Sunday, August 23, 2009

Shelby Steele

From Sigmund Carl and Alfred, via Maggie's.

Shelby Steele's essay captures something important, a refinement of an idea that has been hanging around for some time. Minorities are alienated from conservatives not so much on the basis of active discrimination, but because liberals looking like they care about them and go out of their way to try things they think might help. That the things liberals do for minorities range from useless to damaging does not count as much as the appearance of caring. Conservatives, whose very message speaks toward hope through self-reliance rather than group identity, has little it can counter with in that sphere. We know this is what works and will lead to greater freedom. We believe that should be enough, and shading that toward a specifically ethnic or racial appeal would undermine the basic premise.

Candidates, writers, and speakers who aim for redemption, of making up for or at least caring about past injustices, plus those which may continue, resonate strongly with minorities, particularly African-Americans.

Conservatives think this is hypocrisy calculated for votes at worst, and annoyingly useless at best.

Steele says it better.

1 comment:

karrde said...

I've been trying to figure out if there is something worth adding to this...

Does the attitude that Something Must Be Done, with a side dish of The People in Power Must Help, fall under the same kind of Need To Believe that is visited on in the next post?