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White Racism: Causes, Character, and Cures

White Racism: Causes, Character, and Cures

by Joseph R. Feagin, Hernan Vera

Editorial Reviews

Roland Wulbert
Feagin and Vera's well-intentioned book presents seven case studies of American racism perpetrated by middle-class whites against blacks (who, for Feagin and Vera, belong to no class). The cases are those of cross burnings in Dubuque, Iowa, that protested a proposal to attract black families to the preponderantly white city; ill will among undergraduates at a college (Olivet) founded by abolitionists; discrimination in family restaurant chains (Shoney's, Denny's, IHOP); whites (skinheads) who murder blacks or frame them for murder; Rodney King and the LAPD; Willie Horton and George Bush; and Sister Souljah and Bill Clinton. The concise recaps of these newsy racial incidents may become godsends to students with term papers to write but don't make up for the book's great weakness--deploring racism's cost in dollars but nowhere even estimating it. The volume's final contribution to understanding American racism could be glossed, unimpressively but not completely unfairly, "Few white Americans realize that racism was not ended by the Civil War. Even fewer realize something even more disturbing: racism is wrong."

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