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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Goff crashes while exploring voters’ views

    Keli Goff’s first book, “”Party Crashing: How the Hip Hop Generation Declared Political Independence”” sounds like a book about how blacks have taken over American politics. But it really just tries very hard to be something it’s not. Maybe in an attempt to leave nothing out, Goff, a political analyst, has interviewed nearly every black voter in the country for her book. She talked to people involved in politics, writers, television stars, college students and many more. The problem is she doesn’t take the time to solidify their views.

    Much of the book is devoted to talking about how blacks have come into their own in the political arena, yet the people she interviews talk about a wide variety of possibilities. While it makes interesting strides talking about black people moving away from the Democratic Party and toward independent status, the book doesn’t come up with anything concrete.

    Among the myriad of people Goff interviewed, some talked about how the entire Generation X is moving toward registering independent, others about how the Democratic Party doesn’t cater to blacks or poor people anymore (Goff makes little distinction between the two and still another person she quotes said the party does cater to blacks and the poor). A few interviewees discussed their unthinkable desire to join the Republican party, and Rev. Jesse Jackson himself weighed in on why it’s better for black people if they commit to

    a party.

    These are all valid points, but what does it all mean? Goff doesn’t attempt to form cohesive arguments; instead she just fills the book with enough meaningless quotes and statistics to plague nearly every page. Most confusing is her inability to really talk about the people who suggest maybe it’s time for a black voter to be called a voter.

    Perhaps Goff is trying to cater to everyone, but in the process she loses whatever point is she was trying to say. It’s possible to take what you like from this book and draw conclusions on your own, because while Goff hasn’t offered anything new, many of the people she interviewed have interesting points of view. There are a few choice tidbits and sentences (“”Racism still exists, but so does Oprah Winfrey””), but the real message is blurred, much like the racism of today’s world that Goff tries so hard to define.

    Party Crashing
    Basic Civitas Books
    294 pages

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