If you are sick and tired of seeing politicians and others playing the race card, or if you are just disgusted with the grossly dishonest way racial issues in general are portrayed, then you should get a copy of Ann Coulter's new book, "Mugged." Its subtitle is: "Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama."
Few things are as rare as an honest book about race. This is one of the very few, and one of the very best.
Many people will learn for the first time from Ann Coulter's book how a drunken hoodlum and ex-convict, who tried to attack the police, was turned into a victim and a martyr by the media, simply by editing a videotape and broadcasting that edited version, over and over, across the nation.
They will learn how a jury — which saw the whole unedited videotape and acquitted the police officers of wrongdoing — was portrayed as racist, setting off riots that killed innocent people who had nothing to do with the Rodney King episode.
Meanwhile, the people whose slick editing set off this chain of events received a Pulitzer Prize.
Even the Republican President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, expressed surprise at the jury's verdict, after seeing the edited videotape, while the jury saw the whole unedited videotape. Even Presidents should keep their mouths shut when they don't know all the facts. Perhaps especially Presidents.
Innumerable other examples of racial events and issues that have been twisted and distorted beyond recognition are untangled and revealed for the frauds that they are in "Mugged."
The whole history of the role of the Democrats and the Republicans in black civil rights issues is taken apart and examined, showing with documented fact after documented fact how the truth turns out repeatedly to be the opposite of what has been portrayed in most of the media.
It has long been a matter of official record that a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats, in both Houses of Congress, voted for the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s. Yet the great legend has come down to us that Democrats created the civil rights revolution, over the opposition of the Republicans.
Since this all happened nearly half a century ago, even many Republicans today seem unaware of the facts, and are defensive about their party's role on racial issues, while Democrats boldly wrap themselves in the mantle of blacks' only friends and defenders.
To puff up their role as defenders of blacks, it has been necessary for Democrats and their media supporters to hype the dangers of "racists." This has led to some very creative ways of defining and portraying people as "racists." Ann Coulter has a whole chapter titled "You Racist!" with examples of how extreme and absurd this organized name-calling can become.
No book about race would be complete without an examination of the role of character assassination in racial politics. One of the classic injustices revealed by Ann Coulter's book is the case of Charles Pickering, a white Republican in Mississippi, who prosecuted the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1960s.
Back in those days, opposing the Ku Klux Klan meant putting your life, and the lives of your family members, at risk. The FBI had to guard Pickering and his family. Later, Pickering went on to become a federal judge and, in 2001, President George W. Bush nominated him for promotion to the Circuit Court of Appeals.
As a Republican judge, Pickering was opposed by elite liberal Democrats in Congress and in the media who, in Ann Coulter's words, "sent their children to 99-percent white private schools" while "Pickering sent his kids to overwhelmingly black Mississippi public schools."
Among the charges against Pickering was that he was bad on civil rights issues. Older black leaders in Mississippi, who had known Pickering for years, sprang to his defense. But who cared what they said? Pickering's nomination was defeated on a smear.
"Mugged" is more than an informative book. It is a whole education about the difference between rhetoric and reality when it comes to racial issues. It is a much needed, and even urgently needed education, with a national election just weeks away.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.