Cover Image: Good White Racist?

Good White Racist?

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Member Reviews

My wife is a black African (she's from Cameroon). 
However, according to Connelly, I'm probably a good white racist anyway. 

With the George Floyd protests, this is a timely book, which is why I wanted to read it.

As other critics have mentioned, Connelly's tone is condescending. 

I feel like the Spanish Inquisition has strapped me a chair and no matter what, I am a sinner. 

I'll quote the parts that made me want to vomit:

"To readers in the BIPOC [black, indigenous people of color]: Beautiful soul, thank you for reading even this far. . . . You've done enough, borne enough of this weight."

Yuck. It's like a mother patting her little black child on the head as if the child is some fragile creature that must be coddled and pampered. 

She falsely asserts: "White people cannot be victims of racism. So-called reverse racism is just not a thing, people."

She's the classic politically correct person who is obsessed about "micro-aggressions." 
Since she's treating us like babies, hasn't she heard about "sticks and stones may break my bones...."?

Grow up.

She talks about "gaslighting." Example: "A white woman might touch a black woman's hair while telling her it's pretty." 

According to her rules, "this is inappropriate behavior."

My wife LOVESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS when people complement (or even touch) her hair. She has 20 wigs and finds it hilarious how easy it is to fool white people. 

Of course, every person who gave this book one star is doing one or more of the dreaded Ds:
DENY/DETRACT, DISTRACT, DISCLAIM, AND DISAPPEAR.

In my case, I commit the DISCLAIM sin because I say that I'm not a racist because my wife is a black African.

You're damned either way if your skin is white, which, frankly, is a racist idea.

The author spouts a "truism" from one of her friends, who has some color. She said, "If the white people in the room are happy and comfortable, chances are the people of color in the room are not." 

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Of course, I'm sure some POC feel that way, but to imply that it's universal is absurd.
My wife spit out her drink when she heard that line - and laughed so hard.
It's also racist for it suggests that POC and whites all think the same way.

Yes, this book is cringeworthy. 

I feel a bit guilty blasting this book because Connelly obvious means well. 
She wants to improve this planet and race relations. 
She wants white people to be more self-aware of their privilege and to be sensitive. 

These are noble goals. 
The problem is that her execution is atrocious and offputting.

Racism is terrible. So is this book.
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I'm not rating this book because I abandoned it. Connelly tried to do what Robin DeAngelo did in White Fragility, only Connelly doesn't have the experience or expertise DeAngelo has. So the only thing she has to add to the conversation is her writing style. 
If you follow Connelly's blog, you may enjoy this book. I had never heard of her before requesting this book from NetGalley. I found her style to be very condescending and harsh. She didn't seem to want to actually teach her audience anything new. I read 46% of the book before abandoning it. 

I received an ARC from NetGalley
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I think this is a great book to start discussion about racial injustice as well as checking your own intentions ,actions and language. I especially appreciated the action items at the end of each chapter. This book gave me some things to think about.
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So this was a good commentary and I appreciated that it included some specific reparations. it's friendly and challenging. Perhaps it would be worth cutting and pasting parts of it as a response to your racist family member on social media. It's a beginners guide but for many White people in my circle would come across as condescending and obvious.
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This book is written with great passion and is great for someone just embarking on a journey to fight social injustice and racism.
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Kerry Connelly challenges readers of “Good White Racist” to do the hard work of noticing, repenting and changing their racist tendencies. And yes, we generally all can be “good” and racist. 
I won’t get into all the topics Connelly discusses, but I can say that reading this book made me feel anxious and uncomfortable. That’s the point. Being uncomfortable showed me that I have a problem and prompted me to #NoticeTheSystem that’s part of me. It was also helpful for me to remember that this book is a conversation starter and not a cure for racism. Overcoming racism is a lifelong journey, and I must remain sensitive to hear from God about what racial biases I carry and learn how to overcome these sins. 
One thing I liked about the book is the Learn, Think and Act prompts at the end of each chapter. These features help readers think through their biases and offer practical ways to move toward change. 
Throughout the book, Connelly is generous with her profanity. And in some places, the author comes across as rude, harsh and condescending, even assuming at one point that right wingers do not use their brains. These sections are dismissive of others and do not model what she wants readers to do.  
I definitely recommend this book. It made me think. While it’s not a perfect look at racism among white people, it’s a conversation starter. I know I will make time to process this book as I fall more deeply in love with Jesus and the people around me. As Connelly writes, “I am a good white racist. And I am in recovery.”
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Every white person needs to read this book. You learn about gaslighting, micro aggression, and cultural appropriation. I wasn’t aware of all of these terms prior to this book and I’m so happy I’m become more educated in doing so. It made me uncomfortable to read. And that’s a good thing. It should have.  It hits many important points to help people understand white privilege and what me, as a white woman, can do to make the change our country needs. Well written. Thank you for helping me better understand and act

Thank you @netgalley for this ARC copy in an exchange for an honest review
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This was an interesting read in the context of what is happening in the world today. As we see protests arising from police brutality and a variety of mistreatment of minorities, this book is an important look at what your personal role in keeping the status quo going and how you can start to make changes to become antiracist. A thought-provoking book that can set people on the right path toward a better future for all people.
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Now, more than ever, as overt types of racism is becoming more commonplace and even acceptable to some quarters, this book shows that those who would never consider themselves “racist” in the traditional sense, are in fact “good racists” by remaining silent on injustices, by benefiting from racist systems of power and privilege, and through unconscious acceptance of beliefs grounded in racism.

This book may be an eye opener for anyone who thinks they aren’t racist.
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Summary: A White Christian talking to other White Christians about racism.

If you have read my post on The Myth of the American Dream, you know I am ambivalent about Good White Racist and several other books I have been reading lately. They are good books, among the best I have read from Christians, which I appreciate. But the fact they exist, in some ways, is a sign of the reluctance of White people to learn from minorities who have been saying many of the same things for a long time.

The description of the book opens with the following:

good white racist noun 1. A well-intentioned person of European descent who is nonetheless complicit in a culture of systemic racism 2. A white person who would rather stay comfortable than do the work of antiracism

One of the positives that immediately struck me was the preface. There are several pages devoted to acknowledging the people that have previously taught her all of the things she will later say. The Black women (primarily) that have taught her personally and paved the way academically to write about race. There is humility with that opening that caused me to text it to some friends immediately and think that maybe this book would be different.

And then the introduction opens, "Hi. I'm Kerry, and I'm a racist. (This is where you're supposed to say, 'Hi, Kerry.'" She continues in the next few pages noting that White people trying to address race often "talk a great game on the one hand while maintaining the racist status quo on the other." Like White Fragility, this is a book primarily is targeted toward people that have some awareness of the reality of racism, but also consider themselves a 'Good White person.' As she says, "It is our job--white people, not anyone else's--to acknowledge this power dynamic and dismantle it, making space for the power of others to emerge."

A friend posted a quote from Martin Luther King Jr's book Where Do We Go From Here: "Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn." The importance of the book is that Good White Racists: "...benefit from that assignment in a social system that privileges whiteness...are generally nice people who intellectually do not approve of racist behaviors but who practice them anyway...[and] are concerned (possibly obsessed) with two things: their own comfort and their own inherent goodness." (p15)

What Good White Racist points out throughout the book is that paying attention matters, and the desire to not pay attention is exactly the problem that prevents real change. (Similar to the theme of Myth of the American Dream).

"To not pay attention is to exercise my privilege and power and do harm to others. To not believe people when they tell me about their experiences is to participate in evil. To insist that I'm not racist while refusing to either pay attention or believe people makes me a good white racist. The first step in my own healing is to awaken to the psychological games that whiteness plays ion the whole of society." (p39) What makes racism so hard to deal with is that racism is not comfortable to address. It's not fun to be confronted with your own racist behavior, and it's definitely not comfortable. For good white racists, talking about race causes a psychic discord, because hidden beneath our positive self-images and our ideological Americanism is a deep river of shame--shame over the brutality of our ancestors, shame over the inhumanity of our skin-kin, shame over the privilege we enjoy while others do not. The problem with the maintenance of our own comfort is that it prohibits us from seeing the very brokenness we need to heal. (p48)

I could keep quoting for a long time. This is a book by a White person that has thought significantly about racism. I did not write the book, so I would like to see differences or alternative descriptions in places. I think that she would benefit from George Yancy's language, 'the best I can become is an anti-racist racist.'

The message of the book is essential and "the very first rule in antiracism work: stay in the room, even when it gets hard and uncomfortable." There is much here that is good, discussions of gaslighting, white empire, self-justification, education, the consumption of Black bodies and culture, 'niceness' as a means of social control, and the role of the church in the perpetuation of racism. But again, there is not much that is new here. Good White Racist is a well-written book. But it is a book that exists because of good white racists who do not want to submit to the leadership of Black pastors or that will not read books written by Black or Native American women, listen to the actual people of color in their lives.

So I am ambivalent, this is probably the book written by a White Christian for White Christians that I will most recommend at this point. But at the same time, the fact that the book exists is part of the problem. I also know exactly where many of the objections will come. I want a perfect book that will not have any objections. That book does not exist because many of the objections cannot be separated from the reality of the racism that this book is confronting. The tools of gaslighting and whataboutism will exist regardless of the actual content of the book. There will always be an 'if only' response. And at some point, we have to actually deal with the main point, and not the tangential objections.

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I'd give this book an A for effort. I appreciate and support the thesis, but the delivery fell short of what I hoped. This could be a good intro book for someone just beginning their journey into confronting their personal biases, but someone who is further down the line will be left wanting.
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I found this book to be very challenging.  It brought a ton of unintentional racism to the surface that I may not have even known existed.  To be fair, I could not read past 60% of the book.  It was a bit too lengthy IMO and I feel like the point of the book came across early on within the first hour of reading. This book has made a forever impact on my life and I WILL recommend people to read it.  However, getting to the end was impossible for me.  It felt like she was ultimately beating a dead horse in the second half.  It was informational and well written.
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Whew, this is a tough book to read. It's necessary but it is also necessarily difficult. Connelly doesn't pull punches here, pushing White readers to be anti-racist while also acknowledging the privilege that allows her to speak so freely. Highly recommended.
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Great book. Finding true allies is this fight of racism is not always easy, but Kerry comes through. His words may bite for those who feel as if this is not their fight, but this is all our fight. If you have breathe in your body tearing down systemic racism is all our fight.
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Good White Racist? by Kerry Connelly was a stretch for me. It is a book I was drawn to yet also dreaded a little. I don't want to see myself as a racist of any kind. However, I do want to understand myself and especially my friends who are people of color much better. I want to try to understand what they have experienced because I know it is so different from what I have experienced just because my skin is white. 

Don't expect a gentle reprimand here. This author speaks plainly and sometimes a bit harshly in getting her point across. This is important as sometimes we just don't hear clearly until we are actually slapped in the face with truth. It hurts but it leaves an impression and we think about what we've learned long past the sting.

I am grateful to this author for her boldness in writing this book. I will continue searching for more like this to help me on my journey towards being less of a racist. I strongly recommend this book.

 #GoodWhiteRacist #NetGalley
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A book written for white people who are interested in learning more about what being antiracist looks like, how we play into racist systems and structures, and what we can do to become educated and use our privilege for the benefit of others. The topics are straight forward and may feel uncomfortable but it’s an important issue that sometimes seems to big to do anything useful and how that thought can be used as a cop out for white people.

I had not thought of myself as a good white racist but realized that choosing willful ignorance and inaction are attributes of one. It is pushing me to get involved in the work already being done. I appreciated being challenged and the end-of-chapter action items under the headings: learn, think, act, to make the content personal and applicable.

The ebook was acquired through Netgalley so I’m wondering if it was an unfinished manuscript because there were a lot of missing capitalization and formatting issues which was a bit distracting at times. Hopefully the final versions aren’t like this because the content is good.
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One woman's take into tackling white privilege.  The author does a great job not only explaining it through different examples but also gives ways for people to have a deeper understanding on why certain things are not acceptable.  If you're looking for a book on race relations and how to make things better, this would be a very good book for you to read.  

I received a copy of this book via netgalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
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Just kind of “meh”. Felt like the same overhyped “advice” given on social media. I wanted a deeper more meaningful book.
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Kerry Connelly the author of Good White Racist?: Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice leaves no doubt this is a topic which she is deeply, authentically and somewhat militantly passionate about. It's clear in her long, rambling sentences, in the examples she uses to hammer home a point, in her repetition of the same thing over and over using similar but different words and phases, as if she is talking to a doddering old auntie who still refers to POC as "coloreds".

But - however much she should - this is not a book Auntie will read. The language and structure is wrong for that audience. The tone - part condescending professor and part newly-minted social justice warrior - is wildly more uncomfortable than the actual content and messages. As someone who likely fits into at least the age demographic Good White Racist?: Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice seeks to confront, I had a difficult time getting through the book, despite having a fairly deep understanding of and appreciation for the topic. 

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Good White Racist?: Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice was written for young people who missed out on Racism 101 class in middle school or who live under a rock. If that's the case, they'll likely enjoy the slightly snarky and conversational style, and completely miss the condescension. But again, they aren't the folks who need to hear the message.


This review is based on an advanced copy reading.
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Good White Racist is assumptive.  Insultingly so.  Do I sound angry?

I'm not.  Not at all.  I just don't understand the basic concepts of Connelly's ideology.  Our writer supposes that every item person (every and all will lose your argument right off the top, as a flaw in logic) has an inner core for which our discomfort and delusional thinking about racism begins.

Granted, Connelly didn't grow up the way that I did.  She didn't grow up wanting to know why none of the people that I knew were listening to R&B or even better, Old School R&B.  I wasn't allowed to listen to it in my home.  

So, okay.

I was angry.  Long ago.  Then, I got counseling.  

Lots of it.

I am not the definitively loving white person either.  In that regard, I want to think that I am quite ordinary.  No desire to harm anyone.  

However, Connelly's work is thought provoking.  Demanding, in a way.  And, that's okay.  Truly.

It simply doesn't apply to me, personally and if it doesn't apply to you either, that's okay.  If it does, that's okay too.  It's even better if this piece can resonate with you and help you to really look at how you feel, in the light of possible change.

Hence, I recommend Good* White Racist.
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