Whites are continually put into the position of forever having to prove the negative, that they’re not racists. This is impossible. And that’s the point.
Now that South Carolina has taken down the Confederate flag flying on statehouse grounds, MSNBC is drumming the five whose state flags incorporate “Confederate themes.”
They continue to prove liberals are never satisfied. We fought the Civil War. We ratified the Fourteenth Amendment. We have the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The civil-rights movement was a success. Now, we have South Carolina pulling down the Confederate flag. But it’s still not enough. And Hillary Clinton agrees.
“Removing this symbol of our nation’s racist past is an important step towards equality and civil rights in America,” Clinton said in a written statement after the South Carolina legislature voted to remove the flag. “The flag may soon no longer fly at the State Capitol, but there is still unfinished business in confronting and acting on the inequalities that still exist in our country. We can’t hide from the hard truths about race and justice. We must do everything in our power to have the courage to name them and change them” (emphasis mine).
In saying this is a “step toward equality and civil rights,” Clinton is acting as if the civil-rights movement never happened. She is painting our nation with the brush of racism as if it were still 1950—or even 1860.
Whites Must Stop Being Racists, But They Can’t
Shelby Steele, author of “White Guilt,” calls this “manipulating stigma.” With the victory of the civil-rights movement, whites lost their moral authority—something that inevitably happens when you admit you’ve done something wrong. As a nation, we confessed our racist past, and we righted that wrong. That should have been the end of it, but with the loss of that moral authority came an increase in the moral authority of minorities—power they and the Democratic Party have twisted and used to advance one social-justice agenda after another. Steele says this happens because of white guilt, and the stigma of racism reinforces white guilt.
‘If they don’t prove the negative, then the stigma sticks.’
Clinton says we can’t hide “from the hard truths about race and justice.” Which hard truths is she talking about except that we must overcome our inherent racism? President Obama said it is “in our DNA” to be racist. With this statement, he stigmatizes our nation. Clinton’s call to do everything in our power to have the courage to name those truths and change them is another way of saying that whites are racists, so we must “stigmatize them” and force them to change—to comply. A lot of effort won’t even be needed, as we’ve seen with the Confederate flag. Just point the accusatory finger, and those who don’t want to be delegitimized by stigma will dissociate from any hint of racism. They will obey.
Since the civil-rights movement, which community organizers and Democratic elites capitalized on to increase their power, “whites, and particularly, institutions, have lived under threat of stigmatization,” says Steele. Steele explains that through manipulating white guilt, whites are continually put into the position of forever having to prove the negative, that they’re not racist. This is an impossible task, which is why we’ll never really be free of it. “If they don’t prove the negative, then the stigma sticks,” he writes.
The Left Incites Racial Controversy to Secure More Power
The Confederate flag controversy has never been about being sensitive to minorities in the aftermath of the dreadful mass murder in South Carolina. It has been about stigma and the Democratic Party using it to delegitimize anyone who doesn’t bend to its will. Steele explains that if an individual or institution in America is stigmatized as racist, then they are delegitimized. They lose all power and authority and influence. They are marginalized and ostracized. When that happens, they can be easily defeated or manipulated.
Clinton, in true totalitarian form, isn’t concerned about inequality.
When this occurs at an institutional level, that institution can no longer really function effectively. The institution wants to function, to be legitimate, so it disassociates from any appearance of racism by showing how inclusive and tolerant it is, bowing to the will of the totalitarians who want to exert their power and have complete allegiance. This is what the Great Society was built on. It’s not about compassion or equality; it’s about wanting to be able to function, to be valued, and to be legitimate.
When Clinton says inequalities still exist in our country, this is a play at white guilt. Blacks and whites are both equal before the law, so her statement is a glaring falsehood. But Clinton, in true totalitarian form, isn’t concerned about inequality. She’s concerned about power.
The Only Thing We Have to Fear
As Tom Nichols writes at The Federalist about totalitarians like Clinton, “They are not really trying to capture something as pedestrian as political equality, nor are they satisfied if they get it. They are not really seeking a win in the courts, or a legal solution, or a negotiated settlement. Those are all just merit badges to be collected along the way to a more important goal: what they really want, and what they in fact demand, is that you agree with them. They want you to believe.”
The Silent Majority has now become the Silenced Majority.
While Nichols calls these people the “new totalitarians,” they’re not all that new. They’ve been with us for decades. The difference is they have now accumulated a significant amount of power, and the Silent Majority has now become the Silenced Majority. They don’t want to be stigmatized. They don’t want to lose their legitimacy in society. So they remain silent and they conform.
“White guilt is a powerful, powerful force,” Steele says. “Not because people feel guilty, but because people are stigmatized, and again have to prove the negative all the time, and living forever under threat of being stigmatized.”
Stigma is a club in the hand of the totalitarian to increase power. Clinton, Obama, Loretta Lynch, and others will use it over and over again, as long as people allow the stigma to stick. As long as individuals and institutions fear delegitimization because of stigma and refuse to pay the high price of dissent, the power of the totalitarians will grow.
Denise C. McAllister is a journalist based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a senior contributor to The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter @McAllisterDen.