Tuesday, June 12, 2012
A Courageous Book
In 2009, shortly after assuming his post as Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder said that Americans are "essentially a nation of cowards" when it comes to discussing race issues. While I don’t think the new book by Harry Stein (No Matter What…They’ll Call This Book Racist, Encounter Books 2012) is what Eric Holder had in mind, it is a frank, honest, and courageous discussion of the issue of race in 21st century America. What Holder means by calling Americans cowards is that he expects white Americans to publicly acknowledge the fact that they are racist and the United States of America is a racist nation. He doesn’t seek an honest discussion, but rather he seeks admission of guilt by white folks that they are the sole cause of black problems in America. What he seeks is the wholesale conversion of all Americans to his way of thinking.
Frankly, Eric Holder and Barack Obama can’t afford an honest discussion of the issues facing black Americans. Without the smears and name-calling, black Americans would discover that they have a lot more in common morally, spiritually and politically with conservatives than they do with liberals like Holder and Obama.
As Stein puts it…
“…for the world as they see it to make sense, racism must be ever-present as a root cause, the all-purpose explanation for every problem faced by minorities in America. In fact, the very last thing Holder wants is a serious examination of why, in this freest and most prosperous of nations, so many minorities continue to lag economically and educationally or why rates of criminality in the inner cities are so appallingly high.”
Harry Stein was a liberal until not too long ago. That’s the way he grew up and that’s what he was taught by his parents, school and college. His friends were liberals, he read liberal publications, he agreed with liberal television reporters, and he thought conservatives were nuts. And then he was hit by a bolt of reality that he discusses in his book. That’s when he became a conservative.
I heard several talk show hosts talk about Stein’s new book [his first book as a conservative was How I Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace)]. Stein has a great sense of humor and is absolutely fearless. Obviously he also likes long titles for his books.
When Stein told a colleague that he was going to write No Matter What…They’ll Call This Book Racist he advised him not to. In fact, his friend said they will destroy you. But clearly, Harry Stein is not easily intimidated.
You’ll learn in the book where the title came from. Hint…it has something to do with a Tea Party rally. The book is appropriately dedicated “To black conservatives everywhere, shock troops in the battle for America’s soul.” As Stein documents, the vitriol fired at black conservatives is many, many times worse than the name calling directed at white conservatives. The left is very threatened by black conservatives. Their growing ranks threatens the false narrative of the left that all conservatives are racists and are the enemy of black Americans.
Here are just a few brief excerpts from Stein’s book…
“The idea that it is racism that has millions of underclass blacks mired generation after generation in physical and spiritual poverty is not just false, but the greatest impediment to fundamentally altering that dreadful state of affairs. What must be faced—above all, by its victims—is that the real problem is a culture of destructive attitudes and behaviors that denies those in its grip the means of escape.”
“Today the vast majority of Americans, almost all of us, embrace [Dr. Martin Luther] King’s admonition to judge others solely by ‘the content of their character.’”
“…we have embraced true racial tolerance—which is to say, indifference to skin color—more fully than any other people on earth.”
You can almost hear the left howling in agony.
Stein ridicules Morris Dees of the far left Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling the Family Research Council and the Federation of American Immigration Reform as “hate” groups. He also takes on Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who he dubs the “the Godfather of Shakedowns.”
With the sharpness of a surgeon’s scalpel he exposes the double standards of liberals and their closed minded approach to real solutions to black poverty. He lampoons them for continuing with the same failed policies that they have followed for the last 50 years, expecting different results.
You may not agree Stein or not, the points he raises in this book deserve a reasoned, non-emotional response, even if liberals believe he is all wrong. Being wrong and suggesting alternate solutions like school choice, the elimination of minimum wage laws, etc. does not make someone a racist. When the term racist is hurled wildly about without genuine evidence or cause, the only purpose is to obfuscate and end a civil discourse on the race issue. One must conclude that the purpose is not to solve problems, but to continue them for personal and political reasons.
What Stein has offered is an honest and frank discussion of the issues that face black Americans mired in poverty. If and only if we can have such an open and candid discussion of alternatives to the past failed policies of the left is there any chance that the desperation and despair of the poor can be turned into real hope and opportunity. The only thing standing in the way of real solutions is liberal opportunists and politicians who benefit from the status quo.
Buy and read this book.