Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America
Ijeoma Oluo follows her best selling book So You Want to Talk About Race? with an equally compelling and unflinching critique of the intersections of race, gender, and power in Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America. Well-researched, thoughtful, and unapologetic, Oluo’s latest release addresses the fragility of white masculinity, which threatens communities and institutions.
Oluo directly addresses gendered and racialized power by offering historical and contemporary examples. She argues that in an individualistic and patriarchal society, women are expected to be above reproach, while men can be “mediocre.” She highlights white male entitlement and frustration over the perceived advantages of women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and members of other marginalized communities, critiquing the troublesome trend of anti-intellectualism and the rise of hateful rhetoric and violence among right-wing white men.
Oluo has encapsulated the Trump era, memorializing the anti-racist acts of resistance by political newcomers Ilhan Omar and Alexandra Ocasio Cortez and sports icon Colin Kaepernick. She adopts a balanced approach in her critique, pointing out flaws among the political left. She discusses how whiteness tends to be central in social justice movements that focus on socioeconomic issues, ignoring the deleterious impacts of race.
Oluo’s analysis advances the discourse about dismantling white male supremacy, or perhaps more accurately, mediocrity. It’s an important read during this time of reckoning about equity and justice.
|Page Count||336 pages|
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|Category||Current Events & Politics|