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Shelby Steele Addresses David Horowitz's Wednesday Morning Club

Here's a .wav file of his talk. His new book is White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era.

11:45 a.m. I walk in carrying Hitler Laughing: Comedy in the Third Reich as an icebreaker.

Cathy Seipp's locked in a conversation with righteous Jews. I stand guiltily by her side, tormented by my sinful desires.

We go in to eat. A law-and-order (I was taught in college that this is code for "Get the nigger!") Republican political candidate, Clark Baker, joins us. The ex-Marine and 26-year veteran of the LAPD is running for the 42nd Assembly district (Paul Koretz must retire because of term limits). The district is about 50% Democratic, and 22% Republican though 36% of its voters went for Bush in 2004.

I ask Baker who he's running against in the primary. He says the name of his opponent and then asks if we "really need another gay Republican lawyer from West Hollywood in the state assembly?"

Good question.

Poor Clark got railroaded out of the LAPD for beating up an El Salvadoran immigrant who wouldn't sign his jaywalking ticket.

The bloke didn't even have any bruises from Clark scuffling with him before taking him to the ground and handcuffing him.

Baker says he got his job back when the prosecutor and judge in his case were shown to be corrupt.

Clark goes into great detail about subduing suspects and how the denial of the choke hold forced the LAPD to use its metal batons to control rowdy suspects such as Rodney King.

All this manly talk gets Cathy very excited.

I see another "Cathy" friend of mine and I yell at her and get her to flank me for the rest of the show.

Shelby Steele is an understated speaker. I haven't seen such a low voltage performance since Commentary magazine Gabriel Schoenfeld's March 10, 2004 address.

This depresses me until I consume two helpings of strawberry shortcake.

I see three blacks in the audience of over 100, and one appears to be Shelby's wife (or mistress, just kidding, just trying to give the brother some street cred).

What the WMC needs to liven things up is some good ol' fashioned gospel preaching by the likes of Bishop Charles E. Blake (his church is where I like to take my more adventurous dates). And a choir would be groovy too.

I lean over and ask the Other Cathy (who has children in their twenties) if she still has her Catholic schoolgirl uniform. She blushes.

I ask Cathy S. if I did something wrong. She says that one would only ask such a question about the uniform if one has impure thoughts.

Maybe Steele is dignified and speaking in measured academic tones? That's why he can't get excited on stage.

Not once does he break into, "Can I hear hallelujah?"

He probably feels oppressed by us uptight white folks always ready to lynch a black man if he gets too uppity.

Shelby's nearly finished with his talk when he gets his first applause (for saying America is a very good country).

He livens up during question time and preaches the gospel truth.

Here's a summary of his remarks:

David Horowitz's Radical Son is the finest memoir of his generation.

Once America admitted it was treating blacks as second-class citizens [with 1963's Voting Rights Act, etc], it accepted stigma. It accepted that it had been guilty of doing something wrong.

Since then, America has been tentative about advancing its values and interests.

There is no rigorous moral authority in public schools to demand high performance. Thus we ask less of minority students to disprove our racism. If we apply rigorous standards, we are called oppressers.

Black students did worse on their SATs in 2000 than in 1990.

There is no authority in American life to ask anything from blacks. If you are white, you are a racist. If you are black, you're an Uncle Tom.

We tackle problems (such as illegal immigration) until we are threatened with stigmatization, then we say, only 6000 National Guardsmen on the border.

Our serious problems linger and deepen.

White guilt gives anti-Americanism power.

Talk radio is peculiar because it is a white-guilt-free zone. These talkshow hosts believe America is a good country and they're not afraid to be stigmatized. And they are stigmatized by the mainstream media. If you invoke Rush Limbaugh's name, even among conservatives, people shake their heads.

The biggest problem we have as blacks is not racism or oppression but freedom. Freedom shames you. It shows you how undeveloped and uncompetitive you are.

My dad was a janitor in 1965. He was still a janitor in 1985. He did not know how to take advantage of his freedom. He was a good man. He worked hard. He bought houses and renovated them but he could never tell his boss or he'd be perceived as uppity.

Affirmative action is evil. Because of affirmative action, you can't look at any black in a high position and not wonder if they got there on their own merits.

When Jews did not get into the Ivy League as they deserved, they made CCNY (City College of New York [where the friend to the black man Chaim Amalek went to school and became an anti-Stalinist socialist agitator and freedom marcher in Selma, Alabama].

We blacks have not done that.

Rap is a minstrel show. It is blacks selling a comic cartoonish vision of black life. We've always known how to entertain whites that way. It's an old tragic pattern. Eighty percent of rap CDs are sold to whites which they listen to when they're done studying for their SATs. It's blacks who listen to it and take it seriously.

We've always sold to whites an image of black stupidity.

Fifty five percent of federal prison inmates are black.

To properly educate black kids, you often must rip them out of their environment and put them in school all day and much of the evening, but to sustain such schools you have to have teachers willing to work 16 hours a day.

America is so free that blacks at university have retreated into, "I am not really free. Racism is everywhere."

Black students are almost pulled out of their homes and put on campus, that is how eager colleges such as Harvard are to recruit black students. Harvard demands of itself an 8% black student body and it competes hard for black students. Anything less and the university will lose faculty and money.

We blacks have to have racism as a consolation for our lack of progress in the face of America's freedom.

Blacks and Jews were destined to fall out. When Jews got freedom and were allowed into corporations and elite universities in proportion to their merit, they moved ahead. The Jews knew how to move forward. They had the skills and learning and tradition. Once free, they were ready to fly. How do you think that makes blacks feel?

We couldn't hang out with the Jews anymore. It was too painful. Too shameful.

We're at the bottom of the world and we don't know how to get up.

You can look at everything black America does as consolation, trying to make ourselves feel better.

The black American identity is organized in a totalitarian fashion around white guilt. If you dissent, you are dismissed from black life.

If black America had a gulag, I'd be in it. You purge dissidents.

The most positive sign I've seen in years is what Bill Cosby is doing. He goes to towns and brings in morticians and has them describe what happens when a black 14yo boy is shot to death. Black parents who lost kids to gang violence stand up and speak.

Cosby gives tens of million of dollars to black universities.

He is not afraid. I get a little shaky.

When I graduated highscool, I had a B average. I did not belong in the Ivy League but I would've been put there today.

I hope that Oprah gets on the bandwagon. She's made enough money. She can take a risk.

When Tavis Smiley was off camera, we had an interesting conversation. On camera, he had to oppose me. He has to keep up his street cred.