Currently Reading: White Rage

I just finished White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson. This isn’t the first book I’ve read about the history of systemic, anti-Black racism in the United States, but it is the most hard-hitting I’ve read so far. 

Anderson refutes the conventional narrative of linear progress towards racial equality that most Americans, myself included, learned in school, in church, and at home. She does this by examining the state of civil rights from the end of the Civil War through the 2016 presidential election and illustrating how, at every turn, Black progress was treated as a threat to white supremacy and was met with outrage. This white rage dominates all branches of the American government, where official channels are used to punish Black progress. This white rage is the motivating force behind the gutting of the public education system, the war on drugs, and the far-right nationalist movement that got Trump elected. 

This is one of the most well-researched books I’ve ever read. I actually finished it much faster than I expected to because I didn’t realize it had OVER 100 PAGES of citations, footnotes, and sources. Anderson’s argument may be hard for some readers to hear, but she has the evidence to back it up.

This is a hard book to read from a purely emotional and empathetic angle, because Anderson doesn’t shy away from the cruelty and violence America has inflicted on Black people. However, I really do think this is a book every white person should read. It comes as a much needed wake up call. 

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