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.
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. He explains that through this manipulation of 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.