Time's Review of "The End of Racism"] (fwd)

marta henriksen (henrik@UNM.EDU)
Thu, 12 Oct 1995 14:08:05 -0600

Thought this might be relevant to the discussion of race currently on the

Marta Henriksen | "Mr. Fool Bull, are you teaching what you know
Department of Anthropology | to others?"
University of New Mexico | "No, my friend. There is no one of my people
Albuquerque, NM | ready or willing right now to learn all
henrik@unm.edu | this. But it will not be forgotten. Truth
| may sleep, my friend, but it never dies."

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 09 Oct 95 11:42:03 EDT
From: Rodney Coates <coatesrd@casmail.muohio.edu>
To: Racial-Religious-EthnoNationalist Violence Studies
Subject: Time's Review of "The End of Racism"]

Check this out folks. It's a pleasure to see D'Souza pilloried in
mainstream media.




Back in the 1970s, Richard Pryor had a routine about a group of
boat people being
introduced to American life. Lesson No. 1: How to pronounce what
now commonly known as
the N word.

Last week a real-life version of Pryor's comedy sketch was played
among a rarefied band of
right-wing intellectuals. At its center: Dinesh D'Souza, a
Indian-born conservative
wunderkind who has made a name for himself by bashing women, gays
minorities ever since
he presided over the Dartmouth Review, a fecklessly racist
publication, in the early '80s.
Today he is a case study in assimilation through bigotry, an
immigrant who has achieved
minor celebrity in his new homeland--and a sort of honorary
status as
a white man--by taking
advantage of opportunities created by the civil rights movement,
turning his guns on it.
Nothing could be more American.

D'Souza's latest manifesto, The End of Racism, is one of the
books to appear in recent
years. Even more than D'Souza's previous book, Illiberal
which savaged the campus
vogue of multiculturalism, it contains so much sophistry,
erudition and small-minded
zealotry that even right-wingers who share many of D'Souza's
ideas are
outraged by its, well,
political incorrectness.

Last week Robert Woodson and Glenn C. Loury, two of the country's
prominent black
conservatives, "disaffiliated" themselves from the American
Institute, where D'Souza is
a research fellow, in protest over the book. Sounding more like
Rev. Al Sharpton than a
conservative Republican, Woodson denounced D'Souza as "the Mark
Fuhrman of public policy"
and called on conservatives, black and white, to "publicly
disavow the
racist ideology" his book
espouses. "This is a moment of truth for the conservative
movement as
to where they stand on the
issue of race," says Woodson. "The only time you hear from white
conservatives is when there is
a white fireman aggrieved over affirmative action. If they want
have any influence in this area,
they have got to speak out when blacks and Hispanics are
This is one such occasion."
So far, says Woodson, not a single white conservative has

What's taking so long? Like Camille Paglia in the feminist
sphere, D'Souza will say
whatever it takes to attract attention, no matter how tasteless,
irresponsible or distorted. He
contends that white racism is no longer much of a problem in the
Instead, all our racial
troubles can be traced to the fact that "black culture" is so
dysfunctional it amounts to a
"civilizational" gap between African Americans and the rest of
society. He does not bother to
differentiate between the crime-ridden urban underclass and the
middle-class high achievers such
as Woodson, head of the Washington-based National Center for
Neighborhood Enterprise, and
Loury, a professor at Boston University.

D'Souza also argues that because racism had its origins among
intellectually gifted Europeans
during the Enlightenment, it can't be all bad; that American
was not a racist institution; and
that segregation was merely a well-meaning attempt by
whites to help blacks
"perform to the capacity of their arrested development." He urges
repeal of every major civil
rights law in the land, including those that allow blacks to sit
lunch counters and use the same
water fountains as everyone else. Thenceforward the government
be required to function in
a race-blind manner, but private citizens and institutions, from
taxicab companies to huge
corporations, would be free to discriminate.

Why would any respectable publisher choose to purvey this bunk?
answer, I'm afraid, is that
bigotry sells books. New York City's Free Press has published a
list of first-rate works on
political and social issues by writers from every point on the
spectrum, yet so far the only
blockbuster among them (with 400,000 copies in print) has been
Murray and Richard
Herrnstein's The Bell Curve, which argues that blacks are
stupider than whites. On the
jacket of D'Souza's latest, the Free Press high-mindedly says its
publication will further expand
"the range of acceptable discourse about race" by "setting forth
principles that should guide us
in creating a multiracial society." But judging by the initial
press run, the largest by far in
the company's history, the Free Press also sees D'Souza as a
moneymaker and is willing to
profiteer on the obscene ideas he has packaged in the plain brown
wrapper of specious

The U.S. certainly does need a searching debate on racially
issues from affirmative action
to welfare dependency and crime. It is quite clear, for example,
racism alone cannot account
for the sorry plight of the underclass and that traditional civil
rights remedies can do nothing to
solve it. But such a dialogue stands little chance of being
if it is polluted by the
nonsense D'Souza is peddling. Those who want to deal honestly
race can begin by
boycotting his book--not because it's politically incorrect, but
because it is just plain wrong.

Copyright 1995 Time Inc. All rights reserved.

=========END FORWARDED MESSAGE=========

Still in the struggle

Rodney D. Coates
Director of Black World Studies
Associate Professor of Sociology
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio - 45056

PH: 513-5291235