White Guilt, Deciphered July 15, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in African-American, Black, Books, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Civil Rights, Discrimination, racial privilege, Racism, Shelby Steele, White, White Guilt.
This week we printed a except from the book White Guilt. George F. Will of Newsweek goes on to give us a overview of what White Guilt is about and some history of “racial privilege”:
Black ‘militants’ preaching militant dependency want guilt-ridden whites to feel obligated to deliver black advancement.
By George F. Will
June 5, 2006 issue – The unbearable boredom occasioned by most of today’s talk about race is alleviated by a slender, stunning new book. In “White Guilt,” Shelby Steele, America’s most discerning black writer, casts a cool eye on yet another soft bigotry of low expectations—the ruinous “compassion” of a theory of social determinism that reduces blacks to, in Steele’s word, “non-individuated” creatures.
That reduction is the basis of identity politics—you are your (racial, ethnic, sexual) group. A pioneer of this politics, which is now considered “progressive,” was, Steele says, George Wallace. He, too, insisted that race is destiny.
The dehumanizing denial that blacks have sovereignty over their lives became national policy in 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson said: “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line in a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others’.” This, Steele writes, enunciated a new social morality: No black problem could be defined as largely a black responsibility. If you were black, you could not be expected to carry responsibilities equal to others’.
So, being black conferred “an almost reckless moral authority,” a “power of racial privilege.” The “power to shame, silence and muscle concessions from the larger society” was black power. The demand for equal rights became a demand for “the redistribution of responsibility for black advancement from black to white America, from the ‘victims’ to the ‘guilty’.”