○From page 217

The National - News - The Review - - Books -

Com­pared with some of the more bile-filled at­tacks Clarke re­counts in this mem­oir – the ute driver on a sleepy sub­ur­ban road who slows down to scream at her to drown her own child; the vile names she’s called by her class­mates; the anony­mous hate mail some­one covertly slips be­tween the pages of her school text­books week-in, week-out for months – this ex­am­ple of small-minded ig­no­rance might seem fairly be­nign, but The Hate Race ex­pertly il­lus­trates how racism is a one-sided war of at­tri­tion: “Some­where along the line we give up count­ing,” Clarke writes. “Some­where along the line, we just give in. Some­where along the line, we stop re­port­ing. Some­where along the line, we die a lit­tle.”

It’s heart­break­ing to read of Clarke’s school coun­sel­lor dis­miss­ing racist abuse as “a lit­tle bit of teas­ing”, a woman who im­me­di­ately be­comes more “busi­nesslike” when Clarke tries claim­ing she has an eat­ing dis­or­der in­stead (the kind of is­sue as­so­ci­ated with “pretty white girls”), “as if here was an ac­tual real prob­lem”.

But as I read, I was ashamed of the im­po­tence, and of the in­dul­gence, of my dis­tress. “I don’t

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.