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Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority (City Lights Open Media) Paperback – January 10, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Tim Wise is back with another no-holds-barred take on race and America's changing demographics. . . . Sharp and witty, Wise's latest book criticizes many of today's continued racist institutions while provocatively proclaiming their quick demise as America's racial landscape continues to evolve."-- The Root

"The foremost white analyst of racism in America never fails to provide fresh takes as he punctures myths and defenses." -- World Wide Work

"In his latest, he cuts to the core of white fears, using his white authority and white privilege to tell other whites that 'yes, it's time for you to deal with yourselves and the new American reality you now inhabit.'" -- Drums in the Global Village

“Tim Wise has written another blockbuster! His new book, 'Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority,' is a cogent analysis of the problems of race and inequality as well as a plea for those who harbor views about race and racism to modify and indeed eliminate them. While the book’s title addresses white people, this is really a book for anyone who is concerned about eliminating the issue of racial disparity in our society. This is must read and a good read.” -- Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. He is the author of a number of books, including "The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America"

"Tim Wise is an American hero in the truest sense of the term - he tells the truth, no matter how inconvenient that truth might be. 'Dear White America' is a desperately needed response to the insidious mythology that pretends whites are oppressed and people of color unduly privileged. In the process, it exposes how new forms of racism have been deliberately embedded into our supposedly 'color blind' culture. Read this book - but rest assured, it's not for the faint of heart." - David Sirota, syndicated columnist, radio host, author of "Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now"

"Wise, an educator and racial justice advocate, presents an analysis of race relations and ideology in the contemporary US, as a letter addressed to its 200 million white citizens. As demographic trends portend a more colorful United States, and as its first black president begins a second term, Wise confronts the white fear of losing cultural hegemony, on the one hand, and the politics of resentment that has been both a real and contrived source of right-wing power in national politics. The book is aimed at a reasonable audience who may describe themselves as 'not a racist,' but whose assumptions about race and social power make them underestimate or misrecognize racism's persistence in the US." -- Book News Inc.

About the Author

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


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Product Details

  • Series: City Lights Open Media
  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers; 1 edition (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872865215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872865211
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S., and has been called, ""One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation,"" by best-selling author and professor Michael Eric Dyson, of Georgetown University. Wise has spoken in 48 states, and on over 400 college campuses, including Harvard, Stanford, and the Law Schools at Yale and Columbia, and has spoken to community groups around the nation. Wise is the 2008 Oliver L. Brown Distinguished Visiting Scholar for Diversity Issues at Washburn University, in Topeka, Kansas: an honor named for the lead plaintiff in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. He is the author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, and Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White. A collection of his essays, Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male, was published in the Fall of 2008."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Retired White Guy in The OC on January 2, 2012
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I just finished "Dear White America" and I believe it is a must read for all white-Americans in this particular election year. As a retired white-guy, living in the VERY conservative Orange County California (aka The OC), I am probably not the "typical" reader/demographic for Tim Wise's works, yet I find him to be a great thinker, educator, & student of history. Having read Tim's books "White Like Me" (which is one of my top-10 all-time favorites), "Colorblind", & "Speaking Treason Fluently", plus owning two DVD's of Tim's speeches on White Privilege, much in this book seemed to me to be a compilation of his other material, but updated with some current facts & statistics that I believe are especially important to all voters in this important upcoming Presidential election, no matter where your political alliances lie. This book is, to me, much more "readable" than "Colorblind" while addressing most of the issues in that excellent work. My only personal gripe with some of Tim's earlier books/writing is that sometimes it's too "academic" in nature, & I worry that some of my friends may not persevere to complete the book. This is a book I'll be giving to many friends, & even some not-so-friendly acquaintances. Although I stated that I believe this is a must read for all white-Americans, I believe it's an interesting read for all people. I wholeheartedly give this a 5-star rating.
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15 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Troy L. on September 3, 2013
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This should be required reading for anyone who lacks tolerance, fair-mindedness, and good will toward fellow citizens. After reading this book, my first thought was this person should be appointed to head this country's Federal Civil Rights operations. As an African-American male, I would be very comfortable entrusting my civil liberties to anyone who exhibits his kind of sensitivity and general fairness in looking beyond stereotypes, labels, and historical disregard for facts. Periodically, a person like this comes along, and renews your faith in humanity and the potential for how truly great this country really could be.
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41 of 67 people found the following review helpful By TwoKidsandACat on December 30, 2011
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I just finished reading my copy of Mr. Wise's book. Yes, I have actually read the book. Because I have read some of his previous works I can say that it is classic Tim Wise, yet there are unexpected surprises. He will warn you at the beginning of the book that it is written in the form of a letter, so you will not see references and notes until the very end of the book, with corresponding page numbers. In my opinion, this improves the flow of how the book reads, so most of the time it really sounds like a letter.

If you are a person of color, you will have a sense of the book "preaching to the choir," as Mr. Wise will elude to at the beginning. However, this doesn't mean that you will enjoy it any less, and you will learn recent statistics that you may not have been aware of. What I appreciated most about the book was learning about the long history of white anti-racism proponents in this country, and the call for this history to play a more active role in American history books, if for no other reason than to serve as encouraging examples and role models for 21st century White Americans. He also deftly reveals the very subtle, racially influenced thought processes hiding behind the reasons one Tea Party supporter gave in an email exchange when vocalizing their support for the party. He does so without accusing them of being racist, pointing out that it is nearly impossible to live in America and NOT be influenced by our country's racially charged history, regardless of ethnicity. I also appreciate his take on the Asian "model minority" concept.

I am a graduate social work student, and would love to see this book become required reading in our curriculum.
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22 of 37 people found the following review helpful By GOCart on March 25, 2012
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I heard a discussion of "Dear White America" on NPR and ordered it with Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity (City Lights Open Media). I found DWA more succinct and better organized although Colorblind was also a great read (The concept of a colorblind society has always irritated the 7734 out of me.) DWA addressed a gripe I have had with the media and the commentariat for years. All of these things are happening in U.S. society and no one ever seems to link the pattern or describe what is happening at a macro level. Tim Wise does just that. The legacy of the past 100 years is as damaging as the antebellum era. This book reminds all Americans that minorities have legitimate gripes about public policy and society between the Civil War and today. There is a correlation between the racist implementation of the G.I. Bill and the wealth disparities today. White America's denial-ism injures everyone in America because no one can move to new roles if we refuse to recognize our past and current roles. Please read this book and then share your copy with a friend. It will help the choir develop a clearer understanding of the path that led us here and also inform the maddening crowd that can't seem to grasp that we haven't actually had a national discussion about race because so many are refusing to acknowledge the systematic injustices and privilege that shape our daily lives. If everyone reads this, I won't have to suffer through one more bootstrap story that includes grazing rights on public land, the G.I. Bill, Levitt town communities, and a public school education that served them well.
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