Published on February 19th, 2013


Sheila Jackson Lee and Rush Limbaugh Deserve Each Other

If you’re black, you got to look at America a little bit different. You got to look at America like the uncle who paid for you to go to college, but who molested you.” – Chris Rock

Rush Limbaugh and Sheila Jackson Lee are twin symbols of the worst that each party has to offer. Limbaugh is the conservative appendix, the useless sack of bile and bacteria that occasionally flares up to bring the whole body near collapse. Lee is an incoherent diva whose only political purpose is to highlight the degree to which African-American voters are trapped by the Democratic Party machine.

This week their paths crossed in a manner that demonstrated the worst that our political system has to offer. It was a terrible tornado; a twisting vortex of clown on clown political vitriol that should leave all of us humiliated and determined to build a new political paradigm.

The object of Limbaugh’s scorn was another showy, overblown address by Rep. Lee in which she threaded the totally unrelated theme of slavery into a rambling and incoherent message about the sequester. This is what she does on days that end in “y.” Along the way she described herself as a “freed slave.” Yawn.

Of course her claim is incorrect in a strictly technical sense. It was her ancestors, (perhaps as recently as a grandparent, let’s remember), to whom that directly applies. However, if I can describe myself as Scots-Irish, with no ancestor born in Scotland or Ireland in the past two hundred years, I suppose she can call herself a freed slave. Her heritage still matters to America, just like mine.

Limbaugh pounced, determined to set the record straight and defend Lee’s affront to America’s honor.

Surely there was some other more attractive target that day for his sick interests. Aren’t there still a few slutty young law students out there using their bodies for pleasure, or did we manage to stop all that?

Rep. Lee is an irresistible target for conservatives because she’s one of the least credible Democratic members of Congress. She regularly makes odd claims in floor speeches. She is a nightmare of a boss and a camera-hogging misery to deal with on any level. It would be difficult to construct by hand a less effective representative for the residents of Texas’ 18th District.

Worse, she is a nagging symbol of Republican ineffectiveness. She continues to win elections because we cannot offer black voters a credible alternative to one of Congress’ most embarrassing members.

Sheila Jackson Lee could be a symbol of what’s wrong with the Democratic Party. Limbaugh managed to make her a victim by putting on full display the pigheaded racial ignorance that hobbles Republican outreach. Ridiculing a black Congresswoman because she hasn’t experienced quite as much racism as she claims is not exactly an ideal way to put the party’s new openness on display.

rush-limbaughLet’s get something absolutely clear and put it in a memo from the RNC to the Fox News morning show staff, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, and the rest of the dealers in far-right hard-core political porn.

Black people have the moral high ground when they talk about slavery. There’s no point parsing it. Arguing the finer points of our slave heritage makes you look like as jackass in the best case. Do. Not. Go. There.

Shouldn’t black folks just get over it? I mean, we’ve been letting them vote and attend public schools and buy houses in our neighborhoods since the ‘70’s. We even let them speak at Tea Party rallies as long they say what we want to hear.

Yes, they should get over it, as soon we “get over it” and stop identifying every shadow we see as the specter of Communism, Fascism, Secular Humanism (whatever the hell that is), Communism-Fascism, or CommuSocialistFacistAnti-Christism. We can ask them to get over it when we stop trying to name some “equivalent” wrong of our own every time a black person points out an instance of racism. We can ask them to get over it when the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow no longer leave African-Americans at a disadvantage.

Yes, when crotchety old white men like Limbaugh accomplish all of their “forgetting” and race no longer impacts economic success, we’ll be in a fine position to lecture black folks about their trivial attachment to slavery.

African-Americans and other minorities are absolutely right to view our heritage slightly askance. It means something different for them, then and now, then for us. It always will. That’s okay. Patriotism does not ask for denial, and it does not thrive on ignorance.

We can build a vision for the future together based on a shared heritage filled with highs and lows. What we as white voters cannot do is dictate the terms by which other groups get to participate in that process. Those days are over.

The heritage of African-Americans and other distinct ethnic groups are not a threat to us or to America. Their experience is woven deeply into our shared American identity. When we recognize that and come to grips with what it means, we will all be ready to move on together. For now, serious issues will take a backseat to Limbaugh and Lee’s political Punch & Judy Show. They deserve each other, but we deserve better.

More of this discussion and other links at Building a Better GOP on Facebook.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chris Ladd is a Texan who is now living in the Chicago area.  He is the founder of Building a Better GOP and has served for several years as a Republican Precinct Committeeman in DuPage County, IL, and was active in state and local Republican campaigns in Texas for many years. (Email: chrladd AT gmail DOT com)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , ,

3 Responses to Sheila Jackson Lee and Rush Limbaugh Deserve Each Other

  1. Patricia Dickson says:

    Mr. Ladd,

    I don’t know how it is that you can claim to be a republican and write such a slanted non-factual column. First of all, you attack Mr. Limbaugh’s character and provide no evidence to back it up (just like the liberals). Then you attack other prominent republicans and Fox News and accuse them of being on the far right (just like the liberals). I am a black bible believing conservative female. I served over 21 years in the military and hold a Master’s Degree in Finance (currently pursuing a PhD). One of the first classes that I took in undergraduate school at the community college was critical thinking (I enjoyed it so much that I took two more critical thinking classes at the university). Those classes taught me to always look for FACTS in any argument, claim or debate. You stated that “Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, and the rest of the dealers in far-right hard-core political porn”. Where is the proof to support that claim? What about what is discussed and reported on Fox News makes it on the level of political Porn? What non-factual reporting has Fox News done? You also stated that “Black people have the moral high ground when they talk about slavery”. Is that because we are the ones that started it by enslaving our own people and selling them to the white man? You also stated that “Patriotism does not ask for denial, and it does not thrive on ignorance.” Denial of what? Who asked minorities to deny their heritage? As far as ignorance, it is the black race that is promoting ignorance when we fail to acknowledge that we are the ones that caused our race to be enslaved, not the white man. Also, we are the ones that keep our race uneducated and poor because of our culture, not white people.
    You are claiming to be a republican yet you spat the same nonsense as black liberals (just like Colin Powell). Shelia Jackson Lee IS an idiot playing on the minds and emotions of stupid black people. She has never been a slave and she knows it. Rush Limbaugh just called attention to the stupidity!! I would rather listen to Rush any day than listen to the condescending lies of a black liberals like Shelia Jackson Lee and Barack Obama. I resent your claim that conservative republicans allow black people to speak at tea party gathering as long as the black individual says what the white people want them to say. You are suggesting that black people cannot think for themselves and have to be told what to say and think (just like the liberals). Why don’t you and Colin Powell switch to the Democrat party where you belong!!

    Patricia Dickson
    United States Air Force (Ret)

    • Christopher McNeal says:

      Ms Dickson,

      I agree with some of what you’ve written and disagree with many other parts. I value your dissension, yet I believe you’re reasoning for invalidating this notion of ‘moral superiority’ in regards to slavery and Jim Crow is dangerously flawed. Since you value critical thinking and analysis so much; allow me to provide some meat to Mr. Ladd’s argument:

      1) Even though Africans may have sold captive slaves to Europeans thus beginning the Trans-Atlantic slaves trade; they did so with no knowledge or comprehension of the horrors and atrocities that they were invisiting upon their victims. The American institution of slavery is regarded as unique and more permanent than other institutions of slavery throughout history because it was raced based. Thus enslaved persons and their lineages were perpetually deprived of life, liberty and even their very humanity. By the standards of established culpability based upon the precedence of our criminal courts in America; these African slave-traders lacked the “mens rea” to carry the burden of your convictions. Furthermore, even if you dismiss this argument, the crimes of the African should have no bearing on the guilt/innocence of the African-American for their plight.

      2) You ask for instances of Rush Limbaugh’s bigorty. I shall illuminate a few instances:

      “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”

      “The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

      [To an African American female caller]: “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”

      “We need segregated buses… This is Obama’s America.”

      I could go on but I will not. In closing, I too served my country in the United States Army. I am currently a law student and have embraced economic empowerment through fiscal conservatisim although I don’t identify as a Republican. Instead of attacking the likes of Mr Ladd, you ought to pat him on the back for fighting for the future of the Republican Party. Maybe if the lunatic fringe right didn’t get so much media exposure and responsible conservatives got more air time, we could convince more minorities to listen to our views. This will never happen if we can not reign in those who continue to race-bait in order to garner support amongst the lowest of our citizenry. Thank you.

  2. JP says:

    I admit I’ve never actually sat down and listened to Rush Limbaugh, (but as a woman in my 30’s, I’m not really his target demographic anyway), so I had no idea how really racist the things he says are. I assumed liberals hated him because he was conservative. I’m sure that’s true too, but clearly there is more there, especially for black Americans. It just seems like Rush and the Democrats have created this awful caricature of Republicans/conservatives as racists, and I guess if you don’t know many Republicans or conservatives that is what you would assume.

    Meanwhile, many Republicans know they grew up with parents who taught appreciation and respect for all cultures and peoples, and that they have lived these principles and passed them on to their own children. They look around at their Republican friends and neighbors and rightly call BS on the whole “Republicans are racist” mantra that is fed to the masses, They take that smear as just as personally offensive as any other wrong and useless racial/ethnic slur. I guess it’s no wonder we are where we are.

    However, we don’t have to own that caricature. There may be some Republican politicians and pundits who play that up to scare low-info white voters, just as the Democratic elites use it to scare low-info minority voters. We ought to denounce these tactics no matter where they are coming from. We also need to put real every day R’s/conservatives front and center. For every liberal caricature of a cold, heartless conservative, there are 100 times as many REAL conservatives volunteering in literacy programs in schools or teaching English to refugees and new immigrants or mentoring teen mothers. For every greedy conservative, there are many who give generously to philanthropic causes that fight diseases, promote urban renewal, improve education outcomes, and on and on. For every race-baiting embarrassment to the Republican party, there are thousands more conservative men and women serving and sacrificing in our military, putting their lives on the line for the freedom of Americans of ALL colors.

    The fact is that we still don’t understand each other across racial lines. I don’t know whether black Americans think white Democrats understand them or not, but too many white Democrats I know think that voting Democrat “IS” the equivalent of being educated on issues of race, that somehow filling in the right bubble on your ballot frees you from having to really contemplate or participate in racial progress and healing in this country.

    I read something the other day that blew my mind, even though it was really pretty basic. It talked about how white Europeans who immigrated to America had good reason to mistrust big government. They had seen the abuses of an unchecked state and lived under the yoke of its poverty. However, black Americans didn’t have the experience of living under European-style government. The experience for black Americans was that PEOPLE unchecked were the problem and government (from the Emancipation Proclamation, to Brown vs. Board of Ed, to the Civil Rights Act, etc.) was often the only remedy. If we start to look at some of these perspectives we can do away with the ridiculous caricatures.

    Conservative voters need to hold our politicians accountable, and make sure that they are not only reflecting our policy views, but the long and proud tradition of the Republican Party as being the party of freedom and equality. We also need to make sure that they are not just trying to market to minority voters, but to actually “get” where they are coming from. If it’s just about winning 2016 we deserve to lose. If we truly and passionately believe, as I do, that conservative ideas and policies are the key to better outcomes for ALL Americans on just about every level, we need to really be all-in on laying the foundation for being the big tent party.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑

  • php developer india
  • Donate

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives