When Dr. George Yancy penned a New York Times op-ed entitled “Dear White America” asking white Americans to confront the ways that they benefit from racism, he knew his article would be controversial. But he was unprepared for the flood of vitriol in response.
The resulting blowback played out in the national media, with critics attacking Dr. Yancy in every form possible—including death threats—and supporters rallying to his side. Despite the rhetoric of a “post-race” America, Dr. Yancy quickly discovered that racism is still alive and thriving. In “Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America”, Dr. Yancy expands upon the original article and chronicles the ensuing controversy as he seeks to understand what it was about the op-ed that created so much rage among so many white readers. He challenges white Americans to rise above the vitriol and to develop a new empathy for the African American experience.
Dr. George Yancy is a Professor of Philosophy at Emory University, and works primarily in the areas of critical philosophy of race, critical whiteness studies, and philosophy of the Black experience. He is the author, editor and co-editor of over 18 books. He is known for his influential essays and interviews in the New York Times’ philosophy column called, The Stone.