The reliance by civil rights leaders on victimization to advance their agendas while the black family disintegrates is worse than during the days of Jim Crow laws, Hoover Institution fellow Shelby Steele said Wednesday.
Steele said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that the widely reported day of diversity training at Starbucks on Tuesday highlights that problem. “White guilt” and “racial entrepreneurs” have conspired to create an environment that has a demeaning undercurrent for black Americans.
“It is worse to me — I preferred it in the days of segregation, when they just called you the name but then walked away,” he said. “Now, you’re in effect called a name. And they want to take over your life, and tell you how you should live and what you should be and so forth. And so, they’re stealing our thunder.”
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz ordered the diversity training in response to an incident earlier this year in which a white store manager called Philadelphia police after two black men who were waiting for a business partner but had not purchased anything refused to leave the establishment.
Corporate America, Steele (pictured above) said, is “hysterical with fear” over getting tagged with the “racist” label. An entire industry has grown up around that fear, he said.
“They’re racial entrepreneurs. They make careers out of this,” he said. “Much of the black middle class today, sadly, is supported through diversity work and programs and training operations.”
Steele said actual racism has “faded to the point of being almost meaningless.” The real threat to blacks, he said, is the utter breakdown of the family, in which the majority of black children are born to unmarried mothers.
Steele said the slights described during the Starbucks training are trivial by comparison.
“I would have loved to have suffered the kind of things that you just read from the workshop back in the ’50s and the in ’60s, when there was real, virulent racism,” he told Ingraham.