Book Review: 'Hired Hatred'

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At a time when the world of hip hop and pop culture celebrities left the African-American community with the ultimatum to vote or die, one political pundit seemingly chose death last November. But, Robert Redding Jr. did not do it alone he also urged others to do the same with the publication of his e-book "Hired Hatred: Why politicians, political parties and the political prejudices they tout are mutually exclusive from good government."

"Hired Hatred" takes a look at parties and their role in the political process in what Redding deems the infiltration of private organizations’ prejudice ideologies into government and even the media. Redding claims that voter abstinence is not his main objective, but merely a possible solution to a partisan government he argues is mutually exclusive to political prejudice, a policy of hatred based solely on party affiliation or ideological position.   "The fact is, as Washington predicted, all are drawn into the "passion" of the competition between political parties, which needlessly pit blacks against blacks; whites against whites; Hispanics against Hispanics; father against son; and mother against daughter.

They do this by encouraging all races to further classify themselves as proud Republicans or Democrats," wrote Redding. Which is a true and interesting fact, having been in a few heated political debates with my own loved ones, but I have to say that as a partisan the book only reinforced why I have affiliated my self with a particular party in the first place and for that loved it, because who doesn’t like to feel justified in their stance. "People have died for the right to vote in elections," he wrote. "That is why I argue that we do our ancestors and their struggle a disservice when we continue to settle for the best of the worst in politically polarizing candidates for elected office."

However, the book does not give the reader a suggestion or plan of action to take if they do decide to vote, leaving them with a disbanded feeling of guilt for exercising the right their ancestors died for them to have. Ironically polarizing in itself, the "Hired Hatred" will either charge the base of a true partisan leaving them feeling more connected to their party’s political definitions or invoke an activist spirit in them that will make them fight for change by any means necessary. Redding also suggest that registered non-voters make their voices heard by staging protests and writing letters to get the politicians attention and explain the communities lack of involvement in the political process. He then goes on to urge his constituents to fight for the reverse of the twelfth amendment, which allows the president and vice president to run on the same ticket a practice, believed to be the beginning of the party system.

But to Redding’s credit "Hired Hatred" goes far beyond his personal opinion and offers historical facts worth a second look, pointing out the flaws in a system that very well could use some work and raising many questions that could be the start of some sort of reformation. Though abstaining from the vote may just be the thing to hurt the community, because once we are silent in the only place we are counted our concerns may never be addressed no matter how much noise we make outside the political arena. I believe he had good intentions because many times controversy does spark change. But maybe readers should head to the decisive information on the party system then find a way to work the system without leaving it. After all voter abstinence did not stop the inauguration.

Book details:
Price Cover price: $10.00
Published: 2004

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