loved:"Feminism is not about equality, and certainly not about silently slipping into a world of work created by and for men. Feminism, at its best, is a movement that works to liberate all people who have been economically, socially, and culturally marginalised by an ideological system that has been designed for them to fail. That means disabled people, black people, trans people, women and non-binary people, LGB people and working-class people. The idea of campaigning for equality must be complicated if we are to untangle the situation we're in. Feminism will have won when we have ended poverty. It will have won when women are no longer expected to work two jobs (the care and emotional labour for their families as well as their day jobs) by default."On a personal note, reading this book served as such a cathartic experience for me as a person of color. It is painful to recall and to write about the racism I have experienced, like when a white high school English teacher always made me feel awful about my writing because of my Asian identity, or when a white woman tone-policed me and called me passive-aggressive for pointing out her problematic actions toward Asian Americans. I feel so grateful for Reni Eddo-Lodge for reminding me of the importance of using my voice to advocate for liberation even when it hurts. Her strategies of setting boundaries with defensive white people, of acknowledging her own privilege, and of continuing to speak out all inspired me to be bolder and more thoughtful in my own activism.Recommended to literally everyone, of course. I am grateful for my handful of white friends who show up for racial justice without seeking praise and special treatment. I hope this book will inspire more to join the cause. I will end this review with a quote about how white people can contribute to the movement:"I also believe that white people who recognise racism have an incredibly important part to play. That part can't be played while wallowing in guilt. White support looks like financial or administrative assistance to the groups doing vital work. Or intervening when you are needed in bystander situations. Support looks like white advocacy for anti-racist causes in all-white spaces. White people, you need to talk to other white people about race."
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  • Peter
    January 1, 1970
    Utter crap!Let me explain why.My wife is from Bangladesh, we will have been married for twenty years this december and have two wonderful daughters.My point: I have had more racist abuse from blacks and asians since we have been married and my wife as had almost nothing in comparison. In fact the police found it very funny that my wife phoned them because it was I that was getting the racist abuse at our house not her at the time. It's amazing that they can laugh at white people for getting raci Utter crap!Let me explain why.My wife is from Bangladesh, we will have been married for twenty years this december and have two wonderful daughters.My point: I have had more racist abuse from blacks and asians since we have been married and my wife as had almost nothing in comparison. In fact the police found it very funny that my wife phoned them because it was I that was getting the racist abuse at our house not her at the time. It's amazing that they can laugh at white people for getting racist abuse but not the other way round.I was (many years ago), waiting for a bus in East Ham when a young asian woman with a baby was racialy abused by a black guy, because she was pushing a buggy and going slow he points at her shouting, "Why don't you fuck off back to YOUR own country bitch".Not being able to let this stand I responded that "She has got as much right to be in MY country as you". The emphasis on "my" was the response to him saying "your". The frustration I felt was because there was no white people involved in the initial altercation it was ignored by everyone around me, but if it was a white guy everyone around me would have exploded.In the end I was rewarded with a thank you and a smile knowing that not everyones a bastard.Black and asians are becoming openly racist and the native white population are not supposed to retaliate, the title of the book reflects this very well. If the title had the words black people there would be an outcry.I am certainly not racist but this book would make me change my mind if not for my wife and daughters.This book is erratic, poorly researched and without substance and partial truths. The author should not have been allowed to publish this one sided racist argument.A book that only fans the flames rather than extinguishes them.Before anyone throws a hissy fit let me point out that to only way for us to marry was if I converted to islam.PS: We only have one world so shut up and let's all get along, hey...Shhhh... I still do not tolerate religion.
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  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    "White privilege is the fact that if you're white, your race will almost certainly positively impact your life's trajectory in some way. And you probably won't even notice it."Once again - calm your horses - I'm here to say: every white person needs to read this books. Every one of us. Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race caught my attention roughly a year ago when I first saw the cover. And it's a good cover. And it's a great title. You were probably taken aback and had to swall "White privilege is the fact that if you're white, your race will almost certainly positively impact your life's trajectory in some way. And you probably won't even notice it."Once again - calm your horses - I'm here to say: every white person needs to read this books. Every one of us. Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race caught my attention roughly a year ago when I first saw the cover. And it's a good cover. And it's a great title. You were probably taken aback and had to swallow hard. This might have felt like a hit to your usually untouchable whiteness. Of course, this title is here to provoke a discussion. It wants you to listen. Here is what the author has to say:"When I write about white people in this book, I don't mean every individual white person. I mean whiteness as a political ideology. A school of thought that favours whiteness at the expense of those who aren't."Reni Eddo-Lodge further explains that she is unwilling to talk to white people who do not want to listen, who do not want to talk, who shut down because a discussion about race feels like a personal threat, not one that wants to spread awareness and acceptance.So if you do feel upset about this title...read the book anyway. It won't hurt you. It will most likely expand your horizon.Talking about expanding horizons, it sure as hell expanded mine. I could basically feel it shift. Reni Eddo-Lodge tackles a lot of crucial topics in this book. She talks about what initiated her original blog post with the same title back in 2014 and what led to the publication of this book. She lays out the history of slavery and racism in Britain - a topic that even British students hardly learn about in school, explains structural racism, defines white privilege, raises the feminism question, describes how race and class are intertwined and offers advice on what white people can do to fight racism.I devoured this book in only two days. I took it everywhere I went, read it at home, in the park, on the tube - and earned a lot of side-glances. What the author talks about in this book is so important and true. It's also frustrating and enraging. It seems almost too trivial to say but the fact that people get hurt and killed for no other reason than the colour of their skin is impossible to put into words. It makes me want to scream and shout and throw stuff around and cry. But most of all it makes me want to talk. Because racism is not only something that actively hurts people. It's not something that you can point at. Racism is sneaky, racism is structural, racism is a political ideology that results in children of colour being adopted on average a year after their white counterparts. It results in teachers automatically downgrading non-white students. It results in wage-gaps and lost job opportunities. It results in an underrepresentation in the media, film and publishing industry:"When you are used to white being the default, black isn't black until it is clearly pointed out as so."I learned so many things while reading this book. Most, however, I took away from the chapter on feminism. Mainly that feminism is not about establishing equality between men and women, it is about liberating "all people who have been economically, socially and culturally marginalised by an ideological system that has been designed for them to fail. That means disabled people, black people, trans people, LGB people and working-class people." What Reni means is that a white person should be aware of the structures around them that are in their favour and simultaneously limit other non-white, non-cis-gendered, non-straight, non-male, non-disabled, non-wealthy people. Furthermore, she is aware that these structures will not vanish overnight. They must be pointed-out and fought. The question is, what can you yourself do to change this system? There is no need to feel guilty for your privileges. Be aware of them, try to deconstruct them and most importantly: talk. Talking will not always be easy, it will most likely be uncomfortable and it might anger and frustrate the people you talk with. But staying silent is not an option. Staying silent means divulging in the privileges you have and enforcing a racist society to strive and grow.Find more of my books on Instagram
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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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  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    Reni Eddo-Lodge no longer wants to talk to white people about race because white people always manage to make the conversation about themselves. Isn’t this the original definition of a bore? This would actually be funny if it didn’t have such deadly consequences for people of color everywhere. “Discussing racism is not the same thing as discussing ‘black identity.’ Discussing racism is about discussing white identity. It’s about white anxiety.” Eddo-Lodge is British and this book evolved from a Reni Eddo-Lodge no longer wants to talk to white people about race because white people always manage to make the conversation about themselves. Isn’t this the original definition of a bore? This would actually be funny if it didn’t have such deadly consequences for people of color everywhere. “Discussing racism is not the same thing as discussing ‘black identity.’ Discussing racism is about discussing white identity. It’s about white anxiety.” Eddo-Lodge is British and this book evolved from an explosive blogpost of the same title that she wrote in 2014 and which is reproduced in full in the Preface to this volume. Contrary to her explicit desire to stop talking to white people about race, she has become a national and international spokesperson and spends most of her time talking to white people about race. Is there a lesson here? Eddo-Lodge divides her commentary on the subject of race into seven chapters, the first of which, “Histories,” details her awakening to the realization that she knew very little about black British history until her second year at university. That moment of awakening, the moment Ta-Nehisi Coates also details in his own book, Between the World and Me, is a thrilling one in the life of an writer/activist. After that moment comes the hard work of study and making connections. “We tell ourselves that good people can’t be racist…We tell ourselves that racism is about moral values, when instead it is about the survival strategy of systemic power.” Chapter 2, “The System,” tries to describe the way racism looks today from the point of view of those discriminated against in Britain, and the excuses made to paper over any actual discussion of the problems. This is where the insistence upon merit and the way the conversation always turns to white anxiety is most apparent. Chapter 3, “What is White Privilege?” surprises us with the assertion that “White privilege is never more pronounced than in our intimate relationships, our close friendships and our families… Race consciousness is not contagious, nor is it inherited. If anything, an increase in mixed-race families and mixed-race children brings those difficult conversations about race and whiteness and privilege close to home (literally) than ever before.” I’d always assumed that mixed race families had the advantages of understanding around issues of race, but Eddo-Lodge tells us that many families are not having the conversations they need to have, difficult and raw though they may be. Of course. “It makes sense that interracial couples might not want to burden themselves with the depressing weight of racial history when planning their lives together, but a color-blind approach makes life difficult for children who do not deserve this carelessness.” There is so much in this short book that I have to urge everyone to get their own copy. The insights come fast and furious from this point on. For some white people, Eddo-Lodge asserts, “being accused of racism is far worse than actual racism.” That resonates in today’s America, and could as easily be said about sexism. We need to humble ourselves enough to learn new lessons. When addressing feminism and racism in Chapter 5, "The Feminism Question," Eddo-Lodge may present her most eloquent arguments, including a discussion about the need for black feminists to meet separately: that [white gaze] “does so much to silence you...And there's an element of just speaking the truth of what it means to be a black woman in the UK that it would be ridiculous, as a white person, to not read that as implicating you."In direct relationship to the cogency of her arguments, her shortest chapters are the most fluent, insightful, and well-argued. At the end, Eddo-Lodge uses a Terry Pratchett statement as her final chapter heading: "There is No Justice, There is Just Us.” In this chapter she reflects our questions right back out at her audience. “White people, you need to talk to other white people about race….white people who recognize racism have an incredibly important part to play. That part can’t be played while wallowing in guilt.” Apropos of this exhortation, a racial justice educator based in Boston, Debby Irving, wrote a book on race primarily for white people, called Waking Up White, detailing her experiences waking up to an unconscious racism. I agree with her that we need to learn to speak this new vocabulary of race if we want to enjoy the benefits of diversity. Eddo-Lodge, despite her exhaustion talking about race with white people, is doing her part.
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  • Rick Burin
    January 1, 1970
    Reni Eddo-Lodge opens up her provocative and challenging viral blogpost of 2014 into a 224-page (big type) book that has something to say, but says it unbelievably poorly. Eddo-Lodge may be right that ‘structural’ (institutionalised) racism is the biggest problem facing Britain today, she’s definitely right that anti-immigrant narratives are cynically used by those in power to divide the working class, and her early insights into whiteness being the ‘default’ from which everything is forced to d Reni Eddo-Lodge opens up her provocative and challenging viral blogpost of 2014 into a 224-page (big type) book that has something to say, but says it unbelievably poorly. Eddo-Lodge may be right that ‘structural’ (institutionalised) racism is the biggest problem facing Britain today, she’s definitely right that anti-immigrant narratives are cynically used by those in power to divide the working class, and her early insights into whiteness being the ‘default’ from which everything is forced to deviate (unless it will try to conform) are incisive and valuable. But her narrative voice – which she complains is too often characterised as ‘angry’ because she’s a black woman – is increasingly monotonous, patronising and illogical, with vast leaps between evidence and conclusions, and she repeatedly misrepresents or mischaracterises dissenters and their views (whether socialist commentators or those who opposed Rhodes Must Fall), slinging accusations at them which simply aren’t borne out by the case studies she offers.Eddo-Lodge isn’t a historian – the selected examples of 20th century British racism are horrific but presented with no real coherent commentary or through-line – she isn’t a particularly good writer, and she seems to lack the rigorousness, contextual aptitude and transmittable empathy to be a decent polemicist. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by James Baldwin, but this haphazard book – containing one isolated piece of council reporting, much re-hashing of Twitterstorms about black Hermione et al, and an exclusive interview with Nick Griffin, the author apparently labouring under the misapprehension that otherwise he can sue her for libel for quoting him on Question Time – is frankly all over the shop. Her overall thesis – that the dice are loaded against black people from the start, that white people unthinkingly benefit from this system and that intersectionality in feminism is essential – is absolutely sound, but a lot of her arguments are conjecture, and a lot of her contentions are nonsense. Like the idea that Britain failed to take the killing of Stephen Lawrence and the purposefully botched investigation seriously. Or that Diane Abbott’s moronic statement after the eventual trial came to entirely dominate the news agenda, scuppering the chance to have a serious debate about the issues involved. She’s right that modern black history should be taught in school, but wrong that it’s entirely kept out of the mainstream: I learnt of the Windrush at university and of the Brixton and Notting Hill riots by reading newspapers. We studied Stephen Lawrence in extraordinary depth in lessons for three different school subjects, and from personal, social and political perspectives.Every so often she’ll say something that catches you completely off-guard, and causes you to question and interrogate your beliefs, and that’s where the book is valuable. She’s great on the failings of ‘colourblindness’ and at dismantling the argument against quotas, does well at challenging the unions and the Labour Party for their culpability in racism, and (more comfortably) at highlighting conservative hypocrisy in adopting progressive language to further reactionary ends. The personal insights are quite moving at first, but she also engages in some utterly unedifying score-settling (largely aimed at white feminists), and absolutely loses her shit about an acquaintance who failed to believe that Eddo-Lodge definitely failed to get a job due to racism. The author’s evidence for this racism is that she had the same qualifications as the person who got the job, and is sure that it was racism. She’s poor, too, at suggesting how we effect change, tripping herself up with unyielding ideology. She says that racism is a white problem but that white people can’t be at the vanguard of the fight against it, at least not in multi-ethnic spheres, which isn’t only confusing, but also unhelpful and patronising.It’s incredibly important to listen to diverse voices, but being one of those voices doesn’t excuse you from the basic duties of writing, research and logic. This is a poor polemic: disjointed, misleading and too often repetitive when it should be relentless, its genuine insights lost in a shapeless collection of personal beefs, yellowing Twitterstorms and disparate case studies. Eddo-Lodge doesn’t care how she comes across, which is good for her, as she comes across as someone who’s so intolerant of others that she manages to rub you up the wrong way, despite being in the right.
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  • Tanja Berg
    January 1, 1970
    "Discussing racism is about discussing white identity. It's about white anxiety. It's about asking why whiteness has this reflexive need to define itself against immigrant bogey monsters in order to feel comfortable, safe and secure." This book discusses structural racism, with focus on Britain, at length. I recognize most of the issues, it's precisely the same as what is being said here in Norway. "You can't hear English (Norwegian) on the bus anymore." "In year xxxx, us whites will be the mino "Discussing racism is about discussing white identity. It's about white anxiety. It's about asking why whiteness has this reflexive need to define itself against immigrant bogey monsters in order to feel comfortable, safe and secure." This book discusses structural racism, with focus on Britain, at length. I recognize most of the issues, it's precisely the same as what is being said here in Norway. "You can't hear English (Norwegian) on the bus anymore." "In year xxxx, us whites will be the minority because immigrant women are having more children." It seems that white people have a need to deny that racism exists and that that white is considered the norm. The heroes in movies white. The characters of books are white, unless explicitly told that they are something else. "Racism goes both ways." Huh, really? But in Europe, it's a white elite establishment against what everything is measured anyway."How old were you when you realized that you were white?" A question from the book. Apparently this is a pertinent question. I was two. I have known I was white for as long as I have been able to think. I grew up in a remote village in south eastern Asia, where skin bleaching was and is a thing. With my white-blond hair, milky skin and green eyes, I was a fascinating anomaly. My cheeks were pinched and my hair was pulled. My skin tone was what everyone wanted. So my entire life I have known that I was at the receiving end of positive discrimination. I became, as I grew up, aware that I had bought into the hierarchy of whites - local majority - hill tribe. I am an immigrant, having moved from my passport country for many reasons - but also for work. I am not discriminated against. Although I speak with an accent, it's still the "right" one. I am obviously Nordic and thus perfectly acceptable. I know this is not the same for immigrant workers from further away. I have never been told to "go home" and unless I speak it is presumed that I am native, even though I grew up across the globe. I somehow lived under the impression that racial discrimination in the UK was virtually non-existent, particularly compared to the United States. This book stripped me of that belief. The UK has the same issues as most of the rest of Europe. What can I do to reduce structural racism? I am not free of bias either, but at least I am conscious of it and can try to mitigate it along the way - as well as pluck at others' assumptions. I have a lot to consider.
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  • Mindy Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Although I do believe many points she made are valid, I have a hard time with how a lot of the book makes generalities and doesn't back up what it's claiming.
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a delicate and important subject, that I don’t think anything I write can justify the issues called out in this book. From my perspective, it immediately hits at the point that white people benefit from their race without even realising it. Black people have this disadvantage thrust upon them from birth, and I agree that there is an appalling level of racial bias that runs as an undercurrent throughout Britain without the majority of the population even realising it. We turn a ‘blin This is such a delicate and important subject, that I don’t think anything I write can justify the issues called out in this book. From my perspective, it immediately hits at the point that white people benefit from their race without even realising it. Black people have this disadvantage thrust upon them from birth, and I agree that there is an appalling level of racial bias that runs as an undercurrent throughout Britain without the majority of the population even realising it. We turn a ‘blind eye’ to what we don’t know or understand for the sake of ‘polite politics’, and prefer to remain emotionally detached from the subject and talk within the white world ‘niche’. What the author dubs as ‘structural racism’ is a construct designed to limit the success of black people, therefore repeatedly following a pattern of repression that is supported by white apathy, leading to black hate crime, poverty and discrimination. This I all agreed with wholeheartedly, and appreciated the lengths the author went to express her opinions to try and make me, a privileged white woman, understand. I just, at times, found the author’s evidence to support her portrayal of ‘structural racism’ as very generalised, with not much substance or hard evidence to support what is essentially, just her opinion. This didn’t delve as deep as I wanted it to, although it certainly scratches at the murky depths surrounding race in Britain for an individual who has no background in race, gender or equality studies. The most interesting chapter, I found, was that focusing on feminism and race. It’s difficult for me to think of the two as anything other than an homogeneous entity but as the author points out - she cannot separate her own ‘blackness’ from her ‘gender’, and a lot of the rallies/talks she attended focused only on ‘white feminism’ without including these issue that are solely encountered by black/Asian women. Again, my own ‘colour blindness’ showed itself up. I think most importantly this has helped to ignite questions into own beliefs and ideas, and think about my own privileged background and upbringing while calling into question my own actions around people and society. It’s illuminating and provocative in a way I haven’t read before, and it’s absolutely an important text. Anything that can challenge my own thoughts and have me reevaluate how I see the world is incredibly important, and this absolutely does this in a clear and concise way. Essential reading to those wanting to expand their outlook on the way they see race.
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  • Producervan in Sedona, AZ from New Orleans & L.A.
    January 1, 1970
    Why I Long to Read the Rest of This BookWhy I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. Sampler of Preface and First Chapter by Reni Eddo-Lodge. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ). History, Nonfiction (Adult). Publication Date 08 Mar 2018.*Structural racism. An articulate voice with the strength and clarity of a fair and gently, steadily ringing bell. A brave, deeply researched history/informology shared with due precision and depth, this is an issue that provokes acknowledgment, tho Why I Long to Read the Rest of This BookWhy I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. Sampler of Preface and First Chapter by Reni Eddo-Lodge. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ). History, Nonfiction (Adult). Publication Date 08 Mar 2018.*Structural racism. An articulate voice with the strength and clarity of a fair and gently, steadily ringing bell. A brave, deeply researched history/informology shared with due precision and depth, this is an issue that provokes acknowledgment, thought, response; fertile material for the thinking/feeling humans among us today.On a personal note, as a mixed race southern woman I can tell you that my skin color errs on the side of “white”, the generations before me uneasily “passing”. The ones who carried the looks of certain nationalities marginalized themselves while keeping the secret from the children: “Native American” and “Black”. Looking at my ancestors this way has added yet another layer of my still veiled or sometimes murky understanding of the conflicts they experienced in the duration of their lives and as their offspring spread out and moved into other arenas. In the spiritual realm(s) of things, as in the case of any color, I feel that I may be a product of, but do not exist by contrast, either wicked or friendly or anywhere in between. Society is still beset by decisions formed by the prejudices of previous generations whose strong opinions trickled down into inhumane laws (and slanted interpretations of those laws) made by materially profiting people in other times not our own. The upstanding, kind, forgiving and considerate individual must continue to be so—persist in all that is said and done; by its very nature whittling away everything unlike itself, and in her or his true beauty contribute to the precious evolution of humankind. For indeed it is happening.These are my first impressions/responses to the early pages of this book.Super. Highly recommend. Thanks to NetGalley for providing this ebook sampler for review.*This review is not meant to offend anyone.
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    If you read one book this year: make it this one.
  • Matheus Freitas
    January 1, 1970
     I won’t lie, this wasn’t an easy read. The title made me roll my eyes, but I decided to give it a chance – after all, something that I’m not interested is thinking that the whole world share my opinions (which is something that the author is not that careful with when talking about groups). My biggest problem with this book and the whole movement, actually, is the lack of knowledge and generalization. I, by no means, am saying that racism, or sexism, isn’t a problem, but I don’t see today as be  I won’t lie, this wasn’t an easy read. The title made me roll my eyes, but I decided to give it a chance – after all, something that I’m not interested is thinking that the whole world share my opinions (which is something that the author is not that careful with when talking about groups). My biggest problem with this book and the whole movement, actually, is the lack of knowledge and generalization. I, by no means, am saying that racism, or sexism, isn’t a problem, but I don’t see today as being the same as the last century, so I don’t understand why we should apply the same logic for a different reality. At the beginning, Reni Eddo-Lodge claims that the majority of white people refuse to believe in structural racism – where did she get the data? I don’t think this is as clear as she paint. Yes, I can see some of her criticism. I think that society – in general, including black people – has racial bias (which is sad and a real problem), but what Reni often says in this book is that most of the racism is conscious and it doesn’t matter if the law disapproves this behavior, because the power is retained by  white males. If you want to make a point that the state is ruled by “racists”, for lack of a lighter word, then give me recent data! Do not present, only, a story of a far right politician asshole as a proof of your argument. I don’t understand the problem with “reverse racism”. Yes, I agree, there’s only racism. If you’re being racist towards a white person, then you’re just a racist. But since I know what the point of the author was, then let me explain: maybe it doesn’t hurt as much as it hurts other people, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t real: this is what reverse racism is. It isn’t about good arguments, reality or logic, it’s about who suffers more, who is the most privileged. It’s clear on the Reni separation of white feminists and black feminists. Shouldn’t it be a simple movement? Equality between genders, that’s a simple a idea that most of us agree and support. But, of course, this whole group together can’t be appreciated, so let’s separate them into groups; Better then, let’s separate them by color groups: because my opinion is more valuable than yours once I’m black and a woman. My arguments are not the point, nor the good for society; what matters is that, on my ruler of privilege, I’m lower than you, therefore my voice should be louder. My main problem with this book is that it consolidates the idea that everything is about race. It became a religion, where logic and data are not that important anymore, only the devil: racism. It trivializes the title. To be a racist is, in my opinion, to be a despicable human being that has great chances of becoming a criminal. I do not disagree completely with what Reni Eddo-Lodge said, but I do not agree with her just because she is a woman and she is black. If she wants to make a point, then give me good arguments. On the contrary, she just assumed that her arguments were better than all, her privilege gave her authority over all, so the only solution – whereas they don’t agree with me – is to stop talking to white people about race.
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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 color blindness 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 to 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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  • 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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  • 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 willful 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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  • Romie
    January 1, 1970
    When I think of a book I want to put in everybody's hands, I think of this one.You could see this book as an essay on how racism is one of the most important pillars of British society — but also of the Western society —, how it's at the roots of everything, and how we — people of colour and white people — should work on dismantling it from its core.I need you to understand that as a mixed-race Asian person, I connected with this book at such an important level, and if I was able to find myself When I think of a book I want to put in everybody's hands, I think of this one.You could see this book as an essay on how racism is one of the most important pillars of British society — but also of the Western society —, how it's at the roots of everything, and how we — people of colour and white people — should work on dismantling it from its core.I need you to understand that as a mixed-race Asian person, I connected with this book at such an important level, and if I was able to find myself in it, then imagine what this book must mean to black and brown people. This book, the pure message of it, can speak to everybody as long as you're willing to listen.We can't wait for a hero to swoop in and make things better. Rather than be forced to react to biased agendas, we should outright reject them and set our own. Most importantly, we must survive this mess, and we do that any way we can.
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    There is a time in everyone's life when if you have to repeat yourself over and over again you will eventually give up. This is something that British journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge has come to with trying to discuss the thorny issue of race and how one has dominance over another despite the suggestions to the otherwise. One thing that becomes plain as I began reading was that whiteness is not about the colour of my skin but a system that is in place to allow certain people to look down on others. T There is a time in everyone's life when if you have to repeat yourself over and over again you will eventually give up. This is something that British journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge has come to with trying to discuss the thorny issue of race and how one has dominance over another despite the suggestions to the otherwise. One thing that becomes plain as I began reading was that whiteness is not about the colour of my skin but a system that is in place to allow certain people to look down on others. That is a construct that is so reflexive that we barely notice it, but when another race brings the injustices of it to our attention the normal response is to go defensive.While in the past seeing white privilege and systematic racism was simple with the slave trade in America and Britain, Apartheid in South Africa, Neo Nazi's, the KKK, and the plight of Native people here and in North America, now they exist but thanks to being unable to acknowledge this truth we are making it nearly impossible to eradicate. The evidence is all around us with anyone who raises there voices and being a person of colour being silenced by white people, clear pay gaps, disadvantages in housing, education, and racist policies that have lead to Brexit and Trump being elected President of the United States.It is understandable that young black people like Eddo-Lodge are becoming sick and tired of the brick wall they are facing when it comes to race, and for a white person reading this you may well feel uncomfortable. The reason for this is we do not want to think of ourselves as part of the problem. The only way we can change what has been going on for centuries is to actually listen and not shut down and commit to the cause. While history and the present may be unpleasant and we are still hearing laughable comments like white people eventually being the minority in the UK although at present 82% of the population is white, there is hope for the future with education and understanding the key.
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  • Gumble's Yard
    January 1, 1970
    The book starts with a chapter on black British history and the commentsThis bestselling and award-winning book’s genesis was in a post on the author’s blog in 2014 – with the same title as this book.I would strongly recommend this book to any British reader who has not read it and will largely restrict my review to quotes from the book, as I think trying to add my own filter to the book could be counter-productive. I have however, given the nature of this site, added four reflections of my own The book starts with a chapter on black British history and the commentsThis bestselling and award-winning book’s genesis was in a post on the author’s blog in 2014 – with the same title as this book.I would strongly recommend this book to any British reader who has not read it and will largely restrict my review to quotes from the book, as I think trying to add my own filter to the book could be counter-productive. I have however, given the nature of this site, added four reflections of my own on how this book made me consider my own reading.The author beings by describing the (largely untold) history of blackness in Britain, starting with the observation It wasn’t until my second year that I started to think about black British history ……. I’d only ever encountered black history through American-centric education displays and lessons plans in primary and secondary schools. With a heavy focus on Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad and Martin Luther King Jr, the household names of America’s civil rights movement felt important to me, but also a million miles away from my life as a young black girl growing up in North London And then setting out that history, reaching the conclusion that “looking at our history shows racism does not erupt from nothing, rather it is embedded in British Society. This then leads into a discussion of structural racism Structural [racism]. What does that even mean. I choose to use the word structural rather than institutional because I think it is built into spaces much broader than our traditional institutions …. Structural racism is dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of people with the same biases joining together to make up one organisation and acting accordingly The author then follows this with a devastating set of statistics on black attainment “But they are not the result of a lack of black excellence, talent, education, hard work or creativity”, before setting out a compelling defense of the necessity of affirmative action in the face of that way in which “Britain’s relationship with race infects and distorts equal opportunity”This then leads into a discussion of white privilege White privilege is the absence of the negative consequences of racism … an absence of your race being viewed as a problem first and foremost … and absence of a lifetime of subtle marginalisation This in turn leads to an examination and refutation of the common counter-complaints of racism against white people (often resulting from very minor attempts at affirmative action) There is an unattributed definition of racism as prejudice plus power … racism does not go both ways. There are unique forms of discrimination that are backed up by entitlement, assertion and, most importantly, supported by a structural power strong enough to scare you into confirming with the status quo The book then examines the intersection of racism with other areas of discrimination firstly with the women’s rights movement In black feminism we use the word intersectionality to talk about the crossover of two distinct discrminations – racism and sexism – that happens to people who are both black and women ……in the analysis of who fell between the cracks in competing struggles for rights for women and rights for black people, it always seemed to be black women who took the hit And then with the class issue in British Society We must ask why politicians only ever approach class and poverty issues when it is in relation to whiteness … when race isn’t mentioned, working class people aren’t consdered deserving of targetted policies at all …. We’ve too eagerly accepted the far-right’s agenda of decent hard-working white people being besieged by immigrants …. This seems like a classic (and very successful) case of divide and rule. Finally four literary reflections of my own.Firstly as someone who reads weekly the Spectator and the New Statesman weekly for what I had assumed was political balance; I was dismayed that some of the worst examples of attacks on intersectionality and “spirited takedowns” of black women writing on race, were in the centre-left New Statesman, and then adopted by the right-of-centre Spectator.Secondly, the opening quote in my review resonated with some of my discomfort with my recent reading (largely driven by major literary prizes) – with the UK’s most prestigious prize, the Booker being won in the last two years by two books – The Sellout and Lincoln in the Bardo, which for all their merits (and I liked the first and loved the second) are really addressing racism in America and can allow a British reader to distance themselves from any culpability: I would prefer to have seen Home Fire shortlisted (and hope it wins the Women’s Prize) and Exit West to have won last year’s Booker, simply because they had equal or greater literary merit but also place the focus on race relations back on our own culture.Thirdly, and with thanks to Preti Taneja, author of the brilliant We That Are Young, who shared the article with me, a perspective on some changes beginning to occur in the British publishing industry. As a supporter of small presses via the Republic of Consciousness Prize (for which I was proud to be judge this year), this has given me some other small presses to follow.https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...Fourthly, as a follower of prizes, tweets from authors I follow (such as Preti Taneja) lead me to this book via a prize I think in light of the above I will resolve to follow in future - The Jhalak Prize for the best books by British/British resident BAME writershttps://mediadiversified.org/about-us...A prize which was featured in the Guardian alongside the Republic of Consciousness Prizehttps://www.theguardian.com/books/boo...
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    I will have to think about how to adequately talk about my complicated thoughts on this.Review to come.
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    First exposure to intersectionality is like being handed a pair of glasses you didn't know you needed.
  • Viv JM
    January 1, 1970
    This book came about when the author posted a blog post of the same name, back in 2014. You can read the original post here. As the author explains in the book, since writing the post which resonated with so many, she has in fact done almost nothing BUT talk about race. She decided to keep the title to reflect how the conversation started.I'm not sure this book covers a whole lot of new ground in talking about race, class, feminism and how these all intersect, but it does so in a very clear and This book came about when the author posted a blog post of the same name, back in 2014. You can read the original post here. As the author explains in the book, since writing the post which resonated with so many, she has in fact done almost nothing BUT talk about race. She decided to keep the title to reflect how the conversation started.I'm not sure this book covers a whole lot of new ground in talking about race, class, feminism and how these all intersect, but it does so in a very clear and accessible way. Eddo-Lodge also tackles the omission in the UK curriculum of black British history - and I admit that I was woefully ignorant of a lot of this history. My teenage son is being taught in school about the history of slavery and the civil rights movement in the US, but very little about British involvement in the slave trade or the history of racism in this country. I think it is very important and shocking omission, which Eddo-Ledge has rightly highlighted here.The author also includes analysis of how race and sex intersect, as well as race and class, and these are very clearly and thoughtfully explained, as is the concept of 'white privilege':When I talk about white privilege, I don't mean that white people have it easy, that they've never struggled, or that they've never lived in poverty. But white privilege is the fact that if you're white, your race will almost certainly positively impact your life's trajectory in some way. And you probably won't even notice it.This book has ignited a conversation that needs to be had, over and over. Racism won't be dismantled overnight, but if we don't acknowledge it and talk about it then it never will be. As such, I think this is a really important book and I hope it will be widely read.
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  • Richard
    January 1, 1970
    The preface is perhaps the reason this book came to be written. I find the arguments clear, logical and mostly within reason. But whether by design or to an oversight I question the title even as a clever phrase and title. To cease to communicate encourages segregation and scope for conflict. To stop talking to white people therefore is to label a whole race as intolerant and the product of ingrained racism. It cleverly whether intended or not mirrors a white persons assumed perspective that all The preface is perhaps the reason this book came to be written. I find the arguments clear, logical and mostly within reason. But whether by design or to an oversight I question the title even as a clever phrase and title. To cease to communicate encourages segregation and scope for conflict. To stop talking to white people therefore is to label a whole race as intolerant and the product of ingrained racism. It cleverly whether intended or not mirrors a white persons assumed perspective that all people of colour are the same. Sadly this view seems to be born out however evidentially. Not by slight of hand, or selective texts but by a look at Black history from a British perspective.I liked the comments highlighting how the white focus is on watering down the issue. So Black History Month can be rebranded to dwell on less contentious matters like Black Culture. Also the training course for the police cadets should be in anti-racism rather than the softened approach favoured by the establishment to teach the subject as multiculturalism. Impossible to judge a book by its cover or just a preface and one chapter. But one that is well written and throws light on educational ignorance on these matters is to be embraced.It isn’t a comfortable read but it is good to listen to an articulated point of view well argued. No white person can be proud of our failings as a country; no sense of a more open society today can airbrush the past or realistically believe the struggle is over. This book might just help readers to want to grasp the issue and be part of the evolving solution. It is good to listen through reading and I for one would like to hear more from this bright voice and informative communicator.
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  • Lily ☁️ {semi hiatus}
    January 1, 1970
    “We tell ourselves that good people can’t be racist. We seem to think that true racism only exists in the hearts of evil people. We tell ourselves that racism is about moral values, when instead it is about survival strategies and systemic power.” Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is incredibly thought-provoking, eye-opening, educational, and insightful. I usually rate books based on my enjoyment first and foremost, but this one … I really can’t say that I enjoyed reading it. “We tell ourselves that good people can’t be racist. We seem to think that true racism only exists in the hearts of evil people. We tell ourselves that racism is about moral values, when instead it is about survival strategies and systemic power.” Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is incredibly thought-provoking, eye-opening, educational, and insightful. I usually rate books based on my enjoyment first and foremost, but this one … I really can’t say that I enjoyed reading it.I believe that the majority of us don’t particularly like to think, read, or talk about the issue of racism, and how it is still pervasive in our society, even to this day. I know I don’t. It’s a delicate subject (though it really shouldn’t be), and raising it, as well as discussing it, is not likely to make you very many friends—more likely, it’s going to cost you ones. (view spoiler)[Though those are probably not much of a loss. (hide spoiler)]If I had to venture a guess as to the reason of that, I’d say that white people don’t like it, because they don’t want to be accused of being racist, profiting from racism, or made to feel privileged—and who would? I certainly wouldn’t like to feel as if my accomplishments have to do with anything other than my hard work, and applying myself.No matter our personal feelings, however, all this doesn’t subtract from the reality that racism is still very, very real, and tangible, and just as important as the issue of our current patriarchy. Reni Eddo-Lodge pushes aside many misconceptions with these words: When I talk about white privilege, I don’t mean that white people have it easy, that they’ve never struggled, or that they’ve never lived in poverty. [White privilege] is the fact, that if you’re white, your race will almost certainly positively impact your life’s trajectory in some way. And you probably won’t even notice it. I, as a person of color, though not black, don’t particularly like to talk about it, because I don’t like talking about myself—and feeling—as if I’m a victim. I don’t like talking about, and being reminded of, having been put at a disadvantage because of my ethnicity, which somehow feels worse than actually being discriminated, strange as it may sound.But what’s more, I hate having my accomplishments assigned to it, as if being a straight-A student, or good at math is “because she’s Asian!!”, or how being a bad driver as an Asian (which, thankfully, I’m not) will unerringly result in someone saying “ohh, well, Asian people are just bad at driving”. (Which is not only racist, but stereotyping of the worst kind.)Next to constantly being asked where we (people of color) actually come from—and failing to recognize that there is a difference between nationality, race, and ethnicity—when the question is returned, usually the subject all of a sudden isn’t all that interesting anymore? “Why don’t white people think they have a racial identity?”Most importantly, going back to my earlier assertion, I don’t like the feeling that arises when I’m reminded of the fact that my ethnicity will most likely (and statistics prove that in our current climate that’s going to be a reality for me) be my detriment (or has already been).Eddo-Lodge said, when she refused to accept affirmative action on her behalf: “If I’m going to compete against my white peers, I’m going to do [it] on a level playing ground.” And I relate to where she’s coming from completely.But racism isn’t merely about these “little” things, these everyday grievances that we people of color have to face. It’s not about the person on the street giving you a hateful glare, telling you to go back to your country (which happened to my parents all too often), or the surprise in people’s eyes, when you don’t fit into their metaphorical pre-ordained box they were planning on putting you in. It’s about the big picture—structural racism. This is what structural racism looks like: it’s not just about personal prejudice, but collective effects of bias. That’s the reality we’re all facing today, no matter our personal opinions or feelings. I wish I had as powerful words as Reni Eddo-Lodge, but until I do, I’m immensely thankful for her bravery to speak out, raise her voice, and make a difference. What I really want to say with my review is this: please educate yourself on the issue of racism, and please read this book. “Every voice raised against racism chips away at its power. We can’t afford to stay silent.” Blog ¦ Bloglovin’ ¦ Tumblr ¦ Instagram
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  • MissFabularian
    January 1, 1970
    You know that feeling you get when you've read something really important? I had that feeling when I read this book. This book, inspired by the author's blog post from 2014, is an inciteful look at race relations in the UK that could well be accurate in the USA, and probably worldwide. Click here to read this review in its entirety and to see an interview of the author by The Pool UK.
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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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  • Kate Olson
    January 1, 1970
    This book taught me so much about race history and politics in England. It is very academic in nature and is thoroughly researched. As a White woman, I read it and just listened, if that makes sense? I’m really sitting with this one for awhile to let it all sink in and to figure out my most effective way of making an impact in combatting racism ~ much as I did after reading TEARS WE CANNOT STOP and WHEN THEY CALL YOU A TERRORIST. But this book is so so much more than race. It includes the necess This book taught me so much about race history and politics in England. It is very academic in nature and is thoroughly researched. As a White woman, I read it and just listened, if that makes sense? I’m really sitting with this one for awhile to let it all sink in and to figure out my most effective way of making an impact in combatting racism ~ much as I did after reading TEARS WE CANNOT STOP and WHEN THEY CALL YOU A TERRORIST. But this book is so so much more than race. It includes the necessary web of intersectionality ~ gender and class are covered thoroughly as well.I highly recommend this one, and I’m so glad that Reni Eddo-Lodge put it out into the world. White people need it, even though she is (rightfully) sick of talking to us about the topic
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  • Alice Lippart
    January 1, 1970
    Very interesting and articulate, but would've loved if it had gone more in depth.
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