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Blackwards : How Black Leadership Is Returning America to the Days of Separate But Equal
by Ron Christie


Overview -

The iconoclastic Black Republican strategist calls out leaders who fan the flames of racial rhetoric and sabotage a post-racial America

The euphoria surrounding Barack Obama's historic election had commentators naively trumpeting the beginning of a "post-racial America." In "Blackwards," Ron Christie shows that not only is the opposite true, but black leadership today is effectively working against this goal by advancing an extremist agenda of separatism and special rights that threatens to point us backward to the days before "Brown v.  Read more...


 
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More About Blackwards by Ron Christie
 
 
 
Overview

The iconoclastic Black Republican strategist calls out leaders who fan the flames of racial rhetoric and sabotage a post-racial America

The euphoria surrounding Barack Obama's historic election had commentators naively trumpeting the beginning of a "post-racial America." In "Blackwards," Ron Christie shows that not only is the opposite true, but black leadership today is effectively working against this goal by advancing an extremist agenda of separatism and special rights that threatens to point us backward to the days before "Brown v. Board of Education."

The motto "E pluribus unum" ("Out of one, many") speaks to the idea of a melting pot in which Americans of all backgrounds come together to form a strong, unified nation. But in the race politics of today, Christie argues the American melting pot is threatened by what Pulitzer Prize-winning liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. warned was the "cult of ethnicity," in which social divisions are deepened rather than transcended.

Christie takes on such sacred cows as affirmative action and other race-based educational policies and campus programs that, in the words of former NAACP officer Michael Meyers, place "figurative black-only signs over certain doorways at America's colleges while] only confirming and reinforcing pernicious racial stereotypes." Meanwhile, the author argues any open debate about such issues has been hijacked by such self-appointed spokesmen for black America as Al Sharpton, who co-opt the public narrative merely by being outspoken and charging racism against anyone who would speak against their political agendas and public grandstanding. Tellingly, it is within this context that then presidential candidate Obama famously declared he could not disown Reverend Jeremiah Wright for his racist and anti-American sermons any more "than I can disown the black community."

Perhaps most important, Christie reveals how a separatist mind-set has led to a form of selective, skin-based jurisprudence in the federal government, including:

Attempts by the Congressional Black Caucus to shield black members found to have committed ethics violations
The Justice Department's sudden dropping of charges against New Black Panther Party members for voter intimidation during the 2008 presidential election
A former trial attorney's admission that Americans "would be shocked to learn about the open and pervasive hostility within the Justice Department to bringing civil rights cases against non-white defendants on behalf of white victims"

As African Americans face skyrocketing rates of single-parent families and high-school dropouts, the author urges black American communities to shun the limits of the monolithic politics of victimhood and embrace an open debate of many voices en route to the goal not of a separate "Black America" but of constructive inclusion in the American melting pot."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780312591472
  • ISBN-10: 0312591470
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
  • Publish Date: September 2012
  • Page Count: 290
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Social Science > Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-06-18
  • Reviewer: Staff

This misdirected and poorly written jeremiad attempts a bait-and-switch from the outset. Christie, a former adviser to George W. Bush and other leading Republicans, promises to demonstrate how “monolithic political, academic and cultural straitjackets have smothered diversity of thought” in a national discussion of racial issues, but wastes time and opportunity assailing affirmative action and rehashing racially charged issues from the 2008 presidential campaign. Christie claims the election of Barack Obama reveals “a new sentiment of inclusiveness in America” that allows conservatives to declare victory on questions of race and go home. His insistence on “avoiding the balkanization and recognition of citizens in America as belonging to this group or sub-group based on race and ethnicity” relies on rhetorical flourish rather than delving into the complex problems. Though he rightly tackles some of the outsized rhetoric invoked by embattled black politicians like Congressman Charles Rangel (an entrenched New York Democrat who said he preferred censure by the House Ethics Committee to lynching), he fails to offer a meaningful look at black intellectual, cultural, or business leadership, and undermines his argument by asserting that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are “black” leaders for addressing racial issues in a national context. Christie’s talents, wherever they may lie, should be harnessed for something other than writing books like this. Agent: William Lupfer, WME. (Sept.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews