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Quote of the Day: Shelby Steele on the Left’s Hatred
Shelby Steele’s September 24 Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal is worthy of being quoted in its entirety, because every sentence is quotable. But I chose a couple of the choicest parts. Steele opines that the left’s descent into hatred started in the 1960s, when:
Published in Politics
America finally accepted that slavery and segregation were profound moral failings. That acceptance changed America forever. It imposed a new moral imperative: America would have to show itself redeemed of these immoralities in order to stand as a legitimate democracy. The genius of the left in the ’60s was simply to perceive the new moral imperative, and then to identify itself with it. Thus the labor of redeeming the nation from its immoral past would fall on the left. The left … would set the terms of this legitimacy and deliver America from shame to decency.
…[So, the left] established the great menace of racism as American’s most intolerable disgrace. But the left’s success has plunged it into its greatest crisis since the ’60s. The Achilles’ heel of the left has been its dependence on menace for power…. But what happens when the evils that menace us begin to fade, and then keep fading?… The left’s unspoken terror is that racism is no longer menacing enough to support its own power. The great crisis for the left today — the source of its angst and hatefulness — is its own encroaching obsolescence.
Hatred is a transformative power. It can make the innocuous into the menacing. So it has become a weapon of choice. The left has used hate to transform President Trump into a symbol of the new racism, not a flawed president but a systemic evil. And he must be opposed as one opposes racism, with a scorched-earth absolutism.
That makes a lot of sense to me. Rebels without a cause, so they have to invent one. Thanks for the quote.
Speaking as an outsider (British), I would suggest that there is method in Democrat madness.
Democrats need 90% of the Afro-American vote to regain power, which is why they are obsessed with racism. But racism is no longer the primary concern of the Afro-American electorate and cannot therefore drive the Democrat narrative.
What the Democrats are doing now with the race label is attacking and shaming whites. This of course triggers me personally: I am white, proud of it and I’ll be damned if I am going to feel privileged, much less ashamed of my race.
What the Democrats are trying to do is obviously to provoke white voters to defend their race (as I do) and fall into the trap of declaring their pride in their origins (as I do), which will allow Democrats to charge them with expressing some form of racial superiority (which, for the British, is a given. Not even debatable.)
With luck (for the Democrats), the white backlash will turn violent, which would give the Democrats game, set and match.
I don’t see this happening, but that’s their reasoning.
Maybe, but at this moment they are trying to pick up the womyn vote. The womyn minority make up the majority of the electorate. If they can get these people to vote Democrat as a block they will be hard to stop. Basically the Democrats have placed themselves as the Party that champions the minority with basically white men as the Republican majority and the Democrats as everybody else.
You shouldn’t have left out the headline of the article: “Why the Left is Consumed with Hate.” The article wouldn’t have been nearly so effective without that headline.
Here are a couple of the comments I left on the WSJ in response to that article:
and in response to someone saying he didn’t buy the line that the leftwingers started out by meaning well:
When it comes to racism, the Left are like a “one hit wonder” band. They had a great successes in the 1960’s, and by the 1970’s racism was essentially gone. Like the TV commercial during the 1970’s, Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell were highly regarded. When they talked about racism, even the Left couldn’t say negative things about them.
So Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton were needed to counter Steele and Sowell.
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Democrats have not only become rebels without a cause, but in the case of racism they must be haunted by their past, as the party of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, etc.
The problem is that northern progressives were deeply racist and Southern Democrats were of course the party of slavery, the KKK and Jim Crow. So maybe it is redemption but they project it on those who were not central to the problems and those who fought against it. Moreover they, progressives and some Democrats, are still racist but they found a way to use it for power. They may call things the legacy of slavery but what they mean is that blacks can’t compete, so they get to make up for it by imposing costs on others so they can buy support from black leaders who go along with the scam. Moreover, the left is full of haters; who knows why they hate but the haters become progressives and those become Democrats.
Two interesting facts that the left never acknowledges. First, those of the left are predominately white! So they are denigrating themselves! And they studiously ignore the Democrat history of being the party of slavery and oppression in the South. Their sordid past never seems to haunt them, as they seek to destroy the white race in America.
I’m sure you meant “basically whyte men” . . .
Yeah, but the left isn’t, you know, “white”-white. /sarc
Also, as Michael Vlahos has pointed out, the slaveocracy was the largest sector of the pre Civil War U.S. economy. Therefore servicing the financial needs of the slave owning elites was the bread and butter of the financial sector, then as now centered in NYC.
That was one reason New York voted twice against Lincoln; another was the opposition of the Irish – who realized that as workers at the low end of the labor market, freed slaves would be competition – to the war, the military draft and to Emancipation.
So by 1860 the Democrat Party was an alliance of the financial elites and the underclass, and used race baiting and the dilution of votes, including by manipulating the census (the 3/5 compromise, by counting slaves – non-citizens – increased Democrat representation in the House) to acquire and keep political power. Gee, where have I seen that before.
If you haven’t see it, don’t miss this interview we did with Shelby last winter. We cover a lot of what your are discussing in this post (Shelby is nothing if not prescient):
Since the Left has no grounding in logic, their continual brainwashed bleatings make no sense.
Certainly the Ludicrous Left has put the rest of us to shame over the amount of time that is spent by each of their members in considering with great empathy and sympathy every historical atrocity out there.
Where most people are busy interacting with real people and attempting to make a living, the Ludicrous Left is busy crying over the centuries of slavery, the mistreatment of poor Mexicans by Conquistadors, the plantation system, the genocide nearly experienced by native Americans and on and on. Yet I am not sure what actions any of them take.
If there really were only 140 destitute Hondurans with crying babies at our borders, the members of any number of Baptists Church congregations would charter buses and go off and help them. Just as my step daughter went off last year to help villagers in Africa have clean water. (On her own dime, although her church organized the activities.)
But for the Ludicrous Left, their constant fixation on having endless emotional distress seemingly trumps any need on their behalf to do a damn thing about any of this. If they want reparations to be made to descendants of slaves or to Native Americans, no one is stopping them from their tithing a portion of their salaries to such causes. Yet I know of not a single one of them doing this.
D’Souza recently made sport of an Amherst student who was caught up in charges that “all Americans” should be willing to make reparations for the white man’s activities of the past. When D’Souza asked whether tomorrow the young man would not go into Amherst’s admissions office and resign from said college, with a stipulation that some disadvantaged person take his place, that student suddenly insisted he had a right to think about his survival.