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Incredible AM-249 - History

Incredible AM-249 - History


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Incredible

Extraordinary and improbable; hard to believe.

(AM-249; dp. 530; 1. 184'6"; b. 33'; dr. 9'9"; s. 15 k.; cpl. 104; a. 1 3", 4 40mm., 6 20mm., 2 .50 car., 2 dct., 3 dcp.; cl. Admirable)

Incredible (AM-249) was launched 21 November 1942 by Savannah Machine & Foundry Co., Savannah, Gal; sponsored by Mrs. Herbert Eleslep; and commissioned 17 April 1944, Lt. R. N. Ekland, USNR, in command.

After shakedown along the East Coast and in the Caribbean, InGredible departed Norfolk 24 July, escorting a convoy to North Africa for the invasion of southern France, the Allies landing 16 August. She carried out her sweeping duties very effectively, sometimes without destroyer cover. On 10 September Incredible and her group gallantly repelled an attack of 12 human torpedoes, 2 of which she destroyed. She continued her minesweeping duties of southern France until 18 January 1945 when she sailed for a special mission to Russia and the Black Sea. Incredible performed sweeping duties out of Sevastopol, Russia, then served as air sea rescue patrol ship in the Black Sea until returning to Palermo, Sicily, 20 February.

Incredible returned to Norltolk 5 May, and, after overhaul, departed 23 July for duty in the Pacific. She arrived Pearl Harbor 8 days after the Sighting stopped via the Canal Zone and San Diego. The minesweeper sailed from Pearl Harbor 31 August for Operation "Skagway," clearing the minefields in the East China Sea Ryukyus area. This important duty lasted until 17 February 1946 when she returned to San Pedro, Calif. She remained there until she decommissioned at Puget Sound 6 November, joining the Reserve Fleet. From 28 November 1947 to 28 September 194' Inoredible was "In Service, out of commission," based a't Yokosuka, Japan.

In June 1950 when the Communists again tested the will of the free world by attacking South Korea, President Truman readily accepted the challenge and immediately ordered American forces into the area to drive the enemy back and establish peace in Korea. Inoredible recommissioned 14 August 1950 at Yokosuka and departed 18 September for minesweeping and patrol duties in the Pusan area. While on patrol in mine-infested waters, on 12 October she rescued~ 27 survivors from Pirate which had struck a mine. Delivering her passengers to safety, she continued her operations in the battle zone, sweeping harbors and serving on patrol and escort duty. Returning to Yokosuka, Incredible sailed for Long Beach, arriving 4 August 1951.

The minesweeper operated along the West Coast and out of Pearl Harbor until 6 August 1953 when she sailed for the Far East. For the remainder of the year she operated out of Japan and on patrol along the coast of Korea. Incredible returned to Long Beach 11 ldarch 1954 and decommissioned there 21 September again joinin~ the Reserve Fleet. Reclassified MsF-249, 7 February 1955, Incredible remained in the Long Beach Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet until she was struck from the Navy List 1 December 1959. She was sold 8 August 1960 to National Metal and Steel Corp.

Incredible received two battle stars for World War II service and four for Korean service.


Incredible AM-249 - History

The great success of the Inchon Invasion led General MacArthur to order a second amphibious assault, targeting Wonsan on North Korea's east coast. After landing there, Tenth Corps could advance inland, link up with the Eighth Army moving north from Seoul and hasten the destruction of the North Korean army. Wonsan would also provide UN forces with another logistics support seaport, one closer to the battlefronts than Pusan and with greater handling capacity than tide-encumbered Inchon.

Since the enemy army's coherence collapsed much more rapidly than expected, by the Wonsan operation's planned executation date of 20 October 1950, its immediate strategic goals had been overtaken by events. However, the forces landed there proved valuable in the push up North Korea's east side, and the captured port did fulfill its intended mission.

Wonsan's greatest value, though, was unintended: it gave the U.S. Navy a painfully valuable reminder of the fruits of neglecting mine countermeasures, that unglamorous side of maritime power that, when it is needed, is needed very badly. As Admiral Forrest Sherman, the Chief of Naval Operations at the time, remarked "when you can't go where you want to, when you want to, you haven't got command of the sea". This experience provoked one of the greatest minesweeper building programs in the Navy's history, one that produced hundreds of ships to serve not only under the U.S. flag, but under those of many allied nations.

This page features a special image selection on the Wonsan Operation, and provides links to broader pictorial coverage of that undertaking.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Opening of Wonsan, October 1950

Republic of Korea minesweeper YMS-516 is blown up by a magnetic mine, during sweeping operations west of Kalma Pando, Wonsan harbor, on 18 October 1950.
This ship was originally the U.S. Navy's YMS-148 , which had served in the British Navy in 1943-46.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 66KB 740 x 620 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Commanding Officers in conference off Korea, 26 October 1950. Probably taken in the wardroom of USS Incredible (AM-249), off Wonsan.
Those present are identified in Photo # 80-G-422081 (Complete Caption).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 111KB 740 x 620 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Deploys an acoustic hammer box during sweep operations off Wonsan, Korea, in October 1950.
The original photo is dated 23 October 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 109KB 595 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Wonsan Operation, October 1950

Underwater Demolition Team "Frogmen" study the situation, prior to destroying a North Korean minefield in Wonsan harbor, 26 October 1950.
Photographed by C.K. Rose, of Combat Photo Unit Two.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 89KB 740 x 615 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Loading vehicles at Wolmi-Do Island, Inchon Harbor, South Korea, on 13 October 1950, while preparing for the Wonsan operation.
Note that the ship has been left "high and dry" by the tide.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 131KB 740 x 620 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Wonsan Landings, October 1950

Amphibious shipping anchored in Wonsan's outer harbor during the landing of the First Marine Division, 26 October 1950. Larger ships present include about 19 LSTs, one LSM, one LSD and about 21 transports (APA & AP) and cargo ships (AKA & AK-types). Three minesweepers are visible at the far right.
This view looks approximately south, with Sin-Do island in the foreground. Umi-Do is the small island in the left distance. Landing beaches on the Kalma Pando peninsula are out of view to the right, as is Wonsan city.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 104KB 740 x 605 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Wonsan Landings, October 1950

LVTs and LCVPs land elements of the First Marine Division at Wonsan, North Korea, 26 October 1950.
Note the very heavy wakes produced by the LVTs as they churn toward the beach.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 150KB 740 x 615 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Wonsan Landings, October 1950

Six U.S. and Republic of Korea LSTs unloading at Wonsan, North Korea, during the landing of the First Marine Division, 26 October 1950. USS LST-1123 is the second from the far end. Nearest LST bears the side number QO-83 .
This view looks approximately northwest along the eastern shore of the Kalmo Pando peninsula, whose northern end is seen in the left center distance.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 127KB 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


Incredible AM-249 - History

USS Incredible , a 530-ton Admirable class minesweeper built at Savannah, Georgia, was commissioned in April 1944. She went to the Mediterranean Sea a few months later, where she participated in the Southern France invasion and subsequent operations. On 10 September 1944, she helped defeat an attack on Allied warships by German human torpedoes. Incredible carried out minesweeping duties in the Black Sea during the first two months of 1945. Returning to the U.S. in May, she transferred to the Pacific the following July and swept mines in the East China Sea and Ryukyus during the months following Japan's surrender. During the later 1940s, Incredible was out of commission, but kept "in service" at Yokosuka, Japan.

In August 1950, Incredible recommissioned for Korean War service, and took part in the intense minesweeping operations off Wonsan later in that year. She left the Far East for the U.S. West Coast in the Summer of 1951, but returned for another WestPac tour in 1953-54. USS Incredible decommissioned in September 1954, and was redesignated MSF-249 in February 1955. She was sold for scrapping in August 1960.

This page features views of USS Incredible (AM/MSF-249).

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Flying a "Homeward Bound" pennant, probably upon her departure from Japanese waters in about July 1951.
This photograph was received by the Naval Photographic Center in January 1952.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 77KB 740 x 600 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Probably photographed circa July 1951, while en route to the U.S. following minesweeping service off Korea.
Location appears to be Pearl Harbor, with Ford Island Naval Air Station in the background.

Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 74KB 740 x 605 pixels

Underway off San Diego, California, circa 1951-53.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 108KB 740 x 615 pixels

Commanding Officers in conference off Korea, 26 October 1950. Probably taken in the wardroom of USS Incredible (AM-249), off Wonsan.
Those present are identified in Photo # 80-G-422081 (Complete Caption).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 111KB 740 x 620 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Is welcomed by hula dancers as she arrives in Hawaii while en route to the U.S., circa July 1951, following Korean War minesweeping service.
Note mine scoreboard painted on her bridge.

Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 103KB 740 x 615 pixels

While the Naval Historical Center has no World War II photographs of USS Incredible , the National Archives appears to hold several. The following list features some of these images:

The images listed below are NOT in the Naval Historical Center's collections.
DO NOT try to obtain them using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions.".


Reproductions of these images should be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system for pictures not held by the Naval Historical Center.

The images listed in this box are NOT in the Naval Historical Center's collections. DO NOT try to obtain them using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions.".

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


Wandas warp was planetary the first time. That chaos wave spread past a universal level. The second warp when she went crazy was omniversal.

This scan is from the first warp, the second scan above is from the second warp. She warped reality twice

I think the point remains that because Claremont said some stuff in a comic doesn't make it a reflection on Wanda as a character. Wanda isn't in the stories. Claremont and other writers were not asked to write about the character Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch but to write whatever they thought might happen as a result of a big "No More Mutants" magic thing. There is no characterization of Wanda going on in any of those pages (including the pages where she appears to Beast in a dream) and all it shows is that the writers felt free to write whatever horrors they wanted without caring how it would affect Wanda's viability as a character.

Wanda fans are always going to say that since "No More Mutants" was out of character and beyond her power, those other pages prove nothing except that we haven't yet learned why Doctor Doom or whoever wanted to wipe out mutants.

A few pages Wanda isn't in, a couple of pages by Bendis and Remender vs. decades of evidence that she is a proud mutant and a hero? "Doom did it" may have its plot holes as an explanation but not as many as that.


AM Revitalization

December 17, 2020
All-Digital Broadcasting Public Notice, Public Notice, DA 20-1497, released December 17, 2020. [ PDF | Word ]. Media Bureau Announces Federal Register Publication of Report and Order in All-Digital AM Broadcasting, Revitalization of the AM Radio Service Proceeding.

October 29, 2020
Prohibited Presentations in Revitalization of AM Radio Service, Public Notice, DA 20-1282, released October 29, 2020. [ PDF | Word ]. Notice of Prohibited Presentations in the Matter of Revitalization of the AM Radio Service.

In Docket 13-249, the FCC is making an effort to revitalize the AM broadcasting service through rule changes and the use of FM translator (repeater) stations by AM broadcasters. Changes already adopted include changes to AM daytime and nighttime community coverage standards, elimination of the AM "ratchet" rule, easier filing requirements for stations using Modulation Dependent Carrier Level (MDCL) technology, and a relaxation of the minimum antenna efficiency standards (see the October 23, 2015 First Report and Order). Comments and supporting data are sought on additional proposals intended to benefit AM licensees, and we encourage participation in the discussion.

FM Translator Modification Windows for AM Licensees. The Commission will open two application filing windows for AM broadcasters seeking to relocate or modify an FM translator station. The first window period will open during the first quarter of 2016, while the second filing window will open immediately after. Eligibility may be limited for participation in each of these filing window periods. Please see the October 26, 2015 Public Notice for important details for filing and processing of FCC Form 349 construction permit applications.

FM Translator Auction Windows for AM Licensees. The Commission has also directed the Media Bureau, in conjunction with the Wireless Bureau, to open two new FM translator application auction windows, in 2017. These windows will only be open to AM stations that did not file applications in one of the two modification windows identified above.

Check this page for new developments in the AM revitalization effort.

Documents relating to the AM Revitalization Effort:

December 17, 2020
All-Digital Broadcasting Public Notice, Public Notice, DA 20-1497, released December 17, 2020. [ PDF | Word ]. Media Bureau Announces Federal Register Publication of Report and Order in All-Digital AM Broadcasting, Revitalization of the AM Radio Service Proceeding.

October 29, 2020
Prohibited Presentations in Revitalization of AM Radio Service, Public Notice, DA 20-1282, released October 29, 2020. [ PDF | Word ]. Notice of Prohibited Presentations in the Matter of Revitalization of the AM Radio Service.

October 28, 2020
Commission adopts a Report and Order authorizing AM radio stations to transition to an all-digital signal on a voluntary basis, Report and Order, FCC-20-154, released October 28, 2020. [ PDF | Word ]. Pai: [ PDF | Word ]. Rosenworcel: [ PDF | Word ].

November 20, 2018
Comment/Reply Comment Dates Set for AM Revitalization Second FNPRM, Public Notice, DA 18-1181, released November 20, 2018. [ PDF | Word ]. Announces publication of Second FNPRM Summary in Federal Register and comment/reply comment dates.

October 5, 2018
FCC Proposes Revised Interference Protection for Class A AM Stations, FNPRM, FCC-18-139, released October 5, 2018. [ PDF | Word ]. The Commission adopts a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which proposes revised interference protection for Class A AM Stations.

May 25, 2018
Auction 99 (AM Revitalization/FM Translators) Winning Bidders, Public Notice, DA-18-541, released May 25, 2018. [ PDF | Word ]. Announces close of Auction 99, establishes deadlines for down payments, final payments and filing of Forms 349.

May 22, 2018
Revitalization of the AM Radio Service, Order on Reconsideration, MB Docket 13-249, , released May 22, 2018. [ PDF | Word ]. Denied the petition for reconsideration.

November 1, 2017
Media Bureau Announces FM Translator Filing Window for Long-Form Applications, Public Notice, , released November 1, 2017. [ Word | PDF ]. Attachment A: [ PDF | Excel ]. Complete Form 349 applications are due by December 21, 2017, for the applications listed in Attachment A.

September 25, 2017
Revitalization of the AM Radio Service, Third Report and Order, MB Docket 13-249, , released September 25, 2017. [ PDF | Word ]. Relaxes or eliminates certain rules pertaining to AM broadcasters employing and maintaining directional antenna arrays.

March 16, 2017
Media Bureau Announces Notice of Effective Date of Rule Change Adopted in Second Report and Order in Revitalization of the AM Radio Service Published in Federal Register Effective Date of Modified Section 74.1201(g) of Commission's Rules Is April 10, 2017, Public Notice, , released March 16, 2017. [ PDF | Word ].

March 1, 2017
Media Bureau Procedures for Processing FM Translator Modification Applications, News Release, MB Docket 13-249, , released March 1, 2017. [ PDF | Word ]. Media Bureau reminds FM translator modification applicants that it will not process applications relying on rule change in the Second Report and Order in the AM Revitalization proceeding until the effective date of the changed rules.

February 24, 2017
Revitalization of the AM Radio Service, Second Report and Order, MB Docket 13-249, , released February 24, 2017. [ PDF | Word ]. Ajit Pai: [ PDF | Word ]. Clyburn: [ PDF | Word ]. News Release, FCC Expands Area Where FM Translators Rebroadcasting AM Radio Stations Can Be Located, released February 23, 2017: [ PDF | Word ].

March 30, 2016
AM Revitalization Spring Forward, Blog by William T. Lake, Chief, Media Bureau

December 23, 2015
Media Bureau Announces Filing Dates And Procedures For AM Station Filing Window For FM Translator Modifications And Availability of FM Translator Technical Tools, Public Notice, DA 15-1491, released December 23, 2015. [ PDF | Word ]. Announces filing dates for FM Translator modifications provides information on filing procedures, translator technical tools, and FAQs.

October 26, 2015
Media Bureau Initiates AM Revitalization Outreach Efforts Modification Window Procedures and Requirements Announced, Public Notice, released October 26, 2015: [ PDF | Word ].

October 23, 2015
Revitalization of the AM Radio Service, First Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Notice of Inquiry, MB Docket 13-249, , released October 23, 2015. [ PDF | Word ]. Wheeler: [ PDF | Word ]. Clyburn: [ PDF | Word ]. Ajit Pai: [ PDF | Word ]. O'Rielly: [ PDF | Word ].

February 7, 2014
Deadline Extended for Reply Comments on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in Revitalization of the AM Radio Service, Public Notice: [ PDF | Word ].

October 31, 2013
Revitalization of the AM Radio Service, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), MB Docket 13-249 , , released October 31, 2013. [ PDF | Word ]. Clyburn: [ PDF | Word ]. Pai: [ PDF | Word ].


For more information on AM and FM radio broadcasting, please visit the Audio Division website, and the Broadcast Radio Links page.


10 Incredible Italian Women who made History

Mad about lists? Here is a good one for Italy lovers. 10 incredible Italian women throughout the centuries from ancient Rome to the end of the XX century.

Let’s discover together what Catherine de’ Medici, Rita Levi Montalcini or Matilde di Canossa and others became famous for.

THE FIRST WOMEN’S MARCH EVER
This is not the story of a woman but a story that belongs to women’s history and it deserves to open this list. It was 195 b.c. when women marched – probably for the first time in history – against a law that was limiting their rights.
The Lex Oppia was a sumptuary law established in 215 b.c. in Rome, during the Second Punic War, to face the serious financial and social issues caused by the war.
This particular law – the first of a series of sumptuary laws – restricted women’s wealth, forbidding them to wear multi-colored clothes, to possess more than half a ounce of gold and to ride in an animal-drawn vehicle in the city.
In 195 b.c. Rome, after the victory over Carthage, was wealthier than ever and the patrician families of Rome got tired of following the law. Two tribunes proposed repealing the Lex Oppia, saying it was no longer needed.
The consul Cato the Elder spoke in favor of the law saying that it was promoting equality between different social classes. Nonetheless – while the debate was raging in the Senate – the matrons of Rome gathered on the Capitol hill and marched towards the Forum, blocking all the streets and asking the tribunes to support their cause and abrogate the law.
The day after they gathered, sitting in in front of the house of Marcus Junius Brutus and Publius Junius Brutus – tribunes and big supporter of the law – to protest nonstop until the law was abrogated.
The siege worked and eventually the law was finally repealed.

1 – HORTENSIA
Daughter of the Roman orator Quintus Hortensius, Hortensia is considered probably the first female lawyer in history thanks to a famous oration she delivered in the Roman Forum in 42 B.C..
During the civil war against Brutus and Cassius (who murdered Julius Cesar) the triumvirate of Marc Anthony, Octavian and Lepidus proposed to raise money for the war by taxing the property of 1400 rich Roman women, who – being women – could not defend themselves against this decision.
Hortensia took the word in the Forum declaring that women should not pay for a war they didn’t ask for or take any part in. Women, she said would help fighting against the enemies but wouldn’t pay for the cost of the war. Her oration worked and the number of women liable to the taxes was reduced to 400 and the same taxation was extended to men.

2 – MATILDA OF TUSCANY – THE GREAT COUNTESS
Powerful and determined, Matilda was one of the most important political figures of the Middle Age. Born in 1046 she was the heir of the Duke of Tuscany, Boniface III and of Beatrice of Lorraine.
She eventually got to rule a vast territory that included the present-day Tuscany, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna.
Well educated, strong, fearless and determined, she was one of the few Medieval women to be remembered for her military accomplishment.
A natural leader in a period of constant battles she was able to change radically the course of the history. She lived also in Florence and gave a new shape and direction to the city that finally went towards the Commune.
She died quite old for the average of the time, when she was 69 y.o. and she is now buried in the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome – one of only six women who have the honor of being buried there. Her Memorial Tomb was commissioned by the Pope, centuries later in the 1600’s to Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the architect famous to be the creator of the Baroque in Italy.

3 – CATHERINE DE’ MEDICI (1519-1589)
Catherine de’ Medici was born in Florence in 1519 her father was Piero de’ Medici – son of Lorenzo Il Magnifico – and her mother the French countess Maddalena de la Tour d’Auvergne.
Her mother died a few days after her birth, her father passed shortly after and she was brought and raised in Rome by her grandmother Alfonsina Orsini and then by the Pope Leone X – her grand-uncle – and the Pope Clemente VII – her second cousin.
She was a well-educated girl, maybe more educated than usual, even for a very well-off family. A Medici, indeed a smart, tough, independent girl since she little.
She married the French prince Henry II, second son of King Francis I of France, and eventually became Queen of France from 1547 to 1559 and mother of three kings of France.
She was a powerful woman, remembered as a strong Queen but also as a memorable trend-setter. She appreciated creativity and fashion and brought many new habits to the French court:
she invented the corset and the bloomers, she brought her personal scent maker from Florence and brought the habit of using perfumes to France.
She started to use a particular kind of wedge heel shoes – higher than a pair of Louboutin – that immediately became a huge trend. From Florence she also brought the innovation of the fork – that was practically nonexistent anywhere else – and the Florentine cooking tradition, making the basis for French cuisine with recipes like the onion soup and béchamel sauce.

4- ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI (1593-1656)

Daughter of the painter Orazio Gentileschi – an artist that was strongly influenced by the work of Caravaggio – Artemisia started painting in her father’s workshop, showing very early her talent.
She was the first woman to become a member of the Academia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence.
Her paintings are famous for the strong, brave, powerful female characters she depicted – mainly biblical or mythical heroins – and for the characteristic use of colors.
Her paintings are famous for the strong, brave, powerful female characters she depicted – mainly biblical or mythical heroins – and for the characteristic use of colors.
The women on Artemisia’s paintings are very distant from the stereotypical shy and elegant woman depicted in the artworks of the time.
Artemisia was raped when she was very young by her tutor and Orazio’s coworker Agostino Tassi. She had to suffer a very long trial against her rapist, during which she was tortured in order to prove her virginity and her innocence. Her father Orazio, after the trial, arranged a marriage between his daughter and a Florentine painter, Pierantonio Stiattesi, to save Artemisia’s social respectability.
When in Florence Artemisia blossomed as a mature artist, became a successful court painter under Cosimo II de’ Medici and established friendly relationships with artists and intellectuals like the artist Cristofano Allori and the scientist Galileo Galilei.

5- MARIA MONTESSORI (1870-1952)

Doctor, philosopher and pedagogist Maria Montessori was one of the first women to graduate in Medicine in Italy in 1896. She became assistant doctor at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome where she developed a new teaching method to support the education of children with mental disabilities. In 1907 she opened her first school in a poor neighborhood dedicating her work and researches to the children of working families in that school – called Casa dei Bambini (House of Children) – she applied her method to mentally normal children between the ages of 3 and 6. The school was a huge success and Montessori’s method – based on building a favorable environment, both physical and spiritual, to follow the childrens needs, and on specifically designed materials – became immediately famous worldwide in less than 10 years, schools based on her method opened in more than 10 countries. The popularity of the child-centered Montessori approach never decreased and is still very popular more than a century later.

6- GRAZIA DELEDDA (1871-1936)

First Italian woman to be awarded with the Noble prize for literature (1926), she was also the second woman to win it after Selma Largerlöf. Born on the island of Sardinia, in 1871 she died in Rome in 1936. She came from a wealthy, middle-class, well educated family who taught her to read and write even before she was of school age. Nonetheless her formal education ended after the fourth grade and she was mainly a self-taught kind of intellectual. When she published her first short story – Sangue Sardo (Sardinian blood) – the plot about a love triangle involving a teenage girl was not well received by the very traditional social environment of her town but, despite that, she went on writing under a nom de plume. When she moved to Rome with her husband she found success as a writer her books translated into many languages and adapted for the screen. Normally labelled as a representative of the verismo (realism) literary movement, Deledda was quite an original voice within her contemporaries rooted in her native island’s stories and traditions, her writing was deeply autobiographical and focused on important concepts like love, sin, death and pain.

7- RITA LEVI MONTALCINI (1909-2012)

Born in 1909 in Turin she died in Rome in 2012. Neurobiologist, she was awarded with the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1986 for the discovery of nerve growth factor. In 1938, due to the publication of the Manifesto of Race and the subsequent introduction of laws barring Jews from academic and professional life, Rita, coming from a Jewish family, was banned from the university. She and her family fled to Florence where they could survive the holocaust, hiding under false identities. They went back to Turin only in 1945 after the end of the war. During the whole period of the war, even when hiding in Florence, she went on doing scientific experiments, setting up laboratories in her family’s apartment. She was a Senator of the Italian Republic and was still regularly attending the parliament activities the year she died. She was 103 years old.

8- MARGHERITA HACK (1922-2013)
Born in Florence in 1922, she was the first woman in Italy, to head of an Observatory. Margherita Hack, had a very long, successful life and was one of the most brilliant minds of the XX century. Astrophysicist and scientific disseminator she was a Professor at the University of Trieste for a much of her life and brought the University’s observatory to international fame.
She became an iconic personality. Not just for her scientific talent – which was outstanding – but also for her personal choices and her nonconformist lifestyle. She was a vegetarian for her whole life – she said that she never ate meat in her life – and also wrote a book on vegetarianism that became immediately very popular. She was also a firm atheist, critical toward the Catholic Church hierarchy. Her strong Florentine – that she proudly maintained even if she lived most of her life in Trieste – accent and very straightforward “no-frills” way of talking became iconic too. Her most popular quote is that “we are made of star matter”.

9- TERESA “CHICCHI” MATTEI (1921-2013) Born in Genova she graduated in philosophy at the University of Florence in 1944. She was a partisan with the nom de guerre “Chicchi”. After the war Mattei was the youngest elected to the Constituent Assembly – in which she served as a secretary bureau – and was so called “the girl of Montecitorio”.
She introduced the Italian tradition of using mimosa as a symbol for the Women’s Day. Mimosa was a flower that was growing wild almost everywhere, was inexpensive and resistant, so it was easier to find and could be within everyone’s reach, even by the many poor of the rural areas of Italy. She was a strong and determined woman since her early teenage years. She started to protest against the racial laws of Benito Mussolini when she was in high school and from that moment she never stopped. Her whole life was dedicated to the defense of the Constitution and to attempting to spread a deeply anti-fascist culture to the youngest.

10- ANNA MAGNANI (1908-1973)
Iconic actress of the Italian neorealismo, Anna Magnani was one of the greatest artists of the XX century. She was the first Italian to win an Academy Award for best actress (1955) and one of the few Italian personalities to have a dedicated star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. Born in 1908 in Rome she paid her studies at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome by singing at night clubs. She had an incredible career and worked with the most important Italian and international film directors she was described as “fiery” by Time Magazine, “earth mother of Italian cinema” by the critics, but for sure she was one of the most beloved Italian women of the XX century. Women loved her because they felt represented by her true face and emotions. Famous was her answer to the make-up artist who tried to camouflage her wrinkles: “Why would you do that? It took so many years to get those wrinkles. ”.

Are you planning a trip to Florence? Take a look at our tour celebrating the amazing Women of Florence from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and beyond. We’ll walk with you unraveling their stories through the streets of the city center. We’ll meet some women of the most famous family of the city, the Medici. We’ll meet a Queen, a beautiful nun and a brave countess of the year 1000 A.D. We’ll talk about scandals, passions, loves and sacrifice. We’ll talk about what women read and how they dressed. Starting from the Middle Ages we’ll delve into and discover the lives of Renaissance of women from all walks of life.

You also may enjoy our Artemisia Gentileschi tour with one of our world leading expert guides.


Editor's Picks

/>Timothy Bradley Jr.
ESPN boxing analyst/former champion

Crawford by KO
Crawford will box circles around Kavaliauskas and he will knock him out before 12 rounds.

Lopez by KO
Lopez's father has gotten him ready for this moment his whole life. Lopez will put it all together Saturday night and will stop Commey before the sixth round.

/>Nick Parkinson
ESPN UK

Crawford by TKO
Crawford's accuracy and technique will make this a comfortable win for the WBO titleholder. It would be a surprise if Crawford is taken to points for the first time in three and a half years. More likely, Crawford wins with a middle-rounds stoppage.

Lopez by TKO
Expect a thriller from these knockout artists -- and the end could come at any moment. It's a tough call, but Lopez has made rapid progress in 14 fights, has the backing of his home-city fans and his speed could be decisive.

Teddy Atlas
ESPN boxing analyst

Crawford by KO
Kavaliauskas is very strong and physical but he's also a one-dimensional fighter, which will allow Crawford to control range and time him coming in. Crawford will move well to avoid Kavaliauskas' power and will stop him inside of five rounds.

Lopez by KO
Commey is an experienced game fighter who likes to engage, and that will be his downfall against the quick and explosive Lopez. Teofimo will close the gap with a sudden burst and throw his left hook to KO Commey in three.

Nigel Collins
ESPN.com

Crawford by KO
Kavaliauskas appears to be in over his head. He was lucky to get a draw with Ray Robinson in his most recent fight. Crawford will take a couple of rounds to study his challenger and then proceed to dismantle him piece by piece, stopping the Lithuanian midway into the bout.

Lopez by decision
Commey is by far the best opponent Lopez has fought to date. Both of the Ghanaian's losses came via split decision and his 83.87 knockout percentage is impressive. It should be a reasonably competitive match, but Lopez is 10 years younger and talented enough to prevail on points and claim his first major title.

/>Steve Kim
ESPN.com

Crawford by KO
Crawford is a cut above "The Mean Machine," who is solid but unspectacular. Look for Crawford to slowly and methodically pick him apart and stop him in the late rounds.

Lopez by decision
It seems as though Lopez has had a focused camp in New Jersey and is well-prepared for his first title opportunity. Commey is strong and sturdy but Lopez is too quick and will find counterpunching opportunities as the fight goes on.

Eric Raskin
Showtime Boxing

Crawford by KO5
Nothing personal against Kavaliauskas, but this fight is everything that's wrong with alphabet groups and their rankings. "Mean Machine" has beaten nobody to deserve to be ranked No. 1 and he's nowhere close to Crawford's level. This ends whenever Bud decides he wants to end it.

Lopez by decision
I suspect Teofimo's last fight was an aberration that he'll learn from, and his talent should pull him through here. We'll find out what he's made of, though. I fully expect Commey to be right in the fight entering the championship rounds.

/>Charles Moynihan
ESPN bureau producer

Crawford by KO5
Crawford cleaned out the 140-pound division and looks to do the same at 147 pounds. Easy work here against an underwhelming Kavaliauskas. With his full arsenal on display, Crawford wins by fifth-round KO.

Lopez by unanimous decision
This will be a tough test for Lopez, who many pundits believe will crack the top 10 pound-for-pound list in 2020. The battle-tested Commey has far more experience. Lopez has far more skills. Skills over experience. Lopez takes it.

Salvador Rodriguez
ESPNdeportes.com

Crawford by unanimous decision
This fight is interesting because Kavaliauskas is one of the stronger challengers that Terence has had, but Crawford's quality is undeniable and that will lead him to a clear unanimous-decision victory.

Lopez by decision
This is going to be the toughest fight of their careers, for Commey and Lopez. It's going to be very competitive but Lopez has passed every test that's been put in front of him and is now ready to take the next step and win a world title in a very, very close fight.

/>Bernardo Pilatti
Boxing analyst

Crawford by KO
Crawford shouldn't have any trouble dispatching Egidijus Kavaliauskas, even though "Mean Machine" is a dangerous opponent with a lot of power. Kavaliauskas uses the jab very well as a way to get inside. His problem is defense. He's also slower than Crawford and that will make him easy prey. Crawford's speed and power will overwhelm Kavaliauskas in a fight that shouldn't go longer than the sixth round.

Commey by TKO
Commey is a fast fighter who generally imposes his rhythm, likes to put pressure on his opponents quickly and throws three- and four-punch combinations. Teofimo does not match him in mobility, but he's very effective with his punches. On paper Teofimo should win, but reality can lower those expectations. Commey is in the best moment of his career and at his peak, while Lopez is just getting to the first level. Add to that the lack of a necessary renovation of his corner to reach the next level. Commey will throw more punches and his experience will guide him to a late TKO win.


The incredible Cornish women who made history

Sure, Cornwall was home to inventor Humphry Davy, mathematician John Couch Adams and explorer Richard Lander.

But it&aposs also the birthplace of amazing women who have made a massive impact and even changed the world.

For International Women&aposs Day we are sharing their stories again, to show what women can achieve despite adversity and gender inequality.

The amazing achievements of these often-unsung heroes deserve to be celebrated.

Here are six incredible Cornish women who made history:

Selina Cooper (1864 - 1946)

Selina Cooper was an important activist of her time who fought for women workers and women&aposs suffrage.

She was born on December 4, 1864, in Callington. She was the daughter of Charles Coombe, a railway labourer, and Jane Uren, a dressmaker.

After her father&aposs death in 1876, Selina and her family moved in Lancashire. The teenager started to work there and combined school with a job of creeler.

When she was 19 she moved near Nelson, where she worked as both a nurse and washerwoman.

After her mother&aposs death, Selina started to work for a mill and decided to join a trade union, called the Burnley Weavers&apos Association.

She was later elected president of the Brierfield branch of the Women&aposs Cooperative guild, started to campaign for women&aposs rights in factories, and also became the first woman to represent the local Independent Labour Party.

Yet, Selina&aposs public role was to be developed.

In 1901, the activist presented a petition signed by more than 29,000 people to Westminster&aposs Parliament. The document aimed at informing the MPs that women have to educate their children but could not do it properly if they are do not have knowledge of &aposnational life&apos and &apostrue citizenship&apos themselves.

Selina also gave a speech at the National Conference of the Labour Party, in 1905, to urge politicians to support women&aposs suffrage. Following that meeting, she started to work for the National Union of Women&aposs Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).

In 1910, she was chosen to be one of four women to advocate women&aposs suffrage to Prime Minister Herbert Asquith.

She was later elected as a Nelson town councillor and became a magistrate.

Selina Cooper was also known for her fight against fascism and Nazism. In 1934, she visited four women prisoners in Germany and denounced the Nazi regime when she came back.

Selina Cooper died on November 11, 1946.

Here is one of Selina Cooper&aposs most famous quotes, from the Wigan Observer, 1906:

"Women do not want their political power to enable them to boast that they are on equal terms with the men.

"They want to use it for the same purpose as men – to get better conditions.

"Every woman in England is longing for her political freedom in order to make the lot of the worker pleasanter and to bring about reforms which are wanted. We do not want it as a mere plaything."

Mary Kelynak

In 1851, Mary Kelynack, a fishwife from Newlyn who was 84 years old, decided to walk from Penzance to London - about 300 miles - to see Prince Albert and Queen Victoria’s Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace and meet the Lord Mayor at Mansion House to ask for her pension, according to Penwith Local History Group.

It is said that she also met Prince Albert.

Her incredible trip took more than five weeks and was reported in the press.

The Times reported: ‘Yesterday among the visitors at the Mansion House was Mary Callinack, 84 years of age, who had travelled on foot from Penzance, carrying a basket on her head, with the object of visiting the Exhibition and of paying her respects personally to the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. ….. the aged woman entered the justice-room, when the Lord Mayor addressing her, said “Well, I understand, Mrs Callinack you have come to see me” She replied “Yes, God bless you! I never was in such a place as this. I have come up asking for a small sum of money. I am 84.” The Lord Mayor: “Where do you come from?” Mrs Callinack: “From Land’s End”. The Lord Mayor “What part?” Mrs Callinack: “Penzance.” She then stated that she left Penzance five weeks ago.’

Mary died four years later.

Emily Hobhouse (1860 - 1926)

Here is the Cornish woman Mahatma Gandhi himself described as "one of the noblest and bravest of women" whose life was "pure as crystal".

Emily Hobhouse was, however, the most controversial woman of her time in Britain.

Emily was born in St Ive, near Liskeard, in April 1860. Her grandfather was Sir William Trelawney, MP for East Cornwall.

She is famous for campaigning against the terrible conditions inside the British camps in South Africa during the Boer War. She visited concentration camps there and created the Relief Fund for South African Women and Children.

In 1901 Emily presented her Report of a Visit to the Camps of Women and Children in the Cape and Orange River Colonies .

The document described the South African camps and was ignored by most people in Britain including MPs.

It said: "Some people in town still assert that the Camp is a haven of bliss. Well, there are eyes and no eyes. I was at the camp to-day, and just in one little corner this is the sort of thing I found - The nurse, underfed and overworked, just sinking on to her bed, hardly able to hold herself up, after coping with some thirty typhoid and other patients, with only the untrained help of two Boer girls – cooking as well as nursing to do herself.

"Next tent, a six months baby gasping its life out on its mother&aposs knee. Two or three others drooping sick in that tent.

"Next, a girl of twenty-one lay dying on a stretcher. The father, a big, gentle Boer kneeling beside her while, next tent, his wife was watching a child of six, also dying, and one of about five drooping. Already this couple had lost three children in the hospital and so would not let these go, though I begged hard to take them out of the hot tent.

"I can&apost describe what it is to see these children lying about in a state of collapse. It&aposs just exactly like faded flowers thrown away. And one has to stand and look on at such misery, and be able to do almost nothing.

"It is a very costly business upon which England has embarked, and even at such a cost hardly the barest necessities can be provided, and no comforts. It is so strange to think that every tent contains a family, and every family is in trouble – loss behind, poverty in front, sickness, privation and death in the present. But they are very good, and say they have agreed to be cheerful and make the best of it all."

After the war, the Fawcett Commission, officially mandated to investigate the camps, confirmed most of what Emily reported and concluded that almost 30,000 Boers had died of bad treatment.

Later, after the end of the war, Emily was given the South African citizenship and locals raised more than £2,000 pounds to thank her. She bought a house in St Ives with it.

Emily is also the Cornish woman who tried to end World War 1. Her great-nice Jennifer Hobhouse Balme revealed in her book Agent Of Peace: Emily Hobhouse and her Courageous Attempt to End the First World War that the Cornish woman called for an end to hostilities in January 1915.

You can stay up-to-date on the top news near you with CornwallLive&aposs FREE newsletters – find out more about our range of daily and weekly bulletins andsign up here or enter your email address at the top of the page.

She wrote an Open Christmas Letter that was answered by 155 prominent pacifist and feminist German and Austrian women.

In her orbituary, Mahatma Gandhi wrote: "Miss Emily Hobhouse was one of the noblest and bravest of women. She worked without ever thinking of any reward. She belonged to a noble family. She loved her country and because she loved it, she could not tolerate any injustice done by it.

"She realised the atrocity of war. She thought Britain was wholly in the wrong. She denounced the war in burning language at a time when Britain was mad on it.

"She bore it all with the courage of a true heroine. She had a soul that could defy the might of kings and emperors with their armies. She feared no man because she feared God only."

Alice de Lisle (c. 1287 - 1347)

She can be regarded as the patron of Penzance and the woman who successfully petitioned a king to improve her town.

Alice De Lisle, Lord of the Manor of Alverton in the 14th century, successfully fought to turn Penzance in to a market town and her influence helped change the course of Penzance history.

Her title also made her head of the chamber of commerce and mayor.

“In ten years, Alice oversaw the growth of Penzance from a manor and small fishing village into a major urban centre with a commercially viable port that now needed a permanent market,” Dr Goskar from told the Cornishman in 2013.

A charter was awarded after Alice successfully petitioned King Edward III in 1332 for a weekly market to be held on a Wednesday as well as an annual seven-day fair.

“Without Alice’s petition, the 1404 grant (to hold a market), which just confirmed Alice’s charter of 1332, would not have been made,” said Dr Goskar.

“Still less would we have been granted the 1614 town charter. And without that Penzance would not have become one of Cornwall’s major coinage towns in 1663.

"Penzance’s later fame as a major centre of industry, commerce and banking and as an intellectual and scientific centre, could never have happened. In fact, Penzance as we know it may not have existed at all."

Ann Glanville (1796–1880)

If you thought that Helen Glover is the most talented and impressive rower Cornwall has ever had, you might want to read Ann Glanville&aposs story.

Ann Glanville was born in 1796 and by all accounts was tall and of strong character. She was a waterwoman on the River Tamar, ferrying people and goods, and famous for her skill with the oar.

Along with her crew of Saltash women Ann took part in regattas all over England, and they were virtually unbeatable.

In her time, she was the world’s champion female rower.

The most famous competition was in 1833 when they visited Le Havre and beat the best ten French male crews by 100 yards.

She continued rowing until well into her 60s, and when the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Plymouth in 1879 they invited Ann to lunch on their yacht.

It is said that she was also presented to Queen Victoria.

Rowena Cade

Rowena Cade, the woman who almost single-handedly planned, built and financed what must be one of Europe’s most unique theatres.

The amazing woman founded the Minack Theatre in 1932 and, from the year before until her death in 1983, planned, built and financed the project.

The Derbyshire-born daughter of a cotton mill owner moved to Cornwall in the 1920s and bought the Minack headland for £100. The home she built there became the backdrop for amateur productions.

When a more ambitious production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest was proposed for the summer of 1932, it was mooted that her garden would be the perfect venue. But there was nowhere to seat an audience.

Looking into the gully above the Minack Rock, she said: “I wonder if we could make a stage here?”

Labouring as apprentice to her gardener Billy Rawlings and his mate Charles Thomas Angove, granite was cut by hand from a pile of tumbled boulders and stones were inched into place. Terraces were in-filled with earth, small stones and pebbles shovelled down from the higher level on the slope above a sheer drop into the Atlantic.

It took six months for them to build a simple stage and some rough seating. But the result is an enchanting and enduring masterpiece.


Big bang

To date, there&aposs no bigger MCU scene than the Avengers: Endgame assault on Thanos and his army. Amid the rubble of the Avengers&apos New York compound, dozens of Marvel heroes storm the battlefield. They&aposre locked, they&aposre loaded, but most of all, they&aposre ready for up-close, hand-to-hand combat. The slugfest is all kinds of impressive, but few fans know it also harkens to the very beginnings of the Marvel story -- and to the real-world fistfights of a young man named Jack Kurtzberg.  

The son of Austrian-born Jews, Jack was an all-American brawler. It wasn&apost a profession, and it wasn&apost a hobby. In New York City&aposs Lower East Side of the early 20th century, where Jack grew up, it was a way of life.

"You know, the punches were real, and the anger was real," Jack recalledਏor The Comics Journal in 1990, "and we&aposd chase each other up and down fire escapes, over rooftops, and we&aposd climb across clotheslines, and there were real injuries."

While the Lower East Side taught Jack to fight, Jack taught himself to draw. In his early 20s, having assumed the name Jack Kirby ("I wanted to be an American," he would say), Jack and fellow artist Joe Simon sold Timely Comics on a character which, informed by certain Lower East Side tendencies, would fight and fight and fight. 

Let Superman fly the bad guys to jail, and let Batman stalk his prey with his wits -- Kirby and Simon&aposs Captain America would handle Adolf Hitler with a sock to the jaw. Punch after punch, the long journey to Endgame&aposs Battle of Earth -- if not the entire MCU -- had begun.  


Community Reviews

"White privilege is the fact that if you&aposre white, your race will almost certainly positively impact your life&aposs trajectory in some way. And you probably won&apost even notice it."

Once again - calm your horses - I&aposm here to say: every white person needs to read this books. Every one of us.

Why I&aposm No Longer Talking to White People About Race caught my attention roughly a year ago when I first saw the cover. And it&aposs a good cover. And it&aposs a great title. You were probably taken aback and had to swall "White privilege is the fact that if you're white, your race will almost certainly positively impact your life's trajectory in some way. And you probably won't even notice it."

Once again - calm your horses - I'm here to say: every white person needs to read this books. Every one of us.

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race caught my attention roughly a year ago when I first saw the cover. And it's a good cover. And it's a great title. You were probably taken aback and had to swallow hard. This might have felt like a hit to your usually untouchable whiteness. Of course, this title is here to provoke a discussion. It wants you to listen. Here is what the author has to say:

"When I write about white people in this book, I don't mean every individual white person. I mean whiteness as a political ideology. A school of thought that favours whiteness at the expense of those who aren't."

Reni Eddo-Lodge further explains that she is unwilling to talk to white people who do not want to listen, who do not want to talk, who shut down because a discussion about race feels like a personal threat, not one that wants to spread awareness and acceptance.
So if you do feel upset about this title. read the book anyway. It won't hurt you. It will most likely expand your horizon.

Talking about expanding horizons, it sure as hell expanded mine. I could basically feel it shift. Reni Eddo-Lodge tackles a lot of crucial topics in this book. She talks about what initiated her original blog post with the same title back in 2014 and what led to the publication of this book. She lays out the history of slavery and racism in Britain - a topic that even British students hardly learn about in school, explains structural racism, defines white privilege, raises the feminism question, describes how race and class are intertwined and offers advice on what white people can do to fight racism.

I devoured this book in only two days. I took it everywhere I went, read it at home, in the park, on the tube - and earned a lot of side-glances. What the author talks about in this book is so important and true. It's also frustrating and enraging. It seems almost too trivial to say but the fact that people get hurt and killed for no other reason than the colour of their skin is impossible to put into words. It makes me want to scream and shout and throw stuff around and cry. But most of all it makes me want to talk. Because racism is not only something that actively hurts people. It's not something that you can point at. Racism is sneaky, racism is structural, racism is a political ideology that results in children of colour being adopted on average a year after their white counterparts. It results in teachers automatically downgrading non-white students. It results in wage-gaps and lost job opportunities. It results in an underrepresentation in the media, film and publishing industry:

"When you are used to white being the default, black isn't black until it is clearly pointed out as so."

I learned so many things while reading this book. Most, however, I took away from the chapter on feminism. Mainly that feminism is not about establishing equality between men and women, it is about liberating "all people who have been economically, socially and culturally marginalised by an ideological system that has been designed for them to fail. That means disabled people, black people, trans people, LGB people and working-class people." What Reni means is that a white person should be aware of the structures around them that are in their favour and simultaneously limit other non-white, non-cis-gendered, non-straight, non-male, non-disabled, non-wealthy people. Furthermore, she is aware that these structures will not vanish overnight. They must be pointed-out and fought.

The question is, what can you yourself do to change this system? There is no need to feel guilty for your privileges. Be aware of them, try to deconstruct them and most importantly: talk. Talking will not always be easy, it will most likely be uncomfortable and it might anger and frustrate the people you talk with. But staying silent is not an option. Staying silent means divulging in the privileges you have and enforcing a racist society to strive and grow.

"Why I&aposm No Longer Talking to Black People about Race."

Consider that statement if you want to read this book. Avoid the mental gymnastics of postmodernism. Ask yourself, "does this statement show love and respect to other humans?"

If you answered no, then you are not a moron. Stay that way. Treat people as individuals, not as stereotypes. "Why I'm No Longer Talking to Black People about Race."

Consider that statement if you want to read this book. Avoid the mental gymnastics of postmodernism. Ask yourself, "does this statement show love and respect to other humans?"

If you answered no, then you are not a moron. Stay that way. Treat people as individuals, not as stereotypes. . more

My wife is from Bangladesh, we will have been married for twenty years this december and have two wonderful daughters.

My point: I have had more racist abuse from blacks and asians since we have been married and my wife as had almost nothing in comparison. In fact the police found it very funny that my wife phoned them because it was I that was getting the racist abuse at our house not her at the time. It&aposs amazing that they can laugh at white people for getting raci Utter crap!

My wife is from Bangladesh, we will have been married for twenty years this december and have two wonderful daughters.

My point: I have had more racist abuse from blacks and asians since we have been married and my wife as had almost nothing in comparison. In fact the police found it very funny that my wife phoned them because it was I that was getting the racist abuse at our house not her at the time. It's amazing that they can laugh at white people for getting racist abuse but not the other way round.

I was (many years ago), waiting for a bus in East Ham when a young asian woman with a baby was racialy abused by a black guy, because she was pushing a buggy and going slow he points at her shouting, "Why don't you fuck off back to YOUR own country bitch".
Not being able to let this stand I responded that "She has got as much right to be in MY country as you". The emphasis on "my" was the response to him saying "your". The frustration I felt was because there was no white people involved in the initial altercation it was ignored by everyone around me, but if it was a white guy everyone around me would have exploded.
In the end I was rewarded with a thank you and a smile knowing that not everyones a bastard.

Black and asians are becoming openly racist and the native white population are not supposed to retaliate, the title of the book reflects this very well. If the title had the words black people there would be an outcry.

I am certainly not racist but this book would make me change my mind if not for my wife and daughters.

This book is erratic, poorly researched and without substance and partial truths. The author should not have been allowed to publish this one sided racist argument.
A book that only fans the flames rather than extinguishes them.

Before anyone throws a hissy fit let me point out that to only way for us to marry was if I converted to islam.

PS: We only have one world so shut up and let's all get along, hey.

Shhhh. I still do not tolerate religion. . more

Reni Eddo-Lodge opens up her provocative and challenging viral blogpost of 2014 into a 224-page (big type) book that has something to say, but says it unbelievably poorly. Eddo-Lodge may be right that ‘structural’ (institutionalised) racism is the biggest problem facing Britain today, she’s definitely right that anti-immigrant narratives are cynically used by those in power to divide the working class, and her early insights into whiteness being the ‘default’ from which everything is forced to d Reni Eddo-Lodge opens up her provocative and challenging viral blogpost of 2014 into a 224-page (big type) book that has something to say, but says it unbelievably poorly. Eddo-Lodge may be right that ‘structural’ (institutionalised) racism is the biggest problem facing Britain today, she’s definitely right that anti-immigrant narratives are cynically used by those in power to divide the working class, and her early insights into whiteness being the ‘default’ from which everything is forced to deviate (unless it will try to conform) are incisive and valuable. But her narrative voice – which she complains is too often characterised as ‘angry’ because she’s a black woman – is increasingly monotonous, patronising and illogical, with vast leaps between evidence and conclusions, and she repeatedly misrepresents or mischaracterises dissenters and their views (whether socialist commentators or those who opposed Rhodes Must Fall), slinging accusations at them which simply aren’t borne out by the case studies she offers.

Eddo-Lodge isn’t a historian – the selected examples of 20th century British racism are horrific but presented with no real coherent commentary or through-line – she isn’t a particularly good writer, and she seems to lack the rigorousness, contextual aptitude and transmittable empathy to be a decent polemicist. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by James Baldwin, but this haphazard book – containing one isolated piece of council reporting, much re-hashing of Twitterstorms about black Hermione et al, and an exclusive interview with Nick Griffin, the author apparently labouring under the misapprehension that otherwise he can sue her for libel for quoting him on Question Time – is frankly all over the shop. Her overall thesis – that the dice are loaded against black people from the start, that white people unthinkingly benefit from this system and that intersectionality in feminism is essential – is absolutely sound, but a lot of her arguments are conjecture, and a lot of her contentions are nonsense. Like the idea that Britain failed to take the killing of Stephen Lawrence and the purposefully botched investigation seriously. Or that Diane Abbott’s moronic statement after the eventual trial came to entirely dominate the news agenda, scuppering the chance to have a serious debate about the issues involved. She’s right that modern black history should be taught in school, but wrong that it’s entirely kept out of the mainstream: I learnt of the Windrush at university and of the Brixton and Notting Hill riots by reading newspapers. We studied Stephen Lawrence in extraordinary depth in lessons for three different school subjects, and from personal, social and political perspectives.

Every so often she’ll say something that catches you completely off-guard, and causes you to question and interrogate your beliefs, and that’s where the book is valuable. She’s great on the failings of ‘colourblindness’ and at dismantling the argument against quotas, does well at challenging the unions and the Labour Party for their culpability in racism, and (more comfortably) at highlighting conservative hypocrisy in adopting progressive language to further reactionary ends. The personal insights are quite moving at first, but she also engages in some utterly unedifying score-settling (largely aimed at white feminists), and absolutely loses her shit about an acquaintance who failed to believe that Eddo-Lodge definitely failed to get a job due to racism. The author’s evidence for this racism is that she had the same qualifications as the person who got the job, and is sure that it was racism. She’s poor, too, at suggesting how we effect change, tripping herself up with unyielding ideology. She says that racism is a white problem but that white people can’t be at the vanguard of the fight against it, at least not in multi-ethnic spheres, which isn’t only confusing, but also unhelpful and patronising.

It’s incredibly important to listen to diverse voices, but being one of those voices doesn’t excuse you from the basic duties of writing, research and logic. This is a poor polemic: disjointed, misleading and too often repetitive when it should be relentless, its genuine insights lost in a shapeless collection of personal beefs, yellowing Twitterstorms and disparate case studies. Eddo-Lodge doesn’t care how she comes across, which is good for her, as she comes across as someone who’s so intolerant of others that she manages to rub you up the wrong way, despite being in the right. . more

i planned on writing a full review of this, but i think all i need to say is:

if you are British and you haven&apost read this book, change that.

if you are a white feminist and you haven&apost read this book, change that.

if you think reverse racism is real and you haven&apost read this book, change that.

if you doubt the worth of affirmative action, if you feel icky about the growing numbers of immigrants in your country, if you are a white person with a Black family member who doesn&apost understand what that fa i planned on writing a full review of this, but i think all i need to say is:

if you are British and you haven't read this book, change that.

if you are a white feminist and you haven't read this book, change that.

if you think reverse racism is real and you haven't read this book, change that.

if you doubt the worth of affirmative action, if you feel icky about the growing numbers of immigrants in your country, if you are a white person with a Black family member who doesn't understand what that family member needs from you.

this is essential reading.

allow this title to remind you: it is NEVER the responsibility of Black people to teach you about racism. educate yourself. all the resources are there. do not place the emotional burden of explaining marginalization on the marginalized.

i am spending this month reading books by Black authors. please join me!

book 1: The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
book 2: Homegoing
book 3: Let's Talk about Love
book 4: Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race . more

One of the best books I have ever read, Why I&aposm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is essential reading for anyone who cares about social justice, other people, and the state of our society. Reni Eddo-Lodge provides a thorough and incisive history of slavery and racism in Britain, followed by several powerful chapters about white privilege, white-washed feminism, race and class, and more. I want to emulate her writing style: it is assertive and provocative, and every word feels fierce One of the best books I have ever read, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is essential reading for anyone who cares about social justice, other people, and the state of our society. Reni Eddo-Lodge provides a thorough and incisive history of slavery and racism in Britain, followed by several powerful chapters about white privilege, white-washed feminism, race and class, and more. I want to emulate her writing style: it is assertive and provocative, and every word feels fierce and necessary, with no wasted space in this text at all. She strikes a perfect balance between conveying how entrenched and all-encompassing racism really is, while offering hope that we can fight white supremacy as long as we act. She refuses to coddle whiteness and instead discusses how we should move beyond protecting white fragility. I marked at least a dozen passages, but one I wanted to share about feminism which I absolutely loved:

"Feminism is not about equality, and certainly not about silently slipping into a world of work created by and for men. Feminism, at its best, is a movement that works to liberate all people who have been economically, socially, and culturally marginalised by an ideological system that has been designed for them to fail. That means disabled people, black people, trans people, women and non-binary people, LGB people and working-class people. The idea of campaigning for equality must be complicated if we are to untangle the situation we're in. Feminism will have won when we have ended poverty. It will have won when women are no longer expected to work two jobs (the care and emotional labour for their families as well as their day jobs) by default."

On a personal note, reading this book served as such a cathartic experience for me as a person of color. It is painful to recall and to write about the racism I have experienced, like when a white high school English teacher always made me feel awful about my writing because of my Asian identity, or when a white woman tone-policed me and called me passive-aggressive for pointing out her problematic actions toward Asian Americans. I feel so grateful for Reni Eddo-Lodge for reminding me of the importance of using my voice to advocate for liberation even when it hurts. Her strategies of setting boundaries with defensive white people, of acknowledging her own privilege, and of continuing to speak out all inspired me to be bolder and more thoughtful in my own activism.

Recommended to literally everyone, of course. I am grateful for my handful of white friends who show up for racial justice without seeking praise and special treatment. I hope this book will inspire more to join the cause. I will end this review with a quote about how white people can contribute to the movement:

"I also believe that white people who recognise racism have an incredibly important part to play. That part can't be played while wallowing in guilt. White support looks like financial or administrative assistance to the groups doing vital work. Or intervening when you are needed in bystander situations. Support looks like white advocacy for anti-racist causes in all-white spaces. White people, you need to talk to other white people about race." . more

Racism is a virus, but as long as well meaning, but terribly mislead mental anti vaxxers keep avoiding changing their worldview, overcoming their subconscious bias and agenda, and aren´t willing to openly debate important topics without being offended, it keeps spreading in sophisticated parts of the population that deem themselves progressive, open minded, and pro equality and emancipation, promoting structural racism trough white fragility.

An example that an idea in a blog can be expanded to Racism is a virus, but as long as well meaning, but terribly mislead mental anti vaxxers keep avoiding changing their worldview, overcoming their subconscious bias and agenda, and aren´t willing to openly debate important topics without being offended, it keeps spreading in sophisticated parts of the population that deem themselves progressive, open minded, and pro equality and emancipation, promoting structural racism trough white fragility.

An example that an idea in a blog can be expanded to a very sharp criticism of self righteous, bigoted arguments, that small steps can accumulate to books changing the perspective for many.

Once again, I don´t get the people hating the truth and its harbingers, their sad, restricted minds would be pitiful, if they and the media and system that made them wouldn´t be so dangerous and destructive. It´s not as if this was a humanities style mind game, it are real, true, hard facts, impossible to ignore if one has just a grain of anti opportunistic thinking inside one´s mind.

I do completely understand and promote the opinion behind the title, because most of the elitist, white population and the average population is blind to the harsh reality for most of the world´s population, unable and unwilling to consume critical and progressive media, read books, have own opinions, and prefer to stay with nothing more than repeating the stupid mantras they hear from whatever apologists they prefer to consume.

Proselytizing misguided activists that are worsening the problem by doing as if no more structural violence and inherent social, political, and economic problems exist, doesn´t work, faith has done its job and lead to total isolation from the willingness to change. Aggression and denial will always be the answer, the longer they´ve been so called activists, social justice warriors, and torchbearers of political correctness, the fewer may overthink what lies behind the easy, happy go lucky, unicorn, fairytale, lies many adults love to tell themselves to keep the self-deceit engine running on high tolerance levels.

Average people don´t really have a chance, from history books to news channels, from education to friends, from politics to relationships, a dulling system of wrong harmony and fringe cultural evolution, a doing as if no problems exist anymore, an extremely subtle system of bigotry, has been established to enable an until before unreached dimension of mendacity, duplicity, and misery beyond the gated communities. The whole system brainwashes people do as if they would be living in an enlightened utopia, encouraging them to be active to keep worsening the problem and waste their time, energy, and intelligence with propaganda telling that everything is fine, never mentioning serious topics, always just driveling about anecdotes, personal tragedies, and the one or other deeper going problem in faraway countries, never on the same continent, not to speak in the same country, unimaginable. Because everything is great there because of their altruistic activism, ok, and everything thinking something else is an as….

aspiring, real progressive who wants to help them in overcoming their logical fallacies.

The book reminded me of
DiAngelo Robin´s White Fragility
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4.
and
Solnit Rebecca´s Men explain things to me
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1.
The setting is similar and I just can´t realize why privileged, rich, wannabe sophisticated and intellectual people, just don´t get and understand the underlying problem of their own agenda, biases, and blindness and react small children defiant phase style, are hurt, feel discriminated themselves or, favorite option, just ignore anything that doesn´t correspond to their secretly extremely conservative worldview. It´s so ridiculous, people who are rich and privileged because of the consequences of a history of violence, racism, slavery, war, oppression,… are doing as if they are feeling bad, victim rolling around like mad, tweeting sad, because they are confronted with the real world. As soon as one sided ideologies, even seemingly positive, progressive ones, are involved, forget it.

I´ve mentioned some points that fit in this context too in my reviews of this 2 amazing works
White fragility
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.
and Men explain things to me.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.

I guess I´ve already had some redundancies in these reviews, so instead of repeating myself, I decided to just troll around a bit and give the links instead. Same underlying problem, same manifestations, same lack of solutions.

Subjective resume: After having stopped talking about many no gos, such as meta and macro economics, politics, faith, sports teams, favorite beers, etc., I´ve insted directly tried talking to humans, but what shall I say, there is no state to make with indoctrinated demagogue fan girls and boys. Just invest in the youth, the next generation, the kids, and the very few progressive elder ones and forget the rest. They won´t change and you waste your time interacting with them, could have talked to, and worked with open minded people towards sustainable change instead. The older I get, the more ageism is getting a problem, isn´t it ironic, soon I´ll hate even myself and not just all I´m ranting about. Sad. Shouldn´t I instead begin disliking what the youth does?

A note to my trusty review readers: Guess I am jumping off the depressing, ideology fueled nonfiction train soon here for a while, just a hand full left to read, and it doesn´t really help with being hopeful, positive, or less misanthropic. Saying that it takes energy and motivation would be a bit too pathetic and untrue, because I am pretty cold and hardened, but of course one subconsciously becomes, in an individually very varying extent, the creature of what one does, says, reads, eats, plays, etc. Especially these 3 books showed me the dimension of problems so huge that they leave one hopeless, at least for 1 or 2 other generations, breeding further evolved humans by removing epigenetic issues from the ape domestication and behavior cultivation process just takes time.

Some reading is, as said, still to be done and reviewed, especially
Khan Cullors Patrisse´s When they call you a terrorist A black lives matter memoir
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3.
Gay Roxana´s Not that bad Dispatches from rape culture
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3.
Lindy West´s The Witches are coming
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3.
and
Kantor Jodi´s She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4.

but most of what had to be read is read, said, reviewed, inappropriately dark humor satirized, internalized, and hopefully spread as wide as possible.

Certainly, new, world improving works may come, I look forward to more inspiring, solution filled books, but for the moment, I think that it ´s this hand full of a few dozen books I´ve read and listed (ok, these are hundreds) in my social criticism and social progress shelves, hardly anyone reads, that could change society. The thousands of also important works showing all the grievances are of course essential too, but solutions, in a political and societal climate unable to achieve compromises and convergence, are much more expedient.

Spreading the word has alpha priority, I hope I´ve done my tiny, insignificant part, learned a lot on this journey, and I hope I could give the one or other reading inspiration. Devour such books, spread the word, open minds, crush the phantasmagorias of well meaning people that just didn´t have the possibility and literature to understand that they are unwillingly part of the problem instead of the solution.

This book was prompted by the viral response that resulted from the posting of this message on the author&aposs blog. I think the message is worth reading because it provides an excellent articulation of the near impossibility of communicating the fact of structural racism to white people who happen to be unwitting beneficiaries of it.

Below I&aposve listed the main terms defined, explored and discussed in this book. The definitions are as I understand them to be from reading the book. My definitions This book was prompted by the viral response that resulted from the posting of this message on the author's blog. I think the message is worth reading because it provides an excellent articulation of the near impossibility of communicating the fact of structural racism to white people who happen to be unwitting beneficiaries of it.

Below I've listed the main terms defined, explored and discussed in this book. The definitions are as I understand them to be from reading the book. My definitions are my own translation of the author's narrative and are no substitute for reading the book:

Racism is prejudice with power. That means that minorities without power can't be racist.

Structural racism is the summation of expectations, associations, and social forces that are assumed to be the norm in daily life. Their presence is so pervasive that their existence is often not recognized.

White privilege is "absence of the consequences of racism."

White feminism refers to the campaign for women's rights while continuing to be blind to racism.

Class is often used as a code word for racist views (e.g. white working class).

The history, social conditions and current events described in this book are focused on Great Britain, the author's native country. My first thought was that it was unfortunate that this sort of message wasn't focused on my own country, the USA. But on second thought I decided this book's message may be able to reach white Americans by allowing them to be less defensive about its message because it's about another country. If white Americans can comprehend racism in Britain they may be a step closer to understanding it at home.

I was attracted to the book because 0f its title. Even though I'm white (and implicitly beneficiary of white privilege), I believe I share some of the same frustration that the title conveys. For a number of years I've noticed that the most racist people I know are the ones who preface their pontifications with the phrase, "I'm not a racist but . "

Talking to people like that about racism is the equivalent of talking to a brick wall, and if they have a disposition to be angry and threatened their words in reply can become the equivalent of thrown bricks. Thus, when I saw the title that expressed the futility of taking to white people about racism, I thought I understood the sentiment.

According to this book if you claim to be color blind regarding race, you may be participating in the promotion of white privilege. Being color blind often makes people blind to the consequences of past wrongs and thus blind to structural racism today.

This book says that racism is a problem for whites to solve because the power to do so resides with them. It is a problem that "reveals the anxieties, hypocrisies and double standards of whiteness. It is a problem in the psyche of whiteness that white people must take responsibility to solve."

Toward the end of the book the author says that white people often ask her what they can do about racism—people of color ask how to cope with it. Among her suggestions for white people is that they speak to unsympathetic white people—exactly the LAST THING that I want to do. Well, maybe I can simply suggest they read this book.

I want to also mention that the audio version of this book is narrated by the author, Reni Eddo-Lodge, and she does a good job. The emotion pent-up behind the book's text really comes through.
__________

Link to article by the author from The Guardian (Thu 28 Mar 2019):
https://www.theguardian.com/commentis. . more

Race and racism in the UK. Readable, powerful, persuasive, informative, important.

I like to think of myself as a nice woolly liberal (BrE, which is tantamount to “socialist” in AmE), an ally of minorities and the oppressed. I’m conscious of my privilege as white, middle-class, straight, and able-bodied, and have rarely felt disadvantaged by the patriarchy despite (or because of?) working in a male-dominated field. But there are few people of colour in places I’ve lived, studied, or worked, and Race and racism in the UK. Readable, powerful, persuasive, informative, important.

I like to think of myself as a nice woolly liberal (BrE, which is tantamount to “socialist” in AmE), an ally of minorities and the oppressed. I’m conscious of my privilege as white, middle-class, straight, and able-bodied, and have rarely felt disadvantaged by the patriarchy despite (or because of?) working in a male-dominated field. But there are few people of colour in places I’ve lived, studied, or worked, and my knowledge of black history and culture is skimpy.

The anti-apartheid movement was a hot-button issue when I was at university, and with the growing profile of Black Lives Matter in recent years, I’ve learned more about African-American history and current US race issues. But I knew very little of black British history and experience. This book was an excellent start to remedying that.

It opens with a long, readable, and revelatory chapter of black British history. Subsequent chapters explore white privilege, fear of a black planet, the specific causes and manifestations of systemic racism (broader than institutional racism), and the intersections of race, feminism, and class. It ends with a short, but oddly non-specific, call to angry action.


Image: A black and a white hand, clasped (Source.)

There is a difference between ignorance and malice.
This book won't cure malice (racists are unlikely to read it anyway), but it has made me more informed, more aware, more understanding of what it's like to be a person of colour in the UK (and why), and hopefully a better ally. A good start.

The first two chapters (nearly half the book) were easily 5* and I recommend them to all British people, though they’re also good for non-Brits who want to understand our country. The later chapters used personal incidents to make more generic and familiar points. In those chapters, the tone was angrier, some relevant issues weren’t mentioned, and ultimately, it wasn’t much practical help. (Those last two points reflect my wants and expectations more than a fault in the book itself.)

We’re not the good guys

While the black British story is starved of oxygen, the US struggle against racism is globalised… so much so that we convince ourselves that Britain has never had a problem with race.

Almost no one wants to think of themselves as racist. We want to be the good guys, or at least, not the bad guys. Many of us were explicitly taught that Britain was and is a force for good in the world. Sure, we had an empire, but the supposed gift of civilisation is considered mitigation for atrocities - the worst of which are never mentioned anyway.

There were no slaves toiling in the fields of England’s green and pleasant land (though a few slaves were brought here).
British people saw the money without the blood.
Our history teachers proudly tell us that we led the global abolition of slavery, but rarely note that slave owners were handsomely compensated, while the slaves themselves were given no statutory assistance to build free lives.

We never had legal segregation or apartheid on our shores - but we ignored or even supported it in other countries, and landlords and employers could legally reject people on the basis of colour until the 1960s. We may not have been the worst, but we were not the best. We still have a long way to go.


Image: Banksy’s suggestion for what to do with the statue of slave-trader, Edward Colston, that protestors recently pulled down and rolled into Bristol docks: put it in a museum, with added protestors (Source.)

The bar of racism has been set by the easily condemnable activity of white extremists and white nationalism… We tell ourselves that good people can’t be racists… that racism is about moral values, when instead it’s about the survival strategy of systemic power.

This book shines a light on covert racism, microaggressions, and the cumulative effects of bias that are easy to miss if you’re a white person who is not consciously, let alone overtly, racist. It also covers infamous injustices such as “suss laws” (stop and search) and the Stephen Lawrence case, as well uprisings (race riots).

Insisting that we don’t see race is tantamount to compulsory assimilation…
In order to dismantle unjust, racist structures, we must see race.

Saying you don’t see colour and that you treat everyone the same sounds open-minded and positive, but like “All lives matter”, it ignores current reality and dismisses the pain and disadvantage caused by racial inequality.

Since the start of the millennium, mixed race has been the fastest growing ethnic group in this country. That is a positive measure of acceptance, inclusiveness, and progress - if you’re a privileged white liberal like me. For mixed race families, it’s not so simple, and the many complexities are sensitively dissected in ways I’d never fully appreciated. It’s especially important that such families DO see race - even if one parent is hurt that their child identifies as the other parent’s race.

I’m not sure how colour-blind casting on stage and screen fits with this, as it is not mentioned. It’s explicitly not seeing colour, and forcing the audience to attempt the same (except where it’s deliberately applying a racial lens to a story), but it’s usually hailed as good and inclusive, and it certainly makes more roles available for people of colour. Sometimes it refreshes a familiar work, but other times, it’s distractingly unrealistic, which surely benefits no one. The 2019 version of The Personal History of David Copperfield is quirky, brings out the humour, and is worth seeing, but it’s the casting that is instantly notable. Dev Patel (British Asian) as David was excellent and you can either ignore his colour or read it as an extra layer of how he’s treated, but no one batting an eyelid at wealthy white Steerforth having a black mother was, literally, incredible.


Image: Some of the 2019 cast of David Copperfield (but neither of the Steerforths) (Source.)

• Cath Clarke wrote about colour-blind casting in relation to Copperfield, HERE.
• Dalya Alberge spoke to people including Debra Ann Byrd, founder of Harlem Shakespeare Festival, who argues that there is no such thing as colour-blind casting because everyone sees colour, HERE.

The idea of white privilege forces white people who aren't actively racist to confront their own complicity in its continued existence. White privilege is dull, grinding complacency.

White people don’t necessarily notice their privilege many don’t even think of themselves as having a racial identity, just a national identity. People of colour are aware of their racial identity before they understand it, and their national identity will always be open to question.

White privilege is an absence of the negative consequences of racism.
People who are white but also poor, disabled, or otherwise disadvantaged don’t feel privileged in the general sense. Understanding that is useful, but what to do about it when mentioning their white privilege can kindle the resentment that fuels UKIP, The British National Party (BNP), and worse?

Free speech doesn’t mean the right to say what you want without rebuttal.

This is topical and important (it mentions false equivalence used in arguments and of giving equal air-time/column-inches to unequal sources etc), but no great revelations, imo. The most interesting element is the transcript of Eddo-Lodge interviewing Nick Griffin, former leader of the BNP, coupled with her doubts about giving him a platform. I think it’s to her credit and readers’ benefit that she did.

Black and white, but not brown

This is specifically about black and white, and the discussion of mixed race people is black/white. It's not really for Eddo-Lodge to explain the experience of people of Asian (= Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Sri Lankan), Chinese, Japanese, and SE Asian, let alone Jewish heritage, but it would be good if the likely similarities and differences were at least mentioned, perhaps with links to other sources.

My blackness was as much a part of me as my womanhood, and I couldn’t separate them.

Eddo-Lodge was a feminist before she was an anti-racist, and she was shocked and angry to discover that many white feminists were uninterested in the issues faced by black women specifically. Perhaps another factor is familiarity: everyone has men and women in their family, but many families are monoracial.

There’s tension when different factors overlap: race, gender, sexuality (oddly omitted from the book), and class, but they compound each other. There’s a fear of diluting or fracturing one of the causes, but it makes no sense to campaign for one minority group and ignore others. And if you do pick one, what does that imply? Others criticise intersectionality as “minority Top Trumps”.

People of colour are more likely to be poor, so she criticises the phrase “white working class” as suggesting two separate disadvantages that are in direct competition with each other, when their disadvantage comes from the advantages of the middle and upper class, not from people of colour. But sometimes it’s necessary to identify different groups, especially after the exhortations to see colour, and she suggests no alternative term.

• Racism is more than prejudice: it has power behind it, the power to discriminate to the disadvantage of people of colour.

• “Non-white” suggests something is missing and reinforces the idea of white as the norm and therefore everything else as… not.

• “Institutional racism [is] a form of collective behaviour, a workplace culture, supported by a structural status quo, and a consensus - often excused and ignored by authorities.”

• “The modesty expectation is just as limiting and judgemental as the compulsory bikini-body.”

• “There’s an old saying that the straight man’s homophobia is rooted in a fear that gay men will treat him as he treats women. This [racism] is no different.”

• “If, as they say, racism doesn’t exist, and black people have nothing to complain about, why are they so afraid of white people becoming the new minority?”


Image: See colour. (Source.)

This book arose from a blog post of the same title. The book goes way beyond the themes of that, but if you don't have time for the book just now, at least read the blog post, HERE. . more

From the moment I started reading, I could not put this book down. I literally had to start rationing chapters so that I could actually get some uni work done.

This is one of the most eye-opening, thought-provoking, and paradigm-shifting books I have ever read, and I&aposm so glad I picked it up. The cover and title are, of course, extremely provocative, and it&aposs bold statements like this that prick up our ears and lure us in. If you are a white reader, before you immediately deny your complicity in From the moment I started reading, I could not put this book down. I literally had to start rationing chapters so that I could actually get some uni work done.

This is one of the most eye-opening, thought-provoking, and paradigm-shifting books I have ever read, and I'm so glad I picked it up. The cover and title are, of course, extremely provocative, and it's bold statements like this that prick up our ears and lure us in. If you are a white reader, before you immediately deny your complicity in racism, read a few chapters. Then reassess your judgement.

What I realised is that I had been benefitting from a system my ENTIRE life without even recognising that this was entirely because of the colour of my skin, and reading something this incredible is the catalyst I needed to start making changes. Reni Eddo-Lodge doesn't want you to feel guilty, she wants you to change. And that is exactly what we must do. . more

The Centrality of Race

Eddo-Lodge’s concern is not with prejudice, the irrational bias by white people against people of colour. It is with what she calls ‘structural racism’ for which overt racial prejudice is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition. Structural racism is what is left after all the explicit legal, technical and other formal constraints on the developmental possibilities available for people of colour have been largely removed. Structural racism is cultural it is invisible The Centrality of Race

Eddo-Lodge’s concern is not with prejudice, the irrational bias by white people against people of colour. It is with what she calls ‘structural racism’ for which overt racial prejudice is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition. Structural racism is what is left after all the explicit legal, technical and other formal constraints on the developmental possibilities available for people of colour have been largely removed. Structural racism is cultural it is invisible and it, not the rules and regulations, has always been the source of the ‘racial problem’ - not only in Britain but throughout that part of the world dominated by European culture.

Structural racism is the result of unrecognised presumptions by white people - and also by ‘assimilated’ black people - that are psychologically ingrained and sociologically enforced to mistrust, malign, demean, dismiss, and discount the abilities and competence of black people. And because white people hold the power to hire, fire, reward, punish, recognise or ignore black people, these presumptions become racism. The effects of these presumptions are rarely dramatic or even discourteous: “White privilege is dull, grinding complacency.”

The presumptions involved need not be consciously held. They are in fact most powerful when they are unrealised and unexpressed. The central presumption is one that is held not by the overt racist but by the self-designated anti-racist: that race does not matter. This is the only presumption necessary, that race does not exist, for racism to flourish. Whiteness is not a neutral characteristic which can be ignored in order to nullify its effects, its entitlement, its privilege. It represents an absence of all the existential conditions for those who are the victims of racism.

Like it or not, in today’s society, to be white is a sufficient condition for being racist. This is precisely Eddo-Lodge’s experience: “The claim to not see race is tantamount to compulsory assimilation. My blackness has been politicised against my will, but I don’t want it wilfully ignored in an effort to instil some sort of precarious, false harmony. And, though many placate themselves with the colour-blindness lie, the. drastic differences in life chances along race lines show that while it might be being preached by our institutions, it’s not being practised.”

The cure for this inherent racism is not to examine oneself for residual prejudices this may produce guilt but not effective action. Rather the essential therapy, if I understand Eddo-Lodge correctly, is to develop an appreciation of what it is to be black in a white man’s world, to understand the range of intended or incidental slights, suspicions, exclusions, and denigrations which a black person endures as a matter of course. This is of course extremely difficult to accomplish. Among other things it demands that one be constantly open to education - mostly from black people - about when, where and how these apparently trivial, but cumulatively profound, events occur.

This is a bitter pill for those who consider themselves the allies of anti-racism and she knows it. “Who really wants to be alerted,” Eddo-Lodge says, “to a structural system that benefits them at the expense of others?” And she knows that it simply is not easy to see what’s missing: “In culture particularly, the positive affirmations of whiteness are so widespread that the average white person doesn’t even notice them.” The essence of white privilege is its diffuse ubiquity: “White privilege manifests itself in everyone and no one. Everyone is complicit, but no one wants to take on responsibility.” Overcoming white privilege is intimately personal and non-political, and for just those reasons extremely difficult.

“Seeing race is essential to changing the system,” she says. Attacking racism therefore implies seeing the absence of people of colour on television and in film the absence of memorials to the victims of slavery the absence of the history of exploitation of black people by white people in school textbooks and popular history documentaries the absence of criticism of those white cultural heroes like the founding fathers in America and the pillars of British society who participated in this exploitation. Without this sort of positive, painful, persistent empathy, structural racism will continue to exist for generations and centuries to come.

Whether one agrees with her or not, Eddo-Lodge has to be taken seriously for what she has accomplished: the articulation of a devastating, factual description of the world from inside black skin. That experience she summarises as a “manipulative, suffocating blanket of power that envelops everything we know, like a snowy day.” I don’t see how this can be gainsaid as anything but truth. . more

This book was an eye-opener in so many ways, especially so, because the author is a woman of colour reflecting on and illustrating her experiences of racism in Britain. And of course, as a white person, you never reach a point where you should not educate yourself. I am very glad I picked up this book. It encouraged me to educate myself more about intersectional Feminism. I have been aware of this topic and tried to practice the principles. Naturally, the book revealed the many areas whic 5 ★★★★★

This book was an eye-opener in so many ways, especially so, because the author is a woman of colour reflecting on and illustrating her experiences of racism in Britain. And of course, as a white person, you never reach a point where you should not educate yourself. I am very glad I picked up this book. It encouraged me to educate myself more about intersectional Feminism. I have been aware of this topic and tried to practice the principles. Naturally, the book revealed the many areas which require work on my part and this is where I want to start.

The book is structured as follows:

1 Histories
2 The System
3 What is White Privilege
4 Fear of a Black Planet
5 The Feminism Question
6 Race and Class
7 There is no justice, There's Just Us
Aftermath

I encourage everybody to read this book.
If you think the title actually reflects the content of the book - wrong. Although it does to some extent, there is so much more to this manifesto. Read this book.
If you think racism doesn't concern you - wrong. Read this book.
If you are white and believe you "overcame" racist behaviour - wrong. Read this book.
If you feel alone or abandoned in your struggle against day-to-day-racism or the racist system - wrong. Read this book.
If you are actively educating yourself about racism - read this book.

As a simple summary will do no good here, I would just like to give some of the quotes that resonated with me or made me think over my own behaviour.

And it's definitely a book that I, myself, will start recommending to people. Reni Eddo-Lodge has a very distinct and clear voice. I liked that she displayed her thoughts in such a structured way, and didn't try to sound academic or elaborate. This book is really for the average person trying to educate themselves. You don't need a degree in Gender of African Studies to understand it, and that's why I appreciate it so much.

On 22 February 2014, Reni Eddo-Lodge published a post on her blog entitled Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race. She wrote about the fact that she can no longer engage with the gulf of an emotional disconnect that white people display when a person of colour articulates their experience, and that she can't have a conversation with them about the details of a problem if they don't even recognise that the problem exists.

These are sentiments that most black people can probably relate to. Discussions about race, whether on- or offline, can be damn frustrating and emotionally draining. Oftentimes, one has the feeling that white people don't even want to listen, they just want to prove you wrong.

It's really refreshing that Reni doesn't feel like she owes white people anything. She puts herself first – self-care and self-preservation are her top priority, and if talking to white people about race wasn't a give and take for her, but just a give, I'm glad she put a halt to that.

She starts her examination by looking at Britain's history with racism. Slavery as a British institution existed for much longer than it has currently been abolished. The damage is still to be undone.

She distinguishes between simple discrimination and discrimination + power. Only the latter should be called racism. She states that structural racism is an impenetrably white workplace culture set by those people, where anyone who falls outside the culture must conform or face failure. It is the kind of racism that has the power to drastically impact people's life chances. It doesn't manifest itself in spitting at strangers in the street. Instead, it lies in an apologetic smile while explaining to an unlucky soul that they didn't get a job.

I think that distinction is very important, and, sadly, something that most white people still don't get. I will never understand why they see the fact that one can't be racist towards them as an insult? As if being racially targeted was somehow desireable?

I also highly appreciated that Reni proved her statements with recent studies. Research indicates that a black schoolboy is three times more likely to be permanently excluded compared to the whole school population. He will also be systematically marked down by his own teachers. Researchers found that applicants with white-sounding names were called to interview far more often than those with African- or Asian-sounding names.

A 2013 British report revealed that black people are twice as likely to be charged with drugs possession, despite lower rates of drug use. A 2003 NHS England report confirmed that people of African or African Carribean backgrounds are more at risk than any other ethnic group in England to be admitted to psychiatric hospitals under the compulsory powers of the Mental Health Act. In 2015, just 7 percent of judges across courts and tribunals were black or from an ethnic minority background.

We don't live in a meritocracy and to pretend that simple hard work will elevate all to success is an exercise of willful ignorance.

One of the best sections in the book is where she dissects white privilege. She defines it as 'an absence of the consequences of racism. White privilege is the fact that if you're white, your race will almost certainly positively impact your life's trajectory in some way.'

I also highly appreciated that she, as the kids say, checked her own privilege, by admitting that she is university-educated and able-bodied – factors which bolster her own voice above others. I think it's very important to be aware of the fact that you can be privileged in some areas and not in others.

Another excellent section is her dissection of the feminism question, and in particular the problem of 'white feminism'. She asks herself the important questions: Can you be feminist and be anti-choice? Can you be a feminist and be wilfully ignorant on racism? Spoilert alert: The answer to both is NO.

“When do you think we’ll get to an end point?”

“There is no end point in sight,’ I reply. ‘You can’t skip to the resolution without having the difficult, messy conversation first. We’re still in the hard bit.”

“When do you think we’ll get to an end point?”

“There is no end point in sight,’ I reply. ‘You can’t skip to the resolution without having the difficult, messy conversation first. We’re still in the hard bit.”

In 2014, Reni Eddo-Lodge made a blog post, from where emerges the book title, about why she does not want to talk to white people about race. The response was overwhelming, both from whites and people of color. Motivated by the response, she decided to continue the conversation in this book in an attempt to bridge the gap that exists in a discourse about race.

This book is personal, it’s not about grander ideas of life and history. She does discuss politics and history but they are reflected upon from her perspective. Her dissatisfaction with conversations about race are reflected loud and clear in this book. This is one of the reasons why I’d recommend this to everyone. White, brown, blue, green, whatever your skin color is, you should read this book. In any conversation about race, Eddo-Lodge’s experience is important to listen to.

Eddo-Lodge’s words hit many cords with me. There are cases where I could too easily relate to the frustrations she expresses. One instance of this is when she brings up the subject of the ‘good’ racist (or the moderate white person who is often the greater threat, the ‘non-racist’) as opposed to the ones who are explicitly malicious. Another is when she talks about the superficiality of the left’s aghast at Jeremy Corbyn’s win in UK elections (easily relatable to the US version of Corbyn in 2016). The 2016 election exposed American Democrats in a way that hadn’t been expected before. Let us not be fooled, even during the Women’s March in January 2017, a lot of racist white women came out to rally in the name of feminism after having voted to gut the rights of marginalized communities.

In her chapter on defining and understanding white privilege, Eddo-Lodge states, “white privilege is an absence of the consequences of racism…White privilege is dull, grinding complacency.” I certainly agree, however, her approach to the topic made me interested to see how white people would define it today (if they consider it a thing at all, that is). Another surprising tidbit she reveals here was that the term ‘white privilege’ was created by a white man. Isn’t that something?

On the topic of feminism, we also have to address the battle between feminism and intersectional feminism. Being that intersectional has to precede the term ‘feminism’ in order to include the ‘other’, which the default feminism often dismisses, herein emerges an issue of class where one or more persons might not even be able to define intersectionality to understand what intersectional feminism stands for. It sounds rather silly at first but upon consideration, is it truly? Why must intersectional have to precede feminism in order for us to address the problems with privileged (white) feminism?

But again, her argument echoes mine when it comes to feminism as a whole. That is, “When feminists can see the problem with all-male panels, but can’t see the problem with all-white television programmes, it’s worth questioning who they’re really fighting for.”

I don’t agree with Eddo-Lodge 100% of the time obviously, nor can I always relate, but this is still a voice worth listening. Right or wrong, agree or disagree, I can still love the book for what it is even when I’m not always in sync with the author.

Buy this book, read it, and then pass it on to your friends and family. . more

Eddo-Lodge is British and this book evolved from an explosive blogpost of the same title that she wrote in 2014 and which is reproduced in full in the Preface to this volume. Contrary to her explicit desire to stop talking to white people about race, she has become a national and international spokesperson and spends most of her time talking to white people about race. Is there a lesson here?

Eddo-Lodge divides her commentary on the subject of race into seven chapters, the first of which, “Histories,” details her awakening to the realization that she knew very little about black British history until her second year at university. That moment of awakening, the moment Ta-Nehisi Coates also details in his own book, Between the World and Me, is a thrilling one in the life of an writer/activist. After that moment comes the hard work of study and making connections.

It’s more important and necessary than ever to actively fight racism at every perceivable level, and to support Black people loudly, unerringly, unflinchingly. I haven’t read non-fiction books on racism in a while, since turning to articles, essays, and other online resources, but no matter the medium through with you decide to educate yourself—please, please remember that this is a marathon, not a race.

Let’s keep educating ourselves, and others, and work together to make this world a better pl It’s more important and necessary than ever to actively fight racism at every perceivable level, and to support Black people loudly, unerringly, unflinchingly. I haven’t read non-fiction books on racism in a while, since turning to articles, essays, and other online resources, but no matter the medium through with you decide to educate yourself—please, please remember that this is a marathon, not a race.

Let’s keep educating ourselves, and others, and work together to make this world a better place.

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is incredibly thought-provoking, eye-opening, educational, and insightful. I usually rate books based on my enjoyment first and foremost, but this one … I really can’t say that I enjoyed reading it.

I believe that the majority of us don’t particularly like to think, read, or talk about the issue of racism, and how it is still pervasive in our society, even to this day. I know I don’t. It’s a delicate subject (though it really shouldn’t be), and raising it, as well as discussing it, is not likely to make you very many friends—more likely, it’s going to cost you ones. (view spoiler) [Though those are probably not much of a loss. (hide spoiler)]

If I had to venture a guess as to the reason of that, I’d say that white people don’t like it, because they don’t want to be accused of being racist, profiting from racism, or made to feel privileged—and who would? I certainly wouldn’t like to feel as if my accomplishments have to do with anything other than my hard work, and applying myself.

No matter our personal feelings, however, all this doesn’t subtract from the reality that racism is still very, very real, and tangible, and just as important as the issue of our current patriarchy. Reni Eddo-Lodge pushes aside many misconceptions with these words:

I, as a person of color, though not black, don’t particularly like to talk about it, because I don’t like talking about myself—and feeling—as if I’m a victim. I don’t like talking about, and being reminded of, having been put at a disadvantage because of my ethnicity, which somehow feels worse than actually being discriminated, strange as it may sound.

But what’s more, I hate having my accomplishments assigned to it, as if being a straight-A student, or good at math is “because she’s Asian!!”, or how being a bad driver as an Asian (which, thankfully, I’m not) will unerringly result in someone saying “ohh, well, Asian people are just bad at driving”. (Which is not only racist, but stereotyping of the worst kind.)

Next to constantly being asked where we (people of color) actually come from—and failing to recognize that there is a difference between nationality, race, and ethnicity—when the question is returned, usually the subject all of a sudden isn’t all that interesting anymore? “Why don’t white people think they have a racial identity?”

Most importantly, going back to my earlier assertion, I don’t like the feeling that arises when I’m reminded of the fact that my ethnicity will most likely (and statistics prove that in our current climate that’s going to be a reality for me) be my detriment (or has already been).

Eddo-Lodge said, when she refused to accept affirmative action on her behalf: “If I’m going to compete against my white peers, I’m going to do [it] on a level playing ground.” And I relate to where she’s coming from completely.

But racism isn’t merely about these “little” things, these everyday grievances that we people of color have to face. It’s not about the person on the street giving you a hateful glare, telling you to go back to your country (which happened to my parents all too often), or the surprise in people’s eyes, when you don’t fit into their metaphorical pre-ordained box they were planning on putting you in. It’s about the big picture—structural racism.

When you release a book with a title as provocative as this, you have to expect that there are going to be challenges and arguments sent your way. If you go down the road of making large sweeping statements regarding society’s systematic racism and sexism, you also have to be ready for people to want you to show how you reached your conclusion. Frankly, making assertions that a race or gender is a problem is not enough. This book was a case of great frustration to me but, as a straight cisgender When you release a book with a title as provocative as this, you have to expect that there are going to be challenges and arguments sent your way. If you go down the road of making large sweeping statements regarding society’s systematic racism and sexism, you also have to be ready for people to want you to show how you reached your conclusion. Frankly, making assertions that a race or gender is a problem is not enough. This book was a case of great frustration to me but, as a straight cisgender white male, it’s likely that any criticisms that I have relating to this book will be dismissed owing to my “white privilege”.

In reviewing this book I want to make it crystal clear that any criticisms of the book are specifically of the book, and the author’s assertions. This sentiment is something I’m finding myself having to echo repeatedly but it’s the only way to make clear that you’re judging the book and not the characteristic of the author. In no way is my review arguing that racism doesn’t exist, or that black people do not face discrimination. It would be naïve, and frankly a consequence of selectively avoiding stats, to suggest that racism is not apparent in the word today. I think there are very few, even racist people themselves, who would argue otherwise, after all the racist people either admit that they have a problem with the race or admit that they consider themselves the superior race.

In her opening section of the book, the author makes abundantly clear that she will not have a conversation with people that do not already concede with her point. This, aside from being a bad way of starting the book, is intellectual dishonesty and will do very little to engage potential allies in dealing with racism. Maybe the antagonism works to rally people up who already agree with you, but I’m far more likely to believe there’s more to be understood if you invite me to the conversation, not tell me that I have to agree with you to learn. This is the exact same reason that I am an Atheist.

The author here also can’t seem to make up her mind. One of the chapters is about feminism and the issue specifically of “white feminism”. Of course white feminism isn’t about race… but it is… but it isn’t… but it is… but it isn’t. It’s argued by the author that whiteness is a political position, and there is no explanation as to how far this goes. For a better examination of feminism vs. feminism I’d direct you to Gloria Steinem’s The Trouble with Rich Women which far better looks into why feminism is not simply a monolith and that there is a divide due to various characteristics.

I will commend the author for doing a good bit of research into the history of the slave trade and for covering aspects that many either overlook or skim past. However, the author’s clearly effortful research into this did not extend to other aspects. Very few of the large statements are backed up and those that are seem to be backed up by the author’s own beliefs.

Let’s take objectification for example. Aside from the fact that I don’t think the author would be satisfied in any event, she talks about how there were no black page 3 models and that white people probably didn’t consider them worthy enough to be objectified. I was never someone who paid attention to page 3 (I grew up with the internet, buying a paper I didn’t want to read just to see naked women was behind the times), but considering how many markets play on the exotic nature of beauty in different races there is likely more to be discussed. Admittedly I’ve not gone too much research into the world of Page 3 history but there are indeed questions from the brief search that I have done as to the large absence of black models. The issue is that the author has cherry picked an example and used that to demonstrate racism. Let’s say that the roles were changed and there were predominantly black page 3 models, would that fix the problem? No, because you know full well the author would use that to suggest that it proves black people are seen as property.

I speak as someone who has a strong attraction to East Asian women but I appreciate that anecdotal evidence doesn’t make for good arguments. If the author had simply looked at the Disney films she would see that clearly the princesses that are more sexualised are Jasmine and Pocahontas. Cartoon characters yes, but let’s not forget that characters being animated is hardly something to stop sexual fantasies for some.

One of the debates that I’ve had with friends on multiple occasions is about discrimination: is a difference in numbers for representation a sign of racism, sexism or discrimination based on any other characteristic? Consider a hypothetical Law Firm: it has 50 solicitors and only one is black. Is this racism? My answer is “not inherently” as there are far more questions that you need to ask before reaching the conclusion. Are the remaining 49 solicitors white or are their other ethnicities represented? Did many black people apply for the job? Those are 2 of just many questions that I’d want answered.

It may well be that black people have been deliberately kept out of the jobs either by not being able to apply, or their applications being dismissed based on their race. However, it may also be the case that of the people who interviewed for the roles, white people interviewed better. You would have to look into the circumstances to see what the cause is. Judging by the book I’m reviewing, I suspect that my answer would be explained as being a privileged member of the white patriarchy.

Or, we can token hire people. The minute you do that though, you open the floodgates. Let’s say that you have a quota that 10% of the employees have to be black. What’s the quota from Asian countries? Do we factor in gender too? Disabilities? Religions? As a Pastafarian I want to make sure that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is fairly represented. Or, perhaps we should do what we can to remove any institutional barriers. Getting back to race though, let’s say you hire every single black applicant but there is still an absence for the quota. Are you going to force black people into roles they don’t want to be in? If yes, isn’t that itself a system of oppression?

However the biggest frustration is the author’s repeated attempts to infer things into statements. Time after time she will take what someone has said and say “clearly this was referring to black women”. What she’ll also do is read racism into something that has been written. Truth be told I imagine that if I called her attractive she would infer that I was suggesting that she’s attractive… for a black woman.

Naomi Campbell gets brought up and the fact that she was called out for being, rightly or wrongly, antagonistic and always angry. Instead of considering that regardless of race Campbell is a controversial figure, the author exclusively blames this perception on the angry black woman trope. It’s frustrating as a genuine concern is being misrepresented. Consequently if people do apply the concern correctly, it’s likely to be dismissed as something that gets thrown around too much.

If you believe the author’s generalisations, none of the white people in positions of power are qualified black people have no power whatsoever in society positive discrimination is in fact a positive for everyone and needs to be done. You need to apply nuance to your criticisms!! Some of the white people in positions of power may well be unqualified for the roles and therefore shouldn’t be in them. That we will agree on, but that has to be dealt with individually not making a sweeping assertion.

I didn’t like this book at all. I was tempted to give it a 2 star review, but considering the horrible assertions and failure to demonstrate nuance, I can’t bring myself to do it. Books like this are more damaging to the cause. Criticism of a book such as this is not a denial that there is racism in the world. As a society we still have ways to go before we reach a society that is entirely Egalitarian. I believe however that the best thing we can do is actually tackle the problems that are holding or groups down regardless as to whether it is individual or systemic. If someone feels they are being oppressed we do indeed need to listen to them. If there are aspects of society that are oppressing them we can look at solutions. Making sweeping assertions and being intellectually dishonest is only going to push people who aren’t racist into being racist. . more

Structural racism dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of people with the same biases joining together to make up one organisation, and acting accordingly. Structural racism is an impenetrably white workplace culture set by those people, where anyone who falls outside of the culture must conform of face failure.

Each time I read this I grab and absorb a bit more information. This is an important and essential read for beginning to understand race relations and structural racism in the UK.

Structural racism dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of people with the same biases joining together to make up one organisation, and acting accordingly. Structural racism is an impenetrably white workplace culture set by those people, where anyone who falls outside of the culture must conform of face failure.

Each time I read this I grab and absorb a bit more information. This is an important and essential read for beginning to understand race relations and structural racism in the UK.

Reni Eddo-Lodge covers many subjects of race relations in the UK: UK’s black history institutional racism and how this works white privilege class “fear of a black planet”: and the issue of feminism. I was particularly interested in the history, as like Reni Eddo-Lodge, I grew up in the English school system where race isn’t really discussed in the educational system (race among other important topics are not part of the curriculum which is very sad indeed). And, if race was discussed, this was usually in context of US history and not the UK. Understanding the black UK history would’ve paved the way for understanding how structural racism is the way it is today.

Reni Eddo-Lodge gives key concise information of how structural racism works and institutional racism (especially within the police and politics). How people are made to fear a “black planet” and “suicide of the white race” despite statistics on demographic makeup not supporting this. I also enjoyed her delve into race, classism and feminism.

Overall this is a great read of an introduction of race within the UK. This is well-referenced, with case studies and statistics to back up points, and very informative. While some points I was already aware about, this is a great way to educate yourself and start to unpick how white privilege has benefitted me as a person, to look more closely at the structures of society and it’s racism that is employed.

For those who identify as a feminist, but have never questioned what it means to be white, it is likely the phrase white feminism applies.

In order to dismantle unjust, racist structures, we must see race. We must see who benefits from their race, who is disproportionally impacted by negative stereotypes about their race, and to who power and privilege is bestowed upon- earned or not- because of their race, their class, and their gender. Seeing race is essential to changing the system. . more

A very interesting read.
It&aposs a relatively short book that talks about racism, its history, and its structure in Britain, focusing mostly on African-British or Caribbean-British societies. It&aposs written in a clear and consice tone and I think reading it can be a mental exercise as the discourse around racism gains more momentum in today&aposs world.

- My Personal Background and its Effect on the Reading Experience:
I am Iranian, and I don&apost fit in the main target audience of this book. I don&apost want to &apos A very interesting read.
It's a relatively short book that talks about racism, its history, and its structure in Britain, focusing mostly on African-British or Caribbean-British societies. It's written in a clear and consice tone and I think reading it can be a mental exercise as the discourse around racism gains more momentum in today's world.

- My Personal Background and its Effect on the Reading Experience:
I am Iranian, and I don't fit in the main target audience of this book. I don't want to 'appropriate' a book that's not about me (it's about Black British people) but I think my background plays an important part in how I understand this book, so I want to mention it here. Reading anything about racism is uniquely challenging and interesting for me, as I loosely fit into both "sides" of the general discourse around racism (if you want to call it that). As a non-white person (and from the middle-east) I have been and still am on the receiving end of racism. I can notice patterns of overt and subtle racism, remarks and prejudices from time to time. So I can consider myself someone who can, to some extent, sympathize with Eddo-Lodge's experiences.
At the same time in Iran, I am from the ethnic majority, the group that ignores the systemic discrimination and oppression practiced against minorities and immigrants living here and the atrocities of their lives. Iran is a racist country in every sense, with many many different groups of oppressed ethnic peoples, each experiencing racism in a different way. The "Persian/Fars" majority actively or passively participates in the discrimination of other ethnic groups and I want to resist that.
So while as a person of color I'm concerned about white supremacy and how I could be disadvantaged in many situations, I am also concerned about ways I've been complicit in the structural racism that's going on in my own country. So, as a person reading this in the uncomfortable position of the oppressed minority AND the privileged majority, I can safely say that the book has a lot to offer for both groups.

- About the book itself:
The author is British, so unlike similar books that discuss racism against black people in America, this one talks about the equally ugly history of racism in the UK. Across seven chapters, Reni Eddo-Lodge presents some case studies of anti-black crimes during the 20th century in, talks about white privilege, feminism (and intersectionality), the question of class (and why discussions about class hierarchy should take race into account), tokenism, mainstream media, culture and entertainment, housing strategies in the UK, and concludes by writing her opinions on the concept of justice (her conclusion is that "there's no justice, there's just us") and why we need to do the work ourselves and rely on ourselves instead of waiting for an abstract utopia of justice or "endpoint" to come to save us all. Basically, she says that we cannot fast forward or skip to the part where racism doesn't exist anymore without first going through the hard and uncomfortable part of standing up to it.

Disclaimers:
I have to give a disclaimer that I know little to nothing about contemporary British history, and even less about London geography, so the specific parts that discuss housing in London and reference historical figures were completely new to me. I didn't personally fact-check all the data presented in the book.
I recognize that the author is not a historian so I won't take her word for fact. Please do not consider History chapter in this book as a British Racism History 101 course. Similarly, the chapter on Class is not meant to be a Socialism 101 course, and the Feminism chapter is definitely not a Feminism 101 course. The chapter on feminism is aimed at people who already identify as or agree with feminist politics but fail to recognize the issue of racism within feminist circles.

At the end, this book is not an all-encompassing encyclopedia of racism in Britain and nor does it claim to be. But I find the author's insights engaging and interesting, so I would recommend it to people who are curious to read about racism.

فکر می‌کنم ما در ایران به اندازه کافی در مورد نژادپرستی حرف نمی‌زنیم و نمی‌دونیم. این کتاب به روایت سیاه‌پوستان بریتانیا پرداخته ولی ما هم می‌تونیم درس‌هایی ازش برداریم. الگوهای نژادپرستی در ایران و همه جای دنیا اون‌قدری شباهت دارن که بشه از چنین کتابی که مستقیم به ما نمی‌پردازه، چیزهای زیادی یاد گرفت. جامعه ما نژادپرسته. خیلی زیاد. و اگه قراره این مسئله رو تغییر بدیم، باید اول متوجه بشیم نژادپرستی چیه و چجوری در همه ابعاد زندگی‌مون رسوخ می‌کنه. مطالعه در موردش شروع خوبیه و چون منابع فارسی کمن، اگر کسی دوست داره و می‌تونه انگلیسی بخونه، یکی از منابع خارجی خوبی که می‌شه بهش مراجعه کرد و ازش یاد گرفت همین کتابه‌. من این کتاب رو توصیه اکید می‌کنم به همه.
البته این رو هم بگم که بخش مربوط به فمینیسم‌ش، اگر با فمینیسم (و مخصوصاً با فمینیسم اینترسکشنال) آشنایی زیادی نداشته باشید براتون عجیب خواهد بود. فصل فمینیسمِ این کتاب، مخاطب اصلی‌ش خودِ ما فمینیست‌هاییم* و کسانی که هنوز با فمینیسم عناد دارن ممکنه از سر و تهش برداشت گیج‌کننده‌ای داشته باشن. در این صورت هم همچنان از بخش‌های دیگه‌ی کتاب می‌تونید استفاده کنید و یاد بگیرید.
* در واقع، مخاطب اصلیِ اون فصل، بریتانیایی‌های لیبرال و پروگرسیوی‌ان که مدت هاست با مباحث فمینیسم (بیشتر لیبرال فمینیسم) آشنان، قبولش دارن و در فرهنگ و اخبار و خواسته‌های سیاسی‌شون به کارش می‌گیرن. منتها خواسته‌های فمینیستی‌شون اکثراً زنان رنگین پوست رو نادیده می‌گیره. در نتیجه مخاطب اون فصل، کسی‌ه که خودش رو فمینیست می‌دونه ولی هنوز متوجه نژاد پرستیِ حاضر در جمع‌های فمینیستی نشده. انتقاد نویسنده به فمینیسم، به خاطر جو سفیدسالاریِ غالبشه، نه خود مسئله فمینیسم، چون خود نویسنده هم فمینیسته اصولا. خلاصه که اون فصلِ این کتاب رو به عنوان مقدمه‌ای بر فمینیسم در نظر نگیرید. بقیه قسمت‌های کتاب که مستقیم‌تر به نژادپرستی پرداخته هم جالب‌ و خواندنی‌ن. ‌ . more

I realise that this is an extremely popular book, and my low rating in no way reflects the importance of the topic. On the contrary, I&aposm half-Indian and have experienced racism, so the topic is close to my heart. My rating comes from four perspectives: a reader, a nonfiction book editor, a and a bi-racial person, and a feminist, all of which I am.

As a reader, I agree wholeheartedly with Eddo-Lodge on the vast majority of points: that history taught in schools only tells part of the picture, the I realise that this is an extremely popular book, and my low rating in no way reflects the importance of the topic. On the contrary, I'm half-Indian and have experienced racism, so the topic is close to my heart. My rating comes from four perspectives: a reader, a nonfiction book editor, a and a bi-racial person, and a feminist, all of which I am.

As a reader, I agree wholeheartedly with Eddo-Lodge on the vast majority of points: that history taught in schools only tells part of the picture, the "white version of history". That structural racism is subconsciously lurking in job interviews and promotions, preventing people of colour from accessing jobs and education. That large parts of the media stir racist attitudes, often subconsciously (such as the focus on colour and race when someone arrested isn't white), and that many people—especially in the Brexit debate—argued that they want “their England back” with strong undercurrents of racism, hatred for immigrants, and seeing people as "the other".

However, I wanted specific guidance on what I (and other readers) should actually do moving forward to make change happen. Eddo-Lodge does a fantastic job of building the reader’s motivation and making them see their white privilege, but there is little practical, directive guidance on what to do with that motivation, especially for white people who want to create change. Being motivated to create change doesn’t mean that most people know how to. I kept thinking "Please, please tell us what we can do to help. Give us clear, specific direction."

As a book editor, I found that the book covered so many topics that it felt overstretched. Some topics were covered in too much depth, others too shallow. Too much airtime was given to one individual’s experiences or one case example, where hard facts and data would have been more effective. For example, that Nick Griffin is openly racist is no surprise to anyone—we don't need a lengthy interview to see this. I wanted less anecdotal experience and more stats, less coverage and more depth.

As a mixed-race person, I was frustrated and disappointed by the limited, one-sided view of what it’s like to be mixed-race. Eddo-Lodge covers this huge, complex topic in a mere eight pages, four of which are about one woman’s experience—where the white side of her family is the problem—out of the millions of mixed-race people in the UK. From this one case study and a broad-brush statement with no supporting evidence that this is "the norm", she generalises about the experience of all mixed-race people as being looked down on by the white side of their family.

I wouldn’t write a book on being mixed-race, then include a few pages on what it’s like to be black, white, or any other race based on one person's experience. Yes, we need to talk about race, but if the complex issue of being mixed-race only gets eight pages and one person's opinion, then I'd really rather she left the topic alone.

The racism and rejection I’ve experienced has been from the non-white side of my family, who refuse to accept me because I’m half-white, not because my white ancestors enslaved their ancestors, but because they see themselves as superior and me as "impure". Yet Eddo-Lodge says that “racism doesn't happen both ways”, that it only occurs in power + privilege situations, and that prejudice isn't racism.

By definition, racism is "prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized" and "the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another."

So, while prejudice might not be as pervasive or damaging as structural racism in the author's opinion, it is a type of racism. Structural or institutional racism is not the only kind of racism. In fact, by bringing the mixed-race issue into discussion, Eddo-Lodge takes racism down to a familial, not structural, level, where power is not the issue. In families, racism does happen both ways. Try telling a little mixed-race girl who gets called “the white b*****d” by one side of her family that racism doesn’t happen both ways—that it’s just “prejudice”.

Until we see racism in all of its forms and admit that it can be directed to anyone so long as there is hatred, prejudice, and a feeling of superiority/inferiority involved, then we will not end racism for all. Once we've removed structural racism, we will be left with the parts of racism that we tried to brush under the rug. If we're going to fight racism, which we are, then let's fight all of it.

As a feminist, I found the feminism chapter muddled and overly focused on Eddo Lodge's experience of BBC Women’s Hour. While there is of course an intersection between race and feminism where such issues can occur, this experience was generalised to feminism overall. The upshot was that to “win”, feminism should fight against all forms of inequality—race, class, poverty, LGBTQ, etc.

In an ideal world, we could all fight every injustice, but in reality, humans are limited in time, focus, resources, energy, and ability. If we try to accomplish everything at once, we fail. If we try to fight every injustice at once, we become overstretched. Should feminists become Jackies of all injustices, mistresses of none?

Moreover, why the focus on feminism to fight all battles—not any other group fighting their own injustices? This is key, because the same men fighting for racial equality may be guilty of sexism. If feminism must fight all battles, shouldn't the racial equality movement also be fighting for women's rights?

On balance, this book is an important read and I agree thoroughly with the notion that we must stand up and fight rather than being "indifferent". That we should look inside ourselves to find the situations where we have benefitted from our privilege, whatever kind. That we should better educate ourselves and our children on the real history of race. That structural racism is pervasive and needs big changes. However, the sections on feminism and being mixed-race were frustrating, and the denial of prejudice and superiority as a form of racism is not helpful. I wanted more stats, more guidance, and less detail on individual cases. And I want us to really talk about race and racism in all of its forms. . more

"Discussing racism is about discussing white identity. It&aposs about white anxiety. It&aposs about asking why whiteness has this reflexive need to define itself against immigrant bogey monsters in order to feel comfortable, safe and secure."

This book discusses structural racism, with focus on Britain, at length. I recognize most of the issues, it&aposs precisely the same as what is being said here in Norway.

"You can&apost hear English (Norwegian) on the bus anymore."
"In year xxxx, us whites will be the mino "Discussing racism is about discussing white identity. It's about white anxiety. It's about asking why whiteness has this reflexive need to define itself against immigrant bogey monsters in order to feel comfortable, safe and secure."

This book discusses structural racism, with focus on Britain, at length. I recognize most of the issues, it's precisely the same as what is being said here in Norway.

"You can't hear English (Norwegian) on the bus anymore."
"In year xxxx, us whites will be the minority because immigrant women are having more children."

It seems that white people have a need to deny that racism exists and that that white is considered the norm. The heroes in movies white. The characters of books are white, unless explicitly told that they are something else.

"Racism goes both ways." Huh, really? But in Europe, it's a white elite establishment against what everything is measured anyway.

"How old were you when you realized that you were white?" A question from the book. Apparently this is a pertinent question.

I was two. I have known I was white for as long as I have been able to think. I grew up in a remote village in south eastern Asia, where skin bleaching was and is a thing. With my white-blond hair, milky skin and green eyes, I was a fascinating anomaly. My cheeks were pinched and my hair was pulled. My skin tone was what everyone wanted. So my entire life I have known that I was at the receiving end of positive discrimination. I became, as I grew up, aware that I had bought into the hierarchy of whites - local majority - hill tribe.

I am an immigrant, having moved from my passport country for many reasons - but also for work. I am not discriminated against. Although I speak with an accent, it's still the "right" one. I am obviously Nordic and thus perfectly acceptable. I know this is not the same for immigrant workers from further away. I have never been told to "go home" and unless I speak it is presumed that I am native, even though I grew up across the globe.

I somehow lived under the impression that racial discrimination in the UK was virtually non-existent, particularly compared to the United States. This book stripped me of that belief. The UK has the same issues as most of the rest of Europe.

What can I do to reduce structural racism? I am not free of bias either, but at least I am conscious of it and can try to mitigate it along the way - as well as pluck at others' assumptions. I have a lot to consider. . more

"It must be a strange life, always having permission to speak and feeling indignant when you’re finally asked to listen."

Listen. That&aposs what white people, myself included, need to either start doing or doing a lot more of. Thankfully there are many books available to let us do just that, to educate ourselves and to learn from. We must listen before we can hope to change an entire system and worldview and we must look honestly at ourselves first in order to learn where we, each white person, are "It must be a strange life, always having permission to speak and feeling indignant when you’re finally asked to listen."

Listen. That's what white people, myself included, need to either start doing or doing a lot more of. Thankfully there are many books available to let us do just that, to educate ourselves and to learn from. We must listen before we can hope to change an entire system and worldview and we must look honestly at ourselves first in order to learn where we, each white person, are complicit in racism.

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race is one such book from which to learn. Author Reni Eddo-Lodge clearly and concisely shows how racism is built into the fabric of society and points out why it's so difficult to get white people to acknowledge this. This book is different from other books I've read on structural/institutional racism in that the author points out explicitly racism in the UK.

While I know racism is a problem in the entire Western world, I didn't know the extent to which people of colour are impacted by racism in the UK. I also knew next to nothing about Black history in the UK and so one of my favourite chapters was the one in which Ms. Eddo-Lodge explores it.

Much of the rest of the book is similar to other books I've read on race and racism but it's always good to be encouraged to look deeper into oneself, to analyze and see where I too am complicit in upholding a white superiority worldview and how I benefit from white privilege. To root out racist ideas deep in my own psyche. It's a process that we must always work on, because racism is the foundation upon which our world is built.

I was impressed by the author's knowledge and understanding because of her young age -- when I was in my 20s, I don't think I was aware of many issues in the world. Of course, racism did not directly affect me and so I could turn a blind eye to it.

Ms. Eddo-Lodge tells why it was that she decided to stop talking to white people about race, even though that ended up with her talking more about race. I admire her optimism with which she concludes the book ("I think the side of anti-racist progress is winning."). I fear I have grown too cynical and have a difficult time sharing her optimism but hopefully it is well-deserved and she is able to see things I don't.

The author also addresses feminism and immigration though I found her essays on racism to be the strongest.

I am glad to have the Kindle version because I made so many highlights while reading this book! I will share a few in the hopes that it will encourage you too to read this book.

---"When I talk about white privilege, I don’t mean that white people have it easy, that they’ve never struggled, or that they’ve never lived in poverty. But white privilege is the fact that if you’re white, your race will almost certainly positively impact your life’s trajectory in some way. And you probably won’t even notice it."

---"Discussing racism is not the same thing as discussing ‘black identity’. Discussing racism is about discussing white identity. It’s about white anxiety."

---"It seems there is a belief among some white people that being accused of racism is far worse than actual racism.""

---"White people, you need to talk to other white people about race. Yes, you may be written off as a radical, but you have much less to lose."

---"In order to dismantle unjust, racist structures, we must see race. We must see who benefits from their race, who is disproportionately impacted by negative stereotypes about their race, and to who power and privilege is bestowed upon – earned or not – because of their race. Seeing race is essential to changing the system."

There are so many more I could share but I'll leave it with those! It was difficult to pick just five.

If you would like to read Reni's eponymous blog post that inspired this book, just click here. And if you find it helpful, inspirational, educational, or anything else, be sure to read this book. . more

My review from 2018 below of a book which topped the UK non-fiction bestseller list this week - shamefully the first time a black British author has topped the list - coincidentally in a week when I had decided to buy it and re-read it. I also was interested to see that a firm in my industry bought the book for all their members of staff.

Some quick updates (still sticking to my narrow focus below)

- It was great (see my Booker comments below) that the 2019 My review from 2018 below of a book which topped the UK non-fiction bestseller list this week - shamefully the first time a black British author has topped the list - coincidentally in a week when I had decided to buy it and re-read it. I also was interested to see that a firm in my industry bought the book for all their members of staff.

Some quick updates (still sticking to my narrow focus below)

- It was great (see my Booker comments below) that the 2019 Booker was won by Bernardine Evaristo's "Girl, Woman, Other" - which topped the UK fiction bestseller chart this week - the first time for a female writer of colour.

- "Home Fire" did win the Women's Prize in 2018 as I had hoped.

- The 2019 Jhalak Prize proved to have a great winner in "Our Mad and Furious City" by Guy Gunaratne. I am looing forward to the 2020 winner "Afropean" by Johny Pitts

- Margaret Busby seems an inspired choice as Booker chair this year

This bestselling and award-winning book’s genesis was in a post on the author’s blog in 2014 – with the same title as this book.

I would strongly recommend this book to any British reader who has not read it and will largely restrict my review to quotes from the book, as I think trying to add my own filter to the book could be counter-productive.

I have however, given the nature of this site, added four reflections of my own on how this book made me consider my own reading.

The author beings by describing the (largely untold) history of blackness in Britain, starting with the observation

And then setting out that history, reaching the conclusion that “looking at our history shows racism does not erupt from nothing, rather it is embedded in British Society. This then leads into a discussion of structural racism

The author then follows this with a devastating set of statistics on black attainment “But they are not the result of a lack of black excellence, talent, education, hard work or creativity”, before setting out a compelling defense of the necessity of affirmative action in the face of that way in which “Britain’s relationship with race infects and distorts equal opportunity”

This then leads into a discussion of white privilege

This in turn leads to an examination and refutation of the common counter-complaints of racism against white people (often resulting from very minor attempts at affirmative action)

The book then examines the intersection of racism with other areas of discrimination firstly with the women’s rights movement

And then with the class issue in British Society

Finally four literary reflections of my own.

Firstly as someone who reads weekly the Spectator and the New Statesman weekly for what I had assumed was political balance I was dismayed that some of the worst examples of attacks on intersectionality and “spirited takedowns” of black women writing on race, were in the centre-left New Statesman, and then adopted by the right-of-centre Spectator.

Secondly, the opening quote in my review resonated with some of my discomfort with my recent reading (largely driven by major literary prizes) – with the UK’s most prestigious prize, the Booker being won in the last two years by two books – The Sellout and Lincoln in the Bardo, which for all their merits (and I liked the first and loved the second) are really addressing racism in America and can allow a British reader to distance themselves from any culpability: I would prefer to have seen Home Fire shortlisted (and hope it wins the Women’s Prize) and Exit West to have won last year’s Booker, simply because they had equal or greater literary merit but also place the focus on race relations back on our own culture.

Thirdly, and with thanks to Preti Taneja, author of the brilliant We That Are Young, who shared the article with me, a perspective on some changes beginning to occur in the British publishing industry. As a supporter of small presses via the Republic of Consciousness Prize (for which I was proud to be judge this year), this has given me some other small presses to follow.

Fourthly, as a follower of prizes, tweets from authors I follow (such as Preti Taneja) lead me to this book via a prize I think in light of the above I will resolve to follow in future - The Jhalak Prize for the best books by British/British resident BAME writers

A prize which was featured in the Guardian alongside the Republic of Consciousness Prize

My thoughts on this are slightly complicated. This book is incredibly important, impeccably researched, stringently argued – but possibly not quite for me. I spend an awful lot of time reading feminist texts, both academically and in my private life. I have been following the discourse closely for a few years (ever since I realized how white my formal academic background is I felt the need to remedy that) and I think the most important work in recent feminism has been done by intersectional femi My thoughts on this are slightly complicated. This book is incredibly important, impeccably researched, stringently argued – but possibly not quite for me. I spend an awful lot of time reading feminist texts, both academically and in my private life. I have been following the discourse closely for a few years (ever since I realized how white my formal academic background is I felt the need to remedy that) and I think the most important work in recent feminism has been done by intersectional feminists (and here especially black woman). This book gives a comprehensive overview – and it cannot be overstated how brilliantly argued and researched it is – but for me there was very little new. Then again, that seems like an unfair baseline for any work, so take my rating with a grain of salt. Because I do think everybody should read this.

For me, the chapter that was most important was the one on feminism itself – here I found a lot to mull over. Reni Eddo-Lodge shows the structures of privilege and the way these spaces that should be inclusive can end up being the opposite.

The chapters that read more like text-book entries (for example on White Privilege) are equally stringently argued but for me those did not quite work – as I said, I do think I am fairly well-read in this area. I can still see why it is important to include the bases of one’s theories in a book like this, that is not written with me in mind. It gives women of colour the tools to talk about everyday occurences and gives white people a perspective they might not have considered. And Reni Eddo-Lodge’s measured and thoughtful approach is definitely a needed one.

On a final note: I just cannot get over how brilliant the cover is. Clever, stunning, evocative.

You can find this review and other thoughts on books on my blog. . more

Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote in the Guardian (June 2017) where she stated, White privilege is a manipulative, suffocating blanket of power that envelopes everything we know, like a snowy day.

Why wouldn’t we wish to talk to white people about race, this would be an automatic response to the title of this book from any normal white person and many black people too. This book is certainly a very edifying as much as an instructive book by all accounts and without question it will keep you engrossed in the Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote in the Guardian (June 2017) where she stated, White privilege is a manipulative, suffocating blanket of power that envelopes everything we know, like a snowy day.

Why wouldn’t we wish to talk to white people about race, this would be an automatic response to the title of this book from any normal white person and many black people too. This book is certainly a very edifying as much as an instructive book by all accounts and without question it will keep you engrossed in the debate whether there is substance or not to the detail she covers.

This book came out of a blog that Eddo-Lodge wrote sometime back with the same title and consequently she received many favourable responses for the work, some of whom I am sure are most likely the politically perturbed co-conspirators to the racial discourse under discussion. However, writing a book on the same topic is a little more complicated, it requires more data, its needs further analysis and it demands unique evidence to support the assertions. Unlike a blog, much like a Facebook blog where you can shout the odds and no one really cares that much. Just another loud voice in the gloomy, dark and often politically obscure wilderness. We will see if we explore these points a little later in this review.

The scene is set when Eddo-Lodge starts her writing with her opening gambit of explaining why she feels she is unable to speak to white people about race. When I read this statement, I was immediately thrown towards the political work of Malcolm X who at the start of his religio-political life, after decades of living a delinquent life style, he too refused to acknowledge white people as he saw them as autocrats, oppressors and tormentors of black people and their history from across the world. The comparisons were very striking initially. There is a well-known phrase used by Mr X where he commented about racial integration and said

It's just like when you've got some coffee that's too black, which means it's too strong. What you do? You integrate it with cream you make it weak. If you pour too much cream in, you won't even know you ever had coffee.

This is the premise from where Eddo-Lodge starts her journey. She certainly isn’t our modern-day Reni X and she isn’t suggesting, she doesn’t wish to integrate into wider British society either, all she is doing is, acknowledging that white people fail to understand race and all that comes with it. Therefore, we need to find a new way of defining what we are experiencing.

The defining line she has introduced in the early chapter of the book is a concept of structural racism. This is her term and she spends some time attempting to explain the meaning of this term. Eddo-Lodge argues there is an emotional disconnect between white people and what she terms as the people of colour. This is, in her view, justified by her statement that white people fail to understand, listen or engage in race and are more content on talking and listening to themselves. However, she did, for the purpose of the book interview the Leader of the British National Party, the outcome of which is not made clear in the book nor is the purpose of interviewing him. But I suppose if you wish to fill a few pages in your quest to find a definition for a term that is barely recognisable, then a short telephone interview with Nick Griffith may not be too bad an idea (maybe!).

Eddo-lodge starts with an historical look at race hate in Britain and steps up to the plate with her general analysis of the race debates over the last five decades and its relationship with systems, feminism, class and politics. She outlines a number of important events in history of racial discrimination from slavery to the election of four black parliamentarians but fails to state the precise periods in which these historical events took place. A chapter about the history of black people’s struggles without dates, times and places isn’t an encouraging sign I must admit and sounds much like an elongated blog on Facebook. This debate took her to the door of academic familiarities by attempting to define what she means by structural racism. Her definition began with firstly setting out the inferences relating to the Stephen Lawrence murder and the subsequent public inquiry Chaired by a High Court Judge Sir William Macpherson. It was at this point the book begins to focus on her theory of structural racism, although still unclear but she equates this term as more workable than the term introduced by the Macpherson Inquiry of Institutional Racism. Macpherson’s term of Institutional Racism looked at what is broadly defined as racial discrimination that has become the established norm within an organisation or society. Eddo-Lodge’s term of structural racism on the other hand is defined by the EHRC as structural discrimination based on socio-economic factors and not socio-political factors as she has attempted to redefine. This is a pointedly and expressively important clarification for the book and clearly there is an implied challenge to how Eddo-Lodge refers to her concept without a proper academic analysis and a racial discourse to support any empirical findings.

The term structural racism is argued by Eddo-Lodge as a series of processes, procedures and actions that limit the success experienced by black people and therefore unlike institutional racism, structural racism recognises the failures of white society in addressing such injustices. Quite honestly, after reading Eddo-Lodge’s work, when one compares institutional racism with structural racism it is hardly a notable difference. However, this book appears to be attempting to rewrite this term in Eddo-Lodge’s own image with a new concept that claims to be a more updated and refined explanation of how black people experience racist behaviour in British society. The idea of not talking to white people about race is a soundbite for public consumption in order to capture ones’ mood rather than a serious attempt to exclude white people from the debate.

Throughout her book, Eddo-Lodge uses the term people of colour referring to those who are not white. Mostly in a social context. She goes a step further by using a commonly accepted term Black as a political definition used by the Labour Party Black Sections in the 1980s and who described people of colour as Black in order the create a collective identity. The book lends itself to discussing various political events where black people struggled to gain important recognition in politics, business and employment and thereby the most notable event was in 1987 where she referred to the black parliamentarians getting elected to the House of Commons, and named them as Bennie Grant, Paul Boating and Diane Abbott. Mysteriously Keith Vaz (The only Asian) was omitted from her list of Black MPs elected on the same Black Section ticket in 1987. Did he not fall in to her definition of structural racism or was he not black enough?

By talking about the term structural racism which seemingly excludes at least Keith Vaz MP from the definition, she enters another arena of namely ‘white privilege’ where she examines how privilege has been a costly perception for black people in Britain and consequently responsible for black poverty, discrimination and hate crime this claim is supported by Eddo-Lodge when she argues that white peoples’ experiences are not the same as black peoples’ experiences because white people are privileged. What Eddo-Lodge had inadvertently done is that she has classically confused ignorance with class privilege leading to a separation between class and race. This implies that black people due to their race are less privileged than white people because of their class. By the same token, are white women more privileged than black women. Has the concept of sisterhood gone because ‘privilege’ defines not just who you are but also who are your friends, I agree that there may be some value in this debate.

An article in the Guardian Newspaper (7 December 2014) titled Dear White people, your discomfort is progress by Rebecca Carroll and Jess Zimmerman discuss the concept of privilege and its definition when they commented:

… if you have black friends and black people in your life and it still doesn’t gut you when another black boy or man or person gets shot and killed, then you need to examine your friendship.

Our legacy as black folks is of pain and strife your legacy as white folks is of cultural decimation, violence and human ownership.

It is in this direction that Eddo-Lodge has taken the debate of structural racism away from Institutional racism by pretexting it as a new definition, a more modern version of describing organised exclusion and which she may argue is more appropriate for the 21st Century. My view on this point is that definitions don’t change through date order, they don’t have expiry dates like you would find on a can of baked beans, politically charged definitions are modified through events and circumstances changing where previous definitions do not work anymore and a new explanation is required.

Eddo-Lodge certainly a well-defined writer, equally an enjoyable and informed writer. However, after reading her book, I am curious as I am minded to think her whole book which is aimed at introducing her conceptual theme as a means of promoting her political and academic vanity. The concept fails to acknowledge the parameters of the term, it doesn’t have a firm base upon which the debate is soundly analysed and all it has attempted to do is knock of its perch the term Institutional Racism only to try and replace it with her own unqualified term of structural racism.

Eddo-Lodge wrote over 200 pages in an otiose attempt to place herself on the Ouija board for academic racial discourse however the ‘spirits have yet to appear’ to support her argument. . more



Comments:

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  3. Mathieu

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  4. Gretel

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