Shelby Steele: The Exhaustion of American Liberalism

Shelby Steele has a new article in The Wall Street Journal on the exhaustion of White guilt and the impending demise of Black Run America (BRA):

“The recent flurry of marches, demonstrations and even riots, along with the Democratic Party’s spiteful reaction to the Trump presidency, exposes what modern liberalism has become: a politics shrouded in pathos. Unlike the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, when protesters wore their Sunday best and carried themselves with heroic dignity, today’s liberal marches are marked by incoherence and downright lunacy—hats designed to evoke sexual organs, poems that scream in anger yet have no point to make, and an hysterical anti-Americanism.

All this suggests lostness, the end of something rather than the beginning. What is ending?

America, since the ’60s, has lived through what might be called an age of white guilt. We may still be in this age, but the Trump election suggests an exhaustion with the idea of white guilt, and with the drama of culpability, innocence and correctness in which it mires us. …

This liberalism evolved within a society shamed by its past. But that shame has weakened now. Our new conservative president rolls his eyes when he is called a racist, and we all—liberal and conservative alike—know that he isn’t one. The jig is up. …”

What is BRA? and Occidental Dissent have spent years discussing Black Run America. It is our term for the epoch of American history we have been living through since 1965. It means an America run at every level of society for the benefit of black people and to the detriment of everyone else living here. Actual Black Run America (ABRA) are the areas of the United States like Detroit and Birmingham which have succumbed to black majority rule.

In the broad span of American history, BRA is as distinct as Jim Crow. In fact, you could think of it as an inverted Jim Crow system where White people aren’t supposed to get “uppity” because blackness is the repository of moral authority. In contrast, whiteness has no legitimacy. BRA has its own culture, legislation, narrative, heroes and icons, obsessions, racial etiquette, etc. The Obama presidency was the culmination of BRA in full flower and the way it ended was a sure sign of its decadence.

Trump’s election was the clearest sign yet that BRA is unsustainable. He shrugged off accusations of “racism” to win the presidency. He picked a fight with ‘civil rights icon’ John Lewis. As Shelby Steele notes, Elizabeth Warren’s sanctimonious speech about Coretta Scott King is a symptom that we are at the end of something. Ryan Lenz of the SPLC told The Guardian that Richard Spencer holding up that “Wanna talk to a ‘racist’?” sign at the RNC last summer was “a tipping point.”

Personally, I think we are at the beginning of the end of BRA. We have entered the transition phase in America’s racial history similar to 1876 to 1896 or the decade between 1954 and 1965. The old system is dying while the new system is struggling to be born. Remarkably, this time around we are seeing violence erupt in liberal enclaves in the Deep North like Middlebury College and on the West Coast in Berkeley. Black Run America is dying in a way that is uncannily similar to the way it was born.

Hunter Wallace
the authorHunter Wallace
Hunter Wallace is the founder and editor of


  • No, I actually fear the opposite to be the case. I think this is merely the beginning of Black Run America, if anything. The fastest growing demographic, worldwide, are Blacks!

  • Of course no one went up the guy with the sign and asked him why millions of Whites are living in poverty if they are “privileged”?

  • “Richard Spencer holding up that “Wanna talk to a ‘racist’?” sign”

    Who needs Jews when we have “White Nationalists?

  • I know one thing: The danger of black on white violence is far underreported and is far more dangerous than you might think.

  • BRA has died down not only because of the profound changes in Whites, but also because of the emergence of the third element: Hispanics (for me, the term Latin resonates more with Ancient Rome than with the guy that cuts my grass). The Hispanic culture is one of the unchecked racism against Blacks and is already pushing Blacks from LA, New Orleans and other places. I am buffled by Black leaders’ silence against illegal immigration. Their grudges are totally misdirected against Whites. Keith Ellison is passed before Perez and Hispanics are very unlikely ever to vote for another Black president. Someone has to open their eyes and not just some stand-up comedian like George Lopez.

  • White guilt is just an updated, warmed over version of the Doctrine of Original Sin,applied to white people and to nobody else. It is no better than the right wing fundamentalist Protestants who blindly believe that we are all born guilty for what Adam and Eve supposedly did in the Garden of Eden. Both of these concepts of guilt are pure unadulterated bull$#!t.

  • The Prog Problem or Proglem.

    Progs saw society and noticed social inequalities. Some inequalities resulted from laws and cultures. Laws might favor one group over others. Or culture might restrain some groups from opening up to new opportunities. It’s like some ultra-orthodox Jews stuck with old way and say NO to new way.

    So, there were lots of divisions and inequalities among many groups.

    Progs figure more freedom, more equality under the law, and more opportunity would result in equal success for all groups. Convergence of rights, freedoms, and opportunities would lead to the convergence of results. This could have been the case IF all groups were equal in everything except social treatment and cultural attitudes.

    But as things turn out, there are genetic differences among races. (It’s like Juan Thompson’s behavior is so typical among blacks. It’s like Jayson Blair’s. Obama has similar sociopathic personality but got away with his shtick cuz his white side mellowed him some.)

    So, convergence of freedoms leads to divergence of outcomes. The new outcome may be different from old outcome, but there is still divergence, not convergence.

    For example, whites used to dominate basketball and football because laws and attitudes favored whites and discriminated against blacks. So, whites ruled, and blacks were kept down or out. Later, there was equal opportunity for all. So, did it lead to convergence of results among all races in sports? No, the new divergence based on genetics led to black domination and virtual exclusion of others.

    Genes do matter. Consider the difference among Meso-Americans and black-Americans. Both were subjugated peoples whose cultures were suppressed or erased. Mesos were forced to speak Spanish and adopt Christianity. And blacks weren’t allowed to do jungle stuff on the plantations. They were trained to be docile and respectful. And they were forced to give up African voodoo stuff and adopt Christianity.

    Yet, genes affected divergent outcomes in the long run. Blacks, even as Christians, felt this genetic drive to add boogie-woogie to their worship, and eventually black Christianity went from restrained Negro spiritual to hollering walloping Gospel, sheeeeiiiit. Also, even though blacks were trained to be docile and respectful by the white massuhs, they couldn’t help acting like Chicken George and being colorful and jivey. Also, black genetics soon proved that blacky can whup whitey, as with Jack Johnson and others. Once blacks realized this genetic advantage, they began to look down on whitey as weak and wussy. So, genetics reshaped the racial relations. It went from ‘ho-de-do’ to ‘honkey dead!’

    In contrast, Meso-Americans are short. Being of distant Asiatic origin, they have some of that passive submissive Asian genes. So, they are favored as docile workers and laborers to pick tomatoes and lettuce. And even Progs talk of them that way.

    I mean no Prog would say, “Hey, all those blacks are on welfare! Why not cut the benefits and make them pick cotton and other stuff?” That would be scandalous.

    But we often hear progs say stuff about Meso-Americans in such manner: “We need Mexicans to pick tomatoes, pick lettuce, change diapers, and do all the dirty work… the kind of work we Americans won’t do because it’s beneath us and our children.”

    Now, some may argue that it’s wrong to talk of blacks picking cotton cuz of legacy of slavery. But Meso-Americans suffered conquest, slavery, ‘genocide’, mass ‘rape’, and class oppression. So, why is it wrong to see blacks as ‘cotton-pickers’ but okay to see Mexicans as ‘tomato pickers’ and ‘diaper-changers’?

    Because of genetics. Whites(even progressives) figure that blacks, being stronger and more musical, should be admired and given ‘cool’ things to do, whereas those short, squat, and dull Mexicans are a different matter despite their tragic history. Let them be like Guillermo and just say, “yes Jimmy” and pick tomatoes and change diapers. So, genes matter a lot in public perception. “We need those docile submissive Mexicans to come here to do work that no self-respecting American, white or black, would ever do.” In the South, it could be that Mexers are now picking cotton too.

    Even though culture and nature(genes) are different entities, they always function together since all cultures are processed through the nature of human emotions and drives.

    Indeed, it is amazing that, despite all attempts by whites to erase black-African culture from black slaves, so much of the African Way remained via the genes. But then, African Cultures have always been the expressions of African genes. So, even if African Cultures were to be wiped off the earth, something approximating them will arise again from black genes. Something ugabuga-ish will arise again even if not exactly same as earlier cultures.

    Whites did all they could to eliminate black jungle-ness, black hunter-warrior culture, black lasciviousness, and black voodoo paganism during slavery. Blacks were taught docility, manners, and Christianity. But given black genetics and their relation to white genes — whereupon blacks realized they could whup whitey — , black genes reasserted themselves in making black-American culture revert to the African Way.

    Likewise, so much of the Meso-American genes survived despite Conquistador project of erasure. Even though Meso-Americans underwent similar history of oppression and discrimination as blacks did, their culture and attitudes turned out different from those of Negroes due to genetic differences. Mesos are naturally more docile. And even though there are horrible crimes in Mexico, Mexicans tend to be more organized than blacks in their criminal enterprise. This owes to the fact that Mexicans, despite their mediocrity and corruption, are more likely to obey orders than blacks who just wanna wing it cuz they just feel like it.

    Nature and Culture always work together. Though Culture is not same as Nature, cultural traits and flavors derive from the nature(genes) of a people. Even among primitive cultures around the world, different tribes tend to have different rhythms to their music based on genetic differences. Compare African beat with American Indian or Eskimo beat. Compare Arab musical characteristics with those of Nordics and Slavs.

    Also, even when different peoples are given the same culture, their different genes go about using and shaping the culture in different ways. So, what blacks will do with Christianity will differ from what whites will do with it. Give blacks Buddism, and Nirvana might become a form of dance.

    And we see this in music. When blacks take from white music, they make it ‘black’. When whites take from black music, they make it ‘white’. When Japanese take from ‘white rock’ or ‘black rap’, they give it their own twist based on their genetic leanings.

    Even when one group totally tries to imitate the other group, the differences in genetics produce different results. So, even when Rolling Stones and Yardbirds were trying to be most faithful to black bluesmen, they sounded differently and created different sounds.

    We can see this among individuals too, obviously. Give the same role to different actors, and their different genes work on the role differently EVEN IF they aim for the same result. If the role of Cool Hand Luke were given to Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Danny Devito, Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Harvey Keitel, Don Knotts, Robert Deniro, Charles Grodin, or Sean Penn, the results would vary greatly even if they all tried to do it like Paul Newman. Nature/genes do matter. They shape or reshape culture.

    Some people point to Europe and say, “But it wasn’t always advanced and powerful. It was once inhabited by pagan barbarians who were uncouth and backward.” The idea is that the rise of the West had nothing to do with genes and entirely with the kind of cultural influences that spread over there.

    Now, there is some truth to that. There is no guarantee that any people will build great civilization. At our base root, we are all savages, hairless apes. So, the rise of the West owes to certain ideas and values that spread over there and changed the way people think and act.

    If the West had been totally isolated from the developments in southern Europe, Near East, and North Africa, then who knows what might have happened? So far, so true.

    But the FALLACY among progs is this: “Because Europeans, with exposure to good ideas and values, made great progress, this must be equally true of ALL races and all humanity. And genes got nothing to do with it.”

    But this is clearly false. If Europeans had the genetic material of Australian Aborigines or Bushmen of Kalahari, could they have done much with those fine ideas that came from the South and Near East? If exposure to good ideas is the trick, why did the Japanese do more with Western ideas than Indonesians or others did?

    And if exposure to ideas is the key, then why did Jews do so much more with availability of modern education than other groups did?

    It’s like sports. It is true that black Africans achieve far less in sports than blacks in US, EU, and Canada. Blacks in modern nations have access to gyms and sports programs. Many blacks in Africa kick around a rag as a ball in dirt poor communities. So, access to modern equipment and programs make a huge difference.

    BUT, there are still differences among races in sports achievement based on genetics. In the US, ALL groups have equal access to sports, but some groups succeed far more. And this has something to do with genetics. I mean LA is filled with Mexicans and Asians, but LA Lakers is all black(and some white). Also, Nigerian immigrants achieve far more than Chinese immigrants in sports despite same access to sports. (Some will argue that this is because Chinese are more into study than sports. But maybe they don’t bother with sports since they know their chance of success is low in it. Also, China has a huge sports program funded by sports, but it is not competitive in basketball and track & field.)

    So, while it is true that the rise of the West owes a great deal to good ideas arriving from south and Near East, it is also true that whites had certain genetic attributes that made their use of those ideas more fruitful and productive than if the ideas had landed among Polynesians, Maori, Amazonian tribes, or Sudanese Nuba folks.

    But so much of the academia and media will not even consider these ideas.

    I think the main problem is emotional than intellectual. The elites develop their own culture of righteousness, propriety, sanctimony, and respectability. And certain ideas no longer just become ideas but ‘virtues’ and sacraments. So, believing in Equality isn’t just some dry idea. It is to the academic elites what belief in God was among the Jesuits. It is a MUST. (To be sure, the issue of equality is more sensitive regarding certain groups. So, if someone said his studies show that Turks are smarter than Iraqis, not many will care. But if any study shows that whites are smarter than blacks… oh boy!!! Such a view is immediately linked with the entire ‘pseudo-science’ of white ‘racism’, slavery, Nazism, etc. It’s an idea that trigger off alarm bells of moral panic.) As such, an alternative view will not be seen merely as an opinion or argument but as an infamia.

    I think scientists and intellectuals can tolerate lotsa differences of views. They can also weather refutation of their ideas as ideas. So, if someone proposed a theory, and if 100% of peers said it is dead wrong, he could live with it, and his peers wouldn’t see him as a bad guy. Just a guy who was wrong with a theory. But scientists and intellectuals also have human emotions, and most of them cannot deal with moral condemnation. Such would mean that only is their idea wrong but THEY themselves are wrong. It is akin to excommunication.

    Even the Old Church allowed debate and discussion on the nature of God and such. But there were some views that were seen as SO HERETICAL that proposing them meant more than wrongness of thought. It meant wrongness, even wickedness, of soul.

    According to PC, any deviance from RACIAL EQUALITY dogma(esp involving blacks) is an infamia. Charles Murray should know. Not only was his idea opposed but his character was attacked. He became baldie Nazi. They treated him like he blew the most wicked rotten-egg-fart in the room. Something foul came from within him.

    And this is why PC is so damaging. It doesn’t just attack an idea. It targets the emotions of the person’s entire being. And most people don’t have the stomach and spine to deal with it.

    Indeed, most intellectuals prefer to be thought of as a good person with wrong ideas than a bad person with right ideas.

    Some systems can adapt to drastic or fundamental shifts in paradigms. It’s like the West finally found a way to accept the geo-centric explanation of the solar system. It also made peace with Darwin and evolution.

    But some systems cannot allow a major shift, despite all the evidence that contradicts the dogma.

    In such cases, the revolution can happen ONLY from the outside while the system rots and rots in its own shell to the point of irrelevance.

    • In the South, it could be that Mexers are now picking cotton too.

      They’ve taken the jobs in the chicken-processing plants in Arkansas. Marshall Islanders as well.

      My grandmother did that sort of work when she lived in Decatur back in the 1970’s, but I guess the state has run out of hillbillies or something.

  • I couldn’t agree with you more ,white America is developing an immunity to their shaming tactics

  • Those white Southern segregationists don’t seem like such bad guys now.

    “Equality” never existed to begin with. Otherwise progressive utopians wouldn’t have had to construct their system of propaganda, indoctrination, shaming, bullying, gaslighting and coercion to enforce compliance to the ridiculous implementations of this idea, like making a movie about how black women, instead of white former Nazis, got the space program to work in the 1960’s.

    • Be careful what you wish for. Segregation actually strengthen the black community helping us create our own banks, schools and many other things. We became so independent that white were scared and viewed it as a form of colonism. There were plenty of black Wall Street around the United States including Durham where the statue fell. I always tell people that segregation would help our black community. They look at me crazy but when you are dependent your are weak. We can band together to fight foreign threats and taxes l but that should it

  • I agree with Steele and Wallace.

    White Pathological Altruism has a limit. We are fast approaching it.

    Jews doubling-down on it is the best thing that can happen to us. Turning down the Poz would be the worst thing for our cause. I have faith in their short-sighted greed.

  • “Racist” is a fraudulent term, equivalent to “witch” in pre-modern Europe, to “counter-revolutionary” in Communist hellholes and to “kaffir” in Islam. It is just a slur, without any meaning but “Shut up, Whitey, give me your stuff and die.”

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