Mr. Steele stated that as long as Affirmative Action is in place, all blacks share the stigma of having not succeeded on their own merits, but were promoted only because of Affirmative Action. Mr. Steele maintains as long as that policy is in place, blacks individual will never be viewed, or perhaps even know themselves, whether their accomplishments were real or artificial.
He also made a point that blacks can't blame racism or other external factors for the fact black children entering kindergarten are already two years behind white children. They don't know their colors, numbers, letters, nor have they been read to as much as white children. That poor start, Steele says, can not be blamed on anyone but black parents. Comments like those may relegate him to concert tours with Bill Cosby.
I'm not a regular reader of Newsweek, but it arrives at home with 12 other subscriptions courtesy of unused Delta Miles. George Will's article will appear in the June 5 issue. In online editions appearing early on MSNBC's website, George Will wrote:
So, being black conferred "an almost reckless moral authority," a "power of racial privilege." The "power to shame, silence and muscle concessions from the larger society" was black power. The demand for equal rights became a demand for "the redistribution of responsibility for black advancement from black to white America, from the 'victims' to the 'guilty'."George Will claims the book can be read in two hours. Bill Cosby believes too many blacks can't read it. Shelby Steele wants black parents to read it to their kids. Jesse Jackson wants whites to read it and give blacks credit for it.
Hence the black militancy's proclaiming "black power" was really an exercise in the power of helplessness. It was an assertion of white powerwhite society's power to "take" (LBJ's telling word) blacks to social equality. Hence "black power" was actually a denial of the power of blacks to manage their own escape from an intractable inferiority.
"By the mid-sixties," Steele writes, "white guilt was eliciting an entirely new kind of black leadership, not selfless men like King who appealed to the nation's moral character but smaller men, bargainers, bluffers and haranguersnot moralists but specialists in moral indignationwho could set up a trade with white guilt."