Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
A review of

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

A Primer on British Racism

by Patricia Sanders

In 2014, British journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge stopped having conversations with white people about race: They weren’t listening. For those who are listening now, her book offers an essential education on Black history in Britain, structural racism, and what white people can – and should – do about it.

White people, on the whole, resist the topic of racism – and seeing their own complicity in it. Black observers were pointing to the phenomenon long before Robin DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility.” For Reni Eddo-Lodge, white people’s habit of shutting down, interrupting and denying during conversations about race led her, in 2014, to stop having them. In a viral blog post, she asked what purpose there could be in talking with people who weren’t listening.

The Risks of Talking About Race

Eddo-Lodge points out that, for Black people, any discussion of racism with white people can turn perilous. Black people who talk with white people about race risk reprisals – professional or personal – and the possibility of being labeled as angry, a troublemaker or a bully.

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