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text 2020-06-02 22:53
Why are they protesting?

I

Is our ship of state off course, or sinking? Here's one opinion:

 

"The core story of U.S. politics over the past four decades is that wealthy elites weaponized white racism to gain political power, which they used to pursue policies that enriched the already wealthy at workers’ expense." ~ Paul Krugman, New York Times, June 1, 2020

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review 2020-01-08 22:57
Relevant and necessary
So You Want to Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo is the kind of book that will have you really thinking about your actions and the way that they affect others. When I finished this book, I immediately passed it onto my manager to read because I wanted to continue the conversation. Oluo uses her own experiences as a person of color navigating our (you have to admit) white supremacist society here in the United States. So this is not only extremely relevant but also a necessary book about an incendiary topic. We (I speak as a collective here with a definite side-eye at my fellow white folks of privilege) need to do better and that starts with educating ourselves. Oluo uses this book like an instruction manual with vocabulary lessons on things like microaggressions, the school to prison pipeline, tone policing, intersectionality, cultural appropriation, and the model minority myth. It's full of talking points about how to successfully navigate uncomfortable talks about race, racism, and racial inequality. This isn't an easy book to read because the truth about our society and the way that we have been conditioned to act is a hard pill to swallow BUT it's important to face this head-on so that we can move on to all (hopefully) be better people. Lest you think this is directed solely at white people, Oluo also stresses the importance of people of color having affirmation that their feelings and hurt are valid. Basically, this is a great book that all people wanting to do better should read. 10/10

 

What's Up Next: The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-12-26 21:24
Fact or fiction?
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History - Brian Kilmeade,Don Yaeger

About 3 pages into Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade I felt that the author had a real issue with Muslims and he wrote this book to denounce them through a historical lens. As he drew parallels to the Barbary Wars (what's detailed in this book) and present day conflicts, he made the claim that slavery was a unique and barbarous practice only perpetrated by Muslims against whites. (Duh that's not the case.) By the time I had finished the book my overwhelming impression was that this book was not only Islamophobic but a major piece of revisionist history. (I even checked other reader's reviews to make sure that I wasn't completely off the mark here and they back up my feelings pretty much across the board.) He makes a strong argument for a show of military strength over diplomacy. In fact, the Barbary Wars were what precipitated the formation of the Navy and Marines (the 'shores of Tripoli' ring any bells?). I couldn't even tell you if what he says happened really happened when such a large focus was on ideas other than the historical events of the moment. 0/10

 

And then to discover that this book which was recommended to me by a coworker was in fact written by a co-host of Fox & Friends made total sense after the fact. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

What's Up Next: The Star Diaries by Stanislaw Lem

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Inside Out: A Memoir by Demi Moore

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-09-04 23:49
'We Were Eight Years in Power' is an eye-opening set of essays written during Obama's presidency; it's practically required reading on the subject of racism in the United States
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy - Ta-Nehisi Coates

This is an extraordinary book.

It’s a sobering, sometimes difficult read, eye-opening, and enlightening. I had to put it down on many occasions, being constantly reminded of how Obama’s presidency has been followed by Trump’s is depressing enough, but the central focus is on challenging the American racism (and how the current toxic presidency has exposed this malignant state). Coates openly wrestles with his own changing views on the first Black Presidency, and demonstrates how deeply engrained systemic and societal racism infects everything in this country, Obama or no Obama.

‘We Had Eight Years in Power’ is practically required reading.

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/39946134-we-were-eight-years-in-power
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review 2019-08-14 08:05
This YA novel about one night of riots and chaos is a powerful, quick read and is destined for lots of conversation and classrooms
I’m Not Dying With You Tonight - Gilly Segal,Kimberly Jones

‘I’m Not Dying With You Tonight’ is a powerful, quick read destined for lots of conversation and many classrooms and library bookshelves.

 

Following two young girls, thrown together by a high school football game that deteriorates into chaos and a night of city rioting, this YA novel addresses issues of race and class and reflects the fragile state of the domestic climate right now.

Lena, a popular black student, and Campbell, a white teen new to town, who knows no one and is unsure of herself, live in the same world, but seemingly come from different worlds. The book is set over one single night, really over several hours, and that’s what it took me to read this captivating book.

 

Over those few hours, they rely on each other to survive unimaginable circumstances, facing down riot police, looters, vagrants, and gunfire. The perspective shifts back and forth between the two characters throughout and the chapters are short, keeping the action moving quickly and the pace fast.

While it may seem as though there's no time to dig deeper into the enormous issues that come up in this book, all revolving around the race relations canon, debut authors Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal have written a relatable novel that can serve as a great jumping-off point for conversation.

When Lena and Campbell have awkward moments that remind them of their (often ill-conceived) preconceptions and assumptions of each other, the subtext taps into the dialogue we are having as a country and also serves to point out how easy and necessary it is for all the walls to come down. The two girls end up being emblematic of how we work through things better when we work together.

 

I expect that others reading this will recognize how it reflects the racial divide in this country (and some shocking recent current events), yet feel the hope that I felt when I read it. I honestly raced through this, it placed me right in the action myself; it's a poignant read for teens or anyone who needs to have a quick reexamination of their thinking about how we are all judging each other.

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/43352274
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