cover image How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide

Crystal M. Fleming. Beacon, $23.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8070-5077-4

In this insightful and irreverent text, Fleming, a sociologist and self-described “black bi girl from Tennessee,” attempts to simplify critical race theory for the masses. Drawing on her scholarly expertise and her own past ignorance of structural inequality, Fleming seeks to “confront how racial stupidity functions to keep large majorities of the population ignorant about the social, political, historical, and economic realities of racial oppression” (or, as she puts it later, “wig-snatch the hell out of white supremacy”). She begins with the basics, combining descriptions of contemporary sociopolitical phenomena and personal testimony with quintessential texts from critical race scholars. From there, she delves into the systematic silencing of black women; her time as a gung-ho member of what she jokingly calls “the International Church of Obama” and her disillusionment at Obama’s calculated failure to meaningfully address race during his presidency; Trump and the wages of whiteness; racist depictions of black people in the media; and the complexities of interracial relationships. Fleming covers a lot of ground in a small amount of time, and her work is truly accessible; she breaks down complex concepts and constructs arguments effectively in jocular, witty prose. This analysis of today’s complex sociopolitical climate would be a great starting point for anyone looking to question preconceived mainstream notions about race. [em]Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Sept.) [/em]