I know it is human nature not to admit our inadequacies or failures. Psychologists have a term of it: it’s called denial. Carl Jung called it our Shadow — those attributes and aspects of ourselves which we dislike and are then suppressed into our subconscious. The problem is our Shadow refuses to stay suppressed but ineluctably “bubbles up” to cause trouble — we project our flaws onto others. That is called scapegoating.
So, for our own mental health and the wellbeing of others, it is best that we are honest about ourselves — warts and all. As Shakespeare wrote: “To thy own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou cannot then be false to any man.”
But our liberal culture of victimhood gives certain groups a ready pass or excuse for their failures. While not all members of “victim” groups engage in this practice, too many “people of color” claim racism; too many women blame “the patriarchy”; too many gays attribute their problems to homophobia.
It is true that Michael Steele had a rather daunting task when he took over the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee after the GOP’s debacle in the 2008 election. But to attribute all criticisms of him to racism stretches credulity.
I’m sure Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. never thought many blacks and other people of color are the ones who continue to judge themselves by the color of their skin instead of by the content of their character.
From WhoRunsGov, a Washington Post online publication:
In a new interview, Steele bluntly suggests criticism of his tenure — and all the media coverage it’s garnered — may be motivated by racism.
The story, called “Up in the Air,” is in the February issue of Washingtonian magazine, and it isn’t online yet, but here’s the key passage, buried way at the end of the piece, on page 96 of the mag:
Steele acknowledges that at times he has a tendency to take things too far. “And I get checked on that, just as when I was a young boy and I pushed the envelope too far and my Mama was there to check me.”
But there’s an edge to his voice when he talks about a double standard that he believes has been applied by his critics, and he posits racism as the cause: “I don’t see stories about the internal operations of the DNC that I see about this operation. Why? Is it because Michael Steele is the chairman, or is it because a black man is chairman?”
The larger context of the story is the tension created by the fact that Steele continues to take constant criticism, despite the GOP’s undeniable gains and the likelihood of more advances in the future.
There are two ways of reading Steele’s stab at an explanation: Either Steele is suggesting the media gives more ink to the RNC’s inner workings becausea black man is chairman, or he’s suggesting that fellow Republicans are leaking damaging info about the RNC because a black man is chairman.
Either way, it seems at odds with his claim back in November that he doesn’t “play the race card” or “play the race game.”