Pick A Better Country, by Ken Hamblin
- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Free Press (November 3, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684843188
- ISBN-13: 978-0684843186
Livejournal posted the following about Ken Hamblin, of which I quote:
But earlier this decade, around the time the syndication arrangement fell through, he realized that he’d tired of his combative persona. “I didn’t want to sit on Fox News and try to convince people that America was a great country,” he says. “And I didn’t want to go on CNN and argue with people who didn’t want to leave Harlem or Watts because of their own xenophobia. I reached a burnout point.” So he retired,
Recent reports from various sources tell us that he and his wife are enjoying retirement. And I say, “More power to you!” The prevailing thought is one of confusion over why he would go from the top of his game as radio talk show host to gone in fifteen seconds. I believe I understand it, though a contract dispute was the initial excuse.
You see, Ken, a former member of the 101st Airborne, was a man who got the American dream. And he was, constantly, trying to convince others with dark tans like his own that skin color did not exclude anyone from obtaining it. So, like all those of us who try in vain to reach ignorant people with logic, he got tired of the struggle. Like Ken, I have been called all sorts of names, although, being “white”, mine are honky and cracker instead of sell-out and Uncle Tom. Like Ken, I have received my share of death threats and walked around with a target on my back.
Unlike Ken, I have been trying to play in the liberal pool. I actually thought I could help the sociopathic masses of “thugs and brood mares”, as Hamblin calls them. I opened my homes to them and, for a while, felt some progress was made. And, to be sure, there was one, possibly two, that I helped. But I soon discovered that I was only enabling, and, as soon as I demanded commitments to life changes, I was the subject of vitriol. Because they were not allowed to continue their drug dealing, pimping ways in my house, I was just setting them up for a fall, a turncoat, a back stabber. As I watched them turn on me a try to ruin me because I was a soft target, it became apparent to me that my plans to create work-study programs to give them the education they so dearly need would probably end up the same way–in court, sued for all kinds of “human rights violations”, more broke and in legal hot water at each turn, and having the personal knowledge of how welfare is money poured down a hole. Like Hamblin, I have seen the light. The ship is sinking fast, and the sociopathic youth keep demanding better deck chairs. Only those smart enough to flee the ship can be saved. Unfortunately, most of them never learned how to swim and we are out of life vests.
I wish I had found this book when it first came out. It’s amazing to me how prescient he is in everything he describes in the book about the slums and the slum mentality. It’s also affirming to conservatives that he calls out exactly the problem that is the liberal civil rights activists who forge ahead trying to win the equal rights battle that was won 50 years ago. The only way they can stay relevant in their zeal to fix something that isn’t broken is to make sure they keep breaking it. If I had read this book ten years ago, I would have known not to try to fix the sinking ship only to be clubbed nearly to death because I failed to bring deck chairs.
I understand how Ken feels. Life is too short to spend it arguing with closed minds. I’m tired of dwelling on this nonsense, too (right along with Charles Barkley et al). I’m not a fresh-face snot-nosed kid right out of college and yearning for the contest. There are other battles to fight, battles where there is still some hope for victory.
Does this mean I am now a black hater, a racist, a bigot, part of the white right conspiracy to keep the black man down? Not a chance. I don’t care about color. But I’m not about to overlook the lack of content of your character in deference to your color. A recent study in England discovered that most people who “became criminals to support their drug habits” were actually into criminal activity long before they were drug addicts. The point is that being a criminal is not cause and effect from being black and poor. Being criminal is a choice. Being ghetto is a choice. Being trapped in victim-hood is a choice. So, from now on, it’s cause and effect with me. I will extend my hand to you if, and only if, you first show me you have made the choice to reach for the American dream. No excuses accepted for any failure,
If you are young, and still believing that you can achieve some fix to the ghetto and its mentality, then I urge you, in the strongest way, to read Ken’s book. Understand that, like Ken, you have to get people out of the ghetto and let them experience the true greatness of America to open their eyes. Otherwise, peer pressure will never allow them to truly escape. Would that we could pass a law to export the 20 million children stuck in these rat holes to new families who get America. Short of that, good luck trying to change anything.