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Forgive Me Barack, For My Forefathers Had Sinned

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.