White Americans have long been comfortable in the assumption that they are the cultural norm. Now that notion is being challenged, as white people wrestle with what it means to be part of a fast-changing, truly multicultural nation.
Facing chronic economic insecurity, a popular culture that reflects the nation's diverse cultural reality, a future in which they will no longer constitute the majority of the population, and with a black president in the White House, whites are growing anxious.
This anxiety has helped to create the Tea Party movement, with its call to "take our country back." By means of a racialized nostalgia for a mythological past, the Right is enlisting fearful whites into its campaign for reactionary social and economic policies.
In urgent response, Tim Wise has penned his most pointed and provocative work to date. Employing the form of direct personal address, he points a finger at whites' race-based self-delusion, explaining how such an agenda will only do harm to the nation's people, including most whites. In no uncertain terms, he argues that the hope for survival of American democracy lies in the embrace of our multicultural past, present and future.
"Sparing neither family nor self...he considers how the deck has always been stacked in his and other white people's favor...His candor is invigorating."--Publishers Weekly
"One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation."--Michael Eric Dyson
"Tim Wise has written another blockbuster! His new book, Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, is a cogent analysis of the problems of race and inequality as well as a plea for those who harbor views about race and racism to modify and indeed eliminate them. While the book's title addresses white people, this is really a book for anyone who is concerned about eliminating the issue of racial disparity in our society. This is must read and a good read."--Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.
"Tim Wise is an American hero in the truest sense of the term--he tells the truth, no matter how inconvenient that truth might be. Dear White America is a desperately needed response to the insidious mythology that pretends whites are oppressed and people of color unduly privileged."--David Sirota, syndicated columnist, radio host, author of Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now
"Wise, an educator and racial justice advocate, presents an analysis of race relations and ideology in the contemporary US, as a letter addressed to its 200 million white citizens. As demographic trends portend a more colorful United States, and as its first black president begins a second term, Wise confronts the white fear of losing cultural hegemony, on the one hand, and the politics of resentment that has been both a real and contrived source of right-wing power in national politics. The book is aimed at a reasonable audience who may describe themselves as 'not a racist, ' but whose assumptions about race and social power make them underestimate or misrecognize racism's persistence in the US. There are notes and citations in the end, but no index."--Book News
"The leading white anti-racist commentator in the United States, Wise has long been renowned in academic and activist circles for his nuanced yet pointed indictments of white supremacy's grip on our nation. In this pithy, almost-pocket-sized book, the popular notion that Barack Obama's election as president is evidence of a 'post-racial' United States is dissected and disrupted. In fact--as Wise points out many months in advance of the November election--an increasingly multiracial country that may have led many whites to have 'discovered our inner libertarian, and decided that government intervention was bad' was evidence of both a diversifying electorate and one in which race is still a critical indicator."--Fellowship Magazine
"In his latest, he cuts to the core of white fears, using his white authority and white privilege to tell other whites that yes, it's time for you to deal with yourselves and the new American reality you now inhabit."--Drums in the Global Village