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White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide

by Carol Anderson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8242620,303 (4.28)11
"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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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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.
  CovenantPresMadison | Aug 26, 2021 |
DNFed at 15%.
No rating or review.
I might pick this one up again; I wasn’t in a great mindset when I first picked it up
  historybookreads | Jul 26, 2021 |
Meticulously researched and documented by Emory Professor and Departmental Chair Carol Anderson, White Rage chronicles how blacks have been systemically abused by white America and the anger that their ongoing insistence on fairness and equality has provoked.

"Reconstructing Reconstruction" shows the many ways in which the Emancipation Proclamation was crippled for a century, including the insidious Black Codes, which made seeking jobs impossible due to charges of vagrancy and peonage, where sharecroppers were economically forced back into slavery.

"Derailing the Great Migration" goes on to describe how attempts to recruit Southern blacks to populate northern factories were met with violence, enormous fines, interfering with interstate transportation, and banning the distribution of the Chicago Defender newspaper. Overcrowding in the North led to deplorable living conditions, and violence when blacks tried to move into white neighborhoods, even marginal ones.

"Burning Brown to the Ground" details how the 'separate but equal' doctrine ratified in Plessy vs. Ferguson case in the late 1800s did nothing of the sort, and how the landmark Supreme Court decision in 1954 Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education was often ignored by state rights advocates, local school authorities, even State universities for 50 years or more in some cases, citing numerous examples and statistics, including spending per student.

"Rolling Back Civil Rights" shows the extent to which the Nixon and Reagan administrations demonized black leaders, and created a war on drugs (to fund the Contras), targeting the lowest strata of society, including making the penalties for crack possession 100 times more stringent than cocaine possession (i.e., 5 grams of crack was equal to 1.1 pounds of coke), leading to mass incarceration of blacks, Hispanics, etc.

"How to Unelect a Black President" speaks to the ways in which indigent, black and Hispanic voters were excluded from voting over completely unjustified claims of voter fraud, which are about one in a million statistically. Requiring state-issued IDs, which are expensive or administratively burdensome or impossible to acquire was a common scheme.

Much to consider in this book. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
This is an excellent and well written survey of key periods in black advancement and how, each time, whites have used the system to push back and ensure that black Americans would not get the rights due to them.

The only caveat is that it's short, and covers a lot of ground. It's a good overview, but there are so many key events covered that it could easily be four times as long, and events can't be covered with good depth. It does an excellent job at showing the big picture and sequence of events, but you may find yourself wanting more. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
Read May 2021 - excellent cataloging of the white backlash that undermined every legislative act passed to provide rights to Blacks - emancipation, 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments, Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of the 1800's and 1900's, Brown vs Board of Education, etc. ( )
  WakeWacko | May 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anderson, Carolprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibson, PamelaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Although I first wrote about "white rage" in a Washington Post op-ed following the killing of Michael Brown and the subsequent uprising in Ferguson, Missouri, the concept started to germinate much earlier.
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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"--

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