"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.

Etc.

If you are a member of one or more dominant groups, what are you doing to be a true ally, advocate, or accomplice? (p.183)

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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!

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