Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed state Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) to the studio.
During the second hour, Roberts discussed how the country’s new buzzword had gone from “social distancing” to “systemic racism” in the span of 24 hours. He further acknowledged the black Conservative perspective has changed and predicted that Trump could take the black vote by 40% in the upcoming general election.
Leahy: We are joined now by all-star panelist and good friend, State Senator Kerry Roberts. Good morning Kerry.
Roberts: Good morning! How are you this morning?
Leahy: I am great. I love America. (Roberts laughs) The counter-revolution has begun Kerry.
Roberts: It’s about time.
Leahy: All the lefties.
Roberts: Oh, wait wait wait. The revolution or the counter-revolution?
Leahy: The counter-revolution has begun. We are pushing back against all the lefties.
Roberts: Right. Yes. I just want to make sure I’m on the right track there. (Laughs)
Leahy: Historically this has so many comparisons. What the Left is doing with all these riots out there destroying personal property left and right. Although they seem to be calming down a bit. It’s very comparable to the French Revolution. Now, there was not really a successful counter-revolution then. But there will be one here.
Roberts: I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again but it has a whole lot more meaning now. If you are a Democrat and a decent person. If you are a law-abiding citizen, you go to work every day and you’re honest and you have integrity. You go to church on Sunday, why in the world are you still a Democrat?
Because your party has led the absolute insane inmates takeover of the asylum known as the Democratic Party. It is stunningly unbelievable that Nancy Pelosi (Leahy snickers) can’t nip it in the bud and say no. We’re not going to defund the police. I mean, she dances around the topic and she can’t come out. At least Biden had the sense to say no that’s bad.
Leahy: Well he actually didn’t quite say no. He had his spokesperson say no.
Roberts: Well, I have a feeling he’s going to have a spokesperson saying a lot of things between now and November. (Leahy laughs) Don’t you? I don’t think they are eager to get him on camera right now. It’s absolutely stunning that all of these radicals if you look at the rounds and it’s not just the people who are making a heartfelt plea about racial equality.
Racial unity. They’ve also got a lot of nut jobs up there who are talking about stuff that has nothing to do with racial equality or real problems. The new buzzword, we’ve gone from social distancing to systemic racism. That’s the new buzzword.
Leahy: In 24 hours.
Leahy: So systemic racism. Systemic racism, institutional racism. That means racism against one group or another. One race is codified in law and procedures. Now, I saw Attorney General Bill Barr actually said you know it is true that there was systemic racism in the United States for much of our history until about the 1960s.
And the law has been modified since then. Policies and procedures are very clear. Nowhere will you find any state entity, any governmental entity, any federal entity that supports any aspect that is racially divisive or that treats one race differently than another.
Roberts: The argument or the pushback of course is, well that’s not true on the local level. Or that’s not true on the street level. Or that’s not true of what the police do. And you do have bad actors. And of course, the one bad actor ends up driving the reality of perception, right? That is a very very powerful video to see George Floyd on the ground. And that one video has a multiplier effect as far as the perception. And that perception of course is what drives reality.
Leahy: Let’s talk about this. Everybody has seen the video from May 25. George Floyd a black man. Apparently, there was a complaint that he had been allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill. All we see then is in the video is this police officer surrounded by three others with George Floyd on the ground and the police officer has his knee on the neck of George Floyd.
And about five minutes into the video George Floyd says “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” and then he stops moving for three minutes. Now, systemic racism would be if the policy of the Minneapolis Police Department was the following when you apprehend a black suspect you must put your knee on his neck until he dies. Or something like that. It’s not their policy.
Roberts: No it’s not their policy. But let me move to a different issue here. Do you know what they are saying? First of all, they are acknowledging the fact and not to nuance words because I think if you say, well there’s not systemic racism because here’s the definition of systemic racism. Then they’ll say, well I don’t know what you call it but there is racism baked into the system.
Leahy: Let’s talk about that. Racism baked into the system. What exactly does that mean?
Roberts: Then it delves into the discussion of white privilege and so forth.
Leahy: What was baked into the system into the brain of this police officer? Was it that this is a black guy and therefore I must put my knee on his neck? Or was it, this is somebody I’m trying to apprehend who’s not cooperating with the apprehension?
Roberts: Well I have no idea. But the problem is people say what more do you need to see. You watch a video where he didn’t let a guy up and the guy dies. And that becomes the symbol and that becomes the metaphor. That becomes the rallying cry. But let me go back to black Conservatives.
Black Conservatives are basically saying, I am stronger than your racism. What an incredible statement to make. Stop and think of the opposite of that. The opposite of that is, well I’m a victim. I can’t accomplish. I can’t achieve. I can’t do anything because of white supremacy. Where can I go? What can I do?
And Black conservatives are saying, I don’t care what you think. I live in a free country. I’ll do what I want to do. Did you see that incredible video of that young lady who took on the protesters and she was saying, I’m free! I live in the greatest country of America. And these white protesters started shouting her down with shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on you.
Leahy: Where was this video?
Roberts: I don’t know where it was. It was a young black lady with a Jamaican accent or something like that. I’m sorry I don’t know.
Leahy: Was she a store owner?
Roberts: No. No. They were out protesting in the park and she just came up and started yelling at the protesters and making some very emotional and cogid points about the fact that I live in a free country and I am free. I can get an education. I can work. I can do what I want to do.
And you are the racists. And so she ended up getting shouted down. I thought, how incredible of an image of this is. White protesters for Black Lives Matter shout down a young black woman that says “I am stronger than your racism. You don’t define me. Your words don’t hurt me.”
Leahy: So she was saying the white liberals were racist.
Roberts: Yes. It was powerful. It was amazing. What bravery to go into a crowd and start doing that.
Leahy: I saw another video of an older black woman who owns some kind of retail business in Brooklyn or the Bronx I guess and she came out and was just excoriating the protesters who had destroyed her business. And she said I’m black. My life matters. Right? Why are you destroying my business?
Roberts: And then a couple of days ago the news comes out that among likely black voters Donald Trump has a 40% approval rating. That’s only going to grow because what you are seeing with black Conservatives as they spread their message of empowerment, it is a stunningly powerful thing when you say to someone, I don’t care what you think.
When I get to the point Michael where I don’t care what you think then you no longer hold any power or control over me. And there may be things that are baked into the system or not and people can argue that. And your point is very well made. But the point is when I don’t care what you think, then you no longer have control over me. And that is a powerful moment in time.
Listen the full second hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Background Photo “Tennessee General Assembly” by the Tennessee General Assembly.