In The Ben Shapiro Show last Sunday, author Shelby Steele sat down for an interview with show host Shapiro. In this episode, according to the video’s description, Shapiro and Steele talk about why many white Americans embrace the idea that they’re privileged and struggle with white guilt.
Shapiro began the session by asking Steele, “Why do you think it is that so many members of the white community have gone along with this?”
“I was born 20 years after the Civil Rights Act. I frankly don’t feel racial guilt because I don’t believe I’ve acted in racially intolerant ways,” he continued. “What do you think is the attraction for white Americans to go along with the narrative where they are inherently the victimizers?”
“What happened to white America — when America confessed its wrongdoing is that America endured at that moment a tremendous loss of moral authority,” Steele responded.
He continued, saying that when you confess wrongdoing and apologize, there are consequences to be paid.
“That is what happened to white America. They were judged to be racist. They had colluded with evil,” Steele added. “And so now they lived under the accusation that they were racist and that they had been a part of this. And so they may have done absolutely nothing to justify feeling guilty whatsoever.”
According to Steele, white guilt has no connection to the Americans’ personal feelings. “And so what the whites then have to struggle for and have since the 60s is their innocence of racism, of proving, ‘Oh, not me. I’m not a racist.’”
Steele concluded, “And that need to prove is what blacks take advantage of.”
Further into the interview, the topic shifted on to how Americans can’t prove themselves as not racist, because whatever they say, the blacks will always find another argument to make it seem as if they are.
“There’s literally no way for white Americans to escape the charges of racism either,” Shapiro said. “You admit that you’re a racist, in which case we say, ‘Okay, well, at least you’re honest enough to admit you’re a racist, but that means you’re kind of a racist because you just admitted it or you won’t acknowledge your own racism, in which case we absolutely 100 percent know that you’re a racist.’”
“That’s right,” Steele agreed. “And that power — the power to put whites in that position, is what black power is. It’s the power that comes from our moral authority as victims — as historical victims.”
Watch the interview below.