Monday, February 4, 2008
Read This Book
God knows there are plenty of things about racism that aren't funny. In general, race is a topic that many people discuss badly, either out of ignorance, self-righteousness, fear or lack of access to PBS and the History Channel. That's why "A Practical Guide to Racism" is so fabulous, because it manages to show how stupid racism is while delivering laughs on every page. If satire makes you edgy, this is not the book for you. But I'm personally recommending it to all of my friends and family members.
Like any person of color in America, I've had my brushes with dummies who have expressed surprise at my decent vocabulary and grooming (seriously). Plus, I'm married to a guy who was raised by Civil Rights activists. But I'm thankful to be living in a time when we can laugh about the idiocy of racism itself, if not its legacy. "A Practical Guide to Racism" is laugh-out-loud hilarious, and some of the old-fashioned illustrations almost made me spit out my coffee in the middle of the bookstore. If a drawing of a suited Brer Rabbit described as "An African-American man in formal dress" doesn't make you laugh, I don't know what will. Besides, how can you not love a book with a chapter on Mer-people?