Me and White Supremacy Summary
Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad is a workbook-style program that takes white readers on a 28-day journey to learn about and personally reflect on racism and white supremacy.
- Week 1 discusses what white supremacy is and defines related terms like "white privilege" and "white fragility."
- Week 2 focuses on the real-world effects of anti-Blackness by discussing harmful stereotypes and cultural appropriation.
- Week 3 covers allyship and the ways in which white allies can both help and hinder anti-racist movements.
- Week 4 deals with the ways in which people can combat racism through their personal relationships and commitments.
Layla Saad’s Me and White Supremacy is a series of short lectures and reflective prompts designed to last its reader 28 days. It centers on white supremacy and the many ways in which it manifests, including through subtle, passive-aggressive displays such as tone policing, tokenism, and white saviorism. The book also addresses how white supremacy damages and puts Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) at a disadvantage on both an individual and a structural level. Ultimately, the aim of Me and White Supremacy is to take readers on a deeply reflective and transformative journey to help them challenge racism and set a better example for future generations.
The book is divided into two parts: part 1 begins with an account of the author’s personal background and how she has engaged in community work in order to dismantle racism from within the system. As a Muslim and an East African and Middle Eastern Black woman, Saad discusses how growing up in a white-dominated society has impacted her life and personal identity. She defines white supremacy as a racist ideology which holds that white people are intrinsically superior to other races. The ideology of white supremacy results in privileges and advantages being granted to white individuals at the expense of minorities. According to Saad, Me and White Supremacy is meant to be read by people who hold white privilege, including individuals who are biracial, multiracial, or people of color who benefit from a white-dominated system by “passing.” Saad also explains that, in order to properly utilize her book, readers must commit to telling the truth and proceeding with love even when presented with difficult facts and questions. Readers are advised to keep a journal and go at their own specific personal pace, even if that means exceeding the 28-day mark. Finally, Part 1 ends with the caveat that the 28-day challenge Me and White Supremacy presents is only meant to spark and aid transformative change; battling racism, on the other hand, must be an active, lifelong commitment.
Part 2 of the book is divided into four weeks. Each “day” of the Me and White Supremacy challenge ends with a series of journaling prompts and questions for the reader to more deeply reflect on the various issues Saad brings attention to. Week 1 centers on what Saad calls “the basics”: white privilege, white fragility, tone policing, white silence, white superiority, and white exceptionalism. She defines each of these terms and explains them as racist behaviors, mindsets, and phenomena which are at the root of the issues to be discussed in the forthcoming chapters.
Week 2 centers on anti-Blackness and its impact on culture, tackling topics such as color blindness; how anti-Blackness affects Black women, men, and children; racist stereotypes; and cultural appropriation. Saad defines color blindness as a privileged mindset which erases the struggles of BIPOC. She brings attention to how the sexuality of Black men is often either feared or fetishized in the media as a result of anti-Blackness. Meanwhile, culture often assigns stereotypes to Black women—such as the Mammy figure, Jezebel, Sapphire, and Strong Black Woman. Saad also cites two US studies that found that Black children are more often seen as less innocent (and thus, less deserving of protection) than...
(The entire section is 858 words.)