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White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better (Paperback)
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A no-holds-barred guidebook aimed at white women who want to stop being nice and start dismantling white supremacy from the team behind Race2Dinner and the documentary film, Deconstructing Karen
It's no secret that white women are conditioned to be "nice," but did you know that the desire to be perfect and to avoid conflict at all costs are characteristics of white supremacy culture?
As the founders of Race2Dinner, an organization which facilitates conversations between white women about racism and white supremacy, Regina Jackson and Saira Rao have noticed white women's tendency to maintain a veneer of niceness, and strive for perfection, even at the expense of anti-racism work.
In this book, Jackson and Rao pose these urgent questions: how has being "nice" helped Black women, Indigenous women and other women of color? How has being "nice" helped you in your quest to end sexism? Has being "nice" earned you economic parity with white men? Beginning with freeing white women from this oppressive need to be nice, they deconstruct and analyze nine aspects of traditional white woman behavior--from tone-policing to weaponizing tears--that uphold white supremacy society, and hurt all of us who are trying to live a freer, more equitable life.
White Women is a call to action to those of you who are looking to take the next steps in dismantling white supremacy. Your white supremacy. If you are in fact doing real anti-racism work, you will find few reasons to be nice, as other white people want to limit your membership in the club. If you are not ticking white people off on a regular basis, you are not doing it right.
About the Author
Saira (NOT Sara) Rao grew up in Richmond, Virginia, the daughter of Indian immigrants. For forty years, she wasted her precious time aspiring to be white and accepted by dominant white society, a futile task for anyone not born with white skin. Several years ago, Saira began the painful process of dismantling her own internalized oppression. Saira is a lawyer-by-training, a former congressional candidate, a published novelist and an entrepreneur.
Born in Chicago in 1950 Regina remembers an America where everything was in Black and white. Burned into her memory are; the beatings and horrific treatment of civil rights workers throughout the south, the Goodman, Chaney & Schwerner murders, the murder of Viola Liuzzo, the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the murders of President John Kennedy and his brother Robert. The violence perpetrated on innocent people going about their lives, by white people. It is these memories that drive Regina to push for real change in America. Which is why she co-founded Race 2 Dinner.
“Deconstructing white women and white supremacy has never been more necessary than it is right now, and I am always looking for ways to learn, grow, shut the F up, and listen. This book gives you the tools to do just that.” –Chelsea Handler
“This book dares to tell necessary truths. The kind of truths that can save lives, and if heard with an open mind and heart — may even help save the soul of this lost nation.” –Frederick Joseph, author of New York Times bestsellers Patriarchy Blues and The Black Friend
"...what they’re offering is an opportunity for white women to free themselves and their communities from the toxic ideals of white supremacy and white culture, amessage that's ultimately optimistic and even cathartic." -- Booklist
“WHITE WOMEN is not an easy read but is essential if you are dedicated to liberation for all and confronting white supremacy in all the parts of our lives where it hides so easily. This book is not an attack but an extraordinary gift, and I invite you to set your ego aside and approach it with humility and an open heart." –Anna Paquin, actress and producer
“[Jackson and Rao] are clear and concise, making their points with no room for argument… [they] are especially astute in their investigation of the language regarding White supremacy… [a] highly insightful, useful text.” –Kirkus Starred Review
"I am excited for what this book means for us all. In a world where critical race theory is banned in classrooms across the USA, because the white people were not properly taught to think critically about their complicity in systemic oppression, this book is timely. We tend to tiptoe around whiteness, and this book rips the bandage off. This is the book many BIWOC have been needing to give to the white women in our lives; from our white co-workers to our white mother-in-laws, this book is no-holds-barred. This is the answer to many of our prayers." –Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez Author of For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts: A Love Letter to Women of Color
"Delivering clear and deliberate messaging, White Women enables white women to understand how our overt civility and desire to be nice above all else directly equates to racial avoidance and upholds white supremacy. It is the invitation you didn't realize you needed: accept it!" –Jo Lorenz, writer and co-founder of The Progressivists social media network
"The rawness and realness of these dinners and experiences, the wisdom, and quite frankly the courage Saira and Regina have, has the potential to be some of the most transformational work we have seen in this space in the last few years. The setting is genius, a perfect way to set the stage for the intimacy and radical honesty needed for this work. I felt every story. As a Black woman who facilitates similar conversations in my work with organizations, I know it’s necessary to have these frank conversations. But the way Saira and Regina approach it, there is little room for the participants to hide from the truth. Even with all of the heaviness, it’s an easy and entertaining read. I believe anyone and everyone interested in this work should read this book." –Michelle Saahene, Speaker, Coach, Community Leader
"This book is a sharply-defined lens through which white women who consider themselves allies need to see themselves, especially if they have any hope of stopping their patterns of harmful behavior towards Black and Brown and Indigenous folx of color, truly divesting from whiteness, and actually taking action in the fight against racism and white supremacy. I hate how necessary and important this book is, but for the white women who are willing to read with open hearts and ears, Saira and Regina tell it exactly like it is. If and when white women are ready to commit to racial justice, they need to move quickly beyond performative wokeness and graduate from fragility, and this book is a foundational text for that master class." –Tina Strawn, author and activist
"A must-read for all who have grown tired and weary of those who want to preserve the niceness of social interactions because of the way a situation looks instead of placing importance on what the reality is."-- Library Journal
"White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better" is the book that will change the narrative. Regina and Saira approach the topic in a way that is not meant to placate the reader, but to challenge them to change. This is different than most who choose a warm and fluffy tone. They deconstruct the narrative that racism is normal, and put accountability back in the hands of those who uphold the systems that cause harm." –Madison Butler, Founder, Blue Haired Unicorn
“White Women… is not an easy book to read. It’s also not a comforting read. It’s pretty raw and unflinching. It doesn’t pull punches. It’s upfront without apology and…Thank God!!! It’s a book that’s a necessary, urgent, must- read for white women who most definitely can do better.” – Marcie Alvis Walker, creator of Black Coffee with White Friends
"Rao and Jackson use poignant and sharp observations with moments of hilarity to highlight the institutional barriers we have to overcome to become a better society as a whole." –Abby Govindan, Comedian