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The Nigger in You: Challenging Dysfunctional Language, Engaging Leadership Moments

Wiley, J. W.

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ISBN 10: 1579229859 / ISBN 13: 9781579229856
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Title: The Nigger in You: Challenging Dysfunctional...

Publication Date: 2013

Binding: HRD

Book Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:

Embrace Leadership to Combat All Forms of Prejudice

Is there a “nigger” in you? If you have attempted to avoid and/or escape oppression, been made to feel as if you are a problem, been treated as “lesser than” or even like a criminal, all just because you are different in a given context, then what Dr. J. W. Wiley asserts through the title of this book inescapably applies to you. Through any of our multiple identities―stereotyped, marginalized, or ostracized by our socio-economic class, level of education, gender, disability, age, race, sexual orientation, or religion―we are all potential victims as well as perpetrators of denigrating language and discrimination.

Dr. Wiley borrows the agency of nigger, arguably the quintessential, most universally known term of disparagement of those negatively considered the Other, to re-frame the word as no longer just a racial term but one that symbolizes many of the ways we disrespect or bully one another, are inconsiderate of one another, prejudge one another, and internalize our demonization. He defines the word in a way that demonstrates its equivalence to other dysfunctional language (retard, bitch, fag, trailer trash, etc.) that suggests that those so targeted are unworthy of consideration in our society. By creating a conversation around such language, Dr. Wiley challenges us to recognize that, when we give in to our prejudices and stereotypes, the “nigger in you” is what we are apt to see when we encounter those different from ourselves.

The author, who is Director of the Center for Diversity, Pluralism, and Inclusion for the State University of New York–Plattsburg, a Lecturer in Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies, and president of his own consulting business, engages diversity in a uniquely inclusive way and as inseparable from social justice. By dissecting the offensive language we often use, consciously or unconsciously, Dr. Wiley provokes us to recognize that, since every one of us has multiple identities beyond just the color of our skin, it is virtually impossible for most of us not to have felt the sting of oppression, or the power of privilege that some of those same multiple identities may confer on us. Consequently, it is morally incumbent on us to contest and ultimately transcend oppression wherever we encounter it, to respect the humanity of those different from us, and become allies in the war to protect and advance people’s right to be different.

Through personal stories, scholarship, poetry, commentary on current affairs, lyrics, and his experiences as a Black man both rooted in African American culture and the culture of the academy who daily has to navigate and negotiate multiple worlds, Dr. Wiley leads us on a journey toward social justice. In doing so, he empowers us―in whatever sphere, private or public, in which we have some agency―to embrace our leadership moments by engaging those who would perpetrate dysfunctional language or behavior, and help create a world in which differences are respected and validated.

About the Author:

J. W. Wiley currently has a joint appointment as the Director for the Center for Diversity at State University of New York - Plattsburgh and a lecturer in Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies. Previously Dr. Wiley served as Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, founder/director of the Claremont Graduate University (CGU) Diversity Office, Director of the CGU Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Scholars Program; founder/director of the CGU Minority Mentor Program; CGU’s Special Assistant for Diversity; and Director of Recruitment. In 1996 Dr. Wiley was co-author/co-coordinator of the 8th Annual National Black Graduate Student Conference hosted by Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Wiley lectures/keynotes and presents to a colleges/universities and business clientele through his company, Xamining Diversity. His clients include Pfizer Pharmaceuticals; University of California San Francisco Medical Center; Wyeth Pharmaceuticals; Princeton’s Jr. Scholars Institute; Norwich University in Vermont; New York State Nursing Association; PACE University of New York City; Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital; Various school districts, Homeland Security; Bombardier Corp; and Plattsburgh New York Mayor’s Office/City Council, and Police Department. Dr. Wiley has a diversity & social justice blog titled: Wiley Wandering. He consulted, co-wrote and co-directed a documentary titled: “Dissed-Respect: The Impact of Bullying.” In December 2009 Dr. Wiley received the inaugural John Brown Coming Home Award for “raising consciousness and promoting civility in the North Country of New York.” In 2011 he was chosen by NY State Archives Trust to address the impact of the “I Have a Dream” speech for the “Power of Words” series/show on NPR.

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