Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America

By Michael Eric Dyson

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book really helped me understand the difficulty of spanning the gap between the black culture and the "privileged white." I am white and failed all these years to see that, while do not consider myself discriminatory toward people of color, for sure I have not had to put up with the downcast looks or being pulled over by a cop because I look like I might "cause trouble" or that "might" break a law.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
thomas brevik
Timely and reflective, this sermonic volume is lyrical and resonant. Dr. Dyson uses his familiar style and cultural intelligence to provide a cadence to recent events in American history--staccato messages of pain and murder and legato examples of love and historical reference validate his street cred from the Academy to Brownsville. It is BRILLIANT. Buy one for yourself. Buy one for a friend. Black, brown, pink or white every American should read this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
luis de la fuente
Tears We Cannot Stop
Michael Eric Dyson

The Reverent Doctor Michael Eric Dyson is a fascinated speaker; I love hearing him pop the gears of reason in his public orations. He can go from zero to 60 in record time switching between highfalutin words and terms to hip black street slang seamlessly. Very little of this colorful ability is employed in his new book Tears We Cannot Stop, some, but not much. The Reverent is preaching in this book, he is delivering a sermon to white people and he is using a frame-work popular in the Black Church. The book is structured on the line of a church service from its call to Worship to the closing prayer.

In this book, Dyson lays out the daily injustices African Americans suffer while, at the same time, he accuse white people of knowing about the injustices, but not wanting to know and even pretending that they don’t know. He even set out some personal encounters he and his family has had the monster.

Reverent Dyson preached a powerful service in his two part Sermon; Repenting of Whiteness and Being Black in America. In the former he dissect the political meaning of whiteness from its social benefits to illustrate how the invented concept of whiteness is killing black folk…and white folk too. The latter part of the Sermon begins with a lengthy discourse on the uses, meaning and distinction of the N word in two main veriations.

There is much, much more in this illuminating book in which Reverent Dyson makes the final plead for justice in America; the final call for white people to take up the cause and bring the problem and the solution to every nook and cranny of white reality. This book more than suggest that the final mile to racial justice in America depends on white people bring other white people home to Jesus.
The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir :: Invisible Man :: Citizen: An American Lyric :: The Fire Next Time :: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have read, re-read, and read again this latest motivation by Dr. Dyson. I cannot begin to list all of the quotes that are so very pertinent to the incredulous events of each day.
Dr. Dyson connects the dots and leads the reader to the correct and logical conclusion: we are in this together. We must also know that we cannot excise the heart and soul of this nation and expect to survive.
Read this book. We cannot afford to lose sight of the intertwine-ness of our very existence.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
leanne curtis
I loved this book. I appreciated Dr. Dyson's purpose in being gentle and non-aggressive in the midst of needing to say some difficult things. I love his style and intelligence and heart so much. And yet he did not deviate from the goal of speaking truth and desiring reconciliation. Fantastic book - I can't recommend it highly enough. Sadly, I believe that some of the who need so desperately to hear Dr. Dyson's message will also be those who would purposely avoid doing so, or may never even know about it to begin with.

I have been on a journey of awareness over the past few years and this book was beneficial and beautiful to me - and heartbreaking, convicting, and so on. Read it please!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Dr. Dyson is as fascinating to read, as he is to listen too. 3/4 of the way, I had to give it a rest because the realities of the disrespect that people of color still have to deal with today is mind boggling. We didn't kill most of the Real Native Americans. In fact, after the Civil War they warmly took us in. Many of us have Native American Ancestors.

Cops almost recreationally murder us. I have to chuckle when whites stand a distance when we are in lines or move away when we are in public lines.

Some white Americans claim to be afraid of us. Isn't it the other way around? Our children and our men are killed despite having no weapons, walking away and don't we dare speak up for ourselves.

Tears flow like rain in our hearts as we try to keep our heads up.

My parents were non-violently active in the Civil Rights Movement. The ill prepared occupying the White House, Jeff Sessions, Clarence Thomas and The Supremes won't "Stop! In the Name of Love". Instead, "Mother, Mother there's too many of you crying...."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
steve markley
Yes, a must read for white America, of which I am one. We do not have a clue of what it really means to be black. And how we whites contribute, even when we could swear we are not at all prejudiced. It may make you uncomfortable. This is a good thing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
danni potter
One hundred and fifty-two years ago, slavery ended in the United States. And yet the tentacles of that time touch lives every day, all these years later.
What can be done to make things better? Michael Eric Dyson, a sociology professor at Georgetown University, and an ordained Baptist minister, suggests that white people who care about the lives of black people should make individual reparations. In his book, Tears We Cannot Stop …A Sermon to White America, Dyson says, “{Black people} built a legacy of excellence and struggle and pride amidst one of the most vicious assaults on humanity in recorded history. That assault may have started with slavery, but it didn’t end there. The legacy of that assault, its lingering and lethal effect, continues to this day. It flares in broken homes and blighted communities, in low wages and social chaos, in self-destruction and self-hate too. But so much of what ails us—black people. That is—is tied up with what ails you—white folk, that is. We are tied together in what Martin Luther King Jr. called a single garment of destiny. Yet sewed into that garment are pockets of misery and suffering that seem to be filled with a disproportionate number of black people.”
The book, unlike Dyson’s other scholarly works, takes the form of a worship service, and uses the concept of an extended sermon, or jeremiad, to lead the reader through confession, repentence, and redemption “through the long night of despair to the bright day of hope.” In Dysons’s view, “whiteness is a problem to be struggled with,” and his book is of inestimable value in grappling with the struggle.
The book speaks at length of police brutality against black people, and fervently tries to create empathy in white readers. It includes an extraordinary bibliography of books which give insight and voice to black history, oppression, pain, achievement, and lives.
And it speaks of reparations, and our responsibility as white beneficiaries of an unequal system, to take concrete actions to right the wrong, the change our country and the lives of our black sisters and brothers and their children.
Dyson is imaginative, and has many suggestions for how an individual or group “I.R.A.”—an Individual Reparations Account. We could buy books for black college students, overpay our black accountant or hairdresser, pay the black person who cuts our grass double the amount on the bill, give to the United Negro College Fund, and more. He suggests that faith groups consider giving 10% of their revenues to a church I.R.A. In an interview in the New York Times Magazine, Dyson says, “If the sermon ain’t making you a little bit uncomfortable, it ain’t effective. Look, if it doesn’t cost you anything, you’re not really engaging in change: you’re engaging in convenience. I’m asking you to do stuff you wouldn’t ordinarily do. I’m asking you to think more seriously and strategically about why you possess and what you possess…..you ain’t got to ask the government, you don’t have to ask your local politician—this is what you, an individual, conscientious, ‘woke’ citizen can do.

I have read many—though surely not all—of the books Dyson recommends. I have grappled with white privilege as a mother of black children, a fighter against apartheid, a civil rights activist, a human being. I have never read anything which more cogently offers “woke whites” a path to being a part of the change. I urge you to read Tears We Cannot Stop …A Sermon to White America, and to take your place in the pantheon of people who help this country grow beyond its racist past.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Excellent book calling to white America to recognize the situation of black America, to understand how white privilege shuts out African American brothers and sisters. At first I thought he was possibly overstating it but he convinced me. He was preachy but stated so up front. My perceptions were changed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephanie o hanlon
AWESOME!!! every person in America needs to read this. I love his works, and I hope he continues to speak out loud and clear about issues that affect so many minorities that are subject to racial injustices.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Huckstering, snake oil, pulpit talk. Decades from now, Dyson will be relegated to the long list of social justice warriors who did nothing but widen the rift in our society. Nobody likes being preached to, least of all by those who engage in identity politics and are openly prejudiced. Keep your sermon to yourself.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patricia trapani
This book is well written and should be given to people you know that are of another race. I believe they will be able understand the issues our sons, uncles, brothers, and all males in the black community face often.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is an amazing book of truth! I have been waiting for this message for awhile. It is vital in this time we are living in. We are all God's children, He sees us as equal.This book is speaking to the world. Love each other! Thank you Dr, Dyson from my son as well.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kelly jarosinski
“What I need to say can only be said as a sermon.” And preach Michael Eric Dyson does. His sermon, an epistle to White America that for the author is long overdue is, at the same time, a book that we may well not have ever opened or read.

The reason is not that the world was perfect up until last November 8, when the entire world watched Donald Trump win and many, among them prominently Van Jones, proclaimed that this movement came down to one underlying fact: Race.

The timing of Dyson’s book, Tears We Cannot Stop, cannot possibly be coincidental. Was it timed to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump, or did Donald Trump gain the White House because the ills Michael Eric Dyson addresses had already metastasized?

The point is that while Election ‘16 was many things, it was in no way a terrorist attack. There was nothing shocking about Trump’s rise – not to a nation of black men and women all-too-used to the white rage that anointed its hero that seemingly frigid evening.

The author said his book would be a sermon because every other way he tried to have this conversation rang false. This declaration was in the early pages on the book, but to be honest it was in the Table of Contents before that. ‘1. Call to Worship, 2. Hymns of Praise, 3. Invocation’, and the list goes on. The Table of Contents reads like Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, so it’s on the reader if they didn’t know what they were in for.

The comparison to jazz may well be apropos, for while beautiful and enchanting, there is venom in Dyson’s pen. He aims to save America, and there is a cancer to be cut out if he’s to have any chance of succeeding.

The author is elegant, but he isn’t here to save feelings. More than once his use of ‘beloved’ reads as condescending, not caring. But when one’s theory is that to heal, what is calcified must first be broken, lines like, “to be blunt, you are immature about race” have the desired effect.

Like any good sermon, this book is a challenge. Dyson wants White America’s enlightenment, but he is not willing to leave anything unsaid before that train reaches the station. Among his many challenges are declarations on naiveté - “Beloved, your innocence is a burden to you, a burden to the nation, a burden to our progress” and the careful, yet direct presentation of what we should all aim to me.

“Kaepernick is the best kind of American there is: one willing to criticize his country precisely because he loves it so much,” the author declares. And if that makes one squirm, then that may suit Dyson just fine. For, “…there is a paradox that many of you refuse to see: to get to a point where race won’t make a difference, we have to wrestle, first, with the difference that race makes.”

And the truth is that race means everything in America. It is the privilege of some and the death sentence of others. It is the root of our misunderstanding and the constructed obstacle to any great potential this country still surely holds… albeit latently.

At the end of it all, Dyson’s work is necessary. It is, admittedly, so timely that it may soon seem dated. Tomorrow’s headline is only 150 characters away, and in that way the author may find himself not off his book tour before a hand in the crowd will ask, “Yeah, but how could you leave out….?”

These, however, are simply details. These mistakes on race have plagued us since White America became bent on defining just how man and his property were to be forever different. The only thing that would have emancipated African Americans would have been a flash of light and color blindness because the chains of slavery still affect much of how we see the world today.

And that is why Dyson’s book ends with recommendations that are, nonetheless, called reparations. Racism is not a misunderstanding; it is an attack. True, many White Americans did not choose to take part in this attack, but the benefits of this subjugation have been spread around all the same.

If we’re to heal, it will be by acknowledging the problem. For some this is a book to be celebrated. For others, it is one to be read and digested. For many, many Americans (like me), it is probably a book to be read more than once. In any event, we should be grateful for the sermon. Its healing power is something our country desperately needs.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book is explosive in its explaining of everyday faith, fears, and ,fury of blacks in America, but also the same for white people. Mr. Dyson cuts to the core of the race problem in this country. I don't have to mention that it's not must read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
abdul ahad
I'm almost through with this book. I received it from the store a couple days ago and have found it difficult to put it down. I'm a 75 year old white woman who is on a journey of seeing better and taking responsibility for the contribution I've made to racism in this country. Thank you, Michael Dyson, for helping me see. I hope to spread the word and make a difference.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jamie ward
Basically an extended facebook rant. He misrepresents Dr. King, applies double standards over and over again, tells us what white people think, and calls getting stopped by the police after being reported for smacking his kid around "police terrorism". Completely lacking in logic and self-awareness. I stopped after 2 chapters. There are too many insightful black writers out there providing thoughtful social commentary to waste your time on this.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
You had better get this book in your life! We are faced with a "nightmare come true" with the election of this new President. This book will provide the physical and spiritual energy we'll need to see us through the turbulent times ahead.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
renee wickham
An important reflection on the state of race relations in the United States in 2017--important enough that I wish every white American (Bill Bryson tried to promote the word "Usian" to denote a resident of the United States, but unfortunately it never caught on) would read it.

One reviewer, a guy named Reid, criticized the book's tone as inappropriate for its actual readers. White folk, he says, run the gamut from actively and openly racist to profoundly and practically egalitarian (maybe not the best descriptor). The latter end of the spectrum will read the book and the former end will not, of course. I.e., Dyson is preaching to the choir, according to Reid. I don't think so, though. Dyson's goal is to establish the complicity of all white folk in the construct of whiteness--and to show how verbal and even actual egalitarianism, if it nonetheless rests content with the status quo, becomes culpable for white racism. And his Benediction chapter, which gives 50+ book recommendations for white folk who want to educate themselves on the experience of black folk in America (e.g., James Baldwin), shows that he knows his white readers are well-educated white readers. That's why he emphasizes white folk educating other white folk on these issues.

The tone approaches stridency in the first half of the book, but he never quite gets there; some sensitive souls will object to some of his language, but it serves Dyson's rhetorical purpose well. And if you hear or read that Dyson's an ordained Baptist minister and expect him to talk about Jesus and how he broke down the dividing wall of hostility, well, you'll be disappointed. He's a Baptist of "progressive" theology, which is to say that there's really no theology at all and even less Scripture.

Several parts were enlightening for me. For example, I don't think I'd ever thought of how the O.J. Simpson ("the whitest black man ever," according to Dyson) verdict revealed to white folk how black folk had felt in trial after trial for centuries. His anecdotes were powerful, including those about his and his son's experiences with police; I was reminded of this last night when an officer pulled me over for driving with expired plates (whoops!) and I was 100% comfortable talking to him. That's an experience a black man probably could never have. His story about how his father, and many others like him, imbibed racist remarks so often that he came to believe them effectively communicated the tragedy of racism. And his thought that racism is Frankenstein's monster and that the white man is Frankenstein himself, and that our monster reveals our own imperfections and our fear of them, was instructive. Last, the section on suggested reparations was much more helpful than policy discussions on affirmative action and the like; his practical suggestions for how individual white men and women can make reparations for our sins against black men and women was in most cases pretty doable!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
tyler huelsman
I was very disappointed with the organization of the book - as a church service. I think I understand now why so few Americans regularly attend church!
He has some valid points, not least of which is white privilege and what to do about it. But I couldn't overcome the seething hatred with which Dr. Dyson wraps his main points. I didn't feel the love in his "beloved"!
I always felt like a "good white person" when I quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as saying, "I will not judge a person by the color of his skin but by the content of his character." No room for that in Dr. Dyson's work, unfortunately.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
donna hollis
Beautiful written and highly compelling, this book speaks to the heart and soul of white America, begging for love, compassion and simply to be seen as human. Dr. Dyson's prose is poetic justice at its best!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
paul schnitz
Michael Dyson's new book is experiental and thought-provoking. White Americans may hate or strong disagree with it, but the narrative is quite compelling if White Americans try to imagine themselves as African Americans. The last chapter is particularly well done.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tatyana sukhorukova
Absolutely brilliant. Your riveting use of factual history is amazing. This book is really a pilgrimage of the reader’s soul. It forces you to come to terms with your own thoughts and use of race. We would have a better world if this book were required reading for all high school and college students. On behalf of America, I thank you and your family. GREAT JOB!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mkwende kwende
Timely, provocative, brilliant, painful, and, ultimately, a very necessary step toward authentic national healing and transformation. As a white, long-time fellow traveler, I am so grateful that Dr. Dyson has answered his calling to lead us toward redemptive justice with truth, decency and love--albeit, at times, necessary tough love. I am in my third read already and learning more and more each time.

Dyson's sermon serves as an exceptional read for believer and non-believer alike as it offers a framework and lexicon for us to engage with one another as we work our way through ongoing racially turbulent and polarized times. I am not a critic by trade so I will leave the professional analysis to the experts. I am a K-12 educator and seeker of social justice. I found this work both accessible and challenging in the best of ways. In my daily work, the evidence of the invention of whiteness, white innocence and white fragility and their pernicious impacts are ubiquitously abundant such that Dyson’s claims simply cannot be denied.

Dyson’s sermon is not always a comfortable read. That’s the point. It is a workout for the soul and psyche that results in the growing pains necessary for personal and collective liberation.

Thank you, Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, for opening your head and heart so broadly and deeply there is room enough for all of us in this racial healing process. The writing of this book is the ultimate act of truth and forgiveness. You have entrusted us with your most profound insights, personal experiences, and extend a vulnerability that humbles and arrests me. As you shared in a recent interview, "your trust in us grows out of forgiveness and the demand for truth for which is stands on, and the love it seeks to extend". Amen! I am in!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
caroline burau
It should come as little surprise that Dyson's book has in so many reviews become a magnet of scorn for fragile and easily-wounded whites who take great offense to everything from the titles of other works in Dyson's bibliography to the decision to address this book to white America as a collective to having the temerity to suggest that whiteness is anything but absolved of historical wrongdoing. The existence of this same sort of fragility -- one that breaks at the mere suggestion of white innocence being conducive to fostering racist ideology or at the acknowledgement of existing institutional structures that continue to harm black Americans with impunity -- is, after all, at the very heart of the work's message. Of course, the input of these reviews can and should be dismissed indiscriminately.

"Tears We Cannot Stop" can be read in one sitting, and it is resonant and magnetizing for the duration. Dyson's choice to format the book as a sermon is one that might put off some readers, but I found it to be charming and effective at pulling passion from the pages. And there is so much passion to be had; Dyson's prose is electric, whether he is regaling the reader with personal anecdotes or current events or positing to his beloved reader the things they can do to combat racism.

In deeply troubling times, "Tears We Cannot Stop" is church for the believer and non-believer alike, simultaneously crushing and uplifting and thoroughly uncompromising.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
plamen stefanov
This book is the most racist, bias, untrue, divisive, hateful, self-centered, unduly prideful, and un-American book I have read. This book is very unhealthy for the American Culture and does nothing but create hate, discord, and dissention. This is a horrible book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
daniel pelfrey
This is a book every white person should read. I have done diversity training for years and still learned from it. There are many important reminders of the false assumptions made by those enjoying white privilege. Dyson's voice is strong and firm. It is a sermon not a rant. We all need to hear what he has to say.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jes s
Thoughtful, moving, and beautifully written, this book is for a white audience looking to better understand the African American experience--although I think it would resonate with anyone trying to make sense of America right now. This book asks people to give up on the myth and narrative of white innocence, and to directly confront the crimes that were an integral part of the founding of our nation. If it is difficult to imagine the Founding Fathers as anything but heroes or police as anything but agents of personal safety for you--and that is often the way I think--then the difficult truths in this book are important to hear. Dyson argues that only by directly confronting and addressing that which is difficult and problematic about our history can we ever truly move forward. Given the way that race is still rearing its head in ugly ways in our politics, I think there is a lot to be learned from this perspective. There are sins that were committed in the name of whiteness, but Dyson ends his book not with condemnation, but by suggesting ways to confront our sins, atone, and move in a positive direction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I sat down to read a few pages of this book when it was delivered to my home. I ended up spending the evening totally engrossed in its contents. This is a mixture of truth and hard realities. Dr.Dyson does not offer quick fixes for what ails us. This book challenges
the reader to do real soul searching and commit to do hard work and introspection "If" true ra ial healing is to be accomplished. The message of this book resonated with my soul.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
There’s being preached to and there’s being preached at, and Dyson’s book, cast in the form of a sermon, tends toward the latter. Addressing white readers as “beloved” and “my brothers” soon feels insincere and condescending.

Dyson talks about whiteness being merely a social construct as though that were an indisputable fact requiring no further explanation, which is incomplete and even arrogant in so far as it treats the views of anyone who thinks otherwise as unworthy of mention. Writing about white privilege, he doesn’t concede that the accomplishments of white people might to any extent be the result of their own merit, talents and efforts. I became aware of Dyson watching a YouTube video of a debate on political correctness in which he and Jordan Peterson participated. The subject of white privilege came up and Peterson asked Dyson how much of what he had attained Dyson thought was due to his white privilege, 10%? 25%? 75%? Dyson became evasive, saying it didn’t operate according to “quantifiable segments,” but even if he couldn’t have answered to the last percentage point he could have said, “most of it”, or “about half”, or “less than half but still to a significant extent.” He wouldn’t touch the question because he was unwilling to admit that there was any limit at all to white privilege; the mere thought of doing so made him nervous, as though it would be a step onto a slippery slope.

Dyson is sincere and persuasive when he writes of black people’s fear of the police. I learned something about it, so I’m grateful to him for that, but, while it’s not his job to present the police’s point of view, I wonder what it is. I don’t believe that the police are acting out of pure sadism or pure hatred of black people; Dyson seems to imply that they are. Even in the extreme case of black people killed by white police officers I don’t believe that the cop went to work that day hoping to have the chance to kill a young, unarmed black man. I’m not sure Dyson gives the cop credit even for that much.

Dyson reports an incident in which his bank cut his credit card in half while his mystified young son looked on. It’s very poignant, but if the bank didn’t want black people to have credit cards why did they issue him one in the first place? Was there nothing at all special about Dyson’s case? At the macro level, there are, what sixty or seventy million black people in America? Why don’t five of them start banks and issue credit cards to whomever they wish?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Michael Eric Dyson has written a brilliant examination of the true cause of continued racism and bigotry - the unacknowledged white privilege that continues to be a barrier to true equality. Perhaps progress is being made since this is an enduring topic of conversation instead of always being perceived as an insult to the dignity of white people.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sharon heavin
I'm only partway through, but want to just put in a good word for this important book. I find Mr Dyson's tone thoughtful and his exhortations about the racism that still exists in this country very powerful. I think this is s message we need to hear.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A beautifully-written and thoughtful epistle to white Americans--I'm a white southerner, BTW. It is perfectly understandable that some white-privilege deniers will take issue with what Dyson says, and it is deliciously predictable that they would call it poorly-written. Pay no attention unless you are one of them.

On the other hand, if you are an open-minded white person, willing to acknowledge that whites have perpetuated a system of white-privilege over the course of American history, you will find nothing offensive in this book, and you will gain new perspectives on race, and new strategies to enact in your own life to make this country a better place for everyone.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
katherine harris
This is indeed a sermon to white America and probably going to be one of the harder reads out there for white folk for the following reasons:

1. Very indicting - Dyson doesn't really pull any punches on the issues of racism in America especially with regard to white America's complicity through inaction or indifference. As a black man, even I clutched my pearls a few times.

2. Mostly anecdotal - If you've read The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, you'll notice that there aren't as many cited statistics or quoted intellectuals. Her work was powerful because for every anecdote she seemed to cite ten pertinent stats. You don't get that with Dyson here. Many of his anecdotes are personal and powerful. Though eloquently relayed and the case he makes is logically sound for the most part, you may miss the academic part of Alexander's work. Again though, this is a Sermon and Dyson doesn't say this is anything else but a sermon.

Overall, I'd still recommend the book for those who think they can stomach such an indicting work from a black man. I'd first defer to more scholarly works like Alexander's or whiter authors like Tim Wise when it comes to this subject matter.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Please, fellow white people, read this book, where a black pastor speaks lovingly yet directly to us. Because we are part of the problem of racial divides and injustices, whether we're silent or vocal, whether we aren't doing anything to cause or maintain the racial divide (we think), or whether we believe we're doing plenty (we think). You will be pleased and nod your head as you see "other white people" described in it. Then you will cringe, probably more than once, when you encounter a passage where you yourself are described. (I did, more than once.) Some parts of this book will hurt to read, if my experience is true for other white people. At times, you will want to stop reading (I was tempted), but don't! By the end, you will have gained insights you would never have gained in any other way, and a new awareness and sensitivity that will stand us ALL in good stead moving forward. And when you finish reading, please tell others about this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I've read a handful of Michael Eric Dyson's previous books and have always found him to be an honest and engaging writer on whatever wide ranging topic he chooses to cover. With Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, Dyson assumes an impassioned voice and speaks directly, openly and bluntly to those who can help change the unacceptable status quo: white Americans.

Dyson's book is strongest when he uses his personal experiences to document and illustrate abstract concepts. He acknowledges his own failings and doesn't hesitate to assign blame to white readers. Dyson deals with difficult and often off-putting ideas like white privilege and reparations but frames them in an understandable way that got through my defenses and helped me to understand them more clearly. He implores the reader to practice soul searching and empathy. Dyson sounds frustrated but hopeful and leaves the reader with very specific actions they can take to take a positive against racism and the dastardly legacy it has bestowed on our country.

An important book that should be read by every American.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
james watt
Michael Eric Dyson writes an impassioned treatise on racism, the current political climate, and "the need for better communication" in this timely work, structured as a plea for white America to examine their individual biases and privilege existing as white in a white space. The book is hard to get through because hard truths are hard to swallow - but they need to be swallowed. There is absolutely no hope otherwise.

Barack Obama mentioned in this farewell address that Jim Crow didn't disappear in the 1960s; its alive and scratching to get out, bubbling underneath the most banal circumstances. Dyson writes, "What I ask my white students to do, and what I ask of you, my dear friends, is to try, the best you can, to surrender your innocence, to reject the willful denial of history and to live fully in our complicated present with all of the discomfort it brings."

The very least we can do is try.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
samantha surowiec
Well written book. Sometimes I had to stop and give the book a rest because there are truths and some anger which is uncomfortable but it's needed. I liked the list of black authors at the back. I'll give a few of them a try. I do believe black people ARE America. Our county was built on their backs and they should be treated with nothing but respect. In the book, "Beloved," began as a kind tug at the heart, then I felt a condensation, and then anger. Black people have gotten a raw deal in America, I know this, and I hate seeing mistreatment, whether by police or institutions. I loved Obama. What a decent man. I'm writing all this because I'm not an educated person at all. I've been a janitor, a dock worker, a guy who's done nothing but manual labor, I'm definitely not privileged. And I'm weary of it all really.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Meh, not much on inclusion for all of us to live together in harmony, just more payback wanted for histories wrongs. If your on a quest for self loathing as a white person this book is for you. If you measure the individual and want mutual respect look elsewhere.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marley sage gable
This was the first book I've read by Michael Dyson and it was so enlightening. I am a black women who recently begin to seek the truth about history. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and I plan to purchase a copy for my "white" friends, because I can share my experiences with them and they have seen in action the difference in treatment my sons received in comparison to their "white" sons and they still don't get it. I believe that after they read this book, or listen to the audio version they will then see how white supremacy is injected into everyday lives, and to stop being in denial of the truth, and most important know that whites are not supreme. It is also my hope that my friends who have admitted to never having the conversation of race with their sons and daughters, that they now have concrete examples and will be able to speak to the subject. Michael Dyson articulated so well the meaning of white privilege in a way in which after reading this book no "white" person can be in denial of their whiteness and the reasons for the injustices that people of color have endured.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brandon buchanan
This is a beautiful and powerful book that demands white people look more closely, more honestly, at the fatal and lingering consequences of our incuriosity and inaction when it comes to race in America. Michael Eric Dyson has provided a vital book for any white person struggling to do what's right.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
matti hicks
Not a fan. I had the audio version. My biggest problem with this book is I feel the message painted ALL whites one way and ALL blacks the other. Throughout the message the groups are pitted against each other. This message seems to feed into the divisiveness and racism from our administration.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I really do not know how to rate this book, it made me mad, I wanted to stop listening due to some words he used. He spoke the truth on some things and I learned a few things I did not know. Some words I felt I needed to go find a dictionary. This book was way out my comfort zone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nicole renae
I liked the story telling sermon style and I liked how Professor Dyson's passionate voice came through his writing. I liked his painful personal experiences he shared to prove his points. I didn't like that Michael Dyson marginalized the experience of other marginalized groups. As a South Texan I have seen the degradations heaped on people of Mexican descent. I agree it this does not approach the level of the African-American but to trivialize others' travails is not helpful. As a person of no color ( sad sounding isn't it), I found this book emotionally hard to read but am glad that I did.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
While I don't feel like part of the target audience, (I think most millennials truly desire racial equality and are willing to work for it), Dyson's emotional plea should be heard by all Americans. There is much truth and much bias in this sermon, and while it is not all practical, there is real value in perspective.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I'm not ignorant of wrongs against blacks and the existence of a certain amount of "white privilege" but this book isn't the solution to the problem. As a white person I may be wrong but I thought we had made so much progress during my life and in the last ten years we've lost so much ground. The author seems to criticize all immigrants who assimilated into Americans as weak people who didn't stand up for their culture. Assimilation is a good thing and it can be done without forgetting one's heritage. We are all Americans and the sooner we all melt into the pot of this great country the better although I have serious doubts that will ever happen. It can't happen with sermons like this!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tracy enders
Pre-purchase review: I've been thinking lately about this subject. I always have, but recent resurgence of racist a-holes climbing out from under rocks due to validation by our current resident of the WH has brought it to the forefront for me. Seeing the author on Bill Mahr has pointed me towards this book. Growing up as a middle-class white dude with mostly whites, but also hispanics and blacks in smaller numbers, I was taught, and practiced what I felt was my fair outlook on race and racism - race doesn't matter, and racism sucks. I had/have a number of friends, acquaintances and co-workers with non-white backgrounds, so I didn't live entirely in a white bubble. But i also knew there was no way I could know how/where the society's approach to institutional racism affects my psyche. Also, if I had any real understanding of white privilege, how I live with it, and especially how those who are negatively affected by it live with it . Looking forward to reading this, and hopefully getting a deeper understanding and enlightenment, and learn ways to help the cause - of doing whatever I can to lessen this blight of racism on our - human race. If you've read this far, as an aside - Watermelon Man, starring Godfrey Cambridge, is one of my fictional touchstones pointing out the glaring institutional racism that exists. Many powerful statements using humor - for a subject that really isn't funny. Kind of hard to find, but worth the effort.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shivam singh sengar
This will become one of the indispensable books on race relations in the United States of the 21st century, if not all time. Pulling no punches but remaining true to the realities of his potential White audience, Dr. Dyson expresses his perception of the state of the country in a way only Dyson can: engaging the brutally honest vernacular of an unapologetic cultural critic while retaining the care and form necessary for a well-structured argument of a scholar. Dyson takes the conversation to its necessary depth--but one that has never been presented to the greater community, especially the White community, this glaringly before. Interestingly, the very comments of those 1-star raters (some of whom may have been readers) of the work solidify its deep necessity. Anticipating the retaliatory retorts before they can even be leveled, Dyson strips the "post-racial America" argument bare and exposes it as the selective and de-contextualized narrative it really is. Dyson's narrative also extends beyond cultural critique and enters the realm of personal power. Instead of leaving the "sting" of the reality of racial relations in the country to ferment in one's mind, as often happens in similar narratives, Dyson provides quite realistic and socially relevant suggestions to begin to sow a potentially better future for race relations; actions that have become increasingly pressing given the current state of politics and the way racial, ethnic, and religious issues are handled and "addressed." This book will undoubtedly become part of the canon akin to the very books that Dyson pleads for his audience to read at TWCS's conclusion. Thank you, Dr. Dyson, for telling this story in the way only you could.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
If there is a better written book about what it is like to be black in America, I haven't found it. Dr. Dyson's " sermon to White America" is a masterpiece, articulating exactly what needed to be communicated at this time of strife and anger and doing so with honesty,eloquence,and prose that is often poetic in the picture it paints. Being a 65 year old male, I realize my demographic was raised to embody racism with little if any awareness, although I believed that I, as a Christian and somewhat of a scholar, had grown beyond bigotry and prejudice.

Once I began reading Dr. Dyson's book, I couldn't put it down. This author has deepened my awareness and my understanding of what Actions I can take in order to be part of the solutions for the problems discussed in this wonderful and valuable book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book was gorgeous and beautifully written - worth it for the writing alone - but the subject Michael Eric Dyson grapples with so earnestly is so incredibly important right now. His love and sense of urgency shines through and encourages us all to keep fighting.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
karen hewitt
I think Dyson sounded too much "whiteness" and "blackness" instead of trying to come together and recognize compatibility in the face of adversity. He, being a religious man should have stated his observations in a more Christian manner. And also, if you want to speak to the masses, use language more down to earth. His advanced education led him to use words that many of those as not educated as he will find it hard to understand and thereby not conveying his real message.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rina fulcher
Riveting! Dr. Dyson's writing is always prolific and in this most recent writing he has stretched me to understand blackness at a different level. This sermon is lucid and I am calling those out stating that black folk have suffered long enough. Let's join hands in love toward a greater humanity. As Dr. Dyson states in the most recent Town Hall meeting that I attended, "We just want the same chance." Please, "defeat the forces that threaten the soul of our nation." This sermon provides white America what they need to know and hear. Listen, take note, and act.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
katelyn robinson
Just finished the book "Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America" by Michael Eric Dyson. A good book to challenge latent racism, he asks such questions as "where is the responsibility for white on white crime, since the vast majority of white people are murdered by other white people?" He goes on to draw out that White people consistently commit the majority of crimes - period. And further that "If we want interracial crimes (instead of black on black crime), we'd need interracial neighborhoods [and isn't the latter the bigger issue]." The book finds its flaws, however, in diagnosing racism merely as a set of bad ideas which can be "sermoned" away. This then explains why the book ends with suggesting individualized solutions to racism, like that White people can buy books for a minority-majority school. The book fails to delve into the origins of racism or the systemic nature of it. Ultimately racist ideas cannot be ushered away by preaching to people - it can only be the result of solidarity and re-infusion of a new civil/human rights movements which connects the oppression of all - including the white working class.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book is a must read to understand black Americans' points of views on race. If you want to know more about how we went from Barak Obama to what's going to be inaugurated on Friday, then read this book. Don't judge the title, read it openly and listen well to Dyson's message. IT won't take you long since it's only 188 pages. Yes white people you will be uncomfortable, but that's ok. We need to finally get to the point where we can understand each other better. Dyson uses pop culture, person examples, recent incidents you've seen in the media to help explain Black people's experience in America from the past until today.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Michael Eric Dyson lays out plenty of thoughts and calls to action for the casual reader to chew on and even dive further into. If anything it reinforces that white voices *must* support black voices in the US. Our increased undermining of #BLM not only sabotages ourselves, but the nation at large. Dyson's style is like reading a contemporary James Baldwin, with all the fervor and eloquence that carries with it. A fascinating, though bitter read as I reflect on my own inaction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andrea carrijo
Michael Eric Dyson is probably my favorite "gift" author for folks in my extended family and friends who still imagine there's such a thing as "good whites" in the minds of people who hate them on an inexorable racial level.

If you take my method, do make sure you check in and take their temp. If you can't follow up you're just being cruel.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
This is an utter lie. "The greatly stepped-up harassment of people of color, and Muslims, and immigrants in the wake of Trump’s election points to the sea change in our naked tolerance for such assaults, in the permission granted to diabolical forces that rob us even more of comity and support of the commonweal" People of color were being were in this state LONG before Donald Trump. The issue was made worse in the Obama years in office. The last 6 years the division was only made worse from the top down. If we are to have an open & honest discussion lets put all the cards on the table. Trump is NOT the source of the cancer so lets not try to make him the face of it. He has done nothing. When Blacks and Whites have discussions on Radio or the t.v. White people are made to feel submissive in the discussions for fear of saying something wrong or negative to a black person and looking bad publicly. The T.V. programs will never really have open & honest black, white racial discussions. It's all "Window dressing" feels that 2 wrongs make a right. Classic example: Medger Evers killing in the 60's and the Oj. Simpson murder. Evers killer not convicted until 1994 feels that it was right Simpson got away with murder/ justifiable for black community.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I just finished reading "The Cook up" and "Blow", so I thought that I would give Dr. Dyson's book a try. Brother,( I would rather be a Brother than a Beloved), I had a hard time. That was the longest sermon and the longest list of things that I am supposed to do that I have ever read. I came away asking myself, what in this white dominated world am I to do. What is the plan? I have one suggestion. I think all churches and religious organizations should unite and integrate that way there would be only on tribe and we could all work on these problems together. One world congregation and then Dr. Dyson could speak, along with everyone else and we could work together.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rebecca moss
Professor Dyson has a lot of information to share in this book. If you don't believe that there's systematic oppression and white privilege in America (as I did ) you'll become, if not a full believer, at least and intellectual agnostic on the topic.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, had alot of great quotes. And it starts off with a bang with some rap lyrics, lol.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
renee kida
In this latest Dyson offering, Mr. Dyson is making a direct appeal to white Americans to give up their hold hold on whiteness and once and for all really try and understand what it is that Black Americans feel and deal with on a daily basis in our sojourn on these shores. Indeed, "that white America can definitively, finally, hear from one black American preacher a plea, a cry, a sermon, from my heart to yours." While Dyson presents a very compelling case, I'm afraid it will fall on deaf ears. He says, the only way he could have said these words is in a form of a sermon and that for the most part is the way the book is constructed. In the middle it is more of an essay form though he continues nominally with the sermon flavor. Essentially, Dyson argues we (Black folks ) have to depend on the ability and willingness of white folks to change their hearts and minds if the race issue will ever see the light of transformation.

"And there is a paradox that many of you (white folk) refuse to see: to get to a point where race won't make a difference, we have to wrestle, first, with the difference that race makes.......... When it comes to race the past is always present." A tall order for a people to in fact cash in their own privilege and cast their lot with the dark and despised. I'm not of the religious bent, so my faith in that is negligible. Dyson strains to make clear the difference between individual racism and bias compared to institutional racism. "It is harder to indict forces and institutions than the individuals who put a face to the problem. Institutional racism is a system of ingrained social practices that perpetuate and preserve racial hierarchy."I don't think Dyson has gone in as hard as he thinks he has. He drops reminders throughout that he and his children are very accomplished, not sure why he found that necessary.

The most disappointing part of the book is Dyson arguing for the continued use of ni**er, because we have effectively flipped the word to a more positive and endearing meaning, even effectively changing the spelling of the word to end in ga. Makes me want to holler, N! please. A wordsmith like Dyson should be ashamed of himself to engage in that cowardly nonsense. He even quotes Jay -Z, to buttress his argument. The simple fact of the matter is that the cost of using ni**er is zero. Try using some pejorative words to refer to other groups and see what happens. So, if you can't be universal in the the use of pejoratives, I say stop it when it comes to us. Otherwise, you are showing your cowardice. If you think I'm over reacting see Michael Jackson and the furor surrounding his song, 'They don't really care about us' and Marlon Brando about the stereotypes that have failed to make it to the silver screen. Dyson, being the scholar and wordsmith that he is should no better. Those who don't have the articulation and erudition of Dyson would be hard pressed to explain why ga is different than er and argue for it's use and white Americans non-use. Stop it Dyson.

He closes strong with a discussion concerning the killing of black bodies with impunity from this who've taken a vow to protect and serve us. He asks whites to put themselves in our shoes. He suggests to whites, who ask, "what can I do" to open up an IRA, an individual reparation account and pay a black tax, perhaps paying extra for services received from a Black provider.

Dyson ultimately concludes that, " We don't hate you, white America. We hate that you terrorize us and then lie about it and then make us feel crazy for having to explain to you how crazy it makes us feel. We cannot hate you, not really, not most of us; that is our gift to you. We cannot halt you; that is our curse."

This book certainty has the power to make white Americans contemplate the present and future, the question is will they buy it and embrace the content?
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I was excited to get this book to give it for a gift. When I received the book the top half of the spine was broken and the first twelve pages were torn. I checked the box it came in and it was not damaged. This means the book was damaged when someone put it in the box, and thought it was acceptable enough for me.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jessica johnson
I read this book with an open heart hoping to find out what I, as a citizen (going to work, attending a multicultural church, spending time with family and friends and trying to live a life of love toward my fellow man and woman) had done wrong. I was disappointed because I found this book seemed to be fighting hate with hate. Dyson, as a minister, included a great amount of swearing including taking God's name in vain. As a Christian, we look to the Scriptures for our ultimate instruction. Love permeates the scriptures. Jesus said all the law is fulfilled in two commands - Love God and Love your neighbor. I understand there is much frustration in what Dyson has written, but force and hate does not change an evil heart. Only God can change a person. And the goodness of God leads one to repentance. Racism is sin! Plain and simple! We were all created by the same God and have been created in His image. We are all equal in His eyes. But all of us have prejudiced in our heart, no matter what race we are. We have all fallen short of the Glory of God. Because we were created equal, we should come together in love and forgiveness. I know I will get hate filled responses, but I want all of us to be able to live in love and harmony. I think if there was a lot less rhetoric and a lot more understanding from both sides, we could at least find common ground to stand on together.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I like the format. It is something that non minority people male and female should consider reading. It poses stark contrasts in what minorities America deal with and what non minorities in America actively ignore or fail to recognize. Interesting read for families raising young children in today’s social media driven society. It is so important to know that willfully being ignorant is just as detrimental as willful compliance.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lorenza beacham
This is a very short book, but an important read for all of white America. It's impossible to discount the validity of his arguments when presented in aggregate here. We all need to do better, because racism today is as bad as it ever was and worse in many ways than under Jim Crow. Read it, and give it to someone else to read afterwards.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jess lilja
Skin color is a reflection of how close to the equator your ancestors lived and for how long. I don't deny there are much deeper things to understand about race relations around the world and especially in the USA..

But RACE is not a "fantasy"

People come in many different colors.

It's just the way it is. We are all created by God and nature.

We are all created equal!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Dyson is a college professor, media commentator, frequent public speaker and ordained Baptist minister. Dyson's "sermon" is more of a kind of folksy jeremiad, but one that makes many telling points and at times his prose is incandescent. The book will be seen by some readers as black racism--which he actually covers a bit in the book, as he does a whole range of white reactions to racism, most of which reinforce racism rather than ameliorate it.

Dyson's concern is not about white people as such, but about whiteness, which as he points out is a series of learned behaviors and attitudes, not any actual attribute of genetics. Biologically there is no difference by race, we're all members of the same species. Our history, he notes, and this is quite accurate, ignores or dismisses much, and he argues very well that American history is a narrative written largely by white people for white people. That narrative suppresses the fact that slavery was maintained by terror for three centuries and that in much of the country white supremacy was maintained nearly another century by police suppression, terror and the manipulation of laws. That has left an indelible imprint on the entire African American community, including a deep and abiding suspicion of the police, and in an internalization of white hatreds turning into self hatred in some considerable portion of the black community.

Dyson has some fascinating arguments, all couched in the form of a sermon. The concept may seem odd, but it really works. Racism is a, if not the, predominating aspect of our history, a baleful disease that will only get worse and worse unless we deal with it. It's a moral imperative we must face if we hope to become the kind of nation we have long claimed to be. He addresses at length that whiteness brings with it privilege often unrecognized. He notes that within the black community that there are divisions based on degrees of whiteness, and that these reflect an internalization of whiteness--and not a good one.

All of us, he says, share a language of social repair, as part of our heritage and it may be possible to arrive at some understanding in the future. He warns against whites who think they are challenging the system by noting that it can result in a smug narcissism that actually accomplishes nothing meaningful. He has a section on "reparations," not in the sense of claims of trillions of dollars, but in term of what people can do. That section recommends things people can do, books they can read. Find out about the history, he says, read about slavery and how awful it was, read about slave rebellions, read about black heroes, read fiction by the great black authors like James Baldwin [I have and there really are powerful and compelling works too often unread]. Reach out. Speak out.

The most controversial part of the book, which is going to get it banned in some schools, is the portion called "Coptopia." He writes how officers routinely kill black people in situations that would result in little harm if it had been white people involved. They routinely subject black people--particularly black men--to humiliating harassment--and it's happened to Dyson, to his sons, to his father. He writes "The cops and their advocates claim that only a few rogue cops give a bad name to the rest. But isn't that like claiming that most of one's cells are healthy and only a few are cancerous?"

Racism is that little bunch of cancerous cells. It may kill all of us. Is there hope? Dyson in the end is a little hopeful, but the simple fact of how his book has been received by some reviewers on this site tells me that no, there probably is little hope.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This ?? should ?? be ?? required ?? reading ?? for ?? every ?? single ?? one ?? of ?? us!! High school English and History teachers should have this on their syllabus. YOU should have this on your nightstand. It's brilliant, brutal, uncomfortable, and eye-opening all rolled into one powerful short read. Today, people! Buy it and read it today!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rodeo el sabae
A sermon I needed to hear. If we are to come together as a nation, we must begin to listen to each other’s stories. We must be confronted with the difficult path that black citizens have been forced to walk.

He who has white ears to hear, let him here.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I suggest a slow read of this book.
Entangled is male ego, presumed racism, during common run in with nasty cops and credit card retained for no good reason. Perhaps the author needs to talk to a few white people to discover, these are not unique to black population. I have to wonder how much of the ugly side of common culture is attributed to racism. But then, that is one of the pitfalls of racism (and sexism and ageism and ...) enough of it present, to not know where it ends.
His presumptive question - How successful do I have to be, to be treated with respect? He's "arrived" at middle class, and it's not what he assumed it would be - respectful.
Quite painful is the conversation, related to the above ambiguity, of when clear and perceived racism (or sexism, or ageism, or...), spills into the soul and embeds in self esteem. And what is the purpose of diminishing another, except to prey? To prey upon them, for self esteem, for power, for economics.
We've no floor, for prey, and no cap on predator. A suit and tie does not change that basic US operating configuration.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I listened to the audio version of this book and cannot think of a book that has been more important to my philosophical growth than this one. As a white American living in a small rural town, I work so hard to educate myself about other races and cultures, and this book gave me the no-holds-barred essentially slap in my face that I needed to TRULY understand what white privilege means, as well as actionable steps to take. Highly recommend.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
matthew wollenweber
As a racially-conscious progressive, I was hoping Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America would be a powerful tract that I could quote from and recommend to others in the hope of opening their eyes to the state of ongoing racial inequality. And there are individual moments throughout the book that succeed on that front, distilling the message of institutional racism into pithy and easy-to-follow passages. The strongest sections are probably the parts where author Michael Eric Dyson speaks about his own encounters with police and other authority figures, emphasizing the ways that his blackness affected those incidents and the issues that white people don't have to take into consideration in similar circumstances.

Unfortunately, the book as a whole is a rather poor messenger for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. There are logical flaws in many of Dyson's arguments, and I was particularly uncomfortable with his treatment of Jewish Americans as simply a subgroup of white people. (There's no denying that many Jews have some access to white privilege, but it's maddening to suggest that Jewishness is simply a variety of whiteness or that Jews don't face ongoing oppression and discrimination ourselves.) Taken in isolation individual moments might be convincing, but as a whole, I just don't think this Sermon is going to convert anyone to Dyson's point of view.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeremy rice
Rev. Michael Eric Dyson’s lament, in the nature of a sermon, deals with the looming overhang of whiteness that stymies every effort of our country’s black population to gain equality. It is well documented, heartbreaking and utterly convincing.

Most of us know at some level that blacks have never been granted a fair shake in this country. Imported as slaves, held down by the lash, the hangman’s noose during the Jim Crow era, pushed to the back of the bus in the “separate but equal era,” by massive resistance to the school desegregation decision, red lining, white-only union shops, structural discrimination wherever you look. As a result, blacks have never been able to realize the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation and the civil rights amendments to the Constitution and our civil rights laws.

Dyson calls on whites to “own” the superficial nature of whiteness, the construct of convenience which sanctions our maltreatment of blacks. Owning it means acknowledging the sham to the black community, not just to ourselves. If you need more background reading after Dyson’s fine book, he provides a comprehensive reading list. “I Am Not Your Negro”, the new movie based on James Baldwin’s life and teaching, goes hand in hand with “Tears We Cannot Stop” and should be seen.

Once you are up to speed, if you were not before, Dyson urges you to do what you can to end the inequality. Speak out, he urges, and suggests individual acts of reparations, volunteer work with black organizations, advocacy at every level of government from the school board to the White House. One thing we can all do is follow the lead of the NFL stars who take a knee whenever the Star Spangled Banner is played as a way of protesting the lack of equal justice for blacks.

End note. To understand why the tears go on and on, take a look at the one star reviews posted on January 24, 2017, by Edmund Jimenez and M.J. Morris. It will not be easy to find our way beyond the notion that white makes right and black makes wrong. Until and unless we are able to, our republic will be a democracy in name only and in danger of failing for that reason.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeanine baker
You know it's a good book when you finish it the same day you start. This and The New Jim Crow need to be at the top of your reading list. Dyson is a beautiful and powerful writer. You will find yourself uncomfortable as you continue unpacking your privilege but it's worth it.

"... have offended you so greatly because they insisted on separating whiteness and American identity. The two are neither synonymous nor exhaustive; they neither signify all that America means, nor can they possibly radiate the full brightness of her promise."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
greg perowne
This book is honest, real and a motivator to not just stand on the sidelines but to get directly involved in the march towards social justice for ALL. I recommend all to read it and experience it with an open heart.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
tara springer
More white shaming and faux guilt projecting based on gross hasty generalizations. Long on sentiment but shot on actual facts. Those who obsess most about racism are those who are most guilty of reverse discrimination. I am tired of the self-righteous sanctimony of those like Dyson. Like the Pharisees of old he sees the sins of others just fine, but he can't seem to clean his own house first. The only thing his politicized rhetoric is good for is the bottom of the rabbit cage.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah hannah
Great for those prepared to see and understand the truth. In all his glory, Dyson discusses major social issues in America from a loving, emphathetic, educational standpoint. Those who see this sermon as hateful or disrespectful are more than likely apart of the problem (hence those who gave the book one star).
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
azilrhaine retada
It is a shame that the author is so filled with poison. I guess some bad experience turned him into a blind bigot. He can not see the good, which fills most people, regsrdless of race. We will preay for him.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Here is a book that's wholly predictable if you are familiar with Dyson and his non-stop criticism of Caucasians. Rather than legitimately explore what is wrong in many Black communities, MED uses his usual tactic: perpetuating the victimhood narrative that many liberals use to claim that Whites are oppressing Black Americans. Despite the fact that the Civil Rights Era has done so much (rightfully so, of course) to give Blacks an equal opportunity, Dyson continues to collectively group all Whites as co-conspirators, either willing or not, in some type of absurd, elaborate scheme to hold Black people down. Regardless of where we find ourselves now, there is still no shortage of people who still choose to divide the races through blaming of decades old grievances rather than seek actual solutions for Black communities that struggle with violence, drugs, and a shortage of families consisting of two parents in the household.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
alissa hankinson
Michael Eric Dyson, in one of the weirder and more personalized anti-West takedowns, published what can only be called a scornful ten-thousand-word breakup letter to his former mentor. Dyson, the Georgetown professor and Aspen Institute regular, spent one particularly lengthy section of his New Republic essay “ranking” black public intellectuals’ prowess according to their equivalent prizefighter. West was given the rank of Mike Tyson.

SELL OUT. This book is Dyson's play to remain relevant as a voice of black America. His title makes that clear. A sermon to White America delivered by black America's representative. Sorry... still waiting for my black president. Obama was business as usual, and bears responsibility for our current political situation.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
anthony lancianese
Michael Eric Dyson bluntly names the pain and oppression felt by black Americans. Drawing upon his own personal stories, as well as those of family, friends, and colleagues, Dyson drives home the burden of the past and present realities under which black Americans find themselves being crushed.

I anticipated a work that would flow in a similar vein to Ta-Nehisi Coates's elegant memoir BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME (2015), and while Dyson and Coates articulate similar painful realities, Dyson's book pales in comparison to Coates' careful and eloquent writing. First, the choice to structure TEARS WE CANNOT STOP as a church worship service seemed to this reader forced, gimmicky, and not particularly effective. White readers who would find Dyson's arguments compelling would generally tend to be non-religious and find the form of his argument at least peculiar, if not off-putting. White readers that would tend to be more religious and more familiar with the book's form -- and I'm thinking especially of evangelicals here -- would generally not find his rhetoric, I suspect, all that compelling.

While this book is recommended in that it is good for American society -- and especially those who identify as white -- to be reminded of the deep wounds that arose as a result of our nation's legacy of institutionalized racism, Dyson's work here could have been much more effective with some careful refining of the book's structure and presentation.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
linda wiggers
When the opening stanza of your book is a nauseating ode to Beyonce, I have trouble believing that anything else you might have to say is either true or in any way enlightening. If I'd been able to get my Audible credit reinstated after hearing this opening nod to one of the most questionable figures at the the pinnacle of the psy-op known as pop music, I would have gladly kept my negative impressions to myself. However, I was not so fortunate as to regain my wasted audiobook credit, so I feel it's only fair that I get full value for this injustice. In years past, I have found Mr. Dyson to be a very intelligent and thoughtful voice in the struggle to achieve a better social, interracial, and interpersonal understanding so that we might one day make a better place from our children. But no, Mr. Dyson obviously feels that kissing the pop queen's ring is the most useful approach to achieving to such an understanding with one another. However, that gesture only served to help me lose faith in this once-revered author.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
A wholesale piece of trash not worthy of a trash bin. According to Dyson, until white male Americans all fall on their knees and beg forgiveness for every past misfortune -.then nothing about race will ever get better.... divisive and dictatorial, Dyson not worthy of title professor, author, lecturer or even American.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
natasha foster
I purchased this book because he dedicated to Beyonce, the goddess pillar of social media and the mistress of the world. Dyson, has a gift of words and the art of them put together. And I love America, we are not as bad as he described but we have come a long way.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
natalie g
I’m not sure why I read this book other than I’ve been trying to read more books that I know I will disagree with. I sure picked a winner this time! I saw Dyson on CSPAN 2 recently talking about this book. I find him very difficult to listen to. He has kind of a “sing song” approach to speaking. He could probably read the Denny’s menu and make it sound like some rap song. He is a Baptist minister, though, so I guess that makes sense. So, unable to listen to him, I bought the book.

If you’re not familiar with Dyson, he’s basically a smarter version of Al Sharpton. (Yeah, I know. I’m setting the bar low.) Dyson is a smart, well-educated guy, though. Like Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, Dyson is one of the high priests in the Church of Racial Grievance. He perfectly exemplifies Booker T. Washington’s comment: “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” (Side note: in one of the final chapters, Dyson’s “for further reading” section actually lists Washington’s book “Up From Slavery”. I’m not sure how that one got in there.)

As for the book itself, there are a lot of examples of black people being treated terribly by whites. One such person is Dyson’s own father, nicknamed “Muscles” for his build and impressive strength. He comes across as a sympathetic character and seems much more likable than his son. However, Dyson blames every black ill on “whiteness” and glosses over any responsibilities that blacks might have. He gleefully points out that whites commit most crime in the US. Well … duh. Whites are the majority in the US. Dyson basically ignores the astronomical black illegitimacy rates and murder rates. (Black men make up about 6% of the population and account for about 50% of the murders. Who are they murdering? Other black men. SMH.) Dyson wrote a previous book called “Why I Love Black Women”. He should write a sequel and call it “Why Black Men Hate Black Men”. When his does mention black-on-black crime, he is quick to explain it away.

His concept of the “Individual Reparations Account” is laughable. I guess the trillion dollars from Great Society transfer payments weren’t enough. Now I’m supposed to overpay every black person who performs a job or service for me. What type of person takes nonsense like this seriously, other than guilty white liberals and the BLM crowd? No contribution to any “Individual Reparations Account” will counter the effects of a 70% illegitimacy rate. I bought Dyson’s book. That’s the only reparation he’s getting from me.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
francis sherrin
Michael Eric Dyson has no credibility as he is an out and proud anti white racist. He fails to realize that black people commit more crime against white people than the other way around. Its disgusting how he lectures white america on their "privilege". What about white males having the highest rates of suicide and homelessness? What about the fact that the vast majority of white people are poor? For every Payton Manning there are a thousand minimum wage sandwich artists at subway. For every Justin Beiber there is an Jay Z. If white privilege exited there would be no 8 years of Obama who won 2 elections because of the white vote. If white people make it impossible for black people to succeed then there would be no black millionaire athletes like Mayweather, Cam Newton or Kobe Bryant. Or millionaire black celebs like Will Smith, R Kelly and Chris Rock. White people are the last group that needs to be educated on racism because white people are the least racist people in this country. There have been black on white crimes in this country that make Emmet Till look like a walk in the park just google Knoxville Horror case from 2007. You dont have an easy life just by being white. Until you have lived the life of a poor white person you have no business lecturing "white america" or bringing up the racist lie of white privilege. The rich dont speak for the poor. Michael Eric Dyson is a rich elitest and racist black man who has as much credibility on discussions of race as David Duke.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
beth forney
Racist drivel. Please,.....please stop playing the race card. It's not Trump, it's you! Sadly the black community has by and large become slaves to the federal and state government. The government is the new plantation and the race hustlers are the masters. This kind of crap on page helps nobody except the race baiters and community aggitators.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
edward hilton
The contents of Dr. Dyson’s book Tears We Cannot Stop …A Sermon to White America are predictable. They promote the common black American theme blaming all their problems on white Americans, slavery, and Jim Crow.

I do believe some white Americans are to blame for most of the problems experienced by blacks today, but not in the way Dr. Dyson proposes. Our very real problems are only remotely related to slavery and Jim Crow. The whites that continue to attempt to solve todays problems do not have confidence in black Americans. Their approaches, based on government handouts and services, have created crippling dependency.

To overcome the problems, hostility, and division existing in America today it is first necessary to identify and address the source of our real problems. Dr. Dyson is barking up the wrong tree.

Considering todays political correctness, it would be a waste of time to write a book titled The Tears Will Continue … A Sermon to Black America. No publisher would print it.

In the spirit of attempting to identify our real problems and addressing them, I propose a dialogue with Dr. Dyson. I’m sure conducting dialogues to discover truths is a Georgetown University tradition. Surely the university will provide an auditorium for the event. And I’m confident their scholars of Greek culture know what is involved in a dialogue. It involves two people presenting their different points of view on a subject with each have an opportunity for rebuttal. Such a scholarly activity does not involve a moderator asking biased questions.

My position for the dialogue involves three factors.

One - Approaching our social problems from a black and white point of view is a clear violation of Dr. King’s dream that one day people will be judged based on their character, not the color of their skin.

Two – The concepts voiced by Frederick Douglass on respect and self-respect in his autobiography.

Three- My doctoral studies and decades of experience as a business administration consultant. Academic scholars involved include Abraham Maslow, Frederick Herzberg, J.R. Hackman, and G.R. Oldham. My practical experiences come from the real world, not the hip hop world.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
deb ley
This is nothing but a racist screed from a very hate filled man. Even the few legitimate points, very few, that he did make, they were ruined by his hatred. I forced myself to read through it thinking maybe the tone would change, that the vileness was just setting up for something, but no, it just got more and more vile as it went on. The only thing this book inspired me to do is to pray for those souls who sit under his preaching and teaching, to take a shower and never ever read anything from this very racist hate filled man again. One thing he got right though, calling it a sermon, not the definition of sermon that everyone assumes though, but the other one, Sermon- a long or boring reprimand.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
dave johnson
The book is nothing more than a whiny rant about how whites are responsible for all the problems of the blacks in America. Since Dyson believes the lies the media puts out about this racial divide he goes on to publish this smackdown on whites who he sees as totally responsible. Just another poorly written, "it's not our fault" book, blaming one race for other's problems (which is a form of racism in itself Sir Dyson). Until each race takes responsibility for their own communities and stops asking for handouts they think they deserve for all their
suffering there will this type of garbage to spur them on. The world is full of different races. But the races are built on separate unique individuals. Until we start dealing with the individuals rather than labeling them by race nothing with change. Race is everyone's problem. Dyson should spend more time helping all people better understand each other. That would be far more productive than anything he has ever written.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
william brown
Racist, pandering, divisive. If a white guy had written this about any other race he would be lynched by the media. Read this if you want to be reminded of the double standards that exist and are perpetuated by racists like the Mr. Dyson.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
justine co
Racist propaganda in its purest form. Consistently twists and turns details of cases and stastistics for sake of narrative. If you want a glimpse into the mind of a true, unapologetic USA hating racist, this is for you.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
john sherman
If I could give it 0 stars, I would. Terrible book, by an incredibly racist black man. I read it with an open mind, but was left feeling like I was being blamed for all of black America's problems. Ridiculous. Try not voting for a Democrat for once. Book sucks. Don't waste your money.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ghada rawy
I was completely disappointed! Dyson is just another black author who does his best to demonize the "white folk" (his words). He continues to be part of the problem. Conjuring up hate and resentment in a world that needs the opposite, sells more books I suppose.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Watching him speak on tv reinforces my suspicion that he is a dyed in the wool race baiter. He still rails at Pres. Trump for his failure to demean and debase White America with no justification for his vile words. He fits right well in the closet with Al and Jesse. Save your reading time for something of substance.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Mr. Dyson, in his booklet (a radically undersized publication which can be read in one sitting), presumes to lecture white folk (his terminology) on their failings--and, of course, with his hand out. This lecturing is crudely masked as a "sermon", but on its face it is a racist enterprise in which he cruelly makes a blood libel against all white Americans.

Racism is logically unsupportable, so Mr. Dyson seems to have a problem. For example, Dyson's idea of "whiteness" is odd to say the least. According to Mr. Dyson, whiteness is oppressive to both white folk and black folk. But, what is it? Again, according to the author, "...even though whiteness is not real it is still true." It is a paradox says Mr. Dyson, who then proceeds to bludgeon white folk with it for the remainder of his booklets's diatribe. He never defines the non-real yet true whiteness; that is left for each reader to work out for himself. Whiteness is simply an attack word aimed at white folk: empty of formal meaning, but emotionally fully laden with hatred. Mr. Dyson seems unaware of this failure of critical thinking.

One section of Mr. Dyson's booklet seems to have been meant as a SNL skit. Most of the section having to do with reparations--from individual white folk--was a wonderful relief from the tediousness, ahistoricism and anti-intellectualism of Mr. Dyson's booklet. The outlandish combination of falsehoods and demands in this section make for an unexpected, yet welcome fit of laughter.

The foregoing is only a brief bitter taste of Mr. Dyson's pseudo-Christian, and racist tract. I have not addressed his: slander of law enforcement, use of mysterious white privilege, slander of President Trump, etc., etc. . . . .
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
mel gonzalez
Working class blah blah, white and black blah blah - what about all the others that aren't either of these? Asians, for instance, that came here with nothing, worked hard and MADE IT. Riiigh, blacks can't make it. Boo hoo. MORE boo hoo. Always the constant boo hoo. Jews too, they weren't exactly considered white when they came here. These groups, along with so many other ethnic groups, stuck together, helped each other, didn't get any help from the system, no hand outs, nothing for them, but they MADE IT.

Get along, blah blah. BEEN TRIED, Professor. Blacks ran off the non-blacks with their bullying, terrorizing and other racist, hateful, disgusting behavior that NOBODY can tolerate. Newark NJ riots, Kristallnacht all over again, this time, not done by brown shirts but done by brown skins. Worse than the 1930s era nazis. WORSE. Black destruction of one beautiful city after another like a hateful wasting plague creeping up. People had to take every penny they saved and move like refugees time and time again.

Black reparations for the unpaid labor they did? Those blacks got a roof over their heads, food and so forth. They were slaves because they were owned and not paid a wage. Ok. Let's talk about non-black working classes that came here and had to work for many hours, small wages and then PAY FOR the roof over their heads, food, and so forth. Label it what you will, but it's the same thing. The Professor doesn't seem to want to call that "slavery" because it was technically a wage job.

No. Reparations are due to the NON BLACKS that have been here since the 60s, who have already been forced to pay for welfare, not given to widows as intended, but to promiscuous women popping out one after another just to GET a bigger welfare check. All the other programs paid for by hard working tax payers FOR blacks, always for the boo hoo gimme gimme race in this country: THE BLACKS. ONLY them. Lowered school standard because the boo hoos couldn't pass the grade. The ruination of one city after another. and pray tell, why are some other ethnics entitled to affirmative action? And why are Asians subjected to reverse affirmative action? Oh, let's see - Asians tend to be smarter?

BLACKS OWE EVERYONE ELSE. They were given everything they asked for - and they destroyed it time and time again. THEY OWE EVERYONE ELSE.

Take a look at black self rule in Haiti or Liberia. Catastrophes, disasters. The fact is, they are better off here than in Africda, have more chances here, than they'd ever have had if their own didn't sell them as slaves, where they then LEFT Africa.

He keeps this old tired boohoo up and whites might start treating the mayate the way Hispanics treat them in California.

If anyone wants a more true assessment, try reading Jason Riley. The only whites that would be "enlightened" by this old, tired bs he wrote are members of the white suicide cult. I am not white, nor am I black. I'm non-European minority. I sit back and watch the comedy.
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