Behind The Shelby Steele Curtain

5.15.2006
Ore : 9:55 AM

He's a self-made man who's pulled himself up from humble beginnings. He used to be a liberal until he saw the light, a lover of that ever-so-elusive concept of "common sense." He's thoughtful and gentle and "avuncular" -- and so much more, we are informed in Eric Guthmann's gushing stroke piece on the most misunderstood Hoover Institution research fellow ever.

But no matter how assiduously one airbrushes a portrait, some flaws are simply too large to be hidden. Sorry, Shelby, but it's hard to take someone seriously when he is paraphrased as asserting that "black oppression ended with the racial reforms of the 1960s," and then, several paragraphs later, we read:

Looking back, Steele writes in "White Guilt," it was his first taste of being stigmatized by the label "black conservative" -- "one of the worst things you can be in American society." White liberals are offended, white conservatives are embarrassed and blacks feel betrayed.

Not to mention this brain-fart:

"Black identity since the '60s has been a totalitarian identity. It's enforced. And if you don't subscribe to the party line, then you are a betrayer and a dissident, and you are treated as dissidents were treated in the Soviet Union."

[All emphases mon] Um, yeah, Shel, it really sucks that you were tortured by the KGB and sent to a fucking gulag jess fer, well shucks, you know, tryin' to say the same things that MLK and Reverend Jackson have been saying for decades (but with a dash of Hoover Flavor, of course). Thank goodness you get all those day-passes to attend your book-signings...

PS: I'm too zoned out today to figure how to fit these in, but I cannot "Publish Post" without calling attention to the several anecdotes alluded to wherein many nefarious liberals' true colors are revealed and he is forced to side with the Right: the unnamed white colleague who offended his literary standards by suggesting a course in ethnic writing, or, more laughably, the phantom critics who "try to nullify his arguments by pointing out that" his mom and wife are white. To quote that inimitable and justifiably lauded doyenne of American letters (and Nobel Prize winner) Toni Morrison: "Negro, please."

posted by teh l4m3 at 9:55 AM | Permalink |

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Comments for Behind The Shelby Steele Curtain
"Negro, please!"

brilliant!

He does seem to gone odd in the last 8 years.

Something smells pretty foul in here. That Shelby is something else.

You know an argument ain't worth squat when it depends on imaginary opposition. Ol' Shelby might as well start referring to himself in the third person. Is it appropriate to refer to him as a cobag?

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