Shelby Steele gets to the core of the matter: The Content of Our Character

By Shelby Steele, Peter M. Robinson

The following interview by Peter Robinson, conducted April 30, 1996, gets to the core of what’s going on in America right now regarding “racisim,” “black lives matter,” “white guilt” and more.  Shelby Steele’s book “The Content of Our Character” nails it. See for yourself in this short interview below…

ROBINSON:  You argue in your book The Content of Our Character that the civil rights movement has gone badly wrong. In what way?

STEELE (featured in photo):  The mistake that grew out of America’s desire to fix the racial problem was that it inadvertently made victimization itself a kind of currency of power. Victimization now brings certain benefits, preferences, and entitlements. By rewarding victimization, we encouraged people to think of themselves as victims.

ROBINSON:  I want to make certain I understand your use of the term. What exactly do you mean by victimization?

STEELE:  Having to make your historical experience of injustice—of victimization—the centerpiece of your cultural and group identity. Blacks today are freer than at any time in our entire history, yet our identity is more grounded in victimization than ever.



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