Book Review: I Want You To Shut The F#Ck Up: How The Audacity Of Dopes Is Ruining America
Publication Date: Jul 31, 2012
List Price: $25.00 (store prices may vary)
Page Count: 288
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
Book Reviewed by Kam Williams
“The American Dream is in dire need of a wake-up call… If only Uncle Sam could see us now. He’d roll up his sleeves, ball his hands into fists, and knock some sense into this nation of ours… But he’s not around. So some other proud American has to tell this country what it needs—not wants—to hear…
As a stand-up, I’ve traveled this country for decades, seeing it at its best and at its worst. And what I’m seeing [now] is terrifying to me. When I see something that’s f#cked up, I can’t remain silent. I ask why… It may sound funny, but to me this s#it ain’t no joke.”
—Excerpted from the inside cover/press release
No stranger to controversy, D.L. Hughley has a knack for pushing people’s buttons while keeping his finger on the pulse of pop culture. For instance, a few years ago, the caustic comedian landed in hot water when he came to the partial defense of Don Imus after the shock jock had insensitively referred to members of the Rutgers University’s women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.” Hughley said Imus had it half-right in that the girls were indeed “nappy-headed.”
Now, the irascible troublemaker is at it again, stirring the pot of political incorrectness by poking fun at everyone from President Obama (“big ears” and “a goofy smile”) to Tiger Woods (“a buck-toothed chigger playing a white man’s game”) to Bill Clinton (for being blacker than Obama) to Herman Cain (“He’s not bright. He’s not entertaining… Why do we need to see this clown dance?”) to Mitt Romney (“shallow… a man completely out of touch”) to Minister Farrakhan (“White people’s least favorite black person”).
I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America is a metaphysical call to arms ostensibly designed as this election year’s answer to the 2008 presidential campaign’s The Audacity of Hope, as suggested by the book’s not so subtle subtitle. For, besides knocking icons off their lofty pedestals, D.L. raises a number of issues which he feels need to be addressed to preserve the union.
For example, as far as the disrespect shown the President, he believes not only that “the opposition to him is fueled by race” but that “the deference to him by his own people is also fueled by race.” Later, Hughley blames black females for the disintegration of the black family, saying “Our sisters have forgotten how to land a man and how to keep him,” before he takes a page out of fellow Kings of Comedy Tour alumnus Steve Harvey’s love advice primer to teach the ladies the tricks of the dating and marrying trade.
Not that D.L. lets brothers off the hook entirely. By his estimation, about 90% of African-American men have a “P#ssy-Now” philosophy, meaning they’re more than willing to play hooky from school or skip work for a shot at a sexual conquest. And there’s a heavy price to pay long-term for such reckless behavior.
Meanwhile, Hughley has no problem with the “N-word,” since he fervently believes that “Racism is an attitude, not a vocabulary test.” In fact, his only regret about the slur is that nobody has come up with an epithet “that makes white people just as uncomfortable.” Overall, the talented Mr. Hughley proves himself a master at provocation, even if his intriguing tome doesn’t really provide pat answers to America’s pressing problems.