Summer is officially over with yesterday’s faculty meeting. Monday is the start of the the new semester. Starting mid September, look for my multi-post reviews of Leslie Vernick’s freshly minted, The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: Seeing It, Stopping It, Surviving It (Harvest House) and Mark McMinn’s Integrative Psychotherapy: Towards a Comprehensive Christian Approach.
But right now, thanks to Ed Gilbreath’s Blues blog (see blogroll), I’m half-way through Juan Williams’ Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America–and What We Can Do About It (2006, Three Rivers Press). With a title like that you know it has to be a rant. But boy does he take contemporary leaders (e.g., Sharpton and Jackson), rappers, and some city politicians to the woodshed. He minces no words when he chastizes those talking about reparations or excusing corruption (pay to play) in politics or the church. And he backs up his criticisms with facts. Apparently this book was born out of his exasparation over the way the content of Bill Cosby’s scathing criticisms (in 2004) of black culture and victimhood were ignored by black leadership. His point seems to be to call black folk to stop playing the victim/racism card and start acknowledging and fixing internal problems such as violence against women, single parenting, disdain for education and learning the language. If you have read John McWhorter, you will see similar themes in this book.
So, how should white folk read this book? Try to avoid, “its about time someone put Dyson or Sharpton or Jackson in his place” or “Finally, someone is bringing up the 3rd rail in black politics–the racism card.” Why? Because it is like the observers of a fight where a bully has repeatedly beaten up a little kid saying, “Oh, stop you whining and crying. The bully’s gone. Get over it already.” No, we should still continue to evaluate how we folk benefit from generations of opportunity and seek to serve any “least of these” we come across. Let’s not throw stones but clean our own houses first.