Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race

Reni Eddo-Lodge
Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race

The genesis for this book lies in a blog written by the author, who is a journalist. She wrote of her frustration about the manner in which race and racism is being discussed in the UK. Her ideas went viral, and resulted in her decision to write this book.

This book is not for the faint-hearted white reader who refuses to acknowledge the structural nature of racism, falling back instead on the “I’m not racist – some of my best friends are black/brown/yellow/Jewish/Muslim” justification.

As she argues, white privilege does not imply that all white people are living in the lap of luxury, but it does mean that the fact of whiteness positively impacts on life trajectory – “and you probably won’t even notice it.” In the simplest terms, she describes how, from cradle to grave, race determines life chances; white people enjoy the freedom where their race is not deemed to be a “problem”; few white people can legitimately argue that they are less able to succeed because of their race.

She places these contemporary problems in the context of the history of race relations in the UK, at times drawing parallels with the civil rights movements in the USA. In a very short space, she gives a terrific overview of the history and the unique circumstances which have led modern, multi-cultural UK to the racial tensions within it.

I highly recommend this very important book; almost every issue she raises is just as pertinent to Australia. Be prepared to be confronted – it’s a book that must be read with an open mind.