An eye-opening document and an urgent call for accountability.

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THE GOLDSTONE REPORT

THE LEGACY OF THE LANDMARK INVESTIGATION OF THE GAZA CONFLICT

An edited and annotated version of the controversial United Nations investigation into the recent Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip and reactions by mostly pro-Palestinian observers.

The result of a fact-finding mission commissioned by the UN and led by South African Justice Richard Goldstone to investigate potential war crimes committed by Israel during its Gaza attack in January 2009, the report has been heavily edited by American journalists Horowitz, Ratner and Weiss, introduced by Desmond Tutu and Naomi Klein, and is followed by 11 essays “that capture its ongoing impact.” The Israeli government refused to cooperate—despite the report’s finding that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority were complicit in crimes—and there is essentially one essay in Israel’s defense, by Moshe Halbertal, who condemns the report as “biased and unfair” while urging Israel to respond to the allegations. The report is hard-hitting and grim, exposing for the world the horrendous conditions wrought by the years of Israeli occupation. Following three years of blockade of an already weakened Gaza and responding to suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism inflicted on southern Israel, the Israeli Defense Force swiftly moved into Gaza in late 2008 and deliberately destroyed houses, industry and agricultural land. At least 1,400 Palestinians were killed, approximately 900 of which were civilians, 300 children and 100 women. The report asserts that Israel’s military operations were “designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity…[and] force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.” The report also addresses the deliberate attacks against the civilian population, the use of Palestinians as “human shields,” internal violence by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and the suppression of dissent in Israel. Subsequently, the commentators—including Rashid Khalidi, Raji Sourani, Jerome Slater and Henry Siegman—discuss the report’s acknowledgement of the “prolonged state of impunity” by Israel and the implications for international law, while Brian Baird recounts the systematic condemnation of the report by the U.S. Congress.

An eye-opening document and an urgent call for accountability.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56858-641-0

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Nation Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE

Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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