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THE GODFATHER OF SOUL SEARCHING

January 14, 2008

In his conversation with Bill Moyers on this week’s JOURNAL, scholar Shelby Steele said the following:

I am black and happy to be so, but my identity is not my master. I’m my master. And I resent this civil rights leadership telling me what I should think and what issues I should support this way or that way. And that’s where, in black America, identity has become almost totalitarian… You [must] subscribe to the idea that the essence of blackness is grounded in grievance, and if you vary from that you are letting whites off the hook. And we’re gonna call you a sell out. We’re gonna call you an ‘Uncle Tom’… I was gonna have a life or I was just going to be a kind of surrogate for blackness… but you enter an exile where the group identifies you as someone who is a threat, and part of being black is despising or having contempt for people like me.

If you’ve seen the film, you know how much respect I have for Dr. Steele, and his opinions over the past 30+ years..So as I walk down the path of lest resistnce (as does he), I’ll leave you with a personal quote…

A PERSON IS MEASURED IN LIFE BY WHO STANDS WITH THEM NOT WHO IS AGAINST THEM!

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