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Posted April 23, 2012
Frank Discussion of Race Politics in America
The subject of race is the most polarizing and contentious topic in American politics. Given America’s history, it is not hard to see why. The legacy of slavery, Civil war, and Civil rights struggle has left an indelible mark on the American soul. Nonetheless, America as a whole has come a long way in terms of its race relations. Americans of all ages and walks of life have become increasingly less racist in their outlook, and the ugliest instances of racism have all but vanished from most places. However, over the past half a century there has been a steady increase in the cottage industry of race-baiters and professional race-centered activists.
Harry Stein is one of the most insightful and self-deprecatingly amusing cultural commentators in America today. His book "I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican" was a Godsend to all of us conservatives living in an overwhelmingly liberal environments. In that book Stein has used his own experiences and observations to turn the mirror on smug liberals living inside echo chambers and expose the paucity of their thoughts and arguments when faced with actual dissent. Now, in “No matter what …” Stein is taking on the subject of race, one of the most sacrosanct pillars in the liberal pantheon of political and social issues. With his characteristic bluntness and sincerity, Stein talks about the issues that have dominated the politics of race for decades. Unfortunately, most of those issues have become so controversial that just talking about them can label someone a “racist,” the fact that Stein alludes to in the very title of this book. Knowing full well that too many people’s careers have been sunk on the iceberg of race, Stein’s uncompromising approach is nothing short of courageous. Many of us who relish frank open discourse on even the most controversial topics are grateful for it.
This book deal with all the “usual suspects”: affirmative action, absentee fathers, crime, multiculturalism, “acting white,” and several others that crop up in headlines and discussions of race in general. Stein uses his refined journalistic and writing skills to expose the fallacies of many officially sanctioned opinions and attitudes, and try to bring much needed common sense to this difficult topic. Unfortunately, the subject of race doesn’t lend itself too well to humor – especially when dealt with by a white writer – so this book is not quite as amusing as one would have expected form Stein’s other writings.
My one big misgiving about this book stems from the way that it portrays the research on cognitive ability in general, and the unflattering stance it takes towards the "Bell Curve" in particular. The "Bell Curve” has now for almost two decades been vilified as the preeminently racist book, and anyone who dares to write approvingly about any aspect of it loses almost any respect in the mainstream intellectual and cultural circles. This is extremely unfortunate since in my opinion that is one of the most magnificent works of scholarship that ever made an impact outside the narrow confines of academia, and it significantly challenged many of the prevailing social assumption, and not leas of which are those about the races. Yes, the message of that book can be really hard to swallow, but only if we cling to the Lockean understanding of human nature as a tabula rasa ready to be painted over with whatever cultural paint we are willing to apply.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 2, 2013
Posted November 25, 2012
No matter what... you should read this book
It is difficult to describe a book's contents to potential buyers when the very buyers who would most benefit from reading the book will likely be offended. They will not be offended because the book is genuinely offensive but because they do not know the truth, and when revealed, the truth may seem harsh. This book discusses various topics related to race in a straightforward manner and without shame. It is stating the truth in its entirety, and there is no reason to be ashamed of telling the truth. This book includes the following topics and more: racism, the media, affirmative action, culture, fatherhood, crime, the victim mindset, and conservatism. These topics are mostly discussed as they pertain to blacks. If you look at the list of topics provided and wonder what a victim mindset is, and you are generally opposed to political conservatism, this book is especially important for you; you can benefit the most from reading it. Without sugarcoating it, I am stating that liberals can benefit the most from reading this book. Specifically, this book is perfect for black liberals who believe conservatives are out to get them. Please, I impel you to read this book. It may change your life for the better, and knowing the truth certainly will not make it any worse. This book does not exist to stir up trouble. It exists to inform, and the truth is quite inspirational and uplifting. The chapters on Booker T. Washington and black conservatives are immensely helpful to envisioning a new way of life: an optimistic, conservative way of life. This book portrays blacks in a way liberals never will: as a people who are truly equal to all others and are fully capable of helping themselves rise to the occasion that is life. No matter what... you should read this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 7, 2012
Posted May 30, 2012
Harry Stein has written another brillant book. Of course, some will call this book as the title indicates, racist. It is just the opposite for it promotes those values needed for a healthy society. The people who need to read this book, will, most likely, will not read it. What a pity.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2012
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Posted July 2, 2012
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