The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

Book - 2020 | First edition.
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A history of American white male identity by the author of "So You Want to Talk About Race" imagines a merit-based, non-discriminating model while exposing the actual costs of successes defined by racial and sexual dominance.
Publisher: New York : Seal Press, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781580059510
Characteristics: vii, 318 pages ; 25 cm


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DPLjennyp Feb 24, 2021

Another insightful must read from Oluo. Clearly written and clearly impactful.

Feb 18, 2021

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America is a marvellous work of research. Each chapter looks at specific, lesser-known historical events in great detail in order to illustrate how each situation has contributed to laying the groundwork for more recent and ongoing similar circumstances. Ijeoma Oluo deftly ties the past to the present to show some of the beginnings of current sexist and racist patterns in Western society. While this book will not be to everyone's tastes, those interested in anti-racist, feminist, anti-oppression scholarship will likely enjoy this account and its honest, grounded approach thoroughly. I know I did!

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jan 25, 2021

An eye-opening look at how the centering of white-maleness has impacted those who are not both of those things.

Dec 30, 2020

I read as much of this book as I could stomach before returning it to SPL. I have mixed emotions about this book.

On the one hand, yes, some men are real jerks. Yes, men often get promoted unjustly over women coworkers. Yes, women don’t get paid as much as they deserve. Yes, yes, yes. There are many things which need to be reformed in our society.

And, yes, Blacks are unfairly discriminated against. Yes, cops must be held accountable for their actions. Yes, we need to fight racism everywhere we find it.

But this book paints with too wide a brush. Not all men are jerks. Not all whites are racists. Not all white men are “mediocre”.

I can’t help but wonder if Oluo is a racist and sexist. One doesn’t have to be white to hate someone simply because he/she belongs to a different race. Nor does one have to be male to look down on the opposite sex.

In the end, I am very saddened by this book. This is a very important topic, but the tone of this book is so hostile that it defeats its own purpose.

Nov 29, 2020

The reader must understand at the outset that the purpose of this work is not to explore reality (science). Instead it is designed to appeal to emotion and to motivate - to promote 'social justice.' In other words, it is merely one person's opinion, not scientific fact.

Everyone, of course, is entitled to have an opinion, and many readers will accept hers at face value. But by the same token, the rest of us are equally free to dismiss it as simplistic and bigoted.

"Our world is still designed to benefit white men over everyone else," Oluo said in a recent interview.

(Sigh) Then explain the fact that every 18-year-old white American man is required to register for the draft and potentially put his life on the line for other people's benefit, not excluding women. Or that my great grandfather was killed fighting to free the slaves in the Civil War, and my father fought in WWII to defeat the nazis. and that I risked my life in Kuwait to roll back Saddam.

Oluo writes that white men scapegoat women and people of color. She writes of 'the desperation, the despair, the rage' of white men who feel cheated out of what they feel is their due,

Actually, no; Oluo is projecting. I submit that it's men who are being made the scapegoats by left-wing radicals like Oluo who want to vent their rage that their Marxist power-trips have never - yet - gained widespread acceptance.

Meanwhile, in the real world, it's the *absence* of men that causes problems. In the opinion of professionals, the absence of a father in a child's life is probably the single most influential cause of most of the contemporary problems in Black and poor White communities.

Children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to be involved in crime and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.


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