The Current

'White rage' causes racial unrest in U.S., says author

Carol Anderson explores U.S. racial past and present in her new book White Rage:The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.
Police from various departments stand guard on Aug. 18, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo., just days after a grand jury decision not to indict the white police officer who had shot and killed an 18-year-old African-American sparked protests. (Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Listen24:39

*Warning Disturbing Content* 

Read story transcript

The past few years in the United States has been characterized by many as a period of unrest in the black community. Media coverage of demonstrations like the 2014 Ferguson protests often refer to rage by African-Americans towards police shootings.

In her new book White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, Carol Anderson offers an entirely different explanation for racial tension in America. She claims the recent violence in protests and civil unrest is not a product of black rage, but rather white rage towards black empowerment. 

'So many people were focused in on the flames of Ferguson, that they missed the kindling. They missed all of the policies that have happened over a long period of time that in fact focused in on that one moment. ' -Carol Anderson

On The Current, Anderson details the nature of white rage, tracing it back to the American Civil War. 

Later in the segment, Jason Morgan Ward tells the tragic and horrifying history of lynching in the United States, which he chronicles in his new book The Hanging Bridge: Racial Violence and America's Civil Rights Century.

  • Jason Morgan Ward, professor in the history department at Mississippi State University
  • Carol Anderson, chair of the African American studies department at Emory University 

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal

now