Shelby Steele’s Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country is a great reminder of the many issues we face as Americans in place that claims freedom depending on our your race, religion, and political party. Segregation, has not gone away, it is something that is not brought up in conversations or discussions. Unfortunately if we do not address things in our own time, we will force our children to do it for us. 
Our the Liberals to Blame?
My dad was a child of the 1960’s and witnessed and participated in the liberal movement that swept the nation during this time. He did not agree with the war in Vietnam. My dad loved our country, but also believed in democracy, he was passionate about people, and served a great time of his life helping people with Autism and Down Syndrome. But is Liberalism a 21st century idea? Or is it something we have seen before in history with Greeks? Was liberalism the cause of the downfall of the once great democracy of Greece?
I believe that these issues that my dad and Steele lived through and encountered are still issues we face today. Not only in the U.S. but it is far worse in other nations. I believe these issues are still present in our culture, but we simply ignore it and try not to draw any attention to these matters. The problem in America, it seems every four years these issues that no one really talks about come to the surface in Presidential elections. However I do believe that even though my dad and Steele stood on opposite sides, my dad still would have loved and honored Steele. Not only honored, but had great empathy for Steele.
My dad traveled a great deal, he spent a great deal of time in Washington D.C.. I believe all the buildings and most of all the government called to him. Most of all hope in this nation, hope in our government, hope in people. As much as my dad loved the capital he was very aware of the underlying problems. Often before accompanying him on meetings or dinners, he would prep me and educate me on the problems and tensions between cultures, ethnicities, and governments. I often frustrated him, as he tried to teach, I would often ask why don’t we submit to God.
Like Washington D.C., Steele’s book will always be in division. Conservatives will celebrate this book, as it will put more fuel on the fire for liberals. I believe it was Steeles hope for his book Shame would extinguish the problem between conservative and liberal parties, however the water seems to be a little muddy still. Theodore Lowi The End of Liberalism. Samuel Huntington’s American Politics: The Promise Disharmony help bring a little more clarity than Steele’s book. But what stands out in Steele’s book is his personal story and struggles.
I love my dad very much, and share his great passion for the outdoors. However my dad and I are on opposite sides when it comes to politics. Thankfully we loved each other and laughed a lot. In fact it took 44 years of my life for my dad to actually listen and learn from me. It took me being behind a pulpit. In year 45 of my life, my dad started to take notes on my sermons, mostly he was moved through my love for Christ, and love for others.
In the Gospels, we see the political parities that formed in the church in the Jewish culture. You had the Pharisees, Sanhedrin, and other Jewish sects or parties that knew the Word of God, but did not have the Word of God in their hearts. Jesus always went after the heart, that if the heart changed, the entire person changed.
I am thankful that Steele brought his own personal battles and struggles into the story, also Steel becoming aware of his own heart and hurts. He realized that his own being needed to change. That in him becoming aware, it helped him be aware others. To summarize, he stopped reacting (emotionally) and started responding. He went from a fixed mindset, to a growth mindset. Most of all, Steele came in a place of being in control of thoughts and feelings. What I respect most about him, that he came to place of not being rattled under criticism. Even under criticism he still tried to represent himself and his ideologies in a professional and respectful way. We can learn in how he was formed in his time of era and what the world was facing.
I think the real trick is, how do we disagree with each other and still love each other.
 Shelby Steele. Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country. New York: Basic Books, 2015.
Theodore Lowi The End of Liberalism. Second Edition W.W. Norton & Company 1979
Samuel Huntington’s American Politics: The Promise Disharmony help bring a little more clarity than Steele’s book. Harvard University Press, Belknap Press, 1981