Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role in It, and How We Can Help Dismantle It

Seal. Oct. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781541675865. $28. SOC SCI
Daniels (White Lies) breaks down the role of white women in maintaining the prevalence of white supremacy in American society, emphasizing that even white women who “mean well” are complicit. She elucidates the history of white women’s stake in American racism, as well as the cruelty with which they have wielded their power and privilege. Daniels breaks down the racism inherent in the wellness industry, as well as its alignment with capitalism, and explores issues such as cultural appropriation and white women’s historic defense of racial segregation in schools. Any reader who has paid a modicum of attention to current events will be familiar with much of what Daniels surveys, including viral Karen videos, the oft-quoted percentages of white women who voted for Trump, pink pussy hat feminism, and the school admissions scandals. There are no fresh or unique perceptions in her discourse, and her targets (which include Gwyneth Paltrow and Sheryl Sandberg) have grown tiresome, eliciting boredom rather than insight.
VERDICT Daniels quotes extensively from Black women, and readers would be better served by seeking out their writing directly. Ijeoma Oluo, Charlene Carruthers, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Alicia Garza have all written books that offer personal context, emotional stakes, and steps for making meaningful change.
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