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White Guilt: How Blacks & Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era

Wednesday May 2006


Shelby Steele Research Fellow, Hoover Institution; and Contributing Editor, Harper's

Since the 1960s, through calls for diversity and affirmative action programs, our governments and universities have assumed historical responsibility for the problems of black Americans. But, argues Dr. Shelby Steele, this stigmatizes the very people it claims to help, defining black Americans as victims, never as equals.

This phenomenon, which Dr. Steele calls white guilt, enables whites to keep up appearances, to feel righteous and to acquire an easy moral authority--all without addressing the real underlying problems of African Americans. In response, Dr. Steele calls for a new culture of personal responsibility.