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Publishers WeeklyIn this absorbing compilation of essays, Wise (White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son), an anti-racist activist and writer, continues to plumb white privilege, racism and responsibility. The first grouping, "Challenging White Denial," ("White denial has been a hallmark of the nation's racial history") considers the mechanisms utilized by white people when dealing with the concept of racism: minimization, rationalization, defection, and competing victimization; the second, "Confronting White Privilege" reviews the historical and current exercise of white preferential treatment and assesses the costs to whites in contemporary American life ("detrimental in the long run to their economic, social, cultural, and community-related interests"). Wise's reflections are often stimulated by current headlines (e.g. Don Imus, Barry Bonds, Jeremiah Wright, the Duke Lacrosse case) and repetitions slip in; the essays are best read as they were written-in small doses. While those who disagree with White will probably avoid it, his bracing and bold arguments might inspire sympathetic readers to join his "fight for an end to racism and privilege, not merely as an act of altruism toward others, but for our own sakes too."
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