By Shelby Steele
In 1955 the killers of Emmett until, a black Mississippi adolescence, have been acquitted simply because they have been white. 40 years later, regardless of the robust DNA proof opposed to him, accused assassin O. J. Simpson went unfastened after his legal professional portrayed him as a sufferer of racism. The age of white supremacy has given solution to an age of white guilt—and neither has been strong for African americans.
via articulate research and engrossing memories, acclaimed race family members student Shelby Steele sounds a robust demand a brand new tradition of non-public accountability.
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Additional resources for White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era (P.S.)
If President Johnson’s Howard University speech meticulously spelled out white America’s responsibility for black uplift, there was not a single reference to black responsibility. Even though the president was about to spend billions of dollars on blacks, he still lacked the moral authority to spell out the ways blacks needed to be responsible for their own advancement. It was a classic white-guilt speech, implying that racial inequities are overcome solely by the efforts of whites and American institutions.
If we can just get together, squeeze ourselves into some sort of “unity,” we can overcome. But racial unity is politically self-defeating in freedom, since it leaves the nicely unified race to be taken for granted by power. Freedom can be seized only by individuals. And the fact is that we blacks are free. It was of course white guilt that enforced greater freedom for blacks. In the thirty years since I had seen it so clearly on Dr. WHITE GUILT 27 McCabe’s face, white guilt had generated a new social morality in America that made racial prejudice utterly illegitimate.
It fell to people like Dick Gregory and the new generation of militant black leaders to up the ante on white guilt by “hipping” us to the concept of racism as a determinism, as opposed to racism as a mere event. It fell to them, in other words, to invoke a new black consciousness. Our centurieslong symbiotic relationship to white America had evolved, yet again, this time with the advent of white guilt. And our group consciousness needed a strategic update. How to be black in a world of white guilt?