Like Barack Obama, Shelby Steele had a black father and a white mother. Today on Uncommon Knowledge, the author of A Bound Man contrasts his own upbringing with that of the president-elect.
I grew up in a segregated world. In the morning a black could say to me, “You’re not really black.” In the afternoon he could say to me, “You’re a so-and-so, just like the rest of us.” That breeds an insecurity.
Now, have I resolved it? No. You never resolve it. What made the difference for me is that at a certain point I just said basically, “Screw you.” I am proud to be black, but I’ll decide what that means. I had that moment early on. One of the scary things for me is that I don’t think…[Barack Obama] ever has.
Shelby Steele on identity politics and the president-elect. Click here.