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Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male Paperback – September 1, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593762070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593762070
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This collection of Tim Wise's essays should be required reading in every college in the United States. Wise removes the veil of white privilege and exposes the intrinsically racist roots that pervade all aspects of our American society, government, and institutions.

In each succinct essay Wise explores an aspect of racism. Wise anticipates each argument that seeks to excuse, justify and perpetuate the line of racist thought. He then systematically dismantles those arguments by using precise deduction, facts, and unflinching honesty. Wise discloses the consistent logical fallacies in the every day kind of racist arguments that many people claim are based on common sense.

More than simply deconstructing racist arguments, Wise goes on to show how "Whiteness is a trick, but sadly one that has worked for nearly three and half centuries. Only when white folks wise up and realize that whiteness itself is our problem will we ever stand a chance of true liberation. Until then, our whiteness will provide us privileges and advantages, but only in relation to those at the bottom of the racial caste structure. It will provide a psychological wage, W.E.B. Dubois put it, as an alternative to real wages" (194). Wise's insights denude the disingenuous and fundamentally dishonest use of racism by the elite as an ideology designed to maintain and perpetuate their power base.

One reviewer here noted that Wise is essentially singing to the choir. But I don't think that remark is entirely on the mark. Wise's persistent commitment to hard facts, genuine statistical data and deductive reasoning make him a force to be reckoned with. His conclusions have been arrived at with such painstaking honesty that their authenticity has the power to enlighten and change minds.
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Tim Wise is at it again. Not since "White Like Me," has he launched such a spirited attack on what he has euphemistically called "Racism 2.0," the latest more stealth but no less potent version of the old brutal version of Racism 1.0. Here he marshals all of the statistics for those who care, of how the racial chips are still stacked heavily against mostly black Americans, but also against any Americans of color, including Asians, who tend to do better than whites on all of the parameters that racists whites consider determinative, including on standardized intelligence tests. But rather than get into the statistics of the racial politics Wise uncovers, (I notice that other reviewers have covered them well in any case), I want to suggest to the author that as one of only a handful of remaining active and vocal white anti-racists, that he did not go quite far enough.

The real price of racism (which incidentally is also the real reason that it remains so persistent) is that white humanity remains so heavily invested in, and dependent on, its not so well-hidden but cross-generational benefits. It is with a combination of denial, tribal bullying, skewed laws (and even more skewed law enforcement), thinly veiled racist justifications for continued racial discrimination, as well as informal "white only" tribal networks, that whites continue to maintain the fiction of racial superiority, a fiction that helps to maintain the ideology of racism in the present steady state.

But also, as this author has been the first to point out, it is "pandering to white racism" that keeps the light from shining on the true source of America's racial problems: continuing white comfort with, and confidence in, the present fragile social arrangements.
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By G_W1Z on January 15, 2014
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This book covers so many diverse topics. Most of Tim's books are short (under 200 pages) and this tops 300 I think. One of the chapters that I found very interesting was the one on Major League Baseball and the times when blacks were banned from playing.
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If you have ever watched a Tim Wise documentary, read a Tim Wise book or listened at a Tim Wise lecture, the force of the word TRUTH hits you like a sledgehammer. There is very little that is subtle or hidden about this kind of raw honesty. Most of what White America would prefer stay unmentioned, covered or glossed over is exposed for what it is, the flaw of frail humanity; hatred and fear masquerading as racism. The privilege of a particular racial group at the expense of the rest of humankind and the consequences of such prejudice, hatred and discrimination. Tim Wise inadvertently makes us all vulnerable and realize that EVERYBODY eventually feels the effects of hate-filled policies designed to marginalize the African-American in particular and other minorities in general. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!
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Tim Wise is an activist and educator, previously wrote "White Like Me," whose commentaries and inquiries
should fuel outrage which should then move people to action against racism. Read it today.
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Tim Wise speaks very intellectually about racism. Some of the things I have never thought about. There is a great deal of truth about what he say. Many are unwilling or unable to receive the truth.
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Tim clearly and plainly outlines his positions with regard to the systemic, institutionalized racism in America with thoughtful and perceptive observations and recommendations. Those who have purchased and read the book are likely very much aware of this issue; however, it's sad to realize those in most need of this text will probably never purchase it.
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