Book Review: Killing Rage: Ending Racism

Killing Rage:  Ending Racism, by Bell Hooks

This book is a pile of contradictions that is as fascinating as it is ridiculous.  One wonders if the author is aware of just how much massive projection there is as she attacks a variety of facets while demonstrating the same qualities she decries.  Do you want a book that complains about black self-hating while demanding white self-hating, justifies anti-Semitism by accusing Jews of racism, argues for male self-hating while decrying female self-hatred in continual attacks on a supposed patriarchy, engages in continual coded discourse while claiming to be speaking in a vernacular that is most often just the author showing a lack of command of the English language?  If so, this is the book for you.  The way that the author on  the one hand expresses a killing rage against whites while in others looking for a blessed community that is able to rise above racism, and engaging in polemics against polarity on the one hand while also engaging simultaneously in false dialectics of her own is quite entertaining and typical of the incoherence and hypocrisy of leftist thinking [1].  Anyone who has not already drunk the radical kool-aid will find this book to be wildly inconsistent and deeply hypocritical, and a sign of some kind of pathology that indicates the author should be institutionalized somewhere other than our mental asylums of higher learning.

This book consists of a variety of essays that read like the diary of a mad blackish woman.  The book starts with the author discussing an incident of alleged racism that shows her to be occasionally unfriendly and hostile and irritable towards innocent people who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and then with an incident of black rage which the author trumpets and supports, all of which undercut her efforts at portraying herself as being beyond racism.  She moves on to other topics like a few discussions of black sexism, black views of white people, efforts at building political coalitions, efforts at tearing down political coalitions through attacking black men, black middle class people, Jews, fundamentalists and other political and religious conservatives, liberals she believes has sold out, people who are not quite as black as others and who enjoy a certain amount of privilege on account of their bi-racial identity, and so on.  In reading this book it is clear that the author has some marked schizoid tendencies and should probably remember to be on her meds when she is trying to write a book like this one.  The author even manages to talk about mental health, which makes sense as she is definitely not entirely sane and desperately trying to justify her actions as an appropriate response to reality rather than to face the truth of her madness.

Although this work, like many of its kind, is a text that is highly critical of others and seeks to deconstruct what it sees as hostile discourses, the book itself is a text of a kind that itself is worthy of the most intense deconstruction because of the incoherence within.  That which is pathological sees pathology in anything and everything else because it wants to define itself as normal and normative for everything else.  The hypocrisy of every part of this book is itself eloquent and somewhat poignant evidence of the hypocrisy of so much of leftist discourse that results from a great deal of trauma and the schizoid response to that trauma that is faced by those who are oppressed but seek revenge, who want justice for the injustice that they have suffered but who do not see in themselves the potential and reality of acting unjustly, who want to criticize others but see themselves as above criticism.  That which is most blameworthy about this book, and it is a lot, is simultaneously a reminder of all that is in ourselves that we must fight against if we wish to avoid the insanity, hypocrisy, and incoherence of this book and its suffering author.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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3 Responses to Book Review: Killing Rage: Ending Racism

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Appalachian Elegy | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Book Review: One Blood | Edge Induced Cohesion

  3. Pingback: On Why Hypocrisy Is Easy | Edge Induced Cohesion

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