Jan 30, 2021NellieJBanks rated this title 2 out of 5 stars
I'm glad I read this, and it's great food for thought, but it's a slog to get through. The passages where he relates incidents from his past, and the history of racism, are well-written, but when he gets into 'articulating' his theories about racism, it's really hard to follow him through his convoluted, tortuous sentences and (as others have pointed out) his circular definitions. I stuck it out to the end, and his humanity shone through in the last couple of pages. Have to give him credit for working so hard to think through what racism is and doing his best to identify it and find ways to counteract it, in himself and others. But his focus on policy alone as the way to combat racism -- for me I kept wanting him to provide examples of how this is supposed to work. For example, there are already policies in place that disallow discrimination on the basis of race in hiring or renting apartments. But if businesses or landlords just plain refuse to follow those policies, then where are we? Like many problems we face, people often set up false dichotomies and say 'the solution is this and this alone', when in reality there are many facets and we need to attack the problem from more than one angle. Changing policies is certainly one facet, but we also need education and efforts to change individuals' attitudes. It's not one or the other. But anyway this is a starting point, and I will read more books and articles on this topic.