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In What's the Matter with White People?, popular Salon columnist Joan Walsh argues that the biggest divide in America today is not about party or ideology, but about two competing narratives for why everything has fallen apart since the 1970s. One side sees an America that has spent the last 40 years bankrupting the country providing benefits and advantages to the underachieving, the immoral, and the undeserving, no matter the cost to Middle America. The other sees an America that has spent the last 40 years bankrupting the country providing benefits and advantages to the very rich, while allowing a measure of cultural progress for the different and the downtrodden. It matters which side is right, and how the other side got things so wrong.
Walsh connects the dots of American decline through trends that began in the 1970s and continue today - including the demise of unions, the stagnation of middle-class wages, the extension of the right's "Southern Strategy" throughout the country, the victory of Reagan Republicanism, the increase in income inequality, and the drop in economic mobility.
Citing her extended family as a case in point, Walsh shows how liberals unwittingly collaborated in the "us vs. them" narrative, rather than developing an inspiring, persuasive vision of a more fair, united America. She also explores how the GOP's renewed culture war.
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By Camp Diva on 01-23-17
If you could sum up What's the Matter with White People? in three words, what would they be?
White conservatives feelings are hurt because we did not listen to them. Liberals aren't nice to them. It is okay for them to treat POC with impunity but we have to be nice to them because they are not used to not getting the rewards with little effort. Tired of hearing this to explain why they vote again their self interest.
What about Joan Walsh’s performance did you like?
I can listen to her performance without drifting off. Did not distract from the content.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
We hurt the white man's fee fee. Now we all pay.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful