Jody Armour believes that, despite the fact that most whites today are racially well intentioned, race-based mistrust and misunderstanding pose one of the greatest obstacles to racial harmony in contemporary America. Beset by media images of black criminality, whites consistently cite statistics, trends, and past experiences to support their deep distrust of backs, a distrust blacks deeply resent.
Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism is a crucial book, at a crucial time, just as white America is gradually coming to understand the hidden travails of African American life: the suspicious glances in department stores, the baseless questioning by police, the inability to get a taxi. Armour shows convincingly how this phenomenon has been so persistent as to constitute, literally, a tax on African Americans, sapping them of resources, opportunity, time, and energy. Skillfully drawing on a wide range of referents, from Greek mythology to Thomas Bayes, the father of statistics, armour plumbs our racial psychology and in the process exposes the racialized nature of our daily life and of our legal system.
Unlike so much recent writing on race in America, Jody Armour's book is no plaintive cry of despair. His perspective is rooted in a measured, even hopeful belief that we both must and can overcome racial bias. Toward that end, he introduces specific ways in which we can overcome the unconscious discrimination and the automatic negative responses that tax blacks and so trouble progressive whites.
"Skillfully drawing on a wide range of referents from Greek mythology to Thomas Byes, the father of statistics, Armour plumbs our racial psychology and in the process explores the racialized nature of our daily life and our legal system."
-Norfolk Virginia Journal and Guide