Shame

Walter Williams, CNS News, February 17, 2015

Today’s liberals are not racists, but they often behave that way. They would benefit immensely from considering some of the arguments in award-winning scholar Dr. Shelby Steele’s forthcoming book, “Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country.”

Steele, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, explains that in matters of race, there is an ideological vision that completely ignores truth–a vision he calls “poetic truth.” In literature, poetic license takes liberties with grammatical rules, as well as realities, in order to create a more beautiful or powerful effect than would be otherwise possible. Liberals have a poetic commitment to black victimization as the explanation for the many problems affecting a large segment of the black community. The truth that blacks have now achieved a level of freedom comparable to that of others has to be seen as a lie.

People who accept the truth about that freedom are seen as aligning themselves with America’s terrible history of racism. Accepting that racism is still the greatest barrier to black achievement is the only way liberals can prove themselves innocent of racism. Thus, “modern liberalism is grounded in a paradox: it tries to be ‘progressive’ and forward looking by fixing its gaze backward. It insists that America’s shameful past is the best explanation of its current social problems. It looks at the present, but it sees only the past.”

{snip}

Though not politically correct to acknowledge, there are cultural patterns within the black community that keep blacks from achieving true parity with whites. Sociologist Daniel Patrick Moynihan identified these patterns in his 1965 report, titled “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.” Moynihan, who later became a Democratic senator, was condemned as a racist by much of America’s academic establishment for “blaming the victim.” Worse than that, Moynihan’s experience became an object lesson for other social scientists that any research that implies black responsibility for black problems is forbidden.

{snip}

Liberalism is a moral manipulation that exaggerates inequity and unfairness in American life in order to justify overreaching public policies and programs. Liberalism undermines the spirit of self-help and individual responsibility. For liberals in academia, the fact that black college students earn lower grades and have a higher dropout rate than any group besides reservation Indians means that blacks remain stymied and victimized by white racism. Thus, their push for affirmative action and other race-based programs is to assuage their guilt and shame for America’s past by having people around with black skin color. {snip}

Shelby Steele argues that the civil rights movement’s goal was a free society–one not necessarily free of all bigotry but free of illegal discrimination. After that, we minorities should be simply left alone, as opposed to being smothered by the paternalism, inspired by white guilt, that has emerged since the 1960s. {snip}

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  • David Ashton

    Good book – keep up its good work.

  • Though not politically correct to acknowledge, there are cultural patterns within the black community that keep blacks from achieving true parity with whites

    There are also biological patterns within the black community that keep blacks from achieving true parity with whites.

    • It is those biological patterns which drive the cultural patterns.

    • WR_the_realist

      It’s a mixture. There’s is no doubt in my mind that both blacks and whites would be much better off if the enormously destructive cultural changes of the past 50 years were undone. Remember that black illegitimacy rates in the 1950s were lower than the white illegitimacy rates now. The black and white gene pools haven’t changed that much since then, the changes were due to destructive social policies and changing social mores.

  • Easyrhino

    Read a study once about prison inmates and the one thing that the vast majority of inmates, of all races, had in common was that they come from single parent homes.

    When you consider that 70+ % of blacks are born to unwed mothers it’s not a surprise so many end up in prison.

    No doubt “White Privilege” is causing blacks to procreate without the benefit of a marriage license.

    • APaige

      Black people are so criminal that they make single parents look bad. Just like how poverty to blamed for crime, when it is just that so many Blacks are poor and criminal that poverty looks bad because of Blacks.

    • Charles Martel

      A single mom could feed all of the kids she had who survived tropical diseases with no help from a man in sub sahara Africa until whitey brought knowledge of quinine.

    • Who Me?

      A lot of prisoners (of all races) did grow up in single parent households or otherwise dysfunctional homes. The problem is that many of these single parent black homes are headed by very young illiterate high school dropouts who got pregnant at 14, 15 or 16 years old. There is NO WAY a girl of that age can raise a functioning, socially able, contributing member of society by herself–hence the astronomically high rate of black crime. The males impregnate the females and go to jail. The females produce another generation of shiftless ne’er-do-wells. As one social commentator puts it, “Bastard children of bastard children.” When you add in that both teenage parents were of a very low IQ to start with, thus nothing to pass on, and live in a society that ridicules achievement, the black community is filled with hopeless case after hopeless case of human debris that is fit for nothing but separation from society and incarceration from womb to tomb. The only cure for this is sterilization at birth, so far as I can see.

      • meanqueen

        A hundred years ago, white girls that age, together with a husband who was not usually that much older than here, were able to raise a functioning, contributing human being. What happened?

        • Charles Martel

          I think family structure had a lot to do with it. In addition to get a decent job in 1915 – like in a factory – you didn’t need much of an education. Globalization, mechanization and technology (progress, in other words) has changed all that.

        • Spikeygrrl

          “What happened?”

          1. Society and technology got A LOT more complex in a very short span of time. It takes raw IQ of 120+ to keep up.

          2. Somewhere along the way we lost sight of SHAMING as an effective and virtually cost-free curb on social and ethical excesses.

        • Anna Tree

          Instead of parenting kids, parents today want to be their friends. That’s how a “progressive”/modern/loving parent should be… not.

        • Who Me?

          I think it was the “together with a husband” part that might have made the difference… Not to mention that there were usually her mother, his mother, probably sisters on both sides, neighbors, friends, church ladies, and all sorts of other peripheral help and advice available to the young mother that isn’t there today, especially in the black, inner city families. (Now often missing in white, suburban communities as well.)

          • Spikeygrrl

            If they’re teaching “young mothers” they’re already too late.

        • “Together with a husband who was not usually that much older than her”

          Key word being husband. That’s what happened. Or in the case of blacks and increasingly, whites, didn’t happen. The destruction of the family, sped onwards by the filth known as feminism, is leading to the rapid destruction of the world.

      • Charles Martel

        Yes! I’d recommend the book Random Family for an insightful look into the modern ghetto (in this case, Puerto Rican) family

  • JackKrak

    Walter Williams has a thousand times the intellect of any black leftist media idiot out there. Where’s his CNN prime time show?

    • APaige

      Its strange, but you know what I want to do for Blacks? Nothing!
      You know what liberals want to do for Blacks? Everything!
      Blacks are fooled into believing I am the one out to get them and liberals are out to help. Even after liberal policies are proven to be destructive, liberals invent hard to prove theories about why Black social issues are even getting worse.
      Welfare destroyed more Black families in two generations than Whites wearing hoods did in two centuries.

    • Spikeygrrl

      He doesn’t want one. At George Mason University, Williams is as happy as the proverbial “clam at high tide.”

      Thomas Sowell is also happy where he is, having ZERO desire to run for any elective office.Ll
      Such a shame. I otherwise cheerfully would have voted for either or both of these fine scholars

  • JohnEngelman

    Those who blame high rates of black crime and illegitimacy on white racism are blaming me. I am a white man who has often been called a racist.

    However, if I am forcing blacks to commit lots of crimes and to have litters of illegitimate children, I wish someone would tell me what I am doing. I do not want another day to pass with me forcing blacks to behave irresponsibly against their wills.

    • Reynardine

      but but INSTITUTIONAL RACISM and INVISIBLE WHITE PRIVILEGE and WHITE WIZARD MAGIC keeps the black man down!

    • Charles Martel

      You are sending out evil brain washing waves. To stop this think to your self “I wouldn’t kill someone for KFC or sneakers”

  • LHathaway

    “the fact that black college students earn lower grades and have a higher dropout rate than any group besides reservation Indians means that blacks remain stymied and victimized by white racism”.

    Blacks and Indians are quite far apart from one another. Indians supposedly being more closely related to East Asians of the record holding IQs.

    • Charles Martel

      If you could keep them away from booze they would be better off than Hispanics.

  • libertarian1234

    “…….there are cultural patterns within the black community that keep blacks from achieving true parity with whites.”

    He’s right about blacks having a bad culture, but correcting cultural patterns is not going to give blacks parity, especially with whites, because their problems have to do with who they are and their lack of evolvement beyond the hunter/gatherer stage of evolution.

    They’ve accomplished nothing worthwhile for thousands of years and their incompetence extends to every country they occupy in large numbers, which would be expected of any group of people who can’t learn due to group average I.Q. scores that are not much more than the level considered retarded.

    Better communities would certainly help and two parent, stable homes would be beneficial also, but even if they had all that it wouldn’t be a magic pill that would miraculously see them become instantly smart and capable people.

    And their failings go beyond a lack of intelligence. They have very little inventiveness, ingenuity or anything required to build a successful society. To them the most important things involve the here and now.

    They can’t even start up and maintain businesses in their own communities. They have to rely on immigrants to provide groceries, restaurants, laundries and cleaners, hardware stores and the like.

    Then their lack of impulse control kicks in from time to time and they burn those down, without a second thought about what the consequences of their actions might be, and afterwards complain it is due to racism that they have no businesses in their neighborhoods.

    Walter Williams should be advocating the creation of black nation states instead of trying to fit square pegs in round holes.

    • Reynardine

      Sure I’ll let him create a black nation… in Africa…

    • TomIron361

      they burn those down, without a second thought
      _____________________________________
      That’s the theme of the movie, “Do the right thing” directed by Spike Lee. In the end of the movie, the blacks burn down the Pizzeria run by Danny Aiello. Then they stood around and realized, now they don’t have a pizzeria in the neighborhood.

      • Spikeygrrl

        IMO, Lee’s best work ever.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    “Liberalism is a moral manipulation that exaggerates inequity and unfairness in American life in order to justify overreaching public policies and programs. ”

    Let’s not remove the equal blame from blacks who have eagerly played into the Liberals’ hands because they want to get the unearned goodies, handouts and freebies that liberalism has to offer.

    • Alexandra1973

      My thinking is that blacks couldn’t care less who’s in charge, so long as the gravy train keeps rolling. The lot of them are likely ignorant of how government’s supposed to work here.

  • 李冠毅

    This book will change nothing. Many well known books about the damaging effects affirmative action have on minorities have been written. They usually ignite a debate to end racial preferences, but after a while the fuss dies down, and people go back to doing what they’ve been doing before.

  • bv

    Steele will turn on conservatives when the time deems its necessity. Like Powell and other acolytes.

  • Duke56

    “For liberals in academia, the fact that black college students earn
    lower grades and have a higher dropout rate than any group besides
    reservation Indians means that blacks remain stymied and victimized by
    white racism”

    So, let’s let unqualified students in, and be surprised when they fail. And the call goes out to lower standards even more. Imagine the surprise.

  • jayvbellis

    I am afraid this piece comes off as simple Reagan Conservative era nostalgia – a time when honest people were writing and acting on the lies and failures of LBJ’s Great Society. Sure there were some honest black Conservatives, honest sociologists, honest Christians.

    That time has past.

    We now have to organize for the collective defense of our people.

    If we do not, we will suffer the same fate as whites in Algeria or Rhodesia .

  • I would blame black genetics than black people. It’s like you can’t blame baboons for acting the way they do. It’s in their DNA.

    It’s not like blacks are consciously deciding to act worse than others. It’s that blacks are driven to act that way by their genetic makeup.