Tiffany Jewell visited Goodrell Middle School in Des Moines on March 23 for an assembly and to sign copies of her book, “This Book is Antiracist.” Every student was given a copy of the book prior to her visit and participated in a school-wide read.
Principal Carrie Romo said the school believes in and engages in “intentional work around identity, inclusion and celebrating our diversity.”
The book provides 20 lessons on how to “wake up, take action and do the work.” It is labeled as a “guidebook for taking action against racism.”
Jewell uses the term “folx” throughout the book because it is “gender neutral.” She uses “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world.
She capitalizes Black, Brown and Indigenous as a way of centering those communities’ voices.
“White is not capitalized,” according to one reviewer.
One Amazon reviewer said:
“Remember MLK? I do. His speech about judging people by their character rather than by the color of their skin has always been an inspiration to me. Those days are now gone. Today’s Marxist activists like the authors of this book feel that race is THE most important factor in life. The capitalization of Black, Brown and Asian throughout the book, while white gets lower case spelling is horrifying. I bought this book because my kid’s school required it, but there isn’t a chance I am letting my white kids be a victim of the racism promoted in this book.”
Another person wrote:
“(The book) has a good overview of racism, but it was hard to find behind the author’s thinly-veiled prejudice, limited historical information, logical inconsistencies and superfluous presentation of extravagantly erudite verbiage. Throughout the book, the author made a point of snubbing white people.”
The author also mentioned having friends on hand to talk to white people when she “doesn’t have the capacity to educate white people on racial oppression.”
And another person wrote:
“This book is not anti-racist! It immediately shames individuals for being white and male or female. The author may be trying to help racism against minority groups, but she addresses it in a way to turn racism around on white people.
“Also, if those that chose to be transgender don’t want other people deciding what to be called, they shouldn’t be trying to name people who don’t want to change theirs! I am not ‘cis’ anything — I am female. This is not a children’s or young adult book at all! This reads as brainwashing and will more than likely make individuals feel less about themselves after reading it.”