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140 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely look at how playing the race card has damaged our society
A couple of weeks ago, I read an advance copy of Harry Stein's ("How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy and Found Inner Peace," "I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican") latest "No Matter What, They'll Call This Book Racist" (Encounter Books, release date 4/17/12). In light of the Soldedad O'Brien Critical Race Theory embarrassment and the...
Published on April 16, 2012 by J.J. Sefton

versus
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tries for too much
I have been a fan of Harry Stein's prose for many years. He is an excellent writer with a passionate heart and a desire to make life better. But he tries to accomplish way more than he can in such a brief book, and though what he says is important and timely, I cannot imagine he will make much headway.

There are several books in here.
1) The urban black...
Published on May 19, 2012 by J. C Clark


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140 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely look at how playing the race card has damaged our society, April 16, 2012
This review is from: No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All (Hardcover)
A couple of weeks ago, I read an advance copy of Harry Stein's ("How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy and Found Inner Peace," "I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican") latest "No Matter What, They'll Call This Book Racist" (Encounter Books, release date 4/17/12). In light of the Soldedad O'Brien Critical Race Theory embarrassment and the geschrei from the usual gang of thugs about voter ID laws, I half-jokingly thought that the author could delay publishing the book, but the minute it goes to press something else is sure to happen. Cue the Trayvon Martin incident.

Race-baiting, demagoguery and the perpetuation of the eternal victim myth have allowed the left to keep black America in bondage for over 50 years while the merchants of multiculturalism eat away at our society and pervert Dr. King's credo of content of character over color of skin. The book dovetails history with current events as it examines, as liberals like to say, the real "root causes" of why black America is the way it is; affirmative action, the absent black father, multiculturalism and today's black culture that applauds reprehensible behavior as "authentic" while persecuting "Uncle Toms" and "sellouts" who have rejected this and embraced and thrived in mainstream America. There's also a fascinating chapter comparing the lives and beliefs of the forgotten Booker T. Washington and the wrongly celebrated W.E.B. DuBois and, crucially one spotlighting black conservatives who are the hope for the future. And who knew that Eldridge Cleaver, in his later years, not only castigated black America for embracing Islam but became a conservative and Republican?

Definitely a must-read, especially in light of what is happening now. It's crucial, I think, to not be silenced about what's going on here and have the courage to speak honestly and openly about this issue.
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97 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eric Holder, please read this book, April 17, 2012
By 
R. Mitchell (Deep In the Heart of Dixie) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All (Hardcover)
I've been a devoted fan of Harry Stein's essays, fiction and political
books for thirty years now. His latest outing, `No Matter What They'll
Call This Book Racist' is perhaps his best and certainly most
important achievement yet. And with the Martin-Zimmerman case
dominating the headlines, airwaves, and national conversation, it
couldn't be timelier. `No Matter What They'll Call This Book Racist'
is a superbly written, riveting, all-encompassing examination of the
most divisive and endlessly troubling issue in American history.

As Stein notes in the beginning, right after assuming office, Attorney
General Eric Holder gave a speech commemorating Black History month in
which he called the American people `a nation of cowards.' As if it
weren't one of the most argued and discussed subjects of the last
half-century, Holder called for a national dialogue on the subject of
race. Well, there's nothing cowardly about `No Matter What They'll
Call this Book Racist.' But I have a funny feeling that this is not
the sort of one-sided mea culpa dialogue Holder had in mind. On the
contrary, this is an honest, no holds-barred attack on those who have
been allowed to control the racial narrative far too long.

The title, as Stein acknowledges, came from a Tea Party demonstrator who held
aloft the message: `No matter what this sign says they'll still call
it racist.' If not original, it's a masterful pre-emptive strike
against his inevitable detractors. I only hope he's got his seatbelt
fastened and crash helmet on. For just as surely as the sun will rise
tomorrow in the east, the race card players will be out in full force
and fury when word of this book gets around; although the MSM will
pretend it never hit the racks. As important a contribution to
Holder's `national dialogue' as this entry is, if it's reviewed, even
unfavorably, in the NY Times or Washington Post I'll be astonished.

As Stein amply documents throughout these pages, the largest subset of
racists in America today are on the left. When a conservative crosses
the arbitrary line and writes or says something racially insensitive,
he is immediately taken to task by his brethren on the right. But as
Stein notes, when Clarence Thomas is labeled an `Uncle Tom' so-called
`progressives' are mute. Instead of attempting to rebut conservative
arguments they resort to the expletives of the elementary school
playground. Like a gifted athlete or virtuoso musician, Harry Stein is
one of those writers who make his craft look easy. It is anything but.
Remindful of Victor Davis Hanson, another favorite essayist of mine,
he deftly intermixes the personal with the universal. Absorbing his
words, you feel as though you're benefiting from a conversation with
an old friend who has a lot to say and expresses it much better than
you ever will. Thirty years ago this personal approach was termed the
`New Journalism,' its foremost practitioner Tom Wolfe. I can assure
you there's nothing dated about `No Matter What....' Stein speaks to
his reader from the heart, his humanity evident on each and every
page, his aspirations for justice and equality for black America
undeniable.

Make no mistake, this is a complicated book. It will not
be easy to convey its content or importance during three to five
minute interviews. But it is an important book which ought to be read
by anyone who's struggled with the crucible of race and its
counter-productive impact on American society. If I still taught
American history I'd assign it as a text. If I had it within my power
I'd make Eric Holder read it,. I recommend it highly. They say you
learn something every day. Read this book and you'll learn a thousand
things by the time you close its covers. I predict that you won't be
able to put it down.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frank Discussion of Race Politics in America, April 23, 2012
This review is from: No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All (Hardcover)
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. It may be that Stein has intellectual disagreement with the kinds of arguments presented in the "Bell Curve." However, based on the extremely superficial and selective presentation of the arguments from that book I cannot but conclude that his objections are primarily ideological. This is extremely unfortunate, and Stein manages to add to the demonization of the "Bell Curve" and its authors, and thus is guilty of the same ideological narrow-mindedness that he rightly accuses the left of in the title of his own book.

Despite my misgivings, this is an important and well-written book that will challenge some assumptions and provoke strong reactions. As it should, and as any good book with coherent arguments that fly in the face of prevailing intellectual and cultural mores ought to do. Unfortunately, from my experience the politics of race is extremely entrenched and not easily altered by well-formulated arguments and appeal to facts. From that standpoint I have my doubts on how much "No matter what ..." will be able to accomplish in shaping public opinion. What I do find encouraging, and what this book alludes to on several occasions, is that American people, away from the pundit, intellectuals, and politicians, are growing far less obsessed with race and racial politics. These trends are particularly noticeable to those of us who have been immersed in social, as opposed to mainstream, media sources. The kind of race interactions and discussions that emerge in this realm are qualitatively different from what the "official" media outlets engage in, and are much closer to the kinds of discussions that happen "behind closed doors." It is here that I see people much more willing to speak frankly about issues of race, and be much less unduly offended when uncomfortable topics are brought up. And it's because of these online interactions that I believe that Harry Stein's book will find a very receptive audience.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time for Black America to consider a radically different approach., April 21, 2012
This review is from: No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All (Hardcover)
"Indeed, the most pernicous consequence of the left's incessant depiction of well-meaning Americans as driven by racism may be the chilling effect it has had on the no-holds-barred conversation on race that we need to have; one that would look unflinchingly at the culture of dependency and how it undermines the self-reliance and independence of mind that have traditionally led to success in this culture." (page 32)

Talk about slavery! One wonders when African-Americans are finally going to rise up and throw off the shackles that have held them down for far too long. Nearly a half century after President Lyndon Johnson gave us the "Great Society" all too many of our African-American citizens remain mired in poverty and perpetual despair. Egged on by the Al Sharpton's and Jesse Jackson's of the world these folks have bought into to a world-view that focuses on past inequalities over future possibilities and government programs over self-reliance. Furthermore, anyone who dares disagree just has to be racist. Author Harry Stein challenges these long-standing notions in his incisive and thought-provoking new book "No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How Our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All". Rather Stein points to "the culture of destructive attitudes and behaviors that denies those in its grip the means of escape. Trust me....Mr. Stein makes an extremely compelling case for his point of view.

In "No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist" I was quite surprised to discover that the tactics employed by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are really nothing new. The noted African-American educator, author, and orator Booker T. Washington observed back in 1911 that "there is a class of colored-people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs--partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs." Hmmm. Clearly the time has come for a new, more enlightened approach. And as Stein points out some very courageous African-Americans have stepped up to the plate trying to change the conversation in the black community. In his famous "Pound Cake" speech delivered back in 2004 Bill Cosby blasted people in poor, black communities for failing to be good parents, spending hundreds on designer shoes, but refusing to invest in helping children improve their reading or speak standard English. His reference to pound cake stuck with listeners. "Looking at the incarcerated, these are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake," Cosby told the crowd. Despite his stature Cosby was duly ostracized by many so-called Black leaders but his message seemed to resonate with many ordinary African-Americans. Change has been painfully slow but an increasing number of black conservative voices are stepping up to the plate to challenge the status quo. Recall that for a short time in late 2011 Herman Cain was actually the frontrunner in the polls for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination.

Throughout the pages of "No Matter What....They'll Call This Book Racist" Harry Stein confronts important issues like multiculturalism, affirmative action, racial profiling, the importance of two-parent families and the need to reform public education and implores his fellow Americans to engage in open and honest discussions about them all. I agree with Harry Stein that the conversation regarding these issues is finally changing and that ultimately the American people will see the wisdom turning the page and embarking on a whole new course that will benefit all of us. I believe that reading "No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How Our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All" would be an excellent way to get up to speed on these very timely issues. Very highly recommended!
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning indictment, April 19, 2012
This review is from: No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All (Hardcover)
I found this book to be a stunning and eye opening indictment of those elements of our academic, media and political classes that use race baiting to actually harm the African-American citizens they claim to support for their own self serving purposes. And incredibly, Mr. Stein exhaustively documents how so called leaders of the Black community are some of the worst proponents of racist intimidation on any of their own race that dare to defy the 'victim" status they wish to perpetuate upon their own people. This is a telling, incisive, and may I add a courageous account of one of our nations worst cultural wounds, one that is prevented from a healing process by avoiding the hard realities of how the term racist is used to smear anyone, white or black, who dares defy the sterotype that is used to promote the political and financial agendas of those who cynically wield the racist threat to silence, intimidate and halt any serious resolution of the issue for their own ends. Mr Stein's title is on target, but not a day goes by that does not illustrate the many truths that this book fearlessly demonstrates. I strongly recommend to anyone seriously interested in understanding that hard realities about race in this country have to be openly confronted before we can ever come to some resolution for this problem and look ourselves in our collective mirror and be proud of our country. Mr Stein's book does just that, but it would be sad indeed, if he would fall victim to his title's prediction.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately this book's title is correct..., April 24, 2012
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This review is from: No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All (Hardcover)
The title of this book will, unfortunately, prove prescient. The forces of political correctness, the Left's attempt to use moral opprobrium to circumvent the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech, will be outraged at Stein's presentation of facts and experiences to document the truism that Blacks, thanks to both the selfishness and selflessness [an amazing confluence in this case]of Progressives, have gone from slaves to victims- conditions which both foster destructive dependency and erode the personal responsibility and self respect that is the basis of happiness and success- which has resulted for the last 50 years in the propagation of a failed culture which threatens both Blacks and our society at large.

While Stein presents very little that is new here [Thomas Sowell, who he references, has been writing about these topics for years],it is perhaps because he is a former Liberal that his presentation of the failures of affirmative action, multiculturalism, and welfare, with the concomitant breakdowns and failures of families, the work ethic and respect for education, resulting in rising crime and impoverishment, is particularly indicting.

The importance of what he is doing, along with the Black Conservatives he discusses in his last chapter, is that, in any war, intelligence is vital- the enemy must be known and understood to be defeated, However, we have waged a war on Poverty[and Racism] while our eyes have been willfully shut tight, and the results have been not just wasteful, but actually destructive to those we have sought to help.It is way past the time for the Emperor to be exposed as naked.

Stein, in writing this book and attracting the abuse he no doubt will receive, is an example of one of the Good Men Burke exhorts to action in order for evil to be defeated. And regardless of the best efforts of Progressives to claim the high moral ground, the effects of the system they have created and firmly entrenched can be described as nothing other than pernicious. If you have any doubt of that, you must read this book.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Right on time; this book should be an election year must-read, April 22, 2012
This review is from: No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All (Hardcover)
Could this book possibly be more timely? Harry Stein is no bomb-thrower; this is a thoughtful, even scholarly examination of how race relations in this country have been poisoned by professional grievance mongers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and how the left has turn the word "racist" into an all-purpose bludgeon with which they club anyone who fails to tow the party line. Combining personal history with pointed, often funny observations and sketches of the big personalities on all sides of the question, Harry Stein starts up that famously overdue conversation on race that Eric Holder demanded. Highly recommended; a good read, informative, and well-researched.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Title tells all, alas., April 27, 2012
This review is from: No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All (Hardcover)
Talk about timeliness. I read this book with a fulminating Rev Al Sharpton leading the lynch-Zimmerman hysteria on the TV in the background (readers of the future: Google Trayvon Martin). Meanwhile, in the pages of this brave little book, a reasonable man is suggesting we learn how to reasonably discuss race. To do that means that an entire political class has to surrender its manipulative grip on a black underclass they can never allow to be free of victimization. Blacks and the poor have been exploited by "progressive" ideologues like Sharpton for more than a century now. How's that working out? Stein is right: if we can't even discuss issues like this, they'll never be understood clearly. That's why Rev Al is shouting. Understanding is the last thing he and his ilk want, so this book is the last thing they want anybody to read.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tries for too much, May 19, 2012
By 
J. C Clark "eanna" (Overland Park, KS United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All (Hardcover)
I have been a fan of Harry Stein's prose for many years. He is an excellent writer with a passionate heart and a desire to make life better. But he tries to accomplish way more than he can in such a brief book, and though what he says is important and timely, I cannot imagine he will make much headway.

There are several books in here.
1) The urban black underclass is in a perilous state and getting worse.
2) This disaster is not the fault of racism.
3) The press and liberal politicians deny the problems and the source, except to trot out tired racism claims which are usually cudgels or threats.
4) Those who dare speak otherwise are pummeled into silence.
5) There is a growing number of black conservatives who are the recipients of vicious invective that is never seen as a problem. Manny Pacquiao is denied access to a mall because he says he favors traditional marriage; Harry Belafonte calls Colin Powell (Colin Powell!) a house n***** (can't spell the word and get an Amazon review, even when quoting a famous singer and "activist") and is welcomed at the White House. The double standard is a huge problem.

These are all true. These are all not news, to me at least. As long as we allow lies to dominate the discussion, we can indeed get nowhere. And as long as we continue to demand all blacks be victims, then we will never move this underclass out of poverty. Agreed. I have a million anecdotes of my own that show how rancid and closed the discussion is. But so what. Are we going to convince the school board members I saw scream "Racist" at parents who wanted charter schools for their children that they may need to rethink their position? I think not.

The problem is that the racist screamers control the language. How we wrest it away from them I cannot imagine, but until we do, we will all be talking to ourselves. And this is what Harry Stein does not address. Yep, it's a mess. So, how do we change it? How do we stop the thugs and charlatans who claim to be racial healers? Not until they are exposed for what they are. And though many have tried, none have succeeded.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alabama Princess 80, January 31, 2013
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This review is from: No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All (Hardcover)
I just finished this book. I am a black woman and must confess that he is telling the truth. I have questioned affirmative action for years. 2011 I was taking a class on 20th Century African American history when this very topic surfaced. I was the only black person who wasn't mixed race in the class. There were two additional blacks in a class of 15. The male was half black, half Mexican and the other girl 75% black and %25 Scandinavian. We pretty much agreed with the rest of our classmates that affirmative action can go away. When one girl stated that she doesn't believe anyone should get a hand-out, I wholeheartedly agreed. I was the most ashamed because I allowed my intimidation to keep me from taking the next step and state that affirmative action should have gone away a long time ago. A majority of my white friends are poor and didn't come from family's who owned slaves yet want the same opportunities as I had to go to college. I have believed for years that college and upper mobility should be based on hard work and merit, not skin color.

This book seems to have come at the right time for me. The last few years left me jaded when it comes to finding other blacks who felt the same way as I do. I had to cut a guy off that I served in the military with. He was nice and helped me out with a lot of stuff so I was grateful but our association gave me anxiety. We're both from the same state but he started to say racist things that bothered me. In 2007 he mentioned that there was an article concerning reparations for slavery that made me cringe. I'd seen the article but didn't bother reading it because I found the idea absurd. But what he had to say next left me perplexed. I told him that I wouldn't take the money and he said he would. I kept it in the back of my mind that unlike most young black men he was hardworking, happily married with no children, well liked within our chain of command and had $100,000 in his bank account as a result of his hard work. Yet this accomplished man stated that he believed that he was owed something. I barely had a $1,000 in my savings at the time but I outright refused the idea of reparations. The saddest part of it is that he didn't see anything racist about it.

We don't live in a post racial society. I have said this since the start of the 21st Century and the sad part is if a black person such as myself call other blacks to let the past go we get called names. The difference between myself and some of the others is that I have been unapologetic for years. It has been hard for my grandmother to know that I never wanted to become a card carrying member of the NAACP (I refused to apply for scholarships as a teenager that were attached to that organization) and my decision to NEVER be a Democrat. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have given me headaches since I was 13, which is 1993, the same year that I discovered what affirmative action was and disliked it. They exist as racism for a purpose, in other words, they live to profit off of stirring emotions. I am by no means partisan far as politicians are concerned. I am a patriot who served her country for 8 years and hold conservative views. However, I don't have to be a part of a political party or movement to dislike reparations, affirmative actions and ignore the facts that plantation politics had plummeted blacks into further turmoil. While a lot of blacks will view this book as racist, Mr. Stein's true accounts are a breath of fresh air. Oh, and no more hand-outs and entitlements!
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