Book Review: Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
As a whole, Me and the White Supremacy is a thought provoking book, and the questions it presents worthy of contemplation. I did have some issues with it for similar reasons I had problems with White Fragility, though Layla F. Saad writes from the perspective of a Woman of Color, and is thus entitled to make observations and assertions I felt Robin DiAngelo was not. There were chapters I found really interesting and topics she raised with led to important conversations and reflection. However, other chapters made me feel concerned that Saad's approach of painting all white people as inherently racist supporters of the white supremacy and all POC as inherent victims may, on certain levels, be counter-productive and prevent the open dialogue and changes, both in mindset and in impactful legislature, that are truly needed for a more equitable society.
Of course, white supremacy was not created by one person, nor will it be dismantled by one. That is the way with systems of tyranny. There may be figureheads, but the success of their dogma depends on the support or even the apathy of the population. My hope is that the momentum surrounding this movement will not only maintain but grow, and that lawmakers realize that change is demanded and that this demand will persist until it is met. They need to understand that denying this will cost them their place in power, and they way we can show them this is so is by voting (Please, please register and request that absentee ballot!). I feel if the BIPOC communities of this country have held on to the hope that change will come, I have no right to despair myself.
All in all, this book is worth reading as a sort of primer to other books such as Chokehold by Paul Butler or The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, which discuss the systemic and legalized ways racism is perpetuated and tolerated in society, and which I found more impactful.