RUSH: I mentioned Shelby Steele. I’ve quoted him often. He is a scholar at the Hoover Institute on the campus at Stanford. He is African-American, a very brilliant man, and very much to our benefit a conservative. One of the most recent pieces of his that I’ve come across is headlined: “The Perils of Political Correctness.” And here’s how he begins this piece: “Societies have many of the qualities individuals have. America is a particularly great society. There’s been no country like this ever before in all of human history.”
He’s exactly right about that. But, see, that is actually one of the roots of the problem. The Democrat Party today… You know, I was just sitting here, if I may make a brief departure. I played this sound bite from the ABC News roundtable. Here’s Katrina vanden Heuvel, who is a radical leftist, pro-communist sympathizer is who she is! It is amazing to me how the extreme radicals of the left and the and the Democrat Party have become mainstream, American political figures.
She literally said that because Jeff Sessions’ middle name is Beauregard, that Trump ought to be going easy on people like John Lewis and ought to understand that people are a little worried for race relations because Trump nominated a guy whose middle name is Beauregard. Now, who is the racist? Who is the racist pig in this situation? Who’s the bigot? It would be Katrina vanden Heuvel! Who in the world thinks this way? But there she is in a position of prominence on the ABC News roundtable.
It’s just… It’s insane! We’re dealing with unhinged, deranged lunatics who are presented to us as mainstream American Democrats and liberals. They do not think this is a great country. They are even running around now carrying protest signs: “America was never great.” They believe America was never great for one reason: slavery. And they think it’s still in place, I guess. I mean, it’s just… It’s difficult to deal with these people rationally because they are not rational. Anyway, back to Shelby Steele here.
“America is a particularly great society. There’s been no country like this ever before in all of human history. And all of the sins that America has committed in its past are nothing that’s new. Many countries around the world had slavery and so forth,” in many places. The U.S. never gets any credit for eliminating it, for defeating it, for wiping it out. You ever ask yourself why that is? Never! Like I say, folks, I haven’t seen the Democrats this unhinged since Lincoln freed the slaves, as a matter of fact.
The Democrats are fit to be tied back when that happened. Well, they were the plantation owners. You know John Lewis? John Lewis, the dogs were set upon and the fire hoses when they are marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. You know who was behind the dogs and the fire hoses? Democrats! I gotta rein it in here. I know I scare 24-year-old women, to whom passion is a very frightening thing. Bull Connor — who beat countless protesters — George Wallace, Lester Maddox. All these universities who had closed doors were in states run by Democrat governors.
The Democrats were the segregationists, the KKK was the military arm of the Democrat Party back then. John Lewis was “beat upside the head” (his words) by Democrats, not Republicans, not people like Donald Trump. He was beat upside the head and violence was committed against him and the other marchers by Democrats. We defeated slavery! We eliminated it. It still exists in many places (including in the Middle East, ladies and gentlemen).
Anyway, writes Mr. Steele, “Nevertheless, [having grown] up during the Civil Rights Era, America was brought to account for the sin of slavery, for its mistreatment of women, for all of these things that white supremacy, in a sense, fostered. … Still, we all live with the knowledge of this past tragedy and of the hypocrisy of it. I think that knowledge has generated in American life this need to be redemptive, to prove that we are not like that anymore. And so how do you show yourself to be redemptive?”
See, this is what I was trying to drill down, dig down deep and try to explain Democrat behavior. And that is they’re unable to forget that there was slavery in our past 200 years ago, and they think we still need redemption. Even though there isn’t slavery now and hasn’t been for hundreds of years, they are convinced that we still need to be redemptive, that we still need to prove that we aren’t like that anymore. “So,” Mr. Steele says, “how do you show yourself to be redemptive?”
“You keep deferring to those groups that are associated with that victimization and you keep trying to give them things and, in a sense, use them as a vehicle for America’s redemption.” This is what I spotted when I ran into so many sportswriters so, so almost sympathetic. You know, a black person would get the job as a manager of a baseball team or a coach, and they would think it was one of the greatest achievements in their lives, and they would write pieces and profiles, “Whoa, this is just…”
I’d ask, “What’s the big deal?” I mean, not that I was opposed it. Don’t misunderstand. I’m trying to understand why they are having a cow over it. And this explains it. They’re still so imbued with guilt over something they didn’t even do, and they are then so obsessed with the need to show people that they have no ties to any of that victimization that happened in the past, that they never were approving of slavery, and they still to this day aren’t. So what they do is defer — constantly defer — to the groups associated with the victimization and then keep giving them things.
And the giving them things can be inclusive of never criticizing them, putting them on pedestals, allowing them to be and say and do whatever they want because they’ve got the right to because they come from something that happened 200 years ago. And then this: “One of the points that I feel very strongly about,” writes Mr. Steele, “coming as a black [man], is that the deference that America has shown us since the ’60s with the War on Poverty and the Great Society and welfare, these deferential policies that defer to our history of victimization now victimize us more than racism did.”
Let that sink in. Let me read that again: All of the great things that American has done for African-Americans “since the ’60s with the War on Poverty and the Great Society and welfare, these deferential policies that defer to our history of victimization now victimize us more than racism did,” and it does. It not just victimizes, it stigmatizes. It’s “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” It’s the presumption that because there is this thing that happened to African-Americans 200 years ago, it makes it today impossible for them to ever be full-fledged, because they’ve got so many strikes against them.
So it’s the low expectations, the constant victimization, the stigmatization that they can’t do anything without the help of liberals — and so we need these programs. And Mr. Steele is saying this is not helping us. This is not helping African-Americans or any other minority. It’s continuing to perpetuate the idea that we’re prisoners of American society in general. Not plantation owners anymore, but just the country itself. And we can’t escape this penalty box we’re in without the help of liberals, government programs, or what have you.
He says, “I grew up in segregation. I know exactly what it’s like. And I had a more positive attitude toward America than many blacks do today who are the beneficiaries of affirmative action.” He says he was living during the days of segregation he had a better outlook on his life than blacks today do after affirmative action. And he says, “I think that deference has become a very corrupting influence on the people that it tries to help.
“It’s honorable that it wants to help these people but they never ask the people to be responsible for their own transformation and uplift and that’s the great tragedy of deference and political correctness,” and there again is “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” He’s admitting it here. All of this assistance, whatever it is, affirmative action, Great Society, War on Poverty, or the way John Lewis and others are allowed to be, do, say whatever they want — no matter how crazy it is, how wrong it is — because of something that happened to them that was horrible 50 years ago.
He says, we are not asking the beneficiaries of all this political correctness or all these programs to step up and “be responsible for their own transformation.” Well, the reason that is is because the left really doesn’t believe it’s possible. This is the problem. That’s “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” The left does not believe that there can actually be progress for blacks in America. When there is — when you come across a Clarence Thomas — what do they do to him? Shelby Steele gets the same treatment Clarence Thomas has gotten.
When there are blacks who have escaped the plantation of affirmative action and liberal assistance programs, what does the left do to them? It calls them Uncle Toms, attempts to deny them anything they’ve achieved, claim that they have betrayed their people, they have betrayed the neighborhood. They have betrayed and are no longer down for the struggle. They’re not allowed to escape it! This is the key. There still are plantation owners; they are Democrats.
They are left-wing liberals, and they are demanding that victims of slavery continue to act like it’s still happening today so that the left can get credit for caring and whatever else they want, for supposedly trying to help. He’s nailed it here. This is right… This is why… I know I’m really on thin ice with this. I probably ought not mention this. Let me make… One, two, three, four. Michelle Obama and fashion. Should I talk about it? Nah. (interruption) You think I should? Somehow, sometime over the weekend or last week…
I don’t know when it was and I’m not even sure what it was. It might have been Vogue, might have been Vanity Fair, might have been New York Times Magazine, might have been CNN. Somebody did a puff piece profile on how Michelle Obama redefined first lady White House fashion, and that there’s never been any first lady that ever even approached Michelle Obama when it comes to fashion, that she has just blown ’em all away. She blew Jackie O away. She blew Nancy Reagan. It doesn’t matter what first lady. Martha Washington, you name it. It doesn’t matter. Michelle Obama, there’s been never been anything close.
Now, that is precisely what I’m talking about. Where does that come from? What is the need for doing that? Why can’t it just be she was a fashion icon, she did wonderful things? Why does it have to be that there’s never, ever been anybody even close to Michelle Obama? And it’s rooted right here. The only way… When you boil it all down, the only way minorities — and I don’t care if it’s African-Americans, Hispanics. The only way that it will ever be said that they have achieved is when the left can claim credit for whatever the achievement is.
They are not allowed to do it on their own. They are not allowed to escape current circumstances on their own. They’re not allowed to get anywhere without affirmative action. They’re not allowed to get anywhere without whatever prescriptions the left demands they follow. And if they do, then they come under an assault unlike that which most people ever have to deal with. (interruption) Well, it’s not… (interruption) Mr. Snerdley’s saying, “They’re not allowed to fail ever.” That’s… I know what you mean. You’re not allowed to say that they failed. Even when they do, it’s understandable!
With all the racism and bigotry, how dare you say you hope he fails!
Well, I didn’t want his policies to succeed, and these people knew all that. Anyway, this piece by Shelby Steele goes on. He says, “As I said in a recent Wall Street Journal article, political correctness is just the codification of deference…As blacks, we live in a society that keeps trying now to help us and to redeem itself through us,” and that’s exactly right. These leftists are trying to make themselves feel like better people.
They’re better than you, better than me. They’re good people because they understand the plight and the suffering, and at least they’re trying to do something about it, which they never accomplish. And this never ending effort to help blacks redeem themselves “just pushes us into a symbiotic relationship with white America. We become their poster boy for redemption… It’s now begun to hurt the fabric of American life.” Shelby Steele on the Perils of Political Correctness.
RUSH: Now, if the left didn’t hate Trump so much, they would excoriate me for this last segment, and they may still, ’cause you know what the left doesn’t like about me and the civil rights coalitions? What they don’t like about me, folks, is I do really believe in equality and I really am colorblind and I really do want everybody to enjoy life, and I want everybody to succeed. And I realize that the left and the Democrat Party has a bunch of the people that vote for it in the equivalent of shackles. The Democrat Party is preventing people from becoming the best they can be.
Because the Democrat Party is telling them they can’t, and blames Republicans for that, blames conservatives for all of these obstacles in people’s way. When the biggest obstacle in the way of people that vote for Democrats is the Democrat Party. I mean, look at it. Everybody is under the threat of stigmatization. Blacks are fanatical over who is really black and who isn’t, and whites are fanatical about whether they’re racist or whether they’re not — and in the process, nobody’s seeing anybody else for what they really are: Human beings! To the left, there aren’t any human beings. They’re just votes. They’re just opportunities.
All of this has irritated me for so long, I can’t tell you.
I just… I wish people could escape that.
RUSH: So I have people in the email — and it’s understandable. I mean, I knew this was gonna happen. “You think maybe you’re going a little bit too far on this Michelle Obama fashion icon…?” No. No. I’m not. See what is the whole point? I’m really holding back, folks, in telling you what I really think about why all this stuff is being said. I’m practicing restraint here. Let me throw something else into the mix, and just maybe you can draw some conclusions on your own without me having to spell it out.
On the one hand, we have over here Michelle Obama as the greatest fashion icon first lady ever. It’s not just that she’s fashionable and has achieved whatever you do in the world of fashion. No, no, no! “Better than ever! Nobody even close! Icon! Set new standard!” All of this just effusive, over-the-top praise. At the same time, Melania and Ivanka Trump are being savaged for their sense of fashion. Not recently, but it has happened over him the course of the campaign. Both women are mocked, laughed at, made fun of, criticized, and are the objects of derision in a number of different ways.
Now, you put the two together, and I guarantee you if you take what you have already heard today and have learned from it, you’ll be able to put all this together and make it make sense. Let me give you another word: Sympathy. A lot of sympathy. It’s a leftist exclusive. It’s really what this is all about. Same thing with Obama. They feel so sorry, so sad. It’s just… Gotta make up for that. Gotta accommodate for it. And part and parcel, when there’s sympathy involved, you’re immune to criticism. You can’t be criticized.
Like this. What is Barack Obama’s full name? Anybody know? (interruption) That’s right. It’s Barack Hussein Obama. Now, John McCain one time canceled a person that he had hired to introduce him and warm up his crowd because that man mentioned Obama’s middle name. McCain said (interruption), “We’re not gonna have that kind discrimination in my campaign! We’re not gonna do that! That’s baseless. That’s senseless!” This was Bill Cunningham. “Bill Cunningham, you’re fired! Get out.” Cunningham was fired. He could not say Obama’s middle name.
Anybody who did, the left came after ’em, did they not?
Yet now it is retired that you criticize Jeff Sessions because of his middle name. Because his middle name is Beauregard, John Lewis can say whatever we says impunity. Because Jeff Sessions’ middle name is Beauregard, we need to understand that the Justice Department’s gonna be the new home of racism. That’s Katrina vanden Heuvel on ABC. So Sessions’ middle name, we must acknowledge it, recognize it, say it, define it, and tell people what it means. Obama’s middle name?
“Shhhhh! No, no, no. Don’t even say it. Don’t! No, you’re not allowed to say it. People might get the wrong idea.”
“What wrong idea?”
“Well, you know.”
“No, why? What wrong idea?”
“You just don’t say it, okay? Just don’t say it!”