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It doesn’t help, Stein says, that “driven by a toxic mix of condescension, paternalism and terror of giving offense, white liberals will almost never cross blacks claiming victimhood.” As for a conservative alternative,
For millions of black people, marinated in the ideology of victimhood and dependence, the possibility that the conservative path might actually offer a better approach to the persistent problems plaguing the underclass is literally beyond imagination.
In a series of chapters given the heading “Let’s Pretend,” Stein demolishes the PC pieties that affirmative action is reasonable, not racist; that fathers don’t matter (“the single greatest tragedy for black people in today’s America – indeed, the greatest calamity since slavery itself – is that scarcely one in four black fathers is on the scene”); that crime has nothing to do with race; that multiculturalism makes for better education (“Fed by a multicultural agenda that stresses the importance of specifically black as opposed to common American experience, even within that narrow spectrum it is a drumbeat of grievance”); and that “acting white” is a problem and not the solution (“far from being the put-down it has been in the black community, ‘acting white’ is the way people of every ethnic background get ahead in America”).
Stein devotes a chapter to a comparison of Booker T. Washington, “the neglected prophet” and “the embodiment of hope and racial conciliation,” and his contemporary, the communist and more militant W.E.B. DuBois, who is, unfortunately, much more revered today in the black community and our history books. Stein calls the Sharptons and Jacksons of this world “the heirs” of DuBois.
He explains why the race card is losing its traditional power to terrorize whites into silence, and he highlights those, notably in the Tea Party, who are standing up to it. (The title of the book, in fact, is taken from a Tea Party sign declaring, “No matter what this sign says, you’ll still call it racist.”)
Naturally, Stein condemns race profiteers like Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Al Sharpton for their exploitation of the very people they claim to be helping. By contrast, in the final chapter Stein celebrates black conservatives from Thomas Sowell to Allen West as the heroes and best hope of our time for the black community.
A fearless writer like Stein and his new book constitute a bold, refreshing first step toward that “frank conversation” that Eric Holder is so eager to have.
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