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Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   359
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2008
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  1593762070  
EAN  9781593762070  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Presents a collection of essays that cover the topics of white privilege, racism, and responsibility in the United States.

Publishers Description
In this highly anticipated follow-up to White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, activist Tim Wise examines the way in which institutional racism continues to shape the contours of daily life in the United States, and the ways in which white Americans reap enormous privileges from it. The essays included in this collection span the last ten years of Wise's writing and cover all the hottest racial topics of the past decade: affirmative action, Hurricane Katrina, racial tension in the wake of the Duke lacrosse scandal, white school shootings, racial profiling, phony racial unity in the wake of 9/11, and the political rise of Barack Obama. Wise's commentaries make forceful yet accessible arguments that serve to counter both white denial and complacency—two of the main obstacles to creating a more racially equitable and just society. Speaking Treason Fluently is a superbly crafted collection of Wise's best work, which reveals the ongoing salience of race in America today and demonstrates that racial privilege is not only a real and persistent problem, but one that ultimately threatens the health and well-being of the entire society.

Buy Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male by Tim Wise, Dave Moore, Carolyn Cassady, Ian Culpan, Dendo Tanaka, Sara Stridsberg & Ana Planella from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781593762070 & 1593762070

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More About Tim Wise, Dave Moore, Carolyn Cassady, Ian Culpan, Dendo Tanaka, Sara Stridsberg & Ana Planella

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Tim Wise: Constantly on tour, Tim Wise is one of the most prominent anti-racist essayists, educators and activists in the US. He is regularly interviewed by CNN, Tavis Smiley, Tom Joyner and Michael Eric Dyson. His essays are regularly published on Alternet, Counterpunch, Z-net, Black Commentator, the Black Agenda Report and the Daily Kos. His blog is widely followed at

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Discrimination & Racism   [801  similar products]
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4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Race Relations > General   [582  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A rich collection of essays   Sep 9, 2008
This book contains Mr. Wise's wonderfully cogent essays on race going back 7 or 8 years. The essays are well written in a calm, logical manner.

White people are 70 percent of drug users yet are only about 10 percent of persons imprisoned for drug possession in this country. At the same time black and latino folks are 25 percent of the drug users in this country yet make up close to 90 percent of the people imprisoned for the crime. Wise notes that in spite of spite of such a reality, citing a Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education study, around 95 percent of white people believe a typical drug user to be black. It is true, he notes, that African Americans commit a higher rate of some street crimes than their percentage of the total population of this country. That is to be expected for folks who grow up in the terrible conditions of the inner city. But blacks only commit about 3 percent of the violent crimes each year, according to Wise. On the other hand white people commit a disproportionate share of the serial killing, child molestation and drunk driving in this country. Young white college students disproportionately make up our country's binge drinkers. White men are two thirds of our rapists.

Wise talks a little about the crimes of white collar white folks. It was old white dudes who deliberately bombed Iraq's electrical grids in 1991, knowing full well that such actions would shut off electricity to Iraq's water and sewage treatment plants and so cause tens of thousands of deaths from epidemics. It was white Republicans who oversaw US aid to the death squad democracies in Central America in the 1980's, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths. It was white men who cut funding for the levees in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina or diverted such funds to build freeway off-ramps for casinos. It was white guys who caused the Bhopal horror. It was white guys who used the sexual organs of Native Americans they murdered as souvenirs as our brave troops did at Sand Creek Colorado in 1864.

One of my favorite points that Wise makes is that while many white folks tend to picture blacks as dangerous criminals, they don't similarly racially categorize crime when white kids from "good families" go on rampages. Almost all school shootings have been conducted by white kids. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage have been caused by beer riots at universities. During a riot at Michigan State University in the late 90's, white students were seen trying to pry a rifle from a police car and at Washington state University in the same period, 23 cops had to be sent to the hospital. Now if these youth trying to steal the rifle were black, you can imagine that police would have shot and killed them. At Michigan State in 2002, white students launched a premeditated riot, threw rocks and bricks and bottles at cops and chanted "f--- the police." At Woodstock 1999 young white people trashed the place, looted ATM machines and young white ladies were raped by some of the young white fellows in attendance.

Wise argues that this is still very much a racist society. He cites academic studies to show that well qualified blacks with no criminal records have trouble getting well paying jobs, housing, home loans, etc. Black people are being ethnically cleansed out of New Orleans, as their housing is demolished under the guise of Katrina reconstruction. He cites a Journal of Public Health study which showed that from 1991 to 2000, close to 900,000 black people died because physicians chose not to provide them with proper care.

Wise argues that whites tend to be oblivious to their own privilege. Much of this country's wealth was originally produced on the backs of black slaves. Beginning with the New Deal, federal programs built up the wealth of white people. This is especially true of the education and housing assistance provided by the GI Bill, which played a leading role in establishing the middle class of the Baby Boom years. Of course, African Americans, including black WWII veterans, were largely excluded from such programs. Even today, blacks who earn good income still tend to have a very small amount of wealth. The assets acquired through such New Deal programs have been handed down through the generations to the point where an impoverished white family today still often has more wealth than a black family that earns a middle class income.

Wise finds it interesting that the plaintiffs in the University of Michigan affirmative action case before the Supreme Court only objected to the special points awarded in University admissions processes to students of color. People have ignored the fact that white people also effectively get special preferences in college admissions that have nothing to do with pure and simple academic achievement. For example, applicants from the almost exclusively white working class Upper Peninsula of Michigan are given special points during application reviews (at the University of Michigan). The school gives out other points during admissions processes that also effectively give preference to white kids.

Wise weighs other issues in the book, including the Duke Rape case, Ronald Reagan, the confederate flag, illegal immigration, hate speech codes at universities, and the case of a white girl who was the victim of racial taunts by black people during her childhood. . He attacks Senator Obama, which is interesting in light of his association with the "Progressives for Obama" group. He dismembers the "What About Oprah?" argument that white people often use to counter charges about racism hindering African Americans. He notes that most white people have historically believed, for example according to polls in the early 60's, that African Americans have no less chance than white Americans to be successful in American society. Thus the present day dismissal of black claims of racism by most of white America is nothing new.

stunningly smart essays  Sep 7, 2008
Tim Wise, a white southerner, takes on all the shibboleths about race, and jousts with all the chimerical contenders. His insight, and his challenges, will move this country to a better comprehension of SELF and the OTHER, as we wade into the murkiness of race relations today.
Truely perfection!  Sep 5, 2008
Tim Wise is a brilliant author, and this is priceless collection of his essays. Informative, Thought provoking, and Fun to read. You will not regret reading this book.
First rate analysis and collection  Aug 14, 2008
I've read most of Tim Wise's essays before, so it's not as if this collection was new. But it is nice to have a collection of his "best" pieces on racism and white privilege, compiled in one place. Some of these, in fact, I had missed, so they were new to me, and even the ones I had read previously seemed to pop off the page this time around. Perhaps it's something about reading them in a non-internet setting, but whatever the case, this collection covers pretty much every race issue I can think of, and better than pretty much any collection out there. Wise doesn't flinch from addressing the controversies raging out there, from immigration, to affirmative action, to the Duke Lacrosse case and even Barry Bonds. His analysis is sharp, his facts incontrovertible, and his prose is crisp, and often stunning.

The only criticism I would offer is that I wish he had provided footnotes for the references in his essays. I know that many of these essays had footnotes in their original form online, and I am not sure why he decided not to include them in the book. In many cases he does give the full citation of the fact he's about to mention, but other times he doesn't. I just worry that people who are inclined to disbelieve the statistical evidence presented in this book will use the lack of footnotes as a reason to dismiss it. Of course, they don't mind the lack of footnotes when their right wing heroes fail to use them, and they'd probably ignore them even if they were in here, but it's one thing I'd love to see changed in a future edition of this book.

All in all though, this is a must read for people interested in racism and white privilege issues.

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