Pick a Better Country

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9780684843186: Pick a Better Country

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 entir 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

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Review:

Ken Hamblin has been called the black Rush Limbaugh, but it might be better to call Limbaugh the white Ken Hamblin. Liberals will find this book hard-going, but it ought to be required reading for anyone concerned about the plight of black America. A former Army newspaper photographer and film producer-turned-newspaper-columnist and talk-radio host, Hamblin is a tough-minded commentator, unafraid to speak his mind about matters of race and class in America. Liberals, in his view, aren't just liberals; they're "egg-sucking dog liberals" whose patronizing concern for blacks has led to a debilitating inability of many blacks to do for themselves. In Pick a Better Country, which is a mix of autobiography and polemic, Hamblin fulminates against a familiar roster of evils--drugs, welfare, unwed mothers--interspersing his commentary with anecdotes from his life that illustrate how he persevered, and succeeded, in America.

From Publishers Weekly:

Denver-based syndicated radio talk-show host Ken Hamblin rides Harleys, flies airplanes and has been called "the black Rush Limbaugh." While he has neither provoked the following nor the counterattacks that Limbaugh has, his book?a mix of autobiography and rant?shows both the strengths and weaknesses of conservative talk radio. Citing his personal experience growing up on welfare in Brooklyn, Hamblin offers himself as living proof that poverty need not preclude personal responsibility or be used as an excuse for not seeking advancement. Similarly, he excoriates white liberals and black leaders for extolling rap music and the street argot of underclass culture. He calls that culture "black trash," a term he justifies as a racial counterpart to the more common "white trash." Hamblin's other memorable terms are talk-radio pejoratives: "brood mares" for teen welfare mothers; "egg-sucking dog liberals" for white liberals who ally with black "poverty pimps" to hobble blacks' sense of self-reliance. Unfortunately, Hamblin's political analysis is talk-radio shallow, made up of self-help bromides, pep-rally exhortations about the American dream and mud pies flung at liberals' "socialist" agenda and the alleged personal failings of welfare recipients. Hamblin offers volume?but no serious reflection on the forces creating the underclass. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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