Overcoming Our Racism
This uncompromising anti-racist manifesto written for a white audience is concerned less with Klansmen and skinheads than with the white woman clutching her purse when minority teenagers draw near; the white man flinching at getting in an elevator full of black men; even the well-meaning but patronizing liberal teacher in a ghetto school. Sue, a Chinese-American psychologist, argues that the countless daily slights inflicted by such "unconscious and unintentional racists," do more harm to minorities than the occasional hate-crime. He reveals the subtle but pervasive bias against minorities in the economy, the media, school system, even the subconscious mind (whites have involuntary negative reactions when flashed subliminal images of black faces), and shows how the "invisible whiteness of being" allows whites to remain oblivious to the privileges they enjoy. The book demands that whites "accept responsibility for their whiteness," and includes suggested readings, videotapes, and exercises to help whites unearth and deal with their biases and learn to mingle with minorities. It includes a seven-phase program for reconstructing a non-racist white identity, culminating in a conversion experience, complete with emotional catharsis and adoption of a "second family" of minorities and other "liberated whites." Whites may bridle at Sue's accusatory tone and find the recovery-movement tone of his remedy off-putting. But many will feel a painful shock of recognition at his subtle but unsparing analysis of everyday racism, and find this provocative book a compelling challenge to their complacency.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
- 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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