How Black Leadership Is Returning America to the Days of Separate But Equal
By Ron Christie
Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312591472, 290pp.
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
The iconoclastic Black Republican strategist calls out leaders who fan the flames of racial rhetoric and sabotage a post-racial America
The euphoria surrounding Barack Obama's historic election had commentators naively trumpeting the beginning of a "post-racial America." In "Blackwards," Ron Christie shows that not only is the opposite true, but black leadership today is effectively working against this goal by advancing an extremist agenda of separatism and special rights that threatens to point us backward to the days before "Brown v. Board of Education."
The motto "E pluribus unum" ("Out of one, many") speaks to the idea of a melting pot in which Americans of all backgrounds come together to form a strong, unified nation. But in the race politics of today, Christie argues the American melting pot is threatened by what Pulitzer Prize-winning liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. warned was the "cult of ethnicity," in which social divisions are deepened rather than transcended.
Christie takes on such sacred cows as affirmative action and other race-based educational policies and campus programs that, in the words of former NAACP officer Michael Meyers, place "figurative black-only signs over certain doorways at America's colleges while] only confirming and reinforcing pernicious racial stereotypes." Meanwhile, the author argues any open debate about such issues has been hijacked by such self-appointed spokesmen for black America as Al Sharpton, who co-opt the public narrative merely by being outspoken and charging racism against anyone who would speak against their political agendas and public grandstanding. Tellingly, it is within this context that then presidential candidate Obama famously declared he could not disown Reverend Jeremiah Wright for his racist and anti-American sermons any more "than I can disown the black community."
Perhaps most important, Christie reveals how a separatist mind-set has led to a form of selective, skin-based jurisprudence in the federal government, including:
Attempts by the Congressional Black Caucus to shield black members found to have committed ethics violations
The Justice Department's sudden dropping of charges against New Black Panther Party members for voter intimidation during the 2008 presidential election
A former trial attorney's admission that Americans "would be shocked to learn about the open and pervasive hostility within the Justice Department to bringing civil rights cases against non-white defendants on behalf of white victims"
As African Americans face skyrocketing rates of single-parent families and high-school dropouts, the author urges black American communities to shun the limits of the monolithic politics of victimhood and embrace an open debate of many voices en route to the goal not of a separate "Black America" but of constructive inclusion in the American melting pot.
"How did black America get from asking to be judged as individuals to seeking to be as 'un-white' as possible, pretending to be African, and treating lowered standards as Civil Rights? Blackwards tells us why, and the very fact that a certain contingent will call it 'white' tells you that something has gone terribly wrong."
—John McWhorter, noted linguist and New York Times bestselling author of Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America.
"Ron Christie is a spectacular human being! He has a great mind, great courage and isn't afraid of anything. This is a brilliant idea for a book and serves both as a warning and a wake-up call for those who blindly follow people based on the color of their skin rather than the content of their character and strength of their ideas. This is sure to send shockwaves through the Black liberal establishment!"
"Blackwards is a stinging indictment of those determined to play identify politics and, who, at the expense of the American idea, are dividing this nation along lines of race and ethnicity. A must read for anyone open to exploring a different approach on race and politics."
—David Limbaugh, a nationally syndicated columnist, political commentator and New York Times bestselling author
"Ron Christie is a thoughtful conservative and critical thinker. Even when I disagree with his views, I always respect his approach and balance. He is a magnificent and soulful brother with a good heart and sharp mind."
—Michael Eric Dyson, bestselling author and Georgetown University Professor named by Ebony Magazine as one of the hundred most influential Black Americans
“He rightly tackles some of the outsized rhetoric invoked by embattled black politicians.”
Praise for Acting White:
"There is only person who can tell this fellow where he should stand; his name is Ron Christie."
—Chris Matthews, host of The Chris Matthews Show
"Heralds a new capacity for self-examination in black America."
—Shelby Steele, award-winning author of The Content of Our Character and White Guilt
"A must read."
—Juan Williams, New York Times bestselling author of Eyes on the Prize, Enough and Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary
"Christie’s book will send shockwaves through the political establishment."
—Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist and syndicated columnist