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The First Affirmative Action Candidate By: Joseph Puder
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, January 18, 2008


  Shelby Steele, an African-American research fellow at Stanford University Hoover Institute and author of White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era pointed out that, “By the mid-sixties White Guilt was eliciting an entirely new kind of Black leadership, not selfless men like Martin Luther King who appealed to the nation’s moral character but smaller men, bargainers, bluffers, and haranguers - not moralists but specialists in moral indignation - who would set up a trade with White Guilt.” 

  Barack Hussein Obama is different from previous African-American presidential contenders - he understands that the key to the U.S. presidency and power is making deals with the White-American establishment. Unlike Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, characterized by Shelby Steele as “bluffers and haranguers,” and, one might add, extortionists who trade in White guilt for personal gain, Obama is more of a “bargainer.”  His appeal to White America is that he is not overtly trading on White guilt but at the same time he and his aides know that White America seeks moral legitimacy, and his bargain is in promising to provide such legitimacy in exchange for power.  It is far more sophisticated a bargain than previous Black leaders have had with White America. 

  To the adoring eyes of the liberal mass media, Obama is the closest expression of a rock star, if not a “black messiah.”  While every white candidate is scrutinized and criticized, Obama remains “beyond criticism.”  Had any white candidate, with less than three years experience in the national arena declared himself a candidate for the presidency, especially at the tender age of 46, he/she would have been ridiculed.  The media’s collective white guilt with its derivative of “political correctness,” does not seek articulation on policy or substance from Obama.  It does not demand answers as to how he would tackle Iran’s terrorist aggression and nuclear pursuits, or ideas on how to grow the U.S. economy? His generalized “vision” is sufficient for the liberal media.  The white liberal media would love a black president in order to end the perceived stigma of white institutional racism - a way to cleanse the soul and regain moral legitimacy.  

  There is little difference between the rhetoric of Obama and the white candidates.  They all speak of hope and change. Why should Obama’s words be more believable, legitimate or acceptable? The answer is white guilt. 

  American institutions tainted with white guilt are ready to dispense with justice for what they perceive as the higher goal of attaining moral legitimacy.  The charge of racism in contemporary America is probably the most intimidating, if not the most ruinous, to white people's careers.  The case of O.J. Simpson illustrated to perfection how America has gone from one extreme to the other.   Shelby Steele writes, “In 1955 the murderers of Emmet Till, a black Mississippi youth, were acquitted of their crime, undoubtedly because they were white.  Forty years later, O.J. Simpson, who many thought would be charged with the murder of his white wife and Ron Goldman, by virtue of the DNA evidence against him, was also acquitted after his black attorney (Johnny Cochran) portrayed him as a victim of racism.” 

  Steele observed that, “Because white guilt is a vacuum of moral authority, it makes the moral authority of whites and the legitimacy of American institutions contingent on proving a negative: that they are not racist…Whites and American institutions are stigmatized as racist until proven otherwise.”  Political parties and universities “not only declare their devotion to diversity but also use racial preferences to increase the visibility of minorities so as to refute the racist stigma,” Steele added.  This is especially apparent within the Democratic Party, where support for racial preferences is widespread and pandering to African-Americans votes is routine.  

 The blind support and almost universal cheering of college students for Obama is a by-product of years of indoctrination on college campuses (especially Ivy League universities) under the stern eyes of faculty and administrative “political correctors,” who bar the teaching of Western Civilization and bash Europeans as imperialists, oppressors and racists.  It seems as if American college students have been groomed to cheer a black presidential candidate thereby providing them with a small measure of ablution from their “racist sins.”  Unfortunately, they were not trained to apply universal moral standards and sound judgment when analyzing issues and individuals.  Rather, their worldview is seen through the limited prism of white guilt.  The outcome of which is that white America, Europe and Israel are tainted with sin, and blacks, Muslims and those of the third-world are victims, and therefore virtuous regardless of their actions or motivations. 

  America, it appears to Shelby Steele, is governed by this “white guilt” and, it is destructive to blacks and whites alike. “Whites and American institutions” he argues, “live by a simple formula: lessening responsibility for minorities equals moral authority; increasing it equals racism.  This is a formula that locks whites into publicly supporting affirmative action even as they privately dislike it.” 

  It also stigmatizes black excellence.

  Can you imagine proclamations posted on the church websites of the white presidential candidates (Protestant or Catholic), proclaiming that they are “unashamedly white?”  Seems Obama’s pastor; Rev. Jeremiah Wright of the Chicago Trinity United Church (of which Obama has been a member of since 1988) is quoted as stating that he is “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian.” Rev. Wright, whom Obama credits with being the inspiration for his book, The Audacity of Hope, subscribes to what he calls the “Black Value System.” Does Obama also subscribe to this value system?  Obama has distanced himself from Wright’s decision to present an award to Louis Farrakhan, but he has not otherwise distanced himself from this black radical pastor.

 Obama’s revered pastor considers “Middle Classness” (which Obama claims to extol) a way for American (white) society to “snare” blacks rather than “killing them off directly or placing them in concentration camps.”   In sermons and interviews, Wright has claimed that Zionism equals racism and has equated Israel with apartheid-era South Africa.  Following 9/11, Wright charged that the attack on America was a consequence of violent American policies, and later suggested that the murder of 3,000 Americans was “retribution for America’s racism.” At the kick-off of Obama’s presidential campaign on February 10, 2007, Wright was asked to stay away. He responded: “When Obama’s enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli to visit Col. Muammer el-Qaddafi with the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in Hell.”

  Obama’s pastor Rev. Wright is a race-monger, but you will not discover that from the mainstream liberal media. What you will find in the liberal media is an unrestrained attack on Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion, but little about the racism and anti-Semitism of Rev. Wright.  Obama’s brilliant academic background will be extolled, while, for example, Romney’s extensive experience in government and business will be downplayed.    

  In the final analysis one must ask the simple question: In a color-blind society, devoid of white guilt, does an inexperienced, untried, albeit bright contender like Obama, deserve to be president in contrast to Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Rudi Giuliani – candidates who are equally as bright and have far greater experience? To vote on any other basis would be racist.




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