download books Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor Author Layla F. Saad – Andy-palmer.co.uk

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor This was a re read of sorts since I finished Layla s workbook last summer She s right about the value of coming back to it with fresh eyes just 6 months later, I ve already found myself ending each chapter with new self awareness than what I found last time.I study race academically, which means that segments of this book were things I was so familiar with that it took every impulse not to skim, but it also means that some of the self reflective prompts were evenurgent and necessary than This was a re read of sorts since I finished Layla s workbook last summer She s right about the value of coming back to it with fresh eyes just 6 months later, I ve already found myself ending each chapter with new self awareness than what I found last time.I study race academically, which means that segments of this book were things I was so familiar with that it took every impulse not to skim, but it also means that some of the self reflective prompts were evenurgent and necessary than they would be for non academic readers Layla s in depth, journaling approach to antiracism is like nothing I ve seen before, and I think it s crucial to the development of emotional intelligence on race for all white people.This is the book I m going to recommend the next time a white person asks me, what can I do This is an excellent place to start As a white femme, i feel reluctant to cautious and frustrated about critiquing a Black Muslim author I am not interested in name calling or attacking I want to share the facts of what I observed and Black women experienced in the past few years I have witnessed a pattern of abuse, exploitative relationships, and enough evidence to suggest that Saad is not doing this work from genuine intentions or integrity I don t wish to causeharm, but to offer a full context for people who are dra As a white femme, i feel reluctant to cautious and frustrated about critiquing a Black Muslim author I am not interested in name calling or attacking I want to share the facts of what I observed and Black women experienced in the past few years I have witnessed a pattern of abuse, exploitative relationships, and enough evidence to suggest that Saad is not doing this work from genuine intentions or integrity I don t wish to causeharm, but to offer a full context for people who are drawn to her work I started following Saad on social media in 2017 because she interviewed a couple of my favorite US based Black women coaches and educators I subscribed to Saad s podcast to listen to the voices I trust, on issues of sovereignty and finding one s own inner resolve within oppressive systems, on issues of power and racism and the way they intersect with problems in the coaching industry These are inquiries I have been interested in since 1997, when when I started reading James Baldwin, Alice Walker, and went through an anti racist training that was Black woman led I studied race in undergrad and then got a Masters in the history of race I say this to share I have a radar for when someone knows what they are talking about The Black women I followed, who led me to Saad s Wild Mystic Woman podcast, I had and have deep trust in On the podcast, Saad asked the questions, but these US based Black women had the depth, knowledge, insight, wisdom, and real life experience Saad was a spiritual coach whose content and focus was divine feminine, manifestation, etc Saad was based in Qatar She openly admitted to not having the daily lived experience of white supremacy Then, still in 2017, Saad published a blog post that went viral, called I need to talk to spiritual white women about white supremacy I remember reading it and appreciating the point it was trying to make in an industry and New Age culture that tends towards spiritual bypassing I was also really frustrated with the two part article because it seemed like it was taking so many words to make her point, and not that effectively Still, it did help start a legit conversation we need to have in spiritual circles that are overwhelmingly white cis women spaces However, what I saw unfold next was distressing Saad completely reinvented herself as an expert on racism and white supremacy, and built a following of white women, who she in one moment showered with attention and then the next lashed out at and verbally accosted It was dizzying to watch a cycle of slick heavily produced posts that baited white women and got them flocking to her and then using very harsh and shaming tactics with them Yes, white people get defensive around conversations on race, but this was different she would engage enthusiastically, and all would be fine, and then suddenly she would express rage for any engagement at all Then shut down her account claiming victim hood, then reemerge reinvented again It seemed like, as a friend familiar with Saad said, like cult adjacent tactics for building a following It made white women go at each other to defend Saad and win the hierarchy game of wokeness, which is an aspect of whiteness wanting to distance from other whites through proximity to Blackness Even worse, I saw Saad use offensive anti Black language and slurs that are specific to the US experience of race against Black women who mentored, built relationships with her, who trusted her She would shut them down by deleting and blocking them She did once write an apology post on Medium about one of these incidents that was incredibly painful, but that apology has been erased from the archives One US based Black writer, initials AM, I know tried to reach out to Saad to have a restorative dialogue around concerns of plagiarism They had been close and had conversations about some of AM s ideas when those ideas starting showing up in Saad s language Saad responded to AM s concerns by blocking them, and eventually, threatening with legal action AM having few resources to afford representation felt forced into silence which is why i won t share their name I know of at least 2 other Black women whose work she took from Generally, it is my sense from watching this transformation in real time, is that she used the real lives and emotional labor of the US Black women she knew and the literary tradition of Black writers in the US to learn what she knows about white supremacy, and then has brilliantly marketed that while manipulating a devoted white women fanbase People defending her claim white supremacy is a global issue Indeed, it is, and I trust Saad would have an important contribution if she ever decided to speak using her own voice, on her own experience, in the specific context of Qatar, which still uses slave labor, which bans all queerness, which has its own racialized patriarchal system But she does not ever speak to her own realities and the implications of her living in such a society She speaks as if she knows what she s talking about but then there are clues that something is off Murders in AZ happened last year and she used it to sell her book, was called in by a Black woman, blocked her and deleted her post This spring, we have witnessed extreme state and white vigilante violence but her insta is always the same selfies and extremely curated photos of her bookshelves There is a disconnect from the experience of being Black in the US Saad should share what her experience has been being Black Muslim in Qatar and how white supremacy shows up there I would be interested to know But there are beautiful literary works by Black authors in the US as well as contemporary guides on racism by Black authors in the US, whom we can trust to speak from their own knowledge, who are in integrity, and I will always recommend their work I ask whether, even if the content of this workbook, which centers whiteness, is helpful, is it worth it to support someone whose behaviors reflect the system she claims to want to dismantle I hope she can eventually repair relationships but as of now, she caused harm, and continues to by pretending she hasn t.Also, note that those vouching for her work are overwhelmingly white cis women Robin Diangelo wrote the forward, Elizabeth Gilbert who knows fuck all about race, claims Saad is an expert Look at who she draws to her account, who praises her She centers whiteness and white women love that.Here are books and resources Me And White Supremacy Teaches Readers How To Dismantle The Privilege Within Themselves So That They Can Stop Often Unconsciously Inflicting Damage On People Of Colour, And In Turn, Help Other White People Do Better, TooWhen Layla Saad Began An Instagram Challenge Called MeAndWhiteSupremacy, She Never Predicted It Would Spread As Widely As It Did She Encouraged People To Own Up And Share Their Racist Behaviors, Big And Small She Was Looking For Truth, And She Got It Thousands Of People Participated In The Challenge, And Over , People Downloaded The Me And White Supremacy WorkbookThe Updated And Expanded Me And White Supremacy Takes The Work Deeper By Adding Historical And Cultural Contexts, Sharing Moving Stories And Anecdotes, And Including Expanded Definitions, Examples, And Further ResourcesAwareness Leads To Action, And Action Leads To Change The Numbers Show That Readers Are Ready To Do This Work Let S Give It To Them I wasn t expecting this to beof a workbook each chapter ends with anywhere from 3 9 questions to reflect on and journal about , but I really enjoyed that aspect It allowed me to engage with the text, rather than just passively read it and feel I d accomplished something by the time I turned the last page But the work doesn t end with finishing this book, and I m looking forward to discussing and working through this book again in July with a group of people And while it s still worthwh I wasn t expecting this to beof a workbook each chapter ends with anywhere from 3 9 questions to reflect on and journal about , but I really enjoyed that aspect It allowed me to engage with the text, rather than just passively read it and feel I d accomplished something by the time I turned the last page But the work doesn t end with finishing this book, and I m looking forward to discussing and working through this book again in July with a group of people And while it s still worthwhile and important work to do on your own in fact, I think you have to start with yourself in working toward antiracism I think this book will facilitate great conversations Would highly recommend this one Whew Get ready to do some hard, hard work, y all I quickly read this before it goes to print I ll be coming back to do the full 28 day challenge when it s published in February 2020 From now on, when White people ask me what they should do to combat racism and White supremacy, I m going to tell them to read Layla Saad s book This book is based upon Saad s Instagram challenge meandwhitesupremacy, which took White people through a 28 day series of guided reflections about what racism is, how they have internalized and embodied it, and how they can begin to reconstruct their identities and their relationship to white supremacy This is not a primer on racism and it is not fo From now on, when White people ask me what they should do to combat racism and White supremacy, I m going to tell them to read Layla Saad s book This book is based upon Saad s Instagram challenge meandwhitesupremacy, which took White people through a 28 day series of guided reflections about what racism is, how they have internalized and embodied it, and how they can begin to reconstruct their identities and their relationship to white supremacy This is not a primer on racism and it is not for the feint of heart If you re going to read this book without doing the exercises, you ll miss the point I wouldn t recommend this as the starting point for white people to learn about racism, but it is a great starting point for white people who are ready to do the work of deconstructing their internalized racism And it is quite specifically for white people If you are a person of color, it will have some helpful information and be a great resource to share with white antiracist allies, but you will not be its primary audience You will be called out in as you do antiracism work Making mistakes is how you learn and do better going forward Being called out in is not a deterrent to the work It is part of the work This is an engaging and thought provoking book The short chapters are followed by reflection prompts questions that are designed to be answered over the course of 28 days.I listened to the audiobook, and thought the narration was great Thanks libro.fm for the complimentary audiobook This is a great comp You will be called out in as you do antiracism work Making mistakes is how you learn and do better going forward Being called out in is not a deterrent to the work It is part of the work This is an engaging and thought provoking book The short chapters are followed by reflection prompts questions that are designed to be answered over the course of 28 days.I listened to the audiobook, and thought the narration was great Thanks libro.fm for the complimentary audiobook This is a great companion or follow on read to White Fragility or other antiracism books This book had one of the best explanations to white feminism I ve read Would highly recommend to my white friends This book just doesn t do what it sets out to do, to me anyway It s a 28 day workbook aimed at helping white people understand their role in white supremacy If I were to parse each sentence, I d probably be down with 99% of them but I literally know of no one who this book would help to be less racist For people not in a frame of mind to learn, it s too easy to make fun of For people who are open to it, it is confrontational but without the context to absorb and utilize the strong language This book just doesn t do what it sets out to do, to me anyway It s a 28 day workbook aimed at helping white people understand their role in white supremacy If I were to parse each sentence, I d probably be down with 99% of them but I literally know of no one who this book would help to be less racist For people not in a frame of mind to learn, it s too easy to make fun of For people who are open to it, it is confrontational but without the context to absorb and utilize the strong language.One thing I really liked in the book were the great quotes used throughout Many I d heard, but some were new to me, such as this one from Toni Morrison during an interview with Charlie Rose in response to questions about when is she going to write about white peopleI have had reviews in the past that have accused me of not writing about white people as though our lives have no meaning and no depth without the white gaze And I ve spent my entire writing life trying to make sure that the white gaze was not the dominant one in any of my books Now for what I didn t like This feels like an earnest awareness lecture forced on high school students or corporate worker bees The concept might be desperately needed but it s handled with so few real world examples and uses no approaches studied for effectiveness that it s, well, something that I would ve mercilessly mocked as a young man such as when it talks about challenging feelings around your internalized oppression against yourself and it actually probably would ve brought outracist behavior in me.Then there s the constant use of BIPOC This is a relatively new acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Grammatically, this construction implies that Black and Indigenous People are not People of Color But, for me anyway, it serves to objectify people of color and other ize them from white people It is used 296 times in the book Example I do this work because I have a voice, and it is my responsibility to use my voice to dismantle a system that has hurt me and that hurts BIPOC every day But the main reason the book fails for me is that it tells rather than shows throughout Part of this is required by the fact that it s a workbook where you re given a little background about a racial topic then asked a few questions that you re supposed to write down your answers to in a journal but real world examples are the kind of thing that help people see how their own actions are problematic There are just a handful, and even brief onesconsistently used would help It s like the author wrote the book off the top of her head rather than doing any research Instead, readers are expected to answer questions like this one without any true context to help them fully get what the author is trying to pull out of them How have you reacted in the presence of Black women who are unapologetic in their confidence, self expression, boundaries, and refusal to submit to the white gaze There are a lot of wonderful books out there that reveal the white supremacy underlying society and the often unconscious biases of white people, especially the biases of so called progressive white people.I especially recommend White Fragility Why It s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, who writes the introduction to this book Also excellent is Jennifer Eberhardt s recent Biased Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do And, of course, Michelle Alexander s stone classic The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.Two other books on this topic that personally spoke to me are John Howard Griffin s Black Like Me and Tim Wise s White Like Me Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son I think white people with good intentions need to hear this from another decent person those hunches that something seems off you had when you read this book weren t just your white fragility speaking You aren t a white supremacist for being suspicious of the ideas in this book.I say that because you weren t given the option of considering that when you read this book, which told you how race works in western culture without ever actually feeling the need to prove it was true.When it comes I think white people with good intentions need to hear this from another decent person those hunches that something seems off you had when you read this book weren t just your white fragility speaking You aren t a white supremacist for being suspicious of the ideas in this book.I say that because you weren t given the option of considering that when you read this book, which told you how race works in western culture without ever actually feeling the need to prove it was true.When it comes to tackling social issues, if an author thinks she is going to show realistically what the problems are and what their solutions might be, she first needs to frame them properly within their broadest context universal human social behavior Saad fails to do that I think the failure of this work to really understand its issues in the broad context of human social psychology is a weak point which leads the book into counterproductive labeling, talk to the hand styled dismissiveness, and absurd expectation for people to be able to read others minds see the entire concept of micro aggressions Saad and other writers in this genre would do well to compare contemporary American race relations to other in group out group scenarios globally If they did, they would find a The general classes of problems they describe are not in any way uniquely American or white, and have little to nothing to do with attitudes of racial superiority therefore labeling it white supremacy is inaccurate and irresponsible.b Comparatively, the society they are complaining about is among the most inclusive, diverse, and broadly accepting in the world, with an ever increasing number of people having a great degree of access to the center of normality within American culture It certainly isn t perfect, but the notion that the structure of western democracy is a white supremacist institution is hyperbolic, to be polite The problem is, Saad doesn t actually seem versed in any sort of study of human nature She is versed in political activism, generation of propaganda, and social manipulation The entire premise of this book is based in ignorance of general socio cultural dynamics, and these ideas thrive and grow in an audience that stays similarly ignorant.Most of the characteristics ascribed to whiteness in this work, like much of the recent anti racist literature, arelike general majority privilege, from which any individual who most closely conforms to any particular culture s general center of normality will benefit in any culture, anywhere on earth Most of what Saad labels as white supremacy is actually just majority members of society taking their own cultural norms for granted, something which really has nothing directly to do with race, and is experienced on various scales everywhere in human society relative to various categories of identity.Is that a problem for the people displaced by it Yes, of course Should we be aware of it and do something about it Yes The problem is, this book isn t recognizing the real problems, and the solutions presented here, based in anger, resentment, and ignorance, actually exacerbate the problems.In committing these errors Saad actually moves us further from becoming a unified and inclusive culture, instead hardening the cultural borders, maintaining old and withering racial stratification, and enflaming resentments.My criticism of this work is not here to suggest there is no such thing as racism, nor that we should not do anything about it My criticism is actually here because I care very much about eliminating unfair treatment of people based on superficial classifications, and it is pretty clear to me that the foundations for that goal are nowhere to be found in this work This work provides feel good piety for white people via relief from its own self constructed world of guilt, and is ultimately hollow and ineffective in improving racial relations If you want to be a good ancestor learn to stop generalizing about people based on their skin color, treat people with basic respect and social boundaries, and learn to find the common ground with people of different backgrounds Please, people, think critically I know we white people all really want to be good white people, but there are major holes in the factual basis, logic, and methods of this work, and the results it provides are not constructive Treating people with darker skin than you as children and victims in need of protection and special concessions is not how you elevate them to equal status with you.I think it is an atrocity that the terrible ideas in this book are being passed along as the newest fad extension of what was once a noble civil rights movement Nobody wants to risk being called a racist for calling out how terrible and poorly informed the philosophy of this book is, but really, it needs to be done I originally read this book in the online workbook form, and have aspecifically critical review under that edition here on goodreads I m not necessarily the target audience of this book since I m not white, but I wanted to check it out anyway I d seen friends doing the challenge on her Instagram, so I had a sense of what this was I d highly recommend this for the white liberal who s ready and willing to take a hard and uncomfortable look in the mirror People who read American Dirt and didn t think about why this white author is on the bestseller list for telling a brown story when there are plenty of brown people whose boo I m not necessarily the target audience of this book since I m not white, but I wanted to check it out anyway I d seen friends doing the challenge on her Instagram, so I had a sense of what this was I d highly recommend this for the white liberal who s ready and willing to take a hard and uncomfortable look in the mirror People who read American Dirt and didn t think about why this white author is on the bestseller list for telling a brown story when there are plenty of brown people whose books are overlooked People who think they re helping by buying Toms or donating their clothes to kids in Africa without realizing they re crushing economies in their white saviorism People who call themselves allied out loud People who think being an ally deserves recognition All those folks who have felt like good white people, but are willing to go deeper and question all that, and bust through the defensiveness that inevitably will rise they should read this It is not for folks who arelikely to double down on racism if things aren t presented to them in a nice enough tone She s not pulling punches here If your reaction to being told hard truths about yourself is to run the other direction, you re not ready.And for BIPOC, this book is validating It s just nice to hear someone name your struggles out loud I felt some of this stuff in my boooones


About the Author: Layla F. Saad

Layla Saad is a globally respected writer, speaker and podcast host on the topics of race, identity, leadership, personal transformation and social change.As an East African, Arab, British, Black, Muslim woman who was born and grew up in the West, and lives in Middle East, Layla has always sat at a unique intersection of identities from which she is able to draw rich and intriguing perspectives Layla s work is driven by her powerful desire to become a good ancestor to live and work in ways that leave a legacy of healing and liberation for those who will come after she is gone.


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