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Quote of the Day: Shelby Steele on Black Protests
“What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.” — Shelby Steele, “Black Protest Has Lost Its Power,” Wall Street Journal
I totally agree with Mr. Steele, who is a voice of reason. It’s so easy for some people to blame someone else for all their problems, especially if they have been doing it for decades. As has been said here on Ricochet and elsewhere, these protests by incredibly wealthy, coddled athletes are losing any effect they ever had. And we in the white majority, who quit being the “oppressor” a long time ago, refuse to feel guilty for something for which we do not bear the responsibility.Published in Sports
Easy and incredibly self-defeating on every level. What I loathe most about the anti-racism isn’t merely that it isn’t true—that is, it doesn’t accurately represent the reality in which we all live—but that, even if true, it is useless. It doesn’t point to any behavior likely to improve one’s lot; doesn’t make one feel empowered and doesn’t provoke gratitude. Since gratitude and joy are like Siamese twins—distinct, but always connected—chronic ingratitude makes for a joyless life.
Just before his death, even Dr. Martin Luther King recognized that de Jure discrimination was essentially finished. There was a rumbling of de Facto discrimination during that time, but after 50 years of Affirmative Action (~2 generations), little boys of all races have no problem with Michael Jordan jerseys.
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As Mr Steele noted when he was on the flagship podcast, they’ll still call him an Uncle Tom and revoke his Black Card, much as Christina Hoff Sommers has had her Woman Card revoked. That’s the way the Left rolls. Mr Steele understands the dynamic all too well.
Edit: Does anyone get the feeling the Left is running out of attack concepts? Certain women aren’t really women; everyone is racist; everyone is trans-, Islamo-, homo-, xeno-, gyno-phobic. It’s all looking a little desperate.
This is a profound observation, a bit of wisdom distilled for me by Dennis Prager years ago. If more people understood this, the world would be a happier place.
It also sounds like he doesn’t have a Bill Cosby type of past, though perhaps researchers are still looking….
In the vein of Limousine Liberals, these athletes might be called something like Masseratti Malcontents – both being motivated by a sense of guilt.
Actually I do understand why this phenomenon would emerge, but they still look bad.
If I were a black activist, I’d tell them to STFU.
Shelby Steele segment starts around the 14:12 mark. Well worth a listen.
For true believers, nothing is out-of-bounds if it ‘gets the conversation started’.
Ala Martin Luther King, a Christian should understand that nothing encourages hate like being hated. Feuds are ended by one or both sides offering mercy and forgiveness; by caring more about the future than the past. Elevating pains to identities does not foster peace for anyone.
Well, if one side unilaterally offers mercy and forgiveness, there’s a real risk of losing valuable parts of one’s life, whether it’s a career, a loved ones, or even that life.
One way to end a fued is to exterminate the enemy, and one side being offered mercy and forgiveness can enable the evildoers, resulting in a world less good, not more.
Not everyone is called to be a martyr. And I don’t recommend it.
Mr. Steele is a very wise man, with real courage. I hope he continues to share his views.
Pay is low and the hours are long.
America is extraordinarily racism-free, even by comparison to what passed for social courtesies in my youth.
Fifty years ago, can one imagine that a middle class WASPy Christian guy like me would have a black man as the best man at his wedding, be father to an ethnic Korean daughter with a German-born black boyfriend, have one son with a native Chinese fiancee and another with a native Polish partner, have among his very closest friends male homosexual, black, Jewish and Indian couples and attend a Baptist church where the congregation is mostly black?
Only in America.
The civil-rights movement of the 1960s did a splendid, dangerous, beautiful thing. Let’s enjoy the fruit of their sacrifices and, as Mr Steele suggests, recognize that there is no oppression in this country.
Except, of course, for the oppression that the left attempts to impose upon WASPy Christian guys like me.
I read this, and reread it again today when I read your post. Thank you. Shelby Steele says little, and conveys a lot.
We taped on episode of Uncommon Knowledge with him last Thursday. It will be out in about a week.
On the other hand, we have a black, professional woman, married to a black, professional man, both of whom earn in the 100K range. The woman thinks Condoleezza Rice is the devil’s spawn, solely due to the fact that she is a Republican. I work closely with that woman, who has a bobble-head doll of the previous president on her desk. I think it’s too bad that many black people seem to be blind to the fact that they are going against their own interests when they support Democrats. They support the civil-rights movement, and totally fail to see that their opponents for 70 years are, and have been, Democrats, not us Republicans.
I don’t consider that to be the main problem. It’s how blacks ostracize the minority within their ranks that support conservative causes, or vote Republican.
Well said. And if these wealthy athletes truly are troubled about inequality or unfair practices that affect people who are poor, why aren’t they donating money to organizations that have decent causes. It is said that there are probably ten thousand people in prison right now, due to lacking a thousand bucks or so to run the DNA found at the crime scene but never examined. That might be a good cause. Or helping families who have sick kids with medical expenses.
It might seem glamorous to be kneeling around in the moments before the game, but surely there are more productive things to do than that.