Home U.S Shelby Steele: Biden, Democrats prioritize virtue signaling rather than 'actual racial reform'

Shelby Steele: Biden, Democrats prioritize virtue signaling rather than 'actual racial reform'

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President Biden and his fellow Democrats have proven themselves “expert” at “virtue signaling” on issues of race, author and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Shelby Steele told Fox News’ “Life, Liberty & Levin” in an interview airing Sunday. 

Host Mark Levin noted that Biden, who ran for the White House as a moderate, has “embraced” critical race theory since entering office. 

“He talks the talk of the radical Marxist left,” Levin said, “and he not only talks it, he’s surrounded by these people and he’s signing executive orders and he’s issuing fiats that are instituting the most radical forms of racial discrimination.”

Steele responded that the left’s view of racism stems from the cultural shift brought upon by the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

“You had to have a sense that God’s hand was involved in social relations and fighting racism and so forth,” he said. “And so in many ways, the 60s added this idea of social morality to our culture, and it transformed the whole racial issue in America into something of a morality play, a play of guilt against innocence.”

“Guilt,” Steele continued, is “what America is supposed to — specifically White America — supposed to feel toward its past.”

Critical race theory examines the way race and racism influence politics, culture and the law. Conservatives and Republicans contend it encourages students to judge each other on the basis of race, with then-President Donald Trump describing it as “anti-American propaganda” last year.

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According to Steele, instead of pursuing “actual racial reform, which would involve the development of Black people … we focus on proving our innocence. So we end up with political correctness. We end up with virtue signaling which Mr. Biden is an expert at and the left is expert at.”

“Critical race theory is simply a signal of innocence,” he added. “‘We are so innocent of racism when we practice this form of political correctness, critical race theory'”.

As a consequence, according to Steele, “the left simply goes around and says to everybody, ‘You’re immoral, you’re immoral, you’re a racist, you’re a racist, you’re a racist, you’re a sexist … you’re evil — you are associated with America’s evil past. We, on the other hand, are innocent. We want to redeem America. We want to put it back together again, supersede all of these things, and so we create a vocabulary — critical race theory, intersectionality, diversity, so forth — that stands for the good, that stands for innocence of America’s racial sins in the past.'”

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Conservatives, Steele theorized, are at a disadvantage against the “moral message” of the left on race.

“The Democratic Party, the American left has taken, has fashioned this tremendous source of power, this capacity for moral judgment,” he said. “Conservatism, on the other hand, does not have much of a moral message to make. Its focus is on the individual.”

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