Summary: In this episode, Marie takes on topical issues of the day, including the Laura Schlessinger/”N-Word” debate, the building of a mosque at Ground Zero, and why some choose to hyphenate racial descriptors. Click the arrow below to listen:
Marie Stroughter’s foray into political activism began around the dinner table as she deconstructed the day’s news cycle with her husband and three homeschooled children. She is one of the founding members of African-American Conservatives (AACONS), and is the host of its critically acclaimed podcast. Marie has served as a communications and social media guru for a number of statewide and national campaigns ranging from senatorial to presidential. In 2019, Ms. Stroughter was appointed to be a National Advisory Board Member and surrogate for Black Voices for Trump. She currently serves on the America First National Engagement Council, an arm of the America First Policy Institute. She has been a part of Allen West’s digital team since 2017. The former Digital Comms Director for the Republican Party of Texas, she now serves a similar role for Texas Values, a nonprofit devoted to policies related to faith, family, and freedom. Marie also freelances and focuses on growing AACONS. To book Marie, use the “Contact Us” page.
While I agree with most things conservative and also things you speak of; I disagree with the Hyphen. I think it does divide and separate. However, I will never tell anyone they can’t because as you say, some will always try and connect with a past or a distant family member.
I would ask that Americans if they should seek to bring up the subject of slavery, remember there were a great number of whites who never supported it back then and there were those who assisted with freeing and bringing slaves of that time to freedom, let us not be so quick to consistently condemn White people of today, some of our family lines do not even go back to the days of slavery in this country either….I urge restraint and consideration for all, it is time we stopped killing each other and grew towards one another as Americans….
I should make it clear that I doubt highly that Governor Palin fully shares my position on the Dr. Laura thing. Her approach seems to be more along the lines of:
“Dr. Laura made a mistake. After years of radio, she finally made a mistake the Left can seize on to run her off. They’ve been lying in wait for this opporunity for years. So she’s choosing to take herself out of the system and become even more powerful as a result. She apologized for her mistake, etc…”
She’s not defending what Dr. Laura said. She’s “Defending the Fight to Cast off a Conservative’s Shackles.”
I guess maybe because I understood what she was saying in the tweets I don’t have as much of a problem with it. I guess we all project.
You and I still agree:)
I understood Governor Palin meant to show support, rather than indicate her “agreement” with what was said. The problem is, you cannot support a wrong without taking some heat yourself, as is the case. The jury (for some) is still out on the use of the “N-word” thus those who find it offensive (as I do), find supporting someone who uses it offensive as well, regardless of what the intent in its usage was. It is considered a vulgar term, and thus you don’t pat someone on the back who is rightfully being taken to task.
As I said, a full statement wherein she could be clearer, or better yet, a private note would have been the more prudent route. When you are in the public eye, scrutiny *is* harsh….the very point Ms. Palin was making. The problem is, she failed to make note of it herself.
Here’s my take on this:
1. Governor Palin spoke out because nobody else was going to. Every other single conservative commentator (to my knowledge) has left Dr. Laura hung out to dry, I believe unfairly. Was Dr. Laura a jerk? Yes. But what else is news? She’s always been a bit of a jerk. If Howard Stern said something sexually shocking would I be shocked? And she didn’t say the word in an offensive manner. What she said is that you turn on HBO and all you hear is NNN. I personally don’t think that’s offensve. The media blows a gasket over it (she said the word!) not even caring how she said it. Was she stupid to say it? Oh, yeah. But she’s not racist.
She handled the caller wrongly, I believe. She didn’t address the actual issues the caller had, but she wasn’t racist. She just kind of went off on her own thing. What talk radio hosts don’t do that? IMHO, a big deal is being made out of nothing.
Governor Palin knows what it’s like to be left hung out to dry. Even though Dr. Laura has had some pretty bad things to say about Palin in the past, Palin saw a wounded soldier that nobody else was going to bother with, and so she decided to pick her up. Governor Palin never tried to condone what Dr. Laura said other than to say that she was rude to the woman but apologized.
2. The tweets. This is where identification comes in. Dr. Laura was facing pressure on her sponsors because of what she said and she decided to get out of the radio framework that would allow her to be punished and constantly have to look over her shoulder and watch everything she says for fear of retribution. Instead, she will go the Tammy Bruce route and broadcast through the internet.
Now, if Dr. Laura had called the woman that word or anybody that word, I wouldn’t mind her being run off the radio. But she didn’t.
Governor Palin said “don’t retreat, reload!” and she has now lost the shackles, etc… because that’s precisely what’s happening. Dr. Laura is taking herself out of a system where she’s in danger of being destroyed for voicing her opinion.
Governor Palin identifies with this because of what happened to her in Alaska. She never said anything along the lines of Dr. Laura, but she was having to constantly watch every word she said and every trip she took and lived looking over her shoulder because she never knew where the next ethics complaint might come from. One was for answering a reporter’s question. One was for posing for a picture. One was for wearing a jacket. One was for taking a trip. Anytime she got dressed, held a press conference, etc… she had to be constantly on guard. Once the legislative session ended without any legislative fix to the abuse of the complaint process and a complaint was put on her trust fund set up to pay her legal fees (the fund was ruled illegal with no wrongdoing by the Governor a year later, so she really would have been screwed – not just her but the other members of her administration who were also getting complaints that the fund was designed to pay for) she really had no choice.
The money and time wasted by both herself and the state on that garbage was impeding the work of the state. She wasn’t going to let that happen, so she took herself out of the system. Not so that she could hide under her bed, but so that she could be free to do as she pleased and say what she pleased without fear of lawsuits being heaped upon her head for doing so.
Perhaps Governor Palin should have just tweeted that she would have a FB post on the Dr. Laura situation so that she could fully explain it without everyone freaking out, but hindsight is 20/20.
Whereas I agree with your assessment of both Dr. Laura’s intent & Governor Palin’s, I think a simple private note would have sufficed. With the Left throwing the [reckless and unfounded] charge of racism about, it was simply the wrong time and the wrong venue [140 characters isn’t a lot to explain motivation] to do it. As I said in my response to another comment, I get what she was trying to do, however, I think she failed in this attempt in that she didn’t consider the bigger picture. Releasing a full statement, or a private letter would have been better.
While I don’t support the “get over it” mindset, what I find troubling is that the discussion of slavery is extremely selective, and in some cases, hypocritical on the left. I think we need a wider discussion of the subject, and it has to stop being merely a vehicle to reduce white Americans to a stigmatized group that has to give up their rights to make some kind of restitution.
We all know that slavery didn’t start in the US, it’s as old as the world itself, it occurred all over the world, and many people, white included were enslaved. That isn’t an excuse for it… but it’s something that needs to be said, because it’s a human wrong. African slavery started in Africa, with Africans enslaving Africans, not because they were forced to, or at the behest of Europeans or other white people. Thousands of years before the first white person traveled to Africa, Africans were selling their people amongst themselves and to their Arab trading partners. The left likes to infer that that slavery was different, that it was somehow “benign”. Some of them say that Arabs treated their slaves well, taught them mathematics, etc.. when the truth was far from that. Few were taught anything, and even those who were, were brutally treated, and the majority were worked to death. Those slaves did not leave descendants behind, there are no surviving descendants. The left also claims that that slavery was acceptable, because those slaves had rights, again, a false and misleading claim. Slaves’ owners had rights against their property being damaged, but the slaves had no rights. Slavery still exists in some places in Africa, and in the Saudi world, children and others are still sold, though the left conveniently ignore that truth.
When it comes to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, we hear only about North America, never about the fact that the trans-Atlantic slave trade was created more than 200 years before the first English and Dutch settler arrived on these shores. The Spanish created the trans-Atlantic slave trade, after committing genocide against the native people of what is now known as Latin America. Later, they introduced the slave trade to the US colonies. I don’t ever hear Hispanics being told that they have a culpability in African slavery, I do hear black leaders on the left infer that those same Hispanic descendants of the creators of that slave trade, that they are victims. I never hear leftist black leaders decry racist Hispanics either here or in their home countries in Latin America, or the ethnic cleansing of black Americans from cities and towns across the US, even when there are murders of black Americans by illegal alien gangs and individuals. Where were the leading lights of the black left when innocent children like Cheryl Green and Jamiel Shaw jr (to name just a few) were murdered because of the color of their skin? Where were their democrat representatives (Maxine Waters, who represented their district) and senators who fling the race card when at the drop of a hat?
What I feel is that slavery and racism is exploited to promote the same kind of persecution and oppression that Jim Crow laws were intended to do. It’s not about actually addressing what racism remains. And the truth is, that those powerful promoting this, do so because they neither believe in or respect the civil rights of all Americans, and it doesn’t bode well for any American citizen, not now, and certainly not in the future.
BTW, I’m a white American woman, and an independent.
Marie, I very much enjoyed listening to you and gaining from your perspective.
Of particular interest to me were your thoughts on the phrase. “Get over it.” As you know, that is exactly how I ended my chapter Voting Black. I truly believe we are all better off if we can let go of harms done to us and especially those committed to past generations, regardless of how horrific. Otherwise, we can be held back from our true potential.
There are many people living today who had relatives suffer during the Rape of Nanjing or the Bataan Death March. It is my sincere hope that these people do not allow those atrocities to manifest into a prejudice toward the Japanese people. As I relayed in my book, my father-in-law was at Pearl Harbor as a navy corpsman on December 7, 1941. He spent 48 hours pulling bodies and parts of bodies out of ships and the harbor. He did not even have a moment to change his blood drenched clothing. When he died in 2003, he still hated anyone and anything Japanese. Was that in his best interest? No, it wasn’t and I wish he could have gotten past it.
By “get over it,” I did not mean forget it. We must never forget it. However, we harm ourselves and our loved ones when we hold hurt in our hearts. I do not wish that on anyone.
So, am I defending the use of the phrase? No. You put it in perspective with the analogy of telling the descendants of the Holocaust to get over it. I pray that a couple generations from now the Jewish people have healed from the 1940’s. I pray that the next generation of blacks in America have healed from the atrocities of slavery. However, it is not for me to say, “Get over it.”
Thank you for your kind words on the podcast, Glen, and for sharing. You are absolutely right: “get over it” means I am dismissing any feelings you might have about this.” “Getting past it” means a thoughtful processing of the event and making whatever peace you can with it (and if that means hyphenating….well, it doesn’t hurt me, so I support whatever peaceful measure that doesn’t violate Biblical command).
I hear “get over it” coming from those who are embarrassed by slavery. I think part of “getting past” slavery is really to wade right though it and have these difficult discussions about race, and what it means, so we thoroughly understand one another. If you and the lovely W have a disagreement, I doubt you would say “Get over it!” You would want to walk back through what was said, and clear up exactly where misunderstandings and hurts occurred.
I don’t think we are ready yet for those types of conversations. Not with the Left throwing out their “race-baiting” comments all the time. But I do think having *this* president at *this* time in history is certainly moving us toward the time where we *can* engage in the dialog necessary to begin healing.
No, we can’t go back with Peabody & Sherman in the “Wayback Machine,” and undo history, but what I hope is that we can all *allow* others to acknowledge their pain and process it in ways meaningful to them. If carrying around “The Hyphen” helps that person, go for it! We can’t put a timetable on it, but we *can* learn best when to speak and actually *help,* and when *not* to speak (particularly in anger, which is the way I most often hear “Get over it!” expressed, because the person saying it is in pain and embarrassment about *their* ancestor’s role in slavery).
By posting this, I was hoping that we could all acknowledge that few now living would *openly* admit they “enjoyed” slavery, or that is was “fun” or a good thing. I was hoping to point out that many Caucasians, embarrassed by the acts of their ancestors, just don’t want to hear it and cut off people who are trying to process it in a way that makes sense to them.
If we can all realize that there are many paths to healing this rift, and that it *will* take time (slavery lasted hundreds of years….maybe the healing will too…), then I think we can “get past this” together, rather than “get over it!”
As always, Glen, I appreciate your insights!
I disagree with you about Sarah Palin.
Like you said, think Dr. Laura was “on target” with what she was trying to say (yes, it was a very bad way to say it) and because she said it the way she did, she was being falsely accused of racism from the left. Media Matters went crazy on her for it.
So, what Palin did was show some support to someone (very graciously I might add considering Dr. Laura had been nasty with Palin in the past) who was being falsely maligned by a group of people who just a few short weeks ago were praising the former “Grand Cyclops” of the KKK. It is rank hypocrisy from the left to play with racism the way they do. Sarah Palin is, like many of us, sic and tired of it, regardless if her support was requested or not.
It wasn’t the politically expedient thing to do, but it was principled.
Conservatives cannot allow the left to shout us down with phony charges of racism, while they play footsie with old Klansmen. It’s a ploy to get us to shut up… Something Sarah Palin isn’t going to do.
I did base my opinion about Palin on her Facebook posting on the matter though and not so much her tweets.
I agree with you about the Left shouting us down, and, of course, we agree about Dr. Laura. My point about Governor Palin was that, though I don’t think she was *agreeing* with Dr. Laura, and merely showing her support, I think it either should have been done privately, or in more than 140 characters so she could make clear she was just giving some support.
We don’t have to speak out on *every* issue, and Dr. Laura, while I admire her stance on many things, doesn’t always spout a conservative message. Something I think many conservatives, Gov. Palin in particular, needs to think about before supporting (support is *perceived* as agreeing, whether is actually is or not). She got in a heap of trouble here in CA for endorsing Carly Fiorina [no clear pro-life record, just self-proclaimed, and some HP controversies] over Chuck DeVore [100% pro-life]. Also look at the Newt Gingrich/Dee Dee Scozzafavva kerfuffle.
My point is, before jumping into the fray, maybe think it through a bit. Governor Palin may have just wanted to show support, but I think the negative outweighed that gesture of goodwill that could have, and probably *should* have occurred in a private note.
I appreciate your note, though, and glad we agree for the most part! 🙂