ARC Review: Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm

Good Afternoon All,

Not much to report from me since my last blog post. I continue to work, read, workout, clean and go through the day to day tasks that take up time in my life. So as you can tell; all very exciting.

Book πŸ“–

Having read the predecessor to this book not long ago, I was very much looking forward to seeing what this book had to offer. Thank you to Robin DiAngelo and @AllenLaneBooks for this advanced audio copy of Nice Racism. Nice Racism is due to be published on 29th June 2021 and you can get a copy here.

Description πŸ”–

Robin DiAngelo’s first book; White Fragility explored the concept of all white people being socialised into a system that is inherently racist. In this follow up work, DiAngelo discusses how white progressives unintentionally cause the most racial harm. She uses her background and vast experience as a sociologist to open the conversation about how niceness does not equate to anti-racism

General Thoughts πŸ€”

I think that this follow up book to White Fragility was just as good and just as informative. Again, I agreed with many of the points raised emphatically because they were scenarios that I have encountered and lived; I know them to be true. What this book made me realise is that I’m disappointed in myself for not being braver and speaking out when well-meaning white people have made me feel less than or uncomfortable. At the very least, why am I not able to do this with people that I consider to be close to me? Which probably loops back to white fragility; I don’t want to upset people and make them feel uncomfortable.

The downplaying of white privilege and attitudes about individualism really struck a chord with me. I am almost certain that many of the white people that I know would claim that they have not received any preferential treatment because of their whiteness and any successes that they have are due to their own individual hard work. I don’t doubt that they have worked hard, but this statement is flawed due to the fact that they did not start from the same place as people of colour will have started from; they had a head start just because of their whiteness. This is not a statement that sits well with white progressives as is well documented within this book.

Writing Style ✍️

Similar to the first book, I thought that this one was structured and organised in a way that made all of the information digestible and easy to understand. I felt like Nice Racism included more real life examples from the authors experiences that helped to make her explanations relatable. I appreciated that the examples used weren’t only statements or actions of other people. The author included evidence of times when she herself has perpetuated racial harm. I found her explanations of how she addressed and dealt with those incidents informative.

I read some quite unsavoury and negative reviews about White Fragility after I had read it and it pleased me to see that some of that was directly addressed in this book.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸŽ–οΈ

As I’ve said in other blog posts, I find reviewing books like this really difficult as they do invoke and draw out a lot of emotional feelings for me, but I don’t find it easy to pack all of that into a review. I also don’t think that a review is the place for that. I am thankful for Robin DiAngelo’s work as I think that is educating for me and others and helps to at the very least, see things from a perspective that is not your own.


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