The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America - Chapter 5, White Guilt Summary & Analysis

Shelby Steele
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Chapter 5, White Guilt Summary and Analysis

The black power movement started to rise in 1964 when whites started to admit their guilt by passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Since then much of social policy with respect to blacks has been made seeking white redemption. As a result, race relations have regressed since the seventies. Blacks had a choice between entitlements and development. Whites and blacks are complicit in blacks choosing entitlement.

White guilt is composed of two factors. The first factor is the knowledge of ill-gotten advantage, or knowing that white advantage comes from subjugated blacks. This triggers white racial vulnerability. Blacks enforce this guilt by trading on racial pain. The second element of white guilt is the display of racial anger by blacks. When blacks display their racial anger, they bring shame on themselves for making themselves emotionally vulnerable.

White guilt is in...

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This section contains 291 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America Study Guide
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