In a column ostensibly to explain why Jesse Jackson wants to castrate Obama, Shelby Steele explains the secret of Obama’s success:
Mr. Obama’s great political ingenuity was very simple: to trade moral leverage for gratitude. Give up moral leverage over whites, refuse to shame them with America’s racist past, and the gratitude they show you will constitute a new form of black power. They will love you for the faith you show in them.
Simple. Powerful. True?
It would certainly explain a lot — including why so many people find Obama such a messianic figure. In the Western tradition, what’s more transcending than forgiveness?
And if you’re already suffering from white guilt, forgiveness might be a very nice change of pace from Jackson’s 40 years of race-hustling.