Ed Schultz briefly revealed what he actually thinks on his radio show yesterday, then quickly retreated to the comforting confines of the nonsensical.
Schultz was talking about embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his interview with Anderson Cooper of CBS about racist remarks made by Sterling and recorded by a gold-digger girlfriend working for him as an "archivist." (Audio after the jump)
During the interview with Cooper, Sterling insisted he's not racist. Here's what Schultz said in response (audio) --
He's an elderly man and he comes from a completely different generation and apparently he doesn't match up with the NBA and they don't want him around. The question is, are they willing to legally fight to make sure that he is going to be ousted from the league and that's really what it is, blackballed, whatever you want to call it, tossed out, said goodbye, thrown out of a business, can that be done? Uh, he has a right to be a racist.
Wha ....? Did Schultz just say what I think he said?! Apparently sensing he could be perceived as crossing a line, Schultz quickly clarified --
You have a right to love all people of all faiths and all walks of life. It's part of the human experience, I guess. Uh, is it right? (Is what right? Your right to be a racist or your right to love all people?). No, society doesn't think it's right. (Which right are you referring to, Ed? You're all over the map). But now they're going to judge whether he should own the team or not. He's trying to say I'm sorry. Am I defending him? No. (Please ignore what I just said). I think he should be out of the league. I think what he did was offensive. It was totally wrong and I think that he doesn't even know how to say he's sorry, 'cause he's one of these rich guys that has had everything he's ever wanted in his lifetime.
Imagine if Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, talking about Sterling, said the exact same words as Schultz -- "He has a right to be a racist." Regardless of context, either man saying this would dominate media news coverage for weeks and prompt vociferous demands that their shows be terminated. Ed Schultz says it and liberals can he assured of looking the other way, because, well, Schultz says goofy stuff on a regular basis.
I have no idea why Schultz backpedaled, to the point where he essentially rejected what he had just said, but I'll hazard a guess. If contemporary liberalism can be said to stand for anything, one of its pillars is this -- you do not have a right to be racist. Even if your actions are perceived as racist but no laws have been broken, your property can and should be wrested from your control as a result. And the more property you own, as with Sterling, the better.
But it is not only outright racism, contemptible as it is, that has been deemed repugnant and unacceptable. The reason that Sterling's remarks, and those of Nevadan rancher Cliven Bundy, have received such attention is because they are obvious outliers. Explicit racism has become an anachronism, the exception and not the rule, a surefire way for anyone expressing it (publicly or privately) to be consigned occupancy in one of history's shabbier dustbins. More significantly, liberals want differences of opinion on policy issues -- affirmative action, voting laws, entitlement spending, etc. -- to be seen as racist, the better to shut down differences of opinion.
Liberals often claim they want a "conversation" on race, which is true in a narrow sense -- they want to converse with conservatives about race for the specific purpose of acquiring ammunition to accuse conservatives as racism. Otherwise, it's not a conversation that liberals consider worth having.