So You Want to Talk About Race audiobook
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So You Want to Talk About Race audiobook free
As a African American male I choose this book in hopes of further educating myself on our society as a whole and the plight of the African American community. Unfortunately, I was unable to learn much from it. One of the big issues I had with this book is that the author is forcing her sexual identity into a book that’s supposed to be about race. She continually forces lesbian, trans, and other groups into a book that I believed to be about race. While those groups are also important, that could have been saved for another book.
The next issue I had was that she comes off extremely arrogant and condescending at times. I actually listened to this book so I was able to hear her tone and not imagining what she meant while reading it. It was a huge turn off at times and made it hard to listen to.
Finally, she played the victim way too much for my liking. The constant whoa is me stuff at all times is not my cup of tea. Sometimes we have to pick our battles and save other battles for later. She seems as if she wants everything her way and she wants it now.
While she did talk about some very important topics, I was not totally able to get behind her because of these things. Because of these things I can not in good conscience recommend this book if you’re looking for something that stays on topic and does not have other agendas.
So You Want to Talk About Race audiobook streamming online
What author would write a book with a target audience that is likely to consider reading it, much less paying for it, akin to wishing for a root canal? Apparently, Ijeoma Oluo.
I am a white, sexagenarian, male, and former CEO. I am, therefore, a r#cist. (And yes, I am being sensitive to the censors who will look at this before posting it.) And I accept that because this isnt about me. My personal tolerance is irrelevant. If a picture says a thousand words, an action is worth ten thousand pictures. That is how we should judge each other.
From my very privileged position in America, I have had a birds eye view of the systemic, institutional privilege (which in the negative is discrimination) that currently defines virtually all Western institutions today, including virtually all corporations.
Women have not shattered the corporate glass ceiling because the corporate institution was designed and built by men. Blacks have not achieved equity in the economic arena because it was designed by white men. Which is why, as Ijeoma points out, it really doesnt matter if the man in charge is a racist or a misogynist or not.
The #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements are all about gender and racial discrimination. What has enabled misogyny and racism, however, is the definition and allocation of power in our institutions and our society. Tolerance is great, but its nowhere near enough. Until we challenge the structure of power, we will not address the underlying cause of social and economic injustice.
Here are the main takeaways I got from this book:
– Its not about me or Ijeoma. This is about structural injustice.
– Its not about the tone of the discussion. This is about structural injustice.
– Its not about intent. This is about structural injustice.
– Its not about who is right and who is wrong. This is about structural injustice.
– Its not about who can use what words. This is about structural injustice.
In the end, the great strength and the great weakness of our political economy is our over-riding emphasis on the individual and his or her opportunities and rights. Theres nothing wrong with that per se. But in this crowded, technologically enabled world we live in, its not enough. We can live individually but we can only be judged collectively. Our insistence that every conversation be about me, or you, or Ijeoma, or that person over there, is blinding us to the degree that we really are all in this together.
Scientists used to view the environment as a collection of independent and discrete parts. There was a prairie here, an Arctic ice field there, and a rain forest someplace a long way away. They now realize, however, that there is only one ecosystem and what happens in the rain forest is just as important as what happens in the Iowa corn field.
Other scientists have discovered the same thing about the other hard and soft sciences. Biology and economics dont cut it any more. We have to think in terms of evolutionary biology and behavioral economy. Real understanding lies not just within a functional discipline, but also in the spaces that separates them and the overlaps that interconnect them.
So, I go back to my original question. Why did Ijeoma write this book? I wont pretend to know the answer but it is clear that she has a genuine desire to see us face the issue. And after reading this book it is clear that the desire is genuine. And while it is theoretically true that if she is successful she will have to find something new to write about, so what? That is exactly the kind of binary, digital thinking that is at the heart of the problem. Life is not either/or. It is, with tolerance, and/but.
Ijeoma has a perspective. And the tone is sometimes a bit harsh. But how could it not be? In the end I think the most amazing and laudable thing about her language is that she obviously worked so hard to keep a lid on her passion. If she were white, we would elect her to high office.
Am I appropriating Ijeomas book by writing this review? Yes. But thats irrelevant. I am not her. And my appropriation is going to paint racism with a white brush and, potentially, demean that pain. But that is the thinking of a binary thinkereither/or. And that, in the end, is what we have to overcome. Tolerant people are not binary thinkers. Tolerance is not a function of embracing the other side of the binary issue. It is about eliminating the binary divide. Ultimately, the racism talked about here is about institutional models of power that disadvantage one group over another. (And, as Ijeoma points out, there are many.)
In the end, I wont say this was the most pleasant read. It was, however, a good read. It made me think. And for that I am grateful to the author. I wont say, well done, because that would be an appropriation, as if I could evaluate how well she had represented her pain. I cant. Its hers, not mine. I will say, however, that I listened. And I listened because you were clear and authentic. And I do thank you for that.
A must read. Period.
Audiobook So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
This book is written in a breezy style that is in contrast to Ta Nehisi Coates or even Barak Obama. The author will expect you to accept two assumptions, apparently a priori:
1) Any data-driven demographic outcome that shows negative racial correlations (e.g. Income Levels, Rate of Graduation from College, Infant Mortality, Crime, etc) can ONLY be explained by racism. There are no other possible causes.
2) For every Disadvantaged Group, there is a Privileged Group whose advantage came directly from oppressing the Disadvantaged Group. It’s a zero sum game. The Law of Conservation of Privileges. Every winner extracts his/her winnings from a loser.
Judging from the stellar reviews Ijeoma gets on Amazon, I suspect most readers already accept the above assumptions. It is possible, however, for reasonably intelligent people to disagree. See Jason Riley’s articles in the WSJ.
I give the book 3 stars for writing style and for opening up a point of view I hadn’t appreciated before. It also explains Intersectionality in easy to understand terms. Unfortunately, this book has made me pessimistic that further healing of the racial divide in our country is possible.
Audio So You Want to Talk About Race narrated by Bahni Turpin
Ijeoma Oluo has some excellent advice for white folks in “So You Want to Talk About Race.” This book may be most helpful to people who think “I’m not racist” or who read about Black Lives Matter and #takeaknee and can’t understand why they’re necessary. Oluo addresses topics that you may hesitate to raise with black friends, encourages you to revisit your understanding of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and explains concepts including emotional labor and white privilege. Consider this anti-racism 101.
For white folks ready for the 200-level anti-racism course — people who are ready to accept that White Supremacy is real and that they’ve benefited from it — Oluo offers additional challenges. I especially appreciated her call toward the end of the book to move beyond talk and into action. Find a place, whether it’s your kids’ school or the local political scene, and use your privilege to help dismantle systems that have done so much damage to people of color.
If you’re not ready for this book or don’t view discussions of race as a necessary part of your life as a white person, I’d encourage you to read “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates and “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, both of which led me to empathy and anger and prompted me to speak out in ways I hadn’t previously.
Free audio So You Want to Talk About Race – in the audio player below
A great, well-written read that explains difficult and complex topics around race in really straightforward, easy-to-understand ways (yet still acknowledges the intricacies of the subject matter and doesn’t oversimplify). If you are interested in understanding racism and privilege – particularly as a white person who wants to contribute to fighting racism but doesn’t know where to start – this is a really great book to read.
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