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Pick a better country : an unassuming…
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Pick a better country : an unassuming colored guy speaks his mind about… (utgåvan 1996)

av Ken Hamblin

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
943220,323 (3.28)Ingen/inga
"Calling himself "The Black Avenger," Ken Hamblin insists that America works for anyone who is willing to seize this country's opportunities, remain diligent, and commit to our traditional values of right and wrong. From Hamblin's perspective, all black Americans today share this opportunity. They are no longer victims, and white people should stop feeling guilty about the past." "Raised on welfare in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, Hamblin knows what it's like to grow up poor. And he faced segregation firsthand, as an Army soldier stationed in the South in the days before the civil rights movement. But he refused to settle for poverty, never making it an excuse for failure or assuming it was his lot in life as a black American. And after joining the millions of other Americans who took down "colored" and "white only" signs in the 1960s, today he is demanding to take his place as a fully vested American." "Saying things that "a white person wouldn't get away with," Hamblin criticizes black trash - if there's white trash, then it follows that there can be black trash. The difference is that we've allowed this sick culture of gangsta rap, drugs, gangs, and welfare to be glorified by some as the only "authentic" black American culture; brood mares - what else can you call young black girls who are having babies, more than 90 percent illegitimate, with no means other than welfare to care for them?; black thugs - they go on crime rampages, claiming to be leading a phony social justice crusade on behalf of their race, but the truth is that they have probably snuffed out more of their own than any white racist group; poverty pimps - these black urban politicians devote their entire political careers to delivering nothing but government welfare to their stagnant communities of isolated constituents; quota blacks - they'll always be second-class citizens because emotionally and numerically they fill outmoded affirmative-action minority slots in the workplace; and egg-sucking dog liberals - by furthering the patronizing notion that blacks can't get ahead on their own, these white liberals are sucking the substance out of the promise America holds for its black citizens." "Hamblin concludes that together these groups have fostered the Myth of the Hobbled Black, which, simply put, says that black people still cannot make it in America. But Hamblin is standing up to debunk that myth loudly. He urges all Americans to return to the day when we were grateful for the good fortune of our accident of birth and when we joyously celebrated the successes and rewards brought about by pursuing the American Dream."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (mer)
Medlem:kkirkhoff
Titel:Pick a better country : an unassuming colored guy speaks his mind about America
Författare:Ken Hamblin
Info:New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, c1996. 251 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****1/2
Taggar:Politics, Social

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Pick a Better Country av Ken Hamblin

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Author is a black radio-show host and columnist concerned about the decline of black culture. A radio and newspaper commentator saying things "a white person couldn't get away with." A firm believer that America is still a land of opportunity for anyone willing to make the effort, with no patience for the "black trash" mentality of blacks or their white "champions". A liberal enraged at the Democrats and not too happy with the Republicans. Sadly, all of the points he makes about US life in 1996 are still true or even more so in 2009. Retired before Obama's 2008 campaign. ( )
  librisissimo | May 4, 2009 |
#80, 2004

When I started this book, I'd never heard of Hamblin. It turns out he's considered a "black conservative," and is sometimes called the "black Rush Limbaugh," but I don't think that's an apt description at all. (After reading this book, I have a lot of respect for Hamblin, something I don't think I'd ever say about Limbaugh). It was interesting to read Hamblin's "conservative" take on the some of the issues happening in the U.S. (the book is 8 years old, but I think much of what he discussed is still relevant). He mostly talks about racism and social policies - welfare, drug abuse and crime, and the "trash culture and poverty pimps" which promote and support them. He and I seem to be on the same page with what we would like to see happen, and in many cases we even agree on what might be done to achieve it. I had a few quibbles with him now and again (I'm not sure how being politically against the Death Penalty amounts to "the devaluation of life;" in my case, I believe it's just the opposite), and I have a hard time hearing any group of people be called "trash" or "an evolutionary disgrace." But I think his main point is spot-on: that opportunity is available in this country for anyone (regardless of race) who applies him/herself to it's pursuit. And that one of the biggest problems facing huge segments of U.S. society is a lack of accountabilty - not only are many people unable to take responsibility for themselves, but many governmental policies allow this to continue unabated.

Here's what I think is a good sum-up of his "stand:"

But the doctrine and values that I and other blacks like me have embraced obviously are not those stereotypical conservative - i.e. traditional Replublican - values. Ours are American values: doing the right thing, staying the course, fighting to overcome obstacles, daring to dream, and demanding to be judged by our character and our performance, not by our skin color. Our adherance to those values legitimately should bring us closer to the rewards of the American Dream, just as it does for any other American, and it has.

I am interested in hearing what he's saying these days, though - one of the things he said is that he doesn't always agree with the policies of those on the far right, but believes that the Consitution is strong enough to withstand the anything they could throw at it; I'm not sure I believe that anymore, and I'm curious whether or not Hamblin himself still believes it. In any case, I enjoyed this book, and if anything, it made me feel that the labels "conservative" and "liberal" are limiting. Hamblin and I *aren't* on opposite sides of the spectrum in what we believe and want, although our political labels might indicate that we are. Or maybe I'm just more "conservative" than I give mysef credit for being, and am so against the Bush regime because of my pacifism, which I see as being independent of left- or right-wing politics.

In any case, this book gave me a lot to think about. I'd recommend it. ( )
  herebedragons | Jan 17, 2007 |
This was the book that made me want to read about issues. Hamblin talks about his upbringing and how he was taught not to settle for poverty or make it an excuse for failure. Pride comes from being self-supporting. He also spends a lot of the book addressing the inner city residents and how they look down on blacks who succeed. They claim the American Dream is really the white man's dream, and any black who aspires to it is turning white. The poverty pimps (as he calls them) who are "These black urban politicians devote their entire political careers to delivering nothing but government welfare to their stagnant communities of isolated constituents." ( )
  kkirkhoff | Jul 20, 2006 |
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"Calling himself "The Black Avenger," Ken Hamblin insists that America works for anyone who is willing to seize this country's opportunities, remain diligent, and commit to our traditional values of right and wrong. From Hamblin's perspective, all black Americans today share this opportunity. They are no longer victims, and white people should stop feeling guilty about the past." "Raised on welfare in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, Hamblin knows what it's like to grow up poor. And he faced segregation firsthand, as an Army soldier stationed in the South in the days before the civil rights movement. But he refused to settle for poverty, never making it an excuse for failure or assuming it was his lot in life as a black American. And after joining the millions of other Americans who took down "colored" and "white only" signs in the 1960s, today he is demanding to take his place as a fully vested American." "Saying things that "a white person wouldn't get away with," Hamblin criticizes black trash - if there's white trash, then it follows that there can be black trash. The difference is that we've allowed this sick culture of gangsta rap, drugs, gangs, and welfare to be glorified by some as the only "authentic" black American culture; brood mares - what else can you call young black girls who are having babies, more than 90 percent illegitimate, with no means other than welfare to care for them?; black thugs - they go on crime rampages, claiming to be leading a phony social justice crusade on behalf of their race, but the truth is that they have probably snuffed out more of their own than any white racist group; poverty pimps - these black urban politicians devote their entire political careers to delivering nothing but government welfare to their stagnant communities of isolated constituents; quota blacks - they'll always be second-class citizens because emotionally and numerically they fill outmoded affirmative-action minority slots in the workplace; and egg-sucking dog liberals - by furthering the patronizing notion that blacks can't get ahead on their own, these white liberals are sucking the substance out of the promise America holds for its black citizens." "Hamblin concludes that together these groups have fostered the Myth of the Hobbled Black, which, simply put, says that black people still cannot make it in America. But Hamblin is standing up to debunk that myth loudly. He urges all Americans to return to the day when we were grateful for the good fortune of our accident of birth and when we joyously celebrated the successes and rewards brought about by pursuing the American Dream."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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