by Saira Rao and Regina Jackson
A no-holds-barred guidebook aimed at white women who want to stop being nice and start dismantling white supremacy from the team behind Race2Dinner and the documentary film, Deconstructing Karen
It's no secret that white women are conditioned to be nice, but did you know that the desire to be perfect and to avoid conflict at all costs are characteristics of white supremacy culture?
As the founders of Race2Dinner, an organization which facilitates conversations between white women about racism and white supremacy, Regina Jackson and Saira Rao have noticed white women's tendency to maintain a veneer of niceness, and strive for perfection, even at the expense of anti-racism work.
In this book, Jackson and Rao pose these urgent questions: how has being nice helped Black women, Indigenous women and other women of color? How has being nice helped you in your quest to end sexism? Has being nice earned you economic parity with white men? Beginning with freeing white women from this oppressive need to be nice, they deconstruct and analyze nine aspects of traditional white woman behavior--from tone-policing to weaponizing tears--that uphold white supremacy society, and hurt all of us who are trying to live a freer, more equitable life.
White Women is a call to action to those of you who are looking to take the next steps in dismantling white supremacy. Your white supremacy. If you are in fact doing real anti-racism work, you will find few reasons to be nice, as other white people want to limit your membership in the club. If you are not ticking white people off on a regular basis, you are not doing it right.
"This book dares to tell necessary truths. The kind of truths that can save lives, and if heard with an open mind and heart -- may even help save the soul of this lost nation." -- Frederick Joseph, author of New York Times bestsellers Patriarchy Blues and The Black Friend
"I am excited for what this book means for us all. In a world where critical race theory is banned in classrooms across the USA, because the white people were not properly taught to think critically about their complicity in systemic oppression, this book is timely. We tend to tiptoe around whiteness, and this book rips the bandage off. This is the book many BIWOC have been needing to give to the white women in our lives; from our white co-workers to our white mother-in-laws, this book is no-holds-barred. This is the answer to many of our prayers." -- Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez, author of For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts: A Love Letter to Women of Color
"The rawness and realness of these dinners and experiences, the wisdom, and quite frankly the courage Saira and Regina have, has the potential to be some of the most transformational work we have seen in this space in the last few years. The setting is genius, a perfect way to set the stage for the intimacy and radical honesty needed for this work. I felt every story. As a Black woman who facilitates similar conversations in my work with organizations, I know it's necessary to have these frank conversations. But the way Saira and Regina approach it, there is little room for the participants to hide from the truth. Even with all of the heaviness, it's an easy and entertaining read. I believe anyone and everyone interested in this work should read this book." -- Michelle Saahene, Speaker, Coach, Community Leader
About the Authors:
Saira Rao grew up in Richmond, Virginia, the daughter of Indian immigrants. For forty years, she wasted her precious time aspiring to be white and accepted by dominant white society, a futile task for anyone not born with white skin. Several years ago, Saira began the painful process of dismantling her own internalized oppression. Saira is a lawyer-by-training, a former congressional candidate, a published novelist and an entrepreneur.
Regina Jackson was born in Chicago in 1950, and remembers an America where everything was in Black and white. Burned into her memory are; the beatings and horrific treatment of civil rights workers throughout the south, the Goodman, Chaney & Schwerner murders, the murder of Viola Liuzzo, the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the murders of President John Kennedy and his brother Robert. The violence perpetrated on innocent people going about their lives, by white people. It is these memories that drive Regina to push for real change in America. Which is why she co-founded Race 2 Dinner.