In the Age of Obama, the ugly charge of racism is more prevalent than ever. Why? Because telling the truth about racial profiling, crime, the social fallout of single parent homes, and the ways racial preferences distort the very meaning of equity and justice would mean facing up to the soul-destroying pathologies of urban black culture. Instead, black leaders and their guilty white allies focus tirelessly on historic oppression and the supposed need for more government aid, and demonize those who challenge their shopworn views as—what else?—racist.
In Why We Won’t Talk Honestly About Race (formerly No Matter What . . . They’ll Call This Book Racist), Harry Stein attacks the rigid prohibitions that have long governed the conversation about race, not to offend or shock (though they certainly will) but to provoke the serious thinking that liberal enforcers have until now rendered impossible. Stein examines the ways in which the regime of racial preferences has sown division, corruption, and resentment in this country. He pays special attention to the stifling falsehood that it is racism that continues to mire millions of underclass blacks in physical and spiritual poverty. By far the greater problem, says Stein, is the culture of destructive attitudes and behaviors that denies those in its grip the means of escape.
For all the remarkable progress this country has made on race in the past half century, liberals insist, for their own political and psychological purposes, on clinging to the notion of America as irredeemably racist. All of us—and especially black people—for too long have been living with the terrible consequences of that cruel canard.