This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today radio program originally aired on 1/5/21. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Joe Green: With several high profile deaths of unarmed African-American men over the last several years, and culminating with the death of George Floyd, race relations in America has reached a boiling point. Aside from the pandemic and the 2020 Presidential election, the issue of race has dominated virtually every sphere of life in America, from sports to politics, to even the educational system. The conversation of race is one that everyone is being forced to deal with. Race has become such a polarizing issue in America that it has even caused division in the church. The church, which is supposed to be the place where every tribe and every tongue comes together, has also been divided between racial and cultural lines. Even if you are not directly led to address race issues, it will someway, somehow or another, touch the lives of virtually every American in some form or fashion.
The Black Lives Matter organization has also infiltrated all aspects of the culture. The founders of Black Lives Matter have boldly proclaimed that they are very well-trained Marxists. They also have openly admitted that black gay and trans lives are at the forefront of their movement. To the untrained eye, these race based movements may seem to be a simple reaction to a crisis. However, as we will discuss today, they are not solely reactionary. The BLM movement is a repackaging and a rebranding of age-old ideologies meant to deconstruct the Judeo Christian Western culture. The current barrage of race-related themes, plastered all over the media, is an attempt to socially engineer the American society and to reestablish a new world order. My name is Joe Greene and I’m your host today here on Stand in the Gap Today Radio. I’m joined here with the honorable Sam Rohrer, President of the American Pastors Network, and the host of Stand in the Gap. We also have the honor of being joined on the program by a special guest, Dr. Shelby Steele.
Dr. Steele is an African-American conservative author, columnist documentary filmmaker, and a Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. He specializes in the study of race relations, multiculturalism, and affirmative action. In 1990, he received the National Book Critics Circle Award for his book, The Content of our Character. We have Dr. Steel… We will have him share with us shortly. But first, I’d like to define a few terms to outline the ideologies behind the Black Lives Matter and what is known as critical race theory. Critical race theory is not as well-known as a term, as we hear about Black Lives Matter, yet it is permeating virtually every realm of the culture. To understand critical race theory. We need to go back a few years to the founding philosophies behind the movement.
Most people are familiar with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles, authors of the Communist Manifesto. However, not as many people know the name, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel, who lived from 1770 to 1831, was a German philosopher who belongs to the period known as German idealism. I will not go into German idealism is, however, it’s important to know his theological account of history. An account that was later taken over by Marx and inverted into a materialist theory of a historical development culminating in Communism. So Hegel was a forerunner of Marx and Marxist ideology. Hegel is also where we get the term Hegelian dialectic. In a nutshell, it is defined as thesis, anti-thesis, and synthesis. In layman’s terms, it is problem, reaction, solution. Hegel believed that through conflict and anticipating the reaction of a crisis, the intellectual ruling class can steer society to their preplanned destination or solution.
I will give you a very generic example of Hegelian dialectic. If I wanted to sell you drinking water, I could give you something very spicy or very hot and the obvious reaction would be that you would need something cold to drink. Problem, reaction, solution. Many people have accused those that adhere to the globalist ideology of creating crises in order to socially engineer the public into moving towards a complete Marxist takeover. Sam, I know that we are kind of glossing over these important terms, but for the sake of time, and to get to the core of this discussion, which is critical race theory, I’ve heard you talk about the Frankfurt School and with that critical race theory, can you briefly talk about the Frankfurt School and how critical theory is being used to move the culture in America towards Marxism.
Sam Rohrer: Joe, I think it’s a great question, and yeah, I can try and do that in just a couple of minutes. It is helpful to know, and we’ve spent time on this program, ladies and gentlemen, Dr. McMillan was with us before, you can go back and pick up programs in the past, where we’ve talked about the Hegelian dialectic, which Joe just talked about, but here’s briefly what it is. The Frankfurt School came from Germany to America in 1933 on an invitation by John Dewey, a name you recognize. The strategy at that point was to target educational institutions and the media, and the goal was to attack the existing morality of the culture, to change the values of our society until our society, and this is key, willingly and openly embraces the tenants of socialism, which is the economic philosophy of Karl Marx.
The goal, bottom line, of the Frankfurt Institute, and those involved, and I’ll give some other names here, was to get America to embrace socialism. Now, think of that in terms of where America is today. These were the four individuals that were key. Karl Marx. Karl Marx was a part of this. His contribution was socialism. He’s the father of the Communist Manifesto. His goal. He said, “My object,” Karl Marx said this. “My object in life is to dethrone God and to destroy capitalism. In effect, to dethrone God in the hearts of Americans and so that they would make government their God.? Now think about that. That’s Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto, part of the thought process of the Frankfurt School.
Sigmund Freud was another. Sigmund Freud was the father of modern psychology. Personally, as history tells us, a very vile man, hated absolute truth, hated God, hated traditional values. Father, mother, family, respect, responsibility. He hated people of faith, he made it clear. Friedrich Nietzsche was another one. Friedrich Nietzsche was best known for declaring, as he said, “God is dead and we have killed him.” Isn’t that amazing? He’s a part of it. George Hegel, we just talked about him. From him, came the idea of thesis and anti-thesis and that’s a part of the process we see working itself out in America today. You create a problem for which you already have a solution. That’s Rahm Emanuel, that’s Saul Alinsky, That’s who these bring about.
In the end, the overall goal of these men and the Frankfurt School was to dethrone God, dethrone truth, rewrite truth, replace reality with confusion, chaos, and change. Because through that, they believed that this change would usher in socialism, bigger government and communism. Doesn’t that bring us up to date exactly where we are ladies and gentlemen? With that, we’ll walk away just a minute and I’ll ask you to stay with us. In just a moment, we’re going to bring in our special guest, Dr. Steele. And Joe is going to be leading through the program here, as we talk about this critical race theory and how it has faded in America, really involved in these philosophical underpinnings of the Frankfurt School and what I just went over. We’ll be back in just a moment.
Joe Green: And we’re back here on Stand in the Gap Today, I’m your host, Joe Green. And I’m joined with Sam Rohrer and we are also joined today with Dr. Shelby Steele. Dr. Steele is an African-American conservative author, columnist, documentary filmmaker, and a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. He specializes in the study of race relations, multiculturalism and affirmative action. In our last segment, we talked about the origins of critical race theory. We mentioned how George Hegel, a German philosopher that promoted the idea of conflict theory and the Hegelian dialectic, that helped shape the ideologies of Karl Marx and how Marxism is heavily shaping the American culture. Dr. Steele, welcome to the program. It’s an honor to have you here today with us.
Shelby Steele: Well, thank you for inviting me.
Joe Green: Dr. Steel, or Shelby as you’ve asked us to call you, can you tell us about critical race and where it comes from?
Shelby Steele: Oh boy, how much time do we have? I’ll try to do that. I’ll try to stay out of the weeds. Like a lot of theoretical issues it’s easy to get lost. I think in a broad sense, a lot of this started in the ’60s when America, in a sense, owned up to the centuries of persecution of Black Americans. And that, what we did not have failed really to absorb about that moment in the 1960s, around ’64, when the Civil Rights Bill was passed. What we failed to really accept and explore is that when you confess to something like that, that horrible, then there’s a profound shift in moral authority and therefore in power. And what White America had lost at that moment though, and this is the irony of it, the White America did probably the greatest moral transformation, achieved that transformation in the ’60s, that it should be forever proud of , and that testifies to our greatness.
It also left us with a weakened moral authority when it came to enforcing difficult principles, morality and so forth. All of a sudden people around the world could say, “Well, you’ve admitted it yourself. You were racist. It was Jim Crow. There was slavery. You did all that. You degraded these human beings.” And so therefore all of the great things that you stand for and have labored over the millennium to achieve are tarnished and are invalid because they were contaminated by that evil that you practiced over that period of time. This, it seems to me, is the situation out of which critical race theory comes.
White America suddenly needed a way to reclaim some of the moral authority it lost by confessing to its sins. And so White America became, I think, preoccupied with redeeming itself. President Johnson, right away, came up with the War on Poverty, the great society, affirmative action, school busing, public housing on and on and on, trillions of dollars spent in social programs, almost all of which failed. But trillions of dollars spent in order to redeem, to give America to reclaim enough moral authority for our government to function. And we’ve wrestled with that problem since again, since the ’60, 60 years now.
So that is that vacuum of moral authority that we lost in the ’60s that opened the way for bizarre things like socialism and critical race theory and so forth because they come in and they say, “Well look, all of Western civilization is fraudulent. The enlightenment is fraudulent because it ignored all of this evil that was being practiced. Colonialism imperialism around the world. Racism, segregation, Jim Crows in America. How can it be a great civilization when it’s done all that?” Here we are taking that doubt, that self doubt that American now lives with we have this moral self doubt.
Sam Rohrer: Dr. Steel. What you’ve just explained is extremely, extremely helpful because to me, as we’ve talked about in this program, oftentimes, you go back in time and you go back to the time that we threw God out of our schools, took the 10 Commandments off of the wall. We replaced that moral authority and into that void and that vacuum then rushes something to fill it, which is what you’re describing right here. But I would like you to do this. I would like to hear your definition. We’re using the terms critical race theory. Now it means something, but I’m not sure it means the same thing to everybody who’s listening. And I don’t know that I have heard a really succinct definition. Would you define that critical meaning what? Race? How does that really fit? And then theory, how’s that come in? And explain that to us because the President obviously has made an issue about this and we’ve heard about it, but I don’t think most people probably really understand it. Define that for us, please.
Shelby Steele: Nobody. Absolutely nobody can answer the question you just asked me. And that’s really the point of critical race theory. It has no meaning. It means what I say it means. And what I want you to do is I want you to set up a program and your corporation or your university or your public school system, and do this and do that because I just want that. Well I have to give some sort of an excuse. So it’s critical race theory. It’s philosophy that of course, absolutely nobody understands. If it was clear enough to be understood, it would have been attacked long, long ago. But it’s survives by this pretentiousness. That is, it’s a sophisticated postmodernist the phrase they like to use, post-modern analysis of society.
And we’re also supposed to be intellectually intimidated by it. But in reality, it’s nothing. The word critical has no relationship to race. What the relation? What do you mean critical race? And theory, what does theory mean? Nothing. There’s no body of insight behind it. But again, it is therefore, a perfect pretext for me to grab for power and to engineer, socially engineer the world in a way that makes sense to me that I want.
Joe Green: And you know what, Shelby, when I was studying Hegel and German idealism, and the reason that I didn’t get into a deeper definition of that during this program because, as you said, it’s so expansive and basically you can shape your own reality and make words mean whatever you want them to mean. And so, because it’s so fluid with the critical race theory and to your question, Sam, it can shift. So for instance, if I’m a black person and I walk into a store, if the clerk comes to me first and says, “Can I help you?” I can say, “Oh, the reason you came to me first was because you’re afraid I’m going to steal something.” But then if you didn’t come to me first and you went to a white person, then I could say, “Well, the reason you didn’t come to me first is because your bias against me and you don’t think I can afford to purchase anything.”
And so Shelby, as you said, so eloquently, it’s fluid it doesn’t have any concrete definitive thing. So it’s a perfect tool that I can use. That’s very fluid and use it to suit my purposes. And you really don’t have a defense against it. If you buy into the premise that I’m laying out that hey critical race theory is real and White America, white supremacy is racist. And so it’s very important I think this is conversation because so many people will grasp that reality and say, “Well, it must be true because they’re saying it with so much purpose and so definitely,” but in reality, it’s just a very abstract term that is used as a weapon to shape and mold culture in the way that they want it to be.
Sam Rohrer: And Joe, can I add something to what you’re saying right now?
Joe Green: Sure.
Sam Rohrer: That just comes to my mind in this discussion, because I think, to me personally, this has been very, very helpful. We say on this program a lot, define the terms when you’re engaged in a discussion. I learned this when I was on the floor of the House debating laws, you got to define the terms. The Hegelian dialectic that we’re just talking this strategy for moving America from a God centered culture to a atheist centered culture, where government becomes God, always starts, which is what they’ve been doing, they change the definitions, they changed the meaning of the words so that love no longer means love as we understand it God generated attitude. It’s government handing out money for people, that now becomes compassion, as an example. But they’re redefining terms and I didn’t know what you were going to say, Dr. Steele in the answering of that, but I had never heard a definition, but you answered it really clearly. How in the world can we respond to something if we can’t agree on what it means. That’s Hegelian dialectic in print.
Joe Green: Absolutely. And when we come back, we’re going to continue our conversation with Shelby Steele and we’re going to talk about how critical race theory has hijacked the mainstream media and how it’s influencing the mind of America. You’re listening to Stand in the Gap Today with Joe Green and Sam Rohrer. And we’ll be back after these messages.
And we’re back here on Stand in the gap today. I’m your host, Joe Green, along with the honorable Sam Rohrer and with our guest, Dr. Shelby Steele, who’s a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. We are here talking about critical race theory and how it’s infiltrated almost every sphere of the American culture. And we just really scratched the surface because there’s so many different places where this has spilled over, and most people may not even understand the depth of how much it is permeating all aspects or facets of the American culture. But one question I’d like to ask Dr. Steele, critical race theory has really hijacked the mainstream media and how it’s influenced the mind of America. I saw in one of your recent Fox interviews, you stated white guilt, exploitation of black pain, leaves black people dependent on American liberalism. Can you explain that? And also how the media has been very complicit in helping to promote these ideas that we’re talking about?
Shelby Steele: Yes. I think again, I think pretty much, much of what goes on in America day regarding race comes out of this again, cultural event in the ’60s where America, in a sense, confessed to and said, “Yes, okay, we were wrong. We practiced Jim Crow, segregation, oppression. We lynched blacks. We oppressed them. We persecuted them.” Whoa, no culture goes through a moment of confession like that without there being all sorts of ramifications. And I think one of the most significant new sources of power in American life comes from what I’ve called white guilt. By which I mean, I don’t mean guilt in the sense of that we normal, I did something wrong and I feel guilty about it.
But guilt in the sense that you have lost moral authority. And so you may never have done, most whites today obviously had nothing to do with slavery and most nothing to do with Jim Crow, nothing to do with the problems blacks face today. And yet, the White America today, since the ’60s has dealt with the race problem, guiltily, we’ve acted as though we were guilty because we are terrorized of, and I mean terrorized of being seen as a racist.
It’s the worst thing you can be seen as in American life today. And so that is, think of all the power in that. If I can wield that power, that guilt, I can push buttons and make things happen and make whites change their institutions, make America change its educational system, change the way its corporations do business, change the way all of its institutions function, the media, everything, that is enormous power. And it is driven I think, by this not well enough examined white guilt, phenomenon of white guilt that we’ve lived with now for about 60 years look at. The way it’s eroded the moral character of our society.
Sam Rohrer: Shelby, can I ask you a question here? Again, you’re right smack in the middle of something that’s really important, and that is this. You refer back to what happened in the ’60s when there was a major recognition in this country, and you’ve said it appropriately, primarily by White America, those who were making most of the decisions and you’re hearkening back to how that was dealt with. Well, oftentimes in life, when we go through circumstances, we don’t go through it the right way. And when we look back, we say, “Boy, I wish I would have responded differently.” Where did we actually go wrong as a culture, as a government, as governmental policy in this matter? What didn’t take place that should have taken place? Because the result of many of those things that happened in the ’60s, it was appropriate. So what went wrong?
Shelby Steele: What went wrong is that America was so almost hysterically concerned with reclaiming its innocence. After all, America is the greatest country that’s ever existed. We’re, as a country, we have enormously high self-esteem. Yet here, we have this shame. What we fail to do is appreciate the vulnerability that opened up in the American culture, for people like Black Lives Matter is just one of the most more recent examples of power hungry people from the left who now have this holding this over America’s head. What we should have done in the ’60s is to say, “You know what? We were wrong because we failed as human beings to live up to our own principles. But the way ahead is not to betray those principles, but to reinforce them. To family values, the classic traditional values of hard work and sacrifice and so forth, we need to reinforce those as the only way ahead for all for all Americans. But we became selfish.
And so what we’re going to do instead, President Johnson leading the way, we’re going to act guiltily. We’re going to do whatever is necessary to show that we’re really innocent of racism. In other words, we’re going to move into denial. And denial was the big mistake I think America made coming out of the ’60s is denying that we had just owned up to this profound history of ours, this terrible shame of ours. We should not have denied it. Right away, we should have absorbed it and said that we failed our principals, they didn’t fail us. Our challenge as a society is to live up to those principles, classic American, the Constitution and so forth, those principles that made us so great. But we didn’t do that. White guilt became this kind of a way to deny it, to say, “Oh, we have a diversity program in my office. We sent out the college brochure for alumni and so forth, and we make sure we get black, yellow, brown, white faces on the cover.”
We’re sort of orchestrating a look of innocence. You see, we’re not that ugly America that did all those terrible things, were innocent of that. And innocence has become the big preoccupation of mainstream American society when it comes to issues of race and so forth. There’s no innocence here. Innocence is something that you earn through inner transformation, inner recommitment to what you know is right, to the principles that have made Western civilization so great, but difficult…
Joe Green: I think that those are…
Shelby Steele: … to get there when you’re in this American society, Black Americans are suddenly sitting there with all this power to transform America to redesign, restructure our institutions. I spent my adult life in universities, the transformation in the universities is just amazing, we haven’t fully appreciated it yet. But it comes from power and it’s I won’t name names and get into certain universities that I’m very familiar with. But I look at the trends, I look up and one of them and suddenly there’s what they call an HR, human resources department, and suddenly they hire all sorts of people, bring them into the University to work with, to provide safe spaces for students. So the students of color are never in a place that they deemed to be unfriendly or unsafe, For somebody like myself who grew up in re in segregation, it’s a darkly funny, I guess, as a way to put it. But the point is, the institution is so determined to prove its innocence of racism, that it throws out all of the principles that made it a great institution in the first place.
Joe Green: And you know what Shelby, these are great points that you’re hitting on. And I think that one of the things that we have to understand when we understand the psychology behind Marxism and Hegel and all these idealists and their ultimate goals. So when we understand their ultimate goal, which is the new world order communist Marxist type of dystopian society, I think it’s so important that we understand that the strength of these ideals is that they use real grievances and real issues, real truths, but they use them in a way to twist and distort and to empower because like you stated we made a conscious declaration of our wrong in the 1960s, but yet we are still revictimizing society by saying over and over again, you remember what you guys did in the past. You remember you guys did in the past.
And so they use partial truth to use a truth in order to establish their power, which is why it has so much power in order to influence to deceive the public as a whole. And when we come back, we’re going to talk a little bit more. We’re going to continue our conversation with Dr. Shelby Steele and critical race theory. And also talk about some of the specifics on how it’s infiltrated almost every sphere of society.
Thank you for tuning in to stand in the gap today. We’ll be back after these messages.
Joe Green: And we’re back with Dr. Shelby Steele and the honorable Sam Rohrer, we’re talking about critical race theory and how it has permeated or infiltrated, almost every sphere of the American society. You know, Dr. Steele, when I first met you, I was on a Zoom call with the Frederick Douglas foundation, where you were talking about your documentary, What killed Michael Brown.
I’d like to, in the few moments that we have, if you can tell a little bit about the Mike Brown documentary and how this kind of talks about the whole critical race theory and how the public is being shifted in their thoughts. And then afterwards, Sam, I’d like for you to close this by just encouraging us as pastors and as believers of how we can respond to these types of great deceptions and these strategies that look to reshape our culture and turn us away from God and turn us into something that really is contrary to a biblical worldview. Dr. Steel pleased. It was an awesome documentary. I saw it very informative, and I would encourage everyone to, if you get a chance to look at the documentary, What Killed Michael Brown?
Shelby Steele: Well, thank you. Thank you. It was an interesting experience to make that documentary. And things are never as long as you’d like it to be twice as long, but we had to live within reality. And so there’s certain things we didn’t get to get to, but we’re very proud of it. It does, I think, introduce a new way of looking at this kind of an event where a black teenager was shot by a white policeman is now almost a kind of an American ritual that happens. And then right away, there’s an media explosion. People from all over the country come and become involved in the case of Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri. That story exploded all over the world. The most recent example of course, is George Floyd. Another instance like that, what we wanted to look at is what’s really going on there.
Clearly to get that kind of an attention. When one black kid is shot and killed it is worldwide attention. Yet, as I heard yesterday in Chicago, 779 largely black kids were shot and killed this year, this past year in Chicago, very little attention at all. But Michael Brown raises all this attention because a white cop killed a black boy. This echoes the America’s historic shame. Therefore, it becomes pregnant with power. And we can see that. Black Lives Matter sprang to life, right in the middle of the Michael Brown case, they use that as example of what they call systemic racism. And once you take racism from an isolated incident, one boy being killed, and you say, it’s systemic, you expand your entitlement. It’s not just that I want justice for one kid. I want justice for the American way of life. Racism is in everything. And therefore I’m entitled in every way. Wow, what a power grab that was. Well, and it has been very effective.
The reason we know it’s fraudulent is because the problems that Black Americans continue to suffer from are unaffected. We still have a 75% illegitimacy rate of black kids being born without fathers. We have a breakdown in the family. Twice as many black women get married at half the rate of white women. They get divorced at twice the rate. Where’s the family? That is a problem that is so profound it’s difficult to express it. Yet, we’re talking about police brutality as though that was the problem. When we have to search, we just don’t have that many examples of it. The big secret here. And then I will shut up, the big secret here is that for Black Americans, for the very first time in our history, we’re not very much victimized.
We don’t suffer much from racism. I grew up in segregation, I know what it’s like to suffer from racism. Today, I’m 98% free. I don’t run into racism. Most blacks don’t run into racism. I run into freedom and that’s the problem. Freedom scares the heck out of you. How do you make your own life? How do you take charge of your own fate? How do you struggle to become a decent human being in your own right? That’s the challenge that blacks face, but that’s a difficult challenge. And what we do too often instead, is hide from our freedom by denying it, by saying we’re still victims. And we get attached to our victimization, just like white people get attached to their innocence.
And thus we all of the… Only corruption can follow from that. And that is in many ways, the underlying tension of race in America today is this white innocence versus black victimization and the struggling and the posturing and the maneuvering that goes on while we again, ignore the devastating problems that inner city blacks face. When I grew up in the South side of Chicago, we were poor, but there was no underclass. Today, the entire South side of Chicago was black underclass. We’re getting worse off because of this dynamic. It’s oppressing us worse than segregation did.
Joe Green: Absolutely.
Shelby Steele: This liberalism is I finally have to call it is ruinous to Black American life in America. I will shut up now.
Joe Green: I agree. I agree. And I appreciate you. And I wish we had so much more time to really unpack this. Hopefully we’ll be able to have you back on, but you know, one of the things that you said, which was so important African-American males, the number one cause of death for African-American males is homicide between 25 and 35, I think, but less than one half of 1%. And it’s much less than that of those deaths are from white cops, shooting African-American males so the real issues that we are suffering in black America, aren’t police brutality that’s way down on the list, but yet the media would have you to believe that that is the number one issue that we face as a people. But I really appreciate you Shelby, for everything you’ve done again, Who Kss“`illed Michael Brown documentary, I would encourage everyone to see it. And so in the minute or so, Sam, if you can close us in prayer and just, we know the answers that we have have as the preachers of the gospel, but anyway, I’m going to turn it over to you, Sam,
Sam Rohrer: All right. Joe, I tell you, Shelby thank you for being with us. This thought ran through my mind. When I asked you what went wrong? We improperly dealt with the reality of guilt and wrongdoing. You said very clearly, we failed our values, our values did not fail us. And that brings me to the church. I think the church in America has failed in that the only thing that can solve our problem, then and now, is an understanding that God exists. He created all men equal, all people equal, but sin came into this world. There was a fault and we are all sinners. We all do wrong, but thank the Lord. He provided a way of redemption through Jesus Christ, and that provides ladies and gentlemen restoration and healing. The white community didn’t deal with it properly. The black community is not dealing with properly because we are failing to deal with what God says is the recipe. And if we do, we can have redemption and healing. And with that, I’m going to turn it back to you.
Joe Green: Well, I thank you again for everyone who’s tuned into today’s Stand in The Gap Today Radio. Again, we were honored to have Dr. Shelby Steele, who is a senior fellow Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, also the documentary, Who Killed Mike Brown. And until next time, peace and blessings to you all. And remember, Jesus is the answer…