July 30, 2012
What Role Will White Guilt Play in the 2012 Election?
The unintended consequence of the white guilt vote for Obama in '08 is in the impact it's had on those most hurt by the president's economic policies: poor urban blacks. In his book White Guilt: How Blacks & Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era, Shelby Steele called white guilt "perhaps the greatest source of political, social and cultural power in the late twentieth century" (p. 96, Harper Collins, 2006). [I] know it [white guilt] to be something very specific: the vacuum of moral authority that comes from simply knowing that one's race is associated with racism. Whites (and American institutions) must acknowledge historical racism to show themselves redeemed of it, but once they acknowledge it they lose moral authority over everything having to do with race, equality, social justice, poverty, and so on. They step into a void of vulnerability. The authority they lose transfers to the 'victims' of historical racism and becomes their great power in...(Read Full Article)