- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Worth Publishers; 4th edition (February 9, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1429233443
- ISBN-13: 978-1429233446
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 60 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism 4th Edition
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In short, this book is made up of a collection of essays Rothenberg saw as well-suited to approach the notion of white privilege. It is divided up into four parts, each with its own theme. Part one, titled “Whiteness: The Power of Invisibility”, discusses how many white people aren’t aware of the privilege they have, but also don’t want to come to terms with it. The book essentially works as a funnel, first explaining the matters of “whiteness” and “white privilege”, and then delving further into the power behind such privilege, and how to combat it (addressed in part four- “Whiteness: The Power of Resistance”).
After reading the few chapters that made up Part one, I found myself in a strange position; I was interested in the material, yet I was falling asleep while reading it. Was I tired? No, I was fine 10 minutes ago. Am I bored? Possibly. I quickly discovered that it was because I felt I was reading the same material over and over again. Thirty pages in and I already knew what the rest of the book would entail; more essays about how “whiteness” has been glorified throughout history and as a result, those who identify as “white” have been benefiting greatly in society. Though I agreed with much of the text in the essays I was presented with, I couldn’t help but feel bored; I knew I could walk away from the book and not feel like I was missing out on anything.
Despite this, I found the collection of essays in White Privilege to be beneficial in gaining information from an array of perspectives, however; I was disappointed to find that the entire book was merely just a collection of essays. Rothenberg provides her only insight in the introduction of her book, yet much of what she said primarily just introduced what I would later read from the collection of authors. I didn’t feel any sort of connection with the book because I never actually got to connect with any of the authors. The essays were concise enough to quickly read through them, but I felt I was reading more of a textbook than anything.
Overall, I felt that Rothenberg included some very insightful articles, and I appreciated the different perspectives on the matter of white privilege in this world. As a white female (writing this review on a family members account), I was aware of how I have benefited from “white privilege”, but I didn’t quite understand to what length I have reaped such benefits. After reading White Privilege, I was able to walk away with different ideas and a newfound knowledge on the subject, and thankfully I have become more conscious of my own privilege. I would recommend this book to someone who is looking to gain a different kind of wisdom on the issues of “white privilege” and the “whiteness” of living in this world. If looking for a more intriguing read, however, I would advise to maybe find more of an autobiography.
This book is a collection of essays that are firmly rooted in the subjective and emotive experiences of the writers. Authors cite other authors' opinions as if referencing them makes their opinions facts. This book helped set the stage for the sort of academic thinking that eventually soured beyond redemption as it spilled into social media, creating the "white shame movement," and as a result we got the Alt-right and Donald Trump. The authors, no matter how well-meaning, display all of the symptoms of bigotry that they claim to be fighting. They exalt their emotions and opinions as if they are facts.
If you are considering taking a college course that requires this book, proceed with caution; you might be signing up for indoctrination more than education. It's worse than Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos, and it's the very sort of garbage that makes their polemics palatable.