Obama and Our Post-Modern Race Problem
By Shelby Steele
The article begins with this premise:
America still has a race problem, though not the one that conventional wisdom would suggest: the racism of whites toward blacks. Old fashioned white racism has lost its legitimacy in the world and become an almost universal disgrace.
The problem is that the premise isn’t true. Either the author is being dishonest for political reasons or he simply is uninformed. It doesn’t really matter which. Polls, statistics and psychological research prove beyond the slightest doubt that racism still exists and still influences people. Yes, racism is less overt, but that isn’t what the author stated.
The rest of the article takes this race denial position and runs with it. For the most part, the article is just ideological preaching to the choir… which is fine for whatever it’s worth. My gripe is that it lacks substance or insight. Combined with the beginning false premise, the author can accomplish nothing other than spinning a pretty web of rhetoric. He even trots out good ol’ Reagan as if that will scare away all the boogeymen.
I don’t care if an ideological hack wants to write propaganda for the GOP. More power to him. But on the level of intellectual respectability this article is both sad and disappointing. This is the best to be offered by the “senior research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution”. Really?
It irritates me. The author hasn’t added any new insight, hasn’t made any reasonable arguments. The worst part is just the false premise. Shouldn’t someone who is apparently a respectable scholar actually do some research on a subject before making absolute statements? It’s easy to dismiss racism, but back up your assertions.
I don’t mind Obama being criticized. I love good criticism, but the only insightful criticism of Obama that I’ve seen actually has come from liberals (Cenk Uygur, Bill Maher, etc). Conservatives have just been playing the role of obstructionists and so they feel obligated to simply repeat the party line. The author of this article hasn’t said anything that a hundred other conservatives have said. Yes, I understand. Republicans don’t like Obama. Okay, now forget the political talking points and please some conservative come forward with some original thoughts. Quit trying to look good for future elections and just for one moment say something honest, something authentic.
Where are the intelligent conservatives?