Book Review-Two Nations by Andrew Hacker
In Andrew Hacker’s book, Two Nations, Hacker argues that blacks and whites live in two different worlds. He uses statistical evidence to prove that the United States is a nation of inequality, hostility, and separatism. Hacker uses a quote from Benjamin Disraeli in the preface that basically sums up his entire book,
“Two nations, between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each others habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets.”
This book reveals to all the real dimensions of race and how it controls lives and divides society. Hacker analyzes race in every aspect imaginable, such as politics, education, and crime. He shows how those in power use race as means of discrimination and domination.
One issue Hacker addresses is Affirmative Action. I agree with his assertion that whites are afraid of it because they believe that “it is enabling black America to be weak and subservient to the dictates of the society.” However, Affirmative Action may be one of the few programs designed to help blacks.
I also agreed with Hacker’s notion that society concentrates solely on “black crime,” but then looks away in instances of “white crime.” By “white crime”, Hacker means non-violent crimes like embezzlement and “black crimes” are the violent crimes like murder. Because society sees “black crimes” as more dangerous, they tend to ignore “white crimes.”
As insightful as this book was, there was a great deal of things in it that I disagreed with. An issue brought up by Hacker that I disagree with is his perception that rape is a political act. Rape is an act of violence, whether white males commit it or black males or the victim is white or black. Rape is a horrible crime, politically motivated or not.
I also disagree with Hacker’s belief that blacks have right to retribution because of the centuries they served as slaves. Please. Hacker was never a slave. I’ve never owned a slave. What right does Hacker have in saying someone like him deserves retribution from someone like me? Hacker should realize that it is a new era, a new generation. Our generation shouldn’t have to provide the black race with extra special treatment just because of what happened in the past.
There was one section in this book that really touched a nerve. Hacker tends to think that his race is the only one that has suffered discrimination. He dismisses Hispanic and Asian discrimination as not so bad. He also says that terms like “kike” and “spic” do not have the same impact on a person as the term “nigger.” Being Jewish, I find it quite annoying that Hacker thinks he can answer for me by saying the term “kike” doesn’t hurt my feelings as much as the term “nigger” hurts his. The Jews have been discriminated against more than anyone can possibly comprehend. From the inception of the Nazi party in 1933, Jews were deprived of all their civil right, persecuted, imprisoned and murdered. Eventually, they were herded into concentration camps in an attempt to eventually exterminate them all. During World War II, the Nazis had killed 6 million Jews out of a population of 8 million. Over the period of TWELVE YEARS 6 million Jews were murdered! Therefore, I believe that I have a stake to the claim of being a member of an ethnic group that has seen its share of discrimination.
Hacker didn’t bash the white race throughout he whole book. He also suggested that most blacks support double standards that they condemn whites for supporting. For example, Hacker said, “most blacks find it acceptable to preserve black colleges, yet they object if a school designates itself as white.” He also said that blacks would support a black political candidate just because he is black. However, if a white person votes for a white candidate, it is because they are racist.
Finally, Hacker ends the book with the question, “whom is responsible for all this?” He says it is white America that made being a member of the black race so difficult. He may be right and he may be wrong by this. It is true that there is a level of discrimination towards blacks, whether it is unequal pay standards or the lack of political representation. He asks the question, “Is it right to impose on members of an entire race a lesser start in life, and then to expect from them a degree of resolution that has never been demanded from your own race?” Well, of course the answer is no. But it also isn’t right to claim that everything in society is there for the sole purpose of holding back the black race, which is what I began to feel I was reading after a few chapters. Overall, I felt the book contained many good points, such as his perception of Affirmative Action. However, I was angry after finishing because of some of his preposterous claims. I.e. his claim that other races have not suffered as severe a level of discrimination as the black race. Other than that, though, he did a commendable job the stances he took on his issues. Hopefully, these issues will eventually be resolved.
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