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False Black Power?

Jason L. Riley

With John McWhorter Glenn C. Loury

Black civil rights leaders have long supported ethnic identity politics and prioritized the integration of political institutions, and seldom has that strategy been questioned. In False Black Power?, Jason L. Riley takes an honest, factual look at why increased black political power has not paid off in the ways that civil rights leadership has promised.

Recent decades have witnessed a proliferation of black elected officials, culminating in the historic presidency of Barack Obama. However, racial gaps in employment, income, homeownership, academic achievement, and other measures not only continue but in some cases have even widened. While other racial and ethnic groups in America have made economic advancement a priority, the focus on political capi­tal for blacks has been a disadvantage, blocking them from the fiscal capital that helped power upward mobility among other groups.

Riley explains why the political strategy of civil rights lead­ers has left so many blacks behind. The key to black eco­nomic advancement today is overcoming cultural handicaps, not attaining more political power. 


False Black Power? is part of the New Threats to Freedom Series, which you can learn more about at newthreatstofreedom.com.

Introduction / 3

Part 1: False Black Power

1: The Civil Rights Distraction / 11

2: The Limits of Politics / 31

3: False Black Power / 51

Part 2: Dissenting Points of View

4: Keeping Up With the Leftists
New Observations for Variations on the Theme
by John McWhorter / 87

5: Black America
Changing Rhetoric into Remedies
by Glenn C. Loury / 95

6: A Response to McWhorter and Loury / 105

Notes / 109

About the Contributors / 121

American Thinker

“What makes this book shine is the clarity of its logic and accessibility of its writing style. In a short book, Riley makes his case powerfully. . . . He also had the guts to include critiques from two leading black intellectuals, John McWhorter and Glenn Loury, and his response. This is a man to respect because he is after the truth and results, not cheap points.”

Thomas Lifson

Front Page Mag

"The thrust of his slim but significant new book, False Black Power?, from Templeton Press, is the politically incorrect conclusion that black “political clout is no substitute for self-development."

Mark Tapson

National Review–The Corner

“I have just finished reading part I of Jason Riley’s new book False Black Power?, which NRO is excerpting today, and I want to recommend it right away as highly as I can” 

Roger Clegg

Greensboro News & Record

“As Riley argues in his new book — “False Black Power?” — the major barrier to black progress today is not racial discrimination. The challenge for blacks is to better position themselves to take advantage of existing opportunities, and that involves addressing the anti-social, self-defeating behaviors and habits and attitudes endemic to the black underclass.”

Walter E. Williams, professor of economics, George Mason University