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Summary

"I couldn't have a conversation with white folks about the details of a problem if they didn't want to recognise that the problem exists. Worse still was the white person who might be willing to entertain the possibility of said racism but still thinks we enter this conversation as equals. We didn't then, and we don't now."

In February 2014, Reni Eddo-Lodge posted an impassioned argument on her blog about her deep-seated frustration with the way discussions of race and racism in Britain were constantly being shut down by those who weren't affected by it. She gave the post the title 'Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race'. Her sharp, fiercely intelligent words hit a nerve, and the post went viral, spawning a huge number of comments from people desperate to speak up about their own similar experiences.

Galvanised by this response, Eddo-Lodge decided to dive into the source of these feelings, this clear hunger for an open discussion. The result is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today, covering issues from eradicated black history to white privilege, the fallacy of 'meritocracy' to whitewashing feminism, and the inextricable link between class and race. Full of passionate, personal and keenly felt argument, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is a wake-up call to a nation in denial about the structural and institutional racism occurring in our homes.

©2017 Bloomsbury (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Audible Sessions with Reni Eddo-Lodge

Meet the author of Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
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What listeners say about Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

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cherry picked science to fulfill a narrative

the performance was good and the book ws very well written which kept be engaged throughout. it gave me insights into other views but also used language and data that was used was very biased to side with the author's narrative which seemed extremely inflammatory and bitter.

400 people found this helpful

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I have it a chance as ethnic minority myself..

You know what being from ethnic minority in Britain myself I gave her a chance and read the whole book but I in no way can agree with the nonsense. I don't believe you can just come to someone else's country and expect to make it what YOU want.
Some clever thought in there.
And on feminism? what a bunch of.. no in some cultures sexism is indeed a widely spread problem and you dont want around. you cant patronise me by saying "it's nothing to do with race or culture" because I'm from that kind of culture myself. I left to this country and dont all for not letting dangerous sexist in. yes deportation will resolve the issue massively.

340 people found this helpful

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It sees what it wants to see...

Beyond the dreadful, ideological slant of the title, be wary of those who claim to know what your beliefs are, and who interview Nick Griffin thinking there is something broadly representative about his views.
Race is as ever an important issue, and further division isn't what is required in order to address it, which may be an outcome of this unfortunate and recklessly provocative read. There is undoubtedly racism in British culture, and it exists in many different areas, but there is also anti-racism in the culture, and the antagonism between the two is where the culture has been for some time, making, dare I say it, progress. This is not the vision of the book. Britain seems a morally bleak place,unrepentant about its past and unable to move forward in a meaningful way. I stuck with the book until the end, curious about whether any sense of nuance was coming, and curious to know why so many people had praised the book. The nuance did not come and the book is at times painfully reductionist. I did however, gain some sympathy for the waving off of dialogue alluded to in the title. It would be very difficult to have a conversation with someone who believes they know everything about you as a result of your skin colour.

311 people found this helpful

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Monologue comes to mind.

Lots of statements of sometimes questionable facts. Hoped to learn something but failed. Missing dialogue.

235 people found this helpful

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A Terrible Disappointment

A book littered with blatant contradictions driven by nothing more than ideology. A wasted opportunity.

229 people found this helpful

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Rambling and Incoherent

Hooked in by the title only to be disappointed. Unsure whether it is trying to be a piece of academic work or the authors experience in the form of new age word salad . The outcome is poor either way.

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Interesting listen. But very one sided.

She makes some interesting points. Overall it was a worth while listen.

She should however rename the book. Why I no longer talk to people about topics they dont 100% agree with me on.

She has her opinion which is fine, but should open her mind up and not berate others that dont agree with her. Like her poor friend that was criticised for not enjoying the black history lectures. I wonder whether she still speaks to her.

She also has an obsession with identity boxing people.

She looks at her own failures and points the finger at others for this.

Alot of the book is a rant about why she is unhappy about her achievements.

148 people found this helpful

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really didn't like this

First book I haven't finished in a decade. Lecturing, biased and overcomplicated, I was looking for facts & reccommendations, counters even. Could I have my token back please

112 people found this helpful

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Doesn't deserve the hype.

A shockingly bigoted book. A rant rather than an honest study of the society in which we live.

101 people found this helpful

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A Poorly Considered Solution to Racism

This book has merit in its discussion of sickening atrocities carried out by white people upon the world and how it still anegatively effects ethnic minorities people today whilst white people often benefit. It also identifies the aversion to discussions of racism by those who benefit from structural racism even if they don't agree with it.
Where this book's critical failure lies is that it takes almost no consideration for what the root causes of these problems are and as such makes recommendations that are flawed (you could write multiple books about how so). As such I find this book doesn't move the conversation into any useful direction.
The narration is tinged with what can really only be discibed as venom and the language is often us Vs them. At a couple of points states that she 'doesn't mean all white people' but goes on to make sweeping generalisations about white people and 'white culture' that seem pretty thoughtless and nasty to someone reading who happens to be white as well as on several occasions being hypocritical with other points in the book. If you are white, you will be told what you think and how you are heartless (yes this book IS racist). Every sentence in this absolute manifesto seems to have multiple hidden premises leading to stretches of infuriating leaps in logic.

What is truly unbelievably frustrating is that she's onto something with the aversion to discussion and the clueless of many white people to the issue of structural racism but then seems to have no awareness of how clear it is that her approach is self-defeating and self-perpetiating.

I strongly suggest you do not read this book.

I'm a bit over halfway though and I think I intend to finnish but certainly not out of enjoyment but because I intend to read other books on the topic to see how they compare.

68 people found this helpful

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  • Buretto
  • 08-03-18

In truth, I don't have THAT particular privilege

What did you love best about Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race?

I loved the author's power and passion about the subject. There is no doubt that she is sincere in her beliefs. I concur with nearly everything she presents here, save for a few flights of speculative fancy and the citing of some extremist views as mainstream. But as a white American male, I recognize that I am a guest in Ms. Eddo-Lodge's realm here, and respect the chance to hear ideas and learn from sources previously unknown to me.

I acknowledge the privilege I enjoy. My personal morality is based on that recognition and respecting that it is not universal. I have alienated family and friends with this worldview, and have done so without remorse. And I continue, at every chance, to chastise, scold, and occasionally, if I'm lucky, educate those who speak, hint or embolden racist ideas. Hence, the headline. It is my duty, and I accept it.

I don't write this to present myself as one of the "good ones", and to be honest, it doesn't overly concern me if Ms. Eddo-Lodge likes or respects me. I've taken my responsibility, and she's taken hers. I believe these are both positive steps, and I think she'd agree.

What other book might you compare Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race to and why?

I won't list them, but this is much better than many books of this type. She pulls no punches and makes her case. My only, cautious, exception is to the occasional supposition, perhaps unintentionally, of a monolithic black view. She acknowledges differences, primarily American and British, and even, ever so slightly, her own shortcomings. But it never descends to into victimhood.

Have you listened to any of Reni Eddo-Lodge’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

It's the only book on Audible by her, but I'd be more than willing to listen to anything else she may produce.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and, in fact, I did. It was refreshing to hear a reasoned, quite determined, presentation of views. All too often these kinds of discussions are grotesque shouting matches.

Any additional comments?

The author mentions the origins of the term "white skin privilege", but I thought it was useful to mention that term had started to gain momentum in 1999 and 2000, in the person of Bill Bradley, a presidential candidate (who lost the Democratic primary to Al Gore, who subsequently "lost" to George W. Bush in the general election). It seemed like a fair compromise which gave white people the opportunity to take a step back and see the big picture without immediately acknowledging complicity in active racism. It didn't seem to take, though.

Also, I'm curious whether the author didn't know, or didn't care, to give Public Enemy the credit for the name she gave to her worldview. It was a huge album back in '90.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-06-18

Clear, comprehensive, British

Well researched with clear guidance, simply written and easily understood, free from activist jargon and therefore wonderfully accessible. Utterly thought provoking. A must read. Particularly poignant if you grew up in Britain during the 80’s as I did. I can’t recommend this book enough.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 15-12-17

Great study and insight on racism

This books does an excellent job of showing the history and structures of racism that exist beyond the American struggle. A must read to learn about race in the UK

7 people found this helpful

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  • Duane J.
  • 15-06-17

Jesus took the wheel...

and chauffeured Ms. Eddo-Lodge through a dynamic thought-provoking yet humbling piece of work. This book challenges you to challenge the idea of what 'normal' is. Whether it relates to race, sex, or gender and the intersectionality of it all. Bravo!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Nora
  • 16-05-18

awkwardnora

It helped me frame the ideas that I had into way that I could discuss with others. definitely recommend it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 15-05-18

ACCURATE

Finally! Someone has put into words how I feel. She is an AWESOME writer and narrator. Looking forward to more from her.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-17

Essential enlightening listening

Never have I come across a book that so succinctly lays out the context for racism in the UK.

will be giving this multiple listens. as this might as well be set as a taught text !

5 people found this helpful

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  • Landon Taylor
  • 27-12-20

Thumbs Up from a White American

I finished listening to the Audible recording moments ago, and now I’m ordering a hardcopy so I can interact with the text, delve into the numerous quotable quotes and sit with the zingers. It’s that good.

I thought the book might not resonate with me since the first chapter is about the *British* history of racial injustice, and I’m an American. But as I listened, I found a disturbingly similar story to the one I’m familiar with. The current parallels between our countries are also undeniable, as the rest of the book shows.

The author illuminates modern inequality with precision and heart, using her own experience as well as data to paint a picture that is invisible to so many people.

Read or listen, and become part of the solution.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Demetria
  • 07-03-18

Race Relations in the UK

Would you listen to Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race again? Why?

Yes, I would listen to this book again! I'm actually buying the physical book because there was so many great points in it. I've recommended this book to several colleagues who have an interest in diversity and inclusion.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

It is interesting hearing the history of race unfold in the UK around the same time as the US went through the Civil Rights Movement. There were many similarities, for better or worse.

Have you listened to any of Reni Eddo-Lodge’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to any of performance before.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were several moments that moved me, that's why I'm buying the book. This is one book I'll read over and over again!

3 people found this helpful

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  • jbone
  • 06-03-18

well read, but nothing new here.

boilerplate race conflict theory. backed up with conjecture and cherry picked history. Reni is a very good writer and narrator though. I think she took an honest attempt at an incredibly difficult and nebulous topic. worth a read our listen

10 people found this helpful