Live from Music Row Thursday 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 all-star panelist Carol Swain to the studio.
During the third hour, Swain discussed her experiences by which she left the Democratic Party and the racism while growing up and throughout her college career noting that it was white people and Conservatives that encouraged her to excel. Disappointedly, she admitted it was the affluent black people that were typically unsupportive because of her socioeconomic status.
Leahy: So Carol Swain. Our all-star panelist and former Vanderbilt professor recognized throughout the country for your scholarship.
Swain: And my wisdom.
Leahy: Of course your wisdom.
Swain: And my wit and my dry sense of humor. (Chuckles)
Leahy: And your spectacular wardrobe as well. I will say that.
Swain: And my modesty and humility. (Chuckles)
Leahy: It’s a high standard here. I drag myself out of bed and make it here by like 5:04 a.m. Katie our producer is laughing because sometimes it’s like 5:05:58. (Laughs) So I look like I just got out of bed and here you come in at 6:30 a.m. and you’re like ready for the day. It’s a contrast shall we say.
Swain: I’m ready for the world.
Leahy: Ready for the world. You are. This defunding the police thing Carol. Now I was talking with a friend of mine by the name Aubrey Shines the other day. I’ll have to introduce you to him. He’s a good guy. He’s a preacher. And he’s a member of the Conservative Clergy of Color.
We were talking about defunding the police and he said look what happens when you defund the police? He said, well crime goes up. And where does crime go up the most? It goes up in basically minority communities. So defunding the police is not going to help the minority population. That was his argument. What do you think?
Swain: It will not help the minority community any more than requiring citizens to all wear masks. (Leahy laughs) The only people that are helped are criminals.
Leahy: Very interesting.
Swain: Crime went up with the mask.
Leahy: I saw a report by the way that crime in New York City in the past month has just skyrocketed.
Swain: You know something, I love New York but I have no interest in going there anytime soon. Just think about the crazy mask. Everyone looks like a bandit these days. (Leahy laughs) And there is no way to protect yourself because everyone looks like a potential criminal. And they want us to get comfortable with that look.
Leahy: Yes. Let’s go back to the kind of history of this about you and I have talked before about two different views about how to advance the interests of the black community at large in the country. And you were born in southwest Virginia.
Swain: In 1954.
Swain: The year Brown versus Board of Education.
Leahy: A spring chicken.
Swain: I knew systemic racism. (Laughter) I grew up with systemic racism. And I watched that sucker go down with three civil rights acts. The institutionalized part. And we became at least colorblind under the law.
Leahy: Under the law.
Swain: Of course, that didn’t change everyone’s hearts and minds. But I’ve had enormous opportunities in this country and I can tell you that my race has advantaged me I would say more than it has disadvantaged me. And what I experience now is discrimination because of my Conservatism. Because I’m a Christian.
And I believe that discrimination is more crippling because their whole desire is to destroy a person. Take away their job and their ability to earn money. With the political left, they don’t care about race or where you come from. Their goal is to destroy you.
Leahy: Well yeah. Very well said. The whole thing about systemic racism, the systemic means the entire body. Institutional racism.
Swain: Well it pretty much says that all the institutions of society are set up to the advantage of a particular group. You could argue that was the way America was set up before the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. 1965 Voting Rights Act. 1968 Open Housing Act. And then you know we got affirmative action. Now affirmative action never exclusively benefited blacks.
White women were included as well by 1970 there were like five groups. That’s when the immigrants were included. It never focused exclusively on the black descendants of slaves. And I would argue that the people who have benefited the most from affirmative the most are affluent minorities and also women.
Leahy: You hear always from the left, from Black Lives Matter and the mainstream media. I call them the Manchurian media and the Democratic Party. We still have they say systemic racism in the United States. My view has been I don’t think we’ve had systemic racism since 1970.
Swain: If we do the systemic racism I see I would say is against white people. And especially white men. And that’s becoming a part of our system through this effort to somehow, everything is upside down. And if we just had plain old non-discrimination. If we went back to the ideal of the color-blind society.
If we tried to operate under a standard where everyone was treated fairly under the law, I think that we would be much better off as a society. But what I see is people who are pushing this whole concept of restorative justice, that has lead to the courts downtown releasing criminals.
People who should be incarcerated or they should be in some type of psychological program. Releasing them again and again and again until they commit a heinous crime. And then they try to deal with them. It has lead to the decline of the schools because the school system is not allowed to suspend young people that are disrupting the learning environment for everyone else.
And in California, they’ve jettisoned the college admission standards. An environment like that which continually lowers the standards and bringing everyone in leads to situations where you have students that are frustrated because they can’t do the work. If they get passed through and graduate and apply for jobs they don’t have job skills.
So they are not earning what they think they should earn because they have a college degree. And it creates a vicious cycle where people are upset and angry. And justifiably so because the system has really lied to them. They believe they are getting one thing and they go to these colleges. I have to say these programs. Anything that ends with studies and that’s your degree, it’s worthless.
Leahy: (Chuckles) You seem determined this morning to make sure that we go into Google jail, Facebook jail, and Twitter jail because you are just speaking the truth.
Swain: Well, here I stand. I can do no other. (Laughter)
Leahy: I love it. So tell us what in your life have you experienced individual instances of racism against you as a person from white people?
Swain: I’m sure that I must have because I’m black it must have been there. But I can tell you that my mentors and the people who encouraged me early to continue my education where people who were white. And the blacks that I was around that were more affluent were not interested in poor kids like me.
And my family, we were the poorest of the poor. Most of the people who encouraged me, and I can also include an African orderly from Sierra Leon to continue my education they just happened to be white and a lot of Conservatives. In fact, my advisor at the four-year college was a Republican. He told me years ago, you know you are a Republican. And I took that like, what do you mean I’m a Republican?
Leahy: At the time you were a self-identified Democrat till what? 1999?
Swain: I left the Democrats in 2000. And then in 2009, I became a Republican. But I was moving away from the Democrats because of my Christian conversion and the incompatibility of their views and their platform with my Christian values.
Leahy: So this was the professor in the 1970s.
Swain: I’m going to get you in real trouble now. I don’t see how any Christian could be in the Democratic Party. Because you look at the party platforms and their party is totally anti-God.
Leahy: Carol Swain, speaking of God. We wish you God speed on your trip to Dallas. And good luck on the premiere of the movie, in which you are featured, Uncle Tom. Carol thanks so much for joining us today.
Swain: Thank you.
Leahy: Safe travels.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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