Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Are these the end days of the extortionist era of civil rights?

No one describes better the interior workings of the leadership class among blacks than does Shelby Steele. I have my gripes with him in the crevices of certain issues, but for penetrating insights into what has motivated and driven the established black leadership and its faithful followers over these recent decades, there's none better than Professor Steele. Here he is on "Why Jesse Jackson Hates Obama" (Wall Street Journal, 7/22/08) – an excerpt:

[Jesse Jackson] could have argued for equality out of a faith in the imagination and drive of his own people. Instead – and tragically – he and the entire civil rights establishment pursued equality through the manipulation of white guilt. Their faith was in the easy moral leverage over white America that the civil rights victories of the 1960s had suddenly bestowed on them. So Mr. Jackson and his generation of black leaders made keeping whites "on the hook" the most sacred article of the post-'60s black identity.

They ushered in an extortionist era of civil rights, in which they said
to American institutions: Your shame must now become our advantage. To argue differently – that black development, for example, might be a more enduring road to black equality – took whites "off the hook" and was therefore an unpardonable heresy. For this generation, an Uncle Tom was not a black who betrayed his race; it was a black who betrayed the group's bounty of moral leverage over whites. ...

It would be a good thing were blacks to be more open to the power of individual responsibility. And it would surely help us all if whites were less cowed by the political correctness on black issues that protects their racial innocence at the expense of the very principles that made America great.

Full article here.

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