Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Mind-Boggling Tale Of Warped Thinking By A Black Conservative - Shelby Steele Gets It Wrong On Obama But He Can't Admit It

After making a nice bit of change on the lecture and book tour circuit proclaiming that Barack Obama could not win the presidency because he was too black-identified, Steele has reversed course now that Obama has won. Dismissing his own words and book tag line, now Obama is some kind of masterful Uncle Tom who "bargained" with white folks to get elected. Further, Obama gets no credit for running an inspired campaign or winning the election, it's the socio-cultural growth of white folks and their unwillingness to be labeled as racist that inspired them to vote for a black man. In Steele's view, its white citizens that really deserves the credit for Obama's victory.

Mr. Steele's argument is so circular that he could bite himself on his own ass. Barack Obama won a landslide victory, over 90% of the Black vote, over 60% of the Hispanic vote and nearly 50% of the White vote, but in Steele's view the only thing that matters is the white vote. If Obama was "bargaining" with white folks, why didn't Blacks and Latinos recognize his so-called double-dealings and reject his candidacy? Even if you agree with Steele's "bargaining" argument, Obama would not be the first person of color to try to gain acceptance with whites on their terms in order to get something they desired. And what exactly makes that an idea unique to people of color, sound like plain old politics to me.

What I find interesting and unbelievable is that this dude isn't being completely clowned by everyone for his completely off-base, incorrect, and unfounded analysis. The fact that he is still getting paid too spew this baloney slays me. No one should be listening to another thing Shelby Steele has to say until he fesses up and admits that he was wrong as hell.


Siditty November 22, 2008 at 5:59 AM  

Shelby Steele is a hot mess, and he is why black republicans will never get their due. When you have folks like this representing you, it just confirms the stereotype of the sell-out arrogant "house negro". Can we still say "house negro" after this week?

Kit (Keep It Trill) November 22, 2008 at 10:27 AM  

Prof. Tracey, I'll give you two jellybeans. One is pink and one is purple. They only difference is color, not taste. Remember this.


I had a feeling you read the pro-black, progressive, hard left Black Agenda Report, and checked your links. It's there.

Now, I can't stand Shelby Steele; Armstrong Williams, Juan Williams, Harold Ford, Erik Rush, etc.

However, it's interesting to note that diametrically opposed thinkers have come to the same conclusion.

Strictly as an analytical, intellectual exercise, how does one who hates one group but favors the other reconcile this form of double think?

Now think of the jellybeans.

Professor Tracey November 22, 2008 at 11:39 AM  

Siditty -

LOL! That's a good question! I prefer bitch nigga anyway! LOL!

K.I.T. -

I love how you put things! Excellent analysis and visualization.

GoldenAh November 22, 2008 at 4:58 PM  

I haven't read much of anything by Mr. Steele. Do you know he has a twin that's a bit more centrist? Surprised me when I found that out. They have a white mother / black father thing going on.

Not to defend the man, but I think his point of view is generational - along with cynical and mercenary. Steele counted on whites to be rigidly and stagnantly racist. Obviously, they proved to be flexible, in as much able to change based on self-interest, more so than even he realized.

He's guilty of stereotyping everybody.

I cannot even pretend to know how the nation's under-30 crowd thinks. I know my mindset to be different on a number of issues. Obama won the under-45 or 55 vote of almost everyone. It's about age more than race.

Plus when MLK was picked to helm the latest push of the Civil Rights movement, a lot of the older generation were saying: "We're not ready." I was surprised to learn he got a lot of resistance from black people back then.

Life's funny, what?

Faith November 22, 2008 at 5:38 PM  

Shelby Steele - confused and and anxious race hustler. He believes in Black inferiority and therefore his own. He has to push the racism agenda because of his limited views, but he wishes he could have had a plan and vision and character like Obama. He is the one who always sidling up to white people but they can see the phoniness and desperation so they keep him at a distance, but they'll use him if it suits their purposes. He wants to advance but doesn't want any other Black people getting there before him and would do everything to knock them out of the way so he can be head pet negro. He'll never be his own person because of it. He is the polar opposite of the ghetto thug but has the same mindset but he thinks he's better because he wears a suit. He's just as damaged and should be avoided at all costs.

Sharifa November 22, 2008 at 8:03 PM  

Thanks for this post. Yeah, I saw the book in the bookstore a while back, and saw Mr. Steele discussing it at a bookstore on C-Span--in front of a largely white audience, which always makes me cringe. What struck me, like the commentor before me, was Steele's characterization of Obama as a negotiator, as a black man who does not intimidate whites, or confront them about their racism, who makes them feel better about themselves, without discussing or seeming to acknowldge how he himself fulfills that role for conservative white folk.

I'd be interested in hearing/reading any confrontations or editorials directed at Mr. Steele in the wake of Obama's victory.

bbgcmac November 25, 2008 at 11:17 AM  


I did a piece on this MARK too. He's a modern day Buckwheat!

And you know he's tryin to push that crow aside.

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