American society lacks the language to describe itself, and as a result it is incapable of diagnosing and rectifying its own destruction. (Location 36)review

America is built upon ethnocide—the destruction of a people’s culture while keeping the people (Location 44)review

In a language built upon domination and destruction, the meanings of words—and life—become afterthoughts because dominance precedes everything else. (Location 56)review

As a Black man, when I use we most people infer that I am speaking about the Black community, my common people, and not about a we that refers to a collective American people. This is because our society has never aspired to have a common people; if you share commonality you are less likely to create an other whose culture you can destroy and exploit. (Location 61)review

I have never wanted to be white. Being called white felt like the worst insult in the world, not because I thought being white was inherently bad, but because that accusation existed to erase my Blackness. Why should I ever want to be white like them? The statement was, of course, intended as a compliment. They were not trying to harm me; they were trying to explain why and how much they liked me. They aspired to no longer see me as Black, and they would become defensive when I reminded them that I was. Eventually, it became clear to me that I did not have the language to describe these friends. What is the word for a well-meaning person whose language, whose very ideas are not intentionally, but inherently, racist? Whose idea of a compliment is a grave insult built upon cultural erasure. Despite this dynamic being normal throughout most of America, I knew of no words to describe this common occurrence. The onus was not on me to find my voice, but to excavate the concealed meaning of their words. (Location 93)review

America is a society that focuses on action ahead of philosophy and language, and people love to ask What’s next? Americans want to know the actions they can take more than the words they can say or the thoughts they should cultivate. (Location 100)review

In the United States, we have a propensity to coin or reinvent words related to business, which is a problem since businesses will always value profit over people. If our language becomes the language of business, it ceases to be the language of the people. (Location 116)review

l’appel du vide, or the “call of the void.” For years I felt alone in my fear of heights—not of slipping and falling, but of going momentarily insane and jumping off a ledge. This perceived psychological solitude made me wonder if I was actually insane. When I learned of l’appel du vide I felt relieved and more equipped to handle an aspect of life that was so common that the French named it. L’appel du vide is the sensation that you get when you peer over a cliff and a little voice in your head says, “I wonder what it would feel like to jump off.” (Location 162)review