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White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son Paperback – September 13, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
In other words, I have to think about race a lot -- for a white man.
But even with as much as I think about race I am still oblivious to some of the ways my race has privileged me in every context since my conception. And some of the ways it still privileges me every day in ways that harm the wife, children, and church that I love. And, as Wise discusses in White Like Me, ways that harm me and other whites.
In "White Like Me" Tim Wise tells his own story of living as a white man in a country that privileges whiteness. Beginning with his conception and continuing to Obama's presidency, Wise writes of his life experiences and what each one reveals about the advantages whiteness affords. His storytelling is at times moving, usually humurous, and always relatable for white readers.
Wise is not interested in making white people feel guilty. He is interested in helping white people see what our black neighbors see and feel every day. As such, the book is illuminating whether you have explored the subject of white privilege before or not.
Privilege, according to Wise, amounts to almost every experience that a white person has within their life. Simple things like whether or not your presence in a certain area will be questioned or larger things such as access to college educations are all related to the color of our skin at birth. People don't automatically assume you are poor or going to steal when you are in a store, they don't cross the street to avoid walking past you, and they don't assume you are selling to drugs to buy your new shoes. This is not exactly the kind of thing that there is a lot of expert research on. All the evidence and claims that Wise make concerning the subject are all related to his personal experiences and his work relating to activism. However, this being the case I feel that he does make a very strong argument; I have been able to relate to what he is saying in many of his stories.
During one such story he recounts that in his youth he would go to underage keg parties and when the cops would come by they would do little except tell them to keep the noise down. There was no doubt as to the fact that kids were drinking and smoking pot, but no one was arrested and no fines were given.Read more ›
But the book could have been half this length (and it's not that long). Wise is so self absorbed, he is tedious. Beyond that, he has no insight into the fact that a lot of his privilege derives from being male, as well as white. He'll give examples of "white" privilege that are as much about his gender as his skin color, not to mention matters of class, as others have mentioned. The way he talks about his wife dutifully raising their two children almost by herself while he keeps writing and writing and writing was really hard for me to read. Better he should have taken over the kids for a month and let her finish the book, or, better yet, write her own. I bet she'd have a lot to say. I actually finished the book, just to see where he was going with his ideas, but I was sorry I wasted the time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this is a great book to have on my kindle. It was for a class I was taking but I have suggested it to other people and they love it. Read morePublished 27 days ago by B. Allyson
Has anyone else noticed how jews like Tim Wise call themselves "white" when they want to bash whites, but otherwise continue to be the "race" who has cashed in the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nick
I have to say I was a little disappointed by this work. I had always heard that Tim Wise was an staunch advocate for improved racial/ethnic relations and for working through racial... Read morePublished 4 months ago by AltarEgo23
This book really makes you think of the privileges we have being white. Things we never have to think about, like not having to worry about being pulled over just because we are... Read morePublished 5 months ago by MacFour
I felt the perspective of this book was down to earth. The author did not "guilt trip", but rather argues for a perspective of resistance and allying against racism based in... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Joni
I just saw Tim Wise's KCET documentary on this book. I applaud those white folks who stood up for blacks during the 60's and was myself beaten up for being a black lover in High... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jeffry Herman
I truly enjoyed this book. I enjoyed Wise's candid voice in his discussion of racism & injustice. While white privilege is very much a part of our society, few acknowledge its... Read morePublished 6 months ago by ShaSha