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White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial…

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide

by Carol Anderson

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Superb. Detailed (but relatively brief) chronology of the many acts, legislation, and cruelties used, after the Civil War, to keep blacks in their place despite the abolition of slavery. Much of this information was not known to me and I was appalled to realize how many of my casual beliefs are based on incorrect data. A real wake-up call. I'd seen the tip of the iceberg before but, growing up near the Mason-Dixon Line and in a fairly lily-white world, I simply didn't have the background provided here.

I naively welcomed Obama as our President. It took me years to realize that the instant and total resistance to his actions and viewpoints was based simply on racism. I couldn't get my hands around that concept. This book helps me to understand the attitudes held by many whites that prevented getting past the color of his skin, without regard to his qualifications or how much he was part of the white world.

Was very impressed by the author when she appeared on the Rachel Maddox show on several panels. I thought her viewpoints on race were accessible, detail-based, and relatively unemotional. This book proved her to be an ideal guide into the facts behind "black lives matter." She writes clearly, logically, chronologically, and let's the facts speak without the angry overlay that would be so easy to add. Cannot recommend this book highly enough. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
Many decades ago, I had a high school English teacher that gave my class a reading list to use through the school year. One particular category of books, I will always remember, was "Man's Inhumanity to Man". White America has unquestionably always had a burr under its saddle, to put it mildly, for its fellow mankind of a darker complexion. It's never been quite enough to just disrespect in silence. If I could offer just one book for someone to read about the black experience in America, this would certainly be in strong contention. Another single book would be Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. However, if Alexander's book is the skillfully, painstakingly laid out prosecutorial court case of America's inhumanity to man, then this author's book is the fiery, vivid closing summation, drawing it all together for maximum impact. Hopefully readers will find the route to justice to this case and seek the source to man's humanity. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
If ever there was a perfect time to read this book, it would be now. I thought this would be a good book to read after the election and it still is. But unfortunately the events that have occurred since then probably spins this a little differently.
The book is an overview of the journey and barriers African Americans have taken ever since the end of the Civil War and its reconstruction. Topics ranging from citizenship to the Great Migration to voting rights to civil rights to police brutality are all touched upon here. The book is engaging, although for my tastes it reminded me once again why I never cared to go into law with examinations of Supreme Court cases and legislation. This is a minor point and my own personal preference though.
Again, it wouldn't be surprising if this were information you were only vaguely aware of and/or never learned in school. It may present information that makes you uncomfortable. But it is informative. And it should probably be read in conjunction with other books as supplements. For as good of an overview this is, it's a slim book and can't cover everything in detail.
The book also reminds me that progress is very much a winding road filled with potholes and road blocks and rough terrain that needs repaving and sometimes you go through many detours or make a ton of U-turns. Which is not to be glib about the process since this often this ends in violence or death but all the same it's a reminder that paths like this are never easy ones.
Go into the book with an open mind. Despite the title (which, in retrospect I think is a bit provocative and I'm not sure quite adequately captures her thesis although I understand where she's coming from) it's an informative text that is extremely fitting for the moment.
Other books that I'd recommend as compliments to this one include Michelle Alexander's 'The New Jim Crow', Ari Berman's 'Give Us the Ballot', Isabel Wilkerson's 'The Warmth of Other Suns' and Ian Haney López's 'Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism & Wrecked the Middle Class'. Other, post-2016 election book lists would also probably be a good place to look ('White Rage' has appeared on few I've seen) too.
I borrowed this from the library but for the right person it would probably be a good book to keep on the bookshelf and it wouldn't surprise me if it shows up on college syllabi either, although it is not "textbook" in tone or writing style. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
Don't really have appropriate words. Just read this one. ( )
  l.mcd | Feb 7, 2018 |
This could have been better. What we have is a polemic in which the author paints a picture of systemic racism in the U.S. There's not much cultural exploration--why whites have such visceral hatred and fear of blacks. What's presented instead are bizarre and twisted Supreme Court decisions revealing that from the very pinnacle of American constitutional government, Blacks get screwed. Interspersed are comments showing how absurd and evil the Confederacy (past and present) remains. Voter suppression is anti-Democratic but it's today's version of the Poll Tax and other bars to voting. Useful but not definitive. However, remember that Tom Paine also wrote a polemic... ( )
  neddludd | Dec 22, 2017 |
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"As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as 'black rage,' historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in the Washington Post showing that this was, instead, 'white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames,' she writes, 'everyone had ignored the kindling.' Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House. Carefully linking these and other historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America"--… (more)

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