Thirty years after the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s, race is still the most divisive social issue of our time.
Where once we spoke only of racist acts or individuals, Americans have now become accustomed to hearing their country described as a racist society. That view, widely accepted by the media, has produced a mood of cultural despair about the very possibility of racial progress.
Yet despite our obsessive concern with this seemingly permanent problem, there is strikingly little agreement about what racism is, where it comes from, and whether it can be eliminated. Now, bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza undertakes the first comprehensive inquiry into the history, nature, and ultimate meaning of racism.
The End of Racism goes beyond familiar polemics to raise fundamental questions that no one else has asked: Is racial prejudice innate, or is it culturally acquired? Is it peculiar to the West, or is it found in all societies? What is the legacy of slavery, and what does America owe blacks as compensation for it? Did the civil rights movement succeed or fail in its attempt to overcome the legacy of segregation and racism? Is there such a thing as rational discrimination? Can persons of color be racist? Is racism really the most serious problem facing black Americans today, or is it a declining phenomenon? If racism had a beginning, shouldn’t it be possible to envision its end?
In a scrupulous and balanced study, D’Souza shows that racism is a distinctively Western phenomenon, arising at about the time of the first European encounters with non-Western peoples, and he chronicles the political, cultural, and intellectual history of racism as well as the twentieth-century liberal crusade against it.
D’Souza proactively traces the limitations of the civil rights movement to its flawed assumptions about the nature of racism. He argues that the American obsession with race is fueled by a civil rights establishment that has a vested interest in perpetuating black dependency, and he concludes that the generation that marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. may be too committed to the paradigm of racial struggle to see the possibility of progress.
Perhaps, D’Souza suggests, like the Hebrews who were forced to wander in the desert for 40 years, that generation may have to pass away before their descendants can enter the promised land of freedom and equality.
In the meantime, however, many race activists are preaching despair and poisoning the minds of a younger generation which in fact displays far less racial consciousness and bigotry than any other in American history.
The End of Racism summons profound historical, moral, and practical arguments against the civil rights orthodoxy which holds that “race matters” and that therefore we have no choice but to institutionalize race as the basis for identity and public policy.
With Illiberal Education, D’Souza significantly expanded the range of acceptable discourse about race. This book will expand those limits even further, offering a way out of the deadlocked debate about race and setting forth the principles that should guide us in creating a multiracial society.
What Others Are Saying
“The End of Racism is a must read. It is powerful, searing, honest and definitive in its sweep as it chronicles and analyzes the history, taboos and myths that have shaped and shattered the American mosaic. A tour-de-force, this book uncovers the half-truths and outright lies disguised as black scholarship and civil rights policy, and earns for D’Souza his entitlement to scathing attacks from the racial fanatics and demagogues.”
—MICHAEL MEYERS, Executive Director, New York Civil Rights Coalition
“The End of Racism is wrong, dead wrong, on almost every topic it discusses and the explanations it offers. Yet it is an entrancing book, and I could not put it down. If I found myself arguing with every sentence, that shows how Dinesh D’Souza compels his readers to reassess their own assumptions.”
—ANDREW HACKER, author of Two Nations