Things That Make White People Uncomfortable

Things That Make White People Uncomfortable

Paperback - 2019
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"Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, a fearless activist, a feminist, a grassroots philanthropist, an organizer, and a change maker. He's also one of the most scathingly humorous athletes on the planet, and he wants to make you uncomfortable. Bennett adds his unmistakable voice to discussions of racism and police violence, Black athletes and their relationship to powerful institutions like the NCAA and the NFL, the role of protest in history, and the responsibilities of athletes as role models to speak out against injustice. Following in the footsteps of activist-athletes from Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick, Bennett demonstrates his outspoken leadership both on and off the field.Written with award-winning sportswriter and author Dave Zirin, Things that Make White People Uncomfortable is a sports book for our turbulent times, a memoir, and a manifesto as hilarious and engaging as it is illuminating."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Chicago, Illinois : Haymarket Books, 2019.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781642590234
Characteristics: xvi, 250 pages ; 22 cm


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CMLibrary_KateE Jun 09, 2020

This is a great gateway book to begin exploring systemic racism, Black Lives Matter movement, and the current wave of protests.

Nov 04, 2019

I do not follow American football at all, for to me it is a violent sport. However, I was intrigued by the title so I read the book and I have to say my opinion of the sport even sunk lower as I had no idea of the dehumanizing experienced these athletes suffer. The plantation model in college sports as described by Bennett needs to end. Since he was in Texas during his college years, it may have been worse than in other places to fair. I also understand much better why the idea of the amateur student athlete must be banished to the dustbin of history which was a class-based idea to keep the working classes out anyway. No one but the athlete should own their own likeness and they should be the ones primarily profiting from their skills, not a head coach or university. An excellent and eye-opening read.

The parts of the book that came as a pleasant surprise to me were 1) Bennett's devastating critique of the corporate-industrial complex that is NCAA football, and 2) Bennett's foundation work teaching a nutritious organic diet to urban youth. Bennett is an enlightened guy who Seattle will miss having around.

Nov 08, 2018

This book was a "peak pick" on display and I was intrigued by the title even if off put by the image of Bennett. I am glad to have read the book, the first few chapters insisted to this 85 yo white man, that the ideas/concepts be thoughtfully considered. IMO there is a lot of truth in his beliefs, also some shift of blame from group responsibilities to boogey man corporations and a bit of self pity as well. One thing I carried away is that violent spectator sports are grossly damaging to the players and also to the spectators, not to mention corrupting to the institutions that sponsor them.

I would love an opportunity to discuss some aspects with Mr Bennett.

Sep 23, 2018

Impressive, thoughtful, and obviously sincere personal memoir. I had no idea who this author was, and I reserved this book expecting a screed against white-dominated American society. What I read was a thoughtful African-American athlete's plea for a more egalitarian society with less racial inequity. The feeling underlying is not seething hate, although it would be justifiable. There are a number of searing self-evaluations and as many condemnations of systemic racism in American society, but the message is one of hope and progress, societal as well as personal ...well worthy of every one's support. What is most uncomfortable at the end, is the obvious exploitation of high school, college, and professional athletes by those who profit (financially) from them. Not pretty, and especially ugly for African -Americans!

Jul 24, 2018

First, thank you to all those writing the previous comments!

You may be a football fan. You will learn a lot. You may not be a football fan. You will learn even more. But this book is about much more than football and the NFL. Here is a husband and a father telling us what he and his wife Pele are doing to ameliorate injustice and racial inequity in the US and elsewhere. For instance, did you know about food deserts in the US? Not desserts, deserts with one s.

Michael Bennett recalls Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Colin Kaepernick, Angela Davis, and many others.

The best chapters for me were – Our Daughters and the Power of Women, and You have to Forgive to Grow. Any father can relate to his hopes for the future for his three daughters.

You might also like to have a look at three interviews of Michael Bennett with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez (see

SCL_Mallory Jul 05, 2018

A profoundly insightful memoir from an excellent NFL football player. An illuminating look at the many injustices that still occur everyday and what some people are doing about them.

Jul 01, 2018

This is an amazing book and I recommend it to all people who care about humanity. I disagree with the main review in that I think Mr. Bennet speaks with honest emotions in this book and that Michael is thorough in explaining his experience as a black man in America and a black athlete at the college level and in the NFL. I was moved to tears many times and if I wasn't checking out the book, would have underlined or highlighted many sections that I felt were deeply meaningful and profound. Mr. Bennet speaks honestly and from the heart and I can't expect more than that from a well-written book.

Jun 26, 2018

Very insightful, honest, and straightforward about Mr. Bennett’s ever curious journey through life and his dedication to being an active participant in making America live up to its ideals for the betterment of all Americans. I look forward to reading future works from Mr. Bennett.

May 15, 2018

I picked up this book because of the intriguing title. I knew nothing of this man because I am not interested in football but wanted to hear what he had to say. I found his dedication to "Black Lives Matter" and other causes to be humbling. He has educated himself on many injustices in the world- not just American blacks. He has established a foundation to help alleviate food deserts and many other causes and I would encourage you to read his book, I cannot do justice to the evolution of this thinking and activism.

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Jan 09, 2020

white_tiger_937 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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