As the author states in the introduction, those who would most benefit from reading this book will never open its pages for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is white America's wish to cling to a false nostalgic history that whitewashes (pun intended) some of our society's most nefarious deeds done for the purpose of continued white supremacy. I had previously read Tim Wise's "White Like Me," which is his memoir. It opened my eyes to institutionalized racism, and how I have benefited in this society just by virtue of being born white. (For instance, I've never been pulled over for driving-while-black.)Everyone would benefit from reading the works of Tim Wise, because no matter how liberal and open minded you may think your are, there are always other truths to be learned.
This open letter to the "new minority" is a brilliant polemic, told using historical data (notes in the back) and a passion well needed for the cause of anti-racism. Most of us have seen the emails passed around between conservatives, showing President Obama as a witch doctor, or a pimp. Just recently a pastor of a church in Georgia, hung an effigy of our first black president from a gallows built on the front lawn of his church. Ignorance does not die easy. I wish I could put this open letter by Tim Wise into the hands of a few friends and relatives, but -- knowing that it would merely collect dust -- I will instead use the information to be better informed myself, and to face our society a little more clear-eyed.