Half a century after brave Americans took to the streets to raise the bar of opportunity for all races, Juan Williams writes that too many black Americans are in crisis—caught in a twisted hip-hop culture, dropping out of school, ending up in jail, having babies when they are not ready to be parents, and falling to the bottom in twenty-first-century global economic competition.
In Enough, Juan Williams issues a lucid, impassioned clarion call to do the right thing now, before we travel so far off the glorious path set by generations of civil rights heroes that there can be no more reaching back to offer a hand and rescue those being left behind.
Inspired by Bill Cosby’s now famous speech at the NAACP gala celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Brown decision integrating schools, Williams makes the case that while there is still racism, it is way past time for black Americans to open their eyes to the “culture of failure” that exists within their community. He raises the banner of proud black traditional values—self-help, strong families, and belief in God—that sustained black people through generations of oppression and flowered in the exhilarating promise of the modern civil rights movement. Williams asks what happened to keeping our eyes on the prize by proving the case for equality with black excellence and achievement.
He takes particular aim at prominent black leaders—from Al Sharpton to Jesse Jackson to Marion Barry. Williams exposes the call for reparations as an act of futility, a detour into self-pity; he condemns the “Stop Snitching” campaign as nothing more than a surrender to criminals; and he decries the glorification of materialism, misogyny, and murder as a corruption of a rich black culture, a tragic turn into pornographic excess that is hurting young black minds, especially among the poor.
Reinforcing his incisive observations with solid research and alarming statistical data, Williams offers a concrete plan for overcoming the obstacles that now stand in the way of African Americans’ full participation in the nation’s freedom and prosperity. Certain to be widely discussed and vehemently debated, Enough is a bold, perceptive, solution-based look at African American life, culture, and politics today.
From the Hardcover edition.
When Bill Cosby addressed a 50th-anniversary celebration of Brown v. Board of Education, he created a major controversy with seemingly inoffensive counsel ("begin with getting a high school education, not having children until one is twenty-one and married, working hard at any job, and being good parents"). Building from Cosby's speech, NPR/Fox journalist Williams offers his ballast to Cosby's position. Williams starts with the question, "Why are so many black Americans, people born inside the gates of American opportunity, still living as if they were locked out from all America has to offer?" His answers include the debacle of big-city politics under self-serving black politicians; reparations as "a divisive dead-end idea"; the parlous state of city schools "under the alliance between the civil rights leaders and the teachers' unions"; and the transformation of rap from "its willingness to confront establishment and stereotypes" to "America's late-night masturbatory fantasy." A sense of the erosion of "the high moral standing of civil rights" underlies Cosby's anguish and Williams's anger. Politically interested readers of a mildly conservative bent will find this book sheer dynamite. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.