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Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  227 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
In this highly anticipated follow-up to White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, activist Tim Wise examines the way in which institutional racism continues to shape the contours of daily life in the United States, and the ways in which white Americans reap enormous privileges from it. The essays included in this collection span the last ten years of Wise’s ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Soft Skull Press
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Sep 20, 2008 Lauren rated it really liked it
So it took me a few weeks to get through Tim Wise's latest book. While I generally hang on every word he types, I found that 359 pages of anti-racist essays can become heavy on one's heart. He maintain a tone of righteous indignation for all 359 pages, which is both a credit to his passion for the subject and a little grating on the nerves. I closed the book very glad that I had read it, however - he writes on topics as diverse as the presidential race, steroid use in baseball and the unwise ado ...more
Oct 05, 2008 Faith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-nonfiction
This is a collection of Wise's speeches/essays from 2000 to May 2008. I was able to read only a few in the 14 days the library allowed me, but I've read enough to know I'm going to buy the book and read more. And keep it on the shelf as a reference. It helped me articulate what bothers me about the surge of support of the youngish senator from Illinois: "Obama's rise has owed almost everything to his ability ...... to 'transcend' race, which is really a way of saying his ability to carve out an ...more
Nov 13, 2010 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
I thought this book was amazing, which both thrills and troubles me.

My initial AND ultimate reactions to Wise's passionate assessments of racism in American culture is ultimately pride and inspiration. As a man married to a black woman with two mixed children, I find a comfort knowing that these sentiments are being viciously and vigorously sounded.

What most impressed me was Wise's ability to use statistical analysis of sociological surveys and polls to lay the indestructible foundation of his
Nov 22, 2008 Sarah rated it it was ok
while reading:

i'm not super into the way that he ridicules people who hold (admittedly) ignorant points of view. it's not constructive. there's no call to be rude. i mean, of course, rudeness is totally provoked, but it's not ultimately constructive. what would be more constructive would be some discussion of anti-racist education so that such ignorance cannot continue.


oh my god i get it already. racism is a problem. i get it. it's illogical. true words. but you're not going to convince an
Dec 02, 2008 Beth rated it it was amazing
More great stuff from Wise. Essays written from 2000 to 2008, all relevant right now and into the future. His humor makes the hard, bitter facts easier to face up to somehow. He wants white people to face racism and then do something about it, and he won't take any excuses. He lives his values, so it's hard to dismiss anything he says (not that I would want to) as hyperbole or idealistic or too demanding. Lots of food for thought here, as well as motivation for action.
Maddi MacDonald
Dec 17, 2015 Maddi MacDonald rated it liked it
It took me a year and a half to read this book because if you read it straight through, it becomes dreadfully repetitive. Great arguments and perspectives, though I was disappointed to see no sources at the end since so many of his articles' strengths were in there stats.

Overall good dissection of white people's rationalisations, minimizations, and competing victimisation when it comes to racism.
Feb 21, 2011 Tim rated it it was amazing
I will keep my first review below for posterity, but I feel compelled to re-write my review in the light of recent circumstances.

Sometimes you never know how much a book wil impact you upon first reading. Sometimes you don't even know how much it has changed you until you've given it's message time to worm its way into your heart and mind. Sometimes even then you don't know it's impact until you find yourself defending the book's prinicples, using the book's arguments and earnestly beleiving th
Feb 06, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing
great book of essays on racism. style was debunking common white arguments against racism - thnks like "why dont we have a national association for advancement of white people?" Answer: we do- it is called ocngress- then he backs up the response- as a white man who has benefited from white privilege it was nice to have a primer where I could find out what that really means. he did have one or two knee jerk pieces that were unsupported and or not well thought out- his brief diatribe against chris ...more
Robin Diangelo
Nov 11, 2009 Robin Diangelo rated it really liked it
Well, by now anyone reading these will have figured out I read books on racism. Not just becuase this is my area of study, but also becuase they keep me on my toes and help challenge my white complacency that I "already know" what I need to know. They also reinforce me and help "prop me up" against the daily resistance I get from other whites. These books are a kind of "I am not crazy" remedy. Plus, they make me smarter and then I am more effective.

So, Tim Wise. I love his anger. And he has an
Pamela Denise
Jun 10, 2016 Pamela Denise rated it it was amazing
With incisive wit, a wealth of research, and clear purpose, Tim Wise provides another timeless educational opportunity for allies in anti-racism. His essays name and repute the many "intuitions" and objections related to naming and dismantling structural racism and the identity constructs that support its maintenance. Speaking Treason Fluently is a call to move beyond paralytic guilt and humane philosophy into action-oriented anti-racism.
rachel  misfiticus
Jun 26, 2009 rachel misfiticus rated it liked it
I would like to preface this by saying: I like Time Wise, but one should space it out a bit with these essays. Also this deserves a half star.

I would also like to say that I have no idea how to articulate how I felt about this book! Basically, Wise's book is a collection of essays and blogs from the past 10 years or so. As a result, the book can get a bit redundant in terms of statistics etc.. It seems as though every two pages Wise is telling me "Racism exists!" And I am thinking "No shit!" Am
Nov 17, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Only just beginning this powerful look at a book that covers both white denial and complacency.

Particulary relevant at this time in our country's history when so many view the election of a black/bi-racial man as "transcending race" by which we really mean transcending his blackness, as if blackness is something negative, something from which one ought to seek escape, and quickly.
Feb 10, 2009 Pam rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
I really like his writing style and ideas.

This book can be a little repetative, since it's from essays written over a period of time, and certain themes reemerge frequentlly. He might have written them five years apart, but they're only 5 pages apart in the book, but other than that, it's a great book, lots to think about.
Dec 06, 2010 Elyssa rated it really liked it
This book of essays about racism and the role of white privilege in perpetuating unjust political and power structures is potent. My only criticism is that the essasy become repetitive after awhile. This book might have worked better if the editing was stronger or if Wise opted to blend the essays into one narrative.
Dec 06, 2015 Elise added it
This book is incredible. For a long time I have struggled with how to respond to others who would say things like, "I'm so tired of the race card." This book is an essential for anyone who desires to be an antiracist ally. I was blown away by the statistics and how privileged I am. This is a must read.
Dec 10, 2013 kristyn rated it liked it
I didn't finish every single essay, though I wanted to, b/c I think I had checked this out double time already, and still hadn't gotten there. I really appreciate Tim's incisiveness, though, and I felt this was more argument and less anger (in a helpful way) then some of his other ones.
ms byrd
Jul 25, 2011 ms byrd rated it liked it
tim wise has some sharp anti-racist-inspired critiques, which i appreciated. however, the way he reports delivering them to others--with condescension and without compassion--smacks of the kind of privilege and disdain he purports to want to unearth and eradicate.
Aug 18, 2013 Marta rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Because this is a collection of (mostly) previously published essays, it gets a little repetitive at times - he's citing some of the same statistics over and over again and I think there's even a repeat story or two.
Apr 28, 2013 Courtney rated it liked it
A very weak three stars. I loved his memoir but this book lacked. I understand that it is compiled essays but it was A LOT of repetitive info over and over again. I was really disappointed.
Dec 12, 2008 Erin rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: the patient activist willing to read between the insults
I will finish this because it is my reading group's pick this month. Otherwise, Mr. Wise would have left my house a while ago. Disappointing, as I expected a bit better of him.
Liz S
Jun 26, 2011 Liz S rated it liked it
highly important, powerful prose....but it's a collection of previously written essays, so it gets really repetitive towards the end.
Sep 25, 2012 Katrinka rated it really liked it
Accessible, logical (if such a dry term can be used), and compassionate. Should be required reading, in schools and beyond.
TC Jones
Feb 14, 2014 TC Jones rated it it was amazing
Stunning collection of essays. Why this isn't required reading in every high school is beyond me.
Jun 26, 2013 Kevin rated it really liked it
Great book! Summarizes wonderfully the state of race and systemic racism in the US.
Ally Pye
I got this book from the anti-racism summit last week! Awesome speaker!
Sep 30, 2008 Weavre marked it as to-read
ILL only; as of Sept. 30, neither Luzerne nor Lackawanna systems have this yet.
Sep 08, 2012 Nfrma'at is currently reading it
Very insightful and truthful...A must read...
Mireille Hernandez
May 28, 2012 Mireille Hernandez rated it really liked it
Love how he tells it like it is.
Jolene marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2016
Dora marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2016
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Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S., and has been called the foremost white anti-racist intellectual in the nation, having spoken in 46 states, and on over 300 college campuses, including Harvard, Stanford, Cal Tech and the Law Schools at Yale, Columbia, Michigan, and Vanderbilt.

From 1999 to 2003, Wise served as an advisor to the Fisk University Race
More about Tim Wise...

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