Wise Tim - White like me


Author : Wise Tim
Title : White like me Reflections on race from a privileged son
Year : 2004

Link download : Wise_Tim_-_White_like_me.zip

Introduction. To the third edition. It is difficult for me to believe that nearly seven years have passed since I began writing this book’s first edition. But as I examine the calendar on my desk and look across the room at my daughters - now nearly eight and ten - I find it impossible to deny how long it’s been, and how much has happened between then and now. When I first thought of writing White Like Me, I never anticipated that it would strike the chord it seems to have struck with so many, that it would be taught in hundreds of colleges, even high schools, or that it would be read by so many who would then let me know how the work had affected and even changed them. In one case, I was informed that my words had helped save a marriage. I felt pretty good about that until a few months later, at which point I was told by someone else that my book had helped hasten her divorce. I apologized for any role I may have played in the dissolution of her relationship, but was told not to worry, that it had been for the best, and that it had taken my book for her and her now ex-husband to realize that their differences, rooted in racial identity and their experiences around racism, were too vast to bridge. Okay then, I guess you’re welcome, was all I could think to say. Not very creative, but it was the best I could come up with at the time. Yet, even as White Like Me has made such an impact, like any book on a topic as fluid as race, it runs the risk of becoming dated. The contours of the racial dialogue in the United States are constantly changing, so in order to stay relevant, this volume needed yet another updating, especially given the election of Barack Obama as president in November 2008. Considering how quickly folks rushed to pronounce the United States “post-racial” in the wake of Obama’s victory - after all, how can we have a race problem, and how can there be white privilege if a man of color can be elected president? - I knew almost as soon as he had won that I would need to revisit the main theses of this book yet again. In the meantime I have written two other books challenging the post-racial thesis (Between Barack and a Hard Place and Colorblind), but given the shelf-life of White Like Me, addressing some of the same issues within these pages seems equally important. Though on the surface the election of a man of color to the highest office in the land might suggest the demise of racism as a persistent social force - and the subsequent death of white privilege - in truth, it says nothing of the kind. Just as the election of women as heads of state in Pakistan, India, Israel, or Great Britain (among others) hardly signaled the eradication of sexism in those places, so too the election of a black man in the United States hardly speaks to the issue of racism facing 85 million people of color here. Individual success and accomplishment says little about larger institutional truth. ...

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