Many whites are only now becoming familiar with the term Institutional Racism, and how we benefit in this society merely by being born white. Maybe you've read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and you're ready to read more about race in America. Carol Anderson marvelously lays out every step forward for African-Americans reaching for equal rights, only to have those rights systematically stripped away by the states. This is the ugly history that they don't teach us in public schools, but that we should all be aware of. White Rage already has a spot secured in my top ten books of 2016. I cannot recommend it highly enough.— From Mark B.
As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as black rage, historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in the Washington Post showing that this was, instead, white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames, she writes, everyone had ignored the kindling.
Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House.
Carefully linking these and other historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.