If the Trump insurrection against our elected Presidency did not awaken all of us to the fragile nature of our democracy, events going forward under a competent President should let us know how lucky we were!
That racism still controls a significant number of Republicans remains a dangerous issue which means we must understand racism’s 400 year origins so we as a nation can get past where we have been to where we must go.
My writing to date on racism has been limited to simply citing its insidious existence. American literature from James Baldwin and so many others came before the significant demographic changes that now are upon us.
Consequently, when I noted the arrival of a new book The Sum Of Us by Heather McGhee, an African American author who got as I did (in 1953—among its first grads) a BA in American Studies I got a copy and devoured the intensity and urgency for dealing with this fatal Achilles Heel in the Republican Party
You can read some reviews here.
The Sum Of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. Available Everywhere Today. pic.twitter.com/8pWUra42z5
— Heather McGhee (@hmcghee) February 16, 2021
“The Sum of Us is a powerhouse of a book about the deep, enduring, cross-cultural, multi-generational, and real-life cost of racist policy-making in the United States. With intelligence and care (as well as with a trove of sometimes heart-breaking and sometimes heart-opening true stories) Heather McGhee shows us what racism has cost all of us, as a society. And that cost has been brutally high, across the board. This is a book for every American, and I am grateful for McGhee’s research, her humanity, and her never-more-important teachings.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“In this critical moment where we have fallen so far apart, The Sum of Us is a book we all need. For close to a decade, the BlackLivesMatter movement has been doing the work to change how racism, and America’s willful amnesia surrounding it, devastatingly impacts the lives of Black people in America and around the world. This book provides an important and necessary piece of the equation—not just how racism hurts Black people and people of color, but white people too. The Sum of Us is a must read for everyone who wants to understand how we got here, but more importantly, where we can go from here—and how we get there, together.” —Alicia Garza, author of The Purpose of Power and co-founder of Black Lives Matter
“If everyone in America read this book, we’d be not only a more just country, but a more powerful, successful, and loving one…. A vital, urgent, stirring, beautifully written book that offers a compassionate road map out of our present troubled moment.” —George Saunders, #1 New York Times bestselling and Booker Prize–winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo
“Heather McGhee does not shy away from telling hard truths. Racism sits at the heart of America, and McGhee shows its effects on the very people who cleave to it. The Sum of Us removes the cloak from this land of so-called innocents and brilliantly offers a path forward for the nation. This book is for all of us standing in the breach, working toward social change. With care and unflinching honesty, McGhee has written an extraordinary book for these difficult days.” —Eddie S. Glaude Jr., New York Times bestselling author of Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own
“What would it be like to live in an America where we embraced diversity as our superpower? Heather McGhee’s The Sum of Us challenges readers to imagine a country where we are more than the sum of our disparate parts. Through the stories of fast food workers in Missouri, community organizers in Maine, and more, McGhee illustrates the power and necessity of multi-racial organizing. Hopeful, inspiring, and timely, The Sum of Us makes the case for the radical notion that ‘we the people’ means all of us.” —Cécile Richards, co-founder, Supermajority, and former president, Planned Parenthood
“Heather McGhee is one of the wisest, most penetrating, most brilliant minds to set herself to the Big Problem of American democracy: how we share this country in a way that works for all of us. Reading it made me feel free, truly free, and ready to run and march and shout. I think it will do the same for you.” —Chris Hayes, New York Times bestselling author and Emmy Award–winning news anchor
About the Author
Heather McGhee is an expert in economic and social policy. The former president of the inequality-focused think tank Demos, McGhee has drafted legislation, testified before Congress and contributed regularly to news shows including NBC’s Meet the Press. She now chairs the board of Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. McGhee holds a BA in American studies from Yale University and a JD from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.
So, to conclude, Trump, not only the supreme egotist, but the ultimate racist leader, heads millions who want to deny their racist fears and think they can still mount a national presence as a co-equal member of our two-party system.
As the growing disgust with Trump will prove, the need to change will grow more urgent.
From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013
By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
Heather McGhee – “The Sum of Us” & The True Cost of Racism | The Daily Social Distancing Show
Heather McGhee, author of “The Sum of Us,” on the economic costs of racism
The Race Gap: How U.S. systemic racism plays out in Black lives
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