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Race Experts: How Racial Etiquette, Sensitivity Training, and New Age Therapy Hijacked the Civil Rights Revolution Paperback – December 17, 2002
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Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
By focusing narrowly on particular sources, Lasch-Quinn ignores a number of other narratives about race that were also circulating during this 30 year time period. As many scholars of race relations have found, Americans continue to tell stories about innate superiority of whites and don't feel guilty about it, stories that disavow the significance of race altogether, and stories about building coalitions and universal human rights, to name only a few. Finally, what Lasch-Quinn fails to point out is that neoconservatives have already come up with a clever rebuttal to the ritual of racial reprimand. People of color who mention race or racism are now ritually reprimanded for "playing the race card.Read more ›
Linking to the work of her father (Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism) Lasch-Quinn instead blames angry black men and wimpy white liberals for disrupting what had been, as she sees it, an ever-expanding, polite circle of inclusion. She claims that various individuals deployed the tools of humanist psychology to make piles of money making whites feel guilty and helping corporations deal with a more diverse workforce without expanding democracy's benefits. I was intrigued by her argument that diversity training, by dealing primarily with employes' emotions, distracts them from larger issues of equity in the workplace, but she doesn't develop it.
Instead, she's bent on belittling anyone who continues to argue that racism is virulent in America. She doesn't address the fact that African Americans as a group still receive poorer housing, education, and health care and greater prison time than their white counterparts. Putting all the "race experts" she despises out of business wouldn't change that, but perhaps she'd consider it impolite to say so.
When looking at the title and liner notes, I thought this book was going to focus on Race Experts that we all know. (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton) Or maybe this book will focus on talking heads that we always see on T.V. talking about race--Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West, Skip Gates, Larry Elder) Instead most of the book centered on obscure workshops that most people have never heard of. I did enjoy many aspects of the book. My favorite was the discussion of the book Nappy Hair. I vaguely remember this event, but Race Experts made many things clear. If I were the child of an African-American child in 3rd grade, I would not want a white teacher reading a book of that nature to my child. It's amazing that this teacher, being inexperienced, did not consult another teacher before reading Nappy Hair to the class. The parents had a right to be angry, but not that angry. In my book Plain Talk, I state upfront, that I do not believe that there is a such thing as a Race Expert. This book has solidified my stance.
As a person myself who pays keen attention to the lopsided reverse-racism in America and it's idiocy, I indeed found continued use for the book and see it as almost by itself among hardprint. The author displays ingenuity and proposes new perspectives and new penetrating examples, and I particularly liked her investigative nature on how the mess is originating at the highest levels of academia and leadership, and simultaneously provides recent scenarios from such popular media as a Tom Cruise & Cuba Gooding movie.
I do want to emphasize that Lasch-Quinn, of who I do not know, is noticeably gifted in writing. There is a combination of simplicity, enjoyment, and wonderful truthfulness in her book that sincerely puts it in high regard.