Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do about It

Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do about It

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by Juan Williams
     
 

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Half a century after brave Americans took to the streets to raise the bar of opportunity for all races, Juan Williams writes that too many black Americans are in crisis—caught in a twisted hip-hop culture, dropping out of school, ending up in jail, having babies when they are not ready to be parents, and falling to the bottom in twenty-first-century global

Overview

Half a century after brave Americans took to the streets to raise the bar of opportunity for all races, Juan Williams writes that too many black Americans are in crisis—caught in a twisted hip-hop culture, dropping out of school, ending up in jail, having babies when they are not ready to be parents, and falling to the bottom in twenty-first-century global economic competition.

In Enough, Juan Williams issues a lucid, impassioned clarion call to do the right thing now, before we travel so far off the glorious path set by generations of civil rights heroes that there can be no more reaching back to offer a hand and rescue those being left behind.

Inspired by Bill Cosby’s now famous speech at the NAACP gala celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Brown decision integrating schools, Williams makes the case that while there is still racism, it is way past time for black Americans to open their eyes to the “culture of failure” that exists within their community. He raises the banner of proud black traditional values—self-help, strong families, and belief in God—that sustained black people through generations of oppression and flowered in the exhilarating promise of the modern civil rights movement. Williams asks what happened to keeping our eyes on the prize by proving the case for equality with black excellence and achievement.

He takes particular aim at prominent black leaders—from Al Sharpton to Jesse Jackson to Marion Barry. Williams exposes the call for reparations as an act of futility, a detour into self-pity; he condemns the “Stop Snitching” campaign as nothing more than a surrender to criminals; and he decries the glorification of materialism, misogyny, and murder as a corruption of a rich black culture, a tragic turn into pornographic excess that is hurting young black minds, especially among the poor.

Reinforcing his incisive observations with solid research and alarming statistical data, Williams offers a concrete plan for overcoming the obstacles that now stand in the way of African Americans’ full participation in the nation’s freedom and prosperity. Certain to be widely discussed and vehemently debated, Enough is a bold, perceptive, solution-based look at African American life, culture, and politics today.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Advance Praise for Enough

“Written in the tradition of DuBois and King, Enough is an impressively powerful and courageous book. Williams delivers a blunt and bracing challenge to black America.” —David J. Garrow, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Bearing the Cross and Senior Fellow at Cambridge University

“A courageous and much-needed primer on race relations in America today.” —Thomas Sowell, author of Black Rednecks and White Liberals and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution

Enough is a breath of fresh air and a long overdue, critical insight into today’s stereotypical nonsense that has unfortunately been passing as the new black culture.” —Donna Brazile, political commentator for CNN and former campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000

“Juan Williams has, through Bill Cosby, spoken for the quiet majority of African Americans who desperately look for some voice to articulate what they know is truth. . . . I highly recommend Enough to those who are really interested in knowing our nation’s history, and specifically the odyssey of African Americans in this country.” —Douglas Wilder, mayor of Richmond, Virginia, and former governor of Virginia

“Juan Williams isn’t afraid to give Cosby his props, showing us that a lot of what people call black conservatism is plain common sense.” —John McWhorter, author of Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America

Emmy Award-winning Fox News political commentator Juan Williams worries that many black Americans are surrendering to a "culture of failure." In this carefully articulated manifesto, he argues that traditional values of the civil rights era such as self-help, strong families and belief in God have been supplanted by a decadent hip-hop, dropout, end-up-in-jail culture that threatens to subvert hard-won gains. He castigates black leaders who prefer rhetoric to real-world solutions and admonishes parents to regard their children's education as a top priority.
Publishers Weekly
When Bill Cosby addressed a 50th-anniversary celebration of Brown v. Board of Education, he created a major controversy with seemingly inoffensive counsel ("begin with getting a high school education, not having children until one is twenty-one and married, working hard at any job, and being good parents"). Building from Cosby's speech, NPR/Fox journalist Williams offers his ballast to Cosby's position. Williams starts with the question, "Why are so many black Americans, people born inside the gates of American opportunity, still living as if they were locked out from all America has to offer?" His answers include the debacle of big-city politics under self-serving black politicians; reparations as "a divisive dead-end idea"; the parlous state of city schools "under the alliance between the civil rights leaders and the teachers' unions"; and the transformation of rap from "its willingness to confront establishment and stereotypes" to "America's late-night masturbatory fantasy." A sense of the erosion of "the high moral standing of civil rights" underlies Cosby's anguish and Williams's anger. Politically interested readers of a mildly conservative bent will find this book sheer dynamite. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
On May 17, 2004, the 50th anniversary of the landmark case that integrated schools (Brown v. Board of Education), actor/comedian Bill Cosby addressed a distinguished group of African Americans at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. Cosby talked about the state of life in black America, specifically attacking the poor, for which he was widely criticized. He received no support from organizations like the NAACP, National Urban League, or Congressional Black Caucus. In defense of Cosby and following his lead, Williams (Thurgood Marshall), a senior correspondent for National Public Radio, rails against reparations, black-on-black crime, and demeaning rap and hip-hop videos. He also exposes corrupt politicians like former mayors Sharpe James of Newark, NJ, and Marion Barry of Washington, DC, and flawed activists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Williams then analyzes race and poverty in New Orleans, contending that class rather than racism played a major role in recovery efforts for Katrina Gulf Coast victims. He then concludes by saying that the keys to ending poverty lie with individuals finishing high school, then college, getting a job and keeping it, and finally, getting married and not beginning a family until age 21. Based partly on an interview the author conducted with the comedian, this is a well-researched, insightful, eyeopening report. For an anti-Cosby polemic, see Michael Eric Dyson's Is Cosby Right, or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind? Essential reading for most collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/06.]-Ann Burns, Library Journal Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Black America is being undermined by a depraved popular culture, avers Williams (Eyes on the Prize, 1987, etc.), while its leaders pursue anachronistic, self-serving causes. At a 2004 gala to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Bill Cosby gave a blistering speech that deplored the black establishment's indifference to the cultural pathologies crippling poor neighborhoods. Cosby was criticized for his remarks, but his thesis is defended here by NPR senior correspondent and Fox News commentator Williams. While taking care not to dismiss the reality of racism in American society, the author echoes Cosby in rejecting racism as an explanation for high levels of out-of-wedlock births, neighborhoods paralyzed by crime and deficiencies in education. The last particularly incenses the author: Brown was about getting access to a decent education, but a substantial number of poor African-Americans, he says, disdain to use that access. Williams assigns part of the blame to nihilism fostered by a thuggish, misogynist music industry. That industry would not be so successful, however, if the black establishment had not abdicated its responsibility to foster healthy cultural norms. Instead, noted African-American leaders occupy their time with projects that are not easily distinguishable from protection rackets (Williams condemns demands for slavery reparations) or in seeking further subsidies for the black middle class. Some African-American politicians, he concludes, rely on a pool of reliably poor people in whose name they can extract endless public funds for programs that they and their cohorts can administer. Williams has particularly harsh words forthe maladministration and patronage politics of mayors Sharpe James of Newark and Marion Barry of Washington, D.C. There is also a hair-raising case study of the effort by such notables as Jesse Jackson and Maxine Waters to squelch criticism of poor care at the largely African-American-staffed King/Drew Hospital in Los Angeles. In the author's view, part of the solution would be simply to hold major black institutions to ordinary levels of managerial probity. The greater need is for a culture that promotes the discipline and enterprise that characterized black society at the time of the Brown decision. A formidable polemic: You may reject the conclusion, but you cannot dismiss the argument.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307338235
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/01/2006
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

1

THE LEADERSHIP GAP

The stinging dart at the center of this controversy targets new black leadership.

Critics often charge Bill Cosby, in his Brown anniversary speech, with beating up on an easy mark: poor black people. Wrong. The critics are the ones who veer off target. Cosby repeatedly aimed his fire at the leaders of today's popular black culture, which is often not just created by black artists, but marketed and managed by black executives. He was talking about current black political leaders and, most of all, about the civil rights leaders who time and time again send the wrong message to poor black people desperately in need of direction as they try to find their way in a society where being black and poor remains a unique burden to bear.

Cosby's point is that lost, poor black people have suffered most from not having strong leaders. His charge is that these leaders--cultural and political--misinform, mismanage, and miseducate by refusing to articulate established truths about what it takes to get ahead: strong families, education, and hard work. Every American has reason to ask about the seeming absence of strong black leadership. Where is strong black leadership to speak hard truth to those looking for direction? Where are the black leaders who will make it plain and say it loud? Who will tell you that if you want to get a job you have to stay in school and spend more money on education than on disposable consumer goods? Where are the black leaders who are willing to stand tall and say that any black man who wants to be a success has to speak proper English? Isn't that obvious? It would be a bonus if anyone dared to say to teenagers hungering for authentic black identity that dressing like a convict, whose pants are hanging off his ass because the jail prison guards took away his belt, is not the way to rise up and be a success.

There's a reason it takes strong leadership to make these points. It takes a leader to articulate why success in a world that so dramatically devalues black people is a worthwhile goal. When young people--and older people--take on a spirit of rebellion in their clothes, language, music, and other forms of expression, they're only responding in a fairly rational way to a society that has first insulted and degraded them. It takes a real leader to look beyond the immediate emotional satisfaction--and even the academic justification--of throwing up a middle finger in the face of the oppressor, and see the bigger picture. It takes a leader to think through the consequences and outline a better path--even if it requires sacrifice in the short term, sacrifice that may include giving up the easy emotional satisfaction of ultimately pointless acts, unexamined gestures of rebellion that never rise to the level of true resistance or long-term revolution. But that kind of leadership is sorely lacking.

Why have black leaders spent the last twenty years talking about reparations for slavery as if it were a realistic goal deserving of time and attention from black people? Why is rhetoric from our current core of civil rights leaders fixated on white racism instead of on the growing power of black Americans, now at an astounding level by any historical measure, to determine their own destiny? Fifty years after Brown, much of the power to address the problems facing black people is in black hands. Here is Cosby at the very start of his famous speech:

"I heard a prizefight manager say to his fellow, who was losing badly, 'David, listen to me, it's not what he's doing to you. It's what you're not doing.'"

Black Americans, including the poor, spend a lot of time talking about the same self-defeating behaviors that are holding back too many black people. This is no secret. It's practically a joke. And black people are the first to shake their heads at the scandals and antics of the current crop of civil rights leaders who are busy with old-school appeals for handouts instead of making maximum use of the power black people have in this generation to determine their own success.

So how did we end up in this situation? Black leaders have always risen to the occasion in the past, and in far more desperate situations--why does the talent bench seem so thin today? One key here is that nearly forty years after Reverend King's death, the best black talent don't have civil rights leadership as their chief ambition. Strong black intellects and personalities are leaders in media (Richard Parsons, the head of Time Warner, and Mark Whitaker, editor of Newsweek), securities firms (such as Stanley O'Neal of Merrill Lynch), global corporations (Kenneth Chenault of American Express, Ann Fudge of the public relations firm Young and Rubicam), academic institutions (Ruth Simmons, Kurt Schmoke, Henry Louis Gates, Ben Carson), religious organizations (Floyd Flake, T. D. Jakes), and national politics (Eleanor Holmes Norton, Artur Davis, Barack Obama, and Colin Powell). That leaves the civil rights leadership of today in older hands: the Jesse Jacksons and Julian Bonds, people who made a name for themselves in the 1960s. And they are still fighting the battles of the 1960s. Then there are the latecomers, such as Al Sharpton, whose contribution is to mimic the aging leaders. Neither the old-timers nor their pale imitators recognize that national politics has changed and black people have changed. Hell, white people, as well as Hispanics, Asians, and other immigrants, have changed. Yet the black leadership is fighting the old battles and sending the same signals even as poor black people are stuck in a rut and falling further behind in a global economy.

Note that Cosby never identified himself as a civil rights leader. As he later put it, he is not Martin Luther King Jr. Cosby is a legendary figure in America's entertainment industry. He is at the top of his field. In speaking out, he presents himself as an ordinary man with a deep passion for the well-being of his people, black people. He is full of the rage of an average man who sees vulnerable people being hurt and feels compelled to speak out about the glaring errors and lack of truth-telling in dealing with their problems.

"I am not Jesus carrying a cross down the street," he told a reporter less than a month after the speech set fire to the controversy. "I gave the message and I may speak again and again. They want someone to do the work for them. I am not Dr. King. I am not a leader." But Cosby, like everybody else who is paying attention, recognizes bad leadership when he sees it.

One of Cosby's sharpest darts thrown at the current civil rights leaders hit home a few months after his Constitution Hall speech. He was at a town-hall meeting in Detroit to speak directly to black Americans in one of the nation's blackest cities. He wanted ordinary black people to hear from him directly about his comments at the Brown anniversary gala. When he reflected on today's black civil rights leaders, Cosby essentially asked, Why are black leaders making the case for black crack addicts to get softer sentences? Why are black leaders so concerned that cocaine users get shorter sentences than crack smokers? Let's look at the logic. It is true that the people snorting cocaine are more often white and middle-class, and crack addicts are disproportionately black and lower-class. You can make the case for a racial disparity in sentencing. But what if all this effort from black leaders was successful and crack addicts got lower sentences?

"Hooray," Cosby said, spitting it out bitterly. "Anybody see any sense in this? Systemic racism, they [black leaders] call it." Then Cosby pointed out the obvious issue--but one that the black civil rights leadership somehow missed or for some reason underplayed. Black leaders, he declared, should tell poor black people to stop smoking crack. They ought to demonize anybody who does it. They should say it is a betrayal of all the black people who fought to be free, independent, and in control of their own lives since the day the first slave ship landed. They should identify the crack trade as one of the primary reasons why so many young black people are ending up in jail. Certainly, back leaders should be in front of marches pushing those crack dealers out of black neighborhoods. And that effort should include a message that has yet to be heard with sincerity from black leaders: using crack, heroin, or any other addictive drug, including excessive drinking of alcohol, is self-destructive, breaks up families, saps ambition, and is more dangerous than most white racists.

But when was the last time you heard any civil rights leader raging against the clear evil of crack dealers, shaming them to stop selling crack? Has anyone seen the civil rights leaders at the head of a march against bad schools or a boycott against the minstrel acts and sex, beer, and gangster images that are promoted as authentic black identity on Black Entertainment Television? Essence, a black women's magazine, has taken the lead in condemning hateful verbal attacks on black women by black rap musicians. But the most visible black leadership is silent.

The good news about black leadership in America is that it has a history of inspirational success. Working against tremendous odds, black leaders have organized, built coalitions, and trained and inspired people of all colors to break through racism, taboos, and stereotypes to create the greatest social movement in American history--the twentieth-century civil rights movement.

That movement offers examples and tools of consistently innovative leadership that have left America's political, corporate, and cultural leaders hurrying to catch up. Movements for the rights of women, Hispanics, children, and gays have all credited the historical civil rights movement with opening doors for them, and have made the black rights movement the model for achieving their own aspirations.

And that history of strong leadership offers an example of what is possible for people who want to offer sincere, progressive leadership to black America today. Civil rights leaders have a fabulous record of progress, excellence, and achievement, and a willingness to fight and sacrifice for the next generation. Their commitment to democracy, law, and equality has made the civil rights movement the moral center of America for the past century.

Even black leaders who lost battles along the way became legends by setting out a clear path of courageous struggle. Failure wasn't desired, of course, but was willingly risked in the name of standing up for what was right. From the start of slavery in the United States, black leaders devised escapes, sabotaged plantation operations, and plotted strategic acts of violence to defy the system of human ruination that is slavery. Denmark Vesey led a slave revolt in 1822, in which he organized about 10,000 black people in both rural and urban areas around Charleston, South Carolina. At a time when black people outnumbered whites in the region, Vesey used black servants to spy on whites. He obtained and stored weapons, devised signals for his leaders to communicate, and had a clear plan for seizing the large arsenal in Charleston's harbor and using it to command the region. He recognized the power of religion and religious leaders in the black community, and used the church as a strategic center to identify leaders as well as recruit followers and hold meetings.

Ultimately the plot was uncovered and Vesey was hanged. But he ably demonstrated to black and white people the power of black people to throw off their identity as slaves and take on the mantle of self-determination as smart, courageous people in search of freedom. Less than ten years later, Nat Turner led a slave revolt of similar inspiration. These men were in a desperate situation, but these were not symbolic acts of self-destruction--they were organized resistance to an untenable status quo, and even in failure they inspired others to keep fighting and resisting.

Examples of the power of black leadership are evident in American history as early as 1780, when black leaders formed political groups to advance the right of black people to self-determination. The African Union Society of Newport for the Moral Improvement of Free Africans set requirements for the personal conduct of members who paid monthly dues for disability benefits and to be assured of proper burial. But the Union was also a political organization. It gave black people a voice in the city's political affairs with the goal of protecting equal rights for black people. The prize of black leadership, from that start, was always to have black people control their destiny by being able to educate their children, operate businesses, participate in politics as equals, and in the earliest struggle of all, live free of the exploitation of slave masters.

A streak of self-determination rises at every turn in the history of black American leadership. But since the stunning success of the modern civil rights movement--the steady rise since the Brown decision in the number of college-educated black people, as well as the concurrent growth in incomes, home ownership, and black elected officials--the strong focus on self-determination has faded, at the moment when its impact could have been the most powerful. In its place is a tired rant by civil rights leaders about the power of white people--what white people have done wrong, what white people didn't do, and what white people should do. This rant puts black people in the role of hapless victims waiting for only one thing--white guilt to bail them out.

The roots of this blacks-as-beggars approach from black leaders are planted in an old debate that is now too often distorted.

The most prominent voice for black liberation before the Civil War belonged to Frederick Douglass, a former slave who secretly taught himself how to read, then became a skilled worker in Baltimore's shipyards, before escaping to the freedom of the North. As a speaker, as the author of a book about his life in slavery, and as editor of a newspaper, the North Star, Douglass led the charge for all good people to stand against the abomination of slavery, including a call for black people to take up their own fight as a capable, strong force in American life. Douglass was the main black leader who pressed President Lincoln to allow black people to fight with the Union forces in the name of freeing themselves from slavery. All he asked of President Lincoln was that he officially emancipate the slaves so they could legally fight for their freedom. He personally recruited blacks, including his own two sons, for two regiments in Massachusetts. He asked the president for a military commission so he could lead black people in the fight for their own freedom.

Meet the Author

Juan Williams is a senior correspondent for NPR®. He is also a political analyst for the Fox News Channel and a panelist on Fox News Sunday. He is the author of Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary and Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, among other books. During his twenty-one year career at The Washington Post, Williams served as an editorial writer, op-ed columnist, and White House correspondent. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Carol26 More than 1 year ago
This is a must read for young black men and women.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bd
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Guest More than 1 year ago
It took one speech by one man at one moment frozen in time to set off a barrage of discussions on the Black community¿s progress post-civil Rights era. Bill Cosby, famed doctor of the Cosby show, stood in front of the crowd as if he was a preacher standing at a pulpit speaking truths from the Bible instead of having a congregation of the willing eagerly anticipating his every word the crowd was members of the NAACP who expected a simple congratulatory speech from the non-controversial celebrity. The event that Mr. Cosby made his infamous speech was deemed, by him, to be appropriate¿it was the commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Brown vs. the Board of Education Supreme Court ruling (this ruling prompted the eventual integration of public schools across America¿making the ¿separate but equal¿ policy unconstitutional). Irregardless of how you felt about Cosby¿s speech, you have to admit that it took immense courage on his part to risk his reputation and long-standing alliances (both political and social) to draw from his wisdom that he has gained over the years as an actor, activist and as a black man. The author, Juan Williams, of ¿Enough¿.¿, is an accomplished commentator (known from his correspondent work on NPR and Fox News) exceptionally delved into Mr. Cosby¿s argument about the downturn and complacency of the Black community after the Civil Rights Movement. He took each hard-hitting point of Bill Cosby¿s speech such as the lack of importance on education leading to increased drop-out rates, social failures as result of deteriorating family cohesion, the long-term effects of criminal elements within neighborhood of all economies¿especially poorer areas, lack of credible leadership to further carry-on the torch of the movement, cyclical poverty effecting the economic wealth of the community, and the ill-conceived plea to seek reparations from the federal government for the crimes against our ancestors. Mr. William¿s approach to analyzing Bill Cosby¿s argument for change was reminiscent of a college professor that taught one of my ¿art of argument logic¿ courses¿he presented a theory, dissected it, built it back up, presented opposing views and brought it all full circle! As I read this book, I realized that it was justified for Cosby (or anyone else) to point out the shortcomings within the black community to invoke change. Why should we continue to go on with our lives being disillusioned? Everything is not okay! Cosby¿s speech is simply a rally call to everyone, in particular, those that will take heed to his battle cry. We are not at war with this mystical force out there to get black folks (aka ¿the man¿), we are at war with ¿crabs in the bucket¿ weighing down on the community making it appear to the world that we are a community who continues to fail whether in education, economic advancement and social imagery. I know that Cosby wasn¿t speaking to everyone¿not all blacks are dropping out of school! Not all blacks are unaware of the sacrifices that our ancestors went through so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today! Not all blacks are accepting of the negative images and buffoonery that is in the media! Not all blacks are accepting of anything that sets us back to a period prior to the civil rights movement! People within the Black community should not dismiss Bill Cosby as just some old, rich man with nothing better to do than to nitpick at the ¿wrongs of the young generation¿. His speech had validity and needed to be heard and what better venue than at event celebrating a freedom that some black people take for granted¿the right to an equal opportunity to a quality education under the eyes of the law.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have yet to buy and read the book. So I trepidate here in offer a pre-opinion, informed only by my reading of the reviews. I sense the book has some useful insights about how 35 million blacks '12%'out of 300 million Americans can solve some, many, if not all of the major challenges we experience. This is my intuitive praise -- for who can argue with self-help and personal responsibility! However, self-help and personal responsibility are not original thoughts in American history -- for any discriminated against group of any race, including blacks. And blacks have, indeed, adopted and implemented self-help and personal responsibility values, individual practices, group practices, and institutional practices and continue to. We have also held white America personally responsible 'as individuals, groups, institutions, and laws' for how they as the majority in-power group adversely impact us. There's nothing self-victimizing about doing such, historically and today. So the book may be mypoic in suggesting Black America focuses too much, over-emphasizes critiques of and need for goverment help, or should I say, accountability. I also sense the book might offer an analysis and solutions that take for granted white-status quo models and values, which some if not many white have renounces in favor of more progressive models, as their way of adapting to constantly changing domestic and global dynamics. So this raises the question, what is the diverse Vision, Model, and Values being advocated by the author -- a 21st century version of the white 50s middle-class nuclear family, an extended family, a black male patriach family, a bumpie model, what? -- and for how many of the 35 mllion blacks, all, most, or some? What values -- feminist, conservative, liberal, materialistic, etc? And are these visions, models, and values supposed to be dynamic, responsive and open to change, revision, or static, absolute, capable of resisting any and all changes in society -- even those made by the majority white group society within which blacks must function/interact? If white america with all of its historical and present-day privileges, power, and wealthy cannot solve PERMANENTLY all or most of the social problems challenge its racial group 'for all whites are not middle class or rich or free from race/class, gender, and other forms of discrimination' then what are the implications of 35 million less privileged and powerful blacks expected to achieve? And this brings me to my point: What is this Vision/Model black are supposed to achieve, as a metric of us having succeeded -- and how many of us must be living, have achieved, this Vision/Model ... 50%, 60%, 70%, 90% or 100%, or this metric of success simply based on some artibutary parity measure with our white american counterparts, where what they do, what they don't do, what they achieve or don't, is always taken for granted as the benchmark? Is it not conceivable, doable, that a Vision/Model/Values could be adopted, analysis and solution wise, that isn't about following taken for granted white majority leaders, but actually leap-frogging, becoming the vanguards, creators of a new Vision, Model, Values -- one that other might want to adopt/practice. If this books suggest we follow/emulate, then have we thought about where this will take us -- off a cliff, because we presume that current models of supposed success will not eventually turn out to be historical models of negative impact disaster, where history repeates itself. For why else would whites as a privileged, powerful, group renounce some values and adopt new ones, renounce some models and adopt new ones -- as their way of ADAPTING to CONSTANT CHANGE. I also plan to read the following books which may provide some insights/potential solutions to Black America's challenges: The State of Black America 2007 American Families: A Multicultural Reader Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap Marriage, a H
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author leads with Bill Cosby's remarks before a celebration 50 years after Brown vs Board of Education which started the process of ending segregated public schools. Cosby surprised his audience with his comments and continued his arguments after the initial speech. Juan Williams carries on the arguments brought up with his point of view and what should be done in the black community. I had enough about 2/3 of the way through the book in agreeing with the author's comments and suggestion for the black community. He uses stinging labels for those in the black community who take advantage of others dependent on government handouts and assistance calling them 'poverty pimps' . If you don't already agree with Bill Cosby's view, you are not going to read the book. Those that agree can read selected chapters about school drop-outs, marriage/out-wedlock births, crime, drugs, etc. to understand the lack of efforts by blacks to do more for themselves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Enough is a thought-provoking book designed to challenge accepted views of victimization proposed by many black leaders and popular culture today. I would highly recommend this book to scholars, teachers, students, and anyone with a general interest in contemporary black politics. Williams¿ inspiration for this book was Bill Cosby¿s controversial speech (commonly referred to as the Pound Cake Speech) given in Washington¿s Constitutional Hall, 2004, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. He credits Cosby as a catalyst for a new era in civil rights, by challenging the accepted role of victimization characterized by some of today¿s black leaders. Williams¿ criticizes this point-of-view as rhetorical, self-defeating ideology which in many cases has been abused as a means of political self-gain by the likes of Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson. Consequently, this role of oppression has been a major cause of stagnation for many (especially poor) African-Americans to compete in a competitive, educated society alongside their ethnic counterparts. Readers will find startling statistics on a wide range of categories from high school dropout rates, to poverty rates among blacks. These figures are often presented in historical contexts which gives readers an interesting look at how some aspects of African-American life have actually become worse. One glaring example Williams points to is the breakdown in the black family structure over the past years. The number of black children raised in houses with both parents was 75 percent in 1940 compared to 33 percent in 1990. Contrary to some of these portentous facts, Enough highlights some of the strides made over the years, including a growing black middle-class, higher literacy rates, and a growing number of blacks with college degrees. In the final chapter, Williams lays out proposals for change which some readers may find too simplistic. However, Williams supporting Cosby¿s view, argues complex solutions aren¿t needed for problems that require common sense. Enough advocates progress through autonomy, instead of the exclusive government intervention. My only gripe with Enough is that it lacks an appendix to organize the abundance of data which would be extremely helpful if organized into a table. I hope the publisher¿s consider an expanded addition to include a matrix of these statistics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amen to everything that was written!
Guest More than 1 year ago
That's what Donna Brazile says about this book and when she, Thomas Sowell and John McWhorter agree that this is an important book on race relations in America today, it is a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing in its blunt, hard-pill-to-swallow, but so true insights into what is truly ailing African-Americans, especially poor young blacks today. I am one of those middle-class blacks trying to reach back into the poor black community working with adolescent-aged kids and I see the effects of a culture of poverty so entrenched and young minds so wrapped around the popular 'thug life' and a total disdain for any thing resembling 'an educated Negro' as Mr. Williams describes in this book, that it makes one wanna holler ENOUGH! This book is a cry to anyone who loves black folks and is desperately seeking ways to make the American Dream not just a reality for our people but a certainty. Let's stop debating about how we got in this mess and take a page from the self-determination strategies of our ancestors to get out of it. Read this book now!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Juan Williams is not playing! He is telling the truth and its one that is hard to face and hurts like hell. Please read this book, then pass it on to a friend, family memeber, co-worker and anybody else.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I find it hard to believe that if any college professor in the field of sociology, psychology, criminal justice, or law would even consider this book as information or factual, due to the contents of the writer's facts are not supported with notes. This book is just another opinionated documentation that is trying to link societies problems to poor African Americans. Education is a helpful tool for job placement, but networking, opportunity, and social justice is the absolute key to success. The writer does not mention the affects of mental illness or the exploration of legal substances that effects the enviornoment of the location of the poor. It is easy to point a finger at the problem and to hold forums to discuss problems, but to fight social injustice that is influence by the rich, the government, the media, and public policy is something that Bill Cosby or Juan Williams would not challenge. Question is Bill Cosby's success linked to a great education from a university or is his success a reward for a god given talent? It seems that the writer of this book believes that, if every African American achieve a college education, becomes rich or well to do, and disassociate oneself of being African American, then all of societies problems will fade away. I do support Bill Cosby for mentioning the problems in the black community, but constant finger pointing and scrutinizing poor African Americans will not resolve the problems of the black community. This book should not be used as a key for development of a foundation that is needed in the black community. Juan Williams is correct by all means that Jesse Jackson is not a good example of leadership.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellant book. Factual and well researched. He offers good solutions on how we can improve our conditions. They are not new nor are they impossible. As he and Bill Cosby are saying 'enough is enough', we need to stand up and be responsible and accountable. The poor (blacks in particular) cannot afford to continue to follow blindly and just let our so-called 'black leaders' tell us what to believe, say, or how to vote.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a Black African who came to US for college education. I vowed that my kids will not grow up in America. Not because of racism but due to the defeatist mindset I see within the Black community. Instead of people taking responsible for their actions people lay the blame on colour. Even worse is the fact that no one besides Bill (and before Mr William's book) had the guts or will i say the vision to speak out. There is more problem within us than from the outside. This book goes to proffer solutions. I highly recommend
Guest More than 1 year ago
This books proves that the NAACP,Rainbow Push are really out dated and out of touch with mainstream black America and that Bill Cosby said what he said is out of frustration and that it should be a wake up call for us all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This happens to vocalize what I have been thinking for years about african americans (which I am), but it takes it a step further and gives us solutions. I think that this book should be a manidtory read for all young black people who want to do something with there lives.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Juan has entered the great modern debate on Black America and has taken it to a new, and very professional level. Now that civil liberties have been won, how will they be exercised by young Blacks? He provides insightful observations and backs them up with statistics that are easy to understand and shocking to see. This book should be required reading for all high school freshmen of any race. The insights, while directed at Black Americans, are applicable to all of us. Juan did not shy away from giving his informed opinions of what needs to be done to turn the tide.