Why liberals don't listen to Shelby Steele
Or at least this one. Chris Bodenner nods approvingly toward Shelby Steele (though whacking him over his support of McCain) and wonders why Steele is so often dismissed by liberals. I can only speak for myself.
In Aspen, I watched Steele claim that white guilt was the reason we were losing the Iraq War. And then I watched him stand in front of a room full of white people and reduce African-Americans into cartoons so could fit into his ridiculous bargainer and challenger. Steele subscribes to the theory of Black Automatons in which black people don't exist as actual people, but as robots whose whole lives are ordered around the machinations of white people.
This is why it's laughable to see Steele attacking Jackson and Sharpton--they are branches of the same deterministic tree. There are no actual black people making individual determinations in the world of Steele or Jackson. Either it's racism or its culture. Either the white man is keeping us down or the niggers are fucking it up for everybody. Both Jackson and Steele still think that this is 1992 and the most important debates about race either center around some vague notion of "social justice" or the affirmative action policies at Harvard Law.
When I watched Steele talk, I didn't feel bad for black America, I felt bad for the white people who were there drinking it up. (In fairness, many were not.) It really saddens me to write that. I actually agree with Steele on one thing---the end of the Civil Rights Industrial Complex is great thing for black people everywhere. But Steele is tied to that complex, and his ideas are just as bereft. Like the men he derides as extortionists (which they are) Steel is running a hustle--Sharpton and Jackson traffic in white guilt. Steele traffics in white ignorance. And they keep all the profits. I've never seen "white guilt" or "white ignorance" do a damn thing for black folks.