He is an important critic for white people. I say this because next to nothing he says is new to Black and brown folk.
This is not to say that Wise is not useful to folks of color. At the very least one can always point to his work when trying to navigate white folk and their racism.
I happened on a new post by Wise entitled "This is Your Nation On White Privilege" today and it made me smile as most of his stuff usually does.
The following passage best describes "white privilege" and the white woman who supported Hillary and are now drawn to Palin (or being drawn):
"White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a second look."Ummmm ... yeah and the same can be said of the white men who supported Hillary and now see reason to give Palin and McCain a second look.
The second look is not mostly about white privilege really. The second look is about racism. No matter how much most white folks try to front that Obama is a "post racial" candidate the truth is that he is Black.
And being Black in America is a tough sell to white folk in any context or circumstance.
Obama knows this and he can't just come out and say that Palin is drawing attention and keeping the race close because she is a white woman who speaks to the central fears of whiteness.
In this sense, Obama only has himself and the deluded liberals who think he can be president to blame.
The obvious truth is that the US is no "post racial" state or society in any terms.
This election will be decided by white voters who will look at Barry Obama and decide if he is a threat to their privileges (the ones that supposedly don't exist anymore).
And when Obama comes up short Tim Wise will pen another series of essays and books for white people to 'interrogate' their whiteness. He will no doubt pick up his argument that Obama makes race safe for white people.
Recognizing this has not however stopped Wise from supporting Obama. For Wise, like other white liberals, Obama represents the best opportunity (at present) to soothe in-bred guilt while appearing to be progressive.
This is the business of racism in a manner of speaking. It is the one recession proof business that the fed won't have to bail out because it is bullet proof.
But be this as it may, racism is also the sword upon which the US will eventually fall, with or without in-service negroes like Obama and his ilk.