The question: What is the dust-up between Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh revealing about the role of blacks in the GOP and conservative movement?...
The answer: Everything the other 95 percent of blacks, who aren't republicans have been saying about republicans all along!
There's a reason that 95 of blacks voted for Barack Obama... There's a reason that the cameras kept cutting back to the same four blacks in the crowd at the republican convention... There's a reason that black republicans are about as rare as white tigers.... Simply put, we're not stupid!
I think that, by and large, most blacks have a racism radar. Sure, some people's radar is a little too sensitive, but for the most part it works well enough to alert us to certain things like when we're not truly welcomed in certain environments.... For some reason Michael Steel has chosen to ignore this radar, insisting that he knows something that the other 95 percent of black folks don't. As the newly elected chairman of the RNC, his charge was to enlighten us, to remove the wool from our eyes and light the pathway toward the one true movement that embraces freedom and liberty for all Americans, the one party that truly embraces the idea of a raceless, classless society.... The Republican Party fueled by the power of conservative principles!
How's that workin' out for you, Mr. Steele?
Well, after the events of this past week,(the whole dust-up between Steele and Limbaugh) I'd have to say not too well. In fact, I'd say that the events of this week will have two outcomes... 1) I think that it'll virtually cripple Steele's efforts to recruit blacks into the republican party... 2) I think it'll reveal to Steele that paper principles don't work in a real world with an ugly history of slavery and Jim Crow segregation.
In my humble, albeit observant, opinion Rush Limbaugh's tongue-lashing at Michael Steele rang with a sense of "You sassin me boy" sentiment. In other words, it felt as if he were telling Steele to know his place... In fact, that's literally what he was saying. The other thing that struck me was how vehemently indignant Rush was in his criticism of Michael Steele, as opposed to his criticism of Congressman Phil Gringrey of Georgia, who's comments about the acclaimed talk radio host seemed to be much more directed and more stinging than Steele's. I guess the question is, what's the difference between Gringrey and Steele, that made Rush respond to the new RNC Chairman with that amount of venom , yet give Gringrey the equivalent of a "nuggie"? What is it about Steele that aroused in Rush's spirit a cry of "HOW DARE YOU?" .... Okay, if you're like me it's not a hard question, but it is the 1 ton pink gorilla in the room.
Michael Steele is black, and was (s)elected as RNC Chair, not to lead, but to mislead blacks into the party. Now, Michael Steele has never really struck me as an "Uncle Tom" or an "Oreo" or any other colloquialism we've historically used to described black who essentially sell their souls to whites in power to position themselves... In fact, he has a style that gives you the impression that he could go to "the hood" and hold is own. His problem is that he's been working the black republican for so long and it's been working for him so well, that he began to believe his own rhetoric. He began to believe Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity's assertions that Republicans are the party that's truly concerned with the welfare of minorities because taking away public assistance and striking down affirmative action forces us to rely on ourselves for advancement, while the democrats and liberals want us to remain dependent on them for all our needs... After all, the playing field is level for anyone who's willing to work "work hard and play by the rules"
In believing that, he made the folly of actually believing that he was elected as the leader of his party, rather than token of his party. He made the mistake of not understanding that his party wanted to keep pace with their Democratic rivals that really and truly elected a black as their leader and expect him to be just that... You would think that he'd notice the coincidences in Sarah Palin bursting into the RNC spotlight after Hillary's history making campaign and now him being elected after Obama being elected, but he didn't because he's come to believe in the pseudo benevolence of the GOP and conservative movement .
Now, in my opinion Steele is an excellent choice as RNC chair, in fact he's the best choice because he's the best communicator they've got. But, I believe he's beginning to understand that he wasn't elected because he was the best qualified and worked the hardest to get his name and face out there (which could only be the case if conservatives actually practiced the principles they preach). He's beginning to realize that having four or five black faces to throw around gives conservatives cover from allegations of racism, just like having four or five issues that they opposed President Bush on gives them sufficient cover to say that they didn't spend the last eight years following him in lock-step. I think Steele now knows that they're content to have him be one of those black faces, as long as he KNOWS HIS PLACE... But, the bad news for Steele is that they are coming to the conclusion that he doesn't, and it's got him visibly rattled.
It's happening... The chorus of conservatives and republicans calling for him to step down are growing like "drill baby, drill" chants after his speech at the republican convention. It's not surprising that the first blow was dealt by one of the only three black members of the RNC calling for him to quit. Dr. Ada Fisher strikes me as bright and also capable, but at the same time it's not unreasonable for us to question whether or not she wants one of the few coveted slots alloted for minorities in the GOP. Among her criticisms is Steele's use of slang and urban speak as a part of his communications strategy.... I can understand her "beef", but it does bother me that they loved his use of slang last week, but somehow it's become an embarrassment.
The net affect of this entire affair is likely to be that Steele is rendered inept in his ability to recruit black to the Republican Party. I know that many see his willingness to apologize to Limbaugh for his "inarticulate" description of the radio giant, after Limbaughs direct and poignant insults as a step black... I mean back for us. They see Ada Fisher's outspoken call for Steele to resign as 'eating our own' and they see Limbaugh's rant against Steele and the subsequent crescendo or GOP'ers ready to criticize him as as indicative of how they truly think about us if we happen to get out of line.
This whole thing kinda reminds me of something that you might have seen in High School. You have the cool black kid, and the only one out of a group of cool white guys. The cool black kid is accepted by all the rest of the people in the school because he's with the cool white guys, in fact, he's even dating the white sister of one of the cool white guys.... Then he gets caught cheating on the white sister of the cool white guy and suddenly he's not the cool black guy anymore. He doesn't have the cool white friends anymore and everyone in the school has turned against him, even the uncool white guys that cheered for him as he led varsity basketball team to victory last week and even the few uncool black guys that secretly wandered "what's so special about him?"