"A White Guy Confronting Racism" - an Interesting Book!
Jared Karol has a unique
approach in motivating white people to become (more effective) anti-racism
activists. His satire, sarcasm, and
bluntness will mesh well with some, and perhaps alienate a few.
A White Guy Confronting
Racism: An Invitation to Reflect and Act – pushes the reader to
listen and seriously dig into one’s resistance to seeing systemic racism and
taking it seriously.
Personalized section introductions,
followed by some of his Linked In writings – give the reader intense doses of “poetry” – that is spat out and pushed at us.
They need to educate
themselves on the lived experiences of others.
They need to read. And
listen. Be humble. And courageous.
They need to get over
their fragility and privilege. They need
to step out of their comfort zone.
And they need to act.
White people need to
relieve the emotional labor of Black people.
Straight people need to
relieve the emotional labor of gay people.
Cis people need to
relieve the emotional labor of trans people.
If you are a member of
one or more dominant groups, what are you doing to be a true ally, advocate, or
One reason why we have a
difficult time sharing our antiracist point of view with conviction is because
we don’t really have an antiracist point of view.
We haven’t taken the time
to develop an authentic, compelling perspective that is uniquely ours and that
clearly states what we believe in. (p.60)
The core strength of the
writing also points to its weaknesses.
At times it pushes oppositional binaries, where nuances might be more
effective. It doesn’t really delve into
the common (seeming) “anti-racism” of the
“liberal” or “radical” who may push out verbally with anger or ridicule
or rhetorically radical polemics, but stays within their comfort zones on
significant action/political work. The
book ignores any in depth look at how racism isolates us emotionally, taking
away meaningful, deep opportunities we can have in our lives. The “Guy” in the title may mislead some into falsely
thinking that it is a book intended for a male audience.
Karol’s unique approach
offers a fresh approach for many white people! The short Linked In – posts – provide anyone
seeking to stimulate discussion informally, or in a training, to hone in on
important truisms – that will likely engage most others in one’s life.
The informal in your face
approach is a welcome change from many writings that are sometimes dry and
methodically fact based. Each can
complement the other!