Doing Nothing Is No Longer an Option
During a bus ride with a group of fellow college students, Jenny Booth Potter came to a life-changing realization. She decided that racism in all its forms—in policies and systems, in organizations and churches, in neighborhoods and families–could no longer be tolerated. And even though Jenny didn't know what to do about racism, she was certain of one thing: doing nothing is no longer an option. That declaration Jenny made to her peers was more than seven words uttered on a bus. It was a vow, a lifetime commitment to seek racial justice.
With candor and humility, Jenny shares her very imperfect but relentless journey of growing in awareness of racism, of reckoning with her own white privilege, and of learning how to be an antiracism advocate alongside her young family. If you're anything like Jenny was on that bus—overwhelmed by the enormity of racism and compelled to do something, but uncertain if you can actually make any difference—then this book is for you. Join Jenny and see for yourself what everyday antiracism looks like.
"Jenny beckons readers to normalize allyship rather than leave it to a few, summoning the privileged to be part of the answer and not the problem. Without a lick of lip service, she goes first, grappling with how racism has been laced through her own story, all the while inviting readers to a place of advocacy and allyship that will lead to the flourishing of all God's children."
"Jenny Booth Potter simultaneously acknowledges the emotional work White people must do to reckon with racism and injustice while refusing to accept White excuses, for herself or her readers. By sharing her story, she challenges us to start the lifelong work of dismantling White supremacy in society and in ourselves."
"Jesus' call to justice is transformative—and has major implications on how we raise children, love neighbors, approach work, and embrace worship. In this historical and deeply personal book, Jenny Booth Potter weaves her experiences into a broader examination of racial injustice. Jenny is a gifted truth teller, sharing her imperfections to help White Christians like me reckon with sins of racism past and present. Jenny held a mirror to my soul, inviting me to examine my complicity, and I'm grateful for it. This book won't shame you, but it'll push you. Let it propel you beyond complacency and into God's call to embody antiracism in your everyday life."
"It takes the most brave and generous souls among us to open up their lives and invite us along. As an ally and seasoned practitioner, Jenny Potter is undeniably one such soul. With striking vulnerability and sincere hope, she tells stories and unfolds memories that compel her readers to make the pursuit of antiracism the only viable option for a world of justice and mutual flourishing for us all."
"As a Black woman, it is difficult for me to fathom anyone taking a backseat (or no seat at all) in the continued fight for racial equity and justice. Yet for too many White individuals, particularly White Christians, that's often the default response. In Doing Nothing Is No Longer an Option, Jenny Booth Potter writes directly to this audience in an honest and practical way, addressing this reality head-on. Starting with her own antiracist journey, there's no sugarcoating the challenges, missteps, and discomfort Jenny has encountered. But for those who are ready to self-examine, engage, and act, her words are a clarion call that it's necessary and worth it."
"With honesty and humility, Jenny Booth Potter takes readers on a journey of awakening to the layers of racism that pervade every sector of society as well as recognizing her own passive and active participation in it. This book gives other white women permission to confess their own racism and refuse passivity, instead leaning in to the lifelong work of dismantling racist strongholds in their own lives and in the world."
"I think mistakes (or, as I like to call them, 'pluck-ups') can be the source of some of life's greatest lessons. When, especially in the face of our pluck-ups, we choose curiosity over criticism, our mistakes and wrong turns can be some of our greatest teachers. As a White woman raising White sons myself, I relate to so much of Jenny's story, and I am grateful for her invitation to keep going in the pursuit of justice—even when the fear of failure can feel paralyzing. This book is a powerful invitation, and I'm so thankful it exists . . . because I am convinced, now more than ever, that doing nothing is no longer an option!"
"In Doing Nothing Is No Longer an Option, Jenny is doing some much-needed, patient guidance for people that want to 'get it' when it comes to doing antiracism."
Foreword by Austin Channing Brown
1. White Guilty Girl
2. Doing Nothing Is No Longer an Option
3. "OMG Karen, You Can't Just Ask People Why They're White"
4. Do You Want to Get Well?
5. Losing My Marbles
6. Insert Token to Play
7. Everywhere Is a Crime Scene
8. The Verdict
9. A Confession
10. Hanging by a Thread
11. Amazing Grace
12. Dear Son
13. Raising White Parents
14. Wimpy White Boys
15. "Mommy, Who Is George Floyd?"
16. The Grayness of Black and White
17. On the Street Where You Live
18. White Noise
19. Dear Abbi
20. Write Your Own Vows