The Obama Nation: We’re All Racists Now

By Peter B. Gemma
Volume 23, Number 2 (Winter 2013)
Issue theme: "Moving forward"

Book Review:
No Matter What...They’ll Call This Book Racist
How Our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All
By Harry Stein
Encounter Books, 2012
240 pp., $23.99 HB

Pundit William DuBose believed he had the subliminal racism message in the 2012 election all figured out early on. “In dealing with the conservative [i.e., Republican] party, it is time to call a spade a spade [huh?]. Recent ads are laced with racist undertones, indicating a fateful return to dog-whistle politics and exposing the unfortunate nature of those persuadable dogs.” He cited this example of sleight-of-hand bigotry: “Mitt Romney’s latest ad charges the president with ‘gutting’ the welfare work requirements championed by Bill Clinton in his 1996 welfare reform initiative. Taken at face value, the ad is simply a distorted misrepresentation of an Obama policy choice. When you peel back the layers of this onion, though, you begin to smell a distinctive stench …The message is clear—Barack Obama is taking away work restrictions so that lazy African-Americans can live high on the hog while these good people work for a living.”1

In an interview about her new book, Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama, Anne Coulter noted that, “whenever the Democrats are in trouble, they accuse Republicans of ‘racism.’ For decades, the Left has been putting on a play with themselves as heroes in an ongoing civil rights movement—which they were mostly absent from at the time. Long after pervasive racial discrimination ended, they kept pretending America was being run by the Klan and that liberals were black America’s only protectors. The Obama candidacy allowed liberals to engage in self-righteousness about race and get a hard-core Leftie in the White House at the same time.”2

In a column subtly entitled “Mitt Romney the Race Baiter at the NAACP,” left-wing Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky accused the Republican nominee of being “a spineless, disingenuous, supercilious, race-mongering pyromaniac who is very poorly intentioned” because he used the word Obamacare, a term which he says is “a heavily loaded word” among minorities.3

To balance out race-baiting finger-pointing by the hypocritical Left, Harry Stein’s book, No Matter What … They’ll Call This Book Racist, had to be written. One caveat right up front however: this volume is a knee-jerk reaction to liberals who eagerly toss around the slur “racist” whenever it helps deflect conservative opinions. Stein’s (and Coulter’s) sectarian shoving match over who is less racist — an amorphous term these days — won’t enlighten Republicans or Democrats. But that’s a discussion beyond this book review. What Harry Stein does is address is what’s of immediate concern: the stereotypes of “white racism” and “black victims.” The author believes that talking aloud about racial profiling, crime, and the social impact of single parent families (67 percent of black children are reared in single parent homes4) puts the exploitation of race issues out in the open , and re-defines the pathologies of urban black culture. He leaves little room for guilt trips over past oppression policies (real and perceived) or anecdotal evidence of whatever racism may exist in certain circumstances.

In a way, Stein shows no tolerance. Here’s his take on those who may be offended by whites talking race: “I do think that as a general rule it is a fool’s errand to try and find meaningful common ground with the serious (and, invariably, self serious) leftists in our midst. Their politics are indeed their religion, and they are even more provincial than the Southern Baptist fundamentalists they hold in such contempt; more smug, more intolerant and even less incapable of genuine back and forth. If such a person is a friend or family member, the best course is to keep the conversation to sports and movies; or, if that’s not possible, to prep before every meeting with healthy doses of Valium.”5

In No Matter What ...They’ll Call This Book Racist, the author is very specific about his opinions. He writes that:

• “Whites give blacks a pass on behaviors and attitudes they would regard as unacceptable and even abhorrent in their own kind.”

• “The single greatest tragedy for black people in today’s America—indeed, the greatest calamity since slavery itself—is that scarcely one in four black fathers is on the scene.”

• “Far from being the put-down it has been in the black community, ‘acting white’ is the way people of every ethnic background get ahead in America.”

According to Stein, white guilt “has repeatedly, in fact, induced even liberal whites — and even some not so liberal — to embrace policies that institutionalize not fairness but its opposite so as to appear to be on the right side of the racial divide.” Stein notes, “Even Bill Cosby, as bullet proof as you can get in this country after a long and exemplary run as a cross-racial icon, had his head handed to him by black activists and academics for daring to speak up about the all too obvious problems associated with the culture of the black underclass.”

As back-up to his thesis, he quotes black conservative Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution as saying, “The great ingenuity of interventions like affirmative action has not been that they give Americans a way to identify with the struggles of blacks, but that they give them a way to identify with racial virtuousness quite apart from blacks.” Stein observes, “driven by a toxic mix of condescension, paternalism, and terror of giving offense, white liberals will almost never cross blacks claiming victimhood.”

Harry Stein is the author of eleven books, including the best-selling How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace) and I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican: A Survival Guide for Conservatives Marooned Among the Angry, Smug, and Terminally Self-Righteous. He’s a witty yet blunt writer. The inspiration for his book title is taken from a Tea Party sign declaring, “No matter what this sign says, you’ll still call it racist.”

Stein stabs his point home in a series of chapters given the heading “Let’s Pretend.” His first offering is “Let’s Pretend: Affirmative Action is Reasonable, not Racist.” He writes,

Excellence is always a matter of pride and self-belief, the very qualities racial preferences undermine by definition. If there is no need to out-hustle one’s competitors, and no expectation that one will, why even try? Perpetually focused on past inequities rather than future possibilities, the victim mindset epitomized by affirmative action not only saps energy and initiative, it justifies the absence of energy and initiative.

Let’s Pretend number two: “Fathers Don’t Matter.” Here Stein asserts that, “So routinely bruited about are the dire consequences associated with growing up in such circumstances, that even casual fans of social science can reel them off without crib notes: the massively enhanced risk of academic failure, drug use, and criminality; the higher rates of depression, early sexual activity, and adolescent parenthood; the vastly increased odds of poverty and social instability.”

“Multiculturalism Makes for Better Education” certainly deserves to be a let’s pretend subject. “There are many, many impressively titled studies” on the decline and failure of black student achievements, Stein notes, but none of these studies address “something else that is key, but unmentionable: the victim mentality pervasive among young blacks of all classes today. Fed by a multicultural agenda that stresses the importance of specifically black as opposed to common American experience, even within that narrow spectrum it is a drumbeat of grievance.”

We live in a political culture where, for example, actor Robert De Niro can joke: “Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white First Lady?” His audience, who paid $5,000 per person to support the re-election of President Obama, shouted“No!”De Niro followed up with, “Too soon, right?”6 Then there is MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who confidently maintains, “It is undeniably the case that racist Americans are almost entirely in one political coalition and not the other.”7

Along with Stein, the pugnacious conservative commentator Ann Coulter tries to fight back with equal aplomb: “The Great Society programs were more of a disaster for the black family, at least, than slavery” she contends, because “you had a strong tradition of marriage in the black family and what ruined it? Liberals helping, liberals helping, liberals ministering to black people — not because they care about black people. They care about government workers and solid Democratic voters.”8

Stein acknowledges that transparent and truthful dialogue about race is a challenge, because “so deeply embedded among Jews and blacks is the idea that liberals represent the forces of light and conservatives all-consuming darkness that…it has long since taken on the dimension of religious conviction.”

Even “scientific/religious” ideas of the earth being flat and the sun revolving around earth were eventually challenged. No Matter What ...They’ll Call This Book Racist: How Our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All is a good place to start observations and conversations about the politically correct taboo of race.


1. “Conservatives and Racism: Calling a Spade a Spade,” Daily Kos, August 10, 2012

2. “The ‘Mugged’ Interview: Ann Coulter on Faith, Liberals, and Civil Rights,” by Alex Murashko, Christian Post, October 2, 2012

3. July 12, 2012;

4. “Children in single-parent families by race—2011,” Annie E. Casey Foundation

5. “The Intolerance of the Left: An Interview with Harry Stein” by Bernard Chapin, June 26, 2009, Conservative Crusader

6. “Robert De Niro’s Racial First-Lady Joke Was An Obama No-No” by Frank James, It’s All Politics, National Public Radio, March 20, 2012

7. “Are Racists Only in One Political Party?” by John Sides, The American Prospect, August 19, 2012

8. “Liberals Destroyed the Black Family,” World Net Daily, October 3, 2012

About the author

Peter B. Gemma has been published widely, including U SA Today,, and Military History magazine. He is a contributing editor to The Social Contract.