On his nationally syndicated radio talk show Friday, host Mark Levin interviewed conservative columnist and author Shelby Steele concerning the protests waged by some National Football League (NFL) players during the U.S. National Anthem, suggesting that “the old-fashioned method of protest is obsolete.”
“Will racism ever go, completely go away?” asked Shelby Steele. “No, it’s a part of the, as I say in that article, it’s endemic to the human condition just as stupidity is endemic to the human condition.”
Later in the show, Steele continued: “And so, we’ll always have to be on guard about it, but we’re at a point where the old-fashioned method of protest is obsolete. We, we, we need a lot of things, but we don’t need that anymore.”
Shelby Steele and Mark Levin’s comments came after the NFL kneeling issue was reignited last week amid reports that Miami Dolphin players could face penalties – possibly suspension – should they protest during the Anthem. The NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) decided to freeze anthem rules amid the backlash, the NFLPA even issuing a statement via Twitter that said, “No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.”
President Trump also made his thoughts on the issue known, saying in a tweet: “The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again - can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!”
Below is a transcript of Shelby Steele and Mark Levin’s remarks from The Mark Levin Show Friday:
Shelby Steele: “Well, protest is central to the evolution of black American culture. It was protests that really finally won our freedom for us.
“Beyond that, it’s always interesting to note that it expanded the idea of democracy. Democracy, and all of the theory, all of the thinking, all of it had, before had never dealt with the clash between race and racism and democracy.
“Well, it was the civil rights movement. It was Martin Luther King who said, you have to, you have to go beyond race even. That democracy is universal. So that’s a big part of the black American identity, and it’s sort of seen as the test of your authenticity as a black.
“And yet, this protest in the NFL made the point that this was kind of fruitless at this point, and I think the central issue behind what you’re you’re talking about is the fact that the oppression of black Americans is over with.”
Mark Levin: “It’s over with.”
Steele: “It’s over with. I grew up, I mean it was, we never thought there’d be an end to oppression. I remember being a teenager. I never thought that I’d live in a society that wasn’t segregated. It happened.
“Now, are there exceptions? Yes, there are a few here and there. Will racism ever go, completely go away? No, it’s a part of the, as I say in that article, it’s endemic to the human condition just as stupidity is endemic to the human condition.
“And so, we’ll always have to be on guard about it, but we’re at a point where the old-fashioned method of protest is obsolete. We, we, we need a lot of things, but we don’t need that anymore. We’re at a point now where, where we can, we are a free people and can pursue our lives as we, as we would like.”