Shelby Steele Tells Conservatives to Have a Clear Conscience on Racism.
But perhaps the saddest notion of all is the idea that Steele is not a cipher in a "white struggles of conscience." For Steele, who is hired to say things such as, "white Americans have made more moral progress in the last 40 years than any people in the history of the human conditions," there can be little doubt of his role, which is to assuage conservatives struggling with their conscience that the minorities they alienate are pathetic creatures easily flattered by "redemptive liberalism." Steele is correct that too often liberals have sought policies that might alleviate guilt rather than achieve progress, but his persistent myth is that conservatives do not feel such guilt, and therefore they are free to respect people as "individuals." If that were true, they wouldn't need Steele to convince them that there was nothing to feel guilty about. Steele is not free from "white struggles of conscience." As the sole black voice telling conservatives they have no racial past to be ashamed of, he is inexorably tied to them. And what's really sad is he clearly has no idea.