If you follow the news, or pay attention to the statistics, it’s obvious Black people in the Diaspora today continue to face huge challenges – in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and elsewhere. The problems surrounding racial discrimination are long-standing and persistent. Less obvious is why these problems are so difficult to solve. A true iconoclast, Dr. Julian With is not afraid to offer hard truths.
As a social psychologist and commentator of many years’ standing, he brings a wide-ranging perspective. He is more interested in trendlines than headlines, and saying what’s right instead of what people want to hear. Some readers may find his arguments chastening, but they are always razor-sharp, drawing on nuanced analyses and evidence.
In Why the Race Battle is So Hard to Win, he demolishes what he sees as the self-limiting dogmas and misguided articles of faith among the Black community internationally. Here, he argues that his fellow Black people continue to waste their energy blaming slavery for their current strife, and that the fight for reparations is futile, only distracting focus from where it should be more usefully directed. But he should not be mistaken for a Black author who writes negatively about the Black struggle to please white readers. Dr. With is a fierce critic of white racism, and strongly supports affirmative action and the liberation of Black people everywhere from oppression, discrimination and social injustice.
Yet because he is pragmatic rather than dogmatic, he also holds Black people responsible for their own fate. In this book, he covers many topics, all in short, easy-to-absorb articles. He looks at patterns of Black voting in the United States, intra-racial discrimination in the Caribbean and elsewhere, the problems with ‘integration’, how other minority groups in Europe and the U.S. approach self-determination, and the psychological effects of living in majority-white societies on Black consciousness, among many more. From each of his critiques flows suggestions for improving the standing of Black people around the world.
Why the Race Battle Is So Hard to Win is his first book to be translated into English.
Dr. Julian With is a Dutch social psychologist and commentator. He was born in Surinam. His other books (in Dutch) include Zwart racisme bestaat niet; 1986; Black Racism is a Myth) Waarom wij het niet redden; 2006; Why We Do Not Progress); Het komt nooit meer goed; 2011; It never gets better again); Kritieken, het schoonmaakmiddel van de geest; 2014; Criticisms, the Detergent of the Mind);
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