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Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  797 ratings  ·  108 reviews
White Americans have long been comfortable in the assumption that they are the cultural norm. Now that notion is being challenged, as white people wrestle with what it means to be part of a fast-changing, truly multicultural nation. Facing chronic economic insecurity, a popular culture that reflects the nation's diverse cultural reality, a future in which they will no long ...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by City Lights Publishers (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.12  · 
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 ·  797 ratings  ·  108 reviews


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Jessaka
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, sociology
You never know what is going to lead you to read certain books, and with this one it was due to a friend I had who had grown tired of my anti-racist views but had never spoken out until one day when she called to ask for my opinion on an article that was sent to her, “The Black Dilemma.” I told her that it was a racist article, and then after hanging up the phone, I began doing research and learned that the article was written for the “American Renaissance” magazine which is a white supremacy ma ...more
J.L.   Sutton
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Even though I feel it’s important for Americans to read one of Tim Wise’s books, I’m not sure it matters which one. In White Like Me, for instance, Wise presents many of the same arguments as his more recent Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority. The premise of both books is that issues around race and racial inequality have not been resolved. To me, this seems like a given; however, it’s not always clear how (maybe besides the justice system) this inequality is being perpetuated. You mig ...more
Trish
I am interested in this topic but perhaps I have read too many of this type of book--can anyone read too much of this topic?--e.g., that objections that we're in a post-racial society have exaggerated our successes when speaking of the race issue in America.

Wise writes well and has a long pedigree for working on anti-racism issues. He certainly is able to articulate instances of bone-headedness and lack of careful thought around the arguments presented by those who oppose racial equality. Perhap
...more
Cherie
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book blew me away. Phenomenal observations here. Tim Wise addresses racism at its worst - or even at it's "well it's better than it used to be so that can't be racist." He dismantles racism, dismantles claims that things aren't racist, dismantles ideas of the Tea Party. He explains things I never knew, expounds on ideas - this book is phenomenal. This should be required reading for every single white American.
Kelley
Dec 14, 2013 rated it liked it
I encourage those who agreed with the points about white privilege brought out by Tim Wise and this book to check out this article:
http://changefromwithin.org/2011/09/0...

While I did enjoy the points and some of the analogies Wise made in Dear White America, what the author of the above article points out is also something to note:

"By definition, white privilege is not earned. Wise doesn’t have to do anything to gain access to the benefits assigned to the social construct of racialized whitenes
...more
Judy Rochester
For anyone who is older and grew up during segregation and was aware, there are no revelations here. Also for anyone who currently works in any capacity with minorities, there are none either. The author states in the preface that he may be preaching to the choir, and I fear he is. That said, I highly recommend this book as an information source for those who are unaware of the institutionalization of racism in our society. It is everywhere and pervasive and marginalizes too many.
Dike Matthew
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another user took the book very personally in his review and I feel that I should share my response to him as a review in itself for the benefit of the community:

"Thou dost Protest Too Much . . .!"

Don't extrapolate too much into what I'm saying but NO WAY did I get that from this book.

You may not feel comfortable with the truths expressed here but it doesn't make it any less factual.

Does it go against your sense that you're self-made and that you've succeeded in the vein of that rugged, American
...more
Christina Mitchell
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this short polemic in conjunction with watching Mr. Wise's lecture, The Pathology of Privilege: Racism, White Denial and Costs of Inequality (Wise, et al., 2008) on the recommendation of a respected member of my faculty whom I consider a mentor. I am grateful for the recommendation. Mr. Wise is an activist and scholar who makes us uncomfortable in order to confront the reality of our American society - racism is not dead, but alive and well.

I have read this book and watched his lecture a
...more
Anjali
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"As for the public assistance, the majority of people of color don't receive any; hence it is hardly legitimate to blame so-called "welfare" for the larger community's condition. Although people of color are more likely than whites to receive some form of income or health care assistance (which only makes sense, considering such groups are two to four more times more likely to be poor) in any given month, fewer than four in one hundred blacks and fewer than three in one hundred Latinos receive c ...more
Claudia
I listened to the author read his book...his words, and it was tough. White America has, for too long, looked the other way, insisting we somehow are more worthy than others..and very soon Caucasian America will be a minority. I absolutely believe that's what the last three presidential elections have been about, with the 2016 election being the last gasp of old white (yes, I know. I are one) men (not one) who so badly fear the changes in their world.

Wise starts the book with an episode where he
...more
Ben
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
"Dear White America" is the second book by Timothy Wise I've read, the first being the transcendental semi-autobiographical "White Like Me." I found the current book to be interesting, but not as thought-provoking as "White Like Me." However, it does present an interesting analysis of how several factors are currently threatening the narrative that equates the white (male) experience and the american experience, suggesting that the rise of the Tea Party and the attendant racism stem from an uncr ...more
Drick
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Tim Wise, a foremost white spokesperson on White Racism writes a letter to white Americans in 2012 at a time when the country is engaged in a low-level race war coded in political language of "less government" , "individual freedom" and "taking America back". Wise admits in the opening pages that whites who most embodies these unconscious and hidden racist values will not read his book. However, for white allies working alongside people of color for justice, this book is extremely valuable in he ...more
Sharon
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's very unlikely that the people the book actually tries to address will actually read it. This book explains how centuries of white privilege and violence against other ethnic groups have left white people unprepared for the future when whites will no longer be the majority of the nation. The book addresses fears of non-whites lazily draining white workers' income thru government anti-poverty programs, fears of scholarships for different ethnic groups hurting whites' ability to afford college ...more
Sean
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Time Wise is right. This book is meant for a lot more people than who will read it. I have read that he focuses too much, negatively, against the far Right, but that is because he is trying to make a point. He mentions that the Left isn't perfect in regards to racism, but he is trying to make a point to the influences of a certain kind of narrative that the far Right proposes. I think he does a good job in trying to get underneath to the deeper meaning of things that are said. It is time we, whi ...more
Darlene
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This small, concise book packs a big wallop into less than 160 pages. I found it to be one of the most engaging books written over the past few years on white privilege. Many books about race and anti-racism are very scholarly. This is not. It is hard-hitting and to the point. I shared this book and 18 of us met to discuss it after forming a small community of readers. Excellent to share with friends, read as a book group. I'd like to see every educator in America read it.
Barbara
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is on the UMW reading list for this year. He admits that people who read the book probably already agree with him, but I found it interesting because I am really trying to understand why the Tea Party segment of our country believes what they do. This was a good, well researched exposition not only on that topic but on the economic and racial history of our country.
Lucy Ford
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I found this book fascinating and revealing. It gave voice to some of the ideas I have had but couldn't articulate. I plan to read more of this author's work.
Shellee Diggs
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read/listen for those White people who think they are evolved. Let it check you. It takes a bit to sink in. You've got nothing to lose.
Annah
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Tim Wise pens a classically unrepentant letter to his fellow white Americans on the absurdly obvious fact of white privilege. I'm a Wise fan from his blog; this didn't disappoint.
Delmer
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have always admired Tim Wise. I've heard him speak many times and very wisely about racism and OUR role in that evil institution. This book was short but powerful, and it is still relevant even after being released many years ago. It is important to understand our history; Mr. Wise tells it in a frank and honest way.
Bradley Bowen
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I’m not exaggerating when I suggest that Dear White America: Letter To A New Minority should be required reading for every Caucasian in this country. Without a doubt, I’ve grown tired of white people attempting to talk about race. More often than not, this is never a good conversation. Even when speaking with progressives, white guilt can make you say some crazy things. (Ever said, “I don’t even see color?” Here’s a wakeup call: yes, you do.)

Before entering discussions on race, whites must make
...more
Priest Apostate
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am currently reading this book in the aftermath of the police brutality protests being held in multiple areas across the country. I mention this because even now, there are those in society clinging to social narratives such as

"none of this would be a problem if they didn't commit so much crime..."

"there is no such thing as 'White Privilege'..."

"I just wish the media would stop trying to stir up division" (as if the discontent wasn't there prior to the "media's efforts")...

"there is no such t
...more
City Lights Booksellers & Publishers
"In his latest, he cuts to the core of white fears, using his white authority and white privilege to tell other whites that yes, it's time for you to deal with yourselves and the new American reality you now inhabit."
-Drums in the Global Village

"The foremost white analyst of racism in America never fails to provide fresh takes as he punctures myths and defenses."
-World Wide Work
Christine
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent discussion of race in America and how things need to change and why. It is written like a letter, with no chapters or headings. Wise shows how the deck has always been stacked in the favor of white people, and now that that may be changing, anxiety is setting in and the Tea Party and other movements were born. They want to take their country back and are nostalgic for a past that isn't real however, as Wise so impressively documents.

One of the most important points in the b
...more
Linda
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm searching for answers to what is happening to the America I love. Why are we so divided? Why do some find it impossible to embrace every American citizen? Why is there so much hatred? Why can't we fulfill the promise of equality for all? This book answered many of my questions and more. I wish I felt more hopeful because I truly believe that "divided we fall."
Jennifer
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: race-and-racism
Good primer, but largely a rehash of other works by Wise. Don't think I learned anything new of substance other than the name of a book I should check out re. our history of anti-racism and allyship in the US.
Mark
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As the author states in the introduction, those who would most benefit from reading this book will never open its pages for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is white America's wish to cling to a false nostalgic history that whitewashes (pun intended) some of our society's most nefarious deeds done for the purpose of continued white supremacy. I had previously read Tim Wise's "White Like Me," which is his memoir. It opened my eyes to institutionalized racism, and how I have benefited ...more
Chazzbot
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
In the great tradition of political pamphlets written in the early history of the United States, Tim Wise offers a short, pointed, and much-needed argument about white entitlement in this country. Though acknowledging that he is likely preaching to his choir, Wise offers his book as a way for white Americans to address the many instances of implicit racism in much of today's political "dialogue". By the middle of his book, Wise begins pointing fingers at specific conservative institutions and in ...more
Joe LaBelle
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Good ideas are few and far between in this book by Tim Wise. The thing that is most consistent is his purely angry tone. When it comes to race relations, an upset tone is understandable, but Tim allows his feelings of anger to get in the way of building any solid solutions.

The most constructive solution in this book comes at the end. Tim Wise advocates for teaching about more white abolitionists and how that approach would illustrate unity between races from a current and historical perspective
...more
Jamie
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just when you think he can't get any better, Tim Wise releases yet another volume that is extraordinarily witty, intelligent, and moving. Replete with poignant anecdotes and data (whose sources are found in the back, as to allow the book to read more like a conversational letter- clever idea), this text is both a wake-up call and a rallying cry. Wise effectively challenges long-held stereotypes, astutely and scientifically debunks pervasive myths around race and racism, and encourages and teache ...more
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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
“As harsh as it may sound to some of us, Toni Morrison had it right when she suggested, “In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.” 4 likes
“But the right won’t tell us that, because to put the blame where it belongs, on deregulation rather than regulation, on greedy companies and individuals who are of means, rather than poor black and brown people, would hardly serve the right’s goal; namely, the manipulation of our racial anxiety and resentments into a potent political weapon.” 3 likes
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