The Corner

Film & TV

Highly Recommended: What Killed Michael Brown?

Over the weekend, I finally got around to catching Eli Steele’s new documentary, my procrastination done in by the fact that Victor Davis Hanson and I will be discussing it tomorrow with Eli’s father, Shelby Steele, the film’s writer and narrator, on the next episode of The Victor Davis Hanson Podcast.

Last month, Armond White wrote an excellent review of the film. It deserved it. The author of the acclaimed White Guilt, Shelby Steele returns to that book’s theme in the documentary, explaining in part what killed Michael Brown, and indicting white guilt for its central role in American liberalism:

Liberalism invisiblizes all black America. It leaps over actual problems to highlight racism as a source for all our ills. Modern liberalism does not like complexity in its victims.

And this:

White guilt’s corruption is that it is always self-referential. It needs blacks to be blacks rather than human beings. And it leaves us with a liberalism that is actually an ideology of white innocence.

One consistent throughout the history of this country, says Steele, is that various forces and factions “only use race as a means to power.” The film’s development of that point – as an academic concept, and as the reality of many a city street – alone justifies making What Killed Michael Brown? a film that educates. Its insights are many and profound. The Steeles have created something that should demand the attention of every American regardless of race, creed, or partisan affiliation.