“In response to the sixties American liberalism realigned itself around victimization not as a fact or as an ongoing problem but as a totalistic explanation of black difficulty. Conservatism during this period belatedly admitted to the fact of black victimization but never accepted it as a totalism. To a profound degree this relation to the totalism of victimization came to demarcate social liberalism and conservatism after the sixties. And to this day the liberal looks at black difficulties – high crime rates, weak academic performance, illegitimacy rates, and so on – and presumes them to be the result of victimizing forces beyond the control of blacks. The conservative does not deny this as a possibility but refuses to presume it… To accept victimization not as one of many variables but as a totalism was to see it as structural – so built into the patterns of society that it could be manifested apart from human will.

And if the evil was structural, only structural remedies would work against it. You couldn’t fight racial victimization on a case-by-case basis; you had to put into place structures that would prefer the victim in compensation for the victimization we could presume he or she had endured. Thus liberalism became preemptive rather than defensive. It no longer protected individuals and fought for equal opportunity but it pursued group rights and equal results. It remedied the victimization before it was manifest. This transformation came from the embrace of victimization as a totalistic explanation of black difficulty. But it changed the basic terms of American liberalism from freedom, rights, and responsibilities to planning, engineering, and entitlements… Today a liberal does not believe in or work for a color-blind society; that is what conservatives want. Today a liberal supports the government’s right to make distinctions by race (for purposes of social engineering) just as segregationists fought for the same right thirty-five years ago.” – Excerpt from A Dream Deferred by Dr. Shelby Steele