Thomas Sowell, Jason Riley, Bob Woodson, Walter E Williams and Shelby Steele look at the promises and delivery of politicians representing the ethnic grievance industry. BTW, I LOVE Thomas Sowell’s reaction beginning at the 6:48 mark when he is showed a clip.
And a great discussion a couple years back with Shelby Steele:
Shelby Steele, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and author of Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country , joins Peter Robinson to discuss race relations in the United States. Steele tells stories about growing up in segregated Chicago and the fights he and his family went through to end segregation in their neighborhood schools. He draws upon his own experiences facing racism while growing up in order to inform his opinions on current events. Steele and Robinson go on to discuss more recent African-American movements, including Steele’s thoughts on the NFL protests, Black Lives Matter, and recent rumors about Oprah Winfrey running for office.
In this episode of Life, Liberty, & Levin, Mark Levin interviews author Shelby Steele to criticize how white liberals in the democratic party have a history of telling black people they must rely on them.
Best-selling author Shelby Steele, a veteran of the Civil Rights movement, says the current protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death have no clear objective, and an exclusive focus on police brutality, when the Black community could take more personal responsibility to improve their lot in life. His nearly-nine-minute remarks on Mark Levin’s show run counter to the narrative you hear in the mainstream media. Is the author of “The Content of Our Character” no longer down for the struggle, or does he simply walk the “the road not taken”?
What is the White Privilege Conference? It’s just another avenue for Democrats to cash in using black people. Democrats cashed in on blacks as slaves, now they use the black struggle to gain sympathy for other causes … socialist and communistic goals.
The Daily Caller notes Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas’, observations on racism/bigotry:
Justice Clarence Thomas caused a firestorm last year when he said in a speech that northern liberals are more racist than southern conservatives:
“The worst I have been treated was by northern liberal elites,” he said. “The absolute worst I have ever been treated. The worst things that have been done to me, the worst things that have been said about me, by northern liberal elites, not by the people of Savannah, Georgia.”
…..“My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school,” he said. “To my knowledge, I was the first black kid in Savannah, Georgia, to go to a white school. Rarely did the issue of race come up. Now, name a day it doesn’t come up. Differences in race, differences in sex, somebody doesn’t look at you right, somebody says something. Everybody is sensitive. If I had been as sensitive as that in the 1960s, I’d still be in Savannah. Every person in this room has endured a slight. Every person. Somebody has said something that has hurt their feelings or did something to them — left them out. That’s a part of the deal.”
Nowhere are Thomas’s observations on racial obsession more apropos than American university campuses. At the University of Michigan, for instance, minority students recently cited a black student feeling left out during group assignments as evidence of campus-wide racism…..
The strategy of the State’s Rights Democratic Party failed. Truman was elected and civil rights moved forward with support from both Republicans and Democrats. This begs an answer to the question: So where did the Dixiecrats go? Contrary to legend, it makes no sense for them to join with the Republican Party whose history is replete with civil rights achievements. The answer is, they returned to the Democrat party and rejoined others such as George Wallace, Orval Faubus, Lester Maddox, and Ross Barnett. Interestingly, of the 26 known Dixiecrats (5 governors and 21 senators) only three ever became republicans: Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and Mills E. Godwind, Jr….
Every segregationist who ever served in the Senate was a
Democrat and remained a Democrat except one. Even
Strom Thurmond—the only one who later became a Republican—
remained a Democrat for eighteen years
after running for president as a Dixiecrat. There’s a reason they
were not called the “Dixiecans.”
Ann Coulter, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America
(New York: Crown Publishing, 2011), 174. (Emphasis added) (via Black Republican)
…The segregationists in the Senate, on the other hand, would return to their party and fight against the Civil Rights acts of 1957, 1960 and 1964. Republican President Dwight Eisenhower proffered the first two Acts.
Eventually, politics in the South began to change. The stranglehold that white segregationist democrats once held over the South began to crumble. The “old guard” gave way to a new generation of politicians. The Republican Party saw an opportunity to make in-roads into the southern states appealing to southern voters. However, this southern strategy was not an appeal to segregationists, but to the new political realities emerging in the south.
Conservatives vs. Segregationists
Despite this, and other overwhelming evidence to the contrary, these same “revisionists” would have you believe that conservatives and segregationists are synonymous. This could not be further from the truth. By definition, conservatives today are what were once called “classical liberals”, which Barry Goldwater clearly was. It should be noted here, that although in his latter years Goldwater sounded more like a Libertarian; “classical liberals” believe, among other things, in liberty to reach ones fullest potential, own property, start a business, vote and worship without the assistance or interference of the Federal Government. [FJM has dubbed these the R.I.S.E. principles, which stands for Responsible government, Individual liberty and fidelity, Strong family values and Economic empowerment (See R.I.S.E principles)].
As a matter of historical record, conservatives (classical liberals) have always taken seriously the US Constitution’s limiting of the scope and reach of government. This includes the very nature and letter of the Bill of Rights, especially the tenth amendment.
For example, conservative ideology differs from the segregationists in that segregationist used the tenth amendment to nullify the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments, as well as the Declaration of Independence. An often misrepresented fact is, that Dixiecrats, not Republicans, tried to exalt states rights over the rights guaranteed to African Americans challenging the merits of the 14th amendment section one, which states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” This amendment granted former slaves full citizenship and equal protection under the law, which segregationist tried to deny Blacks through black codes, Jim Crow, lynching and/or a rigged jury.
Additionally, the 15th amendment gave African Americans the right to vote. It states in Section 1. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” Segregationists denied this right through poll taxes and intimidation (the KKK).
The truth is, that “true” conservatives would (did) not agree with the segregationist interpretation of the Constitution, especially that of the tenth amendment. Conservatives, past and present, however do believe in responsible or limited government; but certainly not at the expense of turning the Constitution on its head to do so. Conservatives hold that the Constitution limits the Federal government to the enumerated powers explicit in the document, and therefore the Fed has no power when it tries to move past its constitutional restraints. All other powers belong to the states and the people. Bottom line, a person advocating for state’s rights should be able to do so without being labeled a segregationists. For conservatives, “the rights of the people” include all races, creeds, ethnicities and colors—all U.S. citizens….
Hoover Institution fellow Shelby Steele writes that after the 1960s, “[v]ictimization became so rich a vein of black power—even if it was only the power to ‘extract’ reforms … from the larger society—that it was allowed not only to explain black fate but to explain it totally.” A black conservative, says Steele, “is a black who dissents from the victimization explanation of black fate … when it is made the main theme of group identity and the raison d’être of a group politics.”
Black conservatives represent the antithesis of black leftists, who, for decades, have relentlessly cast African Americans as the perpetual victims of intransigent societal racism; who are intolerant of anyone rejecting the notion of universal black victimization; and who interpret as treason any deviation from their own intellectual orthodoxy. Some examples will serve to illustrate:
In 2002, NAACP chairman Julian Bond referred to Ward Connerly, a black California Board of Regents member who had led the fight to end affirmative action in California’s public sector, as a “fraud” and a “con man.” Bond likened black conservatives in general to “ventriloquists’ dummies” who “speak in their puppet-master’s voice.”
Jesse Jackson has called Ward Connerly a “house slave” and a “puppet of the white man.” He also condemned Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s vote to place limits on affirmative action programs, characterizing Thomas as an “enem[y] of civil rights” and likening his black judicial robes to the white sheets of Klansmen.
In November 1996 the front cover of Emerge, which billed itself as “Black America’s News Magazine,” featured a cartoon depiction of Clarence Thomas alongside the caption: “UNCLE THOMAS: Lawn Jockey for the Far Right.”
The late columnist Carl Rowan sarcastically suggested on July 7, 1991, “If you give [Clarence] Thomas a little flour on his face, you’d think you had [former Klansman] David Duke.”
San Francisco mayor Willie Brown called Justice Thomas not only “a shill and cover for the most insidious form of racism,” but also a man whose views are “legitimizing of the Ku Klux Klan.” Brown added that Thomas “should be reduced to talking only to white conservatives,” and “must be shut out” by the black community.
Time magazine correspondent Jack E. White, denouncing Thomas for his “twisted reasoning and bilious rage,” writes that “the maddening irony” of the Justice’s opposition to affirmative action—an opposition conceived within the confines of what White regards as a deluded “neverland of color-blind philosophizing”—is that “Thomas owes his seat [on the Supreme Court] to precisely the kind of racial preference he goes to such lengths to excoriate.”
The late political scientist Manning Marableasserted that Thomas had “ethnically ceased being an African American.”
Movie director Spike Lee claims that Malcolm X would call Thomas “a handkerchief-head, chicken-and-biscuit-eating Uncle Tom.”
The late author June Jordan characterized Thomas as a “virulent Oreo phenomenon,” a “punk-ass,” and an “Uncle Tom calamity.”
The late Haywood Burns, who was chairman emeritus of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, called Thomas a “counterfeit hero” whose ideals had “crushed or forever deferred” the dreams of millions of blacks.
Columnist Julianne Malveauxtold a television audience, “I hope [Thomas’s] wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter, and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease…. He’s an absolutely reprehensible person.”
From the podium of an NAACP convention, Thomas was denounced as a “pimp” and a “traitor” to the black community.
The Reverend Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference once said he was “ashamed” of Justice Thomas because he “has become to many in the African-American community what Benedict Arnold was to the United States, a deserter; what Judas was to Jesus, a traitor, and what Brutus was to Caesar, an assassin.”
Missouri Democrat William Claysmeared black conservatives as “Negro wanderers” whose goal is to “maim and kill other blacks for the gratification and entertainment of ultraconservative white racists.” Clay described black conservative Gary Franks—when the latter was a Connecticut congressman—as a “Negro Dr. Kevorkian who gleefully assists in suicidal conduct to destroy his own race,” and who exhibits a “‘foot-shuffling, head-scratching ‘Amos and Andy’ brand of ‘Uncle Tom-ism.'”
Former NAACP executive director Benjamin Hooks denounced black conservatives as “a new breed of Uncle Tom” and “some of the biggest liars the world ever saw.”
The late Afrocentric historian John Henrik Clarke called black conservatives “frustrated slaves crawling back to the plantation.”
In 2011, Ivy League professor Cornel West said that conservative black Republican Herman Cain, who had stated that racism was no longer an impediment to black progress in the United States, “needs to get off the symbolic crack pipe and acknowledge that the evidence [of racism in America] is overwhelming.”
Time.com contributor and author Toure Neblet said of Cain: “There is this constant minstrelsy aspect that [he] keeps bringing up…. And yet Cain allows the GOP to have this sort of force where it’s like: ‘Well, we’re not racist. We are supporting this black man.'” He also characterized Cain as a “Clown” and as the “black Sarah Palin.”
Los Angeles Times journalist and contributing editor Erin Aubry Kaplan wrote: “I don’t support conservatism in its current iteration, and I support black conservatives even less…. Here is a man [Herman Cain] who, like most black conservatives, has had to do an awful lot of personal and political rationalizing to pay dues…. It’s hard to imagine that such compromises and cognitive dissonance don’t exact a psychological toll at some point.”
On June 25, 2013, Minnesota state legislator Ryan Patrick Winkler used his Twitter account as a forum for deriding the Supreme Court’s decision (earlier that day) to strike down a section of the Voting Rights Act requiring states to obtain federal preclearance approval of any changes to their election laws and procedures—e.g., the enactment of Voter ID requirements. Tweeted Winkler: “VRA majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas”—a reference to Clarence Thomas.
USA Today columnist Barbara Reynolds once derided Clarence Thomas for having married a white woman: “It may sound bigoted; well, this is a bigoted world and why can’t black people be allowed a little Archie Bunker mentality? … Here’s a man who’s going to decide crucial issues for the country and he has already said no to blacks; he has already said if he can’t paint himself white he’ll think white and marry a white woman.”
Howard University’s Afro-American Studies department chair Russell Adams directed a similar charge against Clarence Thomas: “His marrying a white woman is a sign of his rejection of the black community. Great Justices have had community roots that served as a basis for understanding the Constitution. Clarence’s lack of a sense of community makes his nomination troubling.”
In February 2014, State Rep. Alvin Holmes (D-AL) said of Justice Thomas: “I don’t like him at all because he’s an Uncle Tom.” He also said he disliked Thomas because “he’s married to a white woman.” When another reporter later asked Holmes to explain his remark, Holmes said that he had been misinterpreted: “I said some people might say I didn’t like him because he was married to a white woman.” At that point, he added the “Uncle Tom” comment.
California state Senate Democrat Diane Watson similarly mocked former University of California regent Ward Connerly: “He’s married a white woman. He wants to be white. He wants a colorless society. He has no ethnic pride. He doesn’t want to be black.”
In January 2014, Rev. William Barber II, the head of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, derided Senator Tim Scott (a black Republican representing South Carolina) as a pawn of “the extreme right wing.” “A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” said Barber.
In April 2014, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson called conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom.” When the congressman was subsequently asked by reporter Dana Bash to clarify his comments, the Democrat said that Thomas’s rulings had been “adverse” to the black community. Miss Bash then noted that the term “Uncle Tom” could be viewed as racist and inappropriate if used by a white person. Thompson responded, “But I’m black.” “That makes it OK?” asked Bash. To this, Thompson replied: “I mean, you’re asking me the question, and I’m giving you a response. The people that I represent, for the most part, have a real issue with those decisions — voter ID, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act — all those issues are very important and for someone in the court who’s African American and not sensitive to that is a real problem.”
Because of ubiquitous character assassinations like these, many blacks who otherwise would venture to challenge the prevailing leftist dogmas of our time are prevented from doing so by the fear that they will be branded as sell-outs, “Uncle Toms,” “Oreos,” and race-traitors. Shelby Steele puts it this way:
“Today a public ‘black conservative’ will surely meet a stunning amount of animus, demonization, misunderstanding, and flat-out, undifferentiated contempt. And there is a kind of licensing process involved here in which the black leadership—normally protective even of people like Marion Barry and O.J. Simpson—licenses blacks and whites to have contempt for the black conservative. It is a part of the group’s manipulation of shame to let certain of its members languish outside the perimeter of group protection where even politically correct whites (who normally repress criticism of blacks) can show contempt for them.”
The verdict that declared George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin was a traumatic event for America’s civil-rights establishment, and for many black elites across the media, government and academia. When you have grown used to American institutions being so intimidated by the prospect of black wrath that they invent mushy ideas like “diversity” and “inclusiveness” simply to escape that wrath, then the crisp reading of the law that the Zimmerman jury displayed comes as a shock.
On television in recent weeks you could see black leaders from every background congealing into a chorus of umbrage and complaint. But they weren’t so much outraged at a horrible injustice as they were affronted by the disregard of their own authority. The jury effectively said to them, “You won’t call the tune here. We will work within the law.”
Today’s black leadership pretty much lives off the fumes of moral authority that linger from its glory days in the 1950s and ’60s. The Zimmerman verdict lets us see this and feel a little embarrassed for them. Consider the pathos of a leadership that once transformed the nation now lusting for the conviction of the contrite and mortified George Zimmerman, as if a stint in prison for him would somehow assure more peace and security for black teenagers everywhere. This, despite the fact that nearly one black teenager a day is shot dead on the South Side of Chicago—to name only one city—by another black teenager.
This would not be the first time that a movement begun in profound moral clarity, and that achieved greatness, waned away into a parody of itself—not because it was wrong but because it was successful. Today’s civil-rights leaders have missed the obvious: The success of their forbearers in achieving social transformation denied to them the heroism that was inescapable for a Martin Luther King Jr. or a James Farmer or a Nelson Mandela. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton cannot write a timeless letter to us from a Birmingham jail or walk, as John Lewis did in 1965, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., into a maelstrom of police dogs and billy clubs. That America is no longer here (which is not to say that every trace of it is gone).
The Revs. Jackson and Sharpton have been consigned to a hard fate: They can never be more than redundancies, echoes of the great men they emulate because America has changed. Hard to be a King or Mandela today when your monstrous enemy is no more than the cherubic George Zimmerman.
In the Zimmerman/Martin case the civil-rights establishment is fighting for the poetic truth that white animus toward blacks is still such that a black teenager—Skittles and ice tea in hand—can be shot dead simply for walking home. But actually this establishment is fighting to maintain its authority to wield poetic truth—the authority to tell the larger society how it must think about blacks, how it must respond to them, what it owes them and, then, to brook no argument.
The Zimmerman/Martin tragedy has been explosive because it triggered a fight over authority. Who gets to say what things mean—the supporters of George Zimmerman, who say he acted in self-defense, or the civil-rights establishment that says he profiled and murdered a black child? Here we are. And where is the authority to resolve this? The six-person Florida jury, looking carefully at the evidence, decided that Mr. Zimmerman pulled the trigger in self-defense and not in a fury of racial hatred.
One wants to scream at all those outraged at the Zimmerman verdict: Where is your outrage over the collapse of the black family? Today’s civil-rights leaders swat at mosquitoes like Zimmerman when they have gorillas on their back. Seventy-three percent of all black children are born without fathers married to their mothers. And you want to bring the nation to a standstill over George Zimmerman?
There are vast career opportunities, money and political power to be gleaned from the specter of Mr. Zimmerman as a racial profiler/murderer; but there is only hard and selfless work to be done in tackling an illegitimacy rate that threatens to consign blacks to something like permanent inferiority. If there is anything good to be drawn from the Zimmerman/Martin tragedy, it is only the further revelation of the corruption and irrelevance of today’s civil-rights leadership.
One of the producers for this movie, Gerald R. Molen, produced: Rain Man, Minority Report, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, and Days of Thunder to name a few of his bigger movies.
I didn’t realize Shelby Steele was in the documentary, this was a pleasant surprise. Something Steele mentioned about why some people voted for Obama brought to mind a section in David Mamet’s book that I will quote in its full context, but know that the last sentence is the main point (Remember that Mamet either wrote, produced, or directed some of these hits: Glengarry Glen Ross, The Untouchables, Hannibal, House of Games, American Buffalo):
————————————————— One might say that the politician, the doctor, and the dramatist make their living from human misery; the doctor in attempting to alleviate it, the politician to capitalize on it, and the dramatist, to describe it.
But perhaps that is too epigrammatic.
When I was young, there was a period in American drama in which the writers strove to free themselves of the question of character.
Protagonists of their worthy plays had made no choices, but were afflicted by a condition not of their making; and this condition, homosexuality, illness, being a woman, etc., was the center of the play. As these protagonists had made no choices, they were in a state of innocence. They had not acted, so they could not have sinned.
A play is basically an exercise in the raising, lowering, and altering of expectations (such known, collectively, as the Plot); but these plays dealt not with expectations (how could they, for the state of the protagonist was not going to change?) but with sympathy.
What these audiences were witnessing was not a drama, but a troublesome human condition displayed as an attraction. This was, formerly, known as a freak show.
The subjects of these dramas were bearing burdens not of their choosing, as do we all. But misfortune, in life, we know, deserves forbearance on the part of the unafflicted. For though the display of courage in the face of adversity is worthy of all respect, the display of that respect by the unaffected is presumptuous and patronizing.
One does not gain merit from congratulating an afflicted person for his courage. One only gains entertainment.
Further, endorsement of the courage of the affliction play’s hero was not merely impertinent, but, more basically, spurious, as applause was vouchsafed not to a worthy stoic, but to an actor portraying him.
These plays were an (unfortunate) by-product of the contemporary love-of-the-victim. For a victim, as above, is pure, and cannot have sinned; and one, by endorsing him, may perhaps gain, by magic, part of his incontrovertible status. ~ David Mamet