Black Protest Has Lost Its Power

Black Protest Has Lost Its Power, by Shelby Steele, a (courageous) black scholar.

Have whites finally found the courage to judge African-Americans fairly by universal standards?

The recent protests by black players in the National Football League were rather sad for their fruitlessness. …

It is not surprising, then, that these black football players would don the mantle of protest. The surprise was that it didn’t work. They had misread the historical moment. They were not speaking truth to power. Rather, they were figures of pathos, mindlessly loyal to a black identity that had run its course.

What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.

Of course this does not mean there is no racism left in American life. Racism is endemic to the human condition, just as stupidity is. We will always have to be on guard against it. But now it is recognized as a scourge, as the crowning immorality of our age and our history.

Protest always tries to make a point. But what happens when that point has already been made — when, in this case, racism has become anathema and freedom has expanded? …

The NFL protests were not really about injustice. Instead such protests are usually genuflections to today’s victim-focused black identity. Protest is the action arm of this identity. it is not seeking a new and better world; it merely wants documentation that the old racist world still exists. It wants an excuse. …

Watching the antics of Black Lives Matter is like watching people literally aspiring to black victimization, longing for it as for a consummation.