White Guilt. Shelby Steele.


Shelby Steele

White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era.Shelby Steele . HarperCollins, 2006.

March 24, 2009

The 2006 approval by voters of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative merely marks another step along the path of a much deeper cultural shift on the part of blacks and whites. The old formulas have not worked, are not working, and definitely never will work. In his bookWhite Guilt, Shelby Steele tells us why, explains the sorry spectacle of over forty years of misguided government intervention in the lives of black people and the social devastation and erosion that “redemptive liberals,” white and black, have wreaked upon a people, undermining their earlier comparable independence and social cohesion….

Now available in

The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays
Forthcoming, September, 2014.


Incidentally, I participated in a panel discussion on MCRI at Wayne State University Law School, October 26, 2006. See Ending Racial Preferences: The Michigan Story. 2008. by Carol M. Allen and William B. Allen. I highly recommend their book on the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.

Frederick Glaysher

Editor, Robert Hayden’s Collected Prose. University of Michigan Press, 1984.
Alumnus ’80 & ’81

Why Voters Should Approve MCRI



Filed under Race in America

2 Responses to White Guilt. Shelby Steele.

  1. Mary

    From Reviews. Submitted on 2011/04/03 at 8:32 am

    Very well-written review. It convinces me White Guilt is a book worth reading. I have to say, though, I generally distrust the notion that any single factor is the main cause of a complex situation. Of course White Guilt makes a far better title than Many Reasons.

  2. FG

    From Reviews. Submitted on 2011/04/04 at 4:43 am

    Thanks for commenting and the good word.

    You’re right about the title. Shelby Steele doesn’t argue that only white guilt is responsible for the problems of our inner cities and race relations. That’s half the equation. The other half is the fault of black leaders and elites who have made many wrong decisions, according to Steele, often more interested in preserving their jobs than in understanding how to help the people. His argument is a very profound one that goes deep into our on-going tragedy. Still the single most important book I know of about race in America.

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