Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo
‘White male identity is not inborn–it is built’
Spurred by shared conversations at an all-women’s writing retreat, Ijeoma Oluo knew she was going to write this book, she knew she had to write this book.
Mediocre is a study of the construct of white male identity, an inquiry into how past decisions have led to the circumstances of the present day. Oluo begins with contemporary figures, working her way back through history’s recognizable patterns to explore the foundations of arrogance, entitlement and ignorance.
Oluo focuses particularly on mediocrity as a baseline measurement of existence for the majority of white men, and it is from this mediocre state that blame is cast and responsibility avoided.
The unequal, oppressive constructs of society (including this defining white male mediocrity) are man-made. There is a slight chance though, that what was constructed can be torn down and remade. Perhaps, as Oluo posits, if these stories and histories are told, the ones that are written in the future might bear more positive fruits.
Review by Joel
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