[Reading] ➶ Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal ➬ Randall Kennedy – 1sm.info


Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal This is a great book that provides an insightful and even handed look at the use of the word sellout by some African Americans against other blacks.Kennedy is personally qualified, as he notes near the end of the book Besides being a professor at Harvard Law and the author of previous black sociology studies type books, he has himself been a target of the sellout monikerthan once.At the beginning, Kennedy explains that the word is used as part of efforts to maintain racial solidarity This is a great book that provides an insightful and even handed look at the use of the word sellout by some African Americans against other blacks.Kennedy is personally qualified, as he notes near the end of the book Besides being a professor at Harvard Law and the author of previous black sociology studies type books, he has himself been a target of the sellout monikerthan once.At the beginning, Kennedy explains that the word is used as part of efforts to maintain racial solidarity He then notes that other groups use similar tactics, and later in the book draws some parallels to the gay lesbian community.But, for groups in general and black in general, this raises new questions that Kennedy tackles.What are the defining points of the community, and here, specifically, the black community And, who are the guardians and gatekeepers On the former question, Kennedy says it is, without a doubt, affirmative action He then devoted an entire chapter to exploring how this rubber hit the road with Clarence Thomas.Kennedy isn t afraid to point fingers at many black guardians for merely engaging Thomas on his point of view, rather than any evidence he may have for it He links this to the larger problem of black guardians writing off black conservatives in general He makes clear that wrestling with an opposing point of view on empirical grounds does not necessarily mean agreeing with it.No 2, after affirmative action, from how I read Kennedy, he would probably say is interracial marriage.And No 3, quite relevant today with Barack Obama and Tiger Woods, is racial identity Kennedy defends an ABC reporter a year ago asking Obama about how he identified himself, in part by referencing Woods Cablinasian self designation This was a fascinating book, and I wish I had read it before reading The Sellout by Paul Beatty I would also love to sit down with Randall Kennedy and hear his thoughts on cancel culture and social media shaming in general this book was written in 2008, and ask Kennedy discusses at length in the book, policing boundaries to create in and out groups is a practice of any social group or movement Overall, I would recommend the book is dense but short and extremely informative. Was really expecting something phenomenal from the title of the book, only to briskly read it and find out that the book was ordinary This book exposed a lot of history I didn t know of, but the book felt like a defense of sambos and race traitors The Clarence Thomas part was written well, but felt like a cop out for Justice Thomas He has parts of the book where makes some comparisons with other groups, which I disagree with, but drives home the point of not being quick to name call without Was really expecting something phenomenal from the title of the book, only to briskly read it and find out that the book was ordinary This book exposed a lot of history I didn t know of, but the book felt like a defense of sambos and race traitors The Clarence Thomas part was written well, but felt like a cop out for Justice Thomas He has parts of the book where makes some comparisons with other groups, which I disagree with, but drives home the point of not being quick to name call without proper examination.Another glaring omission that I caught, was that he never mentioned Thurgood Marshall being a FBI informant In his introduction he mentioned that he was an intern for Marshall during the 80 s Maybe that played a reason into him not mentioning it A decent read, but nothing to write home about Kennedy s tendency to go off on tangents would beforgivable if this book wasn t so brief His lengthy examination of Clarence Thomas is the only place where this volume seems adequate Elsewhere, Kennedy seems to cherry pick whatever random facts about passing and African American sell outs suit his purposes, leaving the reader with a lot of interesting facts that don t lead up to a greater understanding of the phenomenon.That being said, I d personally pay this man to explore the punk und Kennedy s tendency to go off on tangents would beforgivable if this book wasn t so brief His lengthy examination of Clarence Thomas is the only place where this volume seems adequate Elsewhere, Kennedy seems to cherry pick whatever random facts about passing and African American sell outs suit his purposes, leaving the reader with a lot of interesting facts that don t lead up to a greater understanding of the phenomenon.That being said, I d personally pay this man to explore the punk underground and create a multi disciplinary exercise on what it means to be a sell out in varying contexts We ll even get Reel Big Fish to provide the forward This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here The black community, like every other, has its Official history, and along side of that history it has Things we wish weren t true, and we re trying to forget about, so please stop bringing it up I imagine that many in the black community see Randall Kennedy as a sellout, for the fact that he won t shut up about the things the self appointed black community police don t want us to know Like how black people were sometimes slave owners or paid for their work , and how there was great disagr The black community, like every other, has its Official history, and along side of that history it has Things we wish weren t true, and we re trying to forget about, so please stop bringing it up I imagine that many in the black community see Randall Kennedy as a sellout, for the fact that he won t shut up about the things the self appointed black community police don t want us to know Like how black people were sometimes slave owners or paid for their work , and how there was great disagreement amongst black intellectuals about their race and the future of it We didn t all have a dream In the early part of the book he focuses on the one drop rule and how it was created by people interested in white supremacy He then juxtaposes this racist concept with the modern belief held by many blacks that if you re any part black, you are black I found this a compelling part of the book because I am half black and half white, but I look Latino This has put me on the outside of black culture, because for the longest time I couldn t understand why anyone would want me to embrace half of myself, to the exclusion of my other half And when I finally did understand that I was being asked to adopt a matriarchal society and reject a patriarchal society, I refused I m a man and a breadwinner, not a woman s disposable baby maker.This book made me think about a lot of interesting race related topics For example, take the bus boycott in Montgomery What if you were a black person who just wanted to get to work and the bus was how you did it The boycotts asked you to, essentially, give up your livelihood in order to stay black which meant not get beat up by a group of people who called you a sellout and a traitor And I m not just making that up, it s mentioned in this book that there is court testimony that blacks who tried to ride faced violence eerily similar to what a Klansmen might engage in Coercion is never valid, and always betrays the underlying movement it purports to advance The blacks who were afraid to ride weren t blacker because of their fear, and would simply sellout in less visible ways You either have group unity or you do not enforcing it by force is inherently invalid This is why groups are supposed to be small, like maybe family sized Certainly not the size of an entire race.Randall Kennedy has put together a book which contains an excellent argument for voluntary race group belonging, saying that black is in your mind and your behavior, not on your skin I disagree with him, and I think that we need to exist in a post racial world, eschewing race as a concept, but hey, I m a mixed guy who looks like a Latino what else would I think Randall Kennedy cites a lot of sources and the book is a jumping off point for muchdetailed reading I did find the footnotes to be long and distracting, though It felt like there was another whole book down there and sometimes the ACTUAL book had fewer words on a page than the footnotes, and they often ran for multiple pages.My main problem with this book is the length of time Randall Kennedy spent discussing Clarence Thomas This section could have been a lot shorter it was 57 pages in my version, the longest chapter , and I would have appreciated the space this took up being used for interviews with normal black folks who hold these stupid notions of being against affirmative action means you re not black In a book about an accusation, he doesn t spend nearly enough time speaking in the voice of the accuser, or letting that accuser have the floor via quotes Mr Kennedy show us how this affects us day to day folk Most of us are not on the Supreme Court Seems like it was too short great read though In This Incisive And Unflinching Study, Randall Kennedy, Author Of Nigger The Strange Career Of A Troublesome Word, Tackles Another Stigma Of America S Racial Discourse Selling Out He Explains The Origins Of The Concept And Shows How Fear Of This Label Has Haunted Prominent Members Of The Black Community Including, Most Recently, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, And Barack Obama Sellout Also Contains A Rigorously Fair Case Study Of America S Quintessential Racial Sellout Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas In The Book S Final Section, Kennedy Recounts How He Himself Has Dealt With Accusations Of Being A Sellout After Meeting Fierce Criticism At Harvard Upon The Publication Of His Book, Nigger From The Trade Paperback Edition Excellent Excellent Upon reading this, I was appalled at how little of black history I knew I m white from California The point of this book is that African Americans are often at odds within their community of which of their leaders has sold out and which haven t, leaders both historical and modern and he includes discussion on who I personally see in the media Obama, Oprah, Rice, Powell, Clarence Thomes, even Tiger Woods Why aren t historically important black leaders in the history Excellent Excellent Upon reading this, I was appalled at how little of black history I knew I m white from California The point of this book is that African Americans are often at odds within their community of which of their leaders has sold out and which haven t, leaders both historical and modern and he includes discussion on who I personally see in the media Obama, Oprah, Rice, Powell, Clarence Thomes, even Tiger Woods Why aren t historically important black leaders in the history books Actually, now that I ve read it, I think I understand It s too complex for high school Take, for example, a printed statement from 1868, wherein a black leader calls from the rights for blacks to own land but under white supervision, since black are, after all, inferior The last half of that statement, under today s standards, makes the black man who wrote it a sell out But two things one, it was radically progressive for its day and started the changes that helped the race that, because of those advances, today has the right to call him a sell out , and two, anythingradical would have shut down his newspaper and so may not be the purest form of his opinion I m afraid that a statement like that, read by high school students today, could be taken very, very wrongly and could even be used as ammunition for racism instead of as a means of understanding how slaves eventually, painstakingly, and with much dissension and disagreement within the ranks, climbed out of the cotton fields and into the position they hold today.There is wonderful discussion on the politics of mainstream black America and the realities of black Americans ostracized from their racial community for their differing opinions It asks difficult questions about the benefits versus cost of ostracizing but also warns of the danger of believing every idea meant for the black community is fine and good as long as it s made by a black In other words, sometimes it s a good thing to dismiss people as sell outs He points out that the messages of gang leaders and even some musicians could fall under the category of harmful to the race He would, however, like to see ajudicious use of the term sell out and better scrutiny by blacks in general before they ll believe the accusation of selling out Very, very good Well written and thoughtful A true insider s look at how blacks on both sides of such issues as Affirmative Action, believe current policy is affecting themselves and their communities More of a 3.5, but I m bumping it up to 4 This book really could have been fleshed out , especially given that half of it seems to be devoted to the case of Clarence Thomas, but it s an engaging look at how the concept of the racial betrayer reflects the boundaries and cohesion or lack thereof of the black community Of particular interest to me was the way that black people have used the one drop rule to retroactively claim figures who would not have considered themselves black, or wer More of a 3.5, but I m bumping it up to 4 This book really could have been fleshed out , especially given that half of it seems to be devoted to the case of Clarence Thomas, but it s an engaging look at how the concept of the racial betrayer reflects the boundaries and cohesion or lack thereof of the black community Of particular interest to me was the way that black people have used the one drop rule to retroactively claim figures who would not have considered themselves black, or were not considered such by peers see Beethoven being black.Some of Kennedy s attempts at evenhandedness tempered down his argument to a bland call for nuance, so I would have liked to seediscussion of the black law students who were part of the impetus for this book The dispassionate tone works for historical analysis, but less so when you re asking a community at large to respond to disagreement less dramatically On that note, the book could have also discussedpoints of racial disagreement than just affirmative action, though Kennedy paints this as the main factor of Thomas unpopularity There are hints about class divisions, political stances, and interracial marriage and adoption, but these are for the most part lightly touched upon Randall Kennedy of Nigger the strange career of a troublesome word has written another legal brief masquerading as a book The author discusses the concept of sellout and documents the concept very well His discussion of accusations that he is a sellout is very on point The discussion in chapter 2, however is very weak from the point of viewmodern DNA analysis The chapter 2 is entitled Who is Black Kennedy accepts American cultural racial classification, amorphous and quirky as it Randall Kennedy of Nigger the strange career of a troublesome word has written another legal brief masquerading as a book The author discusses the concept of sellout and documents the concept very well His discussion of accusations that he is a sellout is very on point The discussion in chapter 2, however is very weak from the point of viewmodern DNA analysis The chapter 2 is entitled Who is Black Kennedy accepts American cultural racial classification, amorphous and quirky as it is A further missed opportunity is Kennedy s almost complete failure to explore the world of Rap and various other criminal cabals as they relate to the concept of sellout , most famously in the manner of relations between various rappers and the police and legal system All in all, another good book that does a fairly good job of laying out the terrain of America s racial landscape


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About the Author: Randall Kennedy

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal book, this is one of the most wanted Randall Kennedy author readers around the world.