Me and White Supremacy | Layla F. Saad

Summary of: Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
By: Layla F. Saad


Take a journey through the thought-provoking book, ‘Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor’ by Layla F. Saad. This book challenges the reader to recognize that white supremacy is not merely a radical ideology but a widespread system that encompasses white-centered culture and affects even the most ordinary, everyday lives. Throughout the summary, you will uncover various aspects of this ideology, including white privilege, white exceptionalism, and white fragility, as well as the different forms of racism experienced by BIPOC. Delve into a comprehensive understanding of allyship, tokenism, and white saviorism, while gaining insights into the importance of recognizing and combating white supremacy in all aspects of life.

The Widespread Reality of White Privilege

Layla Saad’s book, Me and White Supremacy, challenges readers to consider the reality of white privilege as not just a belief held by right-wing extremists, but as a pervasive ideology that benefits all white people. White supremacy is the foundation upon which white-centered culture is based, and anyone who can “pass” as white benefits from white privilege without even realizing it. Examples of these privileges may include experiencing the history of one’s own race when learning about history, finding culturally fitting products while shopping, not worrying about healthcare or legal assistance being impacted by race, and not having to warn children about racism. This belief in white superiority has been further proven by the result of an experiment where both Black and white children preferred white dolls, displaying a preference for whiteness. Saad encourages readers to acknowledge their privilege and work through any feelings of defensiveness towards doing so.

Dismantling White Supremacy

The author discusses how white people often respond defensively to conversations about white supremacy, labeling themselves as exceptions and victims. However, being complicit in a system of racism means taking responsibility, working through white fragility, and avoiding white silence and apathy. It’s time to dismantle white supremacy by acknowledging our role and actively working towards change.

The Harmful Act of Tone Policing and Cultural Appropriation

Tennis superstar Serena Williams received a formal reprimand during the 2018 US Open for calling the umpire a “thief.” However, former players admitted that they had said worse and faced no penalties, highlighting the issue of tone policing. The expectation for BIPOC to speak in a particular way is a form of racial stereotyping that perpetuates white supremacy. This is especially harmful when discussing experiences of racism. White culture continues to assert its dominance through cultural appropriation, regardless of the harm it causes to marginalized communities. These harmful actions must be addressed to create a more equitable society.

Different Forms of Racism

In her book, the author discusses the various forms of racism that nonwhite people experience. The focus is primarily on anti-Blackness experienced by Black people of African descent. Black women, men, and children are affected in different ways, with dehumanizing stereotypes spilling over into wider society and affecting our collective thinking. Black women are at a high risk of death during pregnancy or childbirth, possibly due to the belief that they are both inferior to and stronger than white women. Black men are often portrayed as violent, unintelligent, and sexually aggressive. Black children experience adultification and get fewer leadership opportunities. The book warns that feminism also has issues with racism and calls for us to practice intersectional feminism that acknowledges the multiple types of oppression that people face.

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