The Obama Bargain by Shelby Steele

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Shelby Steele, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and the author of “A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can’t Win” wrote an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal about Barack Obama. In his commentary, Steele says “Barack Obama’s candidacy is not qualitatively different from Al Sharpton’s or Jesse Jackson’s. Like these more irascible of his forbearers, Mr. Obama’s run at the presidency is based more on the manipulation of white guilt than on substance. Messrs. Sharpton and Jackson were “challengers,” not bargainers. They intimidated whites and demanded, in the name of historical justice, that they be brought forward. Mr. Obama flatters whites, grants them racial innocence, and hopes to ascend on the back of their gratitude. “ Whether you agree or disagree, the article is thought-provoking and certainly worth reading. On the topic of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Steele writes, ”The fact is that Barack Obama has fellow-traveled with a hate-filled, anti-American black nationalism all his adult life, failing to stand and challenge an ideology that would have no place for his own mother. And what portent of presidential judgment is it to have exposed his two daughters for their entire lives to what is, at the very least, a subtext of anti-white vitriol?

I’d be curious to know what you think about this concept of “racial bargaining.”