Book Review Number 48

Surrender, White People!

D L Hughley is an American actor, political commentator, radio host, author and stand-up comedian. This book is partly a look at the history of racism in America, mostly of the last 100 years. It is also an opinion piece about racism from a black person’s perspective. It is a humorous and entertaining approach to the subject, but be prepared for lots of crass street language.

The author presents the history, the issues, and potential solutions in a unique way. It is written as though he is negotiating a peace treaty with white people. He points out that white people have oppressed black people for 400 years but now he has a surprise for them; they are about to become a minority themselves. They have set all the rules by which black people and other people of color must live. But finally the rules are now going to be rebalanced.

Mr. Hughley writes that a reckoning is coming and black and brown people are not going to take a back seat anymore. Whites must give up their unjust privileges and sue for peace while they still can. He warns that the only way for America to move forward is for whites to face their history, abandon their vision of superiority, and open up the institutions to benefit everyone in the nation.

The author presents chapter after chapter as though they are articles of a peace treaty. Each “article” is dedicated to critical issues to be resolved to address past racial abuse as well as level the current social, political, and economic playing field. He addresses reparations in one article; in another he discusses the need for history books to more objectively reflect the story of racism and its long term impact on black people. He also discusses the need to work at understanding each other, defeat white supremacy, and recognize the reality that black and brown people are every bit as American as whites are, with equal rights, opportunities, and with equal access to justice. In the final chapter he assembles the elements of the “treaty” as he discussed them through the other chapters.

I think this book can be a valuable thought provoking treatise on racism for white people. It is humorous and entertaining in its approach to such a serious subject;  but its liberal use of offensive language will cause many people who might benefit from its message not to read it.