FauxPolitik

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Western guilt: Jonah Goldberg's column on NRO today has some thoughts on why Westerners pay so much deference to Islamic grievances, i.e. the Pope Benedict nonsense.

No, this is about us. The best book for illuminating what’s going on in the Muslim “street” isn’t some weighty treatise on Islam; it’s a short little tract called White Guilt by Shelby Steele. The book isn’t even about Islam. Steele focuses on white liberals and the black radicals who’ve been gaming them ever since the 1960s. Whites, he argues, have internalized their own demonization. Deep down they fear that maybe they are imperialistic, racist bastards, and they are desperate to prove otherwise. In America, black radicals figured this out a while ago and have been dunning liberal whites ever since.

The West is caught in a similarly dysfunctional cycle of extortion and intimidation with Islam, but on a grander and far more violent scale. Whether it’s the pope’s comments or some Danish cartoons, self-appointed spokesmen for the Islamic street say, “You have offended a billion Muslims,” which really means, “There are so many of us, you should watch out.” And if you didn’t get the message, just look around for the burning embassies and murdered infidels. They’re not hard to find.


White Westerners. A bunch of suckers are we.

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