Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

The New Segregation

By Editorial Staff
Published April 7, 2008

By Shelby Steele

The civil rights movement of the 1950s and1960s culminated in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act – two monumental pieces of legislation that have dramatically altered the fabric of American life.

During the struggle for their passage, a new source of power came into full force. Black Americans and their supporters tapped into the moral power inspired by a 300-year history of victimization and oppression and used it to help transform society, to humanize it, to make it more tolerant and open. They realized, moreover, that the victimization and oppression that blacks had endured came from one “marriage” – a marriage of race and power. They had to stop those who said, “merely because we are white, we have the power to dominate, enslave, segregate and discriminate.”

Race should not be a source of power or advantage or disadvantage for anyone in a free society. This was one of the most important lessons of the original civil rights movement. The legislation it championed during the 1960s constituted a new “emancipation proclamation.” For the first time segregation and discrimination were made illegal. Blacks began to enjoy a degree of freedom they had never experienced before.

Delayed Anger

This did not mean that things changed overnight for blacks. Nor did it ensure that their memory of past injustice was obliterated. I hesitate to borrow analogies from the psychological community, but I think that one does apply: Abused children do not usually feel anger until many years after the abuse has ended, that is, after they have experienced a degree of freedom and normalcy. Only after civil rights legislation had been enacted did blacks at long last began to feel the rage they had suppressed. I can remember that period myself. I had tremendous sense of delayed anger at having been forced to attend segregated schools. (My grade school was the first school to be involved in a desegregation suit in the north.) My race, like that of other blacks, threatened for a time to become all consuming.

Anger was both inevitable and necessary. When suppressed, it eats you alive; it has got to come out, and it certainly did during the 1960s. One form was the black power movement in all of its many manifestations, some of which were violent. There is no question that we should condemn violence, but we should also understand why it occurs. You cannot oppress people for over three centuries and then say it is all over and expect them to put on suits and ties and become decent attaché-carrying citizens and go to work on Wall Street.

Once my own anger was released, my reaction was that I no longer had to apologize for being black. That was a tremendous benefit and it helped me come to terms with my own personal development. The problem is that many blacks never progressed beyond their anger.

The Politics of Difference

The black power movement encouraged a permanent state of rage and victimhood. An even greater failing was that it rejoined race and power – the very “marriage” that civil rights legislation had been designed to break up. The leaders of the original movement said, “Anytime you make race a source of power you are going to guarantee suffering, misery and inequity.” Black power leaders declared: “We’re going to have power because we’re black.”

Well, is there any conceivable difference between black power and white power? When you demand power based on the color of your skin, aren’t you saying that equality and justice are impossible? Somebody’s going to be in, somebody’s going to be out. Somebody’s going to win, somebody’s going to lose, and race is once again a source of advantage for some and disadvantage for others. Ultimately, black power was not about equality or justice; it was, as its name suggests, about power.

And when blacks began to demand entitlements based on their race, feminists responded with enthusiasm, “We’ve been oppressed too!” Hispanics said, “We’re not going to let this bus pass us by,” and Asians said, “We’re not going to let it pass us by either.” Eskimos and American Indians quickly hopped on the bandwagon, as did gays, lesbians, the disabled and other self-defined minorities.

By the 1970s, the marriage of race and power was once again firmly established. Equality was out: the “politics of difference” was in. From then on, everyone would rally around the single quality that makes them different from the white male and pursue power based on that quality. It is a very simple formula. All you have to do is identify that quality, whatever it may be, with victimization. And victimization is itself, after all, a tremendous source of moral power.

The politics of difference demanded shifting the entire basis of entitlement in America. Historically, entitlement was based on the rights of citizenship elaborated in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. This was the kind of entitlement that the original civil rights movement leaders claimed for blacks: recognition of their rights as American citizens to equal treatment under the law. They did not claim, “We deserve rights and entitlements because we are black,” but, “We deserve them because we are citizens of the United States and like all other citizens are due these rights.” The politics of difference changed all that. Blacks and other minorities began demanding entitlement solely based on their history of oppression, their race, their gender, their ethnicity, or whatever quality that allegedly made them victims.

Grievance Identities

By the 1980s, the politics of difference had, in turn, led to the establishment of “grievance identities.” These identities are not about such things as the great contributions of women throughout history or the rich culture of black Americans. To have a strong identity as a woman, for example, means that you are against the “oppressive male patriarchy” – period. To have a strong identity as a black means that you are against racist white America – period.

You have no choice but to fulfill a carefully defined politically correct role: (1) you must document the grievance of your group; (2) you must testify to its abiding and ongoing alienation; and (3) you must support its sovereignty. As a black who fails any of these three requirements you are not only politically incorrect, you are a traitor, an “Uncle Tom.” You are blaming the victim, you are letting whites off the hook, and you are betraying your people.

In establishing your grievance identity, you must turn your back on the enormous and varied fabric of life. There is no legacy of universal ideas or common human experience. There is only one dimension to your identify: anger against oppression. Grievance identities are thus “sovereignties” that compete with the sovereignties of the nation itself. Blacks, women, Hispanics and other minorities are not even American citizens anymore. They are citizens of sovereignties with their own right to autonomy.

The New Segregation on Campus

The marriage of race and power, the politics of difference, and grievance identities – these are nurtured by the American educational establishment. They have also acted on that establishment and affected it in significant ways. After a talk I gave recently at a well-known university, a woman introduced herself as the chairperson of the women’s studies department. She was very proud of the fact that the university had a separate degree-granting program in women’s studies.

I stressed that I had always been very much in favor of teaching students about the contributions of women. But I asked her what it was that students gained from segregating women’s studies that could not be gained from studying within the traditional liberal arts disciplines.

Her background was in English, as was mine, so I added, “What is a female English professor in the English department doing that is different from what a female English professor in the women’s studies department is doing? Is she going to bring a different methodology to bear? What is it that academically justifies a segregated program for women, or for blacks, or any other group? Why not incorporate such studies into the English department, the history department, the biology department or into any of the other regular departments?”

As soon as I began to ask such questions I noticed a shift in her eyes and a tension in her attitude. She began to see me as an enemy and quickly make an excuse to end the conversation. This wasn’t about a rational academic discussion of women’s studies. It was about the sovereignty of the feminist identity, and unless I tipped my hat to that identity by saying, “Yes, you have the right to a separate department,” no further discussion or debate was possible.

Meanwhile, the politics of difference is over-taking education. Those with grievance identities demand separate buildings, classrooms, offices, clerical staff – even separate Xerox machines. They all want to be segregated universities within the universities. They want their own space – their sovereign territory. Metaphorically, sometimes literally, they insist that not only the university but society at large must pay tribute to their sovereignty.

Today there are some 500 women’s studies departments. There are black studies departments, Hispanic studies departments, Jewish studies departments, Asian studies departments. They all have to have space, staff, and budgets. What are they studying that can’t be studied in other departments? They don’t have to answer this questions, of course, but when political entitlement shifted away from citizenship to race, class and gender, a shift in cultural entitlement was made inevitable.

Those with grievance identities also demand extra entitlements far beyond what should come to us as citizens. As a black, I am said to “deserve” this or that special entitlement. No longer is it enough just to have the right to attend a college or university on an equal basis with others or to be treated like anyone else. Schools must set aside special money and special academic departments just for me, based on my grievance. Some campuses now have segregated dorms for black students who demand to live together with people of their “own kind.” Students have lobbied for separate black student unions, black yearbooks, black homecoming dances, black graduation ceremonies – again all so that they can be comfortable with their “own kind.”

One representative study at the University of Michigan indicates that 70 percent of the school’s black undergraduates have never had a white acquaintance. Yet, across the country, colleges and universities like Michigan readily and even eagerly continue to encourage more segregation by granting the demands of every vocal grievance identity.

A Return to a Common Culture

Colleges and universities are not only segregating their campuses, they are segregating learning. If only for the sake of historical accuracy, we should teach all students – black, white, female, male – about many broad and diverse cultures. But those with grievance identities use the multicultural approach as an all-out assault on the liberal arts curriculum, on the American heritage, and on Western culture. They have made out differences, rather than our common bonds, sacred. Often they do so in the name of building the “self-esteem” of minorities. But they are not going to build anyone’s self-esteem by condemning our culture as the product of “dead white males.”

We do share a common history and a common culture, and that must be the central premise of education. If we are to end the new segregation on campus and everywhere else it exists, we need to recall the spirit of the original civil rights movement, which was dedicated to the “self-evident truth” that all men are created equal.

Even the most humble experiences unite us. We have all grown up on the same sitcoms, eaten the same fast food and laughed at the same jokes. We have practiced the same religions, lived under the same political system, read the same books and worked in the same marketplace. We have the same dreams and aspirations as well as fears and doubts for ourselves and for our children. How, then, can our differences be so overwhelming?


Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Black America

Your comments are welcome!

Thank you so much for this article published April 2008 (Exactly 40 years after the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lost his life to the struggle of Civil Rights in 1968).

I am a Baby Boomer and came of age in the low country of South Carolina, mostly during the time period of the Civil Rights Struggle. This article is on point. You are so right!

I wish I had come across this article years ago, it would have helped me put my feeling of pain over the injustice I experienced as a young person coming of age during this period in perspective.

I sometimes thought something was wrong with me that I could vividly recall some of the injustice I suffered over 40 to 45 years ago.

I have moved on, and have raised my family, but I have experienced this delayed anger of which you speak.

I came across this article just today: (January 9th, 2012), so I hope that it is not too late to respond.

Again, Thank you!!!!!

Carolyn

Posted by carolyn on 01/09/2012 06:37 PM #

Textile Help

The United States of America 2.0: The Great Reset (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!

Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification

In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).

$7.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats