At 77 years old, Shelby Steele physical status not available right now. We will update Shelby Steele's height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, and measurements.
Steele has been called a black conservative. He opposes policies such as affirmative action, which he considers to be unsuccessful liberal campaigns to promote equal opportunity for African Americans. He contends that blacks have been "twice betrayed:" first by slavery and oppression and then by group preferences mandated by the government, which discourage self-agency and personal responsibility in blacks.
Steele believes that the use of victimization is the greatest hindrance for black Americans. In his view, white Americans see blacks as victims to ease their guilty conscience, and blacks attempt to turn their status as victims into a kind of currency that will purchase nothing of real or lasting value. Therefore, he claims, blacks must stop "buying into this zero-sum game" by adopting a "culture of excellence and achievement" without relying on "set-asides and entitlements."
Steele wrote a short book, A Bound Man: Why We are Excited about Obama and Why He Can't Win, published in December 2007. The book contained Steele's analysis of Barack Obama's character as a child born to a mixed couple who then had to grow as a black man. Steele concluded that Obama is a "bound man" to his "black identity." Steele gives this description of his conclusion:
After Obama won the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Steele defended the content of the book and claimed its subtitle was a marketing device motivated by the publisher which he came up with "in about 30 seconds." He explains Obama's victory by likening him to Louis Armstrong who donned the "bargainer's mask" in his bid for white acceptance. In his analysis, he takes whites, whom he claims have for decades been stigmatized as racist and had to prove they are not, "off the hook."
On Uncommon Knowledge, an interview program for the Hoover Institute hosted by Peter Robinson, he said: "White America has made tremendous moral progress since the '60s.... And they've never given themselves credit for that. And here is an opportunity at last to document this progress."
Steele has been critical of what he describes as the "world opinion" of Israel.
- National Book Critics Circle Award (1990) in the general non-fiction category for the book The Content of Our Character.
- Emmy and Writers Guild Awards for his 1991 Frontline documentary film Seven Days in Bensonhurst.