“So You Want To Talk About Race”
Good Introduction to Racism and how to engage on race.
Deals with difficult material well. It is practical, factual with astute insights and recommendations.
This book is useful to everyone especially whites to learn about how to talk about race without asking Black people to educate us.
The contents are very straightforward. I am going to cover some of the chapters individually, then go to discussion of the concepts in the book.
1. Is it really about Race?
a. It is
2. What is racism?
a. A prejudice against someone based on race, when those prejudices are reinforced by systems of power
b. Sizeable racial divides
c. Complacency with system that oppresses so many
d. About power
f. Racial inequity is universal and long standing
g. Racist system defines wealth, health, life expectancy, infant mortality, incarceratio0n rates…
h. This is NOT the doing of a few mean spirited people
i. Racism was designed to support an economic and social system for those at top
j. Ultimate goal of racism is/was the profit and comfort of the white race, rich white men
k. Systemic racism which is measurably impacting the health, wealth, and safety of millions of people of color
l. Tie racism to systemic causes
m. Look at racism as a system makes it more complex, but can address various parts.
3. What If I Talk About Race Wrong
a. You are going to screw up
b. STATE YOUR INTENTION, but no I meant well.
c. REMEMBER WHAT YOUR TOP PRIORITY IN THE CONVERSATION IS—don’t let emotions over-ride it
d. Do your research
e. Don’t make your anti-racism argument oppressive against others
f. When you start to feel defensive, stop, ask yourself why
g. Do not tone police
h. If you are white watch how may times you say I or me
i. Ask yourself am I trying to be right or am I trying to be better
j. Do not force people of color into discussions of race
k. HOW TO FAIL
i. Stop trying to jump back when a conversation can’t be saved
iii. Don’t write your synopsis as the time I got yelled at
iv. Don’t insist on credit for your intent
v. Don’t beat yourself up
vi. Remember worth risk and try again another time
4. Why Am I Always being told to check my privilege
a. Understand privilege—write down your privilege
5. What is intersectionality and why do I need it—Page 80
a. Belief that our social justice movement must consider all intersections of identity, privilege, and oppression that people face in order to be just and effective
6. Is police brutality about race?
b. About power and corruption
c. Blacks 23% more likely to be pulled over
d. Blacks 1.5-5 times more likely to be searched, ticketed, arrested
e. Blacks 4 times more likely to be subject to force from police by hand (hitting and choking), pepper spray, taser, and gun
f. We’re told a few bad actors, but it is too pervasive to not be a systemic problem across all police forces
g. Police force created to protect white people or serve white people and police black people
7. How can I talk about Affirmative Action?
8. What is school to prison pipeline?
9. Why can’t I say the “N” word?
10. What is cultural appropriation?
11. Why can’t I touch your hair?
12. What are microaggressions?
13. Why are students so angry?
14. What is the model minority myth?
15. But what if I hate Al Sharpton?
16. I just got called a racist what do I do now?
17. Talking is great what else can I do?
Thinking about privilege: Share examples of your privilege.
Pick a topic and ask questions, discuss and LISTEN