PICK A BETTER COUNTRY: An Unassuming Colored Guy Speaks His Mind About America by Ken Hamblin

PICK A BETTER COUNTRY: An Unassuming Colored Guy Speaks His Mind About America

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The self-styled ""Black Avenger"" of talk radio tries to out-Limbaugh Rush Limbaugh. Ken Hamblin loves America. But even more than this great land of hope, glory, and boundless opportunity, Ken Hamblin loves himself. In the ""personal is the political"" tenor of our times, Hamblin, a syndicated newspaper columnist and radio host, graciously holds up his life as a model for the less fortunate. From his childhood on welfare in a one-parent household, he pulled himself up by his bootstraps, joined the army, and began to pursue the American dream. Oh, there was racism along the way, but that didn't stop Hamblin. He just tried even harder. Now, he suggests, he is irrefutable proof that an ""unassuming colored man"" can make it big. And if he could do it, almost anyone can. So he demonizes those forces he sees holding blacks back. Using deliberately inflammatory language, he speaks of ""welfare pimps,"" ""black thugs,"" ""blood mares,"" and ""dark towns,"" all aided and abetted by the hated ""egg-sucking dog liberals."" Stripped of its rhetoric, the message is less surprising than the messenger. A few radical flourishes aside, it's the conservative dogma that has helped power the recent attacks on welfare. But Hamblin is bucking the black establishment, and he clearly relishes the fight: ""I believe the only real racism that threatens black people today is our own neo-black racism, which is vested in the black welfare culture and which I contend in large part stimulates the white backlash."" As egocentrics go, Hamblin is remarkably genial and entertaining, a skilled raconteur, and for all his flaws, his cookie-cutter solutions, and unquestioning beliefs, he is never the least bit dull.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1996
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster