OVERRIDE

The Race Card

How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse

Richard Thompson Ford

Picador

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

What do hurricane Katrina victims, millionaire rappers buying vintage champagne, and Ivy League professors waiting for taxis have in common? All have claimed to be victims of racism. But these days almost no one openly defends bigoted motives, so either a lot of people are lying about their true beliefs, or a lot of people are jumping to unwarranted conclusions--or just playing the race card. Daring, entertaining, and incisive, The Race Card brings sophisticated legal analysis, eye-popping anecdotes, and plain old common sense to this heated topic.

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Introduction
In November 1987, a deputy sheriff was dispatched to an apartment building in Dutchess County, upstate New York. There a resident of the building led him to a large plastic garbage bag that contained a seemingly unconscious Tawana Brawley. Brawley’s body was smeared with feces, her clothes were torn, the crotch burned away from her jeans, and she was not wearing a bra or underwear. An ambulance was dispatched, and Brawley was taken to the hospital. When her clothes were removed, the markings were stark and unambiguous: the words “nigger,” “bitch,” and
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MEDIA

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  • Richard Thompson Ford on Race in the Media

    Watch this video to hear Richard Thompson Ford, author of The Race Card, criticize ways in which issues of racial prejudice are discussed in American media and popular culture. This event took place at Cody's Books in Berkeley, CA in 2008.

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REVIEWS

Praise for The Race Card

"A vigorous and long-overdue shake-up of the nation’s stale discourse on race . . . sharp, tightly argued, and delightfully contentious."--Orlando Patterson, The New York Times

"Crackles with insight and pierces the pieties of left and right . . . This history [of discrimination] only heightens the urgency of today's problems. . . . [A] passionate effort to redefine civil rights, brings a jolt of clarity."--The Washington Post

"Ford is bracing. . . . He takes dead aim at racial opportunists, opponents of affirmative action, multiculturalists, and the myriad rights organizations trying to hitch a ride on the successes of the black civil rights movement. . . . Best of all, he argues his humane, centrist position without apology or hesitation."--William Grimes, The Seattle Times

"Pragmatic . . . few would object to Ford's emphasis on the need for long-term solutions to persistent segregation and poverty."--The New Yorker

"A sharp, nuanced, yet stylish analysis . . . a superbly enlightening reflection on how America should confront its authentic legacy of racism . . . A sharp, nuanced yet stylish analysis."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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The Race Card

How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse

Richard Thompson Ford

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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