While some will push back and tell us there are no racial overtones in the verbal undressing of Republican National Committee Chair-puppet Michael Steele by pill-popping bigot Rush Limbaugh, we beg to differ.
As the first African American elected to head the party, which is considered racist by many, Steele’s role has a lot of racial symbolism attached to it.
After promising to make the party appeal to the “hip hop” crowd, which was roundly mocked, Steele finally appeared to be getting his footing with impressive appearances during the “State of the Black Union” and CNN’s “D.L. Hughley Breaks the News.”
When Hughley mentioned that Rush was the de facto leader of the GOP, Steele corrected him and declared he was the head of the party. He went further by calling Rush’s declaration that he wanted President Obama to fail “incendiary” and “ugly.”
But then the bloviating blowhard responded.
“It's time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you're having a tough time pulling off,” wailed Boss Rush. “But it seems to me that it's Michael Steele who is off to a shaky start.”
Rush, where is the respect that should be afforded to the man elected to head the RNC?
Steele, like others have done recently, quickly apologized and proved Hugley’s point.
Everyone is watching Steele’s stint as head of the GOP, African Americans in particular are paying close attention to how he handles the issue of race and how the party responds to him. He doesn’t need to be a militant Black man, he just needs to command respect.
Steele had a very good weekend, he appeared in two settings that allowed him to present his case to African Americans and did so effectively. Even some progressives considered it refreshing. His “real talk” about the GOP, race and where he would like to take the party won him some respect from many who felt he was nothing but a mere puppet.
Rush’s response to Steele reminded us of a slave master or a Jim Crow era sheriff who would say to any Black man who they felt got out of line “Say boy, shut up and sit down. Be a good little darkie and know your place.”
Steele should have channeled Sidney Poitier in “In the Heat of the Night” and declared “they call me Mr. Steele!” , but instead he caved and might as well have said “Yessir Massa Rush, I didn’t mean to do you no harm.”
Michael Steele you have lost the respect of very people you were trying to win over.