Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Manual and Toolbox

My book, Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Manual and Toolbox (Routledge), serves as an accessible, introductory, and interdisciplinary guide to race and racism, with tools for action aimed at students, educators, and the general public. It’s available from Routledge here (coupon code DTRM30) and  Amazon here.

“I’ve talked about structural racism for years, but I never had a comprehensive resource that illuminates both historical and contemporary connections and provides resources and suggested action steps. This book is a real treasure!”
–Shelly Tochluk, Professor of Education at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Author of Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It

“In a politically polarized time marked by neo-nazis, the alt-right, and mass deportations, it is critical to understand America’s roots of racism and how it manifests in every facet of society. In Dismantling the Racism Machine, Gaffney does just this in clear, unflinching and accessible terms, providing readers with the racial literacy so missing in our current debates. By pulling together a diverse array of historic and current resources, this book provides both introductions as well as sophisticated analysis of key themes for understanding racism and how to dismantle it.”
–Bree Picower, Associate Professor of Education, Montclair State University

Description: While scholars have been developing valuable research on race and racism for decades, this work does not often reach the beginning college student or the general public, who rarely learn a basic history of race and racism. If we are to dismantle systemic racism and create a more just society, people need a place to begin. This accessible, introductory, and interdisciplinary guide can be one such place. Grounded in Critical Race Theory, this book uses the metaphor of the Racism Machine to highlight that race is a social construct and that racism is a system of oppression based on invented racial categories. It debunks the false ideology that race is biological. As a manual, this book presents clear instructions for understanding the history of race, including whiteness, starting in colonial America where the elite created a hierarchy of racial categories to maintain their power through a divide and conquer strategy. As a toolbox, this book provides a variety of specific action steps that readers can take once they have developed a foundational understanding of the history of white supremacy, a history that includes how the Racism Machine has been recalibrated to perpetuate racism in a supposedly “post-racial” era.

Bio: Dr. Karen Gaffney is a Professor of English at Raritan Valley Community College in NJ, where she teaches courses in composition, gender, and race. She focuses on anti-racism activism in the community, on her blog (dividednolonger.com), and in workshops at the White Privilege Conference and Netroots Nation.