Dear ‘White Women’: You Are Racist

Once again, I read it so you don’t have to.

I read a racist book recently. It was one of the most virulently bigoted screeds I’ve ever read – and, for comparison’s sake, I’ve read a lot of Nazi propaganda. No, it wasn’t a dusty old tome from the 19th century; although I do love me some Victorian-era books. It wasn’t a tale of the Antebellum South, or the Jim Crow South, or South African apartheid, or Japanese internment, or the Holocaust. It wasn’t a novel or fictionalized memoir. In fact, it wasn’t even about the past at all. What it was about was WHITE WOMEN. Funnily enough, that was the title: White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better.

This 2022 work of staggering racial bias, stereotyping, and progressive nonsense crawled out of the primordial ooze after the 2020 Summer of George (Floyd). Its authors, race grifters Saira Rao – do me a favor and scroll her Twitter for a tad; you won’t be disappointed – and Regina Jackson, are the founders of the company Race2Dinner, in which they are paid thousands of dollars by woke white women to berate them for two hours for their invidious racism. (Oh, and they sell merch.) This sadomasochistic endeavor has gained the two ladies a great deal of fame on the political left, both from self-flagellating white progressives and the minorities – sorry, People of Color; sorry, BIPOC[1] – whom those whites apparently oppress. They have been treated to episodes of Dr. Phil, fawning profiles in mainstream media, and lucrative book contracts with major publishing houses. And boy, did they deliver on that book deal.

White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better (really rolls off the tongue, n’est-ce pas?) is a masterclass in absurdity, lack of self-awareness, and outright racism. It is a totally insane book that should be laughed at, not taken seriously. Honestly, it would be hard to make a better parody – it had me cackling aloud throughout. Unfortunately, the book is deadly serious. And many influential people and outlets, from comedian Chelsea Handler and actress Anna Paquin to the New York Times, have embraced it as such. So, as a reviewer, I’ll take it seriously too. (Well, at least for as long as I can stand it.)

Seriously, White Women is an objectively terrible book. It is poorly written, incredibly low effort, completely unsupported by facts, unintentionally hilarious, aggressively progressive, and (deliberately) deeply antipathetic towards its main readers: the aforementioned white women. The authors live in a fantasy world – better labeled a dystopia – of their own imaginations, and seek to force everyone else along for the ride.

Before we move on to the quality of the arguments, let’s start with the quality of the writing. The book reads like an elongated Twitter thread; it is replete with references to minor events that nobody outside of the terminally-online – yours truly included – would understand. For instance, it repeatedly brings up esoteric news stories, like the supposed ‘whipping’ of Haitian migrants, that consumed a single news cycle before being totally debunked. The prose itself is disastrously bad. Lots. Of. Sentences. Are. Formatted. Like. This. Such formulations are straight from the bowels of the internet; it is honestly shocking to find them in a mass-market book released by a major publishing house. The book’s editor must have been a white woman, because I cannot imagine any other rationale for the lack of editorial guidance in this book than that the editor was terrified of being labeled a racist.

Rich white women in the process of being berated by our heroines, Saira and Regina.

Woke catchphrases and buzzwords abound. I cannot recall how many times I read the word ‘gaslight’, but it must have approached the triple digits. You are apparently a vicious gaslighter if you refute false contentions with actual facts, suggest that you are not personally racist, or deviate from the ridiculously broad version of ‘systemic white supremacy’ that the authors find lurking behind every corner. If you weren’t tired of the overuse of ‘gaslighting’ during the Trump administration, you certainly will be after reading White Women.

Similarly, every action that the authors interpret as even mildly rude – or that they disagree with – is labeled as ‘violence’ against whole swathes of people. Politely disagree with the assertion that you are deeply racist? Violence. Roll your eyes at an absurd contention like “police constantly are murdering black people”? Violence. Mispronounce someone’s name? Super violent. The meaning of the word is stretched beyond belief; it would probably be easier for Rao and Jackson to tell us what they don’t think is violence.

Every task that normal adults or business owners have to do is considered ‘unpaid labor’ and, of course, only affects BIPOC. The authors legitimately argue that their work in scheduling the dinners in which they yell at white ladies for thousands of dollars is a form of invidious racism and unpaid labor. I don’t know about you, but being paid such hefty sums probably means that the act of scheduling, which is supremely easy, is indeed paid labor. Somehow, Jackson and Rao contend that the meals they are handsomely compensated for are exhausting for them, as they have to chronically deal with so-called ‘white people nonsense’. Having read White Women, I imagine that the women being lambasted for the very act of existing are the truly exhausted party here.

Just because the writing itself is atrocious, it doesn’t mean that the authors put in very little effort, right? Wrong.

In this case, the lack of effort simply jumps off the page. The chapter on microaggressions is outsourced to the authors’ BIPOC friends, who take the time to complain about minor incidents in their personal lives for 20 pages. Most other chapters have sections written by Race2Dinner’s “resident white woman” (no, I’m not kidding) who acts purely as a token to whitewash and agree with the ludicrous racist contentions of the BIPOC authors. Each chapter is largely composed of Saira and Regina’s personal anecdotes, either from their daily lives or from the various Race2Dinner events they held. This means that nearly half of the book’s supremely brief 173 pages are made up of secondhand versions of past conversations, complete with made-up names for the white women that are universally painted as evil racist bullies. In this respect, much of White Women comes across as petty complaining – because it is. The reader is meant to feel sympathy for the authors, but I must say that such a task is Herculean, if not Sisyphean.

How I felt reading this book.

In terms of the arguments that are made in this disaster of a book, the picture only gets bleaker. The authors assume – wrongly – that their readers will all agree with every rancid word written in White Women, and thus fail to actually make any real arguments. Contentious claims are asserted as indisputable fact, with no supporting evidence whatsoever. Recognizing these assertions as unsupported – which is incredibly easy to do given the utter lack of citations, statistics, or proof in the book – means you are gaslighting, enacting violence on BIPOC bodies, spouting “white people nonsense,” or are yourself an inveterate white supremacist. According to Rao and Jackson, America is a fundamentally white supremacist society because it isn’t “actively antiracist.” And, of course, if you aren’t actively antiracist, you are actively racist. Individual actions don’t matter, because the system itself is built to do nonstop violence against BIPOC and all white people are beneficiaries of such a system. As a white person, no matter how much you “do the work,” you will always be a white supremacist.

Oh, and white women? You come under special opprobrium for being the willing handmaidens of white male oppression. You are “white feminists” who purposefully use your “white women tears” to undermine, repress, and murder BIPOC. Don’t you know? Your whiteness is evil and is not only killing BIPOC, it is killing the entire Earth! By the way, you’re also entirely responsible for the riots on January 6, 2021 – or, as Rao and Jackson put it “the violent Nazi coup attempt.” It doesn’t matter if you voted for Joe Biden, or didn’t vote, or thought those destructive actions at the nation’s capital were despicable. Since you are white, you are guilty merely by dint of your skin color.

If this sounds racist to you, it’s because it is! If it doesn’t sound racist to you, change the word ‘white’ to ‘black’ and try reading it again. If that fails, compare this vile rhetoric to the virulent racist screeds of Nazi Germany, the Confederate or Jim Crow South, or Apartheid South Africa. And if you are still unbothered by the obvious racism on display, White Women may be the book for you!

I want to end this review on something of a lighter note, so let’s take a gander at some of the laugh-out-loud moments which made White Women a semi-tolerable read for me. (And, in the process, made me sound insane when I randomly guffawed while reading it.) The laugh riot starts in the (far too long) Preface, when the authors put together a list of things which may not seem racist to most, but are actually insidious versions of white supremacy. Alongside such horrible racist actions as calling BIPOC literature “diverse,” Rao and Jackson scold the racist reader for:

  • “Not learning the names of the Black contestants on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.”
  • “Supporting sports teams with Native American names or mascots (e.g., Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, Kansas City Chiefs).”

You’re in luck, Broncos, Red Wings, and Mets fans! Now you can call your rival fans racist just for rooting for their hometown team! (Notice that the authors fail to mention the Vancouver Canucks, New York Yankees, or Cincinnati Reds as being similarly offensive.) In a later chapter, a list of anodyne terms – “Love wins.” “We need to come together.” “Unity.” “Heart emojis.” “Namaste.” – are listed one by one. After lulling the reader into a false sense of security, the White Women cobra strikes, saying “All of this is extremely toxic.” Reader, I laughed out loud.

This guy must’ve read White Women!

But what really got me going was the book’s absolutely amazing Glossary. Given the amount of obscure terminology referenced in the pages, I thought a glossary would be very useful. Joke’s on me! It was totally useless, but immensely hilarious. Here are a few choice selections from this truly uproarious coda to a preposterous book (yes, these are all real):

  • “White people: White people.”
  • “Karen: All white women, especially white women who do not think they are Karens.”
  • “Colorblind: Something white people call themselves to indicate how not racist they are while actually exposing themselves as the real racists. See also ‘I am not a racist.’”
  • “Gaslighting: White people’s foolish – and evil – mental trick to make BIPOC think we are imagining racism, making up racism, overreacting to racism. A way to erase our experience while making us feel ‘crazy’. See also white people.”
  • “Nice: Something white women aspire to, which means smiling to your face and stabbing you in the back.”
  • “White savior: White people who revel in ‘rescuing’ BIPOC. You want to be seen as heroes, ‘helping’ those beneath you rather than fighting for racial justice because (a) it is the right thing to do and (b) your white lives depend on dismantling white supremacy too. Famous white saviors: Sally Struthers, the song ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’, Mother Teresa, white women on Instagram and Facebook.”
  • “Cultural appropriation: White people wearing our cultures and ethnicities like a costume. White people using our cultures and ethnicities for profit. Common examples: white people on Halloween, white yoga instructors, Ariana Grande.”

You see, this book is supremely funny – unintentionally, of course. But one must go into reading it with that frame of mind, otherwise it is just another racist screed along the lines of the Turner Diaries or the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Just like those works of abhorrent bigotry, White Women picks a class of people based entirely on their immutable characteristics and invents a false, hateful, malign narrative blaming them for all the world’s problems. The term scapegoating comes to mind.

There is one honest line in the book, however. It comes in the Acknowledgments section just before the final pages, and reads: “Nobody is more surprised than us that Penguin actually published these pages.” After reading White Women, I assure the authors that the feeling is mutual.

[1] BIPOC is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, People of Color. It is the term of art that is currently in vogue and must be used or else cause terrible damage. Well, at least until it is replaced by an even more meaningless, impenetrable acronym.

One thought on “Dear ‘White Women’: You Are Racist

  1. I waited DECADES for my CHIEFS to make it to their second (now fifth) Superbowl. Dang if I’m going to give up “The Chop” now…. especially as I want to continue rooting for one of the greatest QB’s of all time (oh yea… he’s black….)

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