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The Ten Things You Can't Say In America Paperback – September 4, 2001
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When Larry Elder talks, sparks fly, and he likes it that way. Fans of the radio talk-show host from Los Angeles, who call themselves Elderados, have dubbed him "the sage from South Central." His critics--and there are many--use names that range from Oreo to the Antichrist. What's it all about? Elder, a libertarian, lays down his controversial views in his first book, which attacks the politically correct, black leaders, feminists, gun-control advocates, and other "so-called liberals." Some of the 10 things you can't say in America include "Blacks are more racist than whites," "There's only a dime's worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats," "The media bias is real, widespread and destructive," and "America's greatest problem is illegitimacy." Elder aims to change the way blacks look at their future, demanding that they take responsibility for their lives, stop blaming all their problems on racism, and pay attention to the progress they've made. While there may be some truth in what he says and even some good news (for instance, the self-esteem of black children is equal to or better than that of whites), this isn't exactly a pep talk. Not surprisingly, his all-out attack on black leaders (whom he calls nutcases and hysterical) and white liberals has engendered a fair amount of hostility. With this kind of dialogue, it's hard to believe Elder's going to win too many converts. But for those who appreciate his views, or are curious about them, this book is a provocative and lively ride into the mind of one of the nation's most outspoken black libertarians. --Lesley Reed --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Los Angeles radio talk-show host and nationally syndicated columnist Elder, who is African-American, has incurred the wrath of many blacks for his outspoken assertion that racism in the U.S. no longer represents a serious threat to blacks' upward mobility. This conversational, bluntly candid manifesto should prove equally controversial. Elder, who favors much less government and much less regulation, blames both Republicans and Democrats for creating and maintaining a bloated welfare state that stifles individual initiative and free enterprise. His "Ten-Point Plan" for transforming America calls for abolishing the IRS; passing a national sales tax; reducing government by 80%; ending welfare and entitlements, including Social Security, Medicare, and farm and tobacco subsidies; legalizing drugs; abolishing the minimum wage (which, he claims, undermines job creation for blacks, teenagers and entry-level workers); and eliminating corporate taxes. He also opposes affirmative action, hate-crime legislation and virtually any regulation of handguns, including registration. Elder (who is slated to host the forthcoming TV show The Moral Court) further accuses the white-run media of condescending to blacks by overemphasizing stories of racism and by subtly applying a lower set of expectations to African-Americans' behavior. Taking swipes at Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Johnnie Cochran, Louis Farrakhan and others, he blasts the black leadership, which, he insists, should focus on ways to morally and legally discourage "the young, irresponsible and unwed from having children." In Elder's apt phrase, we have become a nation of "victicrats," people blaming their ills on others and demanding special treatment while refusing to accept personal responsibility. While many readers will consider his prescriptions simplistic, they'll find his candor and straight talk refreshing.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Although I have not yet read it, I suspect he does so so in his second book, "Showdown," published in 2003. He certainly spares neither Democrats or Republicans in "The Ten Things You Can't Say in America" (one of the "things you can't say" is that "there isn't a dime's worth of difference" between the two parties, a suspicion I've had ever since James Carville got engaged to Mary Matalin). But "Ten Things" does suffer a tad from a lack of aging well, and a betting person might do well to invest in "Showdown", instead.
As to Elder's philosophies,I find them well-reasoned and discussed. While the first 2/3 of the book reads as an indictment to the "minority-focused" liberal, who might be shocked to see the sacred cows of affirmative action, multiculturalism, welfare, and others skewered by Mr. Elder's logic, the self-congratulating conservative might find themselves skewered themselves by the equally well-argued final third, which discusses abortion (Mr. Elder advocates access to it); legalization of drugs (he's for it); and the tendency of conservative politicians to want to legislate morality(he is against that, and muses at how that goes against the stated conservative goal to keep government out of our lives).
I learned of "Ten Things" from a conservative publication, and expected it to simply trumpet my own values. Instead, although I did learn better arguments for some of the things I believe, I did find myself challenged in areas often thought of as "liberal territory". For these reasons I do recommend you listen to what Elder has to say, but be aware this book uses older, sometimes resolved arguments to help him do it.
Most recent customer reviews
Keep up the great work Larry!