04 May 2006

"It's the guilt, stupid!"

You ever have one of those huge 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzles when you were a kid? It would take up an entire dining room table. Usually they were pictures of landscapes or of major architectural exhibits - The Eiffel Tower, The Pyramids, or London's Big Ben.

And with the bigger jigsaw kits, the pieces were always tiny.

Sometimes I'd spend days searching for just one piece. It could be maddening.

But then there were times when I'd find just the right one and ~ VoiƄ! ~ that one piece, so elusive, so buried - would spring a chain reaction of discovery into motion and I'd quickly string together 100 pieces.

I draw this analogy to a piece published in the WSJ op-ed pages on May 2. It's entitled "White Guilt and the Western Past" and was written by Shelby Steele. He is a research fellow at the Hoover Institute.

After World War II, revolutions across the globe, from India to Algeria and from Indonesia to the American civil rights revolution, defeated the authority inherent in white supremacy, if not the idea itself. And this defeat exacted a price: the West was left stigmatized by its sins. Today, the white West--like Germany after the Nazi defeat--lives in a kind of secular penitence in which the slightest echo of past sins brings down withering condemnation. There is now a cloud over white skin where there once was unquestioned authority.

Shelby's article identifies guilt as the primary mechanism of social manipulation. I mean manipulation in its pejorative use - as a manner of coercion. The Left, immediately after Stalin became an "ism", began to use this technique in its political discourse. The Leftists, especially during the 1960's, recognized that using collective guilt assuaged the feelings of the 'victims' while pushing the 'offenders' into a defensive stance. It also had the added benefit of adding legitimacy to one side, and disenfranchising the other. Thus today, we still see the images of Che Guevara emblazened upon t-shirts and bumper stickers. We still hear Leftist tools mouthing the faded slogans from a faded manifesto - "Imperialists!", "America - No Blood For Oil!" In the 60's, the mouthpieces of socialism, intent on establishing a communist utopia, stepped up and pointed a damning finger at white people and got the liberal media to amplify their messages of condemnation. All as a ploy to destabilize our nation. To a major extent it worked. And we see how white males no longer have a voice. If you are white and express your opinions you are automatically considered suspect. You don't have legitimacy.

Shelby Steele
Shelby Steele is black. The fact that the writer is black makes a difference in people's perceptions. Should it?


If he was white and wrote this article, then the NAACP and every other media whore would be up in arms and demanding the the WSJ quit using him for their op-ed section. Mr. Steele is a research fellow on race relations. Do you think that the Hoover Institue would hire a white man as a fellow in their race relations department? No. You have to be a member of an 'oppressed' minority group to have such a distinguished position.

In Iraq, America is fighting as much for the legitimacy of its war effort as for victory in war. In fact, legitimacy may be the more important goal. If a military victory makes us look like an imperialist nation bent on occupying and raping the resources of a poor brown nation, then victory would mean less because it would have no legitimacy.

We did make major inroads into equality - the Civil Rights Act was passed, segregation was eliminated and educational opportunities were opened.

So here we are now. Dare I say we have evolved? We are enlightened and emboldened. America is a different than the rest of the world in that we aren't a nation of Swedes, or Nigerians or Irish - we can't unify ourselves by embracing an ethnic or racial identity. Our cohesion and identity are founded in our Constitution, in our Democracy, in our American Flag, in our American History and in our National English Language. America was, and is, the Great Experiment.

It is time to release ourselves from the bondage of guilt and illegitimacy. We are all here together and we need to work together to make this a better world. But let's start with our country first and then worry about helping everyone else.

No more guilt - no more excuses.

UPDATE: Here's what I'm talking about. At the time of this post, Zacarias Moussaoui was exonerated from the Death Penalty and given life in prison. He gets a life sentence for murdering 2,700 people. He was spared because he "had an abusive father" and because he was of Moroccan (African) descent.
Now, look what happened to Timothy McVeigh who was convicted of murdering 168 people in Oklahoma City. Timothy McVeigh was put to death on June 11, 2001. Moussaoui should die but won't because our justice system is rife with cowardice, moral confusion ~ and guilt.


Sabian said...

Sometimes I feel as if we are led by the French.

Anonymous said...

Moussaui craved execution.He figured dying at the hands of the state(America)would establish him as a martyr.Take my word for it,the last thing he wants is to spend the next 30-40yrs in a 5x7 cell in solitary confinement.And even though McVeigh got executed,Terry Nichols is alive and well in a federal prison.There are parallels.Neither will become political martyrs while in prison.Both will be sad footnotes in world and American history.I wish them both long,misrable,and anguished lives.