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 Dr. Carol Swain to the studio.
During the second hour, Swain gave her take on a recent letter circulated by Belmont University President Bob Fisher that she interpreted as blatant support of Black Lives Matter. She added that the board of trustees and families need to pay attention and called for the resignation of the university president.
Leahy: We are joined as we always are on Thursdays by our good friend former Vanderbilt professor. Former Nashville mayoral candidate. And of course all-star panelist here on The Tennessee Star Report Carol Swain. Good morning Carol.
Swain: Good morning Michael and good morning audience.
Leahy: Yes. At the seven o’clock hour the phones are going to light up. They are going to light up because we are going to talk about the GOP Senate campaign. But in this segment, I wanted to talk with you about the email you sent me the other day that was very disturbing to me. And it came from the president of Belmont University. Now they were for much of their history a Christian college where they not?
Swain: They were and I remember when the split occurred and it was over the LGBT issue. And it had something to do with a coach. And they split from the Baptist denomination. If you look at universities that split from the churches they are affiliated with its almost always about the money. So they made that big change. They are no longer a Christian university. And under Bob Fisher, they have become progressively more progressive.
Leahy: Aren’t they all? Isn’t that the problem we face in America? Every institution seems to lean left and then become full boar left-wing socialists.
Swain: Well I can tell you that it’s not a welcoming place for Christian conservatives. And I have heard of so many Christian students that have gone to Belmont thinking they have gone to a Christian school and had their faith destroyed or left the university.
And in one case, I just know about this particular case, where someone committed suicide and I was told that it had a lot to do with the disillusionment from the experience they had on that campus. And I think that its harder for students.
If you are going to a secular school you are expected to be a particular kind of way. But if you believe a school is Christian you expect them to reflect some of your values and to be welcoming. You don’t expect to encounter some of the things that young people who come from traditional homes can find when they get to that Belmont campus.
Leahy: Here is an email sent on Monday, July 27 from Bob Fisher the president of Belmont. To faculty and staff and students. I’ll just read some excerpts of it. The ones that caught my attention giving me the big clue that Belmont has gone socialist. “At Belmont University Fisher wrote, we believe that we are created as equals by our God.” So far so good Carol.
Swain: I agree.
Leahy: We can agree with that. Based on that belief President Fisher of Belmont says, “Belmont seeks to be an inclusive and welcoming community that loves and values every individual regardless of race, gender, religion, disability, age, national or ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”
Swain: So there they are adding something that is not in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And Christians believe in love so they should be doing that anyway. Loving everyone that is created in God’s image.
Leahy: Now we get to the troubling part of this email. “With that said President of Belmont Bob fisher wrote, we believe that Black Lives Matter.”
Swain: Let me read that sentence. (Giggles)
Leahy: OK. You’ll do better than I will.
Swain: No, just with that sentence. With that said, yes! “Black Lives Matter matter to me and to Belmont.” And so there he takes the slogan and says something that is a true statement. All lives matter and Blacks are a part of all lives. But this strikes me as a subtle endorsement of the organization Black Lives Matter.
Leahy: I like the emphasis. (Laughter)
Swain: Yes! Black Lives Matter to me and to Belmont. So he’s talking about the organization folks. He’s not talking about the fact that we are all created in God’s image.
Leahy: Let’s continue with his email.
Swain: You were stumbling over that part. (Laughs)
Leahy: I was stumbling over that part. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me and our audience that I was stumbling. I’ll continue.”While our country’s treatment of Native Americans, minorities, and all parts of the world have resulted in people being systematically diminished and destroyed.”
Swain: Why are they coming if this is being done in America?
Leahy: “Throughout our history, the recently renewed focus on the mistreatment of Black Americans has created a broad outpouring of demands that we bring it into systemic racism wherever we find it.”
Swain: I didn’t know that Belmont University was engaged in systemic racism. I do know that last year when some of the trustees were trying to get them to hire me that Bob Fisher killed the appointment and so I was a victim of his systemic racism.
Leahy: Apparently a Black conservative scholar with a national reputation is apparently not welcome at Belmont University. That’s actually not systemic racism, that’s individually focused on you.
Swain: And not just a Black professor but one that’s won the highest prize in her profession. Been cited by the US Supreme Court and tenured at Vanderbilt and Princeton. He did not have the funds to hire me.
Leahy: You would think if he wanted to solve what he claims is systemic racism you think he would hire…
Swain: A Christian.
Leahy: A high profile Black conservative scholar.
Swain: A Baptist. A Southern Baptist to carry forth the tradition.
Leahy: Apparently, not so much. But I want to stop here for a moment. He’s made a broad false claim that systemic racism exists in America today. I hear this all the time from would-be pundits. And there’s no evidence whatsoever that systemic racism exists. What do you think his evidence of systemic racism is?
Swain: They are just parroting the liberal left’s language and its part of the cultural Marxism that America is a racist nation. That every institution in America is supposed to be filled with this racism. And this racism privilege is whites.
Racism is permanent according to these people and all White people are privileged. Even if you are that poor White male from Appalachia living in some hut without indoor plumbing and no parent has ever finished high school.
Leahy: This just gets worse. It just gets worse. By the way Bob Fisher, president of Belmont University, you are more than welcome to come in and talk here in person.
Swain: It’s time for Bob Fisher to retire or to leave Belmont. And the trustees that have allowed him to destroy the university and erase every single vestige of its Christian heritage needs to stand up and do their jobs. They need to clear out Belmont University. Their families are funding that university. They are supporting this.
Leahy: To parents and trustees are just kind of going along and rubber stamping this far-left agenda of academic leaders and faculty. It’s not just in Belmont. It’s everywhere in public and private universities Carol and Carol you’ve had a lot of experience in this.
Swain: The last sentence on this memo page one that we want to highlight that.
Leahy: The very last line?
Swain: Continue reading this and I’ll be quiet for a second. (Giggles)
Leahy: That’s kind of a hard task Carol.
Swain: I’ll jump in only if I have too.
Leahy: Which means she’s going to jump in real soon folks. We’ve just started to get into this. What follows Fisher wrote, our first step towards the goal of ending systemic racism in the four overarching themes that emerge from a listening session a strategic shift in culture. ‘Diversity, inclusion, and equity will continue to be embedded in the soon to be announced vision 2025 plan but it will also be elevated in our efforts as one of eight broad strategies for the overall guidance of the university.
Listen to 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.
Photo “Bob Fisher” by Belmont University.