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But I Don't See You as Asian: Curating Conversations About Race Paperback – June 8, 2013
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Bruce has offered us a great gift: a jargon-free, accessible, guide on how to avoid some of the most common errors we make when engaging across color lines. Using both personal anecdotes and astute cultural references, Bruce gives us an entry point into needed conversations while exposing the fears and anxieties that often make these dialogues difficult and awkward. At times silly, other times insightful, this resource is the primer for thoughtful engagement on a subject many prefer to ignore.
We have spent far too long ignoring our privilege and acting as if racism will work itself out. Bruce's approach allows individuals and communities to tackle deep prejudice and ignorance in a way that will make change in our families, neighborhoods, and churches.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have traveled extensively and embrace learning of other cultures. I generally have to correct misconceptions about America when I travel, but I choose to not be offended by them. The author seemed to be offended by strangers or acquaintances confusing him with people that shared similar traits such as hair color and skin color--yet these are generally the first traits we analyze to distinguish who is who among people we know.
I appreciate being enlightened about how some comments can be hurtful. However, I think the author needs to remember that a jerk is a jerk no matter who the jerk is interacting with, and generally will try to insult or hurt a person by the method that requires the least amount of thought. Labeling the jerk as racist may be accurate, but eliminating racism would just mean jerks would have to think a little bit more to find a way to insult and be hurtful.
In each chapter, Reyes-Chow's offers a story gracefully addresses the specific phrases we use to distance ourselves from doing our own work to challenge invisible white privilege and opression in ourselves and our communities. Reyes-Chow gracefully unveils each wire in the birdcage of racism usually invisible to those of us in the dominant culture. Each wire on its own could be dismissed, but when we look at them together we see the way they hem in communities of color both individually and collectively.
This is not meant as an advanced guide to this conversation, but I highly recommend it as a primer to anyone who wants a starting point.
Bruce didn't need to be an oracle to time his book launch so well. Given how bad we are at talking about this subject there was about a 50% chance of a brouhaha almost anytime he tossed his words into the interwebs, but the need for this kind of book is self-evident.
Bruce is well situated to speak into this morass. A native northern-californian, and 3rd generation Filipino/Chinese Presbyterian minister he writes with wit and wisdom. His previous book was a guide to using social media for churchy-types and his years of experience reading comment-threads alone give him the expertise to talk about hate-speech. ;-)
This book is approachable and jargon-free. Race-theory is a deep academic field, but there is nothing here to intimidate any reader. His starting point is a series of insensitive sayings - the kinds of things that well-meaning people say without realizing the racism informing their words. He gently guides us to better ways of speaking and thinking without condemnation or finger-pointing. This is a book you could hand your racist grandpa and he would probably read the whole thing without throwing it in the fire.
A side-effect of Bruce's careful approach is that the first quarter of the book is slow. He feels the need to give you a lot of background before getting to the meat of his subject matter, and he qualifies everything he says very carefully to avoid unnecessary offense.Read more ›
In this book he takes complicated issues surrounding race, and breaks them into bite-sized pieces that the average person can understand. And does so without losing anything important. It's really amazing.
It was a fine read as an individual, but it did let me down.
I think it would be a great read for a group or community, especially if the chapters were used as launching points and not treated as the expert in the room. The chapters don't need to be read in order and it would be fine to pick the chapters that were important to the context and leave out the rest for another time or altogether.
If I was leading a group with this book, I wouldn't have people read at home. The chapters are short enough, I would read one as a group and then spend multiple sessions/meetings unpacking the book and our community, moving to the next chapter when we needed a new prompt, not when the clock/calendar told us to.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free when it was offered as a Kindle freebie and the author is a Facebook friend I've met once in person. Some of what I've shared is based on conversation with the author, but my rating or review is in no way influenced by the author.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Using for a book group discussion. Has not started yet...but this is the book the group decided upon. Looking forward to reading .Published 4 months ago by Aleta Purcell
There is a lot of material tucked inside this book. part memoir, part academic, part social anthropology. Read morePublished 7 months ago by JK Conibear
Very helpful resource for the discussions about race relations that are so needed right now.Published 11 months ago by Miriam Kishi
Direct! Resourceful! and full of wit and WISDOM! With the racial climate in the US, this should be a must read!Published 14 months ago by L. Turnage
I was so distracted by the errors in grammar and poor writing that I got very little of the substance. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Darla, Anchorage, Alaska
Bruce writes in an accessible, no nonsense way, making one of the most difficult issues of our times.Published 16 months ago by Ellen Rankin
The content of the book was very good. However, an editor would have helped the mechanics. It was thought provoking, especially for a reader who is half Filipino. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Bratsche2
I thought Bruce's book was witty, fun to read, very accessible and a great introduction to the race discussion. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Adam Walker Cleaveland